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Indian Marriage Conundrum – How I Hold My Ground as an Unmarried 30-Year-Old Woman

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My mother called me thrice at eight in the night. Editing an article, I thought something had happened and picked up the third call. And then after some small talk about my writing and if I was ever going to take up a job, she said she wanted to talk about something.

As a thirty-year-old unmarried woman in India, I recognize this something, like dogs can sense tsunamis, for at least five years now. This something — without any exception — is marriage.

To humor her, I asked what did she want to talk about. She said she always worried about me and often cried because she cannot do anything else. That she didn’t know what my life plans were. That nothing made sense. That I must have been lonely. Didn’t I like having a family? Was there anybody? That why couldn’t we — mother and daughter —share everything with each other.

These sentences stumbled out of her mouth as she choked.

Now having had many similar conversations on the monolith of marriage, I knew better than getting angry or irritated and rebelling. My mother would have cried profusely, would have blamed me for not listening, and would have hung up. Then my father and other family members would have called to instruct me to handle the situation better. They would have asked me that how would I feel if something happened to her.

So, I hopelessly explained and justified my choices and my rough plans for the future, like millions of other times.

indian marriage

To help you zoom in my story, let me turn the wheel of time eight years back to 2010.

When I graduated, my parents didn’t attend my graduation ceremony with an expensive, red bridal lehenga clutched under their armpits, like most of the other Indian parents. But the peace wasn’t too stretched out. In a few years, though I don’t remember the first origins, the marriage dinosaur started popping up whenever they saw someone else getting married in reality or on the television. Or when the number of my age flashed in front of their eyes via something completely unrelated. Or when we hadn’t talked about marriage for a few days. Or when my married siblings, or I went home.

The silence of a stark Thar-like night, which was intensified with the tick-tock of the peacock wall clock, creased eyebrows, two pairs of wide eyes zoomed in on me, and not a smile to be seen until far-far away were the backdrop of the impending “when-will-you-marry” and “how-will-this-happen” conversation.

The first year, maybe 2012 or 2013, I said that I was too young and that we would talk about marriage the next year. I was twenty-five and switching careers and jobs. Having said that the topic should be out in the open, they obliged to my request, though the conversation still sprouted up a few times. But then they focused more on stopping me from opening a rustic pizza place or going to Italy for a culinary course and pushing me towards a corporate job.

I accepted a high-end job in an investment bank and settled in Bengaluru until I figured the rest. I turned twenty-seven after a couple of months of joining the formally dressed, number-crunching workforce. Also, I started to fall in love with a three-year-younger guy. As soon as I entered the corporate army, parents decided to fight the devil-against-marriage in me.

My ex-boyfriend and I would be watching the Avengers on a bright Saturday afternoon when a distressed call from Papa and Mummy would throw us off-balance. Soon, instead of enjoying Robert Downey’s Elon-Musk-like style, I would think about the seven rounds around the raging fire. Now what we all are forgetting in this hunky-dory picture is the consensus of the boy.

The “right marriageable age” or the average marriage age in Indian society for women is 22 to 28 and for men is 24 to 30. My ex still had a marriageable window of about five years, which he treated as a privilege, like many other Indian men. He said he never wanted to get married. “I can’t think about marriage,” “I am too young,” and “You decide what you want to do” were regular dinner conversations. We shouldn’t blame him. Everyone has different time frames for their important life events.

I wasn’t prepared myself. But amidst all the emotional over-hype about marriage at home, it seemed wrong to not want to get married. And that boy was what I had the closest to make myself believe that I wanted to get married and I could get married soon.

Being an over-optimistic person, I maintained hope in the relationship, haggled with my parents for more time, dreaded visiting home, and bantered with the corporate-ness of life.

The haggling tightened; the relationship stifled. In my mind, my life was staged with the backdrop of a spacious independent house with pink bougainvilleas hanging off the balcony, a vegetable garden, a husband who loved chicken, my innovative, flavorful kitchen, and frequent road trips. But real life never plays out like the movie on-screen. My ex still wasn’t sure. My parents and brother had filled my bio-data on a matrimonial website.

I was in love, but I was not blind. Marriage wasn’t the problem; the relationship had wider gaps. Rather than bridging them or concluding that they might not be fixable, I tried to whirl that relationship in the direction of marriage or at least a joint future.

I now know that I never wanted to marry the guy. The more I felt pressured to get married, the more I tried to construct a home around him, and thus pushed him away even further. After what seemed like an era and many fall-offs, we broke up. I focused on my passion for writing and traveling and decided to go to South America.

Hell broke loose. The tears of my mother could have filled the Indian ocean. My father was very disappointed and asked how would I get married if I go to South America.

That’s when they advertised in the matrimony newspaper — a groom wanted for a Hindu Agarwal girl, IIT Delhi CS, 28, 5.6.

While I waited at the Mumbai airport browsing through the biodata of half-bald investment bankers that I had received, my mother lectured that I was running away from the family and was making a mistake and asked me why I didn’t like any of the homely-valued Agarwal boys residing in joint families in Delhi and NCR.

I flew.

indian marriage

While enjoying island life in Chile, I fake-approved some of the matrimonial men to peace-out my parents. My father insisted on talking to some Agarwal men whose biodata I had rejected because of their receding hairline. He said that all men lose their hair by thirty; he was desperate to get me married.

I gaped. I cried. I dream of a man who has Malinga-like hair. I have nothing against the Shane Warne’s, but it is just my choice in men.

While this tug-of-war went on for six months, the teach-English volunteer program that I had gone for ended. As I informed my parents that I had decided to stay in South America, even the inactive Latin-American volcanoes erupted.

My mother’s nagging and weeping suffocated me so much that I thought of getting married to end the drama. As I backpacked through the driest desert Atacama, I paid and registered on a matrimonial website to find someone suitable. But even that train-of-thought derailed when an Indian-American “suitor” told me over the phone that he didn’t want to change though he spent all his money by the middle of the month. There were more like him.

My South-American friends promised that they would find me a Latino and make me stay there. But I returned to India for my parents were getting impatient. And as per my family, I was to blame if something happened to our high-blood-pressured mother; a Latino son-in-law was pushing it to limits.

Related Read: Practical tips to ask out a guy – There’s nothing wrong with it.

indian marriage

If you think that this is just my story and that I have been selectively unlucky, you are a little bit right. But as Indians know, this is what our youth goes through, with everyone’s version of South-American trips and writing dreams.

The concepts of arranged marriages and “getting-married-at-an-appropriate-age” and that “there-is-no-life-without-marriage” have flourished within the Indian culture for thousands of years. In earlier times, girls and boys stayed at home and were kept away from each other. We didn’t have a dating culture, and parents were the only way to find a life partner.

But no one understands that in this social-media world where we all go out, work, and socialize, we don’t need our parents to ask around for a life partner. That marriage is a part of life and not vice-versa. That love doesn’t have to be approved legally or by society. That if you have to break off, you would — even after getting married. That age is only a number. And you are as old as you think you are.

Related read: How to ask out women – There’s nothing wrong with it.

We cannot take our relationships slow for they should move into the direction of marriage. Because until they don’t materialize into marriage, they don’t hold any value to Indian parents. Getting married should be our ultimate and only goal.

The cherry on the ice cream is that we have to marry in the same caste and the same sub-caste and keep in mind the states we hail from and the educational, economic, and age differences and mindsets and even physical features.

So, even though we are 1.2 billion people, we always struggle to find someone who could be approved by our parents. Some of us ignore these checklist items and go out with anyone we like. While couples of the world look forward to moving-in or traveling together, we Indians plan to break up as we have to get married soon but we can’t get married to the boyfriend or the girlfriend. Then why do we go out with those people in the first place? No, we are not idiots. In India, only an immortal god such as Thor can wait for an “appropriate” match and find one in his lifetime.

Many of my men and women friends and acquaintances acknowledged their mutual romantic interests but backed off due to the expected family drama. A lot of Indian men, aka mama’s boy, told their many-year girlfriends that they could not go against the wishes of their parents. Maybe, there are such women too; luckily, I don’t know any.

If these friends hadn’t backed off and had fought for their “inappropriate would-be partner,” their parents would have threatened to disown them; and they do. A funeral-like aura envelopes the happy moments of the couple. Let us not dig the deep dirty holes of honor killings.

If you do find someone “appropriate,” you are not given enough time to enjoy or understand the relationship before the wedding drums beat up.

To delay all this for a few years, many of us persuade ourselves to do an expensive MBA, an MS, or join a multinational firm and go to the US. These fake education-enthusiasts then find love on matrimonial websites or back in the bay-area or while attending semantics lectures in Berkeley. They tie the knot as soon as they complete graduation.

In the end — willingly or unwillingly — almost all of us get married.

As most of the married Indian people never even thought of an alternate life, how do they know if marriage was what they wanted?

indian marriage

I told my parents that I would get married, would find someone on my own, and asked for some more time. No newspaper advertisement has been given since then. I am not against meeting men on matrimonial websites, but after the limited exposure I have had on them I know they aren’t my cup of tea. The conversations on these sites start with your views on marriage and if you are a teetotaler. I still prefer the old style of meeting someone naturally and falling in love and then making it work.

But this personal choice comes at its own cost.

At the end of every few long days of writing and editing, I have prolonged, agonizing conversations with my parents. My mother asks if I would wear the obstacle-removing taweej (amulet) that our family pundit has suggested. I laugh.

While she peeks into my Whatsapp, I hide away my love life as the pressure to get married would over-boil any still-simmering relationship. To fulfill this eternal, forced need to find a husband, I tell any guy I date that marriage is an integral pass-over if we take our relationship forward. For if I never marry, my parents wouldn’t be happy; and that might be the only reason for me to get married.

The bright skyline of the years of my struggle is that I have started doing what I feel right — even if I have to defy the whole world and my closest people. I allow myself to love. I stand up for it. I bend the rules. I break hearts to do the right thing.

And nothing has taken my faith away. Nothing has taken my faith away.

Follow Up Read: Let life take its course – Lessons from Rainer Maria Rilke and Personal Development Ideas

Another Related Follow-Up Read: From Coding to Writing: How I Quit My Job, Shelved my IIT CS Degree, and Started Writing.

PS: I am thankful to all of you who have commented over the years and have shared your stories with everyone here honestly. It is a really good thing that I wrote this article in spite of the fact that I got judged by some close people for writing this piece. I have still not replied to all comments for some comments are like life stories and when I read them I get disturbed and I want to reply with all my heart. So please be patient with me. I will get back to each one of you.

PPS: I am in the process of writing an update to this Indian shaadi drama. So, subscribe to my blog and I will send the article right to your inbox. Or just keep revisiting 🙂

indian marriage

Are you also facing an Indian marriage fiasco at your home? How do you deal with it? Let me know in the comments.


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172 thoughts on “Indian Marriage Conundrum – How I Hold My Ground as an Unmarried 30-Year-Old Woman”

  1. So, did you get married? How do you navigate through the constant guilt of hurting your parents, feeling isolated and lonely in a foreign country, breakups, etc? I am anxious, scared, and traumatized by how women are treated as second-class citizens in our country. I want to get married someday, but not today, but I’m almost thirty. I am just so lost right now that even running away and living in a foreign country is not giving me any peace.

  2. Thank Goodness that I found your writing. And thank you for verbalising the thoughts, that is going inside most of the Indian youth’s minds, who is above 25. I am doing my best to dodge the proposals I’m getting. Reading this gave me some relief. Looking forward for more works.

  3. Was in search for some solidarity because I turned 27 and ny dad lost his mind. So, thank you for this. Did our parents not grow up despite them going from writing letters to Alexa!? Growing up I was led to believe to go out and explore and aim for the skies, now suddenly I am the Khali of baggage. God, your post helped me get back to reality and find courage. Im yet to climb any corporate ladder so it’s going to be a tougher battle to go against the family. But hey, any price for my freedom and a balanced marriage for my future kid.

  4. Above all, I do love my parents. I have gone through so much in life trying to get to stability and financial freedom in life which hasn’t happened till now, But I am doing it for my parents. In the process of doing all this I have changed a lot as a person which they don’t really like. Because I am not their sweet innocent daughter anymore. And then this marriage chaos. They more we (me and my parents) speak about, the more our relationship gets strained! I am scared that at the end even if I find a guy and am happy, they might not be the same loving parents I once had. They are already at that ‘Typical Indian Parents’ phase where they are like, ‘you bring a whatever you want home and we will get you married (sarcastically, rhetorically)’ phase. They are actually like, ‘you have killed us and hurt us and ripped us off multiple time for being your parent. There is noting left and all we want is for you to get married and your stabbing us over and over again for that too! ‘ I am tired! It shouldn’t be this hard!

  5. I’m generally not a person who has the attention span to ready the whole blog post but for the first time in many day, I did! It has given me immense comfort! The comfort that my boyfriend, my parents, my dear plants, my little cat nor myself could give. It has made me feel better that I am not alone. I feel terrible, guilty, and crazy about myself. The same saga has been going on with my parents where I am feeling extremely pressurized to get married and I want it to be organic. It’s not happening that way and there is no way to make them understand. No matter how patiently I explain, they get back to square one of me getting older (I’m 29) and that there is a limit. My boyfriend is sweet, handsome and would be willing to marry me except there is caste problem, language problem and he doesn’t make 2-3 times my salary (which is my dad’s BASIC EXPECTATION). Also, we are not ready. Besides, for the first time in my goddamn life, I feel like taking action and have been taking actions towards things that I ‘want to do’! Start that business, start that Instagram page, write that paper and so on. I am not anywhere close to success but at least I finally started but it’s soo demotivating to feel like noting! I have to go through this emotional turmoil of marriage conversation and them brining me ‘meh matches’ every few days once. I am spending an average of 5 -10 hours dealing with this. Either trying to make my parents understand or simply calming my mind down to get back to productive stuff. I cannot afford 5-10 hours every few days once. Weekends gets worse! I need to focus on what matters. To me, becoming the successful version of myself and feeling good about myself is all matters. I would love any comments, suggestions or advice.

