An email: What worries me is, will we be able to find guys who have a similar thinking process?

An email from a young Indian woman who has seen her parents respect each other as equal partners.

I wanted to share an incidence with you and also what it means in the future, for young Indian women (and men). However, at the outset I would like to clear out something since it features my late maternal grandmother prominently. I loved her immensely and she did too. I know I was destined to spend time with her just a month before her demise, because she genuinely wanted to meet me.

My father since childhood always stressed that girls and boys are equal, each are unique and there are no grounds for differentiation between them. That’s why I have grown up questioning the status quo.

My mother ( C ), including her are 3 sisters ( A, B, C ) and two brothers( D, E ), in order of their ages. Now my B mashi got married before my mother, and within a year she had a daughter. A year later my mother had me. And my nani cried when she heard it, because “Ek aur beti” (‘0ne more girl child’). I learnt about this fact as a kid, and it hit me hard because honestly my nani loved me. When I went over to her place she would get all my favorite foods and would do anything I asked for.

Now my D mama has a son. The ONLY son of the family. So naturally he is spoilt. And my nani would zealously guard his things, from us sisters.

Once during holidays ( around class 6th-7th) when the whole clan was there, my E mama (Maternal uncle) came from Calcutta with goodies. Turned out it was a pencil box for my cousin sister and me,  and a video game for my brother. And my anger knew no bounds. THAT day I fought with everybody, broke the pencil box. it just hurt so badly.

And I shouted at my nani and my mama, because my mom had told me that when they were kids, nani would save better portions of non-vegetarian curries for my mamas.

Nobody forgot that day.

Neither did my nani, and after that day she wouldn’t dare anger me, yes she loved me and I think, after that respected me and I do know for a fact that she loved me the most. It’s difficult to change the viewpoints of old people, but overtime, yes I accepted her and forgave her. So yeah, rebel since I was a child… 😀

Coming back to the present, a few days ago, this couple came over to our place. they have two sons, one aged thirty, the other thirty-five. Mind you they are well off enough, you would think they would be modern, but NO. They were lamenting the fact how its tough to find girls for their sons, girls have become demanding, girls are spoilt, they don’t adjust etc.

This set me thinking.

As much as we may like to think we are moving forward. I don’t think so. The matrimonial section is a glaring example. What does this mean for girls like me, who ARE demanding and choosy and have every right to be? I know people will say whatever they have to, tez hain (the girls are over-smart) and etc. I am not concerned about them.

What worries me is,  will we be able to find guys like us, who have a similar thinking process?

My father would wash my diapers and got me ready for school etc. My mom hardly ever did all that. But then men like that are far and few in between.

And I do feel companionship is important, yes I would like to get married in future. BUT what if there aren’t any guys like THAT?

How do you deal with a situation like that?

Or can one live alone?

I just feel that somehow I WILL have to adjust and make compromises. and is a GUY SO IMPORTANT??

So what hope do Indian women who have grown up in families where they are respected as equals, have of finding men who think like them?

Related posts:

A detailed check list of conditions from modern young women of marriageable age.

Is your relationship healthy?

Advertisements

129 thoughts on “An email: What worries me is, will we be able to find guys who have a similar thinking process?

      • Very true. The number might be low but its never an extinct entity. And I would suggest that the girl in this letter not end up marrying someone for the sake of it and rather, stick to her principle. In the worst case, she wouldn’t be finding the right man and end up being single for life, so what?!

        Like

  1. I’m sure you will find someone who treats you like an equal and has a similar thought process. There is no need to marry someone just for the sake of it, finding the mate of your choice may take time( or it might not) but it a wait well worth it.

    Like

  2. I think it is possible to find Indian guys who are not chauvinists or patriarchal. I found one and so did most of my friends. Then again, we grew up in and moved around in circles that, while not free from patriarchy, were much less patriarchal than the average Indian society. In terms of numbers, they might be a relatively small group in India but they are out there. I suspect it would be easier to find one yourself – taking your time to get to know the guy and his family – than rely on the arranged marriage system.

    Sometimes the family might be conservative but if your husband is not and stands by you, that’s all you need. My husband’s parents are kind of traditional. If left to their own devices, they’d probably stick to sexist traditions. Their children, however, don’t let them and they’ve grown over the years. When I got pregnant I was surprised that my in-laws never once mentioned a preference for a boy child. Only once, when my husband told him that our baby was going to be a boy, my Fil said: “Oh good the family name will be carried on.” My Mil never said anything about the sex of the baby.

    That said, I would prefer to not get married than to marry or stay married to someone who was sexist or who did not stand up for me.

    Like

    • yes i agree if your husband supports you, thats all that matters. my in-laws treated my mom with disdain (nthg to do with bahu and all, some family issues). when things really got heated up my mom put her foot down and said she didnt want to live together. and the best part my father supported her. i dont like my dads side, but just the fact that my father has always supported my mom, and whats right has eased things and sets an example..:)

      Like

  3. Ek minute, First of all we must not confuse people who are well off with people who have the right mindset. A person maybe rich, poor, well off or not so well off, but can still hold a traditional biased chauvinistic mindset or a neutral mindset that holds both partners equal.

    Moving on, I have utter respect for what this lady did when she saw the bias. That is unique and requires courage. She says that men like her dad are far and few, well women like her are far and few as well who stand up.

    Like

    • thats why i have written that you would expect well-off people to be so-called modern. however, as i said above such is not the case and it cuts across all classes..:)

      Like

    • Just the point that struck me glaringly when I read it. What has being well off have to do with people with the right mindset? 🙂
      I remember a blogger telling me that she was surprised at my views and opinions I held and the ‘courage’ to express them “considering” that I stayed in my hometown. She thought her staying in Singapore automatically conferred modernity on her than on me. May be in apparels, not in mindset 🙂

      Like

      • Shailji, Reminds me of an incident when I returned home for a visit and people were surprised I wasnt dressed “modernly” inspite of living here for over 10 years…I said exactly what you said, I pointed to my temple and said “I am modern here”.

        Like

  4. Yes, there are some incredible and worthy men out there.
    No, you will not have to compromise.
    While the kind of men/families you’re talking about are more common than we’d like, the species of sweet, sensitive, caring, considerate men is not extinct (except maybe in the case of sharing household chores – if you find one like that just snap him and dont let him go 😀 )

    But if there’s one thing I’d really want to stress is that before you get married or even engaged, please, please, please spend some quality time with your partner and his family and ensure that he spends time with yours. This is SO important. Too often I’ve heard of friends and relatives who found ‘good matches’ for their daughters where the guys family repeatedly assured them they were modern and ‘hum apne ghar beti lekar aayenge’ and suchlike crap only to viciously turn on the poor girl barely a few weeks after the marriage. If you’re brave enough, try even living with him for a while and then see if you want to spend the rest of your life with him. Before I get thumbs down for massacring ‘great Indian values’, let me say that I did this and it just reinforced that this was the man (and family) i could spend the rest of my life with. I’ve been married 3 years now and don’t regret a minute of it.

    On a completely frivolous note, the Aunty who made most noise about how ashleel i was, has had her daughter return home after 6 months of marriage to a ‘wonderful man’ who was so impressed by how sanskari she was. It makes me feel just a little bit vindicated. Does that make me a bad person?

    Like

    • its quite natural for you to feel this way, but that dosent make you a bad person. yes it is like “in your face”, but i atleast hope that, that Aunty of yours has learnt smthg out of this and make amends in her thinking process accordingly.

      Like

    • No Khane mein kya hai, it doesn’t make u a bad person. Feeling vindicated is different from feeling happy about the situation since you were accused unfairly.

      I have a similar feeling of vindication about something. My husband’s family paid for our wedding because my parents refused flat to pay for it in his hometown. my husband wanted his grandparents to have fun at the wedding without having to travel. So, he emphasized that the wedding needed to be in his hometown and it’s only fair when they pay.

      My inlaws felt a total betrayal from their son (I was blatantly accused of brainwashing him) and they insisted their second son to make sure his wife’s parents pay for the wedding in the wife’s hometown. This plan was successful but with a major caveat: his poor grandmom fell down during the travel and still (after 4 years) can not walk. It is really tragic and I do really feel bad for her because she lost her independence. But I also feel vindicated because I was unfairly accused.

