What to do if you’re falling for someone who might be using you for an ulterior motive

Yara asks: I have been dating a guy for almost 8 months. I was a student in London and at a part time job when we got to know each other. Some of the people who worked with me claimed that he mentioned that his intentions with me were to get me pregnant and claim visa in the UK. I was shell-shocked. I moved away and slowly we stopped talking. Then once during my night shift as I was leaving from work I got mugged. He rang me when he learned this and we cleared the air on these rumors, since he claimed that he’d never intended to stay in London after his divorce but he wanted head back to his home country. Since then he has been of great help and company to me. As time passed, he went back to his home country, I went back to mine, and we started having a long distance relationship. My question is, I really like this guy but I am not sure if he is with me because he sees me as an easy ticket to a better destination since I am planning to migrate and he knows that. Is that why he is with me? I feel a bit confused and guilty for thinking this, but don’t know how to stop.

Hi Yara –

What concerns me the most here isn’t exactly the question about your immigration status, or even whether this man wants to get you pregnant, but rather that you have a relationship with so little trust in it.

I get lots of letters from people who worry that their boyfriend or girlfriend might cheat on them, or be interested in their money.  But you’re questioning the whole basis of his interest in you – that he’s only after a visa, and would be such a jerk as to create a child to get it.  Now I have no idea if he is or isn’t that way, but I would sure hope you would be very hesitant to get too close to someone you felt might be like that!

On the other hand, we know that there are very charming people in the world who can convince anyone of anything, so it’s not impossible this guy could be one of those.  So how can we find out?

Well one answer would be to

semi-lie to him, and tell him you’re considering not moving back to London.  If he gets angry, or cuts off contact with you, that’ll be a pretty good sign that he was after the visa.  But if he continues to show friendliness and concern, then there’s a decent chance he really is interested in you.

The other thing would be to check in more with those co-workers.  Did he literally tell them he had a scheme to use you to get a visa?  Or did he say something more like “She seems great, and I know if I could marry her and start a family then we wouldn’t have to worry about visas so we could always be together.”? 

Basically there are two things you and I don’t want.  One is for you to stay in a relationship where you can’t trust the other person, and the other is for you to be used in a horrible way.  The only ways to avoid these are 1) for you to leave him, or 2) for him to prove he’s truly interested in you.

I say to try that trick of “semi-lying” and see how he reacts, and check with those co-workers, and then get back to me on it.  At least that’ll help with part of this!

How does that sound?

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