  6. I don’t think parents are wrong when they ask their children to get married. Hiw they do it is important.
    Let’s now what live is? Human beings change so their situations. If live was the unifying force of a couple we will not have failed relationships after years of dating.
    I would say parents are more or less right when they start this topic of marriage.. but then everybody needs to sit and talk it out in a civil manner. Ultimately family matters. Loneliness and lack of love are the biggest vagaries of modern living. Depression is also a part of modern life. Living alone can lead to irrespinsible humans. Our arranged marriage teaches men and women to learning to love than to fall for a imaginary idea of it.But Indian parents need councelling so also the kids.
    Our parents and grandparents had better smiling faces and stronger personalities. Let’s not forget that!

  7. Hi I’ll be turning 28 next month and my parents are very desperate to find the Mr right for me.. however in the process they don’t realise how emotionally abusive they get, cause getting me married right now has gotten so important to them that calling me ugly, mid, egoistic, unwanted by the male population seems trivial to them

    every other day they have to remind me of my age, my mother’s words are literally ringing on my ears “so mid looking will get uglier as she ages what does she even have as in looks all that acne on her face, the ego with that ugly face her husband is not gonna tolerate this and will go to other women” how can a mother say that to her own daughter I do not know..

    I want to leave the house but I cannot due to personal and medical reasons, I too like you belive in this way of meeting someone and falling in love and then probably getting married.. 🙃

    words so hurtful and filthy comes out of their mouth literally drives me into panic attacks..

    idk how long I have to live like this, and I’m often very scared at all the possible grim and unhealthy outcomes of my future that my parents paint infront of my eyes of coming true

    sorry for the rant
    I probably need therapy

    • Hey, I’m so sorry to hear this.

      I think in their hearts parents think we are doing good for our daughter because she doesn’t know any better. And if that means saying hurtful words to her, then lets do that. After all, we know what’s right for her and it’s for her best.

      Having said that, the emotional torture inflicted in the process is irreversible.

      I hear you.

      My suggestion – create physical distance, believe in yourself, if you trust in the system of finding someone you can spend your life with naturally, let it work. It really doesn’t work like that about the whole acne ugliness thing etc. and you know that. If you know that, why to let those words worry you?

      Not every input that comes out way has to be taken in.

      If you think you need therapy, go for it. But one has to begin healing first by themselves.

      I wish you all the best. More importantly, don’t worry. Marriage isn’t the end of the world or, for some people, even an essential part. Keep the larger picture in context. Which is it was there to let us live a happy loved life. But that doesn’t mean that until we get married we abuse ourselves or allow others to do the same.

  8. Hi Priyanka,

    Thanks a lot for sharing your article. Reading about your experience as well as others shows me that I am not stuck in this conundrum alone.

    I am 27 and turning 28 next month, so my parents have started putting a lot of pressure to look around for marriage, because “sab kuch wakt pe hona chahiye. I have been living on my own since 17 because I couldn’t tolerate living with my over-controlling parents. Meanwhile, I fell in love with someone, I am happy with him but I am still not sure whether I want to marry him. This person falls completely out of my parent’s ‘son-in-law wishlist’. I have never told them about him because I know they will never accept him. But now they start piling on marriage pressure on me, and now I am scared about what to do. I think I don’t want any kind of marriage at all at least for few more years.

    • Do what feels right. In a few years when you have made the choices, all of this would be so far back in the past, you would only appreciate yourself for the steps you took. Do you want to marry him? From your words, perhaps you don’t. Don’t be scared that you don’t. I think the pressure of marriage make us put up with choices we otherwise wouldn’t have. At least, I made that mistake for a bit. If you don’t want to get married so soon, you would have to be ready to put up a fight. it gets hard. getting a bit away physically helps. but meanwhile, what would also help – talking from experience -is not to be too hard on yourself for living the life you want. Despite external push and pressure, internally you could still try to be at peace and happy with yourself. Good luck 🙂

  9. I’m a 26 year old woman, will be 27 in a couple of months. I don’t feel any desire to get married right now, and I doubt I ever will. My parents have been looking for a spouse for me for at least 3 years, and have also been looking for a wife for my brother who is 2 years older than I am. He wants to get married, so I hope they find someone whom he clicks with. The problem is I don’t want to get married. My parents are fairly liberal for our class/caste/community, but they worry that I will be unhappy as long as I am single. I’ve never dated or even had a boyfriend in school, never had any relationship deeper than friendship. It doesn’t bother me. Much as you said, I find even the thought of dating abhorrent because the expectation is it HAS to lead to marriage. Dating for fun or keeping it light is not acceptable in India. I did try telling my mother I’d like to wait till I’m 30, or even till my brother is married. Maybe I’ll be open to marriage then. But she’s worried about the difficulty of conceiving a child post 30. Right now the thought of all the changes marriage will entail fills me with revulsion. Leaving my home, my routines, possibly my work…I’m not ready for it. For the moment I pray every day that no proposal comes to my parents which they consider suitable. Long term, I think by my birthday, I’ll have to tell them not to search for a husband for me, I’m just not interested.

  10. Wow, just wow. You have articulated all my thoughts and how. I first read this post a few years ago, when the marriage dinosaur started popping up for me. And I now revisit it as a 29 year old still single and still unmarried female of Indian origin, with the intensity of the pressure to get married quadrupled, if not more.

    Somehow, reading and re-reading this article is bringing some solace to my otherwise headache-inducing life. It’s my life to the T. The long phone conversations with mum about when I plan on getting married. The emotional drama and crying. It’s too much.

    I always thought I was strong enough to stand up for what I want and not give in to the societal demands. But it is proving to be harder than I thought. While I still do not plan on marrying someone just for the sake of it, and still want to get married on my own terms to someone I want and choose myself, the society’s words are getting to me. Pressure from parents is hard enough already, but the rishtedaars, some of whom who didn’t care about my life in all these years are suddenly popping up with their remarks. Some of them belonging to the so called “new gen”. The constant, “you’re running out of time”, “you’re embarrassing us” “you NEED a man in life” is suddenly getting too much. I’m tired of fighting and arguing and justifying my life choices.

    I’m a successful, independent woman. I’m content with my life and choices, yet everyone around me wants me to feel miserable for not being married at 29. And at some level they have started getting to me. I cry, I wonder if I’m doing something wrong and am just generally more unhappy now than I was before. It’s agonising and I want to distance myself from these people. I didn’t grow up in India so at least I have the solace and escape from these taunts in my life outside my Indian family. I do not know how women who live in India in that society deal with this.

    Sorry for the rant, I do not know how many tangents I visited but reading your article made me want to pop my random thoughts down. I’m relieved and saddened that in this day and age, there are women going through something similar, if not worse. This emotionally and mentally damaging for me at this point. I wish I could shut them up forever. I’m not ready for marriage yet, and will get married when I am- why can’t people respect this and just mind their own bloody business.

  11. Hello, I am a 27yr old software professional, my partner stays and works in US. We both have well to do job. He is a south Indian BC, and I am a north Indian Rajput.

    I have no idea, how I am going to pull it off.

    He wants me to come to US, he is also seeing colleges so I can do my MS, and get a good job there, after this will tell my parents about us.
    We are prepared of the struggles we have to go through, so at least me being in US can be helpful in a way that we will have each other in this hard time.

    We are so much worried and tensed about the struggles coming our way. As I belong a conservative caste and family, its really horrifying to think about the situations other girls have gone through.

    Wish me the best please 🙂

    • I wish you the best. Breathe. Remember that whatever someone says to you is external, out of your control, and worry about it as least as possible. I wish I could have done the same. Good luck.

  12. Reading this at 4.30 AM will simply make people understand what I might be going through. Myself 32, masters in engineering and has a decent data science job. Just completed my second client interview (meeting the bride 😂) yesterday. I felt like being killed by the girls looks when I stood before her. I mean come on! Why can’t they simply understand that marriage is not for anyone. Had a break up 6 years back and that’s when I became hollow and started my UPSC preparation (my justification was, I cudnt live my life the way I wanted, I sud atleast help people do that) still have 2 attempts left and still. Preparing.

    Coming to the institution of marriage and parents pressure, it’s like “either u sud change for their marriage drama or they sud accept ur forever single reality” Second case never happens in most cases. So wat happens if u get into a forced marriage (Narendra Modi sud flash into ur mind) .

    One thing I want to reitrate is “Marriage is not for everyone. The wings of some birds cannot be clipped by this meaningless customs. Their souls are just too strong to weakened by these institutions”

    One dilemma though I started to feel is u hurt ur parents to the core during this tug of war. But believe me, the winner wins and the loser dies emotionally in this game. It’s u against ur parents. Literally it’s you against YOU

  13. After separating from my now divorced husband. I feel in love again. This time it wasn’t puppy love but more mature kind of love. I didn’t even realize my age or his, he is 8 years younger to me. I didn’t really think my status mattered, he was never married. He kept saying he wouldn’t go against his parents but we both stayed in this partnership. We understood each other, we matched intellectually and we were super compatible. It took 2 years for him to say I love you to me. I lived with hope that may be he can make things happen. But we decided to part ways, it wasn’t easy. We parted way because he didn’t see me long term and he wanted to figure himself out because he was so confused in life. He came back after a month and proposed to me asked me if I would take him back. My only worry was that he needed time for himself so I asked him if he got there in a month. This confused him. It was a yes for me and he knew it too, but I didn’t want him to be confused. Little did I know what I said confused him. The guy who said that if it s a yes, don’t get a cold feet later got a cold feet after two days because I just asked him if he had found himself. We stayed together for 2 months discussing this and our relationship. Although he has shared this with two of his family members, one was supportive and one wasn’t. With time the person who was supportive changed his mind too and this affected him. So finally he didn’t want to go against his family. He went home and got engaged within 2 weeks.

  14. This was a thought-provoking article that needs more exposure. I am a 34-year old male that is in relatively the same position as the protagonist in the article by the OP. I grew up as an introverted kid in a deeply religious Hindu family with deep-rooted ties in Hinduism, every which way you can imagine! We have human god worshippers and Stone deity worshippers in our family. A huge cold war has been waging between them for as long as I can remember. About a decade ago, I was also clueless about why people did marriages and created the establishment of families and things like that and the best thing that I did was to start asking questions about why we are doing certain things and for whom. I thought of giving an account from an Indian guy’s perspective for anyone looking for it because I do not see that many articles about this from a man’s perspective.

    I was a people pleaser because I thought that it would make everyone happy but what I forgot is that the human mind can’t be pleased, no matter how much you try to. That is just the way we are wired. Human beings are selfish creatures and they will do whatever they need to to get happiness and survive. That is how they have survived all these years and have become the dominant species on this planet. Later when I quit my well paying permanent job in India and left India for pursuing my dream, my world opened up and I started asking questions about everything that I saw around me and wanted a reasonable logical explanation.

    Not everything has a logical or scientific explanation, “yet”.

    That last part in quotes is something that Indians or generally speaking, most south asian people seems to have trouble understanding. It is ridiculous that a lion’s share of scientific jobs are filled with Indian talents while it is incredibly preposterous and frustrating that the whole societal system that is prevalent in India seems to be still stuck in prehistoric times.

    I do understand the side of my parents as they try to make their case by stating that I am a single child living abroad while they are back in India and ageing and they compare themselves with every other cousin and relative that has done what every other person around them does when they reach a certain age. They literally told me that I exist for them and they exist for me and that is the sole purpose of mine and their existence. They want someone to look after me and they want that person to support me financially so that they can die peacefully when the time comes and I also exist to take care of them and so I should move back after leaving everything that I have and do any job at all and that is how I “should” live my life.

    This is quite common among Indian parents and I am from the southern tip of India. I do understand that they only know how to live life like that. They do not know any better. It does not make it any less irritable. I understand them and they do not give me the same level of consideration which is sad but somehow I have gotten used to this over time and now that my market value in the matrimonial market has grossly depreciated, they have given up on passing profiles to me to checkout.

    My stand on this is that it is not them or my relatives that need to live after I get married but me and only me. That is the only thing that I need to consider to make the decision and it is quite simple. Indians always try to make things more complicated than it already is. I do not see myself in the establishment of marriage or anything like that and it is simply because all these establishments and norms are just ideas in human minds and nowhere else and somehow people think that they are objective realities when they are simply not. The affection that you feel towards another person is objective(sorta) but frameworks like marriage and family are just imaginary constructs that people have been practising for eons so that human beings can be controlled and to prevent them from nuking themselves out. It is a bubble. Once you get out of that bubble, you can’t get back in. That is like asking me to fit myself into a shirt that I wore when I was 5 years old. Does not work!

    if you are considering arranged marriage, you are not just the only person in play here. There will be a living breathing organism living with you as your partner. No one talks about that person! Everyone is talking as if I am buying a car or something. No one is thinking about how that person is going to be affected if I, who does not even want or like these sort of things, get into an establishment like marriage. Why does that person want to suffer? What did that person do to suffer for my likes and dislikes? Why do I want to make that girl suffer? Hell no!.

    Again, It is me who should live after doing this, not my parents, not my relatives. ME. I am not going to live my life in regret. So I am single and happy but no matter what I do or how I live, it is not good, as per my folks as they think that everything that I do is useless but what I “should” do, is to sign a legal agreement in front of a bunch of people that I have not even seen in ages and procreate with whoever that I will “buying” through that agreement.

    “Should”, being the operative word here. Just because they lived for 60ish years, doesn’t mean that they are the authority about how to live your life. You are the one that has that power. I have spent a considerable amount of time in a bunch of different places on this small blue planet that we live in and everywhere, no matter what type of marriage or family that you want to get into, will only work if both have a common cause to make it work. Some say to create kids so that they have a reason to stay in it but that is the simple most idiotic thing you can do to yourself as there will not be a shred of anything left between the partners by the time your kid moves out of your house. I am a living breathing example of this. I am aboard because my folks and my relatives drove me out of that country. It is also because of the simple reason that majority of Indian households are unaware or illiterate regarding the concept of personal space or privacy in ones’ life.

    Live your life, your way, not anyone else’s way. If you do, that is a surefire way to live life with regret, till the day you die. Just wanted to put it out there for anyone that is looking to fight this fight alone like me and who is a single introverted child and comes from an orthodox family that really does not care what matters in your personal life other than what they want you to do.

    If you do not feel like getting into these subjective realities like marriage and family and all that, please do not. At least do not do it because other people said so. You will regret it and you will try to undo it later on and it could turn really really really ugly for both you and your partner.


  15. Hi.
    I found this blog at the time that I needed it. I am 30. My 30th birthday included my crying an ocean into the bedsheets because I did not know what to feel. I am in love. I have a loving partner and we are amazing together. Recently my father became serious with finding a match for me and I told my family about him. All hell broke loose. There was plenty of emotional drama. I did not budge. Yet, I am full of so much guilt when I take a decision for my own well being that it stresses me out. I want to travel and create new experiences with him… I understand that my parents might never understand why I want what I want. I am aware of their societal obligations and their urge for validation trumps everything else.
    I have lived a part of this year in so much stress I did not have any idea about how long I might be able to endure it. My father contacted my closest friends and tried to manipulate them into making me see their reasons. My friends, influenced by the emotional duress, tried to tell me to be better and do what they want. It was so distressing. There wasn’t a day I didn’t cry to sleep. I was not working properly.
    Things are getting better now for me though they still are in complete denial about my relationship with my partner. It hurts. It hurts that our parents can adapt to new technologies and not to progressive thoughts. Its their choice. All I know is that I am so full of guilt sometimes for hurting him when all I want is a little happiness.

    • Hello QWERTY
      I am in the same position as you in 2023. Were you able to find a solution to your problem. I am not able to convince my parents neither am I able to move on. This is affecting my work and other aspects of my life.

  16. Thank you Priyanka for writing this article! It shall give me immense strength in my journey – as I fight my way with the society and my parents. As you described, it is painfully difficult – to keep fighting with your own parents, perhaps the people whom you loved the most until now in life. Deep down I know I love them, but all the hurtful things said can’t be forgotten easily and yet I wonder what am I fighting about.

    I am in my late 20s experiencing the same pressure to marry a “suitable boy” and “settle down” from my parents. While I did find a partner for myself after dating for 4 years – we have to stay in different countries for visa issues. My parents were never happy with my choice and us having to stay apart now has given them much relief. Since both of us don’t want to jeopardize our career for the sake of staying together, we want to wait till the pandemic recedes, till the visa issues are sorted out – all of which would take years. As my expiry date in the marriage market comes closer, my parents don’t have the patience for my uncertain plans and nor do they want to “give me away” in a different community.

    At the same time, it is difficult to have faith in your choice – I have dated him for 4+ years in person now and a year long-distance. While he is very supportive, emotionally mature – our life plans are based on US lottery system for H1B visa or the Canadian points based visa. We have our own inherent differences too – opinions regarding culture, work-life balance, the ways we communicate etc. We both are learning & growing through these differences – most of them are discovered with time, some we have worked out, some are work in progress. So how does one have 100% faith in their choice? My faith can reach 90% but that isn’t enough to cut off your parents and marry someone without their approval right? I don’t know how to gather enough faith to cut ties with my family which I love nor do I know how to leave a person when you have come such a long way growing together.

    I have cried for 3 years now, I have been tensed, having trouble sleeping with panic attacks, peed in my bed with dreams of my wings and aspirations being cut-off. I have taken endless sick days in office, let my colleagues wonder why I don’t work at the same pace as I used too. I have leaned on my close friends for support, I have seen them change from being supportive to perceiving me as weak since I can’t solve my own problems. But now I am exhausted, truly exhausted. I know I am saying this now, and yet tomorrow I shall fight again. Can someone give me a break for just today? Just today, let me focus on myself? It’s hard to digest that “that someone” has to be me.

  17. Hi Priyanka

    You are lucky to be able to ignore society and live life on your own terms..
    I am a Marwari too and my parents ruined my life by marrying me to a guy I never liked.
    It was a forced marriage and they coerced me into it by weeping and getting emotional in front of me..

    I was forced to resign a form a well paying MNC job and a flourishing career in Delhi as they couldn’t find a match in Delhi and the only decent guy they could find was in Jaipur…

    My husband wasn’t my fathers first choice but given my age which was 29 that time he said he has explored so much already and he has to marry me off before I turn 30 otherwise society will say bad things about me as I have already committed a crime by living and working in a metro city…

    I am a house wife currently married to a guy who is less educated than me…

    I am not even allowed to visit my parents for more than a day
    My In laws stop talking to me if I go and visit my parents against their will..

    I feel so horrible being in this marriage.
    I told my parents that I will commit suicide on which they say if you take such step then people will think you are characterless girl and it will bring shame to the family..

    I lost 10 kgs weight after my marriage in last 9 months…

    My career is ruined as Jaipur being a tier2 city doesn’t have decent jobs to offer..
    I can easily get jobs in Delhi / NCR but I m not allowed to go there..

    I feel so misunderstood and lonely that I get anxiety attacks in middle of sleep.

    I just sleep walk through the day with absolute numbness.

    I wish to die by accident or something so that I can get rid of the Pain.

    • I’m so sorry to hear this Kaviya. I’m numb. You were kinder than me giving into your parents wailing and crying. I just let them torture us all until I found someone I now spend my life with.

      How is your husband? It’s not a problem if he is less educated. You can take a larger leap and get a job and manage your lives while he can take a simpler job or continue his business. Life has so much to do. Please don’t consider him less because he is less educated. Life doesn’t give us all the same opportunities nor the aptitude to pick each chance we get. I understand his outlook towards life might be different because of his education but slowly people adapt if told a new way to life.

      Here I only see an option of talking to your husband, telling him your life is meaningless without a job, and that the only way to stay happy for you guys is if you aren’t controlled like you are now. Jaipur has some technical jobs, not many I know. And if need be, move to Delhi.

      Without work, there is no purpose to life. Our daily engagements give us a reason to go on. Till things get better, stay strong. And keep trying unless you get what you think you need.

      More power to you, Priyanka

  18. Thanks for writing this. The pressure from my family to get married is ironically putting a wedge between my partner and I. It always helps to know there are others out there.

  19. Hi Priyanka,
    I read your story and felt somewhere that I am not the only person who is going through this turmoil. My story has so many twists and turns that I have no clue where and how to start it from..
    I m 27 turning 28 next month. I have a loving partner and we have been in a relationship since 2017 (almost 5 yrs) ..

    So my story goes like this..flashback and present..

    My parents were super cool once upon a time (it feels like a decade ago :p) when I was 18 I had a relationship with a guy and my mum supported me in having a bf and you know

    She met him liked after a yr ..that guy had become abusive ..ND I was going thru shit I decided to end it.
    I had called up my mum kept the guy in conference ND told him I am ending things with him coz I can’t bear mum supported me saying if that is what I think.. I was overwhelmed so happy and blessed to have parents who are so supportive I didn’t predict the aftermath ..the guy Cldnt handle rejection so he created a scene ..I was pursuing my engineering so I was in hostel.. whereas the guy he used to come to my home threaten my parents that he wld tell the world about me and what kind of a girl I am.. my parents were scared they didn’t let me come back home ..after 2 yrs when I came mum cried and said that never to put them thru that situation again ..I was feeling so guilty that because of my one wrong choice my parents went thru hell.. I was so hurt as I came out of a abusive relationship and my parents went thru shit coz of me .. I promised mum that I will never ever fall in love again or choose anyone (biggest mistake .. so immature I was.. ?) .. I completed my studies got a great job in mnc .. and shifted to blore in 2016..

    Flashback ended..

    Present ..
    I fell in love ( Idk how ND when) with my senior in office ..ND he is so awesome ,supportive and nice he loved me back too.. we are in a relationship for almost 5 yrs now.
    In 2019 my parents came to stay with me in blore.. my brother had just announced about his divorce to the family everyone was broken so they tht it wld be nice of me to stay with them (my second biggest mistake).. they had no clue abt my current boyfriend coz I was scared to tell them due to the past issues.. so when they moved in with me everything was okay..suddenly after a month or so they started controlling me ..telling me not to go here ND there just come back straight from office.. I was irritated ..I had liked the freedom I had got ..I told them I m not a child nymore and it’s okay for me to go out.. bt they started emotionally blackmailing me ..I cld not cope with the pressure..I started drinking ..came back home drunk..another nightmare for my parents.. a girl from a Brahman south Indian orthodox family coming home drunk..they got the shock of their life.. I was frustrated and in deep shit my boyfriend used to console me a I wldnt listen to him either..I used to go home drunk create scenes ..used to tell them to leave me alone I cannot be the daughter they want me to be.. I had multiple talks with my mum bt always she used to tell me one thing ..girls like u are called sluts.. who drink ND go for late nite parties.. ND meet guys ..I was shocked so shocked to hear all this from my mum .. ND den the worst happened.. they contacted my office colleague who used to stay near by to my place ..they asked him to spy on me.. where I go ND what I do.. ND he did.. he told my parents about my relationship with my bf and told them that I used to bunk office and go to meet him..he followed me and gave all the updates.
    I had no clue about parents started behaving even more badly everyday after work when I came home my dad used to cry saying I lost my daughter .a.she is no longer the one mum calling me slut..trying toe explaining what a good girl should be I cld not handle all of these so I told them to go back..infact I forced them to go back to their house
    ..I was depressed and was crying everyday I cld not concentrate in my work or my studies.. coz what I did to my parents was wrong.. I never wanted to do this.. bt it happened.. in 2020 after lockdown when I went to stay with them .. she asked me abt my marriage plans

    I told her about my bf ND how I wanted them to meet all haywire.. my mum was against it and she told me everything about how they know that I used to go out with him in blore how my colleague had informed them about everything..roaming and going to pubs and all.
    She said one thing that the guy is not good for my heart didn’t believe this..I was in shock that my parents spied on me.. my bf has been thru thick and thin he always consoled me helped me fight my depression my guilt and also always did right by my my parents blamed everything on him..I told my mum I love him ND I want to be with him.. and then the blackmail drama started ..they started blaming that my brother has gone thru a divorce after doing a love marriage ..u want to go thru the same’s been almost 2 yrs now that I am in the family drama..I have tried all ways to make them understand what I went thru in 2019 bt all in mum reminds me of the promise I had made that i will not fall in love here I am still going through this turmoil with my bf ..ND may be tha last resort we may have is to get married without telling my parents.. because they are not at all understanding..they don’t want to meet him talk to him.. they want me to leave my job and go back to their place and stay with them ..marry the person they want..ND live in their terms..I m so shocked that my parents who were supportive once upon a time are now like this.. my brother also blames me for their detoriating health.. no amount of talks or conversations has gone in my favor to now.
    I am so wrecked..that at times I have tried killing myself.. the endurance is so less .. I wish there wld be a way where I can have my parents agree ..Coz we love each other and our really happy..with each other.. bt m I characterless or a slut to fall in live again? I accepted that I shldnt have come home drunk bt nobody was listening all they ever wanted was to become what they want.. they didn’t want to see me for what I was becoming..I have lost the count of the days I have only cried ..from morning till evening..from 2020 to 2021 ND I don’t know how much longer I can endure..

    . nd I want to get married to him my parents don’t agree.. they have blackmailed me right ND left..told me they ll disown mum has called me characterless and a slut and what not..

    • I know how that feels when parents say you such mean things..they say their love is unconditional but sometimes it’s not.. stay strong..n don’t lose him..

  20. After 2 years, here I am again.. Nothing has changed except I’m 29,and my mental health is deteriorating. Sometimes I think there’s something wrong with me for rejecting all the proposals coming my way. Some are really good guys.but it doesn’t mean that I have to marry them. Everyone in my Immediate surroundings is married. People are looking at me like I’m damaged. Its that I don’t know who am I yet or what I have to offer to the world. I’m going to change my job. I need to heal from my childhood. There’s so much to do. How do I accept someone when I don’t know who I am or what I want yet. I had a strained relationship with my mother all my life. Now her disappointment is on other level. It’s like I’m never enough. Upon her pressure I met some guys. It was really traumatic for me. My anxiety is over the roof. I know it’s selfish to say this, but having to read everyone here is a relief since this journey is lonely most of the time. I don’t know when this ends though.

    • Hey. Please take care of yourself. In the end its you and your mental health and no one can be in your shoes. I hope you find the strength to carry on and take decisions for yourself. Your happiness matters.

  21. Reading all this soothes me. Ironically, I feel guilty too. I’m 25 according to my parents I’m 26. Recently, I lost my job and now in home. They started talking about marriage when I was 21 and it scared the hell out of me and forced me to do post graduation. Why is this our life? My mom cries everyday and enquiries why I don’t want marriage when I simply don’t want it. I have a boyfriend and don’t want marriage too. I’m torn mentally. Every conversation around my family leads to marriage and that’s alarmingly disturbing. My mother claim that I’m immature and behaving like a kid. Once she begged me to give them atleast this happiness. Once my dad said I’m a burden.

    • Parents will say the meanest things in order to influence your decisions on marriage. Please don’t take them to heart. Your happiness matters. Yes they cry and try to emotionally blackmail you. You have to stand your ground. Love.

  22. Hey Priyanka, Its good to know that you took stand for your happiness not for society.

    I found myself in the same situation as I’m 24, to be 25 this November. I have recently got job in MNC after so many efforts. Parents want me to marry a guy they found right according to them ofc, same caste. And I want to have an independent life . Marriage is out of site for me but then they say this is last time we are doing for you. Or else forget about us and say many hurtful things. I really can’t focus on my work & they’re mentally pressuring me . I had depression which I anyway overcome but again they fail to understand my goals & planning for life. They say we are happy with this alliance then you should have trust in our choice . Really don’t know what can I do to change this situation. No one is supporting me in this .

    • Dhaani, I’m in the same boat as you
      I feel so pressurised that I want to suicide
      Specially the way I have been alone since my birth
      No one has loved me

  23. Hie
    I am so glad to find this article right now.. Being from a marwari family it’s immensely tough to stay at your grounds and disagree with your parents.. I have been holding up for 7 years now.. I am turning 27 next month and staying at home with my parents though i recently got a job and can leave as soon as pandemic ends.. Even that i know will come with its own drama and hardtime..
    I have started having panic attacks badly though i have rejected a few and faced all what comes after that, like they would say, “Wish we would have died before this”, ” This is what we get when we teach you”, “you want us dead” and so on many more as everyone..worst was 2 days back when i tried to say my father he should not have said i want them dead he was offended so bad that i rebel my elders that he was coming to touch my feet and say”I am sorry, my mistake “, it was so heartbreaking that they do this to me,their own daughter. I take stand for myself and try not to pressurize myself to this..but it’s so hard everytime seeing your parents put everyone above you and say you such ​things.. It tears me apart inside..
    I feel like a stranger in my own house, sometimes they behave that bad with me. I do have a guy in my life, he is also 27 and building his career but even if he would have been ready ,my father would never be ready for this.. Even if my mother agrees,
    He would want from the same caste same society..
    After being 12 years together, m sure i would marry him if ever but if my parents behave this way i m not sure if i would ever say about him.. Let alone marry him.or anyone.