      Like

    • what you are suggesting “before you get married or even engaged, please, please, please spend some quality time with your partner and his family and ensure that he spends time with yours” is not really a practical solution to the problem of knowing the in-laws before hand…!! It may happen in the metros but what of girls in smaller cities??

      Like

      • I know! Its definitely not acceptable in 90% of this country’s families. But just think – a little ‘boldness’ at the start will make a woman walk confidently and happily to her marital home instead of timidly tip toeing towards (potential) impending doom. Then nobody will weep at bidai’s anymore. It’ll be more like ‘Bon Voyage’ rather than “i hope your well being is not endangered’.

        Think about it this way – the parents who wont send their young daughters on college trips or any other kind of supervised trips because they are not convinced their darlings will be looked after to their satisfaction, will, a few years later, entrust them to husbands and in-laws they’ve barely met?

        It is women’s right to demand this. If this makes them tez and demanding aaj kal ki ladki, then so be it.

        Like

  5. Well, I believe the number of such guys are extremely low. It’s often easy for a guy to believe that he will ‘treat’ his partner as an equal human-being, but it’s rather difficult for him to actually do that when they actually get married.

    Like

    • Well, how refreshingly honest!

      I think that as long as the guy is willing to change his mindset (especially after marriage), the fact that it may be difficult to do will not matter quite so much.

      Like

      • What I’ve never understood is why (most) men seem to think that an unequal and unfair marriage is to their benefit.

        The real reason why most men do not walk the talk when it comes to equity in marriage is because they believe that such a system works to their advantage.

        But does it really? Your wife may compromise and “tolerate” the hundred little acts of inconsideration and unfairness that a “typical” Indian husband sees as his due.

        But will she really respect him? Will she love him, truly and authentically?

        She may “love” him because it is her duty to do so.

        She may sleep by his side and have children by him.

        But somewhere, in the deep recesses of her heart, there will be pain, bitterness and a feeling of betrayal.

        The man who swore to be her partner for this life and the next cannot even man up to stand by her side and ensure that HIS family treats her with the consideration they’d give even to visitors who stop by for tea.

        What feelings does the wife of such a man have for him?

        Does she honor him? Does she feel proud and blessed when she stands next to him?

        Men may think that the present system is to their advantage, but it really is not.

        For in life, what goes around, also comes around.

        Men pay the price for maintaining such an unfair system by never knowing a moment’s peace and harmony.

        An unhappy and neglected wife will spread her unhappiness across the family, to her spouse and her children.

        How pray, does this system benefit anyone?

        The “traditional and sanskari” families I am acquainted with are hotbeds of, albeit suppressed, conflict.

        They are less about harmony and love and more about thwarted desires, crushed dreams and sacrifices unwillingly made.

        Like

      • @Bad Indian Girl,

        You’re right 🙂 Such a system and such a mindset (as mentioned by you) can’t give him a soul-mate. By snatching her right to equality, he actually loses much more than what he gets (the way I see it, at least).

        Like

      • @BadIndianGirl, I don’t quite understand your comment. You seem very concerned about MEN not having 100% of their explicit and implicit desires, but don’t spend any time talking about how in your scenario WOMEN get 0%? Your whole rant is about how even though men might have a great time with a housemaid-wife who does everything for them, they will not be spiritually/emotionally/sexually fulfilled to the highest degree possible.

        But who cares? Why talk about that when the woman is being turned into an actual slave here? Where is your concern for the woman’s spiritual, emotional, and sexual fulfilment?

        I get that you’re on our side and your heart is in the right place. But please know that by constantly trying to convince people by making men out to be more important than women, you’re not helping our cause!

        Like

      • Samosasofdoom:

        By having men understand that treating women as slaves is not to their own well-being, we might have at least some of them striving to achieve an equal relationship in the hopes of having spiritual, emotional, and sexual fulfillment in their marriages. I do not see what is so wrong with showing men the disadvantages of patriarchy!

        Like

      • BIG,

        You will excuse me for butting in, but in order to understand that attitude, you must realize that a lot of Indian husbands don’t give a rat’s ass whether their wives truly love them or not. The fake “love” demonstrated by a proper amount of submission is enough for them. This is a culture which has an unbelievably rich tradition of love in all its myriad forms, from the most sublime to the intensely physical. It’s sad to think about what passes for love today in the same culture.

        Do you love your parents? Then obey them unquestioningly.

        Love your relatives? Then do what they ‘advise’ you to do.

        Love your kids? Then give up your career/social life for them.

        Love your husband? Then submit completely to his will.

        In their own perverted way, many husbands consider the “tolerance” and “compromise” that you speak of, as proof of their wife’s “love” for them.

        As long as they get a free maid-with-benefits, so to speak, they’re happy enough with the marriage.

        And so MANY Indian women are too brainwashed to look outside and see the crushing, overpowering unfairness of it. They are too brainwashed to recognize the noxious odor of the toxic cultural norms which swamp this country. They simply accept it as their due in life, accept the little scraps of good luck that they manage to scavenge out of the gloom. They even manage to be happy about them.
        A little pat on the back. A small compliment on their cooking. A rare smile. A trinket. An expression of “love”. They put on a mask of contented happiness with skill born of generations of doing the same thing over and over, and learn to be happy with the stale approval thrown their way. They wear that mask with such tremendous skill that they hardly recognize the woman underneath that mask themselves. They kill the pain with the balm of culture, of religion, of destiny, even of duty. They define themselves from outside in, through their marriage, and their children, and their family, and a spotless house. The pain is a distant echo in the numbness of cold reality, and the mask hides away any little whimper of pain and hurt that might escape from time to time.

        Like

  6. Question:
    Will we be able to find guys like us, who have a similar thinking process?

    Answer: Yes, but the search will take longer, unless you are lucky

    Question:
    And I do feel companionship is important, yes I would like to get married in future. BUT what if there aren’t any guys like THAT?

    Answer: There are guys like the type you want. But as mentioned before, you have to be patient and wait.

    Question:
    How do you deal with a situation like that?
    Or can one live alone?

    Answer:
    Living alone is possible but not necessarily desirable. As you grow older, the absence of companionship will be felt acutely. 

    Question: 
    I just feel that somehow I WILL have to adjust and make compromises. and is a GUY SO IMPORTANT??

    Answer:
    Most probably you will have to make some compromises.
    If you find someone just perfect, it is more than probable that he will have a list of his own requirements and you may not fit the bill a 100 percent. Whether a guy in your life is important or not depends on you, your abilities and your nature. There are women who manage fine without a man in their life. Most women  need a good man in their life, just as most men need a good woman to share their life with. The family is the bedrock of our society, in all countries and cultures.

    ====================
    I would recommend that you read at least the first of the two related posts mentioned viz:

    A detailed check list of conditions from modern young women of marriageable age.
    ==================
    Regards
    GV

    Like

    • Hello sir,
      thank you for taking out the time to answer all the questions in detail. and yes i do KNOW i will have to make compromises. My problem is that more often than not its the girl who does MOST of the compromises. Yes sometimes you do come across guys, who are like that, but then sometimes when you see the things around you, one tends to get disheartened.
      And precisely, companionship. My mother has always told me that it is important one has a partner in the future, moreover i know she worries because i am their only child..:D
      as for finding such a guy eventually, as of now i still have to finish my education. but as you grow older these things do crop up in one’s mind. so yes, i believe patience would be the key, just wont try to get disheartened. or i might have to sought out your monkey to do my business..:D

      Like

      • You’re not yet done with education?! Hugs to you…Stuff like this seems pretty scary when you observe a world around you that’s not as it should be. In my experience (modest as it is) equal partnerships, contrary to common belief, are not about 1 tally in your column and 1 corresponding one in his. Sometimes you might feel you’re carrying the entire relationship on you’re own.It all comes down to a few fundamentals – you are loved, you are respected, your growth as an individual and a human being is paramount, your happiness is key to his and his family’s happiness. The rest is all noise. As someone’s already said, begin as you mean to go on and you’ll be just fine. For now, i would suggest meeting guys, lots of them – you dont have to be in a relationship or even date. Just get to know them as individuals and you’ll form a pretty good idea of what might work for you and what will not. If all else fails try this – Close your eyes and say out loud “I’m so done with men. I dont care if I’m alone forever.’ Say it like you mean it.

