Pursuing is what I consider the whole process known as “the chase” and includes everything from approaching a person for the first time, to calling them, making plans in the initial stages, etc.  I am bringing this topic up again (& making it my first post since my relaunch), because for any relationship to develop, it first has to start and it’s usually the beginning – during the “pursuit” – when things get hairy for most people.

So, who should do the pursuing…? In my opinion, the guy should. Please note that is not intended to be a directive or to be taken as “if a guy doesn’t, then I am not interested.”  However, I personally believe that a guy should because in every really amazing relationship that I know and admire (from engaged couples to marrieds, & to those who have been together for 50+ years), the guy did the pursuing (which may have simply meant making slightly more effort up front which the girl then reciprocated), & whether it was majorly or minorly, he was/is seemingly more interested/hard-pressed than the girl.  This is not something that either individual in that relationship could or would attest to because as one married friend of mine, Bijal, describes it (sweetly under the wedding picture of her & her husband on Facebook), “The perfect marriage begins when each partner believes they got better than they deserve;” however, what I am describing is something that an onlooker would likely observe.

So, for those of you who have been following the blog, you might vaguely remember a post back in February titled “Smile Moon Meets a Matchmaker.”  In case you missed the post or do not feel like re-reading, I had recently met Bela Gandhi (then known as “Chicago’s Matchmaker”) and was intrigued by her services, & at the end of that post, I indicated that I was going to go through the initial personal strategy coaching that Bela offers.  Well, since then, after many meetings at “our favorite Starbucks,” Bela has not only taken me through a big part of what she offers to her clients (& as a result, given me incredibly insightful coaching in regards to dating & otherwise), but she has also become one of my closest friends.  Now, due to Bela’s kind heart and who she is as a human being (which can be summed up as simply wonderful), I would not be surprised if most of her clients feel that way about her.  However, I insist that I am special (not that kind of special – haters :-P) & she has really become just like the big sister I never had but always wanted.

…for giving me such great content for a post when I am in a massive time crunch.  Thank you!  😀

SIDE NOTE: Readers, please also see other comments from the last post, “The Great (Desi) Age Debate” on everything from the age discussion to the “short girl/guy complex” as well as responses to the below comment.  Also, although there was a whole blog post dedicated to it (“Getting her #, but not calling it” & woah nelly, it caused quite a stir), there is more on calling instead of texting in the previous comment thread as well.

February 24, 2010

So, I was not going to write a new post, but – after some of the recent comments in the 170+ comment thread from my last blog post – I felt so compelled. Now, I am just hoping I can knock this one out quickly and a discussion (I am sure a lively one) can then take place; however, knowing me and considering I haven’t written a post in a while, that won’t be the case.

First off, just in case anyone missed it in a previous posting or does not know me personally, I am (begin scary Jaws-type music)…. a 30-year-old desi woman. *Sighs*, “boo’s” & “oh, poor her’s” to follow. Naturally, being in the supposedly dreaded 30-something & “still single” category, my perspective will seem skewed on this topic, but I can say that as cliche as it will sound, that I have honestly felt this way my whole life… that age IS just a number.

Being a single 30-year old desi female is such an interesting phenomenon and you really have to BE one (or have a sister/cousin/relative in the same boat) to understand it. The 2 biggest things that are a part of the above-mentioned awareness that I had never experienced before are an air of desperation that supposedly all of us 30-somethings have (although I think this is not necessarily always the case) as well as our “expiring ovum.” I remember when I first heard Vijay Uncle use that phrase, I was horrified (sorry Uncle, I know you’re a doctor & that everyone talks to you about everything, but I have still nonetheless been horrified on multiple occasions because, in spite of how cool you are, you are still an Uncle!  :-P).

I have been in multiple small intimate group settings where the topic of dating comes up and really intelligent, seemingly wonderful and sweet guys 31+ say (very aware of their audience), “Yeah, I will not date anyone older than 27…  I want to enjoy being married, do not want to have babies right away…  I want to have lots of kids so I want to have time to do that and not pop them out every year.”  On top of that, after many of the below comments (& so many more conversations around this topic), I am officially convinced that a vast majority of desi men view their potential partner primarily as an incubator to his future spawn (hopefully boys!) much more than anything else. I really think that without me having to say too much, the comments do completely speak to the issue at hand.

From Blog post dated 12/12/09:    The message reads as follows:  “Hi Vijay Uncle, Just wanted to give you my $.02. No guy will say this with his name attached, but age is quite important to many of us. Yes, how they look and take care of themselves are key…  but, the age of “35” looms over many of us.  The statistics on childbirth scare many, and the push to marry someone younger is partially due to that number.   As well, most men simply prefer younger women, all other things equal. This would piss off, or hurt many of them who are looking…so many of us just do not want to publicize it on FB.”

SM’s reply: Oh wow.  Honestly, I wasn’t sure where to begin &, seriously, I am not upset at the age part of what he is saying.  I understand that this is a consideration for men or at least for those who want to have kids one day, but I hope that EVERYONE is looking for a partner to be more than just the father/mother to their possible future children (or anything else, like a paycheck, as a lot of men feel that they are to desi women), b/c you know what… you could pass up someone not in your “ideal age range” who you connect with tremendously (& who, unbeknownst to you, is actually super fertile – FYI, conception chances decline & do not STOP as we age and men are affected as well) & end up with someone far younger thinking that relationship would be more ideal… only to find out that she has fertility problems (I think the stat is that 1 in every 7 women do) or shoot, that you do! …or to the ladies, Mr. Money Bags loses his balleriffic job & you can no longer make your mortgage or buy your LV bags. Now what?

