Indian parents on dating
But lets hear the flip side of a such a relationship where things are quite the opposite.I met my now fiancé in New York, NY at my alma mater while I was in the last semester of my Masters in Communication Arts degree and he, David, was pursuing a bachelors in the same course. When we decided to date, seeking the approval of the head of our course department, we were more than excited to find out where the journey would take us.Things were getting desperate; I was 22, and apparently throbbing with marriageability. As per custom, I met Alex at the door with averted eyes and a guarded smile, feeling ridiculous in the traditional Indian garb my mother insisted was appropriate for the occasion.Over the course of the next several hours, I served him tea, sat across from him at dinner, and answered his questions about my education and interests. Alex and I have been married for 17 years, and our relationship is stable.My sister being the older, much protective, sibling, I recalled a similar reaction from her each time I dated someone new, regardless of race or nationality.We both ended up not discussing it further at the time.” Since I wasn’t allowed to say, “I’m not looking,” I said, “A soul mate. A naked, American answer, sentimental and embarrassing. We worry about the questions our very American children might ask about our marriage. To arrange a life is also to love and protect it, to put every bit of scaffolding in place to prevent collapse and chaos. What my mother wanted was something along the lines of, “A man younger than 30, with a minimum of a master’s degree in the medical field, who has a lucrative job, a close-knit family, and high standing within our community.” This was an answer I was incapable of giving her. It's an ongoing tension, messier than the words “arranged marriage” would suggest.
But there was a certain sense of sweet relief, intense happiness, and a child-like excitement knowing that my sister approves of my boyfriend. Dad and I trust you and if you think he’s the right one for you, then you have our support.” I was surprised.Not because a stable job and a tight-knit family were bad things, but because our basic visions of what marriage is—what marriage Alex and I weren’t married three months before our differences—the kinds of differences we couldn’t have discovered in each other’s CVs— started to baffle us. —there are two distinct but typical responses one usually gets from people who hear these words.When my father at last gave the two of us permission to be alone, I ushered Alex into our family room to chat for a quick 20 minutes and decide whether or not I'd marry him. If Alex happens to be around, they appraise us both, searching for signs of trauma or misery. But the life we live together is still difficult for me to reconcile.
When I tell people here in America that I have an arranged marriage, they react in one of two ways. Eventually, they lean in and whisper, “Well, it ended up just fine, right? For one thing, the words "arranged marriage" conjure up images that have nothing to do with me. Love, though—the practical, everyday love we choose in spite of our differences—is unwavering. Neither Alex nor I, when we describe our first meeting, use words like “attraction,” or “love at first sight,” or “romance.” I don’t say, “My pulse raced when you walked in the door.” He doesn’t say, “I got tongue-tied every time you asked me a question.” Neither of us says, “I really wanted to kiss you when we said goodbye.” In my case, what arranged marriage took away early on was the thrill of pursuit.
The first time I met Alex was on my parents’ doorstep, the winter after I graduated from college. 3, or 7, or maybe even 12; by the time my parents met him at the bus station and drove him to our house, I had long lost count.