“When did marriage become the beginning and end of it all for a girl?” [I want to scream this from the top of the world] 

I have had this question on my mind since that I am I turned 20 and my family began obsessing over when they were going to get me married and off their hands.  It all started with the very 1st proposal my parents found, and the guy’s parents came home with his friend to “see” me and check if I ticked all the boxes that they had…

I have also had this question playing on my mind constantly over the last couple of years when I, a single woman and had moved back in with family and felt like trash because I was not respected or even considered a part of the family, even though I took on several responsibilities, always available to complete tasks/repairs around the house but then at the end of the day was invisible for the most part just cos I was not married and family did not know how to deal with that…

I am a self-confident woman, who is financially secure and does her own thing. why does that intimidate and scare people? [family and others]

Neeya Naana:
There is this TV show that I love watching call me Neeya Naana [agreed it might be scripted and it might trigger a lot of people and the conversations are all kind of directed] but still a lot of thoughts shared on the show resonate with me. A recent episode was about a group of women who did not believe in marriage versus men who were desperate to get married and unable to find women.

A lot of points shared by the women were around taking on added responsibility being responsible for another person having to deal with drama and uncertainty of what a future would be like when the guys were all keen on finding someone who was compatible with them and willing to lead a life together into the future..

A  few women wanted to break the gender norms & gender rules and put out questions to the guys  “What if you had to stay at home and I went to work and you had to care of everything in the house, would that be okay” and surprisingly there was one guy who said I am perfectly fine with it, as long as you give me a monthly allowance that covers my bills and expenses. The minute he said that the girl put forth a couple of other questions and concerns, which made it seem almost like she was hesitant to commit.

So coming back to the topic of marriage why is that always a dark cloud that hangs over a girl’s head but really over a guy?

After years of being single, I finally found someone who is sweet, loving and caring, and we are now in a live-in together relationship. A few months back, we did a road trip to my hometown where the family got to meet him, ask questions to get clarity etc. Since that trip, every alternate week I get messages and calls asking when we were going to make it official, especially because living together is not a concept the family has heard of or is comfortable with. To them, there are just two roads for an individual – it is marriage or being single. Dad did explain he wanted to make sure my future is secure and that this was something that would go into the future, I would be cared for… that did make sense, but other than that I want to live life my way…

I understand that back in the day, for women, marriage historically provided a sense of security and societal acceptance, while men were expected to fulfill the role of provider and protector. While these gender dynamics are evolving with changing societal norms, the institution of marriage remains deeply ingrained as a symbol of commitment, loyalty, and the preservation of family values. But times have changed, people have changed and you’d think families would also change the way they think. NO WAY… It is more about the so-called “society”: and what the world will think than their own daughter’s happiness & wishes. Sigh…

Thanks to all those years when my mum did the whole arranged marriage [forced girl seeing, spending time interviewing & judging me etc] thing, the concept of marriage flew out the window and I cannot imagine myself getting married or going down the road.. it is unfortunate that our legal system is also so screwed up – unless you are married to somebody, you cannot do certain things including moving to a different country or buying an apartment together and things like that…

Last week, a few of us women met for lunch & while some of us had partners, one girl was single and said she hadn’t dated since her 20s. Said she had a relationship, but wasn’t a happy one and since then has given up on it. She did share that her mom questions her about her future… even though her mom was a single mom, and has worked all her life, she gave this girl two options- either get married or move out. She chose the 2nd, and has been living on her own for a while now!  Holds a good job, travels and does what she pleases, is very close to her sister and nephew, and spends plenty of time with her mom as well. 

So what is marriage is it just a legally binding between two people or is it something beyond that? What are your thoughts?

I have this question for women who are married – what is the level of respect they get from their families, the maternal families specifically? 

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