As a woman of better times, I am in uncharted territories of being educated, independent and supported by my family. I can do what I want which means I can marry who I want.
There’s just one problem. I feel unprepared to look for that someone. Sometimes it feels like this is my own failing, at other moments I feel the disconnect between my generation and the one that came before me. The hope is to go out, meet someone and decide they are the one, without any real know-how on identifying potential mates.
Growing up in India, the odds are against my parents allowing me to date as a teenager. With obvious perils of teenage stupidity like pregnancy and STD s, social stigma, plans of future arranged marriages and news of attacks on women, I get why it is the way it is. But I do feel like there has been a lost opportunity to learn to navigate around the opposite sex under their protection and guidance.
Here is a list of things I wish I learnt young.
- Don’t put off love for when you are ‘grown up’. No matter how old you get you don’t really ever feel ready.
- Don’t make a habit of waiting for tomorrow to make a move on someone you like. When your insecurities creep in, count to 10 and do it.
- Rebel kindly. Talk to mom and dad about love life even if they get uneasy/mad. It gets easier with time to keep them in the loop.
- Don’t take your body too seriously. It’s changing constantly and waiting for it to be perfect to fall in love is fighting a losing battle.
- It’s OK to play it up a little for attention. Don’t venture into douche territories.
- When you like someone, don’t look at the floor and hope no one notices. Straighten up and flash that person a smile.
- Remember to check in. Ask them how they’re doing. When you have nothing to say, listening can be enough.
- It gets easier with practice.
It’s only about ten years late.
But I like the feeling of having my life under control. Make my own mistakes and meet someone on my own terms. So I must try.