By Paramjit Kaur
“What is the clicking thing, you keep talking about?” The woman said to her daughter then turning to her friend, “I don’t understand, every time we introduce her to a nice boy she spends five minutes with him and then says, ‘we just didn’t click mom’. In our day there was no ‘clicking’ we just got married.”
This could be an excerpt from a Bollywood movie script but it was actually a conversation that took place in a kitchen in London in 2002 when I was visiting family. The girl whose name I have since forgotten was in the process of having an arranged marriage.
Thirty-three and single, no arranged marriage for me, as an Indian woman I have past anyone’s expectation of ever getting married. Never mind my successful career, education and the fact that I have written a novel that will be published; in the Indian world’s eyes I’m a lost cause.
In my eyes, I’m one tough cookie! I haven’t folded under the pressure of culture, family and constant ridicule. Instead I have created my beautiful life and found freedom to find love.
Finding love isn’t easy and can feel nearly impossible when you’re lost between the Indian and American cultures. From all the bumps, bruises and scars I have earned on this journey there are also so many love lessons.
Sometimes you just have to cross the line. After spending most of my life keeping my dating life from the world, keeping my heartbreaks and even my joy to myself I realized that’s exactly how I behave in my dating life. Half in and half out; never 100% committed to anything except keeping my “good Indian girl” facade up as a shield. Until I realized that I was never fully committed to anything but a meaningless facade (FYI dating doesn’t make you a bad Indian girl) I couldn’t be in a successful relationship. Crossing the line from the safe world I know of tragic relationships to a world of possibility, now that’s exciting enough to make my stomach summersault!
It’s the moments and memories that matter. There is something to be said about all those beautiful moments that I can reference when things don’t look so bright. Laughing that real full laugh in a bar across from the man I loved, a walk at the Berkeley Marina, a first kiss at Coit Tower, the list can go on. Love, like memories, doesn’t fade, it changes shape and takes on new forms. Those memories of love, they matter and those moments make me the woman I am today. They remind me of the times when I was open to the possibility of loving and being loved and therefore know love is possible and that there are more memories to be made.
Trust your intuition. For a long time I ignored that nagging feeling that was telling me “something’s not right.” Trusting myself was probably one of the hardest things for me for a myriad of reasons, and something that I still struggle with today. Once I started trusting myself is when I finally realized I could trust the people in my life. Knowing what I want in a relationship and trusting that little voice inside that says “this isn’t it” or “RUN” has really put me in control of my (dating) life. I have stayed in disastrous relationships because that nagging feeling wasn’t a “good enough” reason to leave. Today I trust the most important voice, mine.
Dating and the relationships we end up in are colored by our life experiences. I am grateful for all the lessons that have helped me brave the journey to finding the love that is meant for me.
As for the girl in London, I think had I been paying attention she was teaching me these lessons way back then. She had hilarious stories of the men her parents had introduced her to, she trusted her intuition and she for sure was crossing the line every time she said “we just don’t click.” I never did find out if she got married and if so, if they clicked.
As always, please leave a comment and let us know what you think, or share your experiences with us! Cheers to your dating!
much love & aloha