March 4, 2019 at 2:33 am #282771
<p style=”text-align: left;”>You are absolutely right, GL. On some level i have been aware of how i expect too much from others. How would you suggest I move forward. Being aware of how I am being unrealistic is not helping me. It makes me feel hopeless.</p>March 4, 2019 at 3:14 am #282773
Hi, gj. I am a 28-year-old man who has never been in a relationship.
I feel that I like the idea of arranged marriages. I frequently run into people in western countries who complain about the rotten dating culture and how hard it is to find a spouse. Perhaps arranged marriages could lessen these problems? I am not educated on how arranged marriages tend to work, so I might change my opinion in the future.
Seems that you feel dissatisfaction towards your work life. I occasionally feel unsatisfied of my work, but I believe that I must persevere through hard times and eventually my hardships will be returned many times over. Sometimes in life we won’t get rewarded for our good deeds until much later.
Can’t help but feel that this advice feels unsatisfying. I wish there was something better that would solve our problems in a satisfying way..March 4, 2019 at 4:55 am #282775
Thank you for writing Mandelbrot. You may think your advise is unsatisfying but it is not, in fact it is the obvious thing i suppose, believe in perservering and also that an arranged marriage would work out.
However, i am not able to believe.
<p style=”text-align: left;”>As for arranged marriage – it does not lessen any problems that dating already has. Because to me it is the most orthodox and narrow minded form of dating in my generation. We up front say which caste, what salary, location, etc we want from the guy. So we “hunt” for guys who fit our criteria and meet him once in his family’s presence, talk for 15 minutes max and decide if he is the guy you want to spend the rest of your life with. It worked very well in my mom’s generation because it did not matter who the guy is or what he was like, the women were bound to stay with him anyways no matter what. I am not going to be like that and this is the fallback to not being able to find someone on my own. But i do not know how i could ever know if a guy is the one, or what the odds are of the one being from my caste, taller than me and earning more than me (eye roll!).</p>
Going for an arranged marriage is pretty much giving up on the idea of love. It is a coin toss whether this guy will love and respect you. With dating i feel you would know him better – but since that also starts with finding the other person attractive, etc i never had any luck.March 4, 2019 at 5:37 am #282781
Thank you for responding, gj.
Yikes. If there’s really a 15-minute meeting before marriage, that doesn’t sound good. Perhaps if there was a version of arranged marriages that emphasized the couple-to-be getting to know each other. Perhaps if the couple were given more chances to turn down the arranged marriage if their relationship and their chemistry didn’t work out.
Seems that I am not very attractive myself either. My height is average, and I have heard accounts of men being rejected by women for no other reasons than not being tall enough. Western women expect men to be charming and “romantic”. Then if we fail to create this “romantic spark” in the first meetings (or the first moments), we get rejected. Dating is like an ordeal to live up to impossible expectations.March 4, 2019 at 6:02 am #282787
The getting to know each other starts after getting engaged, so some engagements break when the couple is absolutely not able to tolerate each other 🙂
Also, there may be variants of this. I am from the south of India – we are stereotyped as the rigid ones, and our customs somehow support that. But, in general you are expected to decide after the first meeting.
Part of me beliefs that there is nothing to life and our elders basically want us to get married so we have something to invest our time and energy in. I think love is a western concept, most hindu texts only speak of marriage and as if it were a duty/ phase one must go through before realizing that there is no joy in engaging with the world and going after material joy. I think i may have skipped a phase. I really only want to get married for love. Do you really think we are capable of loving a person or is it just a false notion that gives us meaningless hope?March 4, 2019 at 6:22 am #282795
Also, about the standards you speak of – i think everyone is guilty of that.
None of us truly know what to look for because if you think about it, we can all love a person unconditionally if we choose to but the question is if we will be loved back the same and i wish we were allowed to talk about that instead of hobbies. I have seen hollywood movies where one person says they are not looking for anything serious up front – if that happens in real life – i envy you. A lot of men are forced into marriage here, and that is my biggest fear – what if he does not really want to do this – there is no way they will tell you that. And you can imagine what someone like that will look for – someone good looking, smart, etc to fit society’s standard as he will be defined by her. I am ashamed to admit but i have stooped pretty low too – judging people for their looks and what not – simply because this is a process for the brain and not the heart.March 4, 2019 at 6:35 am #282797
This reply has been reported for inappropriate content.
“Do you really think we are capable of loving a person or is it just a false notion that gives us meaningless hope?”
No-one has asked me such a question before. Thank you for your interest.
Of course we are capable of loving people. We can love our friends, families, we can feel loving kindness towards the world and all sentient beings. We can have crushes on people, feel attraction and have carnal desires towards them.
We expect our on monogamous “romantic” partner to be perfect at everything. Perfect platonic friends, perfect roommates, perfect parents to our children, perfect sexual partners and so on. The monogamous relationship has turned into a dream that is impossible for anyone to fulfill.
I don’t think it’s necessary to have only one person who fulfills our desires. We should learn to get over our feelings of jealousy. We should be allowing towards opposite-sex platonic friendships outside of marriage. I have even met polyamorous people who are dating and having sexual relationships outside of their primary relationships or marriages (this is with agreement from their spouses).
Sometimes our desires cannot be fulfilled. Overcoming our dissatisfaction towards life is a challenge that all of us face.March 4, 2019 at 7:00 am #282805
“my mom still needs to see me married. Otherwise she would have failed as a parent”- she already failed, it is done. If you get married, it will not change the fact that she failed. And if you get married, she will still be unhappy and incredibly sad, just as she has been throughout the years that you know her. Trying to please her is a bad idea, it is throwing away more of your life while your sacrifice is not helping her at all.
