The real question that we should all be asking ourselves is “Are we ready to face a break up after engagement?”
According to Huffington Post, our brains reacts to a break up that same way it reacts to a drug withdrawal! We know that’s not a pretty experience for anyone.
In India, where arranged marriages are prevalent, a break up after the engagement is not just about dealing with our personal disappointment and dreams turning into a nightmare, it is also a loss of face for the entire family!
The only advantage that Indians have when they go through arranged marriage is that engaged couples are usually not in love before the marriage and that makes breaking up a little less emotional for the parties involved.
If you are planning to end your engagement or if you ever face this situation in the future, we have lined up 15 important things you should do in order to handle your break up after engagement. After all, every failed engagement should be seen as a temporary setback and not the end of the world.
15 things to do to manage a breakup like a boss!
Here is our comprehensive list of things you should consider doing once you choose to break off your engagement. We have included all the cold, calculated things you should do along with softer things that will help you cope with the breakup after engagement.
1. Communicate your decision to the other party
Once you decide to break up the engagement, make sure you communicate your decision to your fiance / fiancee and his / her family directly. Don’t leave hints and hope that they will get your message! If you are going through an arranged marriage, the communication can be handled by your parents.
Not taking calls, not showing up at a place when you have already made plans to meet, or radio silence of any sort doesn’t help your cause.
Be up front about why you want to break off the engagement and you are NOT obligated to let them down gently.
2. Seek the support of close family members
Thankfully, family members are a key part of arranged marriages and even love marriages (eventually). Unlike the western world, you may not be left to suffer the pain of going through a break up after engagement all alone.
In arranged marriages, breaking up after the engagement is a family decision and their support on this matter is granted once the decision is made.
It is important to seek the support of family members other than your parents or siblings who might be emotionally upset about the turn of events and may not be able to think clearly.
3. Be ready to report it to authorities
Depending on the reason for your decision to break up after the engagement, you should keep your mind about reporting the other party to law enforcement.
Especially in India, cases of dowry harassment or mistreatment of women by the fiance is not uncommon. In some instances, you may discover that your fiance is already married or has other illicit relationships.
In all such cases, you are better off reporting the incident to law enforcement. Don’t let pleading or appeals for mercy deter you from reporting it.
If you have had a sexual relationship after your engagement, there is a distinct possibility of the girl’s family filing rape charges.
4. Communicate your decision to friends and family
Once you have communicated your decision to your fiance / fiancee, it is important to make sure all your family members and friends are intimated about your decision to break the relationship.
This will help avoid embarrassing situations for you. You certainly don’t want a relative or friend to congratulate you publicly on your engagement (that you secretly terminated) or ask you about the wedding date!
People are curious by nature and anyone hearing about your break up will want to understand what really happened. Be ready with a consistent answer. Decide to what extent you will reveal the gory details and just stick to the same story once you have made up your mind.
If you are going through an arranged marriage and you are forced to end the engagement, the best strategy to move on is to destroy all traces of the engagement. In arranged marriages, engagement ceremonies are elaborate and family / friends are all invited. These ceremonies are recorded by multiple photographers and videographers in some cases. Make sure all copies are accounted for and destroyed.
If you are breaking off an engagement with someone you loved, you may find it difficult to erase anything and everything that will remind you of your failed relationship. Some people end up holding on to a few items as a memento or keep the items in a boxed up, never to be opened.
Our recommendation is to take a clean break and erase everything that reminds them of the relationship.
Don’t forget to unfollow / unfriend your ex-fiance / fiancee from all social media accounts and block their emails as well. You can change your phone number as well just to be on the safe side.
Elaborate engagement ceremonies in India always include a bevy of expensive gift items exchanged between the newly engaged couple and their families.
The best approach to deal with these gifts is to catalog the gift items you may have received and the gift items you may have given out in order to arrange an exchange with the other family.
Make sure there is a written evidence about the returned gifts in order to avoid future claims.
7. Make sure you cancel all wedding arrangements
When you end your engagement, it’s not a pleasant affair. It is natural to find yourself consumed by anger, grief, sadness and hopelessness about your situation. While all this drama is unfolding, you will probably lose sight of arrangements you or family might have made for the wedding.
These arrangements include marriage hall, caterer bookings, photographer, wedding invitation printer and in some cases travel books for you and your relatives. Make sure you cancel all these arrangements as soon as the decision to end the relationship is taken.
Document the financial loss you will incur when you cancel the wedding preparation and negotiate with the other party to make sure they assume equal responsibility for the monetary loss.
Even the Supreme Court of India supports the idea of reimbursing / sharing expenses if the engagement is broken off!
8. Handling the break up in a foreign country
If you are engaged to an NRI and you are living with him / her in a foreign country, things can get tricky if you choose to end the engagement while you are with your fiance.
The key to managing such situations is to make sure you are always in possession of your passport and some emergency funds that you can access if required.
You should also share your whereabouts with your family members. Ideally, if you have friends and family members in the country you are visiting, you should know how to reach them in an emergency. Being aware of how to contact emergency responders or local law enforcement in the country you are visiting is a must.
Did you know? The K-1 visa allows you to visit your fiance in the US.
9. Learn how to deal with rumors and gossip mongers
When you go through a break up after engagement, you are likely to become a victim of baseless rumors and gossip. Considering the fact that your engagement was well publicized, people will start assuming things or spread their own version of the events that lead to your break up.
The key to successfully dealing with rumors about your failed engagement is to stick to one version of the story and remain consistent with it.
Keep yourself busy and remember that there is no need to explain or clarify your situation to anyone other than your immediate family members. Rumors have a short lifespan if you choose not to respond to every rumor or becoming too defensive.
Are you being forced into a marriage you don’t want? Read our comprehensive article on how to say no to an arranged marriage. Click here to read more.
10. Breaking with one you love
Breaking up after engagement becomes a difficult and tricky affair if you were in love with the person you were engaged to.
Here is an extract from a scientific study that proves that break up with someone you were in love with is physically tough on you.
Neuroscientist Dr. Lucy Brown conducted an experiment in 2010, in which her team looked at the brains of the recently jilted with the help of an MRI machine. Participants were shown photos of both a platonic pal and a recent ex, and the brains’ responses to each photo were then compared.
Brown found that a photo of an ex activated the same brain regions that are stimulated when someone’s going through cocaine withdrawal.
The best way to handle such situations would be to stop looking for answers and run a personal inquisition to find a reason for what happened! You will be better off believing that it was not meant to be and move on with your life.
Also, remove every possibility of bumping into your ex as you go about your day to day life. Having a supportive family and good set of friends will be helpful as you grieve the loss and attempt to come out of it.
11. Don’t blame yourself
When people break up, they tend to introspect and invariably start doubting if they have an inherent flaw that led to the breakup. Remember that every relationship involves two people and for it to work, the two of you have to demonstrate compatibility. A broken relationship has many reasons and you cannot confuse incompatibility with your personal flaws.
Blaming yourself for a break up after engagement can have negative consequences for you. You may end up suppressing your opinion or ignoring bad behavior of your future partner just to avoid going through another breakup!
12. Take care of yourself
In the land of Devdas, we are used to seeing jilted lovers and people with failed relationships go into a tailspin by getting drunk, and acquiring a taste for other bad habits.
While it is OK to grieve the loss of a relationship and feeling bad when dealing with the “shame” of a failed engagement, you will be better off if you make a conscious attempt at taking care of yourself even after you break up after engagement.
Going out with friends, going on a holiday, working out, getting a manicure and pedicure, eating out, shopping, are some of the things that you should consider doing to regain your mojo.
13. Handle common friends with care
When you break up after engagement with someone you share friends with, you need to have a clear strategy to handle such friendships after the breakup.
First of all, if you force them to choose sides, you may end up losing their friendship forever. Remember this before putting a gun on their head! Be ready to deal with a double whammy of a broken engagement and lost friends in such a scenario.
Avoid trash talking to your common friends if you plan on venting with them! Try not to put down your ex-fiance when you are talking with common friends after the breakup.
Make sure your common friends know your boundaries as far as talking about your ex-fiance in the future. Communicate your expectations clearly and don’t be caught off guard later on.
14. Take a break from relationships
When you are injured, you take a break from your routine to rest and recuperate. The same principle applies to broken relationships.
If you believe your break up after engagement has taken an emotional toll on you, it is OK to stay off matrimony sites or dating sites for some time. Let your family and friends know that you are not ready to be “set up” again till you are ready.
Don’t let your zealous family members to pressurize you into saying yes to another match if you believe you are not yet ready to go through with it.
15. Learn from mistakes
Every failed relationship or a breakup after the engagement is a blessing in disguise. They give you an opportunity to identify some mistakes you may have made and correct them.
Some of the mistakes people make when they decide to get engaged include – Placing too much emphasis on the wedding ceremony and parties and ignoring the person; Ignoring red flags such as drinking habits or behavioral issues for the sake of keeping up appearances or family honor; Saying yes to someone just because your friends are married or engaged.
A break up after engagement gives you the luxury of avoiding the missteps you made the first time and keeping your eyes open when you walk into a relationship.
Indians are big believers in finding true love after marriage!
Finding love online is probably that the last thing your parents want you to do. But things have been changing so fast that you will be surprised at the speed with finding love online has taken off in India.
Here are some pointers that tell us why finding love online is a happening trend in India today.
a. The estimated value of the online matrimony market in India by 2017 is projected to be worth $250 Million, according to Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India. Parents are one of the most active and motivated users of matrimony sites!
b. Indians are also finding love online through dating sites. Dating is all set for a boom and the proof of this happening is the mushrooming dating sites and apps that range from matchmaking services to Tinder clones.
c. Let’s not forget that social media tools like Twitter, Quora, and Facebook has also helped Indians find love online. However, these connections don’t happen deliberately and are no different from you falling in love with a handsome, young man you bumped into at a mall!
That’s not all, Indians have not yet developed the social skills needed to find their soulmate on their own nor is it still acceptable to have casual conversations in public places or meet women in bars!
Dating sites, matrimony sites are capitalizing on this opportunity by making the process less intimidating and private to some extent.
Finding love through online matrimony sites
When you reach the “marriageable age”, the first thing your parents do is to create a biodata for marriage. They will share this document through traditional snail mail or through email. The idea here is to find people within your parent’s social network. Invariably this process is a hit or miss. Most likely, they will enroll in an online matrimony site.
There are plenty of choices available for you when it comes to choosing the right matrimony site. Here are a few simple questions you need to ask yourself to identify the site that best suits your requirements.
Answer the following questions and you will probably have a shortlist of sites that may work for you.
Answer these questions before you shortlist a matrimony site.
1. Would you prefer to interact with parents or with potential matches directly?
Most popular matrimony sites (Shaadi, Jeevansathi, Bharat Matrimony) have a large number of profiles created by parents. They do have profiles created and managed by prospective matches but you won’t find too many of them. If you want to directly interact with potential matches, you should look at the countless other sites that have sprung up in the recent past.
2. Are you very specific about marrying within your religion / caste / sub-caste?
Once again, the big three sites excel in helping you search within your community. You will also find regional / local sites that cater to specific communities (Example: Sai Sankara Matrimony in Chennai caters to the local Brahmin community).