    • Let your parents say whatever Ankita, but if your guy really loves, trusts and supoorts you. Tell this to your parents. Say you’re not atleast doing a runaway wedding. Trust me, if you break up with him for this stupid caste reason, you will end up missing everything about him, and try finding his type of love in everybody else, but it would never be the same ofcourse.
      Why am i saying this?

      ‘coz i’m a Marwari. My life got fucked too! He was a christian.

      • I can’t say m so glad to hear back from you..
        Like this platform I feel so connected to see I am not alone and yes it’s selfish to say that..but it’s such a helpless feeling sometimes to deal with this marriage pressure.
        I am trying but I know my father won’t ever give some point my mother would think of my happiness..I feel so lost not knowing how to make them understand.

  24. Wonderful article, Priyanka. Almost died laughing over that inactive Latin American volcanoes analogy ?

    As you said, the key is to explain your position calmly so they can understand. Basically, you have to make them realize how they’re being in the wrong.

    The irony is- nowadays parents will say it’s your choice whom you want to marry but they give you a deadline! They don’t see how giving us a deadline and forcing us to choose effectively removes our choice!

  25. Hey Priyanka

    Thanks for writing this piece. I stumbled on your article while searching on internet if other girls faced it too ! I am 28 , turning 29 in another 6 months and kinda trapped in this shaadi saga for 3 years now. Initially , I wasn’t really ready for it but started looking out purely out of peer pressure and to keep my family happy . After talking to some 100+ guys over these matrimonial wesbites , I finally found someone who touched my soul like no one else was able to. And it was about time when I was thinking about getting married , I got to know that the Guy’s parents don’t like me . That said, only his mother has spoken to me once , sister has just seen my pictures yet have an opinion that I am not a good match and he should explore more. The guy wants to stick around and wants to stay staunch on his decision of being my partner / companion (whatever you may want to call it), however can’t assure if his parents would agree to this or if this relationship can lead to marriage.

    Now, when I am reflecting on this whole process , I somehow feel I am being punished for absolutely nothing. If it doesnt lead to marriage , my parents would expect me to talk to more random men (which I absolutely dont wish to do) . That said , I can’t beg him to marry me (even when he is there are companion) . Why things have to take a weird turn , right before it starts feeling that things are moving in right direction ?

    Sorry I am ranting here but IDK I am kinda feeling tired of building coping mechanisms in my head 🙁 Thanks again for providing the platform.

  26. Hi Priyanka,
    Your article has made my day. I am a 29 year old women who has been single her whole life. Partly because of my introvert nature but more so because I always knew there was no point in finding someone as my parents won’t approve my choice ever. They considered me to be poor at decision making when it comes to my personal life. But now I have started my “life- partner hunt”, suddenly I am the responsible one who should take my own decision but it needs to be done quickly with their approval. Let’s not even get into the different opinions that everyone holds for a perfect groom, right from cast, income, job and looks. It is very difficult to make them understand my choices.
    I have no experience in relationships, being an introvert it is very difficult to trust someone immediately, and according to my parents if both the parties do not have an issue in initial stages, there is no harm in having a marriage in couple of months, which terrifies me. Marriages in India are not just about the guy, it is the whole family that comes into picture, at times I want to run away from my own parents, how am I going to handle another set of them? What if the guy is getting married only for the sake of his parents?
    My parents are supportive and have good intentions, but the way my personal life has unfolded till now, I have hardly any faith in marriage.
    I am tired after talking to guys for almost 3 years now, doing well professionally doesn’t help either.
    I am just fighting to not cave in and take a wrong step due to desparation.

  27. So I’m a 31 year old Indian girl who lives in the US and my mother has said multiple times that she should not have birthed me or she made a mistake by giving birth to me. It feels very hurtful when I hear that. The reason she says this is because I did not marry as per her wish and that by now she “deserved” to have grand children. Has anyone heard this from their parents and how do you deal with it?

    • Omg sometimes even worse, I’m from a Christian household so they even bring people to pray for me as if I am possessed of evil. It’s very hurtful when strangers come and advice as if we know nothing and according to them life is not having a good job if we don’t marry and have a family. Sure I understand my parents concern but the path they take by degrading and manipulating their daughters to make them accept for marriage makes me lose respect.

      • Hey, I have gone through the same. I am Hindu. I have alot of faith in God and my mom used that faith against me. Ever since that I feel so guilty and helpless that why would my faith be used to force me for marriage? Why does God allow this? ? How do you deal with all the praying and stuff? I would be glad if you respond me.

        • Yeah it’s very hurtful, but I also understand that they can’t change my mind by bullying. If i can’t even stand against my own parents, then how weak can I be? I stand my case on why I can’t just marry a stranger, the stronger I stand the stronger they want to bully me. But, in the end I know why I am not ready yet, and only I will decide if I wanna marry. So stay strong, cry if you need to because it doesn’t make you weak, it only makes you stronger.
          You have no idea how much I am being bullied currently by my own parents. My father is currently saying let her marry an ironing man or postman because no one will marry a girl post 28? Can you see what I’m going through? It hurts ofcourse but it also makes me strong and feel pity how a woman is treated by their own father as if a woman is worthless after certain age.

  28. Hi Priyanka,

    I am a 29 year old woman and going through a similar struggle. I have a loving partner and want to marry him. But my parents are against this and want me to marry someone of their choice. They are forcing me to say yes or else they blackmail me by saying our health will be affected if you do marry your boyfriend. They lecture me about how my extended family will boycott us if i marry out of caste. Basically they wont be able to interact with our extended family because I will bring shame to them if i go ahead with my choice. My mom is crying everyday and not talking to me. My dad says you will loose her if you decide to marry against our wishes. He also is not giving me an option. He is saying you have to talk to the guy and say yes and marry. Thats it. He has given me 2 days to breakup with my partner and say yes to this other guy. I don’t know what to do. If I contact the guy and say no to him, it might create more problems. When I try to talk to my parents they make it pretty clear that they don’t care what my opinion or choice is. In addition to this I am in the middle of a career shift/ dilemma. I had to leave my software job in the US because of some visa issues and now cant even fly back, away from all this. I had left home due to the same reason, i wanted to have a freedom of thought and choose a life partner myself. At this point i am in an extremely vulnerable situation. I feel weak with all this chaos going on. My parents have managed to do this with my brother and got him married forcefully. I see him being unhappy but my parents refuse to accept and want to do the same with me. I feel stuck.

    • Hi KT,

      I’m sorry to hear about your situation.

      You know what I did this when I was going through the same crisis? I didn’t give up and eventually married the guy I love and have a great understanding with. What does your partner have to say to this? Do you think he is sticking out in these tough times and helping you? Or he says it’s all your problem? Depending on how much you guys can take it up for each other, you should be together. (I speak from an experience where I was much more interested than the guy and ended up hurting myself.) If not, you know what to do. But at the end of the day it is your choice if you want to marry someone you think you won’t be happy with. I always believe that people(or nature) bring their tragedies and despairs onto themselves so you aren’t really responsible for any pain your parents are going through. It’s their choice. I do understand where they come from though. Try talking to them again. Is caste the only matter? Do they care more for you or the extended family and their own place in the society? Culture can sometimes overshadow love you know. Don’t feel bad. It is not personal. They only know so much. Do what you have to do for yourself. They are doing what’s best for them and you have to do what’s best for you. That’s the only way.

      Hope this helps. Sending you lots of love and energy to go through this.

      • Thanks for your response Priyanka. My partner is currently in the US, and I am here in India. He is extremely supportive and willing to come back or move anywhere else where we can be together. He is also willing to meet my parents and try to convince them. But my parents have straight out refused to meet or talk to him. The only problem they have is caste and that he is dark-skinned (yes literally thats their biggest problem). They want a fair groom for me, which they can show off to my relatives saying, see we got out daughter married to such a fair man. My parents call him names like ‘kala’ and ‘pig’ and what not. I don’t know where this skin color obsession stems from, but my mother specifically has no respect towards dark skinned people. She despises them. It is extremely disturbing and toxic. For me my partner is a handsome man who loves and respects me a lot. We have lived together in the US for 4 years and we share good compatibility and understand each other.

        • If the only problem between you two is your parents’ disapproval of him, then you are really at a crossroad. Imagine yourself 5-10 years from now and decide with a bigger picture in mind. I’m sorry you are going through this. It is never easy to hurt parents. I know how devastating it is. But over the years(after my initial frustration dissipated away) I’ve come to see that parents who do this cannot see anything else. They don’t want to hurt us on purpose but they do what they know. I hope you can forgive them. Do what is best for you while keeping compassionate feelings for everyone inside.The only way is through. Sending you a virtual hug.

            • I am going through the same trouble, same dark-skinned comments I have been getting for my partner in a derogatory manner although he is in a very respectable job but my family is upper class while he s middle class. My parents, I feel act selfish, they don’t understand the dynamics between us….It is very exhausting as you mentioned during a career shift. My family want me to marry some guy who earns so much that i do not feel the need to earn money. Whereas i want to be independent forever …..this is taking a toll on my mental health, they are not ready even to talk to him. My idea of good life and their idea of a good life do not match at all.

  29. Feels good to know I’m not alone 🙂
    Staying away from home definitely helps. This harassment from parents needs to stop. Wish it were a law in India.

  30. awesome article Priyanka,
    similar story, but i am 35 this year, its not a pressure from parents but somehow the stars are all against me and hence single. shit society who bitches my parents and idiotic expectations from prospective grooms/family [the girl should completely forget her parents, not support them with a single penny, not visit them etc etc]. adding to the fire is the pandemic, good luck to me with this !

    • Thanks, Dia. You know you don’t have to fret over others’ expectations or beliefs. You do you, despite the resistance. And when you can’t disagree and have to follow someone’s instructions, it doesn’t mean you have come to believe something else. Wish you good luck.

  31. Literally my story. I’m so fed up I’m even done crying. There are no tears left in me.

    Im hitting 30, and my parents behave like the world is ending for me in one year.
    They are so desperate to look good in front of the family, and make the cut and pretend like they did not ruin my life at all until it happened. Nice try.

    Hurtful is an understatement to the things they say to me.
    1. Atleast now you’re still a part of the family etc… Why will my family change?
    2. Change your profile picture, you’re looking old.
    3. The stars are fully aligned, this year is the last year for you else it says you’ll need to wait for several year. This stmt comes in every year btw. The stupidity.
    4. 3-0, that’s the last I’m allowing you to wait… Where did allow come from?
    5. Your not putting the intention and effort… Like as though its my fault.

    I have been more humiliated by my parents than any one else. And to say they are protecting me from some unforseen humiliation from society, someone needs to call them them out on their bullshit.

    I hate everything about marriage now. I want to rebel. The whole circus to look happy because no one judges couple right. If you’re a couple they just assume they are happy. This glossing over couples and unnecessarily pitying single people is just ridiculous.

    • I’m so sorry to hear your story. People are only doing what they know. Anything else is too weird for them. Do what you think is the best for you. Nothing will change if you keep shouting or crying. Only actions bring change. Wishing you all the best and sending you a virtual hug.

    • Huh I thought it’s only my parents. Amidst of this pandemic it’s so hard to also receive negative comments from your own parents , when we are already going through mental and emotional issues. All the manipulation of father blaming mother and mother being hurtful and seeing that we will get hurt and feel like giving into it almost but then I remember how I don’t want to be a part of the same process that I hate. I can’t marry for anything but love and compatibility. I don’t want to repeat the same mistake of the society that we want to see a change. Sometimes o cry because who are these society who is deciding for me , why are girls even going through this for wanting something good, why are we worth only for the age ? Trying to stay strong. Good vibes to you too

  32. Iam 24 and Iam literally too young to get married my life just started and whenever anyone ever asked me about getting married in future I always denied and will always keep on denying, few days back my elder sister sents me a picture of a guy on whatsapp I already told her please dont sent me any picture of anyone but she still sent me I deleted it asap and only thing I saw was his half baldness and I blocked my sister and she was doing this on papa’s command.. first thing is Iam too young I completed my graduation in 2019 and 2020 was a null for me now I want to live my life I want to do different jobs earn experiences and learn new things.. secondly I just don’t want to be part of this dicriminative cultures and traditions in our country like ” kanyadaan ” where they treat women as a property to donate her. like ” bidaai” where girl just have no right to decide where she want to live all she’s meant for are sacrifices and one who adjusts during all her life. sorry Iam not the ” tyag ki devi” Please treat me as a human. actually I have lots of reasons to not getting married but I know no nobody will ever even try to understand me bcuz there minds are too comfortable with the idea of getting married that my opinions are just a vain for them. I have a long journey to go..

  33. I am a 27 year old woman practising as a corporate advocate and also pursuing Company Secretary course. I even intend to have my own business some day but my parents want to get me married.

    There is a little prologue to this. I dated a guy for nearly ten years. I had put my heart n soul into that relationship n I made a mistake of believing that he was as committed and invested in the relationship as I was. Since the beginning he only promised me marriage and I took his word for a gospel and made sacrifices in my career just to be with him forever. We told our parents shortly after we both turned 25 and all hell broke loose at his place since it was gonna be an inter caste. My parents didn’t happily agree to this but they cared about my happiness and decided to respect my decision and agreed to this. His parents though well educated and belonging to an upper middle class family, harassed me for a year by constantly calling and texting me asking me to break up with their son. My ex never stood up for me he just asked me to ignore n kept telling me that he would marry me even if his parents disown him. He came to my parents n said the same. He dragged this for one whole year and my parents believed him too. But then my ex’s father threatened to throw him out of family business and disown him and my ex just ditched me over a phone call saying it’s over between us n I can chase my dreams freely now by moving to a bigger city. That’s what he told me while ending a ten year long relationship. FYI, my ex had done masters in finance from a uni in the US and if he wanted to he could have gotten a job. At least that’s what he told me for years. That he would get a job n he is not dependent on his father’s money n that he wouldn’t let me go no matter what his parents say. Nevertheless he left me in front of my family, his family , my extended family and my friends. I felt so humiliated and my ego took such a huge blow. I slipped into depression n I started contemplating suicide. It’s been 8 months since this happened but my parents started looking for a guy right after my break up and I am not able to handle this anymore.

