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    I’m 34 year old single woman working on my master’s degree.
    My family is pressurizing me to get married(we belong to traditional society) and has seen someone for me. Even though it is sort of arranged, I have the final say.
    Now the issue is that the guy wants to get married soon, whereas I have informed him that I need time to get to know him. Also since Im studying, it may take a little more time because I don’t have much free time now. Though he is ok with it, I feel that everyone(including my family n his) want me to decide soon; which is impossible for me.
    My family is pushing me telling that I will not get a better man and I will be a fool to let him go. But how much ever I have interacted with this person, Im not sure about this. But I would like to see for some more time and I have informed him that.
    Personally for me that spark is not there and sometimes I feel it as a obligation to reply to the message or talk on the phone.

    Also, since I have lot of course work, Im not able to find more time to dedicate to this(I feel that this may be because Im not interested; if I was I would have taken time out). Also, since I’m in campus I want to enjoy college life(being more free) and date may be. I like one or two guys in my campus(they may be younger to me, but has shown interest in me). But my friends and family won’t hear a thing because I’m very old and all I should do right now is settle down in life.

    I’m confused and scared. I don’t want to give into pressure and marry someone whom I may not have interest in. On the other hand I don’t have any other person to point fingers to to show that I have someone else with whom I may spend my future.

    Any thoughts?
    Thank you.


    Dear vidalevi:

    On December 15, 2014, you wrote on a thread here, on tiny buddha: “Now my family emotionally blackmails me and tells me that I’m a disgrace that I’m still not married and they cannot move in the society with their head held high. Everyone are making fun of them because of me.”

    When your family is putting pressure on you to marry this man, it is not your well being, your benefit that they are thinking about- it is their well being and their benefit. They want other people to think and talk well about THEM, or at least, to not make fun of THEM.

    Even in less traditional societies, adult children often enough do what will benefit others, but not themselves, and the worry of what-will-other-people-think is a worry that exists in all societies.

    You wrote that the final say about this suggested marriage is yours. Well, take advantage of this… privilege and be the one with the final say. If the consequences to your refusal of marriage (if that is what you will choose) will be hard to take- mistreatment by your family and society- as a working woman, maybe you can choose a different society…(move, that is)?



    Dear vidalevi

    In my opinion, marriage or settling down is a commitment that you will spend the rest of your life with this particular person. Committing “your self”, the reason I say “your self” is that its “your” decision to commit. It does not matter how old are you, you have to be ready for that commitment.

    Coming to your family and tradition: tradition is respected however I believe better communication must be applied for understanding to avoid you feeling like you are forced to marry someone you are not interested in, or you are forced to get married whilst you are not ready. Try to communicate that your not in the right place to get married. Eventually the right person will come at the right time.

    On the other hand if you are considering the arranged marriage, I believe you should take your time to think things through, do not let people that are not going to be in this marriage, hurry you in making a decision, just remember that it is you that will be spending a life with this person and not your family or his family. In deep respect make them realize your fear about the situation, your feelings about the situation. Because your decision may only lead to two things…a miserable life or indeed happy life as they see…its all up to you


    Hi Vida,

    Coming from a traditional family myself I can understand what you are going through. Thank you for reaching out for help and support. I think you know what the right thing for YOU (not your family or for this other man), but you are scared about taking that decision–“I’m confused and scared. I don’t want to give into pressure and marry someone whom I may not have interest in.”–

    “On the other hand I don’t have any other person to point fingers to to show that I have someone else with whom I may spend my future.”– Don’t make your life decisions based on fear, especially when it comes to something as important as marriage. I am Indian and my whole family had arranged marriages. Some where “successful” the others just stay because that’s the culture. Also don’t worry that this is the only man. You have to know and see your value. When you realize your value then no one can scare you into making these decisions you don’t want to make.

    I am assuming you are South Asian? I volunteer for a non profit called Narika that helps support South Asian women who experience many situations similar to this. Being pressured into marriage, and situations after being married such as domestic violence. Narika is located in the Bay Area, CA. Even if your are located in another country you can contact us. You can also search online for an organization that can help support you.

    Please listen to your heart. I won’t sugar coat it and say that it will be easy to stand up to your traditional family. Family is very important, so is culture and traditions. But it is your right to live your life, date and enjoy your college experience. If you don’t stand up for yourself then who will.

    Also if you are Indian or enjoy Bollywood movies I would recommend watching the movie Queen. Not exactly your situation, but it shows that even a traditional Indian girl can grow and live her authentic life even when the marriage doesn’t happen. I wish you the best, and please reach out for support, you don’t have to do this yourself.


