Dating is still a largely unwelcome concept for parents in a society where marriage rishtas are finalised in a few meetings. Even if Indian parents suspect their kid is dating someone, they will voluntarily avoid discussing the “uncomfortable” subject.

And if your parents are “strict,” you’ll probably never be able to date someone (or maybe you can if you are a good liar). 

Here’s what a few desi Redditors shared about what their Indian parents think about dating and that might be one of the reasons why, a lot of us are still single.

1. “My parents are not going to allow me to date, even in my late twenties. This is the only problem that I have with them. My sister (24) is dating a guy who, btw, is financially stable and they are both serious about the relationship, but my mom still has problems with that. I know my sister is eventually going to convince my mom, but it is going to be really difficult with my father. I am going to date guys but never share it with my parents until I want to get married. The thing is, first I have to become financially independent, and then I will have a chance to get married on my own will. This is a pretty serious problem among Indian parents. I seriously don’t get it. Why the hell don’t they allow us to date?”


2. “For some reason, my grandma is completely fine with it, but my dad hates the idea of sex. To him, I should observe celibacy so as to please God or something like that.”


3. “My family has pretty high standards when it comes to my significant other. They are open to me dating, but only dating men who fit their criteria. It’s really difficult to find guys as such, so I’m being secretive about it and having the time of my life with a very handsome and tall man. We aren’t dating, though.”


4. “I am a guy of 17 and my parents hate this kind of stuff like relationships, crushing, etc. Although they had a love marriage and are happy, they never encourage me to get into any relationship. Instead, they say those things are bad things that can ruin everyone.”


5. “My friend’s parents literally ran away from their home to get married, but she’s still not allowed to have a boyfriend.”


6. “Largely, it’s also a casteist decision. Love affairs usually tend to be out of caste, which is a no-no for desi parents.”


7. “Don’t forget that log kya kahenge (what will people say/think) is a major contributor for most Indian parents, sadly.”


8. “It’s about control. They feel like their children are not “mature” enough to make the right choice and that a random guy or girl will “entrap” them. Somehow, they also think their children are mature enough for marriage and all the responsibilities that come with it.”


9. “When my parents were strict, I lied to them to get out. If I was seeing a guy, I said a girl friend’s name that they knew, so they’d be OK with it. It sucks, and sometimes you have to be really careful, but you do what you have to do, to be happy.”


10. “IKR, the worst thing is them going through my phone without consent like they cannot understand the concept of privacy. And of course, you get the “padhai barbad ho jaegi” talk. My parents have the same mentality. Just study, and everything else is a distraction. I can never understand this.”


11. “Uncomfortable truth: This is usually the case for middle-class families, and due to circumstances, Indian parents have turned into control freaks. No “distractions”. Idk how it’s now, but there was a tradition back in the early 2000s to cut the cable TV before the 10th and 12th board exams. That was the extent! Forget about your BF and GF.”


12. “When I was 17, my mother had me and my ex-boyfriend reported to the school authorities, after which they told us to stay away from each other or get suspended.”


13. “In India, parents think a relationship at a young age tarnishes their image while a marriage makes it better. Also, a relationship that fails, the mess it creates in someone’s life is unrepairable. So the solution their brilliant minds have found to this, is marriage.”


14. “Seriously, my friend got put on total lockdown (phone surveillance, not allowed to go out at all) when she got caught going on a DATE. For women, I think it’s just misogyny. For sons, they probably just think being an incel will make them more career-driven.”


15.”My friend’s dad shaved her head for having a boyfriend in school. She’s still traumatised to this day.”


The only subject regarding which Indian parents don’t respond with, jo karna hai shaadi ke baad karna.