To be a good Indian girl (the Indian paternal voice in my head said), I needed to be married, to anyone, rather than be unmarried. I didn’t have a maternal force in my life to help make the right decisions in the area of romantic love. I was just to say “yes” to whoever my parents decided and that whole area was done! There was nothing to consider beyond this. No direction in understanding the opposite gender and creating a meaningful relationship.
How was I to know the type of guy that was right for me? I thought I was being noble and not “money-oriented” by not worrying about the fact that he didn’t have a car and didn’t seem achievement-oriented at all. Compassion somehow meant committing my life to someone! After all, when I had told my mother I was not interested in marrying the man selected for me, I was told to not be rude to our “guest.” Did that mean I was to marry him?? Having a sense of self-worth instilled was missing from parental objectives. If I had a decent sense of myself and valued that, I imagine that I may have wanted more for my life than what this man-child seemed to offer.
I let myself be abandoned to the moment and optimism that everything would work out. Misguided optimism has gotten me into a lot of trouble! It ends up meaning recklessness when events that require serious consideration are not given that. It is about not taking one’s life very seriously or valuing it much, and acting impulsively. I didn’t get the message from my environment to think things through clearly and make sure it matches what you want. When I tried, I was shut down. So when evaluating the guy I had met accidentally at a club and dated too long (after the first night), I thought “surely he would get his act together.” He would get an education. Why wouldn’t he? It was the reasonable thing to do and everybody was reasonable, right? So what if he was having a delayed start by not having started college while I was done? Pria, Pria, Pria!!!
If I were my daughter, I would say to her, yes, you should look at what has been done till now. If you could manage a goal by now, why shouldn’t you expect your prospective mate to have achieved that by now? If you have the values that you do at your age, perhaps you should expect the same from your mate at his age. People’s values and character don’t change very much. If you start out ambitious, you stay that way to an extent. Doesn’t that matter for a marital candidate?