3. Do you consider yourself “elite / high-net-worth individual”?
If you have a high-paying job or running a big business or you come from elite schools, you will find it difficult to meet someone who will meet your “standards” through traditional matrimony sites. You are better off taking the dating route or hire a matchmaker who specializes in providing services to rich / high-flying people.
4. Are you open to arranged dating before marriage?
Matrimony sites may not be the right option for you if you would like to date the person you shortlist before committing to marriage. You may have to look at other matchmaking options. Read on to find out.
Here is a list of online matrimony sites in India along with pricing information and customer reviews. Click here to read this in-depth article.
Finding love through online matrimony sites starts with finding a compatible person who meets all your basic expectations. You need to then really do that hard work before and after marriage if you have any hopes of converting finding true love.
Here is how online matrimony sites work.
1. Sign up to create your profile free of cost.
2. Complete your profile and upload a photograph.
3. Use the search feature to start searching for matching profiles.
Matrimony sites have mind-numbing search options!
4. Express Interest or send a message.
5. You will also receive notifications when other parents are interested.
6. Remember to also check out self-created profiles. You may be lucky to directly interact with a boy or girl. Don’t have your hopes high on this front.
Most profiles in matrimony sites are created by parents
Beware of these matrimony site pitfalls
There are several challenges you will face when you use matrimony sites.
First of all, you will be sold to at every turn to upgrade.
Matrimony sites want you to always upgrade to a premium service!
Sign up for the upgraded version only after checking out the free version.
Beware of con artists and charlatans using matrimony sites as their playground. Here is an extract from a recent news!
Con artists use matrimony sites to lure victims.
Finding love through dating sites in India
Young, tech-savvy men and women of India have easy access to smartphones, laptops, and other such easy-to-carry gadgets and they are always ‘connected’ and looking to try new things through trendy apps. Dating sites in India are capitalizing on this trend as young Indians in urban centers are hoping to find love online.
Here are three reasons that explain the phenomenal growth of dating sites in India.
1.Exposure to theculture of finding love before marriage: Westernization and greater exposure to the idea of not depending only on a chance meeting to fall in love have led to the growth of dating sites in India.
2. Increase in connectivity: The big jump in the smartphone usage (650 million in the next four years) along with mobile internet connections (354 million as of June 2015) has provided young Indians an opportunity to discretely find love away from the gaze of the families and with privacy.
3. International dating companies have opened shop: The entry of international dating apps like Tinder and the likelihood of other apps like Zoosk, OKCupid, Hinge, POF, and eHarmony entering the Indian market in the near future will see more marketing campaigns that will get more Indians to try the idea of finding love online.
There are plenty of local online dating apps and websites.
You can take a pick from many Indianised dating apps if you want to try your luck in finding love online. Truly Madly, Woo, Cogxio, Vee, are some of the dating applications in India.
Here is how most of them work.
1. Sign up.
2. Complete your profile.
3. Like people and wait for them to like back before getting connected.
Here is how Tinder works.
Dating sites make it easy for Indians to find love online.
Indian counterparts of Tinder have a more elaborate process to sign up and some of them place emphasis on validating profiles or use sophisticated matchmaking algorithms.
In addition to online dating, Indians in cities are finding love using dating / matchmaking services that provide a combination of online and offline services.
Sites like UrbanTryst, Floh, and Aisle provide an opportunity to create your profile and declare your expectations. They then match you with prospective dates in a casual setting or a group date. These are organized by the service provider around fun activities with the hope that cupid will strike at least some of their members.
Here is how UrbanTryst explains the process.
Hybrid matchmaking service providers have an elaborate process.
Online dating – Gateway to nightmares?
All said and done, online dating in India (and elsewhere) is fraught with major issues. Here are some you should keep an eye out for.
1. Do you really know who you might be meeting? Manipulation of personal data on online dating platforms is one of the biggest concerns for women. There is no guarantee that a man with whom a woman is interacting has shared genuine information pertaining to his identity.
2. Beware of stalkers and ‘players’. Stalkers, spammers, and verbal abuses abound on dating sites. Real life stalking is also a possibility and many women have had to face unsavory incidents of stalkers turning up on their doorstep.
3. You can always sign up but you can never leave! After having explored the world of online dating for a while, if a woman wishes to exit, she may find that parting ways is pretty difficult. The removal of her account from the dating website doesn’t guarantee that her profile will be disabled.
4. No means yes? Men in India still have problems taking rejection in their stride. There are countless cases of acid attacks, kidnappings, and other forms of harassment that goes beyond stalking. Bollywood also has driven home the point that if you try hard, every woman that says “no” will end up saying “yes”!
According to a research conducted by a marketing firm, Indians use Facebook, Shaadi.com.and Twitter to find love online.
The study also reported that 35% of Indians surveyed in a study reported that they found love online.
Surveys apart, there are some real life stories of how social media brough people together. Here is an example of how Twitter brought together these love birds who eventually got married!
Real life story of a girl finding love through Twitter!
Facebook and Twitter are not the only fish when it comes to finding love online. Ever heard of Quora, a Q&A site? Finding love on Quora seems to be ridiculous, but Indians (who are one of the most active users of Quora) seem to have fallen in love with other Quora members!
Here is a story of a girl who found her husband on Quora.
A real life story of a girl who found her husband through Quora.
Last, but not the least, Facebook has always resulted in connections that move beyond just being friends. Some of these love matches cut across international boundaries! Click here to read one such story of a woman from Orissa who married a Pakistani man, thanks to Facebook!
Choosing a life partner is about answering key questions
Choosing a life partner is arguably the most critical decision one takes as an adult. It is the determinant of most future happiness. You think I am exaggerating?
A study running since 1938 at Harvard backs me up. Dr. Waldinger, a clinical psychologist, has established that relationships with spouses (friends too, but spouses were emphasized) protects you against chronic disease, mental illness, and memory loss well into your 80s!
And whether you are Bill Gates or a street vendor, marital happiness can be a buffer against many of the slings and arrows of an outrageous fate. Case in point is Maharaj from Bombay. He doesn’t ask for a better job or more money despite many days when he walked home to just get his wife a Gajra. His only prayer appears to be asking for someone like Lakshmi to be his wife again!
Look around you. The best friend who is available 24X7 right now is going to move on with his/her life in the near future and you won’t be such a priority anymore? Mom and dad? Your roles will reverse in the near-to-far future with age and its host of health issues catching up with them. You will be the caregiver, not the taken-care-of.
Bottom Line: You have to start building your own little nest.
Besides, study after study establishes one thing clearly, marriage makes you happier than a 6 figure salary or a strong faith. Marriage also grants you good health. The catch is, it has to be a fairly happy marriage. Fighting is fine, maybe even great, but the connection to your spouse and trust in him/her is essential.
Surprisingly, marriage can give you wealth too. Marriage has been shown to consistently increase household income in a study conducted in the US. With both partners working, sharing housework and household expenses, this is a no-brainer.
Life is fun as a single person and free of all the complexity and the intrigue taking on another person and their family entails. But avoiding marriage to avoid these is like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The complexities will simplify, intrigues will disappear over time, leaving just companionship behind. At some point, you will want someone who has shared your journey and can understand everything you want to say without a single word being said.
The right partner will make the life seem worthwhile even through old age and ill health. Marriage really is an excellent long term investment, if done right.
2. When is the right time?
A very succinct answer to this question is, whenever the right one shows up. But, both society and biology conspire against us, pressuring us to settle with the one available right now rather than search for the right one.
If you look around you, the optimal age for settling down seems to be 20 – 30, lower end for girls upper end for boys. God forbid if you are even approaching the upper limit! Everyone from the maid of 30 years to the distant aunt you have seen twice in your life starts suggesting someone for you. Then there is the inevitable round of temples and dargahs and prayer/fasting regimes.
Biology doesn’t help either, Indian women are advised by well-meaning relatives to finish with childbearing before 30. The biological clock ticks on for another decade at least, and research supports 20 – 35 as the ideal childbearing age for women. But, even our Indian gynecologists want us to finish up by 30!
That possibly puts an upper limit on how long you can look and the age of marriage at roughly 26 for women and 28 for men.
Then there is the herd mentality to marriage. You are determined to enjoy the joys of singlehood as long as possible, but your friends, colleagues start dropping into the marriage trap one by one. Suddenly you find yourself alone or just on the periphery of your group on weekends, holidays and get-togethers and you slowly start thinking may be the right time to choose is Now.
When is the wrong time to get married? That is very easy. It is whenever you are feeling especially low or overwhelmed by the move to a new city, the job you dislike, the promotion you didn’t get and so on and so forth. Important decisions are best made when you are at peace with yourself.
Best time to choose a life partner is when you have the inner peace.
Let us say you moved to a new city and you desperately miss dad picking you from work whatever time you leave or mum having a hot meal ready to the second you step into your home. If you search for a life-partner based on your current frame of mind, you will end up with a chauffeur or a cook! Not that there is anything wrong with either profession, but does this correlate with your long term goals?
Working through the minor crisis, alone, builds character. And helps your confidence level.
3. Where to look for a life partner?
There are real two main camps for looking for a spouse, Arranged marriage and Love marriage. That is one where your parents help you in choosing a life partner and one where you are totally on your own.
Typically arranged marriages start with the rather embarrassed girl or the equally embarrassed guy dressed in their adult best, a saree for the girl, suit for the boy, walking to the local photo studio for marriage biodata photos is still very much a fact of life these days.
The pictures travel more widely than the boy/girl probably would, with pictures posted on popular matrimony websites seen everywhere from Timbuktu to Kalamazoo. They also make their way to various marriage brokers, temples where the retired aunts and uncles meet for spiritual upliftment, social connection, gossip and matching making for their infinite brood of young relatives.
Basically, at the start, finding a spouse via arranged marriage has remained the same, except for expanding the horizon to search for the right one.
But the actual marriage has modernized considerably, the days of setting sight on your spouse for the first time at the wedding ceremony are long gone. Nowadays, both the girl and boy are presented with a pool of potential candidates. Both are given an opportunity to communicate both face-to-face and by phone and email before deciding. The onus of identifying the list of potential candidates falls on the parents in an arranged marriage.
An American study by Dr. Pamela Reagan, comparing arranged marriage and love marriage found the level of marital satisfaction to be exactly the same! Read this interesting post comparing love marriages with arranged marriages in India.
The world is your oyster if you choose to go the love marriage route. Dating websites, overseas assignments, vacations, the right partner could be anywhere, right? Wrong. We are built so that familiarity breeds attraction. Most of the time you fall in love with someone familiar. Familiarity changes strangers to friends and potentially something deeper.
Attraction may be magnetic, but we ourselves are not magnets. Human nature being what it is, we are frequently attracted to those similar to us. Despite the seemingly wide gulf between the approaches, the net result is the same. You end up with someone in the same socio-economic class with similar education, caste and creed.
Look at how many boys and girls from IITs or IIMs end up with a spouse from the same institute. Similarly, workplaces are popular hunting grounds for finding your life partner.
Even if you decide you are going to hunker down and focus exclusively on work and keep personal life separate, well-meaning, meddlesome co-workers will keep nudging you until you first look, then fall. That’s life.
You can take a liberal society away from arranged marriage, but you cannot escape a quasi-arranged marriage in any society!
