I'm a US citizen and I began dating a girl from an online website. We've known each other for a month and have been officially dating for about two weeks.

She told me on the second date that she wants something long term because in her culture most people are married by now (she's 27). Then she said that if I didn't think I'd be ready for marriage in the time frame of 1-3 years, we should reconsider continuing the relationship. Obviously this caught me off guard because I barely knew this girl, but I agreed to continue dating her because I could see myself marrying her eventually if the dating continued to go as well as they were going.

We didn't kiss until about the 5th date and didn't have sex until about the 8th. I didn't want to have intercourse with her initially because I was scared of getting her pregnant. We only had a condom and she wasn't on birth control. After I told her why I didn't want to do that she threatened to leave my apartment, but I eventually calmed her down. In the back of my mind I was thinking "what if she sabotaged my condom", but we continued anyway and I thoroughly checked for anything that looked like a hole in the condom. No hole was found.

Now she is at the very beginning of a 60 day grace period where she needs to find a job, which will allow her to work in the US for one year. After that she plans to go back to school for another two years. As soon as I heard about the grace period I began putting a document together to track jobs and her applications. I stayed up late at night trying to look for jobs for her. However, yesterday she called me and was pissed. She told me that "if you love me, you would marry me.", but I was shocked because it's only been a month! On the phone she started saying that she'll just go back to her home country and that I'm a good person so I'll find a better girl. I hung up on her after she said I'd be fine and I replied "I won't be ok". Looking back I know this kinda sounds like I was contemplating suicide, but I wasn't. After that phone call she drove to me, which is an hour away. She apologized and said it's just been stressful at work. Last night she slept at my house.

My question is, how can I ask her if she is just using me for a green card? Even if she gets a job and is here for another 1-3 years, she'll still need the marriage to get the green card. Sometimes she is very sweet and loving, but other times she hurts me emotionally. I don't want to waste years of my life on a relationship that is fake.

  • 1
    Hello, welcome to IPS! I edited your question to narrow down your goal to asking her if she wants to marry just because she wants to live in the US. "Finding out" whether she is using you is pretty broad and can't be answered 100% accurately, because we don't know you, her, or your situation as a whole. Asking her seems to be the most straightforward approach, but very tricky. I hope that helps, and if you disagree, go ahead and roll it back and edit it to something you prefer.
    – ElizB
    Dec 20 '18 at 16:07
  • What kind of visa is it that she could work in the US for a year?
    – mkennedy
    Dec 20 '18 at 19:22
  • 4
    Asking her is easy: "are you using me for a green card?" There, done. I suspect that there's more to your question than that, however. What result do you want from asking that question? An honest answer? For your relationship to continue and her not to be hurt? Something else? Dec 28 '18 at 1:21
  • my comment isnt worthy of being an answer, espeically since you asked in 2018, however I think your suspicion is correct. Even if it isnt, your interplay is sounding very one-sided. I'd walk away Sep 3 at 11:01

Unless you're God, you can't know what's in a person's heart. And if you are God, you probably aren't asking people on the internet for advice.

How do you know she wants a green card? You really don't. However, one thing jumps out at me pretty quickly. "If you love me, you'd..." I've dated women that have said that, and it's always been manipulation to get me to do something that I didn't necessarily want to do. I learned to respond with "Well, if you loved me, you wouldn't ask that" in response.

If someone here does figure out a way to ask a question in a way that guarantees an honest response, I'd love it if they'd share it. I don't think that there is a way to do so. The only thing you can do is look at behavior and response to your behavior. And manipulating as part of the relationship is not an honest way of getting things done.


Getting a green-card is something that is very specific to this relationship because of her citizenship issue. But really, even if she was a US citizen, would you not suspect something was amiss if she was pushing for marriage after only a month? Her behaviour is ringing alarm bells for you and her need of a green card is the most likely reason, but if it was someone else pushing for marriage this quickly you might think they were after money, or maybe trying to get away from a family or living situation. You'd have the same sneaking suspicion.

Really, the questions you should be asking yourself are more general:

  • How do you know if you can trust someone?
  • How do you know if you are being used?

On the question of trust - this is something that is earned, and that requires time. After a whirlwind relationship of just one month, you can't possibly know someone well enough to say you can trust them. You just don't know them fully. Knowing someone isn't simply the accumulation of facts about them - it involves experience such as seeing how they react in different circumstances. There is no shortcut to these things. Fact is, you believed that she sabotaged your condom! Unless you are normally that paranoid it sounds like she may have given you reason not to trust her!

On the question of being used - there are telltale signs that someone is manipulating you:

  1. There is a lack of balance. You pay for dates more than she does. Her emotional needs are talked about more than yours. Everything is about what she wants, not what you want. Okay, so she wants to get married quickly, but do you want to get married? She wants to go to college after working for a year - what do you want to do in a year's time? Support her financially while she studies?
  2. They make you feel uncomfortable. Constantly threatening to end the relationship. Making you afraid to say no. Everything is a power play.
  3. They play with your emotions. One minute they are in tears, the next minute they are all over you. One minute you're breaking up, the next minute you're making out. They are taking you to extremes to see how you react and when they don't get the reaction they want they go the other way.

And those are just a few.

The direct answer to your question of how to find out if she only wants you for a green card is to take your time, get to know her properly, and not allow her to rush you into marriage. But to be honest, what you have already said would make me run a mile.

"Marry in haste, repent at leisure" -Proverb

  • In some cultures [citation needed, I know] it is expected that the man prove his ability as a provider by picking up the tab for all dates, so that red flag is not as reliable and not as easily testable.
    – EvilSnack
    Jul 4 '20 at 20:32
  • I've known someone who said their goal was marriage and a child on day one of a relationship. Being upfront isn't necessarily "pushing"...
    – Fizz
    Aug 28 at 15:21
  • I've also know someone else who says a former GF dumped him immediately after winning the US diversity visa lottery, although they were both living in the US... but that he was totally clueless before the fact. (Never met her myself, so no idea how true the whole story was.)
    – Fizz
    Aug 28 at 15:30

You can't. Humans aren't mind readers [citation needed]. The only person who could know for sure whether your girlfriend is only using you for a green card, is your girlfriend.

Ultimately you need to figure out how much you trust her and whether you feel that continuing a relationship with her is worth the risk that she is using you. That, however is a personal decision that is outside the scope of this site.

  • Pretty much this. Just like cheating. You either decide to trust her, or not. If you decide you don't trust her then it doesn't matter; Even if she doesn't want a green card or isn't cheating.
    – DKNguyen
    Sep 2 at 19:42

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