(Credit: Nepali Chori)
I got asked to participate writing in this blog about marriage and the pressure that comes with it. Why? Because I fall in the category of Nepali women in the mid-to-late 20s who are not yet married, not a norm. What I write here is only my opinion and will be different from others that are on the same boat and I hope others write their feelings and opinions on this well.
A societal norm is being married by early 20s. Unfortunately, in many parts on rural Nepal, even now, girls are married of really early, even as young teenagers. I believe things are somewhat different in the city where education is also pushed but still social expectation is for a girl to be married fairly early.
Ideally, I should be married by now. I get asked all the time about what my marriage plans are. And to that, I don’t really have an answer. There are relatives and family friends that are always telling me or parents about so and so guy. I feel like it is having your own match.com
just not virtually! Lol (laugh out loud). At this time and day, being in the States, no one is going to force you into something that you don’t want to do. Lets say you meet up with a guy that someone helped set you up with and you don’t see yourself with that person, you move on but if you do then you continue dating. No one is going to tie you down to marriage with that person. Many women, especially in rural Nepal don’t have that choice. You hear of people getting married without seeing the person, or after one meet with the guy and the family. That is the typical old school arranged. Luckily for some of us that is not the case. With relatives and family friends constantly asking you, the pressure just lingers on.
I have had good friends that are now happily married who were set up by their family members or family friends. Guy and girl meet up, date a little and settle. If after you hangout, and don’t seem compatible, then go your separate ways.No harm in this. I have had guys that I have been set up with and dated for a bit but when you don’t feel that connection, you cannot force it so you go your separate ways. So you just appreciate those who are looking out for you, try it and do your thing.
I met with a friend recently for lunch. In talking, I told her that I want to end up with a Nepali guy. To that she said maybe I should be more open minded. I thought about that and maybe I should be. But girls, and I am sure guys too, will have things they want in a partner and things they will fall in love with. For me, it just so happens that “Nepali” is on that list. Now this may somewhat have to do with my external influences, parents, family, society etc. But internally as well, that is what I want. I want to be able to speak in Nepali to my husband whenever I wanted. I just want that to be an option. I want my parents to also be able to relate to him in different levels and him to relate to my parents just the same.
Maybe this just makes me sound like a hopeless romantic, and my opinion and thoughts on this might change but for now that is what it is. I have a very good Nepali friend, few years older, who is on the same boat and every time we get together, this topic always comes up. We can laugh about it, be serious about it or just shrug it off but at the end of it, the pressure always weighs on you. As women, the pressure comes from everywhere. Pressure of age, family, friends, society, etc. The pressure also goes to parents as well. They frequently get asked about their daughter’s status: “When is she getting married?” “Is she planning on getting married?” “What about ‘so-so’ guy?” And I know it is not easy for them and makes them anxious not to have answers.
And it’s not that I don’t like the idea of marriage. The opposite actually. I love the idea of being married. I would one day want to be married to the right guy. I think it’s hard for others to understand the concept of “right guy” for you. Parents, friends, relatives will always tell you that “so-so” is a great guy, so he must be the “right guy”. And yes, he may be an amazing person, a great guy but I have to have that connection, be comfortable and compatible with him. I need to decide if he’s the “right guy”, I have the right to decide that for myself.
Please share your thoughts about being a independent single woman in your 20s who are enduring the pressures of getting married and having a family.