    Hi Vida.
    By chance, I have found your topic and your message about arranged marriage. Hope, you have found the proper solution and you are fine now.
    Just to share my own experience concerning arranged marriage: this year I have fall in love with the Indian guy from a traditional family.
    Our short passionate affair turned into complete hell for both of us – once we understood that even the fact that we were badly (and mutually) in love with each other, understanding each other with no words, ready to spend a whole life beside each other, sharing the same life values and interests etc. etc., despite all these things which are considered to be the rock-hard ground for long-term and successful relationships, there is nothing to do bcz he has already gone through arranged marriage a year before. Nothing can be changed –  the culture and family do not accept the idea of divorce even though they live separately (in different cities).  Too many consequences to overcome…No hope, no solution. Two broken hearts.
    My story has no happy end. Arranged marriage without sincere feelings – brings suffers and pain.
    Hope u are luckier.
    P.S. sorry for my English language, it is not my native one



    Thank you for replying after all these years. It’s a pleasant surprise.

    I’m doing good. Well..frankly I still haven’t gone the ‘arranged marriage’ path because I still believe that I need that spark, love or connection to get married. I couldn’t bring myself to say yes just for the sake of getting married. And I’m getting older and the pressure is more- to the extend that I thought I many give in and marry anyone just to get out of the rut. But somehow I held on. Also in a traditional society like mine, older women are literally a burden/curse specially on parents. I can see anyone and everyone (relatives, friends, acquaintances) looking down on me and pitying me just because I’m single. The situation is/was so worse that I honestly thought there is something wrong with me(biologically/emotionally etc.). That’s the pressure. And I have been called a fool for having a high standard, not compromising, and basically for living a single life. But when I thought about the consequence of being in a ‘love less marriage’, I decided that this single life of hell(in other’s views) would be much better compared to that. I can’t bring myself spending time with someone whom I don’t feel connected to.

    And yes, you are right. What happens if you meet the one after you go through the arranged marriage ? It’s a very painful situation for everyone included. I’m not necessarily saying arrange marriage is not a workable solution. Some people are lucky to find someone who is compatible with them that way too.

    I still haven’t found that person in arranged marriage scenario or otherwise. I’m still looking- within arranged marriage and also by myself. But one thing for sure- I wouldn’t get married until I’m very sure that this is the person I want to be with, whatever the scenario may be.

    I hope you find some solution to the situation you are in and lessen the pain and hurt. Sending prayers and love to you and everyone involved ! Stay strong. Make a decision and remember- no one can love you.more than yourself.



    Dear Vida,

    thank you for your prompt reply and kind words and wishes –  I find it really supportive. Unfortunately, I haven’t found any solution but leave everything as it is. He is there, with his family. I have left that city and now there are more than 4 000 miles between us. We are both trying to adjust to the situation. What does the distance mean for the beating loving heart? Nothing. We both are silent, trying to hide the truth deep inside our minds and hearts. Maybe just more time needed, I don’t’ know.

    Vida, I completely agree with your idea of having that spark, love, and connection. I am 34 now and I have gone through 2 divorces by the present time bcz didn’t pay much attention to the abovementioned things. On the other hand, life is not perfect and we are not perfect as well…on the other hand, choosing the wrong person, or starting the relationships with the wrong motivation, can easily turn your life into hell.

    Please, hold on. By the way, in our society is the same idea –  if you are mature enough and out of  “marriageable age” (smth between 22 and 28) it means smth wrong with you ( I prefer thinking that smth wrong with them 🙂 ) So I do understand quite well what you are talking about.

    Please, hold on. Thank you for your support one more time.


    Dear Rumia

    Sorry, it took sometime for me to reply.

    Like I said, I’m still in a dark place right now tying to fight my own people, the society against my ideals,morals,dreams etc. It is so exhausting sometimes and I literally don’t have one single soul to support me. All my friends are married and they recommend the same to me- some went through arranged marriage; some love marriage. It’s just that I haven’t been lucky enough in both cases. And I’m at home currently because I had been called selfish to go out and have a life myself but being insensitive to my parents and family.

    And the tension and stress is unspeakable. I literally don’t get out of home because the people I know only asks about my wedding. The new workplace I joined last year had people commenting on my single status since day one and I hated it there and quit my job.

    I want to get away from this place asap and go far where people don’t know me and judge me based on my relationship status. I can’t believe that I could let it affect my self esteem and emotions like this. When everyone around you consider you as a failure for not getting married( even though you have a master’s degree in engineering from one of the best university in my country), you become so depressed that you can’t even face people.

    My orthodox conservative society sucks big time. While I was doing masters, I liked a guy but he was quite younger than me:7-8 years. Hence I didn’t even pursue it though I could guess he also liked me. But we never spoke to each other and though we have so.many common friends, both of us never took any steps further. All we did was just look at each other from far whenever we were in same surrounding.

    I comforted myself by telling that this is doomed from beginning since our family, society would never accept it. Now all I do is check on him once in a while in social media(even though we have more than 30+ common friends, we are not even friends in social media) and see how he is doing. Well….that’s just my story right now. And I have heard and read that if someone is interested, they would let you know. I keep telling myself that he is not interested since he hasn’t shown it in anyway other than just looking at me.

    Just wanted to share it with you. Love is the most hardest thing I have ever seen in my 38 years of life. I just can’t get it right till now.

    Hope your heartache gets lesser with each day.


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