        And that’s probably when love will come find you!!!!

        Like

      • I like how you’re thinking ahead! 🙂

        From my experience, men who’ve lived on their own for a few years, in an metro like Bangalore or Mumbai, or outside India, tend to be more mature. There’s something about cooking and cleaning for themselves that hastens the “coming of age” process for Indian men. 😀

        And NEVER give in to parental pressure and “settle”!

        Like

  7. Don’t think like that. There are plenty of men who believe in equality between the sexes. The trick is to evaluate people based on mutual value system and to accept that you have to look for a long time without getting frustrated.

    The trick is to hold yourself in high enough regard that you will accept nothing less than equality, and mutual understanding, respect, and freedom.

    Some tips I figured out:

    1. Look for men who have lived on their own for many years. They have generally learnt to fend for themselves.

    2. Look for men who have sisters or a number of female friends. They generally do not look at women as some strange species.

    3. Treat him the way you would like to be treated from the very first time and be yourself. See how he handles it. Men get confused when women act like submissive daughters in laws and wives in the beginning, and then suddenly start to assert themselves. It amounts to cheating in a way.

    And be prepared to search. There are good men, but you must give yourself time to find the one for you.

    Like

    • you know, even i have observed that guys who have sisters are actually more attuned towards a lady’s thought process. i have a friend who has 3 elder sisters and hes one of the most sensitive guys i have come across. so yes, i shall keep this point in mind!!

      Like

      • Please keep in mind that men with sisters are not necessarily more sensitive towards wife’s feelings!! These men have mothers, who are women too and mostly have a mind of their own regarding DILs. So the wife would be in big time trouble when men ‘choose’ to acknowledge the mother’s feelings more than the wife’s feelings ! Just a word of caution 🙂

        Like

  8. I completely get what you are going through. My mom’s side of the family has a son and 3 daughters (the son, my uncle, is the youngest). My eldest aunt’s family and my uncle’s family live in the same city, pretty close to each other. My aunt never worked, although she is one of the sharpest women I know, and her husband is retired. My uncle has four children, three girls and a boy, the boy being the youngest again. The boy was born about 15 years after their last girl, so he is a much cherished child in the family. However, my uncle’s wife is a working woman, and right from the time the boy was about 3 months old, he would spend a lot of time in his aunt’s place, because his parents and sisters would be at work all day.

    Now it is an arrangement that works for everybody. My aunt and uncle love this boy and they spend time with him after school, get him hot meals, play with him etc. However, within my family, there is a very, very subtle putting-down of my uncle’s wife – that she is not doing her duty as a mother by not spending enough time with the child. The worst part is it is never overt, never a problem to be voiced, but a sort of background noise that people talk about – “It’s not that the eldest aunt is having trouble taking care of the child, it’s just that he loses out on a mother’s affection.” The mom works like any normal person would, from 8-4, she has hobbies (she does yoga) and spends time with her children after 6 PM, helps them do homework etc. But because she cannot be there at home when her son gets back from school to remove his shoes and get him a hot-hot meal, she is the wicked witch from the west. The worst part is such sneering is not overt, it is subtle, but it is always present. My uncle’s wife is a wonderful person, one of those women who manages everything so well, and it is precisely for that reason that she is found wanting.

    There are two take homes from this little story. One is, patriarchy is so insidious, that even when I am encouraged to study and work and play, my duties as a wife and mother cannot be stressed enough. Two, sometimes, the best you can do is just Ignore such comments with a capital I.

    After seeing the way my uncle’s wife was treated by the family, I had serious doubts whether I wanted to be that same woman in another family. At some level, as I grew up, I realized it would not matter because I would use my uncle’s wife as a model, and just learn to ignore them and do my own thing. Marriage or family is another stage in my personal growth, a very important stage, yes, but not at the cost of compromising my own person.

    Do such guys exist? I don’t think there is a magic solution, or a magic guy to provide it. There are a lot of decent blokes out there, but remember that patriarchy or even simple class behavior is so ingrained in us that all of us are guilty of thought processes that are discriminative many times. There are guys I know who are intellectually honest enough to realize that their words and actions do not match sometimes, and emotionally honest enough to realize that and change when they are called out on their hypocrisy.

    Like

  9. In my experience, getting actively involved in activities you like helps you to meet many like-minded people. For instance, trekking/adventure groups, literary clubs,photography , weekend theatre enthusiasts etc. (whatever you are inclined towards ..) participating, volunteering for these will get you in contact with many progressive men and then maybe you find someone you like?
    All the best! And as said previously in comments, be prepared for the search!

    Like

  10. I don’t think it’s difficult enough to call the task impossible. My fiance is an Indian born and raised Indian who, in Canada, did far more of the cleaning up, laundry, and cooking than I ever did even though he worked 14 hour weekdays in investment banking. My dad, like your dad, cleaned my diapers and fed me and took care of me *after* spending the entire day at work in 1980s/90s Nepal, even though my mom was a homemaker. The logic–you stay at home all day so you should do all the work in raising a child was NEVER used.

    I’m going to disclose something here that I haven’t done before–my parents were hit hard during the 2008 financial crisis–mostly due to sudden medical reasons. My wedding, which is happening in Sri Lanka is all being taken care of by my fiance’s mom and stepdad. My clothes and jewelry is being taken care of by my fiance’s dad/stepmom. They understand that the money my parents have been able to save since 2008 should be used to build their lost financial security, instead of paying for a wedding. All of my fiance’s family is Indian–born and raised in India. So you’ll always see me arguing against someone who believes that in Indian marriages, the boy’s family is always bashing the girl’s family as *my* reality is very different.

    The Indians in their mid/late 20s that I meet in Delhi are different. While they may date and have relationships just like people in Canada/US, I definitely think that the men are put on a pedestal.

    Like

  11. Even if the guy wants to treat the woman well, his parents or the family always step in to spoil the arrangement.
    What I don’t understand about many Indian boys is how they listen to every word of their parents!
    My worry is not only whether I will find a guy who treats me right,
    My worry is also whether I will find a family who treats me right!
    Most Indian families seem to have a very negative attitude towards the DIL, or that they have their absurd expectations! In this whole circus of various people’s expectations, the young bride’s expectations are lost somewhere in the distant! And that’s very very sad.

    Like

    • You can’t really expect the ‘whole package’. The guy cannot be responsible for how his parents and relatives behave but he SHOULD protect you by keeping you away from any chance of abuse or insult.

      There are wonderful guys with unreasonable families (my bf’s case). But it is possible to keep them all away and lead your happy peaceful life.

      Like

  12. These men are out there in every generation. Please don’t believe you have to bring your expectations down. And like someone said before, figure it out in the beginning, spend enough time, take cognizance of what you find troubling and trust your instincts. If it does not sit well with you, it just doesn’t. If discussion with the person is not fruitful and the issue is enough of a deal breaker for you, it just is not happening.

    This does not mean that compromise is a bad word, it isn’t – just not on the major issues. For example, whether someone is tall or bald (or anything appearance related) is not something I consider important….the internal stuff is way, way more important.

    Begin as you mean to go along. People change in a relationship, it happens naturally. People can’t (and shouldn’t be) fundamentally changed. The only way to find people of similar wavelength is spending time and talking things through.

    If the guys on this blog are any indication, the future looks rosy for generations to come! 😀

    Like

  13. One way to improve the odds of finding a liberal minded guy would be to drop some stereotypical expectations in a potential husband such as the expectation of the guy being taller than the lady, the guy needing to earn more than the lady, the guy being older than the lady, etc. Don’t restrict yourself to guys that fit that specific set of prerequisites. There is nothing wrong in marrying a guy who’s shorter than you or younger than you. Broaden your mind, and the world will open out for you.