Ah, these were fun times….  It was when the blog first caused a stir in “Getting her # but not calling it.” (1/12/10) . For those of you who remember, that was the official beginning of the me-directed “hateration.”  & I am posting this comment to show an underlying evilness in the desi community (which is a bigger concern of mine than anything else): From an Anonymous poster: “I assume from the long posts that you neither have a job nor gym membership. This probably explains why no one has committed to you.  Tick tock… there goes the marriage clock.

From the comment thread from “The Comment That Got Its Very Own Blog Posting.” (2/9/10)

Confused Woman: Apparently studies have shown that men live longer and lead healthier lives if they are married where as it’s the opposite for a woman. Why do women feel such a pressure to settle down? Sure we have a biological clock, but so do men. Maybe they have 3-4 more years than us, but research has shown that a man in his late 30s is more likely to have children with genetic disorders. The other point I want to make is, it’s better to be happily married than it is to beat the clock. If you cannot have a kid, then adopt one. I read that article uncle posted and these points stand out to me the most:  “And as Elizabeth Gilbert points out in Committed, married women are more likely to suffer from depression than singletons. Marcus Buckingham, writing about women’s happiness in the Huffington Post, notes, “Women’s happiness with their marriage sinks below men’s at age 39.”  …..   “According to the most recent CDC data, for women, “higher age of marriage is associated with lower probability of marital disruption.” If you want a healthy marriage, the cultural pressure to wait only helps.” –

A male poster in that same thread (& I think these are all from the same person): “I see a lot of recommendations to date younger men. But as a guy, I have to warn you that it carries a bit of risk. As it is, men can delay marriage later than women. If you date a younger guy, the chances are higher that he will not be ready for marriage, or that he is just dating because you are Ms. Right Now and not Ms. Right. And that could get you emotionally stuck in a go-nowhere relationship. Of course, every guy is different. But a cold-eyed realistic man could think, “Well if this beautiful, successful, interested girl is older than me and still single, then what’s the rush? When I am older, there will be other beautiful, successful single girls out there, AND THEY WILL BE YOUNGER THAN ME!!!” So from a purely logical perspective, there is no reason for him not to wait. But I am not accounting for love. So I guess you never know…”

“Again, I disagree with Vijay Uncle. Age probably matters more to men as they get older, not less. Because men after 30 are more serious about getting married and having children. When we are in our 20’s, the pressure to have children is not there. We can marry a 28 year old woman at age 25 – what’s the big deal? But a 32 year old man will think twice about marrying a 35 year old woman. For reasons you yourself have mentioned – the expiration date on ova. Although with modern in-vitro testing and fertility technologies, this is becoming less of an issue. I think Smilemoon might find a different milieu dating 30-something men who are younger than her as she progresses into her 30’s than when she was in her 20’s dating a 3 year younger man. I could be wrong. I am only expressing my opinion and what I have observed talking to my guy friends. Of note, I do have a late 30-something friend who doesn’t mind dating older women in principle, but I do not pay attention to anything he says – because he’s in his late 30’s and still single. So obviously, he is a ridiculously picky guy.”

Then a comment thread on Vijay Uncle’s FB page that I definitely had a reaction to… First, Vijay Uncle’s response to a wall post from AP about women having healthy babies well into their 50’s: “What is so confounding is that our highly educated men take an isolated fact or statement and make it a deal-breaker. They are not able to weigh the relative impact of it in big scheme of things. Women over 35 – overwhelming chance of Down’s syndrome or women over 40 – no chance of having a baby etc. are good examples.  While I would not ignore the concern just as I am concerned about traveling by air post 9/11. I would still urge them to look at the total package and make up your mind.  What they do not factor is that if they wait another 2 -5 years their probability of facing the same risk is going to increase. While there has been too much focus on maternal age there is also issues related to paternal age.

From poster JV: Vijay Uncle, o.k. you mentioned the stats on Down’s syndrome. But what about miscarriage? What about gestational diabetes? What about pregnancy-induced hypertension? Premature birth? Stillbirth? Placental problems, and so on. I am all for empowering older women, but I have issues with labeling a guy a “typical narrow-minded desi guy” just because they may state an age preference. Maybe you think it is easy to overblow these numbers, but one can also say that if I guy does take concern over the potential health of his child, just maybe, that he possesses the qualities that would make a good father? Would you like it if your father played Russian roulette with your life, and retroactively gave you a 1/200 chance of having Down Syndrome? not a very good father, right? so just maybe a guy who doesn’t want to take that chance (however small it may be) with his potential children, has the traits of becoming a good father, and isn’t necessarily a “narrow-minded desi”.

Vijay Uncle: Thanks  for your input. You are correct the risk does go up – however slightly – and you make a point that as a dad it is your duty to guard against any such probability.  Do you propose we put the prospective bride and groom through a complete evaluation to decide if any condition that may increase the risk? Maybe we need to make sure that she is not sterile due to endometriosis or ovarian cysts? Or may be the guy is not having some problem that prevents him from fathering a child? Should we do a DNA mapping? Should we check out all blood relatives to assess the risks?  And judging from your reasoning I admit there may be a subset of men and women who may see it that way.  However, I think there are simply too many attributes of a person that in the big scheme of things the risk may be a factor in the total picture but not a very prominent one. By the way, my son was born with Spina Bifida at the level of T 10 and severe hydrocephalus. As much as I would have never wanted to be in this position, I learned a valuable lesson – in life, you cannot control circumstances but you can control how you deal with it. I do know a little bit about being a father in challenging circumstances. People who are too anal about ‘never to be in such a situation’ may start looking for someone to blame in such circumstances instead of putting themselves to gather and facing the situation.

