Got a story that is “One in a Billion?”

My friends Geeta and Ravi Patel, a talented brother and sister team based here in Los Angeles, are working on a comedy documentary titled, “One in A Billion.” The documentary follows Ravi’s quest for a wife and explains the odds stacked against him all along the way. Geeta previously co-directed the film Project Kashmir in 2008. Ravi has appeared in a few recent shows as touched on by Taz here. Here is the synopsis of the documentary:

THE ODDS

So, my parents, who are totally, sickly, exuberantly in love- they had a traditional Hindu arranged marriage. Naturally, they want me to marry an Indian girl. Let’s say I want that too. India has a population of over a billion people. Easy, right? But I live in America, where Indians only make up one percent of the general population. My odds of finding this person are one in a hundred. But now let’s say I want this person to be a woman (fifty percent): make that one in two hundred. Now let’s say, I want this woman to be unmarried and over the age of seventeen (fifty percent): one in four hundred. Now, actually, this girl is supposed to be Hindu and her family has to originate from a specific 50-square mile radius in the State of Gujarat, India): one in two thousand. Okay, so now let’s say I have to like her, she has to like me, and we have to actually find each other…what are the chances?

ONE IN A BILLION

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p>This equation, or close versions of it, have been around for a long time in the American desi community. My undergrad buddies at Michigan and I ran through this equation back in the late 90s trying to explain our failed (alright, my failed) love lives. The funny thing is the math is very similar to the Drake Equation which attempts to approximate the number of intelligent civilizations in the Milky Way Galaxy. The final odds all depend on the probability you assign to each variable.

    Ravi Patel is approaching age thirty and still single – a cataclysm in his culture. After breaking up with Audrey, his secret white girlfriend of two years, Ravi goes to India for his annual family trip. As usual, the pressure to get married is heavy, only this time Ravi succumbs; he agrees to try things their way: the semi-arranged marriage system. He comes back to America having no idea what he just agreed to. Blind dates with Indian girls introduced to him via biodatas – matrimonial resumes passed amongst the parents. Indian dating websites. Indian weddings. And matrimonial conventions for people all descending from a small group of villages in India – all with the same last name: Patel. Meanwhile, Ravi can’t stop thinking about Audrey. Ravi Patel has one year to find a girl, or next year he tries things the way his parents did it: the arranged marriage.

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p>Because this is a documentary (i.e., things need to be serious) Geeta and Ravi are going to be interviewing a panel of all kinds of desi experts, including couples with interesting stories, as part of this PBS documentary. That is where you readers potentially come in. Got a good story about your relationship?

SEARCHING FOR INTERESTING PERSONALITY WITH GREAT DATING STORIES!!!
A PBS Documentary about Indian dating and marriage in America is searching for everyday people to appear as guests for a filmed radio talk show in conjunction with the film.

The talk show panel will include academics from around the world, celebrities, and everyday people. We are searching for the following:
Indian Americans who are currently dating people through biodatas/parents, marriage conventions, the internet, and other methods. We are searching for someone who might have faced a great deal of pressure/conflict from their family regarding love and marriage, and someone who has grappled with the question: “Do I need to marry an Indian to be happy?’ Must be dynamic, interesting personality. Shoot is Los Angeles in early July.

If you would like to share thoughts, have any further questions, or are interested in a preliminary interview, please email: tsbillion [at] gmail.com.

Since relationship posts on SM are always the most commented upon, I am sure some of you will be jumping at this opportunity.

54 thoughts on “Got a story that is “One in a Billion?”

  1. i like the idea of one in a billion as a marketing ploy, but since no one has commented i’ll immediately pooh-pooh the idea because obviously you’re search space is constrained to a subset of the population which is still much larger than that which you could potentially evaluate. so the main issue is really the ratio of the target to competition. so if you’re an atheist guy, and you want to find an atheist woman, you have more guys than there are girls available (which is one reason that sepia mutiny reading males have sometimes told me not to mention their irreligiosity in public, lest that decrease their dating possibilities with the more supernaturally inclined sex). similarly, if you are a libertarian guy who wants to find a libertarian girl, you’re screwed in terms of pure odds unless you like to share. similarly, if you are a woman who wants to find a straight man with a good sense of color coordination, i have a bridge to sell you (if you’re tetrachromatic, out of luck, screwed).