    I made a mistake of trusting a guy n sidelining my career once and I don’t want to do that again. I am focused on clearing finals of my course and I really want to set up my own business. And also for me, marriage is not something that should be done just coz I am getting old. I want to have an organic relationship which can culminate into marriage on its own. I want to find a guy who can respect me and value me n my dreams and treat me as an equal. I hate this patriarchal society where women’s needs and dreams always come next to that of a guy. I hate how the society won’t let me live in peace just coz I am not married yet. I hate how they attach a stigma to me and my family just coz I am choosing to live my life on my own terms, where I want to be independent n not need a guy to fulfil my material needs but actually have a true sense of partnership and an emotional connection. Is it so wrong to want that and at my own pace? And also I don’t know if I have I’ll ever find a guy like I have described.

    • It’s not wrong. You are not alone in this either. A lot of Indian women and men face this arranged marriage problem. Please don’t let yourself get depressed. Because no one would care, you know. Do what you have to do. Let people attach a stigma. They don’t know any better. That’s all. Talk to your parents as much as you have to and do the right thing for yourself. At the end remember that you can’t sacrifice your life for others’ happiness and beliefs.

      • Thank u so much for your reply. It comforts me to know that there are people out there who can empathise with me, though complete strangers. I really enjoy reading your blog and you have amazing penmanship.

        I have a follow up question to everyone who might read my comment. I have already narrated everything that happened in my life up until last year. I have finally picked myself up n I am doing ok. But since a month or so I have a weird thing going on with a guy. He is actually my friend since a decade n we just got talking last month about relationships n stuff n found that we are both single and kinda let down by our partners. We both sort of connected at some level n decided to keep things casual and see where it goes. But I don’t know how well this will go for me coz I am a highly emotional person and casual dating is just not my thing. I sort of like him n don’t like a few things about him too but I am scared that I might end up getting emotionally attached to him n eventually getting hurt. We have had a talk on this n he did say that if he thinks we are compatible then he is open to the idea of having a serious relationship but I dunno how to go about this whole thing.

        I feel very lonely. I was in a relationship for ten years n I had grown to be emotionally dependent on my ex. After the break up I started feeling a huge void. More than physical intimacy I think prefer emotional connection and intimacy. I am testing the waters with this friend of mine but I am too scared that I’ll develop stronger feelings for him than he might. But at the same time I fear I’ll end up alone if I am too scared to ever put myself out there again to find love. If I shut down myself I might never have a chance at love again n I will b forced to have an arranged marriage. I am too conflicted.

        I would be glad to read all of your insights on this.

        • Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, Preethi. Go ahead and be with him despite your fears. Don’t be scared of being afraid. We all feel these confusions, we all want to be secure and never want to get our hearts broken. But our hearts do end up breaking. In my case, I am thankful to the universe for every heartbreak for my partner now is more than I could have ever asked for. If you will fall or not or if he will love you or not, spend time casually. Enjoy each other’s company. See where it goes. We think we will make plans and our life will execute every single line of our plan, like a computer program runs. But in reality, life isn’t aware of this word plan. Sure we have a vision and we make long-term and short-term goals and move in our direction, but chaos definitely finds its way through. And that’s how it was supposed to be.

  34. This is such a great read and it’s very relatable for an unmarried guy jn his late 20s, ha! I found your blog 3 days back and haven’t been able to stop, it’s truly amazing!

    Your writing is almost comparable to Morgan freeman is narration, it’s such a pleasure to read!

    Thanks for writing this. Will read up your blog over the next week or two when I find time! ?

    • Also isn’t it really ironic that Indian parents who are so loving towards their kids their entire lives, don’t understand how cruel they are being towards their kids, when they don’t even attempt to understand their kids want in life?

      They just simply worry about us. Wish they spent a bit of time to understand us rather than just worry. Alas!

      • I know what you mean, Alas. Thanks for letting me know you are enjoying my blog. I’m glad. I wish they do understand us but they don’t know any better you know. Their culture is different from ours. I wish you all the best. And Morgan Freeman? Really? Haha.

        • Haha. Morgan freeman thing was bit of a hyperbole. I agree. I mean, it’s Morgan freeman!! But yes I do enjoy your writing. So Thanks! ?

  35. Hi,

    I am Shama, from a small town Bellary in Karnataka.
    I am 31, unmarried, vegan muslim girl, working as a software professional since 8years.

    As mentioned above, my parents are also worried and threatening me to get married.
    They are trying hard to find a match for me, till now, I used to upfront say NO to the matches, because I never liked them.

    I personally also wish to have a family of my own(my husband, in-laws, kids), but I am not liking the guys, I doesn’t wanted to forcefully get into marriage.

    I always wanted to have a house of my own, so that no-one should ever dare to tell me to “Get Out of my House”, but never allowed to buy.. Rather, that was invested on a land in native which adds no value to my current life.

    Being at home since lockdown, and hearing to the taunts, questions every sec and every min.. my mental stability is disturbed.
    Well, now I have accepted that, being in a small town and being from a small city, I cant expect a prince charm or a well qualified guy to marry me..

    The ground reality is, we get the guys as per our parents, siblings, relatives social circle.
    Though education has hopped the status of the girls like me by 3 to 4 generations, we still live with our own circle of people who havent been matured yet.

    So, we have to accept the fact that, doesn’t matter how qualified, skillful, talented you are.. you must be the sanskari bahu to some random family.
    I will give this aahuti of mine..
    I know, Me as I am will never be valued, if I even try to project me also, it would be a big ego issue and will be termed Besharm Ladki..
    I know, as long as keep my mouth shut, accept everything without any questions, and keep serving the family and expect nothing, then everything will be good, balanced.

    Afterall, we are girls, its we who has to balance the harmony of the home.. Mom has done it, didi is doing it, friends have done it.. Why do I be an exception.

    If i look back to my childhood, its the mom who has done all the above. Never asked for a saree on eid, never wished any outing, never did anything for herself. For all the mischiefs, misbehaviors dad has done, she happily accepted everything. There were no sorry from Dad for anything. There were no complaints from mom..

    The same will be expected from me.. I will do that, otherwise marriages wont sustain.. For the marriages to sustain, “Ladki ka chup rehna zaruri hai”

    I have given up now..
    My dad has got some match for me.. I blindly agreed for it.. I gave up.. Now, whatever happens will be faced boldly..

    If everything goes well, all izz well, otherwise..
    like many other Indian Girls, I will quietly tolerate everything and slave my to be husband and in-laws..

    Wish me good luck.

    • I’m really sorry Shama. I know what you are going through. But do you think giving up is the best solution? I know it is damn hard to fight too. Damn hard. There’s also the possibility that you might like the guy and he is good. Why don’t you go meet him once, talk to him, and see if there is anything in common between you two. Else talk about this to your father frankly. Make the guy say no. Think, think. Please don’t give up 🙂

  36. God. Thank god it’s not just me. I am 29 , soon will turn 30.
    Came home from one of my first date, my mom started crying. She has made me meet 100 guys till now. And she was crying saying that you are rejecting everyone. . How will you ever get married. I am so tired of you. You are aole reason of my sadness. .

    I finally told her, fine the next guy I meet I ll marry him. That’s what I said today. I don’t even want a second meeting. . Even I give up now.

  37. Couldn’t have been more apt! Been there, still going through that. It is only with time i realised that being a rebel or yelling for what we think are absurd words coming from parents does not work. Its open and peaceful conversations that stand a chance in making them understand (but that journey is a really long one, remember)

  38. I am a 29 year old and am going through this exact same thing. I was trying to find it on internet “how to tell Indian parents that you want to find love and then get married” this is the exact same question. Like you I also recently agreed to meet these guys from community matrimony sites. I have been asked to make myself acquainted with a guy, (arranged by my parents). Seems like the guy has no flaws, not any that I can point out. He seems to be all okay with everything about me. He has already told his family that he wants to go forward with this. But I seriously feel like I am doing this for my family and do not want to do it. Friends tell me “you have to give him a chance he is good”. Yeah but I get stuck with the part where “getting married and find out if you love that person (like ever)?” or the other way around. The usual family drama goes on. When you have a family person with serious health issues, it so feels like your wings are shredded.

    • Hi Chan, I am sorry for replying so late. I relate with your dilemma. I can say that you can go out with him or see if he is the one you could have met accidentally and fallen in love with. Life is strange you know. This would not prove you are bending down to others principles but that you are finding light and hope amidst the darkness. Good wishes and a virtual hug for you.

  39. At the exact age of 30, stumbled upon the blog and couldn’t leave without reading your entire post .It’s heart to heart story I so much relate with.
    Myself an engineer trying tto steer the career but hopelessly falling into this dark hole.
    The society has still not come to terms with the fact that girls can have aspirations as much as boys do and if they take time to realize thier dreams like the boys do,they should not be judged for what they ought to do at their age.Why this hippocracy and when will it fade out .

  40. Your article is all things my heart and mind are screaming out loud Priyanka.Felt good to know I am not alone on the boat that I thought was gonna sink sooner or later.
    Good luck with life !

  41. I googled “Indian women facing marriage pressure” and landed on your article. Thank you for writing this. We all know our parents mean well, or are only acting from what they know but it’s absolutely maddening. I’m now 34 and the emotional blackmail is starting to feel toxic! I’ve been with a partner for 5 years now, and frankly I’m not sure I felt I needed to get married to legitimize our partnership, but now the family pressure is really getting to my head. I definitely want a baby, and the combination of my biological clock screaming along with my mother screaming … frankly I’m edging towards a nervous breakdown in the middle of corona … I’m only half joking. I’m wondering if they’ll just give up when I’m
    35 and then I can think about my situation in peace? I love my partner and I think we could build a happy family without the label of marriage but do/should I put pressure on him to formalize things to appease my parents or breakup and hope to find someone else?! I feel like I can’t even hear myself think anymore ?

    • I don’t think you need a legal paper to prove your love or build your family but you can just do it because you cannot change how the old parents think. Marriage would give them peace and they will then give you peace. But if you don’t want to get married, you also need to stop thinking about this and do what you have to. Hope you figure out a way 🙂

  42. Thank you much for writing this. It’s a pity our parents would rather see us married than happy and thriving. I am very successful despite all this pressure and yet they never support me but make sure I always know how unless I get married I am nothing. It’s depressing

    • It does sound depressing but you do not have to care for how others think. You have no control over their believes or support or how they behave with you. But you can control how you react to everything. And when someone tries to tell you you are nothing unless you marry, tell them that you do not need any external approval. You have done well for yourself. Be kind, but don’t let others, even your parents, insult you or make you feel small and go away with it. I know it happens more often than not.

  43. I read almost all the comments above . Iam only 24 ,a dentist and i studied really hard during house surgency for the NEEt MDS exam so i can do PG for 3 years and stay away from home and the pressure of marriage . I cleared the exam with a good rank . But again corona strikes ,iam trapped at home and my parents are driving me mad.
    My case is a bit different cz my dad had me at 40 and my mom was 35 , now they are older than most parents who have kids my age . So they keep pressurising me saying they are old so i should settle down for their peace of mind. But it wasn’t my mistake that they chose to marry so late . Its like they enjoyed way too much into their bachelor’s and now want to relax in their old age as well and are willing to push me into marriage for that. I have a boyfriend of 7 years , he is also a dentist , i cant even tell my parents , because if i like someone and want to experience love my parents would kill themselves . Apparently its a sin to fall in love ! All i can do is oblige to what they say or stand firm on my decision and hurt them . Argh ! Life is just too complicated for a 24 years old.

    • Offoh. Shilpa, nothing would happen if you go ahead and be with your boyfriend. You won’t be hurting them by being with your love, they would choose to get hurt because you just decided to be happy and built a life you want and deserve. 🙂

  44. I am 32 and my girlfriend is also 32. We both do not see marriage as an essential step in our future; One reason being she was out of a horrible marriage lasting 6 years just recently.Yes she is a divorcee.
    I have no interest in marriage.Neither does she. We both have our own dreams to pursue and in our relationship we help each other get closer to it. We love each other but we both agree that there is no need to bind it legally around our necks.

    What you described here is something I see my beloved girlfriend go through every once in a while. Her parents forced her for the first marriage,told her it was her fault she had married unwillingly and ended in divorce, and even now force her to marry a man purely based on his qualifications. Its heart breaking to see her break inside when her own parents take the side of the would be groom. There are times when I feel like promising her that I will marry her,but I feel that I would be saying it out of pity.
    She is hardworking in every way and talented.But in her parents eyes,she is not worthy unless she is married to someone they deem fit. All she wants is love,and the freedom to walk away from it if she can. Marriage is not an answer.Marriage is never an answer.
    As I sit here, trying to comfort her again,I feel so angry. No one has the right to do something so cruel to another person.Not even your parents.

    • Thank you for your message, Mithun. We both have our own dreams to pursue and in our relationship we help each other get closer to it — I understand what you mean for that is how it is between my partner and I. So proud of you both, and you are so nice to be holding up with your girlfriend in such hard times. She must need you. I am no one to advise but I think you should not tell her you would marry her out of pity. I always thought that the guy I would be with would understand that my parents won’t let me at peace if I don’t marry and thus if he loves me he would oblige. It is a hard place to be in. You guys can definitely go ahead and marry if you think that will calm the situation. Sometimes we do not do things because we agree but we do them to move on for the sake of close ones. You can continue to live like friends and though there is a legal paper involved, you do not have to care for it. And if it is about walking away when she feels like, she still can after the marriage. You can, too. Let me know how it goes. Thanks for connecting.

