When you live in India, you know at some point in your life, you will be married. It’s not a vague idea, rather a certainty. After having graduated, worked for 5 years, knowing the direction your career is headed in, you reach a certain crossroads. You’re not alone at this juncture, you have tons of girl friends for company. And the thing that’s common to all of you is marriage. Some of your friends are already married, some will be in a few months and the others will have settled down by the time they’re 27.
So, you’re still at the crossroads wondering. The road that led you here is burdened with your past. There are relationships that didn’t work or simply weren’t meant for marriage. The other roads are your options. The destination is the same: marriage. Do you take the arranged marriage route? Do you tread down another dating route and see where it goes? Do you just hope to be part of a miracle?
There are so many thoughts clouding your judgement. Every time you log on to Facebook, somebody is posting pictures from their wedding or engagement, making announcements of the same or congratulating someone else. It’s pretty much like the matrimonial times of the people you grew up with. Then there’s your inner circle. While your best friend from school has almost been married a year, your closest friends from college are on the brink of marriage and the friends you made at your job are far from single. What do you do when you’re the last girl standing at this crossroads and there isn’t a boy in sight?
Don’t get me wrong. I have put myself out there. I mean the whole gamut. From match-making to networking with singles, I’m all there. The ratio of actual meetings to profile exchanges is dismal. I’m single. Should I let that bother me? Are you bothered? Are you feeling disillusioned? Do you want to give up?
What is the correct way to respond to the ‘I’m getting married on so & so date’ announcements? Or ‘he’s the best husband I could’ve asked for?’ or ‘what’re you gonna wear to my wedding?’ or ‘what’s the update? have you met anyone?’ or ‘are you looking?’ or ‘I’m surprised you haven’t found anyone.’ As conversations unfold, you realise it crosses over from gloating to pity. If I can be happy for you, why can’t you be understanding towards me? Where’s the empathy people? Of course, it doesn’t help to run into your exes every now and then and meet their wives or significant others.
Help me out here. I know there’s someone for me out there. I’m probably going to meet him very soon. If I don’t, I won’t be majorly disappointed. But how do I ward off the pressure that’s not only coming from my parents/family but also my friends? How do I explain that it happens to everyone when it’s supposed to? You can’t rush it. And everyone has a different path? How do I explain that it takes courage to start over, put yourself out there and keep the faith intact? How do I explain that it’s possible to be happy even while being single? That the smallest of things can cause the highest of highs? That everything has its own rush?
Maybe you will understand and maybe you won’t. But I’ve learnt, the hard way, that the only way is to keep going. Keep moving along and not look back. I don’t want to look over my shoulder and I’m hopeful. You see, I’m all out of the past and all in for the future. Are you with me?