Hi Auntie
In March 2018, I met a girl on Tinder and we started talking. A week later, we met and I found out that she had been raped by her ex and was suicidal. Her ex exploited her physically and financially and she was too scared to leave him. I thought of helping her and we got along very well. She was becoming heavily dependent on drugs, and I motivated her to get off drugs and gave her the confidence to break up with her ex. In April, she proposed to me. I didn’t want to say yes, but I couldn’t say no either because I was confused and also because that would break her heart, especially as she was suicidal. So reluctantly, I said yes.

Without informing me, she told her parents and invited me to have tea with them. Shocked, I refused but she started crying hysterically, so I went for tea and had a lovely time. I realised I was in trouble and told her things were going too fast and that we needed to slow down. I did not find her attractive nor did I agree with her hard-core feminist views, and marriage seemed impossible.

Eventually, in June she asked me to send my parents over to her house. I tried to break up with her, but I couldn’t because she would cry and beg me, so I sent my parents to her place. My parents weren’t 100 percent convinced with the idea of our getting married. However, I decided to give this some time and break up on some issue later. I decided to act difficult, like an idiot who’s impossible to manage. But she survived that.

‘I don’t want to marry her but can’t break up either’

It’s been a year and I still don’t love her. I’ve even cheated on her and she was fine with it. I’m not attracted to her and her feminist thoughts do not work with my family structure. I am not a chauvinist, but her views are a little too far from our logic.

I’ve tried to break up at least 10 times on the phone and in person, but she begs me and once she literally touched my feet and I felt like an idiot and hugged her immediately. However, I don’t want to marry her since my parents aren’t convinced and neither am I.
Is there a solution?
The Good Guy

Dear Pity-dating,
What you are doing is pity love and it is not helping anyone. If you continue being a softie, not wanting to break someone’s heart and always wanting to be liked, you will continue to play out this pattern over and over in various forms during your life. It is time to learn the lesson this situation is teaching you. You are not interested in this girl, but you continue seeing her and even introduced her to your parents because you feel sorry for her. Not only is that not being true, but it is also not a good enough reason to be romantically linked with anyone.

Being with someone should not be a favour. By going out with someone you don’t like and who you know likes you, you are only raising her hopes and will hurt her even worse in the long run when you do end up rejecting them. The situation will get to you and you will get sick of her. You are also wasting both her and your time which both of you could spend better, being with people you actually like and can build a life with. While this girl has faced some difficult circumstances in her life, if you think you are ‘saving’ her by being with her, you are living in La La Land. She may feel great about herself momentarily; however, when you let her down and walk out, not only will she be crushed, but it will be worse because she will realise that the entire relationship was built on a false premise. Why are you doing this? Just be honest and tell her that while you like her as a person, you are not ready to be tied down to anyone at this point. Do both of you the favour of setting her and yourself free and letting her find someone who really likes her in a romantic way.

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Published in Dawn, EOS, May 12th, 2019