  2. Coming from a tradition where my great grand-parents have had love marriages; I think the “arranged introduction” is a very useful matchmaking tool.

    I think the most important variable for marriage is “shared values”. More likely than not people from the same “background” have the same value system but then it so happens to be cross-cultural.

    I do happen to think that faith & culture has a very important influence on value systems but then its all about whether you connect with the other person. Its really surprising that some couples get married but haven’t had a conversation about whether/when they want to have kids..

  3. Statistics will get you down. Keep an open mind. You may find him/her via your community and family or through internet dating sites or some other way. Keep all options open.

  4. I think the term “arranged” is outdated for Indian Americans. What meeting people through your community and family is now is more like the internet dating sites that does the screening and selecting likely matches. The rest is up to you. The connection is between the two of you. You have a choice, and the other person does too.

  5. I actually know young Canadian / American born Punjabis who have still done the actual ‘arranged’ method, ie, go to India and get married a few weeks after meeting / selecting their future spouse. Depends on family and individual values and concerns related to finding someone and how much you trust them. Is rare but still happens.

    But I agree that over here, for the most part, the term arranged does just mean introduced. How many people here love doing the Indian ambassador thing, being asked after every time they mention their own marriage or an Indian one in conversation as to whether it was arranged ? People get asked that much ?

  6. desi experts

    Why do I get a Jane Goodall “Gorillas in the Mist” vibe from the tone of this promo?

  7. if you are a libertarian guy who wants to find a libertarian girl, you’re screwed in terms of pure odds unless you like to share.

    Depends. Are we talking about Nozick libertarians or people who read Ayn Rand when they were 14 and shut off all cognitive thinking skills thereafter.

  8. @Gurmando Store clerks very frequently ask me, in all earnestness, whether I’m already arranged to marry someone or if I plan on getting an arranged marriage.

  9. Are we talking about Nozick libertarians or people who read Ayn Rand when they were 14 and shut off all cognitive thinking skills thereafter.

    doesn’t matter, the survey data makes it clear that even milquetoast libertarianism (willing to vote for a major party) is more common among men. though my exp. is that the more extreme the libertarian (or any ideology actually) the greater the sausage surplus.

  10. I’m going to go with the 999,999,999 out of a billion argument – not enough separation from the parents ;) That’s the explanation for my failed dating life!

    Don’t matter if you want to date a South Asian American or someone from South Asia or are gay or straight or anything else – if you don’t have enough character, strength and personal warmth – and some tolerance of other people’s as long as they’re willing to try to grow – you’re not going to get very far. I say from personal experience.

  11. Sure, cry me a river boys….They should find a 30 year old woman whose odds are considerably worse before idealogical preferences even enter the picture….Am I the only one disturbed by the fact that this 30 year old man can even contemplate marriage with a 17 year old?

  12. i met this desi girl in the streetcar. exchanged glances. she was with somebody. then i got home and heard from parents about this rishta. we went over for dinner. it was the same girl. she was confused. i was not. lao at first sight. but we got to talk in private and i pledged my devotion. she was compelled. then she told me she was preggers. i said. no prob. but she declined. a year later i see her in the same streetcar, this time with a baby. she avoided my glance but i pressed. we got talking. the guy was a dumbass. he ran off to BC to plant trees. so she’s a single mom and parents arent too happy. i offered again. my parents werent too happy. but we made it work. six months into the marriage, we’re driving to quebec. a moose runs out into our path. we run through the legs and its head smashes through the window. she’s killed instantly. i get my scalp near torn off. but the baby’s fine. have recovered enough to walk around on my own but there’s nothign left but memories. les singhadas.

