You’re next! Yeahh…No.

It’s strange, how a lot of discussions in the family start turning towards the dreaded topic of ‘getting married and settling down’. Or ‘you should be learning to cook for your married life’. Or even, ‘everyone else is getting married, you should be thinking about it too. You’re not going to be young forever!’ Or the most epic one, at someone else’s wedding – ‘You do realise, you’re next? Aren’t you looking forward to it?!’ Ummm, no. The woes of crossing the 21 year milestone of your life! *sigh*

I should probably mention here that I come from an Indian family, South Indian at that. It is quite common in our culture to get married as early as at the age of 20. 18 even, sometimes. It is also a common practice to have arranged marriages. I should also mention, I’ve turned 23 recently.

My entire family had been trying to get me hitched since my 21st, and I put my foot down. I said till I turn 25, there better be no talk of marriage in our home, or they lose me. Though in hindsight, that doesn’t leave me much time. It’s creeping up in two years! But, as time has passed since then, I’m beginning to see reasons to not get married, in the foreseeable future, at least.

One of my main problems with marriage is that people don’t get that it’s not about securing a ‘safe’ future for yourself. It’s about building a future YOU wish for, with someone YOU decide to make a part of your life. Society doesn’t have a right to have a say in this. No matter how much they try and muscle-arm their way into showing that they do.

Also, I just can’t commit to the idea of dealing with another family, and changing myself because of it. I’m open to change, but not to the extent of changing the person I am. It’s not always the case for every marriage, sure. There are some wonderful families who can welcome even the most distinctive of individuals into their fold with open arms. They know you are an individual in your own right, and don’t expect you to change. But I’ve seen it asked for, more often than not. Hell, I’ve even seen it with my own parents’ marriage.

I don’t want to have the kind of marriage that my parents have. I mean, I love both of them and they’re wonderful people, individually. But as a couple, I only see a kind of respect between them, rather than love. After almost 30 years of marriage, I’ve just never felt that they were ‘in love’. I need to know that I am very much in love if and when I decide to take that leap of faith with someone.

Just because someone isn’t married to the one they love, does not mean the relationship isn’t valid. You don’t need a certificate to prove that you’re in love, or even to hope that that love lasts forevermore. Because, in life, there are no guarantees. You work, and you work hard, for what you want! If the certificate guarantees that your love would last forever, the divorce rate wouldn’t be as high as it was.

The idea of committing to another person doesn’t freak me out, not one bit. I’m a big believer in love, romance and all that. And that’s what marriage is about.

The only problem in this stand I take is…my love life. Or my apparent lack of it. People tend to believe I’m staying off men, dating, love and relationships. But I’m not. Not in the least. I have realised that if ever there is a time I will change the views I’ve aired above, it’ll be when a man who loves me enough to convince me does so. Sounds unrealistic? Probably is. If not, time will tell.