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

My mother called me thrice at 8 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.


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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 TV. 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 live-in 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. He still had a marriageable window of about five years, which he treated as a privilege, like many other Indian men. He said he didn’t want to get married. “I can’t think about marriage,” “I am too young,” “you can’t force me,” and “you decide what you want to do” were regular dinner conversations. We shouldn’t blame him. You cannot force someone if he or she is not ready.

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. He was just my scapegoat else I would have had to find a new groom soon. The more I was pressured by my parents, the more I tried to construct the walls of a home around that guy, and thus pushed him away even further. He moved out. 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 strongly expressed his disappointment with my decision 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, that I 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.


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While enjoying island life in ChileI 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 has been ready to marry me to anyone for a few years now.

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, weeping, blaming, and shouting suffocated me so much that I thought of getting married to end the drama; I didn’t care if I had to divorce the guy later. As I backpacked through the driest desert Atacama, I paid and registered on a matrimonial website while I sought suitable men around me. 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 was forced to return to India otherwise the emotional abuse by my parents would have given me a brain tumor. And as per my sister, 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 in 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 in it.


We don’t have the option to stay single or live-in. We cannot take our relationships slow. 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 even physical features, sometimes.

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 men and women 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 they hadn’t backed-off and had fought for their “inappropriate would-be partner,” their emotionally blackmailing Indian 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. And 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?


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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 every guy I date that marriage is an integral pass-over if we take our relationship forward. That 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


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


If you like me story and struggle of staying unmarried in India, please pin it to share with the world.

an indian woman standing in taman negara national park of malaysia and thinking image to show an indian woman's struggle of staying unmarried in india beyond the marriageable age in india


  1. soumi bandyopadhyay September 17, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    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.

    1. Priyanka Gupta September 17, 2019 at 3:23 pm

      I know Soumi. Thanks for your comment. Keep postponing, that is the only way. Be upfront and respectful. I think our story is similar to so many others 🙂 Good luck.

  2. Redraven September 10, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    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

  3. Yakuja August 27, 2019 at 5:38 am

    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.

  4. shyna August 25, 2019 at 10:09 pm

    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.

  5. Neema August 19, 2019 at 8:05 am

    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

    1. Priyanka Gupta August 19, 2019 at 1:12 pm

      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.

  6. DM August 15, 2019 at 11:49 pm

    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!

    1. Dee August 19, 2019 at 11:08 am

      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.

      1. Priyanka Gupta August 19, 2019 at 1:07 pm

        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 🙂

    2. Priyanka Gupta August 19, 2019 at 1:14 pm

      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.

  7. Ashutosh August 11, 2019 at 7:03 am

    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

    1. Priyanka Gupta August 11, 2019 at 12:34 pm

      Thanks Ashutosh for your comment. Looking inside definitely is the way to start.

  8. JB August 4, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    India…the country where women have no Freedom of Choice yet in 2019…shameful

  9. Lavender Flowers July 7, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    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.

    1. Priyanka Gupta July 19, 2019 at 12:07 pm

      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.

      1. Natalia Neagan July 20, 2019 at 1:50 pm

        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……………….[[[email protected] 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,..

    2. Priyanka chopra July 20, 2019 at 1:42 pm

      Here is his email… [email protected] hotmail. com, if you want to get Ur lover back………………………..💕💖❤️💞💕💖❤️💞💕💖❤️💞💕💖

  10. Akansha June 2, 2019 at 9:32 am

    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.:(

    1. Priyanka Gupta August 24, 2019 at 4:42 am

      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.

  11. Devi Mohan May 28, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    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.

    1. Priyanka Gupta August 24, 2019 at 4:45 am

      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 🙂

  12. Aditi May 13, 2019 at 11:09 am

    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.

  13. Suneeth Sonu March 20, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    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

    1. Priyanka Gupta August 24, 2019 at 4:47 am

      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 🙂

  14. Sujin January 15, 2019 at 8:36 am

    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.

    1. Priyanka Gupta March 19, 2019 at 11:39 am

      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.

  15. AV July 8, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    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!

    1. Priyanka Gupta March 19, 2019 at 11:32 am

      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.

  16. Ash Murthy June 19, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    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?

    1. Priyanka Gupta March 19, 2019 at 11:34 am

      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?

  17. Vihar May 21, 2018 at 7:25 am

    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.

    1. Shruti May 24, 2018 at 4:15 pm

      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.

      1. Priyanka Gupta May 26, 2018 at 12:27 pm

        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 🙂

    2. Priyanka Gupta May 26, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      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.

      1. Sindhu August 11, 2019 at 3:35 pm

        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…

        1. Priyanka Gupta August 12, 2019 at 10:33 am

          I am sorry to hear that. Take it easy and try explaining or finding ways around it. Good luck. Looking forward to hearing more from you.

  18. orange wayfarer May 18, 2018 at 11:52 pm

    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 🙂

    1. Priyanka Gupta May 19, 2018 at 2:20 pm

      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. 🙂

  19. Thea at Forward Steps May 16, 2018 at 9:29 am

    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.

    1. Priyanka Gupta May 19, 2018 at 2:21 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and for the comment Thea. I am glad you have the kind of life you want 🙂

  20. Mrinalini Sardar May 15, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    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.

    1. Priyanka Gupta May 19, 2018 at 2:22 pm

      To live and let live. Amen 🙂 Thanks Mrinalini.

  21. Pragati Saxena May 11, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    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.

    1. Priyanka Gupta May 12, 2018 at 4:58 pm

      Thanks Pragati, for reading and for the comment. Amen 🙂

  22. Alison May 11, 2018 at 4:40 am

    Great read! I now understand it more, my friend!!

    1. Priyanka Gupta May 12, 2018 at 4:57 pm

      Thanks for reading and for the comment Alison. 🙂

  23. Alpha Female May 10, 2018 at 12:22 am

    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.

    1. Priyanka Gupta May 10, 2018 at 11:02 am

      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 🙂

  24. Ritika Gupta May 9, 2018 at 9:56 pm

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

    1. Priyanka Gupta May 10, 2018 at 11:01 am

      Thanks Ritika. Wish you the best too.


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