I asked her what tribe you with, red dot or feather? Actually, I didnt, that would have sounded mad racist

I asked her "what tribe you with, red dot or feather?" Actually, I didn't, that would have sounded mad racist

So as you may know, your boy B St. Arruh is getting a little long in the tooth. Not the young buck I once was. I’m one of those people who now have to ask others what popular slang means, and I think it sounds silly, because back in my day, we called it….And then will misuse it in a sentence. “Yep. really wavey right now. I’m on a boat. It’s pretty nice.” Yeah, I’m that guy. And as with most guys my age, we start thinking about marriage more and more seriously. Fortunately, there’s been no shortage of news in the media related to marriage in the past couple weeks. So the next couple issues, we’re going to delve a little further into this marriage thing. There’s been some good stuff out there as far as whether men really want to get married in the first place, why some people have such miserable marriages, and of course, why Richard Jefferson skipped town on his little bride. We’ll get into that later.

But what about actually getting into a marriage. I mean is dating the way we go about it really the best way? You put on your good shirt. Grab your boys and go out to whatever the happening nightspot is, drink lots of alcohol, flirt with women, and then go out on dates with them. You start having sex, and she asks where this is going. Not wanting to give up easy access to sex as you please, you decide you can deal with her personality and on balance like her as a person, so you make her your girlfriend. You keep at this for however long, until the shine wears off and one of you decides it’s time to head for greener pastures, leaving the other heartbroken and destroyed. Cars are keyed, vases are thrown, but after a brief mourning period, you rinse and repeat. You do this for a while until you’re too old to go to those same clubs and you don’t understand the slang anymore and the parental units start dropping hints that they’d like a grandchild to spoil. And by then you happen to be dating someone, and they pretty much meet your qualifications. You can overlook whatever (insert bad habit, crippling personality flaw, disgusting physical feature, etc here). And there you go.

I was having dinner with some corporate folks the other day and my econ professor was there, and somewhere into the third bottle of wine, we got into the topic of marriage and he suggested we try the Indian method of marriage. As an economist, he was familiar with the divorce rates, and thought it would be a perfect solution to the marriage woes in our country. Woah, woah, woah. Arranged marriages? That goes against everything that’s good and right with this country! It’s anti-American, anti freedom, and anti-apple pie! We don’t want your Al Qaeda marriages over here! But then, one of my friends, who is Indian, explained what actually happens. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not so much that parents barter their daughter away for a negotiated number of cows, and delightful silk Saaris, so much as they act as sort of an advanced level matchmaker. When their yung’uns are of marriage age, they find out who in their circle has a similar age yung’un and they set them up on a date. The two actually do in fact date, but they do it a hyperaccelerated velocity compared to the American manner. The first date is often something akin to a pre merger due dilligence meeting. Making sure the other person is of the same bent, social class, and general wavelength. You find out what their occupation is, how much money they make, how many kids they want. Things that we think of as terribly rude to bring up on a first date, but think about, it. I mean these are all dealmakers or dealbreakers in a marriage, so why would we continue on if the answers are wrong. If you make it to the hird date, your fourth is pretty much picking out rings at Zales. From an NYMAg article a few years ago from an Indian woman:

I’ve never heard from an Indian man the New York beg-off phrase “I don’t think I’m ready for a relationship right now. I have a lot of things going on in my life.”Indian men also seem to share my belief that Westerners have made the progression toward marriage unnecessarily agonizing. Neal, a 35-year-old Indian lawyer I know, thinks it’s absurd how a couple in America can date for years and still not know if they want to get married. “I think I would only need a couple of months to get to know a girl before I married her,” he says.

In more traditional arranged marriages—which are still very much alive and well in India—couples may get only one or two meetings before their wedding day. In America, and in big Indian cities, a couple may get a few months before they are expected to walk down the aisle, or around the fire, as they do seven times, in keeping with Hindu custom.