    Like

  14. In today’s world, you have a very good chance. My husband and most of his friends treat their wives as equals. Even when we were in the worst phase our our marriage, one thing we did not lose was equality.
    I can see a definite pattern in our lives. We both came to the US to do our Masters at different times. We both lived away from our families before we lived together. In general I see a lot of equality amongst those couples who came to the US on their own and lived separately by themselves/roomies before getting married. For those couples who got married in India and came here later have more defined traditional gender roles. I have also noticed that being in the same profession or being equally qualified in terms of education helps.

    As far as the ‘in-laws’ problem is concerned, it takes a little bit of time to get them on the same page as you, but it is an achievable feat. Once you know what the normal issues of conflict between them and you are, you can make sure those conflicts are avoided by alternate methods without compromising equality. The main point is you should really believe in equality, no matter what.

    Like

  15. Take it from this humble profeminist male that that there are certainly plenty of decent guys out there. I personally know so many of them. It might be hard work digging out someone who “clicks” from the tremendous mishmash that is humanity, but you’ve got decades to do it in, sistah!

    I think you’re on the right track when you state that you ARE, in fact, demanding. Unlike many Indians I could mention, I think it’s GOOD to be demanding. Demand your due. Know what you’re looking for. Compromise if you must, but do it on your own terms. And for the sake of both your and your partner’s happiness, lay out those terms BEFORE you get committed.

    Don’t go out there and get married to the “least worst” person, just because you’re afraid to be alone in the future. Don’t be too afraid of being alone. It may not be a pleasant experience, but it won’t kill you, and it’s much, MUCH better getting into the bad partner-bad marriage-depression-kids-divorce trap. I’ve seen what that can do to people and believe me, nobody needs THAT schtick. Wait it out, take it slow, experiment, and don’t forget to have fun along the way.

    Cheers!

    Like

    • CE, I agree whole heartedly with everything you said, especially the last paragraph. Been there done that! Briefly, a little over five years ago I gave in to intense social/parental pressure and had a wedding with one such ‘least worst’ person who was ‘available’ at that time in the ‘market’ and the result was a disaster. Thankfully, I had the sense to kick said person out of my life within a couple of months. While undoing that big mistake, I promised to myself one thing: never ever compromise on what you actually want from life, even if that meant having to stay single.

      And then, I met the ONE, in the country that I moved to for work. He does NOT fulfill any of the typical Indian groom material criteria namely, several years older than the girl, same culture, same caste, same language, well settled with rich family and all that blahblah. In fact, he is quite the opposite of it all: I’m older chronologically (although mentally he is far more mature), we are from completely different cultures, he was still a PhD student when we first met and he comes from a lower middle class but liberal family and yes, he is a bigger feminist than me.

      Therefore, to the email writer, I have to say only this: yes, guys like the one you are looking for do exist. Do not despair. You may have to wait long to meet him. Have your high standards and stick to them rather than settle for something lesser and living unhappily. In the process, you may have to listen to your less enlightened and brainwashed peers tell you that it is ‘time you got settled’ and random references to your biological clock. You may have to face taunts disguised as well meant advice from relatives and neighbours who have nothing better to do. But do not give in to such negative pressure, for this is all part of the game when you are looking for something that you really and truly want.

      Like

  16. Someone here already suggested looking for guys who have sisters and/or female friends. I can’t second that factor enough. Indian men who have seen, felt for and perhaps even defended the women in their family or among friends are a lot more attuned to how women in general are treated in India. My husband is one such guy and I attribute his ability to get along with independent women to his having many female friends and a sister his entire life.
    Just this one factor is never enough. So I would say look for open minded guys, and especially ones who respect their moms but don’t think they exist to take care of their moms. That emotion is toxic and eventual recipe for manipulation by the extended family. I always try to remind myself that many men are also victims in a patriarchal system.
    Also, you don’t always have to know what you want from the get go. Give yourself permission to change your mind and opinion even after it looks like you have a committed relationship. Many Indian men are largely very poor at handling this idea that women have a right to say fall out of love, or simply not like him anymore. But you have to stand your ground if that’s what you want.

    There are many men who will talk the big equality talk before marriage and then change tones after. So be prepared for how to handle it if you are unfortunate enough to face such circumstances. I vote for kick the a**h*** out of your life.

    Like

    • Somehow, I have had the opposite experience, so much so that I now see the presence of an older/younger unwed sister as a bit (a wee, tiny bit) of a red flag.

      My ex-husband had a younger, unwed 33-year old sister and she made life hell for me and my parents.

      During the short time we were married, she would ring my parents, or any relations whose numbers she could find, and accuse them of “not teaching me how to be a good wife and DIL.”

      She would call my mother and scream at her, say that she was a bad mother who had failed to impart any “sanksar” to her daughter, nor instructed her about proper wifely duties in the bedroom.

      I found this sisterly obession with the brother’s sex life bizarre and creepy, but my ex and his family just shrugged it off as behavior that was weird but understandable.

      In short, she behaved like the stereotypical SIL-from-hell from bad 80s Bollywood movies. 🙂

      After this nightmarish experience, I would be very wary of marrying a man who is the only brother to two or more sisters.

      Our social customs expect brothers to act as guardians and providers to younger/ unmarried sisters.

      In my experience, most men/ families find it difficult to rein in a woman who decides that her brother’s wife is the cause of all her problems and is thus fair game.

      The man HAS to possess enough emotional maturity to achieve some degree of psychological separation from his birth family post marriage.

      Never marry a man who is reluctant to shield his wife from insulting/negative behavior from his birth family.

      A man HAS to ensure that his partner is respected, if not understood or loved, by his birth family.

      Like

  17. Putting it simple and honest: there are such guys, but they are way more difficult to find.

    And it will be very tough to come across one if you go the “traditional way” (arranged marriage).
    Guys who have enough self-respect and maturity to shake off the dust of patriarchal mentality walk their own paths.

    A few features: complete financial independence and stability, moves out of mommy’s house in his early 20s, knows how to cook, clean, shop for groceries. Has heterogeneous friend circle (from various backgrounds). And for 100% – this guy has NO matrimony page profile – never had and never will have.

    I would also say that such guys are very rarely described as “heroes of the neighbourhood”. They don’t have this pretentious style of talking about their careers and don’t hang out with the “gang” just to have the audience.

    Surely, they don’t stand out in the crowd and finding one might take some time and effort.

    Still, good luck! 🙂

    Like

    • I think the matrimony page profile part alone is not fair. There are several people who are trying to reach out through this route, hoping for the same heterogeneous reach to find a partner.

      Like

      • Indian matrimonial pages do not work in the same style like American match-dot-whatever. There is a certain agenda behing one having a profile there. And a vast part of this agenda is conforming to the traditions – including selection of a partner based on the most ridiculous criteria like skin shade or horoscope.

        A person who truly goes an independent route would stay away from every means typical to hard core traditionalists – that includes matrimonial pages.

        An open minded person will join a salsa club instead.

        I have not seen a single broad-minded guy who would advertise himself on shaadi–dot-whatever or similar pages. But there are lots of hypocrites who pretend to be so women-respecting and so-pro-feminist. After the wedding they come back to the initial plan – a maid, hot dinner served, and “yes mommy”.

        Like

    • Also a man who is realistic enough to acknowledge that the institution of marriage is an ever changing one.

      A man who realises that his marriage will be very different from his parents’ marriage (especially in the Indian context, where the old and new clash contstantly).

      A man who wants his marriage to be more than a lifelong kowtowing to tradition, customs and “what mummyji wants.” 🙂

      Like

  18. See how things are at his home. Most importantly, the relationship between the boy’s mom and dad. If you see a doormat who is extremely thrilled at having produced a boy and believes that the said boy deserves to be waited upon, chances are that the boy grew up never having to lift a finger in his life. The weird thing, though, is that there are men from such families who turn out okay. But if you look carefully, most of them would have stayed apart from their parents in their adult lives, done their own cooking and cleaning.

    Demonstrating that one is “a believer of equality” is an in-thing. So you might want to observe the little things. When I was dating my now-husband, I paid more attention to his actions than words – that he always picked his clothes and mine when he sat down to do the iron, that he was more than willing to read a recipe book, that when it was friends’ time, he came to the kitchen to find out if he could help, mattered a lot to me – I was very cautious because my husband is an only child and they generally tend to be pampered though there are exceptions.