My response: Uncle that was PERFECTLY said.  JV, I do not know you so please do not take my opinion the wrong way, but I personally believe what makes someone a great father/mother/human being is not the avoidance of all less-than-perfect possibilities in life, but handling those at-the-time situations with grace, dignity, & courage. When I read your comment, my reply was going to be exactly what Vijay Uncle said in his 2nd paragraph. Is that what you propose? Will you avoid dating/marrying the girl whose family member had cancer? Or should a girl pass up a guy because his father died of a heart attack at age 50 and his mom has diabetes & high BP? To add to Vijay Uncle’s story, my parents were married by the age of 21/22, and it took them EIGHT years to have my brother, & then, 3 years later, at the desi-considered-old-age of 33, they had a very healthy me. Was the big delay because of my mom or because of my dad? Who knows & who cares?  LIFE – whether it be someone in their 20’s, with all the DNA testing in the world, or a perfectly clear family history – is never guaranteed to play out the way we necessarily hope or would prefer, & the only thing that I would personally avoid is someone who was so fearful of a less than sunshine-and-roses-filled future.”

Well, I hope all of the above will definitely get a conversation going &, again, for those of you who are screening in/out due to age (& who also apparently think you have infinite options and frequently find yourself having amazing connections with multiple people), please consider the personal story that Vijay Uncle shared, 2 other scenarios right below & the many infinite possibilities that life can present (copied from the posting called, “Reality Check“)

  • Infertility issues – male or female-related; it goes both ways people and is there no meaning to our relationship or our lives if we do not have our own kids? That is not me saying I would not love to have kids of my own, but is it the loving of children that matters and has significance or simply the having of them? I always give the example of my parents above because their parents likely would have put the kabash on the 2 of them getting together irrespective of everything criteria-related “lining up” had some panditji told them “you will not be blessed with a baby for 8 years.” Sure, things worked out “ideally” (you know, a boy & a girl for a “complete family” *eye roll*) but there that’s a whole lot of years when they thought they were not going to have kids.
  • You’re the only boy on your dad’s side.  You have a super cool last name (like “Moon!” :-P).  You’re married & you have kids.  3 girls (do keep in mind that it’s entirely your biology that determines the sex of your bache).  Now what?

From Reality Check:

“REAL life:  This scenario plays out a bit differently (this is not to be morbid or depressing, but these things are a reality for many if not all married couples at some point in their lives in spite of how outwardly happy or perfect they may seem)… “we were so in love but everything changed after we got married“… family drama, fertility issues (men, just a kind reminder, this one can be due to the anatomy of your 20-40 something wife, but b/c of yours as well – if the concept is lost on you, here you go –, but then your formerly oh-so-sexy-thong-wearing wife gains 30 lbs afterwards that she never loses in spite of her best efforts (or we all know the equally attractive “uncle belly”)… you have your 2 kids & now your whole world is turned upside down (sex?  sleep?  exercising?  more like hugs, naps, & weight lifting consists of carrying your kids around 50+ times a day)….  your oh-so-successful (& thus uber sexy) husband loses his balleriffic job & is unemployed for 2 years… financial issues… mortgages & foreclosures… having to move unexpectedly from your family & friends for a partner’s job… the last time you traveled was your honeymoon… life’s infinite challenges with your grown kids (all conversations starting with “Mom-Dad, I have something to tell you…”), managing the health issues of your parents/passing of our parents… managing your own health issues… erectile  dysfunction/cancer/diabetes/depression/heart attacks/strokes & their aftermath…”

Now look at the person you are with or considering being with, & think “Hmm… is this the person I want to be with through life posing any or all of the above?”

Write Soon,

ORIGINAL COMMENT THREAD – This comment thread had 66 comments and like other threads, got pretty intense, and there is actually a whole new post dedicated to one “Anonymous 3:14’s” comment.  If you have something new to add to the conversation, please post or just wait because the Great *Desi* Age Debate Part 2 will definitely be coming up soon.

Anonymous 2:40 said… No 30 year old guy wants the pressure to have kids right away. Thus they avoid 30-33 year old women, for example. Hmm. Well, as a guy, I have met 27 year olds who want a baby NOW and 31 year olds who want to wait a couple years. Pressure to have kids comes from the mind of the person, not some inner bodily reaction that is triggered only at a certain age. So as a guy who is looking but doesn’t want to have kids for a few years, I will say this — age does not matter, but being on the same page on kids and timing matters a ton.
That said, one has to also guess based on probabilities. I think it is fair to say that there is a lesser chance that a 25-28 year old exerts this pressure vs. a 30-33 year old. But given you are only going to marry 1 person, these odds do not matter — all that matter is if that 1 person does or doesn’t and if you’re ok with that.

Anonymous 3:39 said… As a mid-thirties desi woman, I have seen my friends fall into two fairly distinct camps — those that got married from 22 – 25 and started families fairly soon after and those that got married in their early/mid 30s and started families at 34 – 37. The one marked difference I have seen between the two groups is latter group of women are much further along in their careers and the fathers as a result have had some flexibility to work a bit less and are more involved parents. The former group seems to follow more traditional gender-role stereotypes. As the previous poster noted, being on the same page on these things as your partner is ultimately what matters most.

Anonymous 3:47 said… I have several friends go through IVF route after trying to conceive naturally for at least 1 year, their ages/results were:
27 (1 girl)
30 (triplets)
32 (1 boy)
40 (no child, discovered she had ovarian cancer)
43 (twins)
My point is there is no age in which one can safely assume that fertility issues (on either side) may not be a concern. That said, I have a half dozen friends age 37+ that conceived naturally within 3 – 6 mo of trying.