4. What to look for when choosing a life partner?
We are in the age of equality now, way past the time when the man provided security and woman took care of the house. Earning potential in a man should be above a baseline, but it is not the most critical trait to look for in a partner. Similarly, it is nice if the girl can cook and do household work, but it is definitely not her most important qualification.
Nowadays the girl wants a boy who is nurturing and willing to share in the household work. The boy wants a girl who is well-educated and can pitch in and help with all the dreams and aspirations of life in these modern times.
Psychologists suggest looking for a partner who is socially responsible, respectful and emotionally supportive. Someone who:
Takes care of their parents, siblings and friends when needed.
Is willing to help another person in need will definitely do the same for you.
Treats people with respect is bound to treat you and your people with respect.
Has the emotional intelligence and will be there for you through all the ups and downs.
And if the person can communicate well? Jackpot!
5. Who is the right one?
Decades-old psychologist research says, the right one is someone who generates a sort of Trikonasana of the heart: Touching all three points of the love triangle :
Intimacy: The person with whom you feel a deep connection, someone to whom you pretty feel close, regardless of how long you have known him/her. This is the someone you will gladly share your first and only cup of coffee in the morning. This is the someone whose fight with his/her boss rouses the lion in you for protection. The someone you will defend to parents, siblings, and best friend. Ultimately someone who will offer you emotional support and lean on you in a crisis.
Passion: The person who you find attractive definitely, but also the one who shares your passions. An animal rights activist and a fur coat fashionista don’t belong together! On the other hand, someone who takes your passion and makes it their passion is a definite yes. Passion is the driving force for any romance.
Commitment: Someone who makes a conscious decision to stay with you through good times and bad. And vice versa of course. Commitment to each other grows slowly with time, but it is essential to get past the first few fights you have.
When you are choosing a life partner, the initial drive is the passion or the chemistry that drives your attraction. This will fade over time but the intimacy will deepen. The ability to listen deeply to each other, define common values, convey and understand each others needs all are signs of deepening intimacy.
Commitment is essential to maintain the relationship. Like Michael Simmon says, marriage is hard work, the right person is the one who will inspire you to put on the hard work and energy to make it a great life.
Your friends and/or family can present you with a line of candidates with the right combination of good looks, education, socio-economic background and every other small and big trait that could go into making the right life partner for you. But, not one of them and no amount of psychology or predictive mathematical model or IBM Watson or Google’s DeepMind can correctly guess or help you in choosing a life partner!
But always remember, choosing a life partner is only the first step. Both of you will have to invest time and energy in each other to make a good life of it.
The right person also understands despite all the hype, marriage is not melding of two souls. You will always remain two individuals, but two individuals who share a deep abiding bond. To quote Gibran “Let there be spaces in your togetherness…The oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
Choosing a life partner: Get started on your journey!
It is obvious to us viewers of the play that the sharp tongue and wit Beatrice shows can only be matched by Bernard. Though they start the play despising each other and the idea of marriage in general. His friends and her friends conspire to set them up. The time being right for them, they quickly develop such intimacy that Bernard takes her side when her friend is unjustly maligned and agrees to duel his own kinsman! Everything finally works out and they end up happy and together totally overshadowing the main romance, that of Claudio and Hero.
This also goes to show how important humour and a sense of fun is in choosing a life partner, Hero/Claudio are bound by boring things like honour and reputation while Beatrice/Bernard engage in the most delightful word duels.
Here is a simple how-to list to get you started on the journey to choosing a life partner.
First and foremost look deep within yourself and find your weakness, strength and priorities. This will give you clarity in coming up with the initial list of possibilities.Second, perform Tim Urban’s Traffic – Test on anyone who interests you. Is this person interesting enough to make you want to thank a traffic jam for allowing you to be together longer? To pass this test, the other person needs to be fun, have a great sense of humor, know and respect how your brain works and finally share a good number of your interests, activities and preferences.Third, look at the other person’s flaws and see if you find them acceptable. You may work on your flaws and eliminate them or acquire others, but, at this moment, you are defined as much by your flaws as by any of your sterling qualities. Your life partner must accept you as you are, not take you on as an improvement project. And of course, vice versa.Fourth, take your time. Don’t let the amount of time this is taking get to you. Always remember it is better to spend time choosing a life partner than wasting time regretting the one you ended up hastily choosing.Fifth, and finally, Lean-In! Take the help of your near and dear ones to decide on the one, who will, with time become nearest and dearest to you!
Just the phrase “Dating Indian Men” is enough for a tumult of reactions, much like shouting “Fire” in a crowded area.
Some people will run away to avoid getting into a discussion; Some will just stand and watch, the rest will have opinions ranging from “What brutes they are!” to “What misunderstood poor souls they are!” and everything in between; Some of us will go on a tangent with comments like “Why date? Just marry?” and “Against our ancient culture”, and of course, the inevitable “From Sita to Draupadi, the woman is the source of all problems, even with dating.”
There will also be quite a few declaring that the problem is not the Indian Men, it is the Indian Woman, leading the poor lamb on and abandoning him at the altar of parental approval.
We are going to mostly leave the women alone, ignore societal norms as far as possible and just focus on the good, bad and ugly aspects of dating Indian men. In the interest of leaving the page with a warm, fuzzy feeling after an enlightening read, let us just get the ugly out of the way first!
This is doubly true for Indian men, they have not quite evolved from the pack foraging stage of Gorillas. In fact, given the unshaven look preferred since Premam, you could be forgiven for thinking Gorillas have moved into Indian cities! They move around in groups – A gang is most apt, considering their collective behavior. They even cross the street as a gang! Isn’t that taking“One for all, all for one a little too far?”
A group of Indian men
The gang will produce a lot of background music, cat calls and snippets from popular songs, to accompany the poor sod’s clumsy attempts at asking you out on a date. Be assured every gesture, every word, every smile, every look of yours will be dissected, none too gently, once you are out of the picture. Of course, they will not accompany the “chosen one” on the date, but they will hover in the background.
Every attempt to continue the conversation post-date will be a competition for attention between the wolf-pack and you. You might even correctly surmise, the wolf pack is guiding the conversation at his end post date!
Ego and the Indian man are blood brothers
Every (He)Indian man thinks it is beneath his dignity to admit he actually wants to enjoy your company and wants to get to know you better or that you have other better options out there.
His ego and his gang insist he is God’s answer to you, if not all women kind.
I would say some 80% of potential romance with Indian men breaks down at this stage.
What are you doing?
If the romance continues, the next showing will be the light-green monster, the brother of jealousy (he is the dark green one), Mr. Possessiveness.
He will want an account of every second you are not together. He will want to know the composition of your friends groups, how many girls, how many boys, how many of them have hit on you, how many have you viewed favourably and so on and so forth. You get the picture, right?
What are your intentions or do you know his intention?
If you possess all the right qualities, the caste/creed/education/social strata his mother would approve of, he will decide you are the only one for him. You would have hardly had the time to draw a breath and settle into the comfortable and exciting “getting to know each other” phase of your relationship when he starts pushing for a lifetime warranty.
If you, justifiably, decide you need more time to get to know each other, you will find both he and his cronies are labeling you as “fast” and questioning your motives.
19% of romance fails at this point.
If you don’t possess all the right qualities? He is probably just looking for a final fling before settling down with mama’s choice.
One day soon, like Angela says, “He is going to come to you and say, “We don’t have a future together” and break it off. Before you invest too deeply in a relationship, find out where you stand!”
Can you put up an act?
Let us say, you are still on, now comes the final deal breaker. He wants you to meet his parents his siblings, his friends, his favorite teacher, practically everyone! But here is the nub: he wants you to impress everyone, for whom, he has the slightest regard or affection.
He wants you to suddenly become a chameleon, docile potential bride to his mother, cool indulgent brat to his siblings and cool sophisticate to his colleagues, an endless list really. All your “cute” traits – the somewhat loud laughter or your messy hair, become liabilities as you go about meeting his “people”.
I guess it is good to remember the advice the sage gave to the king, “This too shall pass!” If you can see past this nutty stage, you will go on to something more conventional, perhaps even beautiful.
Dating Indian men: The bad
One cannot in good conscience lay all the blame for the nightmare that is dating Indian men at the door of the man alone.
The concept of dating does not exist here. Marriage exists and the marriage is between two families, not between two individuals. The head of the family decides who and when one should marry, keeping Patriarchy well and truly alive.
The net result? As Rishab Goel says, “Indian men have no clue about how to approach woman or talk to her or what makes her tick.”
Indian men ARE mama’s boy, how can they be anything else but? Remember how thrilled a mother is when the baby takes her first step? Well, the Indian mom carries it into adulthood. I have the best story to illustrate this.
A Chennai mom instructs a mom in Jaipur on the intricacies of making Idli/Sambhar for her son studying in Jaipur. The mom promptly makes a batch and delivers to him in his college. Similarly, the Chennai mom learns to make Ghatiya over the phone and delivers it to the Jaipuri son in Chennai.
I hope the current generation is somewhat nauseated by the advertisement but there were, undoubtedly, quite a few moms (with college age son(s)) who shed a few sentimental tears.
Been there, done that maxed out
The ultimate reason for all the tribulations in dating Indian men? The inherent cultural superiority complex in every Indian, especially male!
Nuclear weapons? We had it in Ramayana days, just read the book. Cure for cancer? Sushrutha had it, you just need to rediscover it. Any metal to gold? Please! How do you think the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple acquired so much gold? It makes Indian men opinionated and insufferable especially when they are trying to establish what a great catch they are.
Dating Indian Men: The Good
Hey, if you are trying to find out about dating Indian men, you probably are looking for more than a fling, you want to find the ONE. Even according to the oracle of the modern days, Wikipedia, dating is a social construct for finding a suitable partner for marriage.
It’s a whole new world
The difficulties in the path to self-sufficiency in a new country or new city where they have found employment, Women colleagues performing parallel roles in software jobs, Advertisement like the one from Ariel #ShareTheLoad are making Indian men sit up and realize they need to do more than be a couch warmer at home.
Well-heeled and respectful
The cache of Indian men is increasing in the western countries too, they tend to be well educated, well employed, and stick to the centuries-old tradition of living within their means. As for the curse of being a mama’s boy, if he is nice to his mom, he is going to be just as nice and respectful to your mom and as the days progress, no?
He will certainly be nice to you too when you are a mom and you are battling your son/daughter over the zillion issues that befall motherhood. Unlike your in-laws, he will not think you are a devil for disciplining your child.
Equality is the new macho
Aswini Asokan’s husband famously stayed home when their first child was born while she continued to climb up the ladder at Intel. Now, they are co-founders of Mad Street Den, an Artificial Intelligence startup in India. Men, even Indian men, are increasingly viewing women as equal partners. And it is about time too, this, after all, is the land of Ardhanareeswaran.
As for the macho, I will take care of you attitude, why not? A little tender, loving care is good for the soul. The rest can always be trained away!
Dating Indian men and reeling the right one in!