But I’m not sure how well that would work out here. I think to some degree Indians are much more pragmatic. They get married because it’s the thing to do to start a family and they learn to love each other. They go into marriage seeing it as a duty and something to work at, whereas we have these hollywood-fueled dreams of passion, romance, and the best sex we’ve ever had with someone who’s more attractive, smarter, and sexier than anyone else in the world. I’ll talk about how narcissism kills relationships later. But for the purpose of this conversation, it means we’re always on the hunt for a better deal. We dismiss people from our relationship lives for the most insignificant of reasons. Too short, too fat, not good looking enough, doesn’t dress well enough, yada ya yada ya. If the dude ain’t Barack, and the chick ain’t Beyonce, we throw them back into the river because there’s always the chance something better will come along.

Latika!

Latika!

For some Indians, the conundrum is exacerbated by the fact that our parents had no choice for a partner; the only choice was how hard they’d work to be happy. My father saw my mother once before they got married. He loves to shock Americans by recounting how he lost sight of her at a bazaar the day after their wedding and lamented to himself that he would never find her again, as he’d forgotten what she looked like. So while we, as modern Indian women, eschew the idea of marrying without love, the idea that we’re being too picky tends to nag even more than it otherwise would.

What I do like about the idea though, is the ruthless efficiency of it. We’ve all wasted time, years maybe even, dealing with a person who we knew we wouldn’t end up with. Is this not the definition of insanity? I mean, I’ve done it. It seemed fine at the time. It was comfortable, and you like the person well enough, and you don’t want to hurt their feelings. I broke up with a girl once, and she couldn’t understand why. We had such a great time and all, but I explained that I didn’t see a future. She was like, “well, it’s not like we have to get married or anything.” And I started thinking, well if I’m going to not date other people, and we both know this isn’t going to work out, then well, what are we doing? So, from now on, I’m going Indian dating. I’m only going to date women I could see myself getting married to. If not, I will explain to them that their other options are friendship or casual sex, or neither, and they can go about their business while I try to find a more suitable wife. Who will join me?

Thts fried chicken, curried chicken, damn Im getting fat.

Tht's fried chicken, curried chicken, damn I'm getting fat.

Comments
  1. Jubilance says:

    So when I read this post I immediately thought of my brother. He met his wife through his wife’s father, who went to the same mosque as my brother. Essentially, my brother’s FIL thought my brother would be a good young man for his daughter, & suggested they meet & court with the intention of marriage. They got married 2 years ago, just had twin girls, and are very happy.

    I think Westerners put way too much emphasis on the love factor. What’s the point of loving someone if you are completely incompatible and don’t/can’t get along? You can grow to love someone, but can you grow to be compatible with someone? I dont’ know about that.

    I think dating with the intention of marriage is a great idea, but when I told a couple folks that was my plan, I got hit with “why are you limiting your options?” or “you could be passing up your husband & not even know it”. My whole thing is about the time factor though. I’m done with the “dating just to date/have something to do/get free stuff/etc” stuff. I’m bored with it, frankly. And I dont really want to put time into a guy who not only doesn’t know if he wants to marry me, but he doesn’t even know if he wants to get married at all. I’d rather meet a guy that believes in the institution of marriage, is ready to make that commitment, and is simply looking for the right woman to make that commitment to.

    • Anna says:

      Yes. I don’t need you to propose on the second date – but I need to know that you are in a place where you’re open to the idea. Don’t waste my time, bruh!

    • TheSweetestThing says:

      So I’m just curious, how do YOU tell a man that you’re marriage minded? I’d think that 99% would run scared even if they are looking for the same. FTR, I agree with you. I went on a 1st date this week & asked him to skip how great he was,tell me your flaws…everyone’s nice in the begining!I too have wasted good years on bad people.
      I know indian ppl who say arranged marriage works, idk if I’d go that far, but a happy medium between arranged and tradional western marriage may work.

      • Jubilance says:

        I think we’ve all gotten the “so what are you looking for?” question.