Anonymous 4:55 said… Indian people are so shallow. We were meant to get arranged marriages, why even waste time dating? and trying to “find true love”? I cannot believe the amount of emphasis we put on bio-data screening and full-blown physicals.

Anonymous 5:16 said… You cannot rely on story-telling. We need statistics. And the statistics say that fertility problems rise with maternal (and to a lesser extent, paternal age). The risk of certain birth defects rise with maternal age (and to a much lesser extent, paternal age). So getting married earlier in life is beneficial for your kids. Then again establishing a good career will ensure that your kids will have better higher education and a more upscale lifestyle. So there are trade-offs at both ends.

Smilemoon said… 5:16 pm, sure, we can’t rely on storytelling, but can we really rely on STATISTICS?? Why is it that people avoid certain things with HUGE statistics like the bazillion reasons NOT to smoke, but yet they still do it? Why are 50-60% of Americans obese? They all had a pretty good idea what eating McDonalds and that tub of Ben & Jerry’s was going to do to them.

Sorry, but I personally just think it’s funny which statistics with huge percentages the general population chooses to ignore while in our 1st generation South Asian dating world, desi men are so wildly concerned about the “statistics” of marrying certain-aged women in an effort to avoid (which is simply NOT possible) or reduce the NOMINAL chances of something happening to their unborn children.

FYI, & I can give you a reference on this if you’d like (although I think Vijay Uncle with his 30+ years in medicine can vouch for this one), a South Asian man is FAR more likely to drop dead of a heart attack or at least die a premature death due to Coronary Artery disease than your a mid-30-something female (of any ethnicity) is to have abnormally large chances of having problems with her pregnancy.

Should all desi women start seeking out non-desi men to avoid THOSE chances??
Oh & one more thing on story-telling & stats, here’s a quote from Dr. Oz that I believe is 100% true: “People do not change their lives based on what they know. They change their lives based on what they FEEL.” I hope people keep telling their stories, because ultimately I think those are far more likely to change behavior.

Anonymous 6:04 said… As a 30 year old married woman (married very young), I am really surprised to hear that people are willing to “write off” potential mates due to age. When I evaluate who I was at 25 versus who I am now, I really feel that those 5 years may have been my most defining. I COULD have had my child “right away”, but my husband & I decided to wait until we were better settled and felt mature enough to take full responsibility for another life. Isn’t being a mature responsible parent more important than “beating the infertility clock”? I agree with Smilemoon in saying that a partner in marriage is MUCH more than a partner in parenting. You can only be a partner in parenting if you have a solid relationship & common values to build on.

Anonymous 6:37 said… You are right Smilemoon. People base their actions on what they feel. So the question is, how do we get Indian men (or any men) to stop feeling the value of youth in a mate? It’s like convincing women to like short, fat guys (which they do, once they hit 35). Good luck on that front!
South Asian men are more likely to experience heart disease. Therefore, if I were an Indian woman, I would appreciate a man who looked after his health and excercised regularly, and one who acknowledged his increased risk for heart disease. A man can exert a great deal of control on his risk for heart disease.

But what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. So yes, you could logically argue that you should seek out a white man (since they have the lowest overall risk for heart disease, but higher rates of obesity).
But it still doesn’t take away the age issue 🙂
There is nothing wrong with waiting until you are 30 or 35 to have children. But it will be difficult to find a younger man to marry at that age. It’s just the reality.

Anonymous 7:00 said… I also think that Indian men place far more emphasis on looks than most other cultures. Curious question — as a desi guy, I have a question for other desi guys out there. Would you, Mr. 30-35 yr old desi guy, rather have be with a 32 year old who looks 25, or a say 27 year old who looks 35? I have met plenty of both. Curious to know what people think. For me, it would be a no brainer of the 32 year old who looks 27.
Side note: SM, you are fortunate to be in the 2nd camp, being cute and looking younger than your age – so you are in good shape =) (and no, im not your bro posting anonymously nor am I hitting on you, just calling it like it is!). I am guessing the “no job no gym” comment is from someone you a$$ rejected, ignore that one.

Smilemoon said… 6:37, I completely agree with you. I just got a little “Eh?!” with the person who posted stating that what “we need is statistics.”
& I honestly do not think we can get men of any kind to stop valuing youth or women to stop valuing “a man that is taller than her” (this, too, is not just a desi phenomenon; frankly, the pool of desi men are just slightly more challenged in this area so it seems like it is). I do, however, believe in self-reflection, perspective & evolution of one’s self. & if an individual so chooses or is moved (perhaps by a story, an Uncle, a blog discussion?) then they can evolve their perspectives. I know that (& no, this is not just b/c I am getting older, so am “settling”) my perspective & what I am looking for has certainly evolved. For example, if I connect to a guy, I no longer care that he’s my height (mind you, I am 5’4″ & only wear flats!) whereas I used to have a must-be-4″-taller-than-me-“rule.”

Back to being serious… what is unfortunately happening now is that this MASSIVE pool of singles in their late 20’s to late 30’s is simply getting older (better, blah, whatever you want to call it) & we are ALL collectively moving forward in the “expiration” spectrum. & desi men need to understand that they, too, are being passed up on age – whether it be for being too young or old – and whether they know it or not.

What I hope that happens for even just a few people is that they start valuing connection & character far more than all this periphery-&-far-from-guaranteed type stuff (i.e. – 25 year old bride does not equal fertility boon + happy marriage & a 35-year old brides does not equal the opposite).