  45. Hello, I understand how all of you feel. I was born, raised, educated, work and live in London. The problem is my parents are from an Indian village! I was sick for a whole decade due to a mental breakdown and a couple of physical health issues. It was partly due to religious, cultural pressures. My parents didn’t know what to do and took me to herbal doctors for years and told me to pray! Finally a doctor started helping me properly with anti-depressants and I started to get better. I’ve had a lot of fights with my parents because our views are very different. They want me to be religious, pray, read holy books, go to the temple, wear holy jewellery, marry someone from a community of 24 villages in India and have kids. I want to marry someone for love, I don’t want kids and I don’t care about religion or tradition because it made me so sick for a whole decade!

    Once I started getting better I finished my degree, I started working part time and went to Indian Women’s therapy 2 months. I had to keep the therapy a secret from my parents! When I was 32 I had started using dating apps because I was so lonely, I wanted a boyfriend, a serious relationship and marriage. I can’t move out of my family home unless I get married! I went on many dates but didn’t get a boyfriend until I was 34. Also when I was 34 I finally had a good, full time job. My boyfriend was white. I had to lie to my parents every time I went to meet him. My boyfriend felt really sad because he told his parents about me (I spoke to his mum) but I couldn’t tell my parents about him. We broke up after 7 months. I’m on dating apps again.

    Now because of Corona Virus we’re in lockdown. I’ve been stuck at home with my parents for two months already! I’m really lonely and getting desperate! Today has been too much, I nearly threw a religious necklace at my mum’s face and nearly told my dad to f*** off! I’ve been on Google for two hours reading about unmarried Indians in their 30s who live with their parents and are feeling depressed! Now I’ve spent 30 minutes writing this message! My religious, traditional parents are starting to break me again. I already had one breakdown and it took a whole decade to recover! I don’t want to go through another breakdown! I just want to move out of my family home, away from my parents but I can’t!

    • Vicky, I hope you feel better. I am sorry it took me this long to reply but I think it is not just me but many more people who are helping each other here. Can I tell you one thing without sounding like a bad person? You need to move out and get a place of your own for the sake of your mental health and your protection. You cannot ask anyone to not say anything or to not force their beliefs on you. Trust me, I have tried. People, especially Indian parents, have this tendency to tell you what is right for you and they keep saying it over and over again until your ears bleed. We are not bad people if we want to distance ourselves from them while taking care of them but making sure that we are taking care of ourselves, too. Move out. You have a job. Continue meeting people you like. Give yourself time. You will find someone you love. But just live and go out without feeling these pressures else you would throw off any man you meet. We are all here with you. Please keep taking mental health help (I am proud of you for doing that) and believe that you are not wrong. That is very important. You are not wrong in wanting different things and, frankly, parents do get pretty selfish on the pretext of society. Let us know how it goes. Much love.

      • I just remembered this website! Thanks for the reply Priyanka. I hope you’re well. I haven’t moved out because there’s a lot of pressure on me to be the “good” child especially because I am the oldest. My brother got married but didn’t bring his wife to our home, they moved to a place that’s a bit far! My sister moved out for a new job. Now I’m the only “good child” left to “look after” my parents.

        However I’ve been going out more exploring places in the UK and doing things I enjoy. I started cycling, which is really fun. I had another boyfriend for a few months so I’d stay at his place but told my parents I was staying at a girl friend’s house. I’m putting a lot of effort into dating, finding a good guy and hopefully a long term relationship that leads to marriage. Marriage is the only way I can get away from my parents!

        In the meantime I spend more time on stuff I enjoy which helps my mental health. I didn’t have to work from home for long (my job can’t be done from home) so being in my work office everyday helps a lot too. Also I have put the religious what’s app group on mute ha ha. So I’ve made some helpful changes in my life.

        • That’s really good to hear, Vicky. Working from office, things you like such as cycling, staying away from parents’ home and all seem to be working out for you. You sound much happier than before. I want you to continue taking care of yourself like you are doing now. You have to put yourself, first. Especially in your scenario, where, please don’t mind me saying this, your parents sound toxic. And I know and have seen many such parents around. We continue spending our life in guilt or depression which is not worth it. I hope you find the kind of guy who values you and you value him and let each other be. There is nothing like giving space in relationships and trusting each other that helps more than anything else. Good luck. Stay connected. And, oh, those Whatsapp groups, just get out of them already. You are a grown up with your own rules and priorities. Let other people change as per you a bit as well 🙂

          Merry Christmas and Happy holidays 🙂

          • Hi Priyanka,

            I’ve been with my boyfriend for nearly a year now. He knows my mother is a big issue, says he wants me to be happy and he hopes he makes me happy. I told him he does. Last month I felt very depressed, my mother sometimes doesn’t say anything nice when I come downstairs in the morning; she’ll start talking about religion and how I should follow all the rules! She made me so sad one day that I didn’t want to go home and secretly cried at work! My boyfriend told me to come to his flat for dinner, he’s really nice to me. Then last weekend I did all the housework as usual; I did the laundry twice, vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom and made dinner for us but that’s not good enough for her because I forgot to clean the staircase! She complained and made it a big deal but why?! Nothing I do is good enough for her that’s why.

            I like being at work because my boss is great and I can escape my mother. “We continue spending our life in guilt or depression which is not worth it.” I completely agree with this. “those Whatsapp groups, just get out of them already”. I did, I actually left it then my parents questioned me about why I left. I ignored them.

            I also started looking for home decor ideas, garden landscaping ideas etc. then printed pictures and stuck them in an art book. That’s what I want my future, married life to be – away from my parents (especially my mother) in my own house that I’ve decorated myself with the husband I’ve chosen for myself. I hope I can look at the pictures when I feel sad, upset and depressed and it’ll cheer me up.

            My boyfriend and I want to do something special for our first date anniversary soon so I look forward to that. Oppressive religion, customs, tradition and family is so hard to deal with but I’ll keep trying to get through each day until I can live my life on my own terms.

  46. I think its the hardest to fight the people closest to you. As much as I know how infeasible it is to wait for that love story that actually qualifies for marriage, getting into a relationship with no feelings for the sake of my parents is not worth it. Right now the idea of living alone on my own terms feels absolutely wonderful, but its just very hard for me to explain them. I hope with time, the rigrous societal structure and norms dissipate into a freer world, so that there are no more such stories.

  47. Hi
    32 year old Male here , beautiful blog. To begin with I was never conscious of women/dating/love etc. I grew up similar to you in the rigmarole of indian competitive exams after which I travelled to the US for my higher studies for an MS in CS from a top 10 university.
    Till then the thought of love/marriage never crossed my mind. After getting gainfully employed I fell in love and was in a relationship with my classmate/ colleague for 3 beautiful years. I dreamt of building a home with kids with her but destiny had other plans and she broke up with me. I tried to get into a long term relationship but nothing worked out. Adding to that was my receding hair line of which you have described female opinion of it in great detail. Dejected I returned to india to work at a top American company with a great pay package. My mom wanted to get me married and put me through this punishment called the matrimony. All my vacation is used up in visiting prospective brides who end up rejecting me anyway. Also one girl broke off the engagement with me for the same reason. I have given up on this idea of getting married because in this system of arranged marriage women can’t see further than my lack of hair.
    My mom and dad are depressed that their able and highly qualified son is still single.

    • I am really sorry to hear about your troubles Ashok. Sorry for replying so late. Why can’t you just say no to meeting the brides and find someone on your own who don’t judge you for your receding hairline? See, I made a joke about it because I was getting a lot of prospects from men with such hair. My parents were like this is how it is. But I didn’t want that and I can tell you there are girls who don’t care about hair; you just haven’t met them yet. And when you fall in love with someone, the other person doesn’t judge you on your looks. But they like you as a person first and then start going out with you because of who you are and they ignore things like hair loss. I have many defects myself. But my partner doesn’t notice them ever. I don’t notice his defects either. Hope this helps. Happy holidays 🙂

  48. I am 28 and never been in love. At first it was the age old parents who not agree situation until I stood up for myself. Then I never really found the right person. My parents now are worried. I get the same lectures as you have described, 2 years ago to escape this I tried to get an admission in colleges outside of my hometown. There was a huge drama around that but I got them to agree to let me go to Mumbai as its close to Pune and I have relatives there. I loved and hated there. My parents would fight with me everyday until I just gave up and returned home. I’m again looking to run away for another academic venture. I can’t take it anymore. But I know I can’t…

    One of my parents friends who always gets rishtas for my sister again sent a rishta for me. This is the 3rd time and all 3 times I have told them I’m not interested but the friend doesn’t seem to understand. My mom was on my side the last 2 times (even if reluctantly) but this time she literally forced me into talking to this guy. I don’t want to speak to him. My friends too say that I should give it a chance because I haven’t exactly found anyone on my own. And I did try. But now he wants to talk everyday and I feel suffocated.

    In between talks of hobbies, kundalis and marriage life hopes are discussed. Other topics too and I don’t care about any of this. I changed careers at 27. I’m not where I want to be and no one seems to understand that I just don’t want to marry yet. I want to meet someone, I want to experience love.

    I don’t want this and I’m tired of saying the same thing over and over again…

    • Hi Disha, sorry for replying so late. How have you been? It must have been really tough for you. You know what I did in your situation – I kept doing what I wanted to do, even though compromising at times but later doing what I wanted, while saying I will marry next year and et cetera. It was a torture, as I have written above, but we can’t give up on life because some people want us to give in. It is your life, your happiness, your well-being. Believe me no one else cares about it as you do. Even the closest people. So, if I may, I would advise you to do what you want, stall parents, and when you are not on a call with them or not visiting home, do not think about this because most of the trouble we feel comes from our mind and our head reminding us of the same thing again and again. Try meditation. Happy holidays 🙂

  49. Hey, I am going through the same thing. Let me share my story. I got engaged once in arranged marriage way. I liked him and all. He always behaved as if he loves me so much.
    But one day I came to know that he was in relationships with other girls. I tried talking to him . He said he will keep “this freedom” of having girlfriends even after marriage and he even gave me examples of his friends having extra marital affairs many times. I pleaded my parents that I don’t want to get married to him and I broke up with him after alot of family drama. I got depressed and suicidal for a long time. My family didn’t understand this. This incident changed me completely.
    My family started putting pressure on me after few months again. I am 27 now, I don’t want to get married. But they say I have to get married one day. That too in arranged marriage way. I am a teacher. I want to be a writer.I want to travel solo . But I can’t tell them about my dreams because they will disapprove them. The only thing they want from me is to get me married. I feel tired and scared. Even if I say yes to a guy in arranged marriage, there is no guarantee that he will be a supportive person who understands my dreams. I don’t know what to do. Sometimes I feel like running away from my family. But I don’t have guts.

    • Krushnaa, I am sorry for replying so late. I hope you are doing well. Do what you have to do. Remember — there is only one life. Time passing by now won’t come back. So gather the guts to protect yourself because only you can. All the best. Happy holidays.

  50. Oh My God!! That is so me!!!! I am so close to fleeing to South America! You have no clue how much I can relate !!!

  51. This hit home on so many levels. I am 29 and soon to be 30 in a couple of months. I always have looked forward to my birthdays but I have stopped after the age of 28. The closer I get to 30, the worse the conversations get. I have been in Canada for over 20 years with my family and we still live in a world where your social value is based on ticking off the “married” box. The past year I have sold my business and I am currently working on pursuing my masters and rearranging my entire life. I am going through a major career switch and just going through a major breakup which has just left me devastated. Of course, my parents do not know anything about my breakup or that I had been with someone I truly love for over a year. I live at home and most days are suffocating to say the least. My mother has set up my profile on every matrimonial site and god forbid I say I don’t find him attractive…it is the end of the world. Every day I wake up to “you are so behind in your life”. I am not sure how much longer I can continue living like this but I sure hope there is an end to it all. I really am not anti-marriage. I just want the time to heal from a relationship that I truly loved and treasured and I pushed away due to the pressure. I want marriage and companionship on my own terms without feeling guilty of how it is affecting my parents and family. Is it so bad to just want to marry someone because I truly want a life partner and not carry the entire Indian society on my shoulders?

    I wish everyone who is here luck and strength to stay grounded amidst all the pressure.

    • Hi Ayesha. Stay strong. It is not bad to just want to marry someone because you want a life partner. I am glad that you see the essence of marriage with a very positive attitude. Keep going. Hope all this settles down. Sit down with your parents and tell them that they are making you go through hell. Also, you can always go live on your own if it is getting too difficult at home. I know that would be a dreaded conversation but if it offers mind peace for the months to come, then why not?

  52. Well, my parents have been really cool about it, even though my mom loses it at times!!! What worries her the most is why do the boys reject me. There has been a time when my mom asked me what do I say to them that they reject me after just two conversations?? I am like, mom I only answer their questions with honesty!! And there have been times that I lose the plot thanks to social media filled with pictures of my school mates and college mates getting married and even having kids!!

    Honestly, I am not looking for “a knight in a shining armour”, but I am looking for a person who I feel is compatible. And also, when people ask what kind of partner I want, I am like there is no definite list!! You know when the person clicks!!

    Hoping for a positive end to this situation ( I am saying situation as I cannot decide whether its good or bad coz its mixed).

    Its just so confusing and frustrating!! Sometimes, I really wonder how long can I keep up with this shit .

    P.S I am 28.5, unmarried, moved to a new country alone to start life from a new perspective!! These things being ignored, the only thing society is worried about is why is the girl not yet married!!!! UGGGHHHHH!!!

  53. Hi Priyanka! Thanks for this gem of an article. I am a 30 year old Indian woman going through this hell for the past 5 years. My parents are literally at their wits end on trying to find me a guy. The think I’m moody (which i sometimes am), judgemental and arrogant just because i rejected most of the proposals they showed me. In my case the more damning factor is that my dad is a pretty influential person in our community and he keeps badgering me with this one dialogue that ” people keep asking me why my daughter isnt married yet? I just keep attending other people’s weddings! when will my turn to invite people happen?” to tell you the truth, I am at a confusing point in my life. My job is fine but i know i dont want to continue in this line and im trying to figure out what to do. But when i see my parents (especially my mom) crying infront of me, berating me for all her health problem, it kind of messes with my mind.
    I am trying to hold on and do whats best for me but sometimes its just too hard. I am completely demotivated to evene think of my future plans and staying at home has been unbearable for the past few years.
    Whenever my birthday comes up i have to listen to my parents lectures instead of wishes for another year of good health! how awful is that? My dad has also resorted to complain to all my friends and even STRANGERS about how bad his daughter is and why isnt she getting married which has thoroughly embarrased me! I feel like my 20s were already ruined and my 30s looks to be going in the same track as well. Sometimes i just feel like marrying the first guy that they show me next and finish it off since clearly my folks dont care about my happiness.