  13. .Am I the only one disturbed by the fact that this 30 year old man can even contemplate marriage with a 17 year old?

    oh, don’t impose your hegemonic age-egalitarian narrative :-)

  14. No, I am not disturbed by having a 30-year old contemplating marriage with a 17-year old. I’m disturbed when a 36-year old pretends to be a 30, and then comtemplates marriage with an 18-year old. Yup! Have seen that too!

  15. oh, don’t impose your hegemonic age-egalitarian narrative :-)

    I’m only thinking of the 1000s of chappals that will fly in the direction of TV sets everywhere as this probably photogenic, polished dude tries to get us to empathize.

  16. A friend of mine shared this with me.. I’m of Indian origin (Marwari, raised in Calcutta), and have been in the US for almost 9 yrs now. I came here when I was 18, so at the ripe ol’age of 27, I have all the pressure from my family, to get married, that one would expect.

    It was never a concerted effort on my part to not date Indian girls, but it just so happened, that I’ve dated girls outside my race. Here are the three major relationships: an Iranian-American, a Dutch-Mexican-American and a Mexican-America (who I came pretty close to marrying).

    After the last relationship fell apart, and I went to India a few months later for my cousin’s wedding, I was struck by the certainly these new couples had. This belief that they were marrying for life. None of this dating business; no let’s take things slow… Nope, these youngins were going into this head-first! Not that there aren’t unsuccessful marriages in my community, but the rate of success is surprisingly high… There are the occassional issues, but I haven’t seen a failed marriage in my extended family, which is quite large!

    This began, what I call the “Shaadi Chronicles” of my life!!! YES, I registered for an online matrimonial site & even gave my parents the go ahead to make a bio-data (cringe!). Things have been interesting to say the least since then. I’ve dated quite a few girls, and am in “serious negotiations” with another ;)

    Much to my parents’ chargin, I’d love to share my story!

  17. that I’ve dated girls outside my race.

    heh. mebee just me, but the phraseology “outside my race” sounds a bit archaic to me.

    . This belief that they were marrying for life.

    most people start out with this belief you know, no matter their culture.* just in the implementation….

    • there’s a higher probability that interracial/cultural/religious marriages end in divorce
  18. I would think if one leaves a major decision such as marriage up to his/her parents, s/he should not get married at all….just my $0.02

    but the rate of success is surprisingly high… There are the occassional issues, but I haven’t seen a failed marriage in my extended family, which is quite large!

    It has nothing to with successful marriages or happy individuals but the stigma of divorce and pressure from both families to stay together.

  19. I would think if one leaves a major decision such as marriage up to his/her parents, s/he should not get married at all….just my $0.02

    i think that’s as much of a mischaracterization of the type of arranged marriages described on this weblog as the bigoted put-downs & stereotypes of “western culture” and traditions which some drive-by-commenters engage in. different people have different sets of preferences & values. let’s just accept that as a given.

  20. That wasn’t meant to be a put down. I just think if someone is willing to spend the rest of their life with someone they barely know, there must be some sort of psychological imbalance present OR their decision making abilities must be intensely reevaluated. Please don’t tell me that the “I’d rather marry and have kids with a stranger than be alone forever” mentality sounds healthy.

  21. Arranged marriage, to most Indian-Americans, I think means meeting people through their parents/online/etc and deciding whether to marry them. That is not arranged marriage, that is called courtship– a practice not exclusive to desis. Parents aren’t arranging a marriage but a date, this happens in all cultures, I’m sure. What I don’t understand is why it is still being called “arranged marriage”… seems inaccurate to me.