I have a question for the guys out there – do guys feel that it’s easy for them to really connect-connect with women – in a meaningful way & beyond the physical aspect? I am asking b/c I wonder why they are so comfie passing these (ok, ok, us) girls up that they really (seemingly) connect with only to (seemingly) seek out something else that’s “better” (based only age or other criteria-wise)

Smilemoon said… 7 pm, (I promise, this is my last post today. I am just distracting myself from my long list of “to do’s”), I definitely think desi men place fa-aaar more emphasis on looks. It’s kind of like “not only do I want my future life partner to be better looking than me, but I’d like others to think she’s completely out of my league.” 😛
& I am not sure how fortunate I am (that’s not me being a Debbie Downer but just practical since no matter what camp I am in, I am still single & free to mingle), but thank you for the compliment. 🙂

Anonymous 7:28 said… It is not easy to find someone to connect with. But even when you connect on a mental level, when certain things like height, age, education, wealth, health, and attraction do not suit you, you get a little nagging feeling in your heart and mind. When enough of these items are out of whack, you cannot proceed.

Anonymous 7:29 said… 30 is not old. Whoever this guy posting above is 1 guy with a narrow opinion based on stats because he hasn’t met you in person. Attraction is something you cannot explain. When you meet someone, and there’s a spark, there’s a spark. A girl who is 30, 31, 32 – fit, smart, and jives with you has a better chance than a 25 year old, who may still be in school, out of shape, and immature. You cannot take things out of context like this. Age is ONE factor, and 30 is NOT old. I honestly think most desi guys would agree with me. Plus the girls who are 30-32 that are good catches, are still single because they held out. Maybe it’s time to really think about the people you know, the one’s that are interested in you, and build something with them.

27 year old girl says… I and my 20 something friends can say, we definitely take into consideration a man’s age. If a guy is 34+ we see that as an automatic red flag. 2 Qs pop into mind – 1. Why is a seemingly great catch 34+ and still single? or 2. Oh wow he’s single because he’s… i’ll leave that up for you guys to fill in. So I have to agree with the blogger’s statement on…

“We are ALL collectively moving forward in the “expiration” spectrum. & desi men need to understand that they, too, are being passed up on age – whether it be for being too young or old – and whether they know it or not. ”
***So for those 34+ men out there – I see that you’re talking the talk but not walking the walk. LOL.

Anonymous said… To 7:29PM, No, 30 is not old. I agree with that. Where in my statement did I suggest that? In fact age wasn’t even the main thrust of my statement. I do not even see anyone who has suggested that 30 is old.
– 7:28PM.

Anonymous 8:22 said… I got some stats to share. Desi guys think they have this DEFAULT SOLUTION which is to go to India if all else fails. So the story always starts off the same, the guy goes to India, falls in love with this pretty girl who is YOUNG and has a good education, all check marks are in place… here are some stories i’ve heard. This is >50% who went this route.

– 1 girl had the guy send money monthly like 1k or something while she got her paperwork straight and then never showed up to the US filed for divorce.

– Another girl came here and had an affair with her ex-bf for years after they’re marriage

– 1 girl had him pay for her entire education and then moved out, and pursued her career. They are now separated.

– and a good number of them have no income capability, cook sometimes, put their children in daycare while they’re at home, have a maid come in to clean their house and there’s really no “connection” or “spark” between the couple.
So those are some stats for guys to think about 🙂

Anonymous 8:46 said… SM, you asked about the connection and why guys pass up a connection for things that are better. This relates to the article I sent you the other day about the minefield of online dating — you pass because you know you have a ton of other people you could meet via a simple mouse click and so you assume you can find better. And as 7:28pm said, if a few things nag you, you assume with the thousands of profiles on shaadi EH Match etc, surely you can find one that has this connection and not the “nags.” Turns out, it’s not that easy and lots of guys behave like this but regret it later. And 8:22pm said it right — as a desi guy, I am pretty scared about finding someone from India given all the stories I have heard. So I am scared for the desi guys who assume this is 1960 and the girls in India are more innocent, spiritual, well raised, sweet than the ABCDs here (they are not).

Anonymous 8:53 said… Coming as a man, to be honest, the age = less fertility is just a convenient, seemingly defensible excuse we throw out there. This is especially the case in the age range under discussion. The fertility argument is more justified if we’re comparing mid-20s vs. late-50s. However, here we’re talking about late-20s vs. mid-30s, and there’s not enough fertility changes in that range for age to be such an immense focus. Most men tend to focus on age for a couple of reasons: 1) throughout our lives, we prefer to be older than our relationship partners, and 2) age-related differences in physical appearance are rather stark within this age range.
Yes, these two values are shallow, but most of us hold on to them b/c the costs in doing so are not that great. Relative to women, men are simply less concerned about having kids. If we have to wait around to find the right person but pass our ‘child rearing’ years in the process, that’s not such a big deal. A childless man isn’t looked down by society as much as is a child-less woman, and so, we’ll deal.

Anonymous 9:15 said… @7:28pm, sorry for the misunderstanding. I wasn’t referring to your post. When I meant above, i meant some of the posts above, where they were stating age ranges such as 30-33.
Btw, 8:53 – is totally on point. These ranges are way too small to be considered deal-breakers for fertility. In general, women prefer an older man, and a man a younger woman. The important point to make is, the age range shifts for each gender as they age. Most young women in their prime will not prefer to go for some mid to late 30s guy.

