Recently, At a friend’s wedding I found myself saddled with old pals ( all male ) all of whom were surprisingly still single. That kept me wondering : were they still waiting for that perfect partner, or had they many options all of which they wanted to keep open – without committing to one ( “commitmentOphobia” ?)
It seemed that in this group I was the veteran in this particular department , married for 8 years albeit in the old-fashioned arranged fashion which most of these friends considered an absolute farce .
I used to think in similar terms too, once upon a time.That was till I got weary of all of my “prospective” partners repeating the same thing (“I thought we were just friends “) . Not for want of a more innovative reason to thwart advances, but I earnestly I believed in the illusion that I was really good at making friends with women.
In time I realized that my hatred was misdirected at the female gender, when it should have really been targeted at Charles Darwin. After all it was his (highly proven) theory that postulated that any individual (human or otherwise) would never look towards a potential partner in a non-conformist – it flew in the face of the safety-in-numbers theory. So that was the critical factor – being a non-conformist.
Big deal ? YES.
I considered my options – maybe I could change myself to become more presentable and more social – it was just a matter of signing up for some courses and throwing some money – that easy to woo a woman, but the resultant I won’t be me. Wearing a lifelong mask sounded terrifying at best – maybe the mask grows on me so much so that I don’t recognize myself any more – depersonalization ? – yes it has happened with people.
Or like numerous others I could put up a small act as the ultimate Prince Charming during the innumerable dates interspersed over weeks or months. After all it would be just for a few hours at a time – not too difficult for an amateur actor , presenting only favorable traits & and force-congenial-izing tastes. But again that could hardly lead to a sustainable relationship – the bluff would be called once cohabitation started. For the likes of us not desiring a sustainable relationship anyways it maybe fine but not for the fastidious me.
Besides vowing to lead a single life ( which felt unbearably lonely ) or celibate life ( which amounts to self-cruelty or self-injury) I had no other options but to consider arranged marriage.
And I did.
On the plus side this meant (within certain limits) I could remain as uncouth, unshaven , un-deoderated and most importantly as non-conformist as possible, I could cling to my home-brewed ( and rather queer) beliefs ( religious, political , philosophical ) as tightly as possible. Getting accepted was not necessary now.
I still WOULD NOT recommend arranged marriage ; the “love” variant, done properly, where the feelings from the heart are substantiated by those in the brain is always the more natural approach while being more adventurous as well. Love marriages also are more helpful in transcending the artificial barriers that we have erected ( religion, region , race , caste) – the products of such marriages are less likely to be bigoted.
But if you’re a non-conformist like me, and unless you find a partner who is also non-conformist in exactly the same way, arranged marriage is still an option on the table.