  22. jenna, point taken. in the right contexts i’m pretty free about ragging on the barbarism of the sort of guy (or far less commonly in my experience girl) who tells mom & dad, “please find me someone,” and boom, it happens.* i know of a personal example of a guy with an ivy league degree who was fat and shy, and he basically asked his mom to find him someone, and she did within one week. i recall there was a stipulation by his new wife that he lose weight, but that never happened (share barely speaks english, is trapped at home, while he’s usually at his software engineering job six days a week). but that’s the exception in terms of crassness.

    myself, i guess i am pretty “western” in my attitudes, and have pretty much bought into the american model (i have gone “outside my race” as a previous poster would have said). whenever i read these marriage/relationship threads i encounter stuff i find subtly or not-so-subtly offensive in terms of relationships that some here perceive as interculturally incompatible, or reflective of western values which don’t point to deep commitment or fidelity. but…if you really want to have a genuine exchange and respect each other you need to go the extra mile to give some respect to the “other side” too.

    by example, there are often threads/posts about intercultural relationships, compatibilities and what not. myself, i don’t “get” on a deep level some of the issues, concerns and rationales which crop up from those who say that they find dating coethnics so much more preferable in terms of comfort level. but of course i’m willing to agree that the people who express such sentiments are sincere, and their own experiences may be entirely valid, for them. my main aim is just to push back on the creeping narrative that will crop up whereby those of us who are in relationships with non-co-ethnics are perceived to be “missing something.” even within the class of “mixed” people there’s a lot of variation. some of the mixed couples celebrate their cultural diversity and differences. but myself & my partner do not, we actually pretty much share all the same values (which aren’t actually that common in the general population, no matter the color or culture), and in that way i can totally comprehend people who feel more comfort with “their own kind.” i do as well…it only isn’t defined in the same way as other people might define it.

    • arranged marriages in economically deprived circumstances are fundamentally driven by different dynamics.
  23. i met her outside the fence at the summit of americas in quebec. she stood out and not just for being desi. cords and a hand-knit scarf. thick glasses. lips that had never needed moisturizer. hair that had known tel and grandma’s tugs into plaits at one time. but the hotness was searing. we got close and couldnt help it. then there were rocks. and tear gas. and people getting hurt. we were arrested. she got deported back to new york. after september we drifted apart. the border was too draining. i thought that was it. now i manage a record store on queen street. then, last saturday she was outside my window …

    -complete it yo’self chiles- :-)

  24. My non Sanskrit name might make people assume I’m an outsider, promoting “western values” that supposedly don’t focus on commitment, but here’s the zinger: I’m Indian, and because of that, I’ve also observed numerous arranged marriages. Everyone in my family (who is married) has had one, so I think I’ve had just as much “experiences” with them as anyone else who endorses “the other side”, if not more. I have yet to see an arranged couple in which both parties have a strong (or mild) passion for each other, sure PDA is taboo but there should be at least a FEW signs of chemistry. All I see is barely-there friendship–but anyone can be friends with anyone. Of course, these are more old fashioned and I’ve never encountered a 2nd gen arranged marriage (unless seeing it on MTV’s True Life counts– that episode left me dumbfounded, because these are kids who grew up in a culture where thinking for oneself is encouraged but I guess their parents influence surpassed it.). The universal thing about relationships/marriages is there is not a single one that even comes close to being perfect, so I’m definitely not saying there is a “right way”. Humans are not meant to be monogamous. I’m married…to an Indian guy, but I didn’t marry him because of his ethnicity, he has much more qualities than that (yes, I do think being Indian is a quality:) . Before I did so however, I had to do a lot of growing up and asking myself if it was what I really wanted, rational contemplation, things that I doubt very many people do before jumping into a marriage( I say that because it’s very obvious when they don’t). My problem with arranged marriage is that educated, intelligent people enter it as if there was no other option. Again I repeat, the “I’d rather marry and have kids with a stranger than be alone forever” mentality showcases mental imbalance and severe desperation as if marriage was some kind of refuge from being a social outcast or whatever the irrational fear may be.