Anonymous 9:51 said… SM: Girl, there is no need for you to feel any “air of desperation.” I know you, and guys she is a total hottie. She is the desi version of a Barbie. I am not a guy, just a gal pal telling it like it is. You will be off the market in no time. Just give guys a chance. Meet them for an hour or 2. What do you have to lose?  About the ovum, it was you who said a few posts ago that chances go down with age regarding fertility, they DON’T STOP. A lot of women in late to mid thirties are popping out healthy babies. Anyways, all this talk of ovum is making me throw up. People, there are worse things in life:

1. You or your partner could die, get a disease like cancer, become handicapped.

2. It could happen to your future kids.

3. Divorce could happen.


5. If you are a man, you could become bald and get fat.

6. You could become an alcoholic.

7. Anything horrific is possible. Both of you could get looted and raped.

8. Your child can get raped.

9. The man finds out he is infertile.

10. Your fertile and sexy spouse turns out to be a Psycho.
And the list goes on. People, wtf?
Just f’n find someone who shares the same values and interests as you, someone you get along with and someone you are attracted to. Seriously, all this crazy check mark criteria is illusion as all of your little checked out check marks have a beginning and an end and will COME TO AN END. So get real. Pick a man/woman you can be best friends with, not the best object out there.

Anonymous 10:27 said… I do not want to focus on this age issue anymore. In other posts can we talk about how to spot the right mates, red flags, places to meet mates, etc. I have noticed that the issue of Alcoholism is very prevalent with desi men. Why do not we take the focus off the ovum and on to how to recognize an alcoholic, so you do not end up marrying him? Or how to spot an emotional abuser, since so many women seem to be complaining about it. Lets talk about proper screening methods.

Anonymous 11:22 said… Yeah, let’s get back to Indian man-bashing. It’s much more fun!

Anonymous 12:17 said… As a 30 year old Indian guy who has been following your blog, SM, I will say this: ever since I have started reading your blog, I have actually started having doubts… I had previously gone through life with the unquestioned belief that everything was going to work itself out. That when I was ‘good and ready’ to get married, I could just ‘manifest’ a suitable partner and everything would be sunshine-and-roses.
But the more I read on this blog, and the more I reflect on what has been said, the less optimistic I am about the future. What if girls are now ruling ME out of because of my age? What if, god forbid, all the ‘best girls’ have been scooped up and I am not able to meet someone at the level I am expecting? Will I spend my 30s alone or being forced to settle?

This is kind of scary, because I am supposed to be one of those checklist guys who should not be worried, but here I am — for the first time ever — genuinely fearful about the future.
A lot of my friends are getting married and they’re finding really great partners. What if I get to be 40 and I haven’t found someone because I am just too picky. At the same time, I am meeting some wonderful girls who have everything going for them, and who I think would make excellent life partners, but I just haven’t felt the spark with any of them — or at least enough of one to compel me to make an effort.
As much as I like this blog, I think I am going to have to start reading less, because it’s been forcing me to think about this whole thing too much, which I find to be kinda depressing. It has, however, given me a whole lot of empathy for my female counterpart, as she has been probably having my fears for awhile now.

Anonymous 12:26 said… I think alcoholism is prevalent with desi men because they tend to be awkward with the opposite sex. They feel that under the influence, they can loosen up and loosen the girl up, and as a result be judged less. I do think, from my experience, it’s always important for me to judge how much a guy is drinking and generously offering to buy me drinks when we JUST meet. If you find him attractive only when you are intoxicated then that says the attraction between the two of you can only be fueled by alcohol. It sucks because on average most desi men are not the best looking so sometimes a shot of tequila is a requirement.

Anonymous 6:52 said… I think the age issue is one that is important to a lot of guys. Especially the checklist guys.

Anonymous said… hi. i’m a guy here suffering “the one that got away” syndrome. why? we both went through med school together and when it was time to start residency, she was “ready” and i wasn’t. i thought it was too soon, would be too challenging, and i convinced myself that id “manifest” someone just like her or better when i was ready. well, its 6 years later and i havent whereas she got married less than 2 years after and has at least one kid that i know about.
most guys compartmentalize and i know that i am definitely feeling like i shot myself in the foot because of that now. SM, “he’s just not that into you” seems to be a big thing you promote. sometimes, its that but alot of the times its just that he’s too ignorant in the moment to know any better. i know the outcome is the same but just wanted to throw that out there.

Smilemoon said… Hi, 8:46 (& then also 8:47 pm – which is totally how our e-mails play out! :-P), I completely agree that it’s the feeling of infinite options – whether it be online, an expansive social circle, etc. – we all think that “someone else/better” is waiting right around the corner. As Vijay Uncle always says, we our generation is searching for reasons why it will NOT work than why it can.

9:51 – Indian Barbie? oh wow, thank you – that’s very flattering although really overly generous! to clarify, i do not feel “desperate” b/c if just being married were the end-all-be-all, i (we all) could’ve “just been” a long time ago; i just think it’s unfortunate that as desi women we have to consider our every move so much as to not come across as desperate.

10:27 – i do think the age discussion is an important one. it is a factor/deal breaker for many & Vijay Uncle can certainly vouch for this fact. however, both abuse & alcoholism are both important topics that we will definitely discuss in the future. my only piece of advice for now, is that if it feels wrong in your gut (like “he should not be acting/treating me like this”) trust that voice – it’s usually spot on. also, i think anyone – guy or girl – past 25 who cannot be out socially without getting wasted has some issues. I really think that these behaviors are not something we need to get better at detecting; we need to stop wasting our time ignoring them.

11:22 – I can see how you feel that way; the last comment thread definitely went there, but it was two-sided bashing. Hopefully, will start moving away from blaming the opposite sex & feeling that the “problem” is outside of themselves.

