Posted in Personal Observations

No Mum I don’t want an arranged marriage!

This is a first for my blog and I am pleased in featuring a “guest post” to really kick off 2014. As you my readers know, there’s no holds bar on my blog and you have the freedom to write and post it as you feel. Enjoy!

So as I sat here writing this, I’m thinking to myself that I turn 28 years old next week and one very big question comes to mind! Why am I not married yet?

Being a single Sikh women is tough business. I have a good job as I work in online marketing; I’ve been told by both family and friends that I’m relatively pretty. I would even go as far as to say that I think I’m a “Good Catch”. So if I’m ticking all the box’s then why is it that more and more British Asian women across the UK find themselves asking the same question and why are they desperately seeking a husband?

Your aunts and uncles are constantly asking you why aren’t you engaged or married. Even your friends drop little one liners reminding you of your singleton status and that it’s about time you stopped being so picky. Even people look at you funny at weddings, Akand paths and parties as yet again you arrive as a singleton.

I know I’m not the only one, that there are lots of British Asian women across the UK who also feel what I’m feeling, wearing down their soul little by little, each and every day. To be honest people become sick of seeing happy couples, as their constant reminder of what we haven’t yet got. And then there goes those crazy thoughts in your head, round and round – why am I still single? A vicious circle I tell you!

So why is it that in modern Britain, the successful Asian woman is battling to find her match? I’ve come up with a few conclusions of my own.

…….the days of the middle person are long gone

There is no denying that we now have a higher divorce rate. I know a couple who have got divorced within 6 months of getting married because they simply didn’t click anymore (what does “click” even mean these days?). You’re probably thinking, yep I know someone who this has happened to as well.  What we don’t realise is that this has had a direct impact on the elders who once would dream of being a pachola (middle person) but now don’t  want to get involved as there is too much risk involved. Simply put, people don’t want to get involved and be responsible for a failed marriage. Therefore this means less recommendations/introductions!  And It’s hard to believe that 15-20 years ago, pre internet and mobile era, this was the only way people met!

…….when equality really means women aiming for the top

There is no doubt that us ladies have become more and more ambitious. It’s not now unheard of that hundreds of women in the City have got top directorial and influential roles in global corporate firms. Men aren’t the only bread winners these days. Some may argue Asian men and traditional families have found this to be somewhat intimidating. In return we don’t feel so obliged to get married earlier because we have aspirations of high-flying,  all singing and dancing careers to think about meaning that marriage is very low on the agenda. A traditional controlling family won’t want a woman like this. They’ll want someone they can ultimately control and who will live with them and look after and care for them. I’m not saying this is wrong, but the modern Asian independent woman wants more than this.

…….Westernisation has consumed us all

Let’s face it, we’ve become more westernised than before! I remember going to weddings as a child and thinking you can easily tell here who’s married and who’s a kunwari. The kunwari girl would be simple, very little make-up and hair tied up; the married woman would be displaying the dazzling gold jewellery along with the bright red lipstick. There were clear boundaries which weren’t blurred. Now if you went to a wedding could you tell the difference without scanning their left hand to see if it had a ring on it? I think not. The truth is that we have become more westernised whether we like it not. Sleeveless suits, drinking, endless wining and dining and getting dolled up to the nines. We ARE westernised women. There’s nothing wrong with that and I guess for a lot of people out there (not everyone) they get put off by this. It all comes down to the control element and if they see a confident young woman then eventually they feel threatened. This is unfortunately another reason why we are still ticking the single box.

…….Old-school thinking leads to cultural differences

Cultural clashes is another biggie. These days how many girls will live with the in-laws and how many will work in a family business? Maybe still a large proportion, yes I know but the Independent high-flying Asian woman will still want to retain her own identity, independence and life. She wants more from life other than making dhal and saabji for the family on a Saturday evening. OK ok I know I might be stereotyping here but you get my flow?  We simply want MORE!

…….learn to compromise

This leads me onto my final point. Maybe were just too damn picky. Is he 6ft? Has he got a decent phone? Does he drive the latest sports car? Does he live in the nice part of the city (Canary Wharf)? Does he earn more that £50k? Come on ladies, we all know that we have re-run this criteria time and time again in our head, and if someone doesn’t match up to this criteria we then lose interest or even worse don’t even meet or contact them.

As you can see there are lots of reasons why we are single. You haven’t got some crazy disease which makes you a singleton nor are you sending out a weird lonely vibe. We’re all part of this crazy evolution which has changed the Asian woman. We want more from life and that isn’t a bad thing, it just means that we don’t settle for anything less than greatness.  Times have changed and so have we and it is difficult in this uber busy world where we live life in the fast lane where we want everything at lightning speed (including the perfect man).

My advice will always be that perfection doesn’t actually exist. Nothing out there in this world is perfect. So why do we continually look and yearn for it? How can you find something that doesn’t essentially exist?  It’s the root of all evil. Maybe those Bollywood films we watched whilst we were growing up, gave us all false hopes and expectations that we would meet Mr Perfect. My advice to you would be to give people a chance and don’t judge a person by their looks. They can surprise you. I think it’s all about meeting mid way. So what if he’s not 6ft and fair? He could be 5ft 7 and dark but still tick all your other boxes, so why not give him a chance? The problem is that if we don’t even give people a chance, how will we ever know if they were worth getting to know? Just have an open mind about everything and things will soon start to happen. So next time when you think about rejecting that guy your aunty ji has recommended because he doesn’t work in the City, give that guy a chance. I’m not saying force anything and you’ll know straight away if you click with someone and if there is a spark there. But sometimes people just deserve that one chance.

I just wanted to finish off and say that I feel your pain! I have seen and know a lot of modern British Asian Girls feeling the way I did on that rainy New Year’s day when I was thinking, this year has to be the year I find “the one”

This post was written by Sharn Khaira, who has set up www.indian-connect.co.uk,  an online community where Sikhs and Hindus from the UK can connect with each other.

Sharn says “I’m uber keen to grow this community with fellow single Sikhs and Hindus and I simply want you to open up your mind and try new things. Indian Connect has lots of lovely members added each day, so who knows, it could change your life. Go on, take a chance…”

Many Thanks Sharn on taking the time to write a post for the PotatoSandwich blog!

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Author:

Someone trying to rip through the normality of life and expand a few horizons.

4 thoughts on “No Mum I don’t want an arranged marriage!

  1. In response to finding the one, I think that person always seems to come in your life when they’re supposed to and not when you feel you’re supposed to have them. In my own personal experience, if my one would’ve come when I wanted him too, we would’ve have lasted AT ALL. I had to find and love me first before I felt it was alright for someone else to. But I definitely feel your pain. Hang in there and while you’re waiting FOCUS ON YOU. Loved this

  2. This post really hits the nail on the head. I think it’s fair to say that what Asian guys look for in prospective wives has also changed and it’s all leading to becoming more & more difficult to find “the one”. I remember only too well the years of pressure from aunty & uncles, watching the smug marrieds around me, the countless intros to suitors & thinking “what’s wrong with me??” but hand on my heart can say that finding my significant other (who had been right under my nose all along!) was worth the wait. I vowed to never let any single friend or family ever feel uncomfortable just because they hadn’t found their life partner yet.

    All things are destined to happen in their own particular, sweet time and we must all obey the rules of the universe!

  3. Hey everyone, I’m really glad you enjoyed the post. I think sometimes our elder’s do have a knack of putting us down and making us feel uncomfortable and I wanted to make sure that everyone knew that this isn’t completely unique to them. It can feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel but every girl will find her prince charming soon 🙂

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