  25. jenna, i didn’t assume you weren’t brown at all. jenna seems as brown a name as ‘anna’ ;-)

    Humans are not meant to be monogamous.

    it’s more complicated than that. with modern life expectancies i think you can defend that statement as a generalization, but there’s a fair amount of interpersonal variation in disposition. as an example, of my close friends has never had a relationship that lasts longer than 6 months. he always get sexually bored. in contrast, i’ve been with one person for more than half of my adult life, and happily so (i’m in my early 30s). as someone who is interested in behavior genetics i suspect there are biological dispositional, as well as environmental variates, that impact this (my friend, who is adopted, is a total outlier behaviorally in his family).

    in fact, you can even correlate probability of being in interracial relationships according to the copy number of dopamine receptor genes you have! (this tracks ‘novelty seeking’ and ‘risk taking’)

  26. Again I repeat, the “I’d rather marry and have kids with a stranger than be alone forever” mentality showcases mental imbalance and severe desperation as if marriage was some kind of refuge from being a social outcast or whatever the irrational fear may be. i have a friend who got married last year to a girl introduced to him by his parents. he made the decision to get married after just one meeting, supposedly because he couldn;t take his parents’ nagging for the last few months. now he’s realising it was a bit mistake – they’re both miserable. neither has much interest in saving the marriage, but neither seems to want to go the divorce route because of the obvious family drama that will ensue. so, basically, now he;s looking to start a relationship outside his marriage. it’s very sad, frankly, and i understand how strong family pressure can get, but being miserable with a stranger seems like a much worse situation.

  27. @Jenna……Should one do a job which pays their bill but do not enjoy? Well….Most, if not all, people do not like their job…why do they do it? because it offers them some satisfaction, money to pay bills, and money to do activities which one might enjoy!!

    Now, you are saying marrying a stranger and having kids is worse than be alone forever….Well it might happen in some cases but in most cases…people do learn to like each other…and a bigger aspect is you have kids which you love them by all your heart…..Do you think people who have arranged marriage love their kids any less…No..so marrying a stranger, with little passion, does offer some benefits….I am sure I could find some more but I think the ones I mentioned are good enough….

  28. Ash, who thinks people who have arranged marriages love their kids any less? most couples stick together, if it is arranged or love marriage, for the sake of kids.so your question is invalid.

  29. most couples stick together, if it is arranged or love marriage, for the sake of kids.so your question is invalid.

    Couples stick together more in arranged marriage compared to love marriage (I think the data is not exact though)

    “I’d rather marry and have kids with a stranger than be alone forever” mentality

    Most people need someone to witness their life, so they choose a partner. The question would be how long the stranger will remain stranger? They will eventually get to know each other. Some fall in love, others don’t. I have seen both love & arranged ones of my classmates (Gen Y). In both the cases they are doing well (at least on the surface). One difference i noticed with love marriage in India is my undergrad classmates dated one or at the max two guys/girls before tying the knot, where as here they do lots of trial & error. Some here in my grad school dated casually & finally got arranged. I think everything is fine. To each his own.

    stigma of divorce and pressure from both families to stay together.

    Divorces are increasing in India too. The stigma attached to it is reducing. Lots of families (middle/upper middle) who have one or two kids will not allow their kids to suffer in a marriage.

    One Interesting read on finding true love & game theory

  30. I don’t really have a problem with arranged marriages so long as the introduction doesn’t mean a next step is compulsory. You have to tie the knot just because you’ve agreed to meet your blind date. You can’t really be swayed by the eagerness of the match makers who will chant to the anthem of what will people say, you’ve already initiated first contact and it makes you look frivolous if you don’t say I do.
    Obviously yaar you have to click. In an introduction scenario for me this doesn’t mean feeling love or looking for a boyfriend. It’s about requiring shared values of possible husband and wife material. I want nope need a candidate who’s nice but not fake and who lets me do what I want. And money helps too. This goes both ways. I don’t want to sponge off someone but I don’t want no guy mooching off me. Going back to the peer pressure from relatives and other match makers, one thing I’m wary of is the disruption a new entry can make in the overall family circle. Like in Indian society people love helping to set up matches and suggest candidates even to strangers. But they don’t always think beyond that point. I have seen families think that the boy or girl is the best thing since sliced bread just because they tick the right boxes like family background, education, job, looks and later regret the decision because the new wife or husband turns the spouse against the family. There’s an element of manipulation. Maybe they don’t want them spending so much time with the original family and maybe just with their own relatives, or they want their funds and property and then piss off with partner and kids in tow. They cut off the emotional connection. This defeats the purpose of marriage in the desi setting because marriage is meant to be for the growth and security of the two family units.