Smilemoon said… 12:17 – thank you for your sincere message. i’m sorry to hear that my blog/the conversation happening here is depressing you or anyone, but i can understand how a new awareness of anything that people did not necessarily give thought to (whether it be dating, health issues, etc.) can do that.
honestly, we all went through life with that unquestioned belief, at least i know i certainly did – “when i was ready, it would just happen” – well (& none of this is meant to be depressing b/c i’m not depressed about it), it did not. i’m a very “now what?” kind of person, & that’s how i’m looking at this situation that a huge # of fellow desis are also in & that’s why i’m writing.

i can understand how you feel, but i really hope that people reading this – instead of getting more resentful, depressed, frustrated or anything along those lines – & simply start reconsidering their personal situation & if possible, start taking action to change things up.

i really appreciate that you read at all & the fact that you now have empathy for your desi-female-counterpart’s plight (that yes, she has felt for some time), well, i think that’s wonderful. once we start having empathy for people, we start treating them the way we’d want to be treated.
good luck with everything & keep the faith 🙂

Anonymous 10:46 said… @8:30am – I think we often make decisions based on our current circumstances. Often, things make more sense in retrospect. Maybe it’s my upbringing, but I do think we try to make the best decisions possible at the moment, and the outcome of that decision is somewhat determined by fate, destiny or some other force whatever you wanna call it..

Anonymous 1:03 said… As an Indian Girl raised here with parents from the 50s generation, I often find myself on an interesting path. I felt/feel a lot pressure by our community to succeed and fortunately, I have come a long way like most desis here. I am privileged, independent, have a great career going, but when it comes to finding someone, I seem to not know how to go about it nor feel the men that I do cross paths with are humble or prioritize long-term commitment the way us girls do.

In a sense, I feel that part of the blame should be placed on how parent’s raise their sons here. Some of the comments made in these posts are right on when they say how guys feel that they have unlimited time as well as feel they have “default options” as one poster above said. What I think is important for men raised here to understand is, having a checklist is good, but do not get so into the nitty gritty details and miss the biggest overarching points.
Poster 8:22am shared some stories, and i’ve heard many similar ones too. I feel that some women from India, not all, look at marrying a man from the U.S. as an opportunity or a ticket for an independent western lifestyle.. in a sense they retaliate. So when they come here, they want to experience working, being independent etc. If they are more traditional, then they’d like to live life the way they did in India, which is very different from here when it comes to receiving help (i.e. servants, cooks, extended family etc). Their mentality makes complete sense to me, and the marriage FOR THEM is based on superficial checklist criteria too, not on a bond.
Sure some of these workout perfectly, but there is a risk associated with it, that many men here do not anticipate. That risk in my opinion is higher than whether your 32 year old gf can conceive a child.
So it’s important for men and women to realize that a bond in which the two can bring out the best in each other is more important than anything else. A good marriage is based on communication, respect and teamwork.

Anonymous 2:56 said… SmileMoon, I love reading your blogs because they raise awareness. I want to throw out my story to give hope to someone else. I am 26 but my parents started looking for me 8 years ago. I saw many bio-datas and even talked to a couple guys but never really put in any effort. I stuck to my checklist criteria because of course I had it all and I wanted it all. As time went on and through many frustrating experiences… either I matured or my friends and family knocked some sense into me (like I hope your blog is doing for many others). I gave up on the checklist criteria but held onto two things that were extremely important to me – education/intelligence and religion. Recently I found a great guy that can have intelligent conversations but still have fun and also shares the same religion as me. I have “given up” on a couple things I originally wanted 5-6 years ago but things have worked out much better than I could’ve ever expected. When I had my checklist, I was naive and thought I could mold the perfect guy out of clay – perfect age, education, looks, personality, religion, every other criteria. Now, I know better – I have found a guy that’s extremely nice and fun to talk to and will stick by me through all the horror stories that could come up. I just hope all your other readers can choose 2 important things to them and let everything else be an option. We all have preferences but you become too picky when those preferences cause you to rule people out. Preferences are just that – what you wish or hope the other person is/has… but that should not restrict you from considering someone who doesn’t have that.

my mata said… my mom thinks girls and guys need to settle at a
certain age, based on who’s available in the picture at that time.

Anonymous 2:43 said… To anonymous 2:56, that is very smart what you did. A LOT of women including myself wait around for the perfect guy, not knowing there is only a limited edition of John Abraham and whatever else you are looking for. If you’ve been waiting a long time its time to do what 2:56 said. Look at your top 2-5 priorities and let go of some things. I think even Vijay Uncle has a funny post/writing about this regarding how women wait around for an eternity for the perfect man to show up. Look around, look at the reality and pick one that matches your priorities.

Anonymous 3:18 said… @2:43 – they have to choose you too 🙂 I think some women do have two priorities, but even finding guys who you click with who have just those two is a challenge. For instance, say I want someone taller than me, and same religion. So that’s basically a guy who is 5’9″+ and hindu. I have to A) find that – where do you go to meet new people? (online, out, friends, family whatever), B) he has to want to settle down C) we have to click – and he has to pursue you!

Btw, i’m an attractive girl who does get hit on quite a bit, so it’s not that I cannot get these guys as much as it is cross paths with them when they are ready for something serious.

