Girl talk on how real the family pressure to get married before 30 is. Are we too choosy about men or are we too independent?
Hey gorgeous! For months now, I’ve been wanting to start a new article series about real stuff that we Indian women face – relationships, family, life goals and ambition. Well, I guess all of ShilpaAhuja.com focuses on that already. But I wanted these new articles to be presented as a series of conversations between friends. The kinds of conversations I have with my real friends, which focus on these fun (sometimes not-so-fun) issues. So I’ve been experimenting with some topics and I wanted the first one to be about family pressure to get married. You all know it’s for real in India, whether you’re married or not. Whether you’re 30 yet or not. So let’s get on with the SlubTalk between my fictitious ( but also realistic) friend Khwab and myself on the pressure to get married!
Pressure to Get Married Before 30
Khwab: So this guy in admin asked me out last night. He’s not bad looking and he’s a nice guy. But I don’t know… I didn’t feel excited about it.
Shilpa: Well, hello to you, too!
Khwab: Well, let’s not deny that I was text-flirting with him just to check if the whole “guy-girl thing” and “yippee” he likes me” process excites me or not.
Shilpa: I’m good too, thanks.
K: It didn’t. Guys don’t charm me anymore. Like they used to when I was in my twenties. Have I become frigid? Or gay? Well, let’s just say that guys are just another handbag I don’t wanna invest in anymore. Last night I was like, ha! This is the life of freedom.
Shilpa: Okay, maybe you’re not excited ’cause you’re not that into him, that’s all!
The Guy: Plus he’s in admin. Would it excite you if he were the GM of some big company and earning twice as much as you do?
K: What? Where are you going with this?
The Guy: You know where I’m going. Just think about it and tell me.
K: Ummm. No. I still wouldn’t have been excited. I would’ve still said no.
S: Why is it so weird that you’re turning down a guy you’re clearly not attracted to?
K: ‘Cause as I just told you, in my twenties I’d have casually dated an average-joe just to find out if it’s gonna go anywhere or not. I wouldn’t have been out-rightly sure about not accepting a date request.
S: So is the problem that he’s an “average-joe” or that you know now that you don’t want an “average-joe”? That you’re wiser now?
The Guy: Obviously. No one wants to date an average-joe. Ever wonder why all the girls wanna date me?
K: Well, thank you. But I also mean that the parents’ pressure to get married doesn’t bother me anymore as it used to before. The pressure to get married isn’t making me make all the dating decisions now.
S: Yeah, I totally feel it. You give in more easily to family or society’s pressure to get married when you’re younger and less confident about the choices you make. The guilt associated with the choices you make to keep yourself happy and not others fades when you’re older.
K: Yeah. Like, in twenties, we feel guilty about making ourselves happy. Or I guess we still feel guilty about that.
S: But it’s also about the fact that the family pressures you more when you’re younger.
The Guy: Ugh this is turning into girl-talk. Imma get some beer with the dudes. And hit on some chicks at the bar who still have family pressure on them to get married!
S: It’s like parents set a self-imposed time limit to get you married before you’re thirty. So when you’re in your late-twenties, the ticking time-bomb makes them nervous everyday and they want you to marry the first guy you meet.
K: Or they meet.
K: It’s like they feel embarrassed if we’re not married by then. Like it’s their fault. Or ours. And relatives don’t help. They nag the parents, too.
S: But money is the real game-changer. When you’re financially independent, you get more choosy about guys because you’re more confident.
K: Yeah, we don’t wanna just settle anymore.
S: And parents stop bugging you once you cross thirty! It’s like okay she’s already crossed the time-limit so now a year extra or a month extra doesn’t make a difference. And the relatives’ comments don’t hurt you anymore because you admit that it’s not your fault that you’re still single.
K: Brings me back to the same thing I said earlier, “guys are just another accessory I don’t want to invest in right now.” You’re right! I don’t care about the pressure to get married anymore. I’m able to accept that being single is better than being with the wrong guy.
S: It truly is the life of freedom then.
So my angels, did you like my experimental conversation-based article? Do you also feel the pressure to get married? If so, how do you deal with it? Lemme know by tweeting me @shilpa1ahuja and I’ll surely relate!
Shilpa Ahuja a designer and entrepreneur. She is the editor-in-chief of ShilpaAhuja.com, which she founded with the goal of inspiring confidence in the modern working woman through fashion. Fashion has traditionally been for the rich, white, thin woman. That’s how it evolved over centuries and that’s how it’s been represented in fashion media. But Shilpa believes that with the changing role of women in the society, fashion has changed, too. She believes that fashion is for everyone, regardless of their age, gender, color, body type and background. So she translates runway fashion into easy style advice that one can incorporate into their daily lives. Shilpa’s work has been published in the University of Fashion blog and Jet Airways magazine. She is also an artist, illustrator and cartoonist. She is also the creator of Audrey O., a comic series that represents the lifestyle of millennial women. She enjoys creative writing and world travel. Her art has been exhibited at Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Aroma Hotel, Chandigarh and been published in Chandigarh Times. Originally from Chandigarh, Shilpa also has a professional degree in architecture and has worked in interior project management. She is also the author of the book “Designing a Chinese Cultural Center in India”. Shilpa has a Masters in Design Studies degree from Harvard University. For feedback and questions, please email [email protected]