As you consider marriage, and even arranged marriage, consider it not for the reason of pleasing your mother/ society. Key to a good marriage is getting to know the man as objectively as you can, that is, getting to know him before forming an emotional/ physical attachment that disables the required objectivity.
I think that a period of dating, as in a series of .. friendly interviews, similar to job interviews aimed at exchanging information honestly and negotiating a teaming up for the purpose of having a healthy, loving marriage is the way to go.
“I was always upset with my mom”- because you tried so hard to make her happy, I figure, but “she would always stay a victim or vent the frustrations out at us”, no matter how hard you tried, she was still unhappy and sad and frustrated.
“I used to throw tantrums and fight with her”- after your many, many efforts, made lovingly, trying to help her. You understandably got angry.
You asked me: “Do you have any insight on why I can never take action”?
As a child, during your Formative Years, you learned that your actions make no difference (“It won’t work out… It will not change anything”). Your number one aim as a child, was probably to make your mother happy. You acted many times for that purpose and failed. When we fail repeatedly we stop being motivated to act again. There is a term that describes this dynamic, it is called “learned helplessness”, you might want to look into it.
“I was too lazy to help out in the house”- this was probably the first evidence of your leaned helplessness. The thinking goes something like that: why bother helping out in the house, nothing I do pleases her, nothing satisfies her, why bother…
As an adult, the same thinking is going on, why bother. Maybe you don’t connect it with your childhood experience, but this thinking (and the resulting lack of motivation, lack of solid interest, lack of direction, etc.) was formed then, as a result of your interactions as a child with the person that mattered most.
anitaMarch 4, 2019 at 7:08 am #282811
Where do i start with unlearning this helplessness, anita?
<p style=”text-align: left;”>I want to start making decisions, but it feels really useless, what should i aim for in my life. I keep reading about imagining yourself 10 years from now, etc but i am a person with great imagination, i can dream up a new life for myself, a different version each time, but i am not able to make anything happen.</p>
March 4, 2019 at 7:09 am #282813
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by gj.
You have interesting views Mandelbrot, but thinking life is dissatisfying and that i have to deal with that makes me restless.March 4, 2019 at 7:31 am #282821
“Where do I start with unlearning this helplessness..?”-
In my personal healing from learned helplessness, it was necessary for me to understand that I did try to make my own mother happy, that I repeatedly failed, that I loved her very much but she did not love me back (like your mother she also cared for me when I was sick or whenever she thought I was hungry or cold), and that it was impossible for me, and would be impossible for any child in my place, to make her happy.
What is your position on these things I just wrote?
March 4, 2019 at 7:59 am #282831
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by anita.
Anita, I do agree with what you wrote and I have been aware although not in such clear statements of it. I am not sure what i should do with knowing all this.March 4, 2019 at 8:08 am #282833
Maybe we can figure out what you can practically do with this knowledge. For that purpose I ask: what is your current relationship with your mother, do you live with her (I don’t remember if you shared that), and how does a normal day goes living with her, what is your life with her like, practically?
anitaMarch 4, 2019 at 8:34 am #282839
I live with my parents, sister, grandmother and her care taker. I don’t have a great relationship with my father – i know he is ill but i can never forgive him. My grandmother is horrible, she used to manipulate my father and turn him against my mother. I cannot believe we still live together.
Coming to my mother, we usually have conversations about the latest scandals, extended family gossip and news. I leave for work around 7:30am and comeback by 5pm. I eat and hit the bed straight away – i am on my phone during this time. Due to really horrible fights and issues caused by my grandmother – my mother, sister and I share a bedroom. My father has his own and so does my grandmother. I depend on my mother a lot at home – she is the one that wakes me up everyday. She even checks on me from time to time – go bath, eat now,etc. However, i am never able to get her to listen to why i don’t get moving. Like GL, said i probably am expecting too much from her and she is already doing a lot of things i could do on my own – that i am taking for granted.March 4, 2019 at 9:13 am #282843
More than a year ago, Feb 2018, you wrote: “For me, failure means… my parents and a sibling that I support… having always known that my family needs me”.
I mentioned loyalty being with the truth earlier. Isn’t it true that you are valued as a source of income. Is that why your mother cares that you remain physically healthy, so that you can produce income?
Isn’t it why she does the following: “wakes me up everyday”, so that you will be at work on time, 7:30 am? And isn’t it why she “even checks on me from time to time- go bath, eat now, etc.”- to keep the source of income fed and presentable?
– I understand you live in south India, this is how things are- at least one child is brought into the world for the purpose of providing income to aging parents, maybe for other siblings. I suppose it wouldn’t be so bad if the relationships in the home are good, loving. But without love, what you really have is slavery.
Your future then, if I understand correctly (and correct me if I am wrong) is that you live in the home where you live until you get married and when you get married, your mother, grandmother, father and sibling live with you and your husband.
Back to your post before last: “I am not sure what I should do with knowing all this”-
– I believe you don’t owe your parents anything, that you don’t have an ethical responsibility to finance them. But I understand this is not the society where you live. So, taking that into consideration, I suggest the only practical thing I can see: move out, immigrate to another country, away from your family, never to live with them again. You will have your own bedroom, your own home. As you work, in that other country, you can send your family money every month, a part of your paycheck.
This way, you will have a life, still partly enslaved, but not overwhelmingly enslaved, as you are now. In slavery-for-life there is no hope, no motivation, no dreams. But free, maybe when free?