  54. Hi Anon, thanks for telling your story. you already know what I would say. Do what you have to do to keep yourself happy as each one of us is responsible for our happiness. If you leave the love of your life, you will be angry against your parents forever. Also, you are just 20. Please ask your parents to slow down. If that guy means the world to you, go back to him. If you think you are on a different path now, then let the world unfurl. I am sorry to say but sometimes we have to make our parents upset and angry for our choices. But it is our life, right? Be respectful, fulfill your duties as their little girl, but also don’t crush yourself 🙂

  55. I broke up with a boyfriend who was of a different religion/race when my dad found out about us. It was the whole “us or him” thing. Obviously I chose them but it just seemed so unfair. I fee like now I’ve lost the person I love but I’ve also lost the heart to love my parents – because they’re the ones who made me go through this. Just makes me so angry and upset but I guess in a way it is the reality. Any advice on how to deal with this? I’m only 20 but I graduate in 1.5 years and my parents will start looking for a guy for me actively by then 🙁

  56. The struggle is real and I am having the same situation currently, though in my case I am 27 now. Parents always pressure and I am trying to find my strength to postpone their nagging? But your story is so similar to mine. I hope I can stay afloat on the sea of singledom for as long as possible.

  57. Hi,
    My story a little different, I am not Indian but I am half Arab and half British. Born and rasie in the UK, but living in the US for work I am Muslim.
    I met an Indian guy when I was in Dubai he from South India. He also Muslim, we became friends I left and went back to the US. We kept in contact for over 4 years sometimes we would not talk for two months.
    The end of last year he called me and told me he got married I was shock he did not tell me he had a girlfriend. He wanted my help to come to the US but before he got married I told him I would help. I am a Lawyer, first I had to find him a job so they can sponsor him to come to the US.
    I got very sick after and had to go back to the UK so my mother can take care of me she is a Doctor. In the meantime he kept contacting me but I did not respond to him because of my illness. And also I felt akward because he is married.
    My parents kept saying to me I have to get married, they would find someone for me to married I kept fighting them on this.
    About three months ago someone contacted me about a job for the Indian guy. So I reach out to him and told him he contacted me and told me he had accept a position in another middle eastern country and he has been there almost a month. And that he miss me and miss talking to me He said he had to be there for a year, so we started to talk again so a few days into talking my parents is threaten me to find a husband for marriage the Middle Eastern culture is similar to Indian culture.
    So we were texting and I mention to him about my parents so he asked what was I going to do so I text back you should of married me lol. He text me back saying he had intention of marrying me I text back really? I had some clue he like me more than a friend. He asked if I he can call me I said ok. He told me he has been in love with me for years I asked him why he did not tell me this before, he said he was scared to lose my friend ship. And he is still in love with me, I told him him he is married now he said it was an arrange married he does not love her. He had no choice in the matter. He is allow to have 4 wives.
    He wants to married me and come here to live with me but keep me a secret so I got upset about this he said he can’t let his family know about me he can get killed. He would go back to India every 2 years for two months, so I asked him if he was planning on having children with her he said he had to because of his parents wants to see his first born child he wants children with me also I got more upset by this so I hang up the call. This happen last night before all this came down he had been telling me how much he loves me I would wake up to beautiful messages from him.
    So we were texting he told me I chose you to live with not her he said she is the arrange one he said he did not love her he loves me and wants to be with me peacefully. I fought with him yesterday telling him you want to hide me and our children he said he was ashame of his Indian culture trend with tradition arrange marriage.
    I am in love with him I cried myself to sleep he said he did not want to lie to me I turn my phone off. I woke up to several messages from him. He said he knows I am very upset he said his family would not accept me if though they are Muslim and I am. It prove one thing his family does not practice the religion right.
    I just don’t understand any of this I have Indians friends they try to explain to me my family knows about him I had to fight my family. I am at my end of this.

    Best Regards

  58. Stay single forever! Good for you! You enjoy your life girl! Who said finding someone to love the rest of your life together is important? Happy for you.

    • Hey Yakuja. I am enjoying my life with a life partner now. That I found on my own after defying all the pressures. It’s not important to find someone. It is a personal choice. This post was not about staying single forever, but I wanted to bring out the struggle in India if you aren’t single. thank you for reading 🙂

  59. oh my god.. i have been feeling alone for a while.. thanks to you and all who have commented. i am 27. all my friends are getting married or having kids. I cant even think about meeting a guy. for the longest time i felt like there is something wrong with me. my parents are really sad since i have been rejecting all the proposals coming in. there is immense pressure from relatives too. my parents try not to show me that and pretend they are happy. that makes me more sad and guilty. i cant even go to a doctor’s office. one dermatologist,instead of giving prescription scolded me for not being married at this age . but i dont feel the need of marriage now. i am happy alone and dont feel anything missing from my life. But i am worried about my parents .anyway it feels good there are women like me somewhere. strength to all of you.

    • Thanks for your comment Shyna. Hold on there. Good luck. Also, the pressure is as much as you think it is. Do what you want to do. Tell your parents. It is very hard. I know. But you are not alone. Study as much as you want. one day your parents will come around. But you will have to be at peace with the fact that they won’t be happy until you marry. They might give in one day, but still not happy about your choices. That’s a choice you make. I think this is a very personal thing. But I was not happy to marry just to make them happy. That’s all.

  60. I can see your point of view, who is financially independent and can choose to connect with guys. On the other hand, one of my relative has one daughter, who is almost 40 years old, who is educated but not permitted to work or connect with any boys and her father have not found a suitable groom for her even after several years of societal pressure. Any advise would be appreciated

    • Thanks for this comment, Neema. If you would hear out my sincere advice, I want to say that a 40-year-old person shouldn’t be allowed or not allowed to do anything. She is big enough to take care of her decisions and no one can stop her from meeting men or women. Come to think of it, what can her father really do if she goes out and meets men? If not now, then when will she? Maybe print out my article and give to her parents. They would know that men and women these days go out and find the love of their lives. Maybe theri approach might change a little bit? But of all people, that girl needs to speak for herself. Only she can. She should. I hope I haven’t said anything to hurt you. If I was her friend, I would have held her arm, taken her in front of her parents, and made her say what she really feels. Even if that shakes up the whole house. My best wishes.

  61. This story is exactly like mine give or take a few details. My parents have taken the additional step to stop talking to me because I haven’t found the one. I tell my western friends and they all laugh! I’m glad I’m not the only one going through this and this article has brought me some solace. First time reading your blog but you seem to be following your dreams. You carry on doing you! Thank you!

    • As may people here have said, thank you for writing this article. I’m one of those people who did their MS and am in the Bay Area. All my parents want from me now is to look for men on those matrimonial websites and get married as quickly as possible. But I want to date for a while before getting married. And not necessarily those guys on the websites. But I guess at age 28, I’m getting closer to my “expiry date”. I don’t know how to make them understand.

      • Dee, you are not closer to any expiry date. Do what you want to do. If your parents are putting too much pressure please tell them with a lot of love that you need time and they cannot do anything about it. Really, they can’t. Slowly they will understand. The pressure will keep coming. I know. You have to mentally prepare yourself that they can’t force you to marry, and you have to push their pressure away. But don’t hurt yourself in the process. During these days parents say a lot of things which you won’t like. From my experience, I only want to say that try to forget those harsh things. Or listen from one ear and take out from the other one. Take your time. Eventually when you will find someone and be happy with him, your parents would be happy, too. I wish you all the best. Stay connected 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment Divya. You are not the only one as you can see in the article and the comments that have accumulated on the article. Good luck and keep pursuing what you feel like. Be upfront and clear with your parents. They cannot force you to marry. We all know that. I am thankful for your wishes. Wishing you good luck. Stay in touch.

  62. Traditionally societies have limited resources but post digital revolution things changed considering values and choices on we make, best part to understand self first. As kant regard it is understanding which make nature.
    Creating identity, living for principles, choosing option is well sought and last but not least enjoying space is now days phenomenon. I personally recommend to peep into conscious self and listen voice of consciousness. After all we are not permanent and is not our final destination.
    astrology may help FROM ASHUTOSH

  63. Thank you so much for writing this. I’m white/American, and currently still in heaving emotional turmoil from breaking up with an Indian man I thought I was going to marry eventually. I knew it was against everything— I am not that naive. We were in love, though. We shared the same values, and I come from a good family. Intellectually I know why we broke up, (everything you wrote was spot-on from my experience as well) but it’s still breaking my heart. Thank you for making me feel like I’m not alone, even if we come from different backgrounds.

    • Hey Lavender, that is what I will call you. You are most welcome, and I thank you for reaching out to me. I can understand how it must have been if you felt the same. Marriages between Indians and foreigners are common now. But yes, the man or the woman might have to stand up against the odds in the Indian society. Like my parents had clearly told me that they would not like me to marry anyone from outside. I dated a Dutch man after that, and if the relationship had gone through I would have stood up for him no matter what. But not everyone will do that. I am sorry for your breakup. You are not alone. I hope you recover from the heartbreak strong and fierce and carry on with your life treating this incident as a past chapter. Good luck. Stay connected.

      • I tried all ways to get him back to me but nothing work and after trying all means i had to sick for the help of Robinson buckler because i heard and saw so many testimonies about him on a blog site, i had to consult him for help too and he brought him back to me in just 4 days after the counsel, prayers and spell was done in his temple he was back to me and we got married after 3 months. , we have been living together as husband and wife after Robinson buckler brought him back to me, we are still living together peaceful till date and we have a boy. Here is his email……………….[[Robinsonbuckler@ hotmail. com]] if you want to contacted him concerning your relationship problem. I’m so very happy and i just want you all to know that he is very powerful and can change your situation,..

    • Here is his email… Robinsonbuckler@ hotmail. com, if you want to get Ur lover back………………………..??❤️???❤️???❤️???

  64. Wow. I just loved each bit if what you had written about marriage. I also do not understand this concept of marriage. My parents are very chilled out. They don’t have any problems with love marriages or even inter-caste would work for them.
    Iam 27 and my parents hadn’t started asking me about my marriage plans?.
    But ,i also have a story to share. I dated a guy for 8 long years. We faced so many obstacles in our relationship for almost 2 years because of long distance and him being struggling ti get a good government job. But all those years, i stood beside him as i knew once his career would be sorted , everything would fall in to place and this is what exactly happened and all my friends including him used to appreciate me a lot for my patience..
    Everything became so beautiful as before. We continued happily for 2 more years then he decided to tell his parents about marriage as they were looking matches for him. Their reaction was nit very positive. I had heard a lot about his parents from our common friends that they are of typical india mentallity and “so south delhi type”. And yes,forgot to mention, he belonged to a very rich family and iam.from a very middle class but educated family

    They agreed to meet me but they wanted to meet me first in the absensee of my bf which i found to be very weird.
    Anyways , so i went to meet his mom and sister.
    That 2 hour meeting was like a question-answer round.
    She asked me very illogical questions like
    Facebook pe jo itni photos hai tumhari vo kon kheechta hai
    Tumhe shaadi ke baad naukri kyun karni hai,hume to naukri nahi karwani.
    Tumhara ghar apna hai?flat hai ya kothi hai?( This same questions goes for my sister’s home,my maasi’s houses as well)
    Tumhari height kitni hai when i was sitting in front of them.
    Shaadi ke bad to frnd se tabhi mil paogi jab husband ya sasural wale permission denge.
    His sister who is 3 years younger to me and had just started a job asked me “aapko lagta hai aao ghar aur job dono sambhal paogi” and “aaone kabhi mba karne ka nahi socha coz aaj ke zamane me to graduation is nothing” and my bf was also a graduate only.
    Well there is a long list of such questions.
    After this session, they told my bf that they didn’t like me at all.
    She said na to hume ladkisundar lagi na hi milne julne wali lagi.. when i told my frnds about this,they all said you have only these two qualities ??..
    Ok i wont say iam the most beautiful girl. But iam quote good looking and my bf was also not very handsome type s ya but for me he was the most handsome man.
    He tried to convince them ,but they didn’t convinced. As according to them i didn’t have anything good.
    They didn’t consider the fact that we had been together for 8 long years 4 years of which in a long distance.
    And yes,the fact that we were able to survive a long distance relationship should be a positive point but they made it negative by saying tum itne saalon se saath bhi nahi rahe ho to kya Pata kaise understanding hai… Like really??
    Anyways ,to shock you we both belonged to same caste. We both belonged to same city and thus same cultural background. But we had different financial backgrounds which was the reason they didn’t agree.
    Another reason which i feel was that they found be little independent and a girl with her own opinion which they didn’t like. My bf didn’t have any say in his family decisions ever and he was very very scared of his dad.
    He tried for 1 month after which he gave up.
    But we still held on to each other for another 2-3 months before he finally brokeup with me because he couldn’t take a stand for me
    I would say, he couldn’t take a stand for what is right.
    After 2-3 months,he met a girl chosen by his parents and decided to marry her who is 5 years younger to him. On hearing this,i was shattered,like if he couldn’t convince his parents to marry me then atleast he could make them realize by not agreeing to marry so early.
    I was madly and deeply in love with him. I felt so heart broken that i supported this guys in his lowest times and he got agreed to marry some other girl so easily..
    All these things bothered me so much that what happiness his parents got by not getting their son married to me. I hate such kind of parents who looks for their daughter in law and not a wife for their son.
    Now, I don’t know if i ever will be ready for a marriage. If i ever will be able to fall in love with somebody and all these thoughts deeply saddens me.:(

    • Hey Akansha. Thanks for your comment. I know what you are going through. Once long ago in my college days there was a guy who also couldn’t stand up for me. He is married now and I have moved on for better. Now when I look at him, I feel so relieved that I am not with him anymore. Not because I am angry or upset, but during that phase I understood how he really is and I didn’t want to be with someone who couldn’t face the world for me.