  31. This is very pertinent to my situation right now… I just graduated from college and have been “feeling the heat,” so to speak, about meeting guys through family friends or recommendations and seriously dating with the intent of getting married. I do “think for myself” but I honestly do see the value in this sort of “assisted” marriage system. Especially because of something that other people haven’t mentioned yet — the casual sex/drunk hooking up system following people from college into the working world, and the fact that there are fewer people who are looking for marriage until they hit 30 (in coastal urban cities, at least, where most desis live), if at all. As someone who is hesitant to risk getting emotionally attached to someone by getting physical with them if all they want to do is “have some fun,” I’m really thankful that the assisted marriage system screens for people who actually do (at least theoretically) want to get married. This is why I have a problem with people like Ravi (and this is more true for guys) — they already have someone in mind or they aren’t serious about settling down, but they give into parental pressure and falsely lead along girls who are serious about getting married and being loyal to their husbands, which isn’t fair to them, especially since women have less time than men to waste in terms of finding a mate. Honestly, if the modern dating system that I’ve seen (and seen many of my friends get hurt by) weren’t so shitty for long-term relationships and marriage, then I wouldn’t be as gung-ho about arranged/assisted marriage. And that’s a conclusion I came to through the power of my own observation and thinking.

  32. I think that I have a relevant comment to make to this post. I was asked by my employers to date and coming from a family where dating was not a convention, I got sexually harassed due to not having a girlfriend. You can read all about the experience at dearbobkanter.blogspot.com

  33. what a popat calculation! gujju chokras and chokris are abundant in America. besides every gujju is linked to the desh with a tight network of kaka-mama na relatives. Abhi are you really a gujju?

  34. @ ash, Most people have jobs to earn money, which is necessary for survival. Marriage is not. Your comparison is a load of bull. I never said people with arranged marriages love their kids less although I wouldn’t doubt it seeing that love is something unknown to them, not just romantic love but Indian culture necessitates obedience and honor towards parents and not so much a mutual relationship and understanding. (Or at least all the Indian families I know fit that mold, mine included) I’ve never told my parents I loved them, & vice versa. The most I knew about them were their names, their jobs and their fondness of yelling. I’m pretty sure they cared for me a lot but there was zero affection and my attempts at having conversations with them about anything not school related were ignored. Which was fine, I mean that’s why I had friends..but parents should be authoritative figures and also companions (the former being more important, of course)..

    @ Razib, even with longer life expectancy, I doubt most humans would choose one person, without the impacts of social conditioning. Relationships are sociological and not biological and of course there will be some people who prefer one partner. Romantic relationships are what we are taught, derived mainly from religion and not something instinctively developed, unlike sexual desires which are.

    And that’s a conclusion I came to through the power of my own observation and thinking. Well, bsb, good for you, now I’ll kindly tell you what’s wrong with your “thinking”. You just got out of college and instead of thinking of your career, finding a place to live, jump starting your newly independent life, you focus on marriage. Not only that, you generalize men to be oversexed, commitment-phobes who just want you for one night. And you wonder why no one wants to settle down with you. It’s easy really, if you don’t like casual sex, then don’t do it. It bothers me that you are so set on getting married, when it sounds like you have very little experience with relationships.. There are literally millions of people (including men!) who date with the intention of getting married; if you were actually thinking, you’d know that. Also, statistics show that the younger two people are when they’re married, the more likely the relationship will fail. People want time to grow and mature and that’s why older people are more invested in long term relationships.

