Ah, romance. The Namesake is full of it, even if some of it is a bit dysfunctional. We see everything from one-night stands to steadfast marriages, and Gogol alone runs the gamut. We see love gone right and love gone terribly wrong. When it does go wrong, it usually has to do with the cultural identity issues of the romantic partners. Their ethnic identities do not seem to matter so much as their attitudes towards those identities. How each character feels about his or her identity as an Indian, American, or Indian-American affects their romantic decision-making. Gogol's love choices in particular often reflect his own love-hate relationship with his Indian heritage, while other characters who are more at ease in their Indian-American identities (such as his sister, Sonia) seem to have better luck in love.
The lasting relationships in the novel endure because of mutual respect, rather than sexual attraction or cultural similarities.
Gogol and Moushumi's marriage was doomed from the start, because their backgrounds are too similar.