      Believe me, this shall pass, too. Sending you love and energy 🙂 Stay in touch.

  65. Thank you so much for writing this. I am going through the same trauma now. The problem is even though i have a job I’m trying to figure out my writing career. My parents are not convinced with the fact that while I’m struggling to find myself its very difficult to get married all of a sudden. They have even fixed a guy from a matrimony site recently and i don’t connect with him on any level. He is decent but we are from the opposite poles and mentally I’m not prepared to get married. The moment i said i don’t want this they started saying im being judgmental rather than understanding my feeling to not get married now. Also the guy talks like everything is fixed without even asking me.My sister is saying I’m killing my parents slowly by saying no to marriage. I hope people love and understand us as individuals rather than taking us for granted. Anyways, your post boosted me up to find a solution soon. All the best.

    • Good luck, Devi. My best advice at this point is that don’t let these negative things stay with you for a longer time. No matter what they say, stand up for what you want. Also, not expecting anything from our family during this time helps. We think they will understand and blah, and when they don’t we cry and fret. Just assume they won’t understand. See how much lighter you will suddenly feel. Stay in touch 🙂

  66. So relatable. Someone needed to say this. And Indian girl’s struggles with marriage and parents should be a case study for psychology.

    I am so tired of explaining my side. I have tried everything I can think of. I just want an to get married with the feeling that I want to get married. Why is that too much to ask for? My mom does try to understand I guess but every few months she starts losing her shit worrying about how will I get married once I am over 30. And I do have a boyfriend but I want to make sure he understands the kind of life I want. I don’t want to live in a big city in the middle of traffic. But this absurd wish can’t be accepted by everyone. And so I just want to make sure he understands this. And I don’t think it’s just a passing phase.

    But all that doesn’t matter to them. Everyone around who keeps asking about when will I get married does. I can’t believe relatives can be so evil that they would harass my parents and even my old grand parents over this. And I am expected to do what these people expect. I just don’t get it.

    • Aditi – Thanks for your comment.
      And I do have a boyfriend but I want to make sure he understands the kind of life I want. I don’t want to live in a big city in the middle of traffic. But this absurd wish can’t be accepted by everyone. And so I just want to make sure he understands this. And I don’t think it’s just a passing phase. – I know what you mean. Believe me, someone you love will understand this. This isn’t an absurd choice. My partner understood this, and we have changed our life to accommodate such demands. Have faith. I hope all will go well. Good luck.

  67. I have done the same exact things mentioned by you, can relate a lot to this blog. MBA, fake-approving to pacify my parents and everything else that is needed to be done to avoid that conversation! 😛 Came across your blog while browsing for articles on Chile Visa by Indian to start a business over there. I currently conduct adventure tours from Bangalore and freelancing on digital marketing. Thanks for writing extensively on Chile, very helpful. Didn’t know about EODP, now that i know about such a wonderful program I will apply for July 2019. I still have few specific questions about the EODP, Visa and Chile. Need your advice and help. Thanks

    • Thanks for the comment Suneeth. Good luck. Let me know if you have any questions. Would be best if we talk over a particular post about that country. That helps other readers, too. But you can also always drop a hi on Instagram 🙂

  68. What a refreshing read.. I’m currently experiencing the same, indian female in my early 30’s unmarried and holding myself together from all the insanity it’s brought from Indian society. Since I live in the states, i’m able to fend off 90% of my relative’s being nosy on why I’m not settling down yet, thank god. As a teenager I longed the movie style fate destiny of finding someone and was over the moon in college when i got into a caste no bar kinda romance that went on for 6 years. The guy ultimately left to wed his cousin lol.. and after much tears and sadness over months I realized I never would’ve like being with him in a marriage, he lost all my respect the more I reflected on our times together (which was sparse as i moved abroad early into the relation).

    I’ve grown a lot since then, learning to accept my faults and try to love myself a little bit more. But the 6 years took away the previous time and put me on the matrimony radar immediately. The groom hunting experience have been less than spectacular, but I feel the need to keep up the trend to reassure my parents. I’ve not only begun to hate this style of being married, but also think I should perhaps not even consider Indian men — in my sub caste or not — it’s so shocking how archaic their way of thinking can be though their degrees have more than 2 letters in it.

    I know my parents wish me well and want the best for me, their heart is in the right place, but I feel too miserable over choosing someone for ending their “worry” on my future. I’m so proud of you to have a stance on this and to have written this article capturing the essence of our struggles, it’s been a solace to read at a time when I feel particularly guilty on rejecting yet another prospective groom – ha. You’re right, sometimes the right decision will have to be made and it might hurt the people close to us. I will choose who I want to and remain single until I feel ready to take the next step. Best wishes to everyone who can relate.

    • Thank you so much for reading Sujin and sharing your thoughts with everybody here. All our parents wish us well, but I think I couldn’t say it better than you did- I feel too miserable over choosing someone for ending their “worry” on my future. Don’t be guilty – you are only living your life. Don’t marry until you find someone whom you think will respect you for who you are and love you. Of course, you have to do the same. Or don’t marry until you want to. Otherwise, issues will sprout up later, and I don’t know what can be done then. Good luck.

  69. I can see the male perspective after reading this. The way a male gets pressurized in to marrying even when he does not want to do it this way, by giving advertisements, by giving all the details except what kind of a person he truly is, what is he exactly looking for etc. The ads are mostly for what the parents in the seeking families. Basically they are buying people. That is something that I could never digest. A guy told before about the reason of having this sort of a marriage and why parents in India think that this is how it should be done and why it should be done because the thought of dying alone when we are old. The fact of the matter is that no one wants to die alone and asking for time and trying to do this on our own seldom mean that we are going to spend our lives alone.t is merely a humble plea to all parents to just let their kids live their life rather than guilt tripping them in to a corner and making them think that they are the most baddest sons and daughters ever to walk on this planet if they don’t do as they are told. Parents have a way in this country to make everything a little too personal and marriage is also not immune to this. They say that they are doing it for the good of their children. There might be folks who do not know what is good for them. They will be willing to do this but there are folks like me who are not willing to do this because there is more than just me involved in this and the girl coming in to my life will suffer equally if I do this in a way that I can’t digest. It is not justifiable to that person and on top of that, it is in no way justifiable to myself as well. I. Trying to adapt this age old process in to this sort of a world is just asking for trouble since someone who even has a little bit of common sense can see what lies behind this process. It is just buying and selling. Forget the fact that this is just a business but the horrible life that these people who gets hitched this way go through when they are not compatible with each other, is just pure cruelty. Parents call this suffering by the most misunderstood word in Indian marriage industry: “Adjustment”. People who are compatible adjust automatically without actually realizing that it is adjustment. People who are incompatible adjust or rather suffer through it because they are either scared about the consequences of breaking a marriage up or because they so badly want the relationship to work. It could be due to any number of reasons. It is horrible to go through this no matter you are a boy or a girl. The author really brings forward some unique aspects of this struggle from her own life. It is good that an article like that exists. I landed on this article because of the same reasons that prompted the author to write this article. Good to know that I have company. Kudos!

    • Thank you for reading, AV. Since the time I have written this article, I have got to know many people who are going through the same issues. I hope my article has helped you deal with some of the angst that this marriage issue in India brings along.

  70. Like every other post that disagrees with Indian parent’s obsession with marriages, this article doesn’t address the reasons behind the obsession of being married –the challenges of living by yourself during late middle and old ages. The mere thought of lying in a hospital bed with no family whatsoever is scary!

    To be fair, Millennials are at least partly responsible for their marriages. As financially independent adults, they could have very well walked out of a marriage they are not comfortable with — at least to be single, if not marry someone against the wishes of their parents.

    Sure, we all make mistakes. Even if we don’t hold it against those who were naive enough to fall for their parent’s short-sighted advise or emotional pleas, what prevents them –again we are talking of financially independent adults– from walking out of bad marriages, or confronting their parents?

    • Thank you, Ash, for reading and sharing your honest feedback. We shouldn’t be forced to do what the whole world might think is good for us – that was the whole point of discussion. Also, walking out of a marriage is an option, but should people give up and get married and just break apart if it doesn’t work? Or wait for sometime until they feel prepared to handle another person in their life better?

  71. Too common a story in the highly educated metro dwelling Indians. Whether this stories would have a happy ending – only time will tell.

    You can trump up love for all you want, but what keeps a couple together is a shared responsibility of a household, of children, of parents in their twilight years.

    Anyone who you choose to be with – will have goods and bads. You will love him at times, hate him at times, tolerate him most of the times. There is no one perfect person and searching for one such is futile.

    A marriage, with anyone who is not an actively evil person, becomes great when you consciously attempt to make it a virtuous cycle marriage – you do good for him, he does good for you, you feel inspired to do even more good for him even at some personal cost, he is motivated to do the same and soon enough the marriage is on a beautiful trajectory with occasional hiccups. And this is possible with anyone, provided you have the virtue of “kindness”. Love will flow from it. Older one marries, more difficult it is to sacrifice ones own interest for another adult to whom you are not related by blood and more difficult it is therefore to have a virtuous cycle marriage. Such marriages are more likely to become, what I call, vicious cycle marriages where each side is focused on what they want and hence begins a self-centered marriage full of friction. That’s why the 25-28 is a sweet spot – not too immature, not too rigid due to years of focusing only on self. Below 25 is too little independence and above 28-30 is too much. Both harm a marriage. Be it a woman or a man.

    Children, who due to their education and profession, have diverged too much away from their parents in terms of financial condition or thought process – do struggle to relate to parents and their point of views. But largely, in the long run, they do realise that the parents were mostly saying the right thing.

    • I think this might be the best thing I read on the internet today. I agree 100%. It’s so god damn annoying that no matter what you achieve in India, somehow you’re a failure if you didnt get married and feed 300 random people that you’ll never see again in the process. I think we, as the new generation need to hold our ground and make our own decisions on our own terms. Whether this happens at 30, 40, 50 or never, it needs to be OUR decision and our parents just need to deal with it.

      • Thanks for stopping by and for the generous comment Shruti. I think this tug of war between parents and children should be fought harder by the current generation so the coming ones can enjoy less stringent social constructs. Stay connected 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by and for the genuine comment Vihar.

      I think you misunderstood because never did I say that I or someone like me is searching for a perfect partner. These debates are out of question. The topic is bigger. And responsibilities could be anything, they need not be of parents and children, both parts of the couple do have two lives to manage so I guess that’s a lot of responsibility already.

      Age could definitely affect in some way but I have seen enough marriages to understand that even when people got married early that didn’t help their relationship. They just stuck on. Like most of the Indian couples do. I didn’t see any love flowing. So sad.

      Of course, parents want the best for the children. But sadly, more often than not, they don’t know what is the best for them. Because the world changes fast. Parents force their children to do what they think is the best for them. If only, rather than forcing, they suggested.

      • This is exactly what I am going through.. Emotional blackmail by parents I would say….. When will this Indian society starts to respect individual choices..?
        Individual rights?… According to them.. Marriage is the only goal of life…
        The point is we are not against marriages…. But Marriages should not be done for compulsion or societal pressure…

  72. This one! This one touched my heart. I shared this with my family hoping they understand a bit of it, but I am sure they would not 🙂 Off late, I do not care either.
    Even though I am in a healthy relationship, I find myself hesitating when it comes to make the long term commitment and the terror is all mine! 🙁 That said, the constant parental and extended family’s pressure and judgement is a huge turn off too!
    I shout at them, end up fighting and having a bitter relation and avoiding a large group of people who keep on praising “docile” girls whenever I am around -_- what exactly is a docile girl?
    Nonetheless, I really think you are doing a great job with this blog. And I hope this lets you wing it as much as you want 🙂

    • Thanks Orange Wayfarer. We are all in the same boat 🙂
      Don’t worry, you would be fine. We all would be.
      I don’t know what docile girls are. I don’t know what sort of girl we have to become. We can be who we are, else it is all a waste.

      Thanks for stopping by and for your compliments. Wish you good luck. And don’t be scared. 🙂

  73. There are several points in this article to which I can well relate. I was not married till much later in life and chose also to not have children. I regret nothing. 🙂 You must always do what is right for your life. We each received our own and have the right to live that one life, as we choose.

  74. This is the truth. All Indian parents must read this. Also to all men and women, marriage is an official commitment but it will break just like a plant dies without water. Life is actually very simple. There is the good and the bad with everyone. Being married is not a big deal. It should always be a Happy deal and never a forced deal. If you are scared to be with someone forever then please don’t marry. If you are scared that people will change then also don’t marry. But if you think that you can be there for another human being through thick and thin, then please live and love the person. Marriage or no marriage. If love fades away and it feels miserable, leave. Marriage should not force anyone to live without their wish or choice. Let us all let other people live because that is the only reason why we were born…To live and let live.

  75. Good read Priyanka! It’s interesting that such stories are not rare, rather mostly everyone goes through this. Hope is that we get out of this with coming generations as we start making more sense of right and wrong and leave biases behind.

  76. It doesn’t stop at marriage. Once you get married everyone wants you to have kids. 3 years into the marriage with no kids, they start asking you if “everything is alright in your marriage”. They blame you for not giving them happiness in the form of grandkids. The fact that their friends have grand-children and they don’t seems to be a bigger problem than the fact that a couple that’s not ready for that responsibility will not give the child the parenting he / she deserves. But the most disturbing thing is that couples actually give in to this pressure, and then do a bad job at raising kids. This stupidity will end only when we stand up against it, and only sign up for what we can handle.

    • I agree. I didn’t go into the children part as the marriage part was already overflowing my pages.
      Thanks for reading Alpha female. Hope you find what you are looking for 🙂

    • Hi Priyanka,
      I love this and really appreciate that you share your experiences here. I am also going through the rough time,convincing parents who are unhappy due to the society pressure. As I am living outside for a long time, I find this system really unbearable, dragging the youngsters into the marriage disregarding individual preferences. I have been seeing my friends who are forced into the marriage, later accepting it thinking they will adapt into it. Seeing all those things, I always think why people create so drama and create unnecessary anxiety and fear. Everyone will get married when the time comes and find the right person. There shouldn’t be a specific time as we Indians always put a timeline for life events.

  77. Wow. so many parts of it felt so much like you were telling my story! Wish you all the best for the future.


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