  35. Well, bsb, good for you, now I’ll kindly tell you what’s wrong with your “thinking”. You just got out of college and instead of thinking of your career, finding a place to live, jump starting your newly independent life, you focus on marriage. Not only that, you generalize men to be oversexed, commitment-phobes who just want you for one night. And you wonder why no one wants to settle down with you. It’s easy really, if you don’t like casual sex, then don’t do it. It bothers me that you are so set on getting married, when it sounds like you have very little experience with relationships.. There are literally millions of people (including men!) who date with the intention of getting married; if you were actually thinking, you’d know that.

    Umm. Nowhere did I say that I wasn’t thinking about my career. The topic is about marriage so I was talking about marriage. Trust me, my family expects a lot of me when it comes to living up to my potential in whatever field I’m in, and so do I.

    It looks like you’re the one generalizing my comment. The observation of the ‘hook-up culture’ is based on my own experience and my peers’. I know too many girls who hook up with guys with the intention of getting them to commit and then realize after many such heartbreaks that sleeping around is not as empowering as they try to convince themselves it is, nor are they made of steel or like men in their ability to not get emotionally attached. Yes, I’m aware that there’s a lot of variance in both sexes, but what I’m saying is still true for most people.

    Umm, I also didn’t say anywhere that I was having trouble finding anyone to settle down with– I was saying that not many intend to for a long time, if at all. Maybe you don’t know a lot of young people, but poll some of them and find out their views on marriage and settling down. (at least for the group I’m talking about, those in coastal urban cities, where most desis live). You are right that if I don’t like casual sex, I shouldn’t do it– so I don’t. But there are lots of people who are unsatisfied with it who keep on doing it because that’s just what the “dating” culture has become. You wouldn’t understand because you were probably in college forever ago.

    I don’t have a lot of dating experience, but like I said, I am sensitive and don’t see the need to repeatedly get used by those without any long-term intentions (it happened to me once, which is why I learned to be wary) and heartbroken and eventually jaded about men and marriage (or women and marriage, for men). And you don’t need lots of “relationship experience” to make a marriage either. As long as two people are compatible and have a desire to make the marriage work and realize that it will actually take work, it should go a long way– but the lifestyles that people live now, based on instant gratification instead, certainly don’t teach people how to be a good companion.

    I’m sure there are millions of men out there who date intending to get married… out of billions of men in the world. But if you break it down to certain areas and certain age groups, there are men who are just happy screwing around too. Thinking.. you may want to look up the definition.

    I never said people with arranged marriages love their kids less although I wouldn’t doubt it seeing that love is something unknown to them, not just romantic love but Indian culture necessitates obedience and honor towards parents and not so much a mutual relationship and understanding. (Or at least all the Indian families I know fit that mold, mine included) I’ve never told my parents I loved them, & vice versa. The most I knew about them were their names, their jobs and their fondness of yelling. I’m pretty sure they cared for me a lot but there was zero affection and my attempts at having conversations with them about anything not school related were ignored.

    Why is it that the ones who are bitter and who make the most negative generalizations about Indian-Americans are always those with the saddest home lives?

    You sound like a teenager upset because her parents won’t let her go to the prom. Get over it.

  36. So, I’m curious, if you were thinking about your career, why do you seem so keen on getting married? Your previous comment made it sound like it was your only focus.

    Umm, I also didn’t say anywhere that I was having trouble finding anyone to settle down with– I was saying that not many intend to for a long time, if at all. Maybe you don’t know a lot of young people, but poll some of them and find out their views on marriage and settling down. (at least for the group I’m talking about, those in coastal urban cities, where most desis live). You are right that if I don’t like casual sex, I shouldn’t do it– so I don’t. But there are lots of people who are unsatisfied with it who keep on doing it because that’s just what the “dating” culture has become. You wouldn’t understand because you were probably in college forever ago.