Let us get down to the basics here ladies. We are biologically nesters. At the end of the day, we are in this game to find our mate and build our nest. You are also reading this here, in the Jodi Logik blog, because you are want to settle down, with the one. There are three steps to reeling your ONE in:
Step 1: Studying your prey
Look beyond the obvious things like looks, education, social strata. Can he make you laugh? Can he admit to being wrong? Does he make your friends feel comfortable? If yes, it is time to his is study the prey.
Identify his likes and dislikes and if you don’t share any, learn about a handful of his likes. As bad as it sounds, this is not being manipulative, it is really just trying to look through the other person’s glasses. Besides, it is always good to learn new things, acquire new skills.
My aunt learned a little about cricket after she was married to my uncle, an avid fan, and a decent player. 40 years later, they still watch matches together with a shared understanding of the nuances of the game.
Study his friends, Identify the close ones and get to know them better. Men are very good at retaining friendships, it is possible that you will remain close decades from now. Identify his favorite movies, books and music. They may not match your tastes, but they will provide a deeper insight into his character.
Step 2: Prepare your bait
Now that you have studies your prey quite well, it is time to prepare the bait. Share him very generously with his friends, even hang out with his closest ones.
Show a nuanced understanding of his books and his movies. If all he likes is “Gravitational Waves” at least be prepared with Sadhguru’s response to the concept of time and space!
Definitely share your passions. It is ideal to establish your own individuality from the get go, not down the road. Go out with friends to the mall and do both, arcade games and shopping. Head out to beaches and places with adventure sports as a group.
Step 3: Reel them in
You thought I would talk about reeling in the guy, right? Reeling the guy is easy-peasy, it is the mother and other relatives who pose a challenge!
You want your future MIL to think you are the ideal catch for her darling baby, not just accept you as her son’s choice. For this one relative, subterfuge is OK. Every mom starts as the center of her son’s life. Slowly as the child gets older, she moves to the periphery of his life until at some point it feels like she has no connection with him at all!
Daughters realize mom’s worth better when they enter the same phase of life. It is just good Karma to please the future MIL. Besides, it earns you a lifetime of brownie points.
Meet the siblings and close cousins first, preferably amongst friends. They can help you figure out what she would like, dress sense food, and general behavior. Then, finally, meet her in a public setting as just a group of friends getting together for some real or concocted reason and wow her.
But first, get your head out of the clouds, and prepare for the tribulations of dating. After all, you will find the diamond only in the rough! Any sensible woman should do the following when going on a date for the first time.
1. Do anything that’s acceptable to you. Draw a clear line about what you will do or what you won’t and always stick to your guns.
2. Do dress attractively. Don’t dress provocatively.
3. Do have your cell phone with you on dates, charged and GPS on. don’t give your friends a running commentary during the date.
4. Don’t give your friends a running commentary during the date!
5. Do meet in public places, don’t meet in a bar.
6. Do be romantic, don’t indulge in public displays of affection.
7. Do go out with his friends, don’t go out with a group of just his male friends.
8. Be prepared for the vagaries of the weather and the volatile conditions in Indian cities, where a bandh might break out at any moment for any reason.
9. Always make sure someone knows where you are and how to get to you.
Young men and women in Chennai are trying their luck through dating apps and there are plenty of apps to choose from. People relocating to Chennai from other cities as well as expats working for the many multinational companies may find things difficult when it comes to even choosing the right place to go on a date. Fear not, Chennai is packed with awesome places to go on a date. Here is why dating spots in Chennai are awesome!
People relocating to Chennai from other cities as well as expats working for the many multinational companies may find things difficult when it comes to even choosing the right place to go on a date. Fear not, Chennai is packed with awesome places to go on a date. Here is why dating spots in Chennai are awesome!
Fear not, Chennai is packed with awesome places to go on a date. Here is why dating spots in Chennai are awesome!
Here is why dating spots in Chennai are awesome!
Chennai is blessed with a coastline with acres of beaches!
Chennai’s warm weather makes it an ideal outdoor place.
Chennai has a long list of amusement parks and resorts that dot its coastline.
There is no dearth of restaurants and hangout spots no matter what your budget is.
There are truly unique towns and trendy places to check out in and around Chennai.
We have picked the 17 best dating spots in Chennai for a perfect date! Here is the list.
1. Theosophical Society
This is a great place if you are a nature lover. Lots of greenery and trees to “get lost” from the prying crowds! The drawback is that it is open only for limited hours during the day. Entry is free and you need to park somewhere outside. This place is by far the best among all the dating spots in Chennai if you can stay on top of when they keep the park open!
Binh Huynh / Flickr
Marina is the oldest and a well-known spot for cozying up with your love interest. The only disadvantage is that you can never get away from the hawkers selling “sundal” (steamed legumes with Indian spices and coconut). Be wary of the cultural police or sometimes cops out to enforce Indian traditions.
Elliot beach is supposed to be less crowded compared to Marina beach, this location has also caught up in terms of the number of visitors. A slightly upmarket crowd compared to Marina beach. Watch out for elderly couples and men looking out to enforce Indian traditions and culture.
3. Besant Nagar
R Shivaji Rao
Besant Nagar is a residential place adjoining the Elliot’s beach. There are plenty of restaurants catering to every budget. In addition, there are coffee shops and ice cream places if you would like to keep it simple on a first date. The advantage of Besant Nagar is that you can combine a visit to Elliot’s beach with a dinner date or just stroll along the tree-lined avenues. Some streets are more crowded than others. The funny thing is even in secluded streets, you will find security guards sitting outside the gates of the palatial homes they are supposed to be guarding!
DakshinaChitra is also located on the East Coast road adjoining the sea. This is a mini Disneyland for South Indian culture and lifestyle. You have replicas of different styles of homes from south India, art and even artists selling their wares. A great place to discover culture in a serene and calm surrounding! DakshinChitra will give you both plenty of opportunity to bond in the midst of exquisite art and architecture.
5. Amethyst Cafe
Chennai has its share of chic and trendy cafes that provide a great setting for a date. The Amethyst Cafe in the heart of the city is an oasis of greenery that not only serves food but also sells cool stuff from leading fashion designers in India. They even have a flower shop! This is an ideal place to take your date and spend a few hours forgetting the fact that you are in Chennai!
6. Cholamandal Artists Village
As the name suggests, this is an artist village also located not far from Dakshin Chitra. You will find plenty of artwork here and the entry fee is also practically free. There is free parking to boot. However, this place is heaven only for the art lover. If both of you are not into art, you will be in and out in a jiffy. A great place to show off your artistic knowledge.
How about some boating to get some alone time? Actually, you may not be all that alone as there will be other boats around you. But if you are adventurous, you can hire the aqua scooters and zip around the lake that is connected to the Bay of Bengal. A couple of hours at Muttukadu can get you hungry before you head out for lunch or dinner. Remember to avoid boating during the hot summer.
8. Pulicat Lake
This is the second largest brackish water lake in India and has a bird sanctuary. Get yourself a pair of binoculars if you would like to watch birds! Make sure you pack some food and water as there aren’t any restaurants in this area. You can hire a boat from the local fishermen and enjoy the sunset while enjoying the boat ride.
9. Surfing Lessons in Covelong
There is no better way to break the ice and know your date intimately by taking up a challenging task together. There are a couple of surf schools in Covelong (a short drive from Chennai) that offer short courses for beginners as well as advanced multi-day courses. They are not cheap (upwards of Rs.1000) but is well worth the time! Check out their websites – here and here.
“Stone Carvings at Mahabalipuram” by Gowrishanker – Own work.
The legendary Fisherman’s Cove is not for the budget-minded couple! If you have deep pockets, then look no further than the Fisherman’s Cove. There are world-class restaurants that serve you amazing food on the beach and to top it all, there are live shows. Because this is a private resort, you will have acres of clean beach all for yourself.
12. Sport Fishing
Via Barracuda Bay
Sport fishing is a great option for an exciting and adventurous date! There are a couple of companies that offer sport fishing trips. They have modern boats and all the accessories you will need and they will also arrange light snacks for you on the high seas if you book in advance. You can book 2-hour or even 8-hour trips depending on how serious you are with fishing. A 2-hour boat ride and fishing should be good enough for a date though. Beware of sea sickness! If you are both adventurous, sport fishing in Chennai is a must! Among the best dating spots in Chennai if you enjoy the adrenaline rush.
13. St. Thomas Mount
This is a great place for a date if the two of you have tucked in a heavy meal at a restaurant and you want to continue the date and at the same time burn some calories! Located close to the airport, St Thomas Mount has a church on top. You can take the stairs for a nice workout and once you get up the hill soak in the views of Chennai or enjoy the beautiful sunset! You should count St. Thomas Mount among the best dating spots in Chennai if all you want is a heart to heart conversation.
14. Egmore Museum
The Egmore Museum is at the heart of the city and is a great place to get away from the crowds! During the weekday, you will have plenty of privacy to admire art and also get to know your date. The entry fee is next to nothing. Avoid going there on hot days as the air conditioning at the museum is not up to the job! The Egmore museum will count among the best dating spots in Chennai as it is close to a huge selection of restaurants at a walkable distance in case you have to take a break.
15. Anna Zoological Park
“VandalurZoo 18Aug2012 EntranceFountain” by Rasnaboy
This is closer to Tambaram, a suburb along the Grand Trunk Road which is a National Highway that takes you to South Tamil Nadu. You will have plenty of space to walk around the zoo or even hire rickety bicycles to check out the vast zoo. If you ignore the rather poor facilities (read clean toilets and lack of proper restaurants), it’s a great place to talk and get to know someone. The entry fee is affordable (Rs.30 per person) and you will be asked to pay Rs.25 if you are carrying a camera or a mobile phone that has a camera.
16. Amusement Parks
There are plenty of amusement parks in Chennai along the coast as well as along the Chennai – Bangalore highway. They are not comparable to the Disney Worlds or Universal Kingdoms of the world. However, they provide a convenient place to just chill out, spend some quality time together, and if you are done talking, enjoy some of the rides. Queens Land, VGP Universal Kingdom, MGM Dizee World, and Kishkinta are some of the popular amusement parks. The entry fee could range from upwards of Rs.200 per person.
17. Malls and Multiplexes
Interestingly, Chennai was once the retail capital of India and still continues to be a leading center for retail businesses. The mall culture came to Chennai way back in the 1990s with the Spencer Plaza opening its door. While Spencer Plaza now resembles an abandoned relic, the mall culture in Chennai has gained a lot of traction with mega malls like Express Avenue and Phoenix Market City. These malls boast international restaurant chains and world class multiplexes and are by far the most pleasant dating spots in Chennai with air-conditioned comfort! Not a bad idea if you have a date during the weekday.
Do you have suggestions on dating spots in Chennai? Share it in the comments section below!
Living with in-laws after marriage is an old tradition
In India, living with in-laws after marriage is a custom that women have to endure in many marriages even today. While it may work out well for some women, there are plenty of issues that come with this practice.
The origin of this practice dates back to the Vedas. According to the Vedas, Kanyadanam refers to the ritualistic “passing the baton” in terms of who is responsible for the well-being of the woman after marriage. She is considered to be under the care of her father before marriage and her husband takes over the responsibility after marriage.
Here is an extract of the Vedic chants made during the kanyadanam ritual:
“She standeth here, pure before the holy fire, as one blessed with boons of a good mind, a healthy body, life-long companionship, of her husband (Sumangali Bhagyam), and children with long life. She standeth as one who is avowed to stand by her husband virtuously. Be she tied with this reed-grass rope, to the sacrament of marriage!”