    What I’m trying to say is yes, they do exist, it’s just it’s very important to pay attention to little things(and your instincts) when choosing the right one.

    Like

  19. Things are changing, slowly but to the positive direction. I say that because I see boys today are opening up. They see a girl with different perspective than their fathers or grandfather. A boy also want a companion just same as a girl wants. Don’t worry so much. Watch our with wide eyes. There will always be people who will try to downsize liberty and voice of a woman but there will be always some who will be compassionate and compatible to you.

    Like

  20. I think it’s definitely possible to find guys who match your thinking process. You just won’t find them reading the matrimonials! There have to be other ways men and women can meet.

    As for compromises, you’re not going to get away from them. My wife and I compromise with each other all the time…over thousands of little little things. That’s a part of marriage. Compromise isn’t a bad word. It’s a good word because it implies give and take. Surrender is a bad word. But don’t confuse the two.

    Like

    • Quote
      Compromise isn’t a bad word. It’s a good word because it implies give and take. Surrender is a bad word. But don’t confuse the two.
      Unquote

      I liked that quote.
      May I use it?
      If any one notices, I will admit I borrowed it from you.
      Regards
      GV

      Like

    • Loved your quote. Unfortunately, many women in this country are made to surrender in the name of compromise. A simple way to find out what you are doing is to ask yourself whether this ‘compromise’ would make you deeply unhappy in any way. And do remember, sacrifice is never love.

      Like

      • I completely agree Fem.

        I also wanted to point that out but hesitated because I also understand BJP’s point of view (which was beautifully put). 🙂

        I think Indians use the words “compromise” and “adjust” as euphemisms that often minimise the coercive and non-reciprocal nature of such “compromises” in marriage.

        Very similar to how the word “eve-teasing” minimises sexual harrassment.

        A compromise is only a compromise when it is willingly made without pressure or coercion.

        Like

      • In Indian context compromise almost invariably means making concessions-often a one sided affair! It’s never discussed how when a compromise is reached “each side makes concessions”. The emphaisis should be on give and take rather than sacrifice. Also a sacrifice is a sacrifice when the person makes a conscious decision to give away something, such a decision does not leave one bitter or deeply unhappy, if it’s forced it’s nothing but coercion.

        Like

  21. After reading this blog and all the comments, there are a few points that need mention.

    For one, waiting and patience alone can’t fetch one a suitable partner. One has to pro actively work towards this by mingling with like minded people and interacting with them for a good number of years and also do a background check to see if the person and family fit the bill.

    If a person believes in fairness, it will show in different ways. One has to take cues and connect the dots and not go by what one pretends to show. Pretensions can’t last long. Giving ample time for interaction will let the other person put down their defenses and show their true colors.

    A man who cannot stand up for himself will never be able to stand up for his wife and children. This is an important trait one should look for. It is more important for a man to have a spine than to have good looks.

    One can find men of all castes, creeds and classes with chauvinistic attitudes. They are found everywhere. It is the sensitive, fair and liberal man who is few and far in between. One will have to make an effort in picking him out.

    Compromise should not be only one partner’s duty. Both partners will have to make compromises to make a marriage work. The concept of working on a marriage is also important. One cannot take any relationship for granted. What two people bring to the table will decide the fate of the couple’s married life.

    Like

  22. My dad is just like your dad.My mother had a very stressful job and dad helped her out by doing all the cooking and cleaning in the house and getting us ready for school etc.But unfortunately very few men are like that and just like you I was worried too about marriage. Right from the start I was very clear that I would get married to a man whose family treated me and my family with respect and considered me as their own daughter.I was also particular that my husband have respect for woman and does not consider himself to be better than me just because he is a man. And when I used to talk to my friends about my specifications they would say things like “Oh!!so you want your husband to put you on a pedestal and worship you. you have to accept them the way you they are”. Comments like these did not deter me because I don’t want my husband or anyone to worship me I want them to respect me they way every human being deserves to be treated with respect.Anyways,coming to the point,it all paid off. I ended up getting married to the most awesome man in this world. My in-laws are fab and genuine people who treat me like their own daughter and my husband does more than his share of cooking and cleaning .so yes,DO NOT COMPROMISE when it comes to finding the right partner.

    Like

  23. Hey there
    I have been reading this blog but never commented before. But your email made me want to comment.

    There are good men out there – plenty of them. And anyway, you just need to find one. For now, assume he exists. You are young. There is no point getting into a headspace where you assume the worst in men. You will not have to end up alone if that is not something you want. And you will find a guy you will be comfortable with.

    And it was the guys’ parents talking, not the guys themselves. My mom is 44 [I am 24] and some of her views are so archaic, it is not funny. And she is an educated, working woman!

    I have found that self assured guys, those comfortable in their own skins, those that dance to their own tunes, are the best if you want an equal relationship. For some that comes easy. For some it takes a bit of growing up. And for some it never comes.

    Learn to look after yourself. And take time to know who you are – where your strengths lay and what your weaknesses are.

    Do not ever be scared of being alone. Do not be scared of breakups and divorce. Life will go on and you will be fine. No matter how far you think you have gone, you can always turn around or switch lanes.

    Do not be scared of being demanding and spelling out your boundaries, even when you see that others around you are bending over backwards to please people in their lives. Even with really wonderful people, sometimes you just have to spell out what you are willing to do for them.

    Ahh, compromises. I am someone that gave up on things in the past because I thought I was “compromising”. Everyone around me was telling me relationships require compromises and I thought I was doing my part in making my relationship work [I am real earnest like that!]. I started getting real bitter and resentful and a lot of that was actually very unnecessary!
    Compromises that need to be made will come more organically. It will be CHOICES you will make. And, no one will coerce you into making these choices.

    I hope it helps. If you know all of this, my bad. I am just writing down things I wish someone had told me when I was younger.

    Like

  24. Taking forward what Nish said, I think it’s almost as hard for Indian men to find partners who think along the same lines.

    I have no intention of tying the knot anytime soon, but I have to say that I’m very lucky to have found someone like my current girlfriend as easily as I did, considering. Many, many Indian women still have a very traditional idea of marriage and while society may think that it’s a good idea to be married to such a woman (and reap the benefits of her own traditionalism), the fact is that someone like me would be a complete misfit in that kind of a setup. I would be as much of a misfit with a traditional-minded, conservative woman as a smart, independent woman would be with a traditional-minded, conservative man. And while Indian females who sympathize with feminists outnumber their male counterparts by a rather ridiculous margin, they can still be pretty hard to find sometimes, at least amongst the younger crowd.

    Like

  25. this girl sounds like my sister.. and my sister gets the biggest portion of non veg in our house..

    coming to the point nobody gets what they want, you have to be extremly lucky for that esp when it comes to arranged marriage.. which is fun because its like a gamble, and gambling are supposed to be fun..

    and i agree with what the couple said. girls have become very demanding.. there are lot of people here who dont understand life or probablity they would say you wait till you get the one of your choice, ppl dont come tailor made for your needs, just like you live with your parents no matter how they are, you dont ask for a change in parents, same way make adjustments if possible.. if you want to be happy.. dont wait too long else you will have to wait for the rest of your life..

    Like

    • No one needs to take an extra burden in their lives. If parents are hard to deal with, one can distance themselves. Sure, it is tough, but a person’s happiness and positivity is of paramount importance. Girls have every right to be demanding for their rights and their happiness. There is no reason for them to let go of everything they desire just to flaunt their married status (which, imho, is of no importance whatsoever, taken solely).

      Like

    • Relationship with parents is biological. You certainly have no choice over whom you’d like to be born to. But other relationships don’t fall into that category. So there is no comparison. People definitely don’t come tailor made. But why should you not look for/demand for someone who is more attuned to your way of thinking?
      WHY should women not be demanding? Isn’t it her life?

