So I’ve been single many moons now, much to my mum’s dismay. She, like most traditional Indian mums, would like to see me get married pretty soon. I mean I’d love to get married, but I refuse to settle and bow down to cultural pressure. Basically, I won’t be getting married for the sake of getting married. But given that my mum is so invested in my romantic future, I keep her up to speed on any potential guys I come across.
Recently I started talking to a guy I met on a dating website and everything was going swimmingly. We were regularly chatting over WhatsApp, we’d spoken on the phone a couple of times, and we had our first date planned – or so I thought. The day before we were due to meet, he messaged me to cancel our date with the following excuse:
“I need to pick my mum and sister up from the spa tomorrow“.
Well, I mean it might have been a legitimate thing he had to do, but surely if you were interested in your potential date, you would ask your mum and adult sister to make alternative travel arrangements? Which just led me to believe the guy was chatting pure beans. So I politely replied, ‘no worries‘ giving him the benefit of the doubt here, even though I was dubious. Next thing I knew, his picture vanished from WhatsApp and my message had a delightful one tick. I’d been blocked. I wasn’t annoyed by his disappearance (just confused), because in all honesty, there were some red flags prior to this. That said, I always think it’s best to meet someone in person before reaching any conclusions.
But more entertaining than this guys lack of balls when it came to his vanishing act, was explaining the whole thing to my mum. My mum is a pretty traditional Indian mum and her response to this ghosting had me in giggles:
I had to repeat the whole thing about three or four times. Luckily for my mum, I wasn’t upset about being ghosted in this instance. The concept of ghosting is completing foreign to her. Like a lot of Indian women of her generation she had an arranged marriage, no dating shating beforehand – so I can totally understand why ghosting seems so alien.
“I don’t understand”
You and me both. Followed by several variations of lack of understanding in both Punjabi and English.
“You must have said something”
OK, so admittedly, I’m pretty opinionated, especially when it comes culture, religion and gender. But in this instance, I hadn’t said, or couldn’t recall saying anything potentially controversial. My mum is right to have suspected that I might have triggered a red flag if the guy was traditional, but we seemed to be on a similar wavelength – or so I thought anyway.
“Do you think his family did some enquiring?”
Now this one is a classic. And it’s pretty indicative of wider cultural problems. Usually in the arranged dating process i.e. when you’re dating with the intention of getting married, Indian parents like to do some digging. Not only will they dig into the background of any potential guy or girl you are seeing, but also their family. There are so many things wrong with this, it warrants a separate discussion. But I wouldn’t actually rule it out as something that might have happened!
Ah the joys of modern dating, or well a hybrid of modern/traditional dating in this case.