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    Hi Vida,

    Coming from a traditional family myself I can understand what you are going through. Thank you for reaching out for help and support. I think you know what the right thing for YOU (not your family or for this other man), but you are scared about taking that decision–“I’m confused and scared. I don’t want to give into pressure and marry someone whom I may not have interest in.”–

    “On the other hand I don’t have any other person to point fingers to to show that I have someone else with whom I may spend my future.”– Don’t make your life decisions based on fear, especially when it comes to something as important as marriage. I am Indian and my whole family had arranged marriages. Some where “successful” the others just stay because that’s the culture. Also don’t worry that this is the only man. You have to know and see your value. When you realize your value then no one can scare you into making these decisions you don’t want to make.

    I am assuming you are South Asian? I volunteer for a non profit called Narika that helps support South Asian women who experience many situations similar to this. Being pressured into marriage, and situations after being married such as domestic violence. Narika is located in the Bay Area, CA. Even if your are located in another country you can contact us. You can also search online for an organization that can help support you.

    Please listen to your heart. I won’t sugar coat it and say that it will be easy to stand up to your traditional family. Family is very important, so is culture and traditions. But it is your right to live your life, date and enjoy your college experience. If you don’t stand up for yourself then who will.

    Also if you are Indian or enjoy Bollywood movies I would recommend watching the movie Queen. Not exactly your situation, but it shows that even a traditional Indian girl can grow and live her authentic life even when the marriage doesn’t happen. I wish you the best, and please reach out for support, you don’t have to do this yourself.

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