      Like

    • Gambling is entertainment. It’s fun but the risk of gambling is “too much” and most people know when to stop. People with common sense don’t bet their belongings. Neither do they gamble with money they need for everyday expenses. But why am I saying all that? Well, Because, the same common sense is applied while we gamble( bet on an uncertain outcomes or play a game of chance for stakes) at times in our professional or personal front. Intelligent people know what to gamble and what not to gamble, when to gamble when not to gamble. They know when not to take less than they deserve. They know that whatever the outcome of these risky decisions is, it doesn’t have to engulf their happiness, their self respect, their identities, individuality or what they stand for. They also know when to stop taking risks that hamper their growth. They know very well not to end up like fools.
      For a lot of people know and believe destiny doesn’t make a man rather a man makes his own destiny. They know that they can’t be blaming things on their fate all the time; they can’t be absolved of their responsibility toward their own selves and their lives.
      So if girls have started asking for their dues and asking for an egalitarian relationship where they are respected for who they are, are treated as adults and individuals having their own lives and goals, they aren’t being too choosy or demanding. They are being sensible. If they are not letting the fate or others make decisions for themselves, they are being responsible- responsible for their own successes and failures. They aren’t afraid of adjusting or compromising, but they know that these same gestures are to be reciprocated, that these adjustments and compromises are made fundamentally, because they choose to make them not because they were coerced or burdened into making them.
      True, people don’t come tailor made. Everybody is imperfect in some way. But you don’t have to tame them like wild animals to suit your needs. You don’t have to pick just anybody and try to turn them in to somebody else all together. They are not objects to be experimented upon. People do have to be compatible and love each other to grow and be happy in their relationships. That’s what is required if you want to live with your partner not simply coexist with them. As far as change is concern, people change to meet their partners or their own needs, gradually. They change, they grow. They don’t submerge their identities with the identities of their partners or become a different person all together for their partners. They just improve in areas they need to. They do it because of their own will, to make themselves and their partners happy not out of unreasonable demands and expectations put on them.
      As far as living with your parents is concerned, it is again a two way street. Both have to respect each other as individuals, help each other grow. However, if when somebody’s parent or somebody’s child becomes toxic, one can choose to sever ties. We can’t choose our parents but we can definitely choose our friends and life partners. And we should exercise that power we have.
      Also a marital relationship is not a guarantee for a lifelong happiness, happiness comes from a lot of other things and relationships in our life as well and sometimes the wait for the right person to come along (one does have to be proactive in searching for that person) is worth it.

      Like

    • Wow! let me get this straight…So if you have clothes that dont fit you properly, you still have to wear it? Well, I dont think so. I would get rid of them, or have it altered or buy new ones. Girls arent demanding, they are now waking up and making sure their rights arent infringed on, like it has been with the previous generation.

      Our parents are our parents not by our choice but a spouse is…So they are two very different relationships to make a comparison with. Compromising and Being happy rarely go together. Compromising is never a Happy event if only One party is doing all the compromising and in this case, you think ONLY THE GIRL should compromise.

      As for waiting for the rest of her life, I dont think any of us can predict what will happen in her life, without really knowing her personally…

      Like

  26. Things are changing. My husband was intrigued by my confidence and independence. He says, that he met many demure, homely (ours was an arranged marriage) girls but just could not relate to them.

    There is no gender specific tasks in our household…for our kids mom will not always be found in kitchen while Dad not always in the reading room. Further, there is no discrimination between my son and daughter (rather my daughter takes up most of my attention and love), and we hope our bringing up will condition our kids accordingly.

    I don’t think there is anything like paucity of such guys. All we need to do is, not get into a relationship just for the sake of getting married (factors like growing age, society, parental pressure, relatives should be ignored). I am sure we come across compatible people sooner or later. Just keep your eyes and heart open 😀

    Like

  27. Ok so my nani was kind of like that. My mother has one brother and one sister. We are six grand children and my brother is the only boy. My nani was a bit upset when my mausi had a second girl. By the time my mama had his second girl, I think she wasn’t upset but still my brother was cherished as the only boy. When we were kids we did fight over even the subtlest of favours given to him – because they were all subtle. Now, when my daughter was born, nani was thrilled it was a girl. One of my other cousins is pregnant and everyone is hoping for a girl. So my point is that most people were like that when we were kids, but some of them genuinely changed and that is where i see hope for our daughters. I’m sure your nani was one of those who changed, and if she was alive today, she would most probably keep changing.
    Coming to the point about finding a guy who has similar thinking process, I know it’s not easy. Even if you fall in love with a guy who outwardly thinks like you, there might be things deep down which get out only later. My mom does so and so, why can’t you? Why can’t you adjust for a few days when my parents are here? And so on. BUT if the moral core of the guy is alright, I believe that with time he will change. With time he will realise that you are as much of a person as he is, and he will respect you for it. On the other hand, if deep down he is a chauvinist, he will never change and life will only get worse. In an arranged marriage getting to know these things is even more difficult. So it is a gamble. But if you take time to get to know each other properly, and if you don’t compromise on factors which are really important to you, you have a good chance of having a happy relationship. Living alone is not easy. Atleast not in the India of today. But i believe that living with a chauvinist is even more difficult. Good luck to you 🙂

    Like

    • “Living alone is not easy. Atleast not in the India of today.”

      I beg to differ. I have been living alone in India for past three years and I am very happy, and relaxed. I might not have hot food prepared for me, or whatever (I cannot think of any other advantage 😛 ) but I am pretty content. I do not think one needs to be afraid of living alone.

      Like

      • Hi Fem,
        I found your entry quite inspiring. I think living completely on your own can be challenging in any culture or country. It is really not to everyone’s taste. Having said that I believe everyone should know how to live alone even if they dislike the emotional discontent of coming home to an empty apartment. This discontent I talk of is not about not having a spouse, kids or parents. It’s mostly a lack of someone to interact with…it can be difficult for those who are truly extraverts. A simple solution to that problem is living with room mates you like. That way you have someone to hang out with if you want, but they have no rights to dictate or judge ur personal life.
        I remember when my sister-in-law tried finding an apartment for herself in Kolkata few years ago and the whole situation ended in miserable failure. Not sure which city you live in, but I have been told multiple times now that renting on your own for a single woman without being backed up by her parents is quite hard in Kolkata.

        Like

  28. What does this mean for girls like me, who ARE demanding and choosy and have every right to be?

    It means life will be difficult. But once you become completely and supremely indifferent to everyone around you and what they think about you, you will easily be happy. This will have to include your family and friends too (unfortunately).

    What worries me is, will we be able to find guys like us, who have a similar thinking process?

    Maybe, maybe not. There never is any guarantee for marital happiness. Also, as people said above, not many men retain their equality after marriage. It comes out in the most insidious forms, starting with a change of name, and moving to your husband’s house. Try ensuring you are looking for inter-religious, inter-caste, inter-national marriages, otherwise you will be confined to a very narrow margin.

    And I do feel companionship is important, yes I would like to get married in future. BUT what if there aren’t any guys like THAT?

    Yes, companionship is important, and we would all like to have it. But I am not willing to compromise self-respect for this. Neither should you. However, it depends on your priorities. Be aware there may not be many Indian men who think this way. Besides, one does not need marriage for companionship.

    How do you deal with a situation like that?

    You enjoy your life to the fullest, work hard, make friends, develop hobbies, travel the world, develop a passion, live on your terms. What you do not need to do is pine away for a man who may or may not ever come.

    Or can one live alone?

    One can live alone VERY easily. Living alone is one of the pleasures of life, that not many people have tried to experience. I find it relaxing. In fact, my suggestion is not to get married even if you find the right man until you have lived alone. It helps you bring things into perspective, and exactly how far you can go.

    I just feel that somehow I WILL have to adjust and make compromises. and is a GUY SO IMPORTANT??

    No, a guy is not at all important (in the way you ask). If a relationship does not make you happy, do not get into it. If you are already in an unhappy relationship, walk out of it.

    Like

    • I’ve always had a love for Victorian poetry.

      So when I think about what being with a man means to me, I always think of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnet 43, “How Do I Love Thee”.

      She is supposed to have written it while secretly courting Robert Browning.

