My Mother Couldn’t Date Before Her Marriage, And I Think That’s Tragic

If you are a millennial you know it takes a bunch of flames to get you to something cool, you have either seen it happen to a friend, to you, a cousin or whatever. But, the first relationship, the first crush, the first love simply isn’t good enough. You gotta have more. And a few trials later maybe you will get the hang of it.

All my life I looked at older couples, and I figured wow, that blind date is really making them pay now, and pay hard, the blind date of arranged marriage that is. And over time I have realized that even older choice based or love marriages were not much far from blind dates, because, well, 20 years ago, how much of ‘knowing’ could you have done, and no knowing, no fun, and no fun, means literally no knowing at all.

Although marriage is a lot more than lust, pleasure, and raising a child, but a few days of a highly supervised engagement or a nikkah prior to rukhsati is really not helpful in any part of it. They make up for really cool functions, events, time to socialize and celebrate, but they have no other function than just that.

There is no possible way to gauge if the person you are marrying with or without being acquainted with them is a good match for you or not. After all the society, parents and even partners themselves can choose if someone is a good candidate for marriage based on superficial and very quantitative merits, the best and the worst nobody tells and it really is left to fate and being submissive and acquiesce overtime to make it work.

My mother belongs to a relatively open-minded family of her time, but she could not date, at least not in a fashion whereby her family understood it or even acknowledged it if she did she had to hide it. Those were bad times and marrying then was not such a major deal, it was a simple rite of passage that people would cross without any major heartbreak or investment.

Nobody told these people that hey, you deserve more, you deserve to know what you’re marrying into, and if you would like to know something else or not, set some grounds, have a few discussions, while there was room for all of this, not many people were examining their options because not many were told they could, or they should even think of a possibility where it may not work out.

In the case for a marriage of choice or the so-called love marriage, the awareness of who and what their partner it might be better, but in a time so old, with such little privacy and so much more stigmas, the level of awareness does not match today’s modern dating.

By modern dating I really do not mean any derogatory or crazy thing, I do not mean to hint towards any hookups or nonserious relationships, I only mean relationships that are given effort from both sides and that may qualify as something more extendable or long term, all of it in a modern social media and internet driven globalised society. However, this is certainly not what a relationship is, there may be all shapes and sizes, but my only intention here to narrow it down to this is that when considering if you want to marry someone, this is the kind that would help, and that can be nurtured into something extraordinary.

It is just tragic that the generation of my parents, in my family at least didn’t get to go on dates, fight over texts, take trips together and build something stronger, like perhaps my brother or I today can. Because times have changed, why not use it to our wellness and not destruction.

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