Readers, we have been back on our busy stints, but here I am again because I miss putting my voice out there 🙂
I have talked a bit about marriage in the good old Desi community, interreligious dating, taboos around talking about sex or relationships and other great touchy-feely, making you feel warm and fuzzy at night topics. Let’s just say we have beaten it to the ground, but I now begin to observe new territory – break-ups. Okay, still very warm and fuzzy at night topic. So, as we all know, “love marriage” is slowly creeping its way into the forefront. More people in Desi communities have autonomy in choosing their mates, but what if those two people get serious, and when it comes down to marriage, they just don’t work out?
Answer from parents, elders, and others with no experience in a relationship: “This is why love marriage does not work. They both wasted their time. Especially the girl. Now, nobody will want to marry her.”
Of course, because it would have been better to get married, realize that they were not meant for each other or that they were not going to work out, and be even more of a hot mess with a divorce. Smart. So now, there’s a new trend that possibly arises. If I chose a guy, then to decide not to be with him anymore, it is my own fault. After all, I was lucky to even have my parents approve and really fought for him.
Disclaimer: I have been lucky enough not to encounter this particular situation. My parents are actually quite understanding of this. Thank god.
At least in an arranged marriage, I could blame my parents, right? The thing is, whoever I end up blaming, the only person that is hurt is, well, me. What good does blame do, anyway? My parents do not have to live with it. Break-ups and things not working out are a part of life – and even a failure in these matters is a matter of scorn. A woman is treated as if she is completely broken – or that she is just used goods, which makes her suitability for “matchmaking” even worse. Sure, nobody says it that way, but when there is a pity train thrown over her, the question that arises is “what will she do now?”. Yes, it hurts, and it is extremely tough, but it is tougher to be unhappy and “checked out” of a relationship. The sad truth is many people, men and women just do not admit this until it is too late.
The fact that you were not lucky to marry your soulmate straight after college or be a perfect story is another instance of how scared of failure we can be. Like anything else, relationships fail, and for different reasons. Many times people are too scared to let it fail because these relationships are “too perfect to fail”, the same mentality for instance of institutions being “too big to fail”.
What I have come to realize is that people constantly change. Some of my peers in my age group may have remained the same people and are very lucky to have found their significant others who really make them happy, and have settled down. At the same time, many of us seem to change every few years. I cannot say I am the same person I was in my early 20s as I am now in my mid 20s. I do not even know if I can recognize myself from age 20 or 21 if you placed her in front of me. Sadly, these changes can also manifest themselves in our relationships, which is why I find myself puzzled when someone says there is a “right time” to get married or to start thinking about it.
What’s the point of me going about all of this? It is simply a message of being true to oneself – even if it may mean leaving something comfortable or “perfect” in others’ eyes. As a friend told me a few years ago it really is not about perfect. It is simply what is right for you, which is something no one can determine but you. To some it may look like you may not know what you want, but there is nothing wrong with that. I suppose if I had the answers of what I wanted in a relationship at 21, I would not bother writing this blog post, would I?
Alright, depressing post, but food for thought to now get you to go do some mindless things like watch Parks and Rec (what I am about to go do)!