The father of the bride, while offering his daughter chants – “I offer ye my daughter, a maiden virtuous, good-natured, very wise, decked with ornaments to the best of my ability, that she shall guard the Dharma, Wealth and Love!”
Then the bridegroom gives assurance to the father not once, but three times that he will take care of her and will remain her companion for the rest of his life. This is the Hindu equivalent of “till death do us apart!”
According to Manu Smriti, a set of social and religious codes thought to be written in the second and first century BC, that continues to be the basis of many social practices in India even today,
“Where the female relations live in grief, the family soon wholly perishes; but that family where they are not unhappy ever prospers. The houses on which female relations, not being duly honoured, pronounce a curse, perish completely as if destroyed by magic. Hence men who seek (their own) welfare, should always honour women on holidays and festivals with (gifts of) ornaments, clothes and (dainty) food.”
That’s not all, according to the Atharvana Veda, “When a woman is invited into the family through marriage, she enters “as a river enters the sea” and “to rule there along with her husband, as a queen over the other members of the family.”
Interestingly, the Islamic view on living with in-laws after the marriage takes a much more liberal approach. You can read more about it here.
As you can see, there is a strong historical background behind the practice of women living with husband and in-laws after marriage. However, modern aspirations have always clashed with traditions resulting in conflicts.
Living with In-laws you hate?
Here is a hilarious incident that highlights the difficulties that women face after marriage from the in-laws.
A young woman in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, got into an arranged marriage. As expected, she moved in with her husband and in-laws.
She did not like the arrangement and stormed out of the house with her 4-year-old daughter to live with her parents. Her distraught husband comes running after her and convinces her to return. She agrees on one condition. Her husband should do all the chores and massage her feet every day!
The desperate man agrees. However, the in-laws don’t agree with the arrangement. They force their daughter-in-law to do all the work.
Daughter-in-law wants revenge.
She decides to pee on their tea and this unique practice is repeated for a year till the mother-in-law catches her squatting on top of the tea kettle!
8 Reasons why living with in-laws is a bad idea!
Here are eight practical challenges of living with in-laws.
The house has its rules: Every house has its rules. Be it where one can eat food, where the utensils can be washed, when and how the house has to be cleaned, laundry time and so on. Your in-laws have probably ‘managed’ the household for over 25 years and are set in their ways. You will have to either put up with their stated and unstated rules or risk disrupting the peace. Living with controlling in-laws looking at every move you make can be truly stressful.
Privacy matters: If you had grown up to be an independent woman, you will find that living with in-laws means there is no privacy anymore. Even your own bedroom is no longer out of bounds for your in-laws. What you keep in your cupboard can become scandalous. This lack of privacy can be quite unnerving for the newly wed bride. That’s not all, many Indian households don’t have enough space and walls are really thin!
Personal freedom: The first casualty when you start living with your in-laws is your personal freedom. Freedom to wear the dress of your choice, freedom to get up late in the mornings, freedom to skip breakfast and call in a favourite pizza, and the freedom to pile up the laundry suddenly vanish. You might as well be locked up in a high-security prison because remember that the house has its rules and you may have to necessarily fall in line.
Lifestyle choices: Lifestyle choices can also become a casualty when you start living with overbearing in-laws. The non-vegetarian food you crave, the way you drink your coffee, the newspaper you read in the morning, or even the TV programs you would love to watch and many other lifestyle choices and habits are now subject to ‘adjustment’ or outright censure. If you do things behind your in-law’s back, you may have a scandal on your hand if your “activities” are discovered.
For rib-tickling quotes about living with in-laws, click here.
Living space: If you have an independent living area in a joint family, you are blessed. Invariably, women find themselves living with in-laws in a two bedroom or a three bedroom house. This automatically means all common living spaces are shared and this impacts your personal freedom and privacy. Check out what women say in response to a question about intimacy after moving in with the in-laws!
Managing conversations: In any household, regular conversations between two people can easily spark unsolicited opinions or comments from the rest of the family members. In fact, innocent statements can be construed to be vicious and very soon women living with in-laws realise that every word they speak is subject to interpretation and comments.
Living with in-laws with child: The generational clash between the young parents and the “experienced” elders who had raised children before can spark tense encounters. Be ready to deal with the daily standoff with your in-laws about what is the right way to discipline a child, what is an acceptable practice or habit for the child, the extent to which rituals and religious activities should be taught to the child.
Living with elderly in-laws: You may have planned to ride into the sunset with the love of your life, but if you move into a joint family with elderly in-laws, your in-laws may be riding into the sunset and you will be the one carrying them! While caring for the elderly parents is considered to be a sacred duty in India, there is every chance that your life is hijacked by the chores you will have to do to care for your elderly in-laws at home.
But, it is not all gloom and doom. With the right approach, planning and mindset, it is possible to carve out an ‘independent’ life even when living with in-laws. The difficulties in living with in-laws can be addressed using a combination of common sense, empathy and decisive actions.
Living with in-laws after arranged marriage has always been the tradition in India. Some of these issues include lack of privacy, conflicts about how to take care of a new-born baby or raise a child, clash in values and lifestyle choices, managing the expectations of in-laws to name a few.
Living with in-laws is a good idea!
Here is a real life story that goes against the idea that living with in-laws is hell.
As a married woman, I must say I love to stay in a joint family. So far so good. I just got shifted to their place as got a job in the same city, while my husband lives alone (like a bachelor!) in another city! Touch wood for all the luck I have.
My in-laws are super understanding. I would not use the word interference as I generally discuss 95% my issues with them and seek guidance just like I do with my parents.
I would give full credits to my husband and my sister-in-law who support me even when they do not agree with my random decisions.
Advice for living with in-laws
Here are nine practical tips for living with in-laws after marriage.
Start with a positive mindset: Always assume your in-laws are there to support you and you are going to have a wonderful relationship for the rest of your life. When you start with a positive frame of mind you will have a greater capacity to overlook shortcomings. However, things can really go downhill if your in-laws don’t live up to your opinions about them. On the flip side, if you move in with your husband with the assumption that your in-laws are out to get you, you may end up blowing things out of proportion.
Find your private space: It is important to find your private living space if you can. There are many households with a private living and bedroom with a common kitchen. if you can pull this off, you will probably have a better chance of surviving! if this is not feasible, keep yourself busy during the day. If you are a career woman, that’s very easy. If not, you could always find opportunities such as enrolling in a course or volunteering.
Contribute to the family: When possible, please attempt to help your in-laws in day-to-day chores or other activities. This is a great way to score brownie points that you can encash. Your in-laws probably need help with their computer or smartphone and you can be the go-to girl on issues with gadgets they may be using or you take full responsibility for making breakfast once a week. Pick and choose areas where you are good and build goodwill.
Pick your battles: You should pick your battles so that you can win the war! When you start living with your in-laws you will find that they have a routine and have set preferences for doing even simple things like washing dishes or laundry. Don’t impose your preferences on them or expect to change their routines. In general, if you have to grin and bear with a different routine that really doesn’t harm you, let it be. Fighting pitch battles over trivial matters don’t help you.
When you sign up with Jodi Logik, you can declare your preference for living with your future in-laws! Create your FREE Jodi Logik biodata now!
Stay out of your in-law’s family issues: In a joint family, it is easy to get sucked into arguments between your in-laws or between your husband and your in-laws. When you see a heated argument that doesn’t involve you, it is better to stay away from it. Taking sides will unnecessarily create an imbalance in your relationship with your husband and your in-laws.
Carve out private time: You should have private time with your spouse either in the house or outside the house. This is critical to maintaining your sanity and your relationship with your husband. Weekly outings and periodic getaways out of town should be the norm. Resist the temptation of taking your in-laws with you when you go on outings! If required, proactively plan a get away for your in-laws. That will give you some alone time at home!
Remember to draw the line: You need to have well-defined red lines on what’s acceptable and what’s not. When you think you are being mistreated, you should first take it up with your husband and let him handle it for you. But if your husband is not supportive, you should fight for your rights. In any case, physical or mental abuse is abuse. Remember that and don’t tolerate it for the sake of anything.
Save more: While you may not be living with in-laws to save money, the joint family arrangement has some inherent advantages that you can benefit from. Maintaining a joint household means you keep more money in your pocket which would have otherwise gone into buying a house or a renting one for your nuclear family.
Get help in raising children: If you trust your in-laws, you will find it incredibly useful to have them around when you have children to deal with. Your father-in-law could drop your children at school while your mother-in-law will be at home to take care of them after school. That’s not all, your children will have a first-hand education on culture and family values from the doting grandparents.
Somebody said, “There should be a way to stay married to your spouse but divorce your in-laws!”. Till we figure that out, you will need a big dose of empathy and common sense to live with your in-laws!
Most women in India and elsewhere seem to prefer “tall, dark, and handsome” men when it comes to relationships. It’s not just women, look around, you will find tall men wherever there is a need to create a good impression. The average height of Indian men seems to matter a lot for all of us!
Go to any fancy hotel in India and you will be greeted by a doorman. Here is one doorman we found just in case you haven’t seen one yet!
if you are adventurous, you can venture to the Wagah border for the famous border closing ceremony that involves border guards from India and Pakistan performing a ceremonial ‘military-style dance’ before literally shoving the gates on each other. You will notice that the men performing the ceremony are all very tall.
Via: Estetika / Peter van Aller
Even Bollywood actors are tall (well mostly). The famous exceptions being Salman Khan, Amir Khan, Kamal Haasan to name a few. Check out the heights of all leading Bollywood men can be found here.
We can go on and on about the average height of Indian men and the preference for taller men in key walks of life.
So what why do women prefer taller men? Let’s look at what experts have to have to say about this.
1. Taller men indicate better health
If you observe the average height of Indian men when compared to that of men from other countries, Indian men fall short 🙂
Here is a chart that will show you where the average height of Indian men falls relative to that of men from other countries.
Notice that the average age of Indian men is the lowest in the group! Every country in the chart fares better in terms of health parameters.
Between 1914 and 2014, the average height of Indian men increased by about 3cm to reach 165cm (5’5″) while women grew taller by 5cm to become 153cm (5’1″). This leaves our men about 17.5cm shorter than the world’s tallest males in the Netherlands, while Latvian women, the world’s tallest, tower above our women by 17cm.
According to Scientific American, “About 60 to 80 percent of the difference in height between individuals is determined by genetic factors, whereas 20 to 40 percent can be attributed to environmental effects, mainly nutrition.” We can infer that there is a definite connection between height and the health of any individual.
According to another study by Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) and All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), on average, an 18-year-old child belonging to an upper-income family in 2011 is about 4.5 centimeters taller than in 1992.
Let’s also look at this chart (see below) of heights of men and women across major states in India. You will notice that in Kerela (which has a better standard of living), men and women are taller and are growing taller than a lot of other states.
2. Tall men earn more and are considered leaders
Malcolm Gladwell is a popular writer of thought-provoking books and is highly regarded. In his book, Blink, Gladwell writes about the implicit association test that highlights our inherent biases. We end up making up our minds for no rational reason. For example, in India, a fair-skinned person is more likely to be treated with respect in public spaces. Here is an extract from his book that talks about the results of a study on the average salary of men based on their heights.
