The most frustrating things about dating in the Indian culture
When it comes to dating, most men I’ve met are convinced that no matter what the stakes involved, women always have it easy. While men have to slog, sweat, preen, and flaunt, women can just walk out with an announcement saying they are looking for a partner, and boom, they will find someone suitable!
If you were to ask me if this were true, I would say a resounding no!
No female friend I know has ever claimed that it is easy finding someone worthwhile to date. The process of meeting someone new, seeing if you’re compatible, going through all the motions of a new courtship gets so tiring, that many simply give up and choose to wait until fate lands someone good in front of them.
For a while, I tried being proactive. Here are some of the misadventures I’ve during my brief stint with the world of dating apps.
A few years back, I met a guy through a dating app. He sounded fairly nice. When we met, we clicked, and before we knew it, we were already planning our third date.
That’s when he said: “I have some booze. Why don’t I come over to your place tonight and we can get drunk together and have some fun?”
Warning bells started going off in my head, and suddenly, I found myself sitting there working out every possible scenario: what if he tries to rape me, rob my money, and leave me to die?
I decided I was not comfortable with the idea of a relative stranger spending the night in my home, and I politely turned his proposal down. “Let's meet in that new Chinese restaurant by the corner?” I suggested.
And all of a sudden, he got mad, blaming me for being an entitled bitch, calling me abusive names and filling my life with uncalled-for negativity.
I had no option but to block him and move on.
And the next day, I saw a post on the internet about how women take men’s advances for granted. About how, whenever you two seem to click, the woman always ghosts the man out. The answer ended with the author (obviously, male) crying over how difficult it is to be a man in the dating scene.
What could I do?
I cringed and moved on.
Fast forward a few months, and I met another guy on Tinder. He was funny and smart. Being with him felt so easy, so natural, that after a few weeks, I had already invited him over to my place.
The chemistry was amazing, the sex was great and suddenly, life seemed to have added on to itself a new dimension.
After a few days, he started getting in the way of everything I did. His clothes littered the laundry table, his shoes were all over the living room floor, his razors and creams had taken up all the space in front of my bathroom mirror. The next thing I realised was: it’s the middle of the month, and my bank account was already down to the last few bucks.
I was checking where had all the money gone, when he called out from the bedroom, removing his headphones from the TV series he was watching, “Honey, can you order some lunch for me? I’m hungry.”
And that’s when I realised, I hadn’t gotten myself a man, I got myself a freeloader.
I repeated the whole “kicking out of home, kicking out of social media, kicking out of life” process, only to come back and see another post on the internet.
‘It is so difficult for men to find a decent woman to date,’ it complained.
What could I do?
I sighed and moved on.
We Just Don’t Click!
After a considerable amount of time had passed, I gathered the courage to install the dating apps again. This time, the guy I met seemed genuinely nice and fairly occupied in his own life with his job and life goals.
The two of us met, but the conversation didn’t click.
All the spark that was there over text seemed to have vanished, disappeared into thin air.
I came back home, disappointed. There was a text from him on my phone: “Thank you for the wonderful time. I can’t wait to meet you again. Does next Friday sound good enough?”
I sighed and replied that I won’t be available next Friday, or any time soon. I hoped he would get the hint, but he kept on nagging, pestering me to tell him when I’d be free so he can set up a second date.
I was left with no option but to tell him in clear words that I wasn’t interested in meeting him again.
He didn’t take it well.
The next day, I woke up to yet another post on the internet cribbing about how women always have the upper hand in dating, and how they can cancel on guys as and when they wish.
‘It is so difficult to find a decent woman to date,’ it claimed. ‘Women have it easy.’
I looked through my unending list of failed Tinder matches and thought to yourself — Indeed. Women have it easy.
Mr. Nice Guy
And then, there is my latest misadventure. Mr Nice Guy.
The first few days were amazing. He was considerate and kind, kept sending me presents when I least expected them.
He said he wanted to take care of me and save me from prying eyes by deciding what clothes I should wear.
Okay, I could digest “That red skirt is a bit too short,” but what about, “Why do all your clothes show so much cleavage?”
Whenever I was out with my female friends, he started calling me multiple times to “check if I was safe” because “he was worried about me.”
I had been offered a pay raise and a position in a different city. When I told him how excited I was about the new prospect, he started throwing a tantrum, saying inane things like, “How would my princess manage alone in a new city?”
When I told him about the salary, he made a face and insisted that he made enough for both of us. I didn’t even have to work.
Suddenly, the true meaning of claustrophobia became clear to me.
It didn’t take me long to break up with him, take up the job offer, and shift to the new city.
Another heartbreak, another failed relationship, and here I am, still wincing each time I see “Women have it easy” posts on the internet.
It is a fairly common practice among men to believe that women have it easy in the dating scene by virtue of their gender. I would beg to disagree because I haven’t found it either easy or encouraging to look for a partner.
Dating is a game of chance. You might meet great people, but there is no guarantee they will stick around long enough to be in a relationship with you. This is not gender-specific because, in today’s times, everyone has some expectations from the person they are dating, and it is difficult to meet people who fulfil them right away.
And because there is so much luck involved, the chances of meeting the wrong person are exponentially higher than meeting the right one.
I wish I could tell you how to do it, but, how would I know? I am still searching. From my experience, all I can say is that — dating is exhausting, and no, women definitely don’t have it easy!
If you enjoyed this story, here are some other perspectives about life and love from the point of view of an Indian woman: