Dear Dr. NerdLove,
I hope this message finds you well. I have been reading some of your advice to other hoomans and figured it’d be nice to walk away with some perspective for problems of my own.
Some things to know about me are that I am a straight, cisgendered 23 year old woman with strong hetero-romantic inclinations towards men, particularly men of color. I am Dominican-American, meaning, I was U.S. born and am a product of Dominican parents. I grew up in a single parent household where my mother was my caregiver and because of that I never really grew up around me or even knew anything about men until I started dating and befriending them some time around high-school.
To get to the point of my issue: I have only had one very real relationship. It was with a Brazilian guy that I met at my University. We hit it off so well that I went on to meeting his family in Brazil and had a 2 year long relationship. Come to find that he was actually just in it for the visa. I should have seen the red flags coming when our first day doing long distance (me in the States and him in Brazil) he was obsessively trying to calculate how to make his way back to the U.S. by coming up with the craziest conclusions. And before you say it was because he wanted to be with me, once that boy got a student visa to come do his masters in the U.S. that was it for our relationship. A week before his student visa coming in the mail and a month away from flying to the states to be exact. Anyway the details as to why I believed he was interested in me for the visa are long-winded and extremely painful to discuss.
Due to my cultural background I know these type of tricks exist. There is even a Dominican hit called “Pa manga’ mi Visa” which is about a two men who delineate specifics as to how and why he wants to date a “gringa” –to get his visa. Over and over I see this happening. Either an actual business like transaction where both parties involved know its a fake relationship with the means of receiving real marriage visas in exchange for money OR the worst one where the other person doesn’t know they are being deceived.
As you can imagine, this experience was really traumatic. As a woman that considers she has daddy issues and has started out life with a very low notion of self worth with an enormous amount of frustration towards myself and constant resugrances of imposter syndrome throughout my academic career –this was a blow to my person. I hit an all time low where I underwent chronic depression and even went through a period of suicidal ideation. Because I gave him everything and loved him unconditionally. Needless to say, he broke my heart.
My first boyfriend was Saudi and all he wanted was to get it in because he clearly couldn’t do that in his hometown without facing some hurdles. He used me for sex and took my virginity.
Present day, I feel pretty healed from that experience and am in the search for new experiences with genuine people. I feel I can speak for all women when I say that it is as though I am constantly hitting a brick wall. Just a few months ago it happened yet again, another Brazilian ( Idk wtf right?). This time it was short lived because I knew to look for the signs. As soon as he said “I have a court case coming up that will determine my status in this country” I knew that that “I love you” one month into the relationship was total love bombing and BS.
Just last week I ended up dating a guy from Venezuela. He has refugee status and is set on that front but due to my past experiences I decided to lie to him by telling him I was born in the DR. But come to find that we had sex 5 times in a row literally a night ago and he already broke the “call the night after having sex rule” where he was texting me every morning for the last week and just right after having sex he completely goes missing. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he just didn’t want to come off as clingy BUT like dude..c’mon. I feel so used right now!!
So at 23 I have reached the conclusion that dating men is hard. Especially when you don’t know much about men. I want to find someone genuine but through my 6 experiences thus far I only get the ones that are horny and only want sex or the kind that want a visa. I know that my easy fix is not dating men that have weird immigration statuses and that I should focus on dating men that already have that documented status secured. But I can’t help but wonder if I am just a means for someone’s ends all the time? Like, I get that people are highly self interested and that being selfish is part of human nature. But I feel like I am a good girl trying to date a good guy. I consider myself tender, humble, open minded, caring and overall really loving. I’m just really pessimistic of the future and what it holds for me. And if maybe I should just remain single. I just find that it is so hard to get caught up in thinking that my self worth is measured by a guy’s attractions towards me and if all life has been handing me thus far is an absent father, a couple visa-seekers, and douchebags that only want sex, it’s hard to believe yourself as someone worthy of love and affection. I just seem to suffer more than most people and get my heart broken too easily. Something that may take someone 1 month to get over literally takes me an entire year. And I don’t want this for myself anymore. I’m done crying and suffering over this and I just want to make peace with myself… I look forward to hearing from you.