“Not long ago, researchers went back and analyzed the data from four large research studies, that had followed thousands of people from birth to adulthood, and calculated that when corrected for variables like age and gender and weight, an inch of height is worth $789 a year in salary.
That means that a person who is six feet tall, but who is otherwise identical to someone who is five foot five, will make on average $5,525 more per year.
As Timothy Judge, one of the authors of the study, points out: “If you take this over the course of a 30-year career and compound it, we’re talking about a tall person enjoying literally hundreds of thousands of dollars of earnings advantage.”
While no comparative study was done in India, we believe the bias associated with tall men’s availabilities are universal.
“The results on partner preferences are a bit discouraging if you’re a short man. In general, women were more likely than men to think that the man should be taller and they didn’t want to be in a relationship in which they were taller than their male partners.
Unfortunately, in the area of personal satisfaction, there was some bad news from this study for short men, who reported being dissatisfied with their height.
These findings are consistent with the data from other studies showing that tall men enjoy an advantage in self-esteem and happiness.
Here again, the authors link the dissatisfaction of the shorter men to the fact that women prefer tall men!”
The early phase in any relationship or even in an arranged marriage process is driven by what we see rather than what we know about the prospective match.
We end up being judgemental about the person. For Indian women, the average height of Indian men matters a lot as it becomes a key part of the evaluation process when it comes to dating or marriage.
However, shorter men should not lose hope as personality and character should matter more than height once we get past the initial assumptions.
According to a study by by sociologists Jeroen Smits (Radboud University) and Christiaan Monden (University of Oxford), taller than average women in India are more likely to marry, get higher educated husbands with better jobs and are less likely to marry at a very young age or to lose their husbands through divorce or premature death.
Now that’s one reason why the average height of Indian men matters to women (at least the tall ones!).
Yes, there are rules for dating a musician! Now imagine what happens when you choose to marry one!
Marrying a musician will eventually become common
If you are in India and dating a musician, your parents might have already created enough drama to make sure you have fixed a wedding date. And now, you are marrying a musician!
Music happens to be a growing business in India. According to KPMG, the music industry in India will be worth over $300 Million in less than 5 years from now!
Bollywood music comprises 80% of the music industry and the rest includes regional and classical music as well as western music. As the music industry grows in size and reach, brace yourself for seeing the word “musician” in matrimony ads!
It is obvious that if you are planning on marrying a musician, you need to tune yourself to a different lifestyle after marriage!
We decided to listen to what famous musicians have to say about their marriages to draw important lessons that you will find useful and also figure out why it is difficult for musicians to have relationships and how to handle a relationship with a musician.
1. Learn to love traveling
Musicians, the world over, have one common challenge to deal with. They end up traveling a lot. Let’s say you are marrying a popular classical musician or even an upcoming classical musician in India. They probably are dabbling with playback singing for a couple of regional languages film industries or even mainstream Bollywood movies. Recording songs can take them places. One in a while they also need to travel to different cities for private shows.
You also have seasonal music festivals (such as the December Carnatic music festival in Chennai as well as the Thiruvaroor festival in south Tamil Nadu). That’s not all, musicians end up traveling abroad (especially to the US) where there is a strong demand for classical musicians.
So be prepared to either travel a lot get ready to take charge of the household when your spouse is globe trotting!
2. Be ready to be ignored
Being a musician requires a lot of hard work. The only difference is that the amount of preparation that successful musicians put in before major concerts and events are enormous.
They will be busy preparing for weeks at a time for an upcoming event and there is only one thing on their minds, i.e. music. Everything else, including you, becomes secondary!
Image Credits: Kayaniv
Here is what Bombay Jayashri, who sang Pi’s Lullaby in the movie – “The Life of Pi” had to say about her marriage and the difficulties faced by her husband.
“I think it was very difficult for my husband Ramnath to understand me for a long time. I don’t think it is easy because several days before the concert I go into a zone and nothing can shake me out of it. And once I have gone out, sometimes even I forget that there is someone out there waiting for me to come home. And when I am on stage I completely forget that I am a wife, a mother or a daughter. So to cope with all this and still believe in oneself is not easy for a spouse.”
3. Dealing with adoring fans
If you are marrying a musician known for looks and talent, be prepared to deal with hordes of adoring fans who really don’t care about the fact that your spouse is no longer single! You will have to deal with groupies as well as stalkers. Here is what Sonu Nigam, a leading playback singer for Bollywood Movies had to say in an interview.
Image Credits: Bollywood Hungama
“I started getting slightly popular, the female interest around me grew. I met with a lot of wonderful women of different mindsets, qualities, and nationalities.
During a concert tour in Israel, I first realized how popular I had become. As soon as we came out of the airport, the women who were swooning over Chunky Pandey left him and showered me with kisses. My face was plastered with lipstick. I quite enjoyed that phase. I still get a lot of female attention and like it. Who wouldn’t?”
Jealousy and suspicion can destroy your marriage. Marrying a musician requires an inherent ability to trust your spouse.
4. Your spouse and your parents
Let’s assume you are marrying a woman who is a famous musician. It does not change the equation your wife will have with your parents.The same tensions, prejudices, cultural issues that plague women in every other profession can come into play. Musicians don’t have a “get out of the in-laws” pass. Their hectic schedule and preoccupation can sometimes come in the way of performing family obligations that your parents might consider very important. Be prepared for some fireworks!
This is what happened to Asha Bhosle.
“When she was only 16 years old, she fell in love with 31-year-old Ganpatrao Bhosle; he was Lata’s personal secretary. Asha was resolute in her desire to marry him, and much against the wishes of her family, she eloped with him.
However, her married life to Mr. Bhosle was short-lived; after a few years with him, she returned to her mother’s house with her two children and pregnant with her third. Although the details may never publicly be known for sure, the stated reason for the collapse of the marriage was her mistreatment at the hands of her in-laws.”
5. Learn to love your spouse and her music
Image Credits: Bollywood Hungama
Researchers have found that couples that adore each other and put them in a pedestal tend to have a life-long relationship. This is true for musicians as well! If you are marrying a musician, be prepared to learn more about her music and what makes her talent special. Show your commitment to her by supporting her in whatever way you can. A supportive spouse is a sign of a mature, long-lasting relationship.
“He would often come after office to my studio if we were recording Shreya’s songs and our adda (jam) session and khana (food) would happen. I love his unconditional love for her. He knows her as a friend and that friendship is unconditional. He is a techie, an entrepreneur, loves music, is a wonderful person and is her biggest admirer and one of the most solid supporters of her in her life in whatever she does. He is besotted by her singing.”
6. Musicians and ego
When you are a successful musician, you will end up having trouble in managing your ego when things go south. This is true for any successful artist in any profession. Rajesh Khanna’s marriage to Dimple Kapadia is an example of how volatile relationships can become when things don’t go well.
Let’s take the case of Pandit Ravi Shanker. He was once married to another Sitar exponent, Annapurna Devi. In the 1950s, she performed along with Ravi Shanker and supposedly received more adulation than Ravi Shanker! Then, all of a sudden, she vanished from the limelight and took a backseat. Here is what she had to say about her vanishing act.
Image Credits: Alexandra Ignatenko
“Panditji (Shankar) was not happy, as I received more appreciation than he did from both the audience and the critics whenever we performed together in the 1950s, and that had a negative impact on our marriage. Though he never categorically stopped me from performing in public, he made it clear in several ways that he wasn’t happy with the fact that I was drawing more applause.”
7. Musicians are arrogant
Musicians are not born arrogant. Nobody is! It’s just that once they start becoming popular, they are worshiped wherever they go. They are no less than a movie star in a country that adores music. No wonder, they end up living in a world that is completely insulated from the reality. This translates into arrogance. You may have married a musician before she became famous or have seen through all these issues to marry a musician. But, remember to play your role in keeping everything grounded!
T.M. Krishna is a popular Carnatic musician. He is known for his articulate views on classical music and is an active proponent of classical Carnatic music. In an interview to The Hindu, here is what he had to say about musicians.
Artists are very easily arrogant because we have at least 50 people around us telling us we are the best in the world. We live in this bubble.
If you are grappling with the question – “Should you marry a musician?”, here is a simple takeaway:
Marrying a musician is no different from marrying someone from any other profession. However, before marrying a musician, it helps to be aware of their unique characteristics that are dictated by their lifestyle and work-related pressures. At the end of the day, marrying a musician requires the same amount of hard work and sacrifices that you will need to make in any marriage. Finding someone that can reciprocate the emotional investments and personal sacrifices you will be making will ensure that your marriage remains strong for the long term!
What do men want from women? Don’t believe in stereotypes!
Men are the most misunderstood creatures. This misunderstanding also influences what you believe you know when it comes to answering the question – what do men want from women?
You might think you have figured out how men think based on what you see around you, but you are probably wrong. Both men and women are victims of gender stereotypes. Here are some examples of assumptions people make about men:
Men are supposed to be successful in everything they do.
Men cannot cry, no matter what happens.
Men are supposed to be the breadwinner of the family.
Men cannot communicate or express their emotions.
Well, these assumptions are just stereotypes painted by the media and cultural practices. Men are guilty of believing in these stereotypes and reinforcing them by acting in such a way that it fits the profile of what everybody believes a man should do. These biases also skew our understanding of what do men want from women.
We are not making this statement just to shock women and men. We have strong proof to back our claim.
Men are no different than women!
Janet Shibley Hyde, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, concluded through her research that men and women are more alike than different based on a study that spanned two decades. Her paper, “The Gender Similarities Hypothesis” concluded that oversimplification of what we know about men causes problems in our relationship.
In this report, men and women were asked to respond to stressful situations while being told that their gender will not be revealed. Surprisingly, most men reacted less aggressively while women reacted more aggressively! This proves that if we are not self-conscious about our gender, our behavior is different!
The study also found that differences between men and women are not the same all the time. It varies based on the age and the stage in our lives which once again points to perceived role differences between men and women influencing how men behave. The fundamental premise for the question – “what do men want from women?” assumes that men are vastly different from women. This fundamental assumption is wrong!
How societies think about male and female roles
Target is a large retail chain in North America. They have products for everyone and for all ages. One customer tweeted this photograph (see below) and it went viral.
The customer was protesting at the practice of calling out “girl’s building set” implying that boys and girls prefer a different type of building set. Target reacted by phasing out separate boys and girls toys sections in their stores and making it gender neutral.
This is an example of how gender differences are reinforced by society and how things can change for the better. The gradual realization that men and women are alike should eventually make the question – “what do men want from women?” irrelevant. The question should always be “what does anyone want from a marriage or a relationship?”.
Stay at home dad?
Shelly Walia is an arts and culture journalist who writes about Bollywood, gender identity issues, Indian start-ups and entrepreneurs, and technology. She is a reporter for Quartz. One of her articles talks about the stay at home dad from Pune.
Atul Agnihotri is a 49-year-old stay at home dad from Pune. He is the “house husband” and his wife is the sole breadwinner in the family. Here is a picture of Atul Agnihotri and his family along with Aamir Khan.
Here is what he told Quartz about his life and his choice as a homemaker.