    You didn’t need to say it, directly. When you say that no young people want relationships, I think you mean that they don’t want one with you. I can’t say I blame them. The fact that you seem to crave commitment shows me you have no actual understanding of what it is. You also don’t seem to realize that hooking up and dating are different things. There is a reason why young people don’t settle down quickly, statistics show it is wiser to get married when you are older. I’m 27, I was in college 5 years ago, I wouldn’t call that forever ago heh. My sister in law is a junior in college and she’s in a relationship with another guy who is, what might come as a shocker to you, in college as well. I’m fairly familiar with her close friends and sorority sisters, most of whom are in relationships as well–some that have persisted for years. I certainly don’t doubt that drunken hook ups are extremely common, but after telling you this, I hope the idea of two kids in college who are in a stable relationship doesn’t sound as preposterous as you seem to think.

    don’t have a lot of dating experience, but like I said, I am sensitive and don’t see the need to repeatedly get used by those without any long-term intentions (it happened to me once, which is why I learned to be wary) and heartbroken and eventually jaded about men and marriage (or women and marriage, for men). And you don’t need lots of “relationship experience” to make a marriage either

    So one guy used you because you weren’t able to see the signs that he wasn’t serious (men usually make it very clear when commitment is not something they want) and suddenly they all behave like this? You do realize there are online dating sites that specifically filter out men who are serious about marriage? Look bsb, I can’t control what you do, but when you get an arranged marriage, don’t be surprised once your commitment driven husband starts looking outside for the spark that was lacking in your relationship. Why is it that the ones who are bitter and who make the most negative generalizations about Indian-Americans are always those with the saddest home lives? You sound like a teenager upset because her parents won’t let her go to the prom. Get over it.

    I’m certainly not bitter, that comment might have come across that way, but I’m perfectly satisfied with my life and self. I also never made a negative generalization (that part was you) about anyone, let alone Indian Americans. I was describing an experience with my parents, one that seemed to recur in every Indian family I knew. Indian parents certainly love their children, but I don’t believe I am wrong in saying that Indian culture does not emphasize affection

  37. @Jenna “Most people have jobs to earn money, which is necessary for survival. Marriage is not. Your comparison is a load of bull.” Well family, friends, and marriage may not be necessary for survival in strictest sense but they are necessary for emotional well being. And personally I need my family for emotional sanity with so much unpredictability in life. The reason I brought children’s point was to emphasize that romantic relationships is not the only reason marriage is needed. They serve lot of other purpose for people and society. And regarding physical affection with family, I agree Indian parents are less affectionate but then they are also willing to support me more. If I had to choose my parents who are very affectionate but asked me to leave their house when I turn 18, pay my college tuition, and with option of moving back with them when times are bad….I would certainly choose the latter.

  38. Ash, yes relationships with friends and families do help with emotional well being. Certain relationships such as marriage, if anything, tend to destroy emotional well being, from what I’ve seen. So when it is arranged, I cannot imagine the hell that becomes reality. I’m in a happy marriage and view my husband as someone who was sent from above but I’m certain I’d be happy without it. I also seem to be almost the only or at least, one of the very few people who enjoys married life, I think having no children helps with that. The reason I brought children’s point was to emphasize that romantic relationships is not the only reason marriage is needed. They serve lot of other purpose for people and society

    No, no they don’t. If we want to go one step further, I’d say children are certainly not needed, but that’s another can of worms I don’t feel like debating.

    I agree Indian parents are less affectionate but then they are also willing to support me more. If I had to choose my parents who are very affectionate but asked me to leave their house when I turn 18, pay my college tuition, and with option of moving back with them when times are bad….I would certainly choose the latter.

    Support you more than what? or who? White parents don’t support their kids? Are you saying that you’d rather have in-affectionate parents instead of owning up to being an adult, taking responsibility and not mooching and sponging off your parents’ bank accounts?

  39. I think you are really surrounded by pathetic people….Most of my friends (guys,girls) are happy with their marriage…and most of them wanted to have kids voluntarily…. Just because you think that marriage and children do not serve any purpose does not mean an average person also thinks that way…