When to tell a prospective partner about my immigration status?
September 2, 2013 9:07 AM Subscribe
I am residing illegally in a country (I would rather not say which one) and am dating. I reached out to a person on a dating site. We have only been on two dates, but I quite like them and the person seems very into me as well. I feel like since I asked them out the onus is more on me to tell them about my status than if they had asked me out. When should I tell? I want to wait in order to protect myself from even the slightest possibility of deportation, but I also want to be as honest and forthright as I can be to honor both the person I am interested in and myself.
posted by anonymous to human relations (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
For what it's worth, I have dated a few other people in this country who have not cared at all about my status (one even thought it was hot that I was "casting off the bowlines" (ala this quote from Twain: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."), but they were always the ones that came onto me first so I felt less pressure to disclose or prove myself trustworthy. Also, two were friends I knew from before I made this choice so that made it easier as, well, they already knew what was going on!
I feel like I should tell them before we sleep together (something I would like sooner rather than later as I am very into them) as they strike me as the sensitive type that might attach after that event (we are similar in this if I am right as I think I would, too). I do not ever want to make them feel that they have reason to mistrust me should things get serious. Seeing that, I also think that even if sex doesn't happen soon, it might be better to just put it out there in any case. They have also mentioned that it is hard for them to trust others, and I want to do everything I can to show them that I am being as open and honest as I can be and never make them feel betrayed. They seem like an incredibly trustworthy person, BUT they also seem like a bit of a stickler for the rules generally (not crossing cross walks on red even when it is 3am and no one's around, for instance).
I guess my hold up is that I am just worried that if I tell them now before I know them well, they might report me. My instincts say that that seems very unlikely, but you just never know with someone you have only met a few times. This would break my heart immensely as I love where I am deeply.
Also, I would NEVER and I mean never marry someone just for visa purposes UNLESS it was a purely platonic friend and even then, I would hesitate as it could disrupt their life in unforeseeable ways. I have had two friends make this offer and denied both of them because the situation wasn't quite right. Further, two people I dated and knew of the situation offered to marry me to solve the problem but I refused both as they were not ultimately well suited for me romantically and I would never take advantage. One of these people is still a very close friend of mine and would vouch for me to my prospective new partner if need be. I would only marry for a love that I thought was lasting and true (and if it had the side effect of fixing the visa, great, but that would never be the main idea). That said, I am very unsure of how to figure out fixing my visa situation and might be illegal for a long time or end up deported.
So when should I tell them? IS it ok to wait telling this kind of thing? Some of my friends say that it is ok to wait until after I feel more comfortable (even if that involves sex first and telling a month or two later) and some say to tell ASAP. What does MeFi think? If I should tell them ASAP, can you help me think of ways to phrase it so it doesn't seem like a Huge Deal. I get very nervous when I have to have Relationship Talks, especially very early on. This won't help matters if I need to tell soon. :(
P.S. Apologies for the use of "them" and "they", I just want to stay as anonymous as possible and this includes obscuring my gender.