I’m 35 and single.
The sum total of my dating history can be summarized in one phrase – Dead on arrival.
Unlike most seventeen year olds, I did not have a boyfriend back in 1999. My reasons for avoiding one were the following:
- I lived in a small town and feared my mother getting to know I had one.
- I was molested at 16 and went through a long phase of “I hate men.”
- My parents had a terrible marriage.
- All that gyaan about morals was drilled into my head by my Catholic convent all girls school.
- I had no idea how to communicate with boys.
So I remained a ‘boring’ single teen and equally boring 20 something as well. It was by sheer chance that I managed to eventually date by the time I was 23. But even then, my relationships did not fare well. Due to my many insecurities and trauma, the people I chose were not always the best ones for me. Subconsciously, I chose those who probably had issues too & treated me badly.
Some horrifying break-ups later, I decided to take a sabbatical from all relationships to reevaluate my life. I thought that I could always jump right back and find a great boyfriend after this soul-searching trip. I was so wrong.
Turning 35 made me realize just how disconnected I was with dating and how poor my skills remain when it comes to conversing with men. I was woefully un-traditional & awkward.
As a result, I started talking to my successfully married/in-a-committed relationship girlfriends for dating advice on ‘how to get your man and keep him’.
It was a revelation for me that the communication between men and women is based on a lot of subterfuge and a hell lot of lies. I have listed down the advices I received over the past few months for some of you to use them, maybe!
1) “Never come out as a strong woman” – The reason I am told is that Indian men love gentle, homely and submissive women. If a woman comes across as strong and confident about her sexuality, it will never lead to a proposal.
2) “Keep your feminism at bay”– Men don’t like women who identify as feminists, men don’t like women who talk about women’s issues and their rights and problems. No man will propose an outspoken feminist, so better keep your feminism with you!
3) “Pamper” – Talk to the man as if he is the most important person and come out as a caring person. Try to keep checking in with him about his health and food etc. Basically, be prepared for a manchild.
4) “Don’t show that you are opinionated” – “Dumb down!” is the most common advice given to a lot of girls and women alike. For example – I can assemble my own desktop from scratch. However, I have to pretend to not know shit about technology to soothe his ego.
5) “Dress like a woman” – I can look and dress however I want on other days. But, when I go out to meet a man for a date, I always have to ‘doll-up’ and be perfectly groomed.
6 ) “Talk about him- don’t talk about yourself too much” – Make all conversations about him and make him feel important.
7) “Cutie wootie talk”– You have to learn to talk like “Baby-talk Becky” from HIMYM to make him feel needed and that he has to protect you. But, don’t go overboard with this. Because of course, you don’t have to be like “those girls.”
8) “Don’t end a date without fixing another one”- You HAVE to tell him that you had a good time and would definitely like to see him again. You can’t miss this one. Not at all.
9) “Be Coy” – No sex unless he makes it official. (Damn!)
10) “Don’t be blunt/honest” – Don’t even try to be blunt when/if he asks you things like “Will you miss me?” Your reply HAS to be “Of course! I will, sweetheart.”
I could enlist only a few out of the pool of advices I get. But the border line is, you have to be homely, nurturing, and submissive if you want to go out with a man! “Feminazi-type” women scare men away. Okay?
Disclaimer: This piece is satire.