Ask M: Confusion about the men in my life

In today’s AskM column, M responds to two women dealing with confusion and ambiguity about the men in their lives.


Dear M,

My non-Muslim boyfriend and I have been going out for three years now. I haven’t told my parents about him. I lie to them and say I am going out with friends when I am actually seeing him. I sleep over at his place and tell my parents I am sleeping over at a friend’s. These ongoing lies are wearing me down. I don’t think there is a future for us because my parents would never agree to this relationship. Should I break-up with my boyfriend? I don’t even know how he has been handling all the sneaking around because we don’t really talk about it. I am afraid of telling my parents about this secret relationship because it will destroy their trust in me. Please help!


Dear Confused,

It’s natural to feel that lying for the past few years has started to wear you down. You’re probably going through a lot of conflicting emotions right now. On one hand, you love your parents and fear how they’ll take the news you’re dating someone they may not approve. On the other, you’ve invested three years in a relationship with your boyfriend.

Whether or not you should break up is a decision you have to make on your own. It’s time to sit down and think about what you really want. When you say you don’t think there’s a future for the two of you, is the only reason because you fear your parents would never agree to being with this man? Or is there something else holding you back?

You mentioned you don’t know how your boyfriend feels about all the sneaking around. You may also want to think about sitting down with him to see how he feels and where he sees your relationship going.

If, after giving it some serious thought, you decide you want a real future together, you’re going to have to tell your parents about him. And there’s a way you can do that without destroying their trust in you. Be honest with them about how long you’ve known him and how you met. Let them know their approval is important to you and that was why it took time for you to decide he’s the right one before bringing it to their attention.

If, on the other hand, you decide he isn’t the one for you, then you can refrain from telling your parents about him. The way I see it, the only reason to tell your parents about your relationship is if you’re looking to take it to the next level. Remember how having to sneak around made you feel and try to be a little more honest about your next relationship. It’ll make things easier in the long run.

Best of luck,


Dear M,

I am young and educated so I can honestly say that I have the looks and the brains so to speak. I met a man who was older than me but had everything I had always wanted in a potential spouse: he was smart, funny, practicing but not uptight, kind, adventurous, and so easy to love. After talking for a month (on a nearly daily basis) he very openly told me he wanted to pursue marriage and was prepared to meet my family. Long story short, after getting to know each other further for another four months, he met my family. But despite this important step in our relationship, I had noticed for a while that he seemed different. He had become distant, distracted, and sometimes very confrontational and hurtful. Simple discussions would break down quickly into fights.

Our relationship didn’t last and I’m writing because I want to know if you have any wisdom as to why men lose interest or change so drastically within a short period of time. During our first month of getting to know one another, I was very open and told him my honest views/experiences and so on, so it’s not like he suddenly discovered something unexpected about me.

I just want some perspective on this situation so that I can be more successful in the future.


Dear Heartbroken,

First, I’m sorry for your breakup. It’s rough to be in a relationship with someone, get ready for the next step, and then have it fall on the other person’s end with no explanation.

You may not want to hear this, but you might never know why your ex-beau went from hot to cold. It’s possible something came up in his personal life and he needs time to sort it out. Some men get scared at the thought of a long-term commitment, others don’t know how to take a relationship to the next level, and some have a whole different set of issues.

Just like us.

The point is, it probably wasn’t you. One mistake women often make is take a man’s inexplicable behavior and make it about themselves. The truth is, he probably had some personal issues of his own.

You’re better off moving on. Any man who can’t have an honest conversation with you about your relationship after meeting your family isn’t worth your time anyway. You’ve got a fabulous life to get on with and more people to meet!

Best of luck,

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