Anonymous 3:37 said… Hate to break it to you 3:18, but if you are attractive, nice, fun, down to earth — he will chase you unless he is a baby who is too young to settle down (eg 23-25). Every guy over say 27, 28, even those who say “im not ready” become ready when they find the right girl for them. Case in point, me and my 3 closest guy friends all fit this same path. So maybe you are attractive, but in the world of desi women where I would say 1 out of every 3 is (eg not that rare), maybe there is something else missing or you are doing something wrong to send them away. Easy to say “well I haven’t crossed paths when him when he is ready” but maybe a self reflection is important instead and will prove far more useful. This goes not just for you, but for the dozens of attractive smart Indian girls I know who are single and have the same reasoning they tell themselves as you list after your btw, when in reality I talk to the guys and say “why do not you go for her, are you not ready for something serious?” and their answer tends to be “well, truth be told, she is <>”

Anonymous 4:08 said… Guys do not have to pursue girls. That is a myth. When it’s the right girl, she makes it easy for a guy. And a mature guy doesn’t play games. He will not turn down a girl because she expresses interest (unless he just doesn’t like her). For a mature man, a long chase is a pain, not exciting. That’s why when mature men (and women) are ready to get married, it happens quickly. He will see the girl for what she is and if she’s there for him, he’ll be there for her. Frankly, a 30something year old woman who waits around to be pursued is kind of sad…

Anonymous said… Anonymous 3:37 “and their answer tends to be ‘well, truth be told, she is <>'”
curious to hear what some of those reasons are.. do you mind sharing them? often, it’s their own insecurity and lack of confidence, because most if not all of these guys are still single… so i cannot imagine them not finding ANY girl who fits the bill including me. I know this because they circulate through my own friend circle sometimes.
The point I made about circulating through my own friends is to show that we all have different personalities, come in different shapes and sizes. These guys are obviously meeting other girls too, so are you telling me their single because they cannot find someone? or because ALL these girls have to do some “self-reflection”.
Not offended whatsoever btw, i’m just trying to figure this out.
– 3:18pm/4:13pm

Anonymous 4:36 said… @3:18pm/4:13pm — fair enough. I think typically it falls in a few categories that makes the guy not ready to settle down WITH HER, and she takes that as he is not ready to settle down period. Part of it is (a) she has too much baggage from past relationships. I do not mean she has exes, we all do, but rather she hasn’t completely moved on (b) they make it too complicated. See 4:08pm who hints at some of this. (c) Family. She is great, family, well not so much. He obviously will not say this to her directly, ever. (d) “She’s like a sister to me!” He has known her too long. Vijay Uncle has a great reply as to why this is lame, but it happens often. (e) She is high maintenance. This is a recurring issue. The Gucci Prada loving, money minded Indian girls are rampant out there. That said, the superficial looks-focused Indian guys are rampant too, but at least where I live, the down to earth super high marriage quality guys meet far too many money minded girls and cite this as a common reason. (f) There is ready to settle down and then there is READY — eg 3 months in, she wants to talk about the mandaap, and he can sense she is that type of person. He may be ready, say a year from now, but that is seen as “he’s not ready” by her. These are some of the most common reasons my friends cite. The second a down to earth girl who is emotionally mature and baggage free and down to earth comes along, these guys (well at least me and my 3 closest friends who all used to say “we’re not ready”) settle down.

Again, this is anecdotal, without the depth of stats to back it up per se, bu my main point is — there are things you can change, and things you cannot. “He is not ready” is external facing, something about the guy, which you cannot change. But, what if, it’s something wrong with you. Even a 10% chance? A self reflection is far more productive. Something like “ok assume it’s me. assume that is the fact. now, let me think about what it could be, or ask my girlfriends what it could be, and maybe it’s fix-able”. Maybe nothing comes out of this, but something may. Whereas assuming the guys are not ready, well nothing will come out of that train of thought.

Anonymous 4:49 said… Honestly, i know for a FACT some of these girls are down-to-earth, worked their way up ALL on their own (including paying for college loans, banking, living independently), got a body, got style when it calls for it (paid for their own purse btw), awesome family background etc. If anything, they are the ones compromising on one or more of those above reasons in the guy.

The only 2 points I’d agree with you on is B) “They make it too complicated” and that I think is partly because the guy is giving them mixed signals, or she’s not sure how much or how little effort to put, what type of vibes she’s giving off etc. Then again, these girls all have a different style, some are more shy, some are more outgoing.
And reason F) might be somewhat valid but I would not say 3 months – more like 6+ months. Which I think is reasonable amount of time for girl/guys in their late 20s to know whether it’s heading in that direction if they’re both attracted to one another and involved.
So I do think there’s a little bit more going here than what you stated. haha.

Anonymous 5:38 said… You know what it is 4:49 – Although you say 5’9 and Hindu. Sometimes that isn’t enough. What if he’s 5’9, but obese? or Hindu but from a bad family, or uneducated? I bet you do not even notice some of these guys that take notice of you. I think 2 Priorities for a girl who’s attractive all around a good catch who gets hit on a lot is too few of priorities.

yo shorty, it’s your birthday… said… Forget about age, I think height (lack of) is an even bigger (and stupider) disqualifier in the Indian community. I cannot tell you the number of times I have had to beg my girl friends to re-consider various guys (that were super nice, smart, funny, etc…) that they were rejecting just because the guys were under 5’7″. Mind you, some of these girls are under 5’2″ themselves!

Anonymous 7:21 said… yo shorty – no offense whatsoever if you fall under this category because I totally agree with you about the height thing being superficial… but let me tell you these shorties have the short man complex. they compensate in some other way and u know the height thing is sorta big deal. most guys want a girl who’s shorter than them, and most girls want a guy taller than them.
anyways, it’s just a known fact, indian girls are gonna have to settle like no other. the average raj just cannot compete with the average sita.

Anonymous 8:13 said… there are a billion of us, i think we can do the world a favor and not procreate.
we also act like marriage leads to happily ever after. can anyone explain why the divorce rate amongst our community is so high? >50%.

Anonymous 8:20 said… 7:21 — kinda hard not to have the short guy complex when girls 5’2 make him, at 5’7 feel too short. We have a lot to learn about the open mindedness of other cