Anyone who has grown up in an Indian family is well aware of society’s obsession with marriage. And to choose to be unmarried for the rest of your life and live in India is like “Aag ka dariya, doob ke jaana“.
Even if our society clearly stigmatises single women more than single men, the latter have their own difficulties.
1. “I had the same concerns and I decided to move to the USA. I cannot say what the future holds for you in India, but things are changing. More so, in places like Mumbai. Mumbai’s society is borderline cosmopolitan and very accepting. Should you decide to stay in India, you can plan and settle in a place of your liking. Your concerns are valid if you decide to stay in your hometown or a tier 2 or tier 3 city.”
2. “Your concerns are valid, tbh. If you choose to stay single, the only correct way to respond to this societal pressure is by becoming rich. You don’t need to be Ambani style rich, just a couple of crores, a solid house, and a big ass car will do.”
3. “People’s mindset in India is different compared to other countries. The main problem is finding a place to rent. I mean, common people get suspicious if you are a single man, and then the relatives keep asking the parents why your son is staying single (I guess they want someone else to also start having huge burdens in their life).”
4. “One main problem is that people nag them all the time, asking why they are still single. Some people say that getting a single guy married is a way of making him responsible enough to take up the family burden. Don’t you want to settle down in your life? Marry this girl! She will make you happy! We (the parents) are getting too old and we want to see the grandchildren before we die!”
5. “I am 30 and am not staying in India anymore. And I am glad because if I were still back in India, all hell would have broken loose, with people asking me left and right why I am not married and wondering if I had some ‘flaw’. Even now, I often find out about my relatives back in India indulging in mild ‘gossip’ about why I am not married yet, or not even considering it. I also often get ‘proposals’ for arranged marriage from relatives and friends of supposedly ‘eligible’ young Indian women. I don’t even flinch because I’d rather die alone than go for an arranged marriage. I don’t know if and when I will get married, but boy, I sure am glad that I don’t reside in India as an unmarried 30-year-old!”
6. “Looking at the ads ‘pets allowed, bachelors not allowed’. Guess, we are worse than the dogs.”
7. “It’s not that good. People in your family and friend circle constantly ask you to get married. Some think you’re gay. Some say your “things” don’t work. Getting a room for rent is a hassle. Friends leave you out of the circle when they plan outings. Office women think you are a flirt when you even make small casual talk to kill boredom.”
8. “This is from my experience (a single Indian male at 35). For getting an apartment, I have to say my mom would live with me. Even the best of my college friends don’t expect me in their place. People are afraid of child molestation so much that even my best gestures with the best intentions are not looked upon as good by them. Many hotels have denied me accommodation many times.”
9. “I’m not at an age where I should get married lol. But I will tell you about an older cousin who is like 35 and unmarried. Gosh, where do I start? People showed unwanted and unappreciated sympathy for my aunt. People thought there was something wrong with him, and people made remarks to piss off my aunt. Now, my aunt isn’t a saint by a light year, but it is hurtful.”
10. “I’m 37, single… thought I’d be able to keep it that way… but now mental difficulties are taking hold, and I’m becoming socially isolated… it’s a difficult road.”
11. “As my parents put it, ‘people will think you are not a normal man’.”
12. “One of the problems with being a bachelor, at least in my case, is that folks constantly think you are gay and get hit on. Can be a bit troublesome. On the other hand, you don’t have to worry too much about the girl you are currently going out with as long as you are honest with them and treat them well. The cool thing is being able to play a lot of games with your friends, do a bit of partying, and generally have a good time. Also, one learns to be independent, how to handle money properly, how to cook, clean, etc.”