I finished my bachelor’s degree in production engineering from Pune University in 1988. Soon after, I started work and continued for five years. In 1993, I was married to Arundhati, my wife, who hails from Ahmednagar, a small town 60 miles from Pune. The following year, we had our daughter, Mrunmayee.
At the time, my father was bedridden. All of us lived in a small house, and being the eldest son, I started feeling very pressured. Nobody had forced me, but I knew I needed to arrange the money for his treatment, give my wife a better life by moving to a bigger house, and so forth.
I was all of 23.
My father’s health deteriorated. Matters went from bad to worse, and I started feeling helpless but found hope in alcohol. I started drinking sometimes. As my obligations increased over the next two years, I started drinking round-the-clock. I was out of control.
One of the darkest periods of my life was the day my father died. It was in 1996, and I wasn’t in my senses to perform the last rites. Somebody held my hand, somebody else supported me to stand on my feet, so that I could light the pyre. That day should have never come. I have no memory of seeing him for the last time.
As the procedure is, I was admitted for 35 days to break the cycle of alcohol and overcome addiction.
My wife was familiar with the recovery program. She wanted to be careful that there were no chances of a relapse. So, she offered me a solution: I could look after the house while she supported the family with her income.
I readily accepted her offer and today, I haven’t touched alcohol in 17 years. This inspired me to become an active social worker at the rehabilitation center. In fact, it was through Muktangan and a few media publications where I have been interviewed earlier, that Satyamev Jayate came across my name.
At the time, my daughter was very young. I gave her all my time. I would cook for her; drop her to school, the playground, tuitions, everything. And I think the upbringing has had a very positive impact on her. Today, she wants to be a social worker, and I am very happy with her decision.
Growing up, I had seen my mother toiling hard. I used to help her a lot—with cooking and cleaning—but I also knew her contribution to our family wasn’t ever acknowledged. Every day, she would make a rangoli at the doorstep of our small house. Nobody would ever see it or appreciate it. But her kindness, her selflessness, deeply impacted me.
In India, we correlate how much we work with the income the person earns. So if I don’t bring a paycheck home, then I am not doing anything.
The moral of this story is, yes, Indian men can be nurturing and are quite capable of running the household provided we give them an opportunity and treat men inclined to household work with disdain! This story also takes away the implied mystery behind the question – “what do men want from women?”.
What do men want from women and everybody else during weddings!
Here is the interesting infographics on what do men want from women and others during a wedding. Get ready to be surprised!
Now that we have proved that what we know about men and how they think is probably biased, let’s look at conclusively answering the question – What do men want from women?
Experts reveal the secrets!
We decided to examine results of numerous studies in different parts of the world to find out what do men want from women. As we had indicated, these studies go against the common understanding of how men behave (read “how should men behave”).
1. Men want commitment when women are scarce
By Ryan Schacht
University of Utah anthropologist, Ryan Schacht and anthropology professor Monique Borgerhoff Mulder from the University of California, Davis were on a quest to find an answer to the question – what do men want from women. They conducted an interesting study on men and women in of the Makushi people in the Guyana (South American country). Here is an interesting tidbit – Leading cricket players like Carl Hooper, Clive Llyod played for Guyana!
When we think of the number of men and women, we will agree with one conclusion. When there are more men compared to that of women in a population, men are likely to fight with one another to pair with the limited number of females. But the researchers came to a diametrically opposite conclusion.
Here is one of the conclusions they drew from their research to find an answer to the question – ‘what do men want women?”.
“Our data suggest the opposite: when there are more men, this is when they are more interested in settling into a committed, long-term relationship. When women are difficult to find, a man should attempt to attract and maintain a single partner and not fight with other males – it’s not what women want.“
The law of supply and demand (sounds very impersonal and crude!) comes into play when it comes to answering the question “what do men want from women?”.
2. Men are more likely to remarry when compared to women
In a 2013 study by Pew Research that covered adult population in the United States, four in ten couples are getting remarried in the US. About 42 million people in the US remarried as per the 2013 data while it was 22 million in 1980. Here are some additional interesting data and possible conclusions based on this survey.
It was found that men tend to remarry much more than the woman. Let’s look at the numbers as provided by Pew.
Here are some possible reasons for why men tend to remarry more than that of women.
Men seem to desire more for fulfilling relationships as life expectancies have steadily grown. We have more time to live and are determined to have a great relationship.Clearly, the role of women as the “caretaker” of men and family may have lead to the lower incidence of remarriage of women! They don’t want to care for men the second time and lose their freedom!
This data once again overturns yet another stereotype about men being cowboys that prefer a carefree life and shy away from commitment! Somebody said, “once bitten, twice shy” but this idiom seems to be applicable more to women than men. Men that have gone through a failed relationship actually want to give it another shot. Here is one answer to “What do men want from women” – more women!
3. Men are attracted to the color ‘red’
DANIELA NIESTA VISITING INSTRUCTOR CLINICAL & SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
In an interesting study, men were told that they have $100 to spend on a date. They were then shown photographs of women wearing different colored dresses. Now they were asked how much money would they spend on a date with each of these women shown them. The study results showed that men elected to spend more money on women wearing red clothes when compared to women sporting any other color! Not only that, men found that women wearing red to be more attractive as well.
“Although this aphrodisiacal effect of red may be a product of societal conditioning alone, the authors argue that men’s response to red more likely stems from deeper biological roots. Research has shown that nonhuman male primates are particularly attracted to females displaying red. Female baboons and chimpanzees, for example, redden conspicuously when nearing ovulation, sending a clear sexual signal designed to attract males.”
Research has shown that nonhuman male primates are particularly attracted to females displaying red. Female baboons and chimpanzees, for example, redden conspicuously when nearing ovulation, sending a clear sexual signal designed to attract males.”
In summary, there are some biological preferences that hold strong among men in spite of evolution. A simple takeaway to the question “what do men want from women?” is a woman in red!
As a woman, you can use this information to your advantage. We are not recommending you actively manipulate men based on their weakness for the red color!
4. Men try hard to be funny
Several studies have shown that men try to be funny much more than women. Let’s look at one of the studies.
Dr. Laura Mickes tried to be funny in her lectures hoping to win over her students with wit and humor. But when the students turned in their ratings, she was shocked to note that her ratings weren’t all that great!
She then conducted a study that involved 32 students writing captions for 20 New Yorker cartoons. The captions were then rated by another set of people. The outcome was men were only slightly funnier when compared to women! According to this article from The Atlantic, that analyzed Dr. Mickes’ studies,
Men wrote some of the best jokes, but they also used more profanity and sexual humor, and those jokes weren’t rated very funny. If men were truly the funnier sex, though, wouldn’t they be more consistently funny?
In another study, Dr. Mickes gave some random words to a group of men and women and asked them to write anything that involved the random words. The men in this study wrote funny paragraphs involving these words while the women were more creative and serious with their writing. Then she asked a group of men and women to write funny paragraphs using the same random words to see if men produced funnier paragraphs. The result was a tie in this case.
So what do we learn from these experiments – Men try harder than women to be funny!
So why do men try to joke around more than women?
Women always preferred smart men as this has an evolutionary significance. Smart men tend to have good genes, they are skillful and successful in what they do. Their social standing is better. Partnering with smart men gives women a greater chance of raising a successful family.
Being funny and cracking jokes that a lot of people like is a sign of smartness. Cracking jokes require an ability to empathize with others and required a greater power of observation and creativity in looking at mundane things from a different perspective.
In summary, men are trying to demonstrate to the world that they are smart by trying to be funny. This is one way of attracting adulation and women! So what do men what from women? Actually, they want women that can appreciate a good joke and not necessarily crack jokes!
5. You can’t be just friends with a man
Can men be just friends with women? Men and women interact a lot at work and elsewhere. Most of these interactions are non-romantic and it’s easy to assume (mostly by women) that you can just be a friend with a man. But men have difficulty in maintaining a strictly platonic relationship.
88 pairs of undergraduate opposite-sex friends were asked a series of questions related to his or her romantic feelings (or lack thereof) toward the friend with whom they were taking the study. The study result was as expected. Men assumed there was a mutual attraction with their female friends much more than what the women agreed.
On the other hand, women assumed men were just friends and that men also think the same about their friendship. In summary, men overestimated the level of attraction they thought women had for them.
Men assumed there was a mutual attraction with their female friends much more than what the women agreed. On the other hand, women assumed men were just friends and that men also think the same about their friendship. In summary, men overestimated the level of attraction they thought women had for them.
Men were also inclined to have a romantic relationship with female friends that were already in another relationship with! Women, predictably, wanted to steer clear of men who are already in a relationship.
Men were also like to say that “getting into a romantic relationship” was an advantage of having a female friend while women are more likely list this as a disadvantage!
So if you are a woman, remember that men are always looking to justify their assumption that their women friends are romantically attracted. Touching them, revealing personal problems, or any other form of closer interaction will lead men to assume that women are romantically inclined. It appears when we look at the question “what do men want from women”, it’s mostly a romantic relationship as men are constantly looking for imaginary signs that tell them if a woman is attracted to them.
It appears when we look at the question “what do men want from women”, it’s mostly a romantic relationship as men are constantly looking for imaginary signs that tell them if a woman is attracted to them.
6. Men prefer intelligent women
According to professor David Bainbridge from the Cambridge University, men tend to prefer women who are intelligent. It is instinctively understood that intelligent women can produce intelligent children or raise children properly.
Men actually don’t care about the breast size or long legs. Symmetrical body features are considered normal and attractive. Any other understanding of what a beautiful and attractive women should look like is a product of popular media and cinema.
But women with curvaceous features are more attractive to men. This has an evolutionary reason as well.
Men do like women to be curvaceous with voluptuous thighs and bottoms, and a waist that is much slimmer than their hips. Carrying a bit more weight on the thighs and the bottom suggests that a woman has stored enough fat during puberty to adequately provide for the huge requirements of a growing baby.
In fact the development of babies’ brains relies on fat supplies stripped directly from their mothers’ thighs and bottoms, especially during breastfeeding, and that the quantity of such fat supplies may directly affect a child’s intelligence and chances of survival.
Clearly, the answer to the question – “what do men want from women?” also includes an ability to bear healthy children that can propagate their genes.
Our verdict on – What do men want from women?
What do men want from women seems like a simple question to answer. Our instinctive response to this question is “men want to drink, have sex, and lead a carefree life.” But, that’s not true always.
We have seen how some common myths that men cannot stay at home, men run away from commitment or relationships and other popular misconceptions have been proved wrong.
Experts have also provided evidence for certain behavior such as men’s preference for curvaceous women and their inability to stay just friends with women.
We can safely conclude that making broad assumptions about men and what they like is not a great strategy when it comes to relationships and marriages.
If you are a prospective bride looking for a groom, insights about “what do men want from women” can be put to good use. Here are simple tips that can help you in your search.
Laugh if your prospective match cracks a joke. The least you can do is not to embarrass him! At the least you know he is interested in you.
We hope this article gives you new insights about the question “what do men want from women”. Do you think there are other facts about men’s behavior that deserves a mention? Share your thoughts and insights by adding your comments.