        I’m just honest about it “I’m looking to be in a long-term relationship right now. I’m not interested in dating just to date anymore.”

        True, guys that arent ready to make the commitment to cell phone (much less a woman) are gonna run, but he wasn’t what I was looking for anyway. Cause I’m not interested in trying to convince a man that commitment is a good thing, I want/need one who has already decided on his own that commitment is a good thing.

        Getting those guys to run off just saved me some time & headache.

  2. Anna says:

    Is it just me, or does the last lady have a look on her face that says, “Damn I look good, but my parents are gonna kill me for this.”

    Sounds like you’ve added some purpose to your dating, RSB. Nothing wrong with that. It took some time and courage for me to just woman up and tell dates exactly what I was looking for. Not too sure about the man’s pov on this one, but a lot of us women were told that we should essentially just kick it and be non-demanding until he falls in love with us. Not sure which man came up with this, but they should be waterboarded, lol. When I went in with my eyes open and my goals and expectations on the table I was happier with the experience.

  3. Beth says:

    Thought-provoking post. I had a friend who made the same decision at age 23. It’s been five years, and she is single and very happy. I would say though that I don’t think the average American can learn enough about a person in a few months to know if the typical U.S. marriage would work. Right or wrong, we tend to define marriage differently than many other cultures (except, apparently, the Swedes, who also have a 50-plus divorce rate). I have four friends who married their college sweethearts in their early 20s and realized it was a mistake the day after the wedding. They didn’t know their husbands as well as they’d thought and were divorced by their mid-20s. One of them, who lives in Karachi and swears that “getting a divorce in Islam is way easier,” puts it this way: “You can work as hard as you want, but a huge part of finding a happy marriage is luck.” I’m not sure I agree with her, but it’s an interesting point of view.

    On a more serious note, I love that this post is tagged “I forgot what my wife looks like.”

  4. I’m with you! It’s too late in the game to waste time. I like the approach, but when someone explains that they’re in the business of dating to find a mate, the other person is most likely turned off or intimidated because we are so used to dating FOREVER and using the “let’s see how this plays out” method. I wish more people would adopt this way of thinking though.

  5. My whole thing is about the time factor though. I’m done with the “dating just to date/have something to do/get free stuff/etc” stuff. I’m bored with it, frankly. And I dont really want to put time into a guy who not only doesn’t know if he wants to marry me, but he doesn’t even know if he wants to get married at all. I’d rather meet a guy that believes in the institution of marriage, is ready to make that commitment, and is simply looking for the right woman to make that commitment to.

    I’m right there with you.

    I ask all of those “rude” first date questions on the first date.

    I’ve got a two week or 3 date time frame (whichever comes first) to decide whether or not this is going anywhere.

    If not…I’m moving on.

    I have four friends who married their college sweethearts in their early 20s and realized it was a mistake the day after the wedding. They didn’t know their husbands as well as they’d thought and were divorced by their mid-20s.

    That’s b/c folk don’t ask the right questions before marriage. I’ve known so many couples who are getting married and have yet to even have a talk about finances or how they plan on disciplining the kids.

    Many Westerners beleive love is the end all be all factor when it comes to marriage.

    It’s not.

    It’s a factor not the factor.

  6. […] time we stop with the insanity. Brandon St. Randy had a post up talking about the Indian way of marriage, where arranged marriages are still the norm and the more “progressive” dating process […]

  7. ebwriter says:

    Great article!

  8. […] time we stop with the insanity. Brandon St. Randy had a post up talking about the Indian way of marriage, where arranged marriages are still the norm and the more “progressive” dating process […]

  9. Felicia says:

    Well, yea..isn’t that the point of dating? Why waste your time if you know it will never amount to anything?

  10. […] time we stop with the insanity. Brandon St. Randy had a post up talking about the Indian way of marriage, where arranged marriages are still the norm and the more “progressive” dating process […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s