      If a man makes me write soul-stirring poetry that is still read 165 years on, then he’s clearly The One. :)))

      Like

      • I agree that everyone should try living alone. I did and found it was not for me. However, I don’t think marriage OR living alone are the only options. I have colleagues at work (some in the their 50s) who live with their parents, with a sibling, with friends, alone but in the same building as family… so there are many combinations and marriage is only one way to not live alone. Moreover, one can be married and still not have companionship if the person one is married to is not one’s friend. That might even be more lonely than living alone.

        Like

      • The Bride,

        I agree living by yourself might not be suited to everyone. However, the experience of it for even a few years would bring the realization on what your own limits are. Getting away from the shadow of parents, no matter how liberal, is necessary for finding your true self before you can enter the commitment of marriage. At least, I have always held this belief, and from what I see around me, it makes sense to me more and more every day.

        Like

      • I’ve been reading the posts and comments here for long but I never commented. But your post compels me. Even I love Victorian Poetry. I did write a soul-stirring poem once I think (my soul did stir)- my best according to me.The only time I wrote something so autobiographical and it had to do with that Man- the one with whom I had a rather difficult,conflicted,roller-coaster journey of 2 yrs.Dont know if it was secret courtship because we never spoke about it, ‘the complicated relationship’- not even to each other.This was the Man who wouldn’t even speak about his relationship to himself.Funny bit is I realised 2 yrs later that I was actually in a relationship- an emotionally draining one.He wasnt abusive- he was the modern,well read,enlightened,intellectual university student. We read a lot of theories-feminist theory,post-colonial theory,diaspora,critical theory bla bla and we had these heated debates,and at times we would swear at each other and walk off. Anyway,the point is he wasnt your “I’ll suppress your voice woman” kind but a lot of things conveyed subtly, rather than overtly stated, leave a deeper impression.The patronising, the condescension, the silly anguish over grades and expressions like ‘so you went out partying with the girls last night” or “you know I don’t like such frivolous talk”- by the end of semester, there were just too many of them.We decided to part ways, rather I, because I wanted to retain some respect and dignity,if any remained. But that poem will always be a favourite. Another session,another semester,we are research scholars now- this time his college-mate is my classmate. I heard how his friend- the Man,was always so popular with women- to the extent that a feminist from Calcutta who was so smitten with him, actually wrote, like one whole poem about him. 😀 I corrected him- that it was about HER and not about him- there, the best poem I ever penned.
        PS: Didn’t mean to sound so bitter and pessimistic. I guess campus life does that to you. I often wonder the same as the author here, and I now know, that compromise IS the answer- but I wouldn’t do it. I’m not worried about being alone anymore, because even when he was there, I was always alone fighting my battles. And because it isn’t worth it.

        Like

  29. Your intentions are good, the approach is wrong. Non-chauvinist males and non-egoist females do not exist. If you change your search criteria to finding fair, honest, intelligent individuals chances are great to meet the right man.

    As such, the wiser the person the easier they adapt to the equations of marriage and make things work.

    Like

    • Well chauvinism & egotism mean two different things. While chauvinism means prejudiced belief in the superiority of one’s own gender, group, or kind. Egotism imply selfishness and self centredness. All most everybodyhas a ego and ego clashes among people is a real thing. Infact being selfish to an extent is good, but being a chauvinist or arrogantly conceited person isn’t.
      Non-chauvinist males and non-egoist females do exist!
      There’s nothing wrong in looking for somebody who’s attuned to your way of thinking and living a life, even though no two individuals are ever the same.
      However I agree one has to look for honest, fair and intelligent individuals. having a positive outlook may fetch positive results.

      Like

  30. “just feel that somehow I WILL have to adjust and make compromises. and is a GUY SO IMPORTANT??”——-If you like being loved and want to get married then I am afraid a guy is important!!
    My dad is very calm and cooks for and more than my mom.My bhabhis are jealous and so am I. My husband never cooks (offers enthusiastically and then chickens out) and gets hyper and screams if I am sick.Does that make him a bad husband because he does not enjoy cooking or panics if I fall sick? What about a wife who does not enjoy changing Tyres ,fixing leaky taps, etc(me) Adjustments are inevitable. Children and parents do that all the time with each other so why the fuss in a man-woman relationship?

    Like

    • I guess what she’s talking about is confining women or men to a specific role in marriage like cooking is meant for women and plumbing for men. She is just saying that both partners have to share the household chores and play equal role in parenting like changing diapers, giving a bath if they have a child together and while a man might not like cooking or a woman might not like changing tyres they should not mind learning how to do these things and do’em when such a need arise instead of being handicapped in such a situation.

      Like

      • Children and parents do that all the time with each other so why the fuss in a man-woman relationship?
        Well there’s fuss because only a few decades back, men and women weren’t considered equal. Infact this line of thought is still prevalent in many parts of our country. The fuss is there to ensure that both sexes realise that when they enter into a realtionship with somebody, and are looking for companionship, they must repect each other for who they are, must help each other grow personally and professionally, must reciprocate gestures of compromise and adjustment contribute equally to household activities and parenting, One must ensure nobody is kept on a pedestal to be worshipped or sacrificed. Egalitarianism in a relationship can’t be overemphasized.

        Like

  31. “So what hope do Indian women who have grown up in families where they are respected as equals, have of finding men who think like them?”

    This is not really answering the question asked but IHM, i just want to point out that is question is important not just for “who have grown up in families where they are respected as equals”.

    I grew up in an orthodox joint family, with rigid beliefs I don’t agree with, with most of my girls cousins married at 18, and where women were never a part of any decision process…..
    But I can’t live that way… even though that’s what I have grown up with and all I have known…! I fought to go to college and have lived independently since …

    When I was married, and I wanted to push for equal responsibilities between the two of us , my husband and his family continuously used my own family as an example to illustrate that what I was asking for is just not done…!!! So I think it is harder in a way for those of us who have grown up in traditional families to assert ourselves…

    Like

  32. This is coming from someone who is in a same boat. People often ask me why am I single or why do I have so many constraints (in terms of specifics for a partner). I feel things are changing and you would be able to find the one you are looking for. Coz otherwise you’d be so turned off. I m sure you would find someone who understands what you are saying. I m not saying what you want coz with time you may not be able to define that . I would say take your time, no matter how long , I know its tough very tough but don’t ruin your life coz you were afraid of tough.

    PS: I wont say getting married is essential but I think sharing your life with someone spcl should be a good experience.

    Like

  33. Well I think you will find men who are not chauvinistic and patriarchal men from even the most tradition-bound families. My husband too washed the baby’s diapers and does not mind doing any work which is traditionally regarded as not belonging to the male of the species. None else in his house think so, not even the next generation. No one even in my own household think it is okay for men to do all work. So you see, our backgrounds don’t have to shape us always. You will find the right sort of person in the most unlikely place at times.
    Whether to compromise or not is up to the individual I feel. What is important to the person? Marriage with compromise or remaining single because you haven’t found the right partner? Being single is not as terrible as society makes it out to be.

    Like

  34. @ Samosaofdoom (love that handle, BTW). 🙂

    I could not reply to your comment earlier, so am doing so here.

    I did not realise that my “rant” could be construed as valuing men’s emotional/sexual/ spiritual well-being over that of women.

    What I was trying to say is that marriage is a two-way street.

    A happy marriage and is only as happy as the less happy partner, IMO.

    I think a lot of tradtionally-minded men approach marriage as a zero sum game, (I win, she loses/ she wins/ I lose).

    What I was trying to articulate (unsuccessfully) is the sentiment that in marriage, if one partner gets a bad deal, then the marriage as a whole gets a bad deal.

    I guess that point got lost in all my frothing-at-the-mouth outrage. 🙂

    Like

  35. @Cynically Engineered, I’m responding to your comment here, because I couldn’t above.

    You’re right of course, it takes a certain amount of self-awareness and high levels of empathy to tap into other people’s emotional states and relate to them.

    In addition, the kind of men we are talking about are probably looking at marriage through the same lens as us.

    Thanks for your excellently wriiten and eloquent reply. 🙂

    Like

    • IHM,
      This has been an absorbing discussion that I followed with great interest.