If you ever drive a car in India, an accident is bound to happen. If you are one of the few people that never got into accidents in India, write to us. We will nominate you for the Nobel prize. If you are ever in a relationship, there is good chance that you will break up. Even married couples separate and divorce. Divorce rates even among couples married through arranged marriage are increasing in India. Irrespective of how you break up (before or after marriage), the million Dollar question is how to get over a breakup and pick up the pieces. This blogs post attempts to do a deep dive on this topic. Wear your oxygen mask and let’s plunge into it.
Why do we break up?
Before we dive into answering the question – How to get over a breakup, it’s important to recognize why we break up? Let’s look at some of the reasons people have used to break up. You won’t believe how inventive or paranoid people are when it comes to a breakup. Way back in 2012, Information designers David McCandless and Lee Byron have created easy to read charts based on data from Facebook, Twitter, Durex global sex survey and census data. Here is one of the charts that give us more information on why we break up.
As you can see the key reasons given by people for breaking up are: Incompatible Personalities, Cheating, Lost Interest, Moved Away, Bad Sex, Divorce, and Death!
People share personal stories on their break-up
We scoured the Internet to find out why people broke up. Here are some first-hand accounts of why people broke up.
My first boyfriend broke up with me because my parents are divorced. Apparently his mom told him that, I would divorce him because that’s what my family does.
The second boyfriend, he wanted me to straighten my hair, when I had beautiful curls. He wanted me to permanently straighten it! He wanted me to thin down. And get fairer! He didn’t like my dusky tone.
It was the birthday of my girlfriend of 2 months. We went to a restaurant and she started ordering. Fish finger chips and paneer tikka as a starter, then kadhai chicken with butter naan as the main course. I calculated the cost in my mind, more or less I could have paid for it. We ate the starters in silence, me contemplating the dire state of my finances and she happily munching the tikkas and finger chips. When she looked at the main course, she exclaimed, “But I only eat boneless chicken. Order me another”. I tried reasoning with her, went to the extent of pleading her, but in vain. She ordered another kadhai chicken, this time boneless. Finally, the bill came. I told her I am a little short on cash, but she just shrugged and said OK. I was a little confused in the beginning with the OK (still hoping for some help), but none came. Exasperated, I told her that I need to visit an ATM. I came out of the restaurant and blocked her from contacting me ever.
This was a woman getting a graduate degree from a world-famous university with notoriously fickle admissions. One day, her cat pooped on her luggage. She asked me, “Did you get into a fight with my cat last night?”
My response, “I can’t even imagine what a fight between a human and a cat looks like. Besides, I love animals.”
But she persevered, trying to psychoanalyze the cat, to uncover the root cause of this feline evacuation so that I was somehow to blame.
This conversation went on for several days.
Day 6: She calls. “I know it sounds ridiculous, but …” again with the cat poop. I spoke into the mouthpiece only long enough to break up, turned off my phone, and put it in my pocket. Never saw her again.
One reason couples break up is sudden death, which occurs when “new, negatively charged information is discovered about [one’s] partner.” In other words, couples lose trust in each other. It usually involves one party hanging on while the other party actively seeks to end the relationship or both the parties decide to call it quits.
Couples break up because of mechanical failure where “partners have incompatible goals or values.” This is further compounded by a complete failure of communication between the couple.
Process loss may be to blame where the “relationship does not reach full potential because…partners [do] not make use of all available resources.” It is also attributed to changes in lifestyle.
Network can be the breakup culprit, occurring when “friends and/or family do not support [the] partner or the relationship.” This is certainly the case with love marriages or intercaste marriages in India.
Loss of personal freedom occurs when one feels his/her “partner is controlling” or the “feeling that the relationship has become too restrictive.” Personal insecurities and lack of trust are key reasons for this type of a breakup.
Distance may be the reason for terminating a relationship; that is, the relationship is long distance or a partner moved.
No matter what the reason is for a breakup, not all breakups are bad after all. In fact, if the relationship involves abuse, breaking up can lead to a positive change for at least one of the partners! Some people use breakups to introspect and come out on the other side of the breakup with more maturity and a better outlook to life in general.
Good news! Breakups can be predicted
The great news is that break ups can be predicted. Researchers and experts have created models that allow them to predict breakups and suggest ways and means to save the relationships.
John Gottman is a world-renowned psychologist and an expert on marriages and divorce. His pioneering research on married couples is eye opening. As we had written earlier, Gottman and his team predicted whether a couple was going to get divorced with a 90% accuracy. he found that couples that got into a spiral of negativity usually ended up separating eventually. Gottman then teamed up with a mathematical, James Murray, to create mathematical equations that predicted how the wife or husband is going to respond based on their observed behavior data. You can read more about Gottman’s “Love Lab” here.
Gottman also came with the “The Four Horsemen of Apocalypse” (1. Criticism, 2. Contempt, 3. Defensiveness, and 4. Stonewalling) model to predict if the relationship can survive. In fact, by observing how a couple handles the four horsemen, you can predict with a reasonable accuracy about the success or a failure of a relationship. Watch this interesting video that explains these issues and how to overcome them.
The best way to handle criticism is to avoid focussing on a specific behavior and instead talk about your feelings followed by a positive solution for the issue. Contempt (rolling your eyes, name-calling) according to Gottman, poses the biggest challenge to a relationship. In order to avoid showing contempt for each other, couples must build a culture of appreciation where it is genuinely required. The antidote for defensiveness (playing the victim) is to develop the maturity to accept responsibility instead of deflecting the blame. Stonewalling (withdrawing completely) from an issue can be avoided by making sure you get back to the conversation after a brief pause and not stay silent forever as it builds resentment. You can read more by clicking on the image below.
Breakups do happen. How to get over a breakup?
You gave a relationship your best shot, but it did not work out. Sounds like your story? There is absolutely no need to feel guilty or mop about it. We once again decided to look at both real life lessons from people like you and us as well as expert tips to help you cope with a breakup.
People share personal stories on how they handled their breakup
We picked three different accounts from real people on how they overcame the post-breakup flunk.
I think there are several ways to do this, and they may not work for everyone and they also may not work immediately, but they worked for me!
Have a good cry over it: Get it out of your system. Go through your old photos for the last time, remember the good times and the good things about the person. It sounds backwards, but I’ve found it’s necessary and natural.
Purge: Get mad, get angry! Get rid of all the photos you just moped over! Get rid of everything that reminds you of the person, the things they gave you, the ticket stubs, everything! If it’s something actually valuable, don’t trash it, just stow it away for a bit until you’re over the person.
Be with people you love: Hang out with friends and family and people that genuinely make you feel good. Talk to them about the situation and get it out of your system, but at the same time, make sure you let yourself enjoy their company too!
Enjoy being single and treat yourself: Go out to bars, be flirty, spend money on yourself that you would’ve normally had to spend on your partner. Do everything that you wanted to do when you were taken and start up that hobby you’ve always died to do. Also, workout and eat better, you’ll be amazed at how good you actually feel!
Learn from it: When you are starting feeling a bit more stable and more objective, look back and try and learn what went wrong so you can grow as a person. Think about your ex’s qualities and if they were really what you wanted in a significant other. Re-evaluate that relationship and you may even realize it wasn’t taking you in a direction you wanted your life to go.
Whatever you do, DO NOT do the following:
Try to “get back” at them: If it’s over. It’s over. It’s only going to put you in a bad light if you show up with some guy and try to use him to get back at your ex. And please, don’t try and spy and be a creep! Mind games are not healthy, grow up!
Sleep with anyone and everyone you can get your hands on: No. No. And no! This is definitely not going to help you get over them in the long run. You’ve got to clear your head before you can start bringing other people into your life.
Keep trying to get with that person: Like I said, if it’s over, it’s over. No sense wasting your energy on someone who doesn’t deserve it. Plus, if there really WAS any chance of getting back together, you’ll probably ruin it if you look desperate.
Immediately start looking for a new relationship: This is different than just sleeping with everyone. I simply mean don’t be a chronic long-term dater! Give yourself a breather from relationships, period. You learn a lot about yourself and they are essential to growing as a person!
Time is the only thing that heal. From personal experience, it takes 3 to 6 months before you’ll feel better, maybe sooner if you’re lucky. From a biological point of view, that terrible anxiety that you’re feeling is withdrawal from oxytocin, which is the hormone that appears to be responsible for pair-wise bonding in mammals. The similarities between love and drugs are not accidental http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxy.
You can’t. And you shouldn’t have to. Regardless of what happened afterward, you had a good time. Why would you want to forget something that was good? You laughed, you lived, you loved, and you learned. You will continue to laugh, live, love, and learn. Remember and cherish the moments rather than the person you spent those moments with. As hard as that sounds, as time passes and you meet more people you will recognize to value experiences as a whole rather than the components or people who make them up. While it’s true that some experiences – such as the birth of a child – hinge around the presence of a particular person, “having a good time” isn’t one of those.
Now that you have read “street wisdom” on how to handle breakups, it’s time to listen to experts.
Expert opinion on how to cope with breakups
We have rounded up 4 research-based findings to help you devise a strategy for getting over your breakup.
Grace Larson and David Sbarra from the Northwestern University and the University of Arizona, interviewed 210 young men and women that recently went through breakups. A group of them went through in-depth 9-week interview sessions to discuss their relationship. Another group of men and women just had a brief interview. The results were startling. People that went through extensive interviews on their failed relationship actually recovered better when compared to people that had short interviews!
2. Stop stalking your ex on Facebook
In a 2012 study by Veronika Lukacs (University of Western Ontario), titled “It’s Complicated: Romantic Breakups and Their Aftermath on Facebook“, it was found that 9 out of 10 people that were surveyed kept a tab on their execs through Facebook. The study concluded that content on Facebook can be a source of distress for individuals who have recently experienced a romantic breakup. People who engaged in high levels of snooping on Facebook experienced more breakup distress than people who chose not to stalk. The study also recommended some tips on what to do with Facebook after a breakup. These tips are:
Change your Facebook password.
Remove relationship status from your Facebook wall.
Remove tagged photographs with your ex-partner.
Delete message histories so that you don’t read them again!
Un-friend or block your ex.
3. Tylenol might help!
In a unique study titled “Social rejection shares somatosensory representation with physical pain” (don’t worry, it’s not that complicated), researchers unearthed a simple solution to the problem of coping up with a bad breakup. They showed pictures of people’s exes and scanned their brains as they were looking at the pictures! The researchers then analyzed brain activity on the MRI. They found that areas of the brain that support the sensory components of physical pain become active. In other words, romantic pain produced the same effect as physical pain. Participants of the study that had taken Tylenol (Crocin in India) saw lesser activity in the areas of the brain associated with physical pain.
4. Breaking up is good for you
Dr. Gary W. Lewandowski, Jr. is a professor and Department Chair at Monmouth University, Director of the Relationship Science Lab, and co-editor/co-creator of www.ScienceOfRelationships.com. He firmly believes that breaking up actually helps you learn and grow and he has research data to prove it. According to this article, “a 2007 study by Lewandowski his colleagues was one of the first to focus on the plus side of breakups. Most of the young adults who the researchers interviewed said the breakup had helped them learn and grow and that they felt more goal-oriented after splitting up.” Check out his explanation in this video.
That’s all folks! In order to get you in a better mood, check out this flowchart from Imgur.