“Kim, I’ve found you a husband!” Dating in an Indian Household
Indian dating is like online dating without the online part — and your parents, uncles, aunts are all involved too…
I’m 20-something and as expected in most Asian cultures, that means it’s time to get married (or be left on the shelf!) Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for marriage. I’m a romantic. I’ve seen all the films, read all the books. I’ve grown up seeing the beauty, the rawness, and sometimes brutal, sides of love. And I’m still as in love, with love, as ever.
So the time has come when my picture is being circulated among the aunties, the word is out about how old I am and how my career is going. And hey ho, there’s been a few guys (aka mother’s) that have been interested.
I figured my experience of this is something worth sharing, as I know many women like myself go through the trial and errors of introductions. And I also know a lot people run away from indian introductions because they think it’s something like an arranged marriage (no pressure or forcing was involved in this experience, I promise you!)
My aunt called up to say she’s found a guy, he’s 32, great job and from a really nice family. She’ll be giving him my number and we can take it from there. There were no photos exchanged on my part and although I think photos don’t do justice (mine never do!), I think in this instance a visual first impression is important (side note: this is one reason why I’m not the biggest fan of online dating but that’s a different story for a different day).
The day came when he messaged. And based on picture ALONE, he wasn’t physically what I’m looking for in a partner. We had the general chit chat — what do you do, where do you live, how’s life. He was lovely, had great conversation, and banter. I couldn’t fault it. But two things: I wasn’t attracted to him and he lived somewhere ridiculously far. I learnt a lot from this experience but the hardest, most challenging lesson of all, was having to let him down nicely. It wasn’t him (entirely), it was me.
I felt sick. It was one of the meanest things I felt I‘ve ever had to do. It was telling someone I wasn’t interested in them based on looks alone. I say I don’t have a type, and I still don’t, but I knew he wasn’t for me and I couldn’t just ghost him because that would not sit right with my conscience.
So then comes the awkward conversation… He suggested we should meet up to get to know each other better. I didn’t want to lead him on so here’s what I said
“Hey, hope your day was good! You’re a lovely guy and you will be a great match for someone but I don’t think that’s me. It’s been lovely getting to know you but I think we’d be better off as friends. I wouldn’t want to lead you on so thought it’s better to say this now rather than later. Wishing you all the best.”
It may have not been the greatest way to say it (the friends line makes me cringe) but it was my first time so I let myself off the hook! He was nice about it, said he understood and wished me well. And that was the end of that.
Every experience is a good experience. You either learn something about you, or you learn something about people. In this case, I learnt it’s better to be honest and let someone know what’s going on rather than say nothing at all. The idea of ‘ghosting’ is so common at the moment, and I think it comes from a place of fear or looking bad but in reality, I don’t think it’s the greatest reflection of you as a person. Treat those how you’d want to be treated yourself and no one ever wants to get ghosted right?
If you have any questions, or thoughts, let me know!