      @Maya,
      You are in form! Collecting more “down thumbs” than any one else for your views! This time I made no contribution to the score. Do continue giving us your opinions. I enjoy reading opinions that are not mainstream.

      @BIG and Cynically Engineered,

      I simply loved reading your exchange of comments.
      BIG,
      You may be Indian, You may be a Girl but you can’t be Bad!

      CE,
      I see absolutely no cynicism in your views. You are exceptionally rational and articulate while presenting your thoughts and views.

      I have been wondering at the reasons for some of you choosing handles like this!

      Samosaofdoom is another that intrigues me!
      Not complaining. Just Noticing.
      Keep the comments flowing.
      I am enjoying them.

      IHM,

      In threads that receive an avalanche of comments , I keep returning to read additional comments. The ones at the end are easy to spot. But the ones in reply to other’s comments are difficult to locate unless I scroll through all the comments. And that is becoming a pain.

      Is there a way to quickly zero in on all comments posted since my last visit? In blogspot, I have no such problem, as all comments appear in chronological order. In WordPress, this embedding of replies right under the comment is great when the comments are not many, but it can get tedious when the blog post attracts more than the usual number of comments or when the exchanges prolong for several days. I also observed that the reply option under the comment does not appear sometimes.

      Do look into this. What do others do?

      Regards
      GV

      Like

      • Thank you GVji for your kind words. 🙂

        I agree with you, CE does pack in a punch with his perspicacious comments (hah, I’ve been waiting to use that word all week). 🙂

        The reason I call myself a “Bad Indian Girl” is that I am seen to be so in real life.

        My parents receive pitying glances from friends and family and I am blamed for putting them through this.

        In my extended family, an “independent-minded” woman is seen to be hot-headed, unreasonable and “bad”; hence my handle. 🙂

        I often wish that I could be myself online just as you are, but am yet to garner the courage to do so.

        Perhaps, some day. 🙂

        Like

  36. There are lot of things to explore in this life. Till the time you find the right guy.. explore! Go to new places, meet new people, try new food. If you have read the book ‘Eat Pray Love’, do something like that! Spend time with yourself .. we hardly do that!

    Like

  37. To be honest it is very difficult to find an Indian man who considers a woman as his equal. Its like they are born with prejudice against women. I work in London and I have seen the difference between Indian men and those who are from other cultures. Indian men somehow have this air about being a man which I have not seen in other cultures. Yes the men from other cultures do have ego but it is for their individuality and not because they are men.

    Like

    • She should be motivated to be a person of integrity, with a keen sense of social values and a sense of responsibility.
      When someone is said to be a person of integrity, this generally means that he/she is considered to have a strong moral character, with implication of trustworthiness and honesty. It implies a firm adherence to a code of moral values, i.e., incorruptible, honor. Not everything across cultures or even in the same neighborhood will be perceived the same. So who defines morals? Does a person get to choose his/her own sets of morals based on his/her logical reasoning and experiences? Are we talking about moral values that are defined by a culture or a region or are we talking about morals based on humanity-like principle of humanism (a new concept)? What about different moral standards for men and women? If society defined morals say that it is not right or immoral for women to mix with men, and one of the women chooses to socialize with men, does that mean the woman is corrupt or immoral. Is Indian society ready to accept that their morals can be as valid as the morals of the other person (as long as they moral values don’t justify murder, rape and other such concepts), even though very different?
      Now, if I am right then a keen sense of social values would entail “A capacity to appreciate or understand the Principles and standards of human interaction within a given group that are regarded by members of that group as being worthy, important, or significant.” Now my question is a would a “modern girl” -somebody raised in manner where she is considered at par with men, who has a sense of individual liberty, ever be able to appreciate and understand the prevailing social values that are antithesis to her values of freedom, liberty and equality? Should she adopt such value to please the society as a whole? Considering both husband and wife hold jobs, Should the wife do all the housework while the husband refuses to do any because our social values are such?
      Note: I maybe reading too much into the line, but I still think these are questions relevant and would like for people out here to opine.

      Like

    • I Forgot to add this in my comment above, pressed the post button too soon.
      If by “the sense of responsibility” the writer of the article means being responsible for one’s own life, behavior, decisions and actions I must applaud her for that. However if he/she is talking about being responsible for the honor (intangible social construct) of one’s parent, and community, I have problems.
      Overall I found this whole article to be nice and a bit refreshing.

      Again maybe It’s only me, maybe I am losing my head, But I’d still prefer my questions to be answered.

      Like

      • Or maybe the write of the article is just saying that the daughter should be motivated to be honest and sincere(integrity), should understand the implications of acts like adultery or infidelity, understand how one must indulge in such things (sense of social values), and know that marriage requires constant work (sense of responsibility).

        IHM, sorry for taking a lot of space.

        Like

  38. this is a very valid point. And immaterial of how many people say there ARE men like that, the truth of the matter is that there are VERY FEW of em out there. And the number of women far outnumbers the number of men who think this way.

    it’s extremely difficult to meet like-minded people like that, and you end up settling which no one wants to do really… the alternative is to live alone for however long, which is not easy (ask me! I’ve been living alone for aages now!).
    I console myself saying that the alternative (being married to and living with a guy i despise) is far worse than being alone.. but the fact of the matter is… none of these are easy choices to make.
    What can we do?

    Like

      • Let me modify your quote slightly.
        It is better to happily unmarried than to unhappily married.
        The sad fact is that for years, we in Indian society have been conditioned to believe that being married is more important than being happy.
        A woman who is unmarried but happy nevertheless invites more tongues clicking in sympathy than a woman who is unhappy but still married.

        Regards
        GV

        Like

    • I completely agree. I think we’re going to see more and more women opt for single-hood. I’m hoping that’ll make the guys shape up, but ideally it shouldn’t matter even if they don’t. I think I’m okay with that, though, because I feel everything doesn’t have to come from the same source. Companionship and friendship is something I can share with other people (women) too. The catch being: only as long as THEY are single! I sure as hell can’t convert other women to my POV.

      Don’t need a guy to get pregnant either. So really, what’s left? Sex? THAT I do need a guy for 😀

      Seriously, though, I find it far easier to be single now that I’m appreciating and acknowledging what everyone else is bringing to my life, and giving each relationship its due. The lack of a significant other doesn’t seem like much of a lack now. I certainly have no time to feel it. And I’ve gotten over the notion that no romantic partner = alone. Or that alone = lonely, for that matter. I don’t have to be alone if I can invest in meaningful relationships with other people, as opposed to thinking of them as alternatives/instruments meant to cure me of the misery brought about by my singlehood.

      I was both alone and lonely in my marriage, though.

      Like

  39. There are men like that. And if there’s not enough of them, more will come.

    The thing is, most men want to be married. If most women are more demanding, they have a choice between not marrying at all, and accept some of these demands. I think it’s wrong anyway, to claim that someone is “demanding” if all they want is to be treated with love and respect, and as human beings of equal worth in every way.

    That isn’t being “demanding”, that is merely having self-respect.

    Like

  40. Pingback: Gaining independence but losing ground « The Age of Aquarius

  41. I saw ‘me’ written all over this post!! I am an only child, a girl (lucky parents, eh?) who is as bit as demanding and picky. I almost got into a situation where I HAD to compromise, but I held my ground. And no a guy is not important if you have to change your whole being for him. I just want to tell you that my persistence did lead me to a guy like THAT. Don’t give up and don’t compromise. You will find him, just that girls like us have to wait longer!
    cheers 🙂

    Like

  42. Pingback: An email: I was a person who thought Indian husbands will (and can) dominate their wives and there is nothing unnatural in that. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  43. Pingback: There are indeed guys with the same thought process | A reply to the young Indian woman « The Balding Buddha

  44. Pingback: Hey IHM, I love your blog. But all the horrible news is making me a misanthrope… | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  45. Pingback: An email: “I said I would look for second marriage with following conditions.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  46. Pingback: “She is barred from accessing Gtalk, YM, FB, twitter… Her calls and messages are checked every day. He does not want unnecessary tensions.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  47. Pingback: “Is this really it? the only person I’ll ever find? A sweet guy who has no interests?” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  48. Pingback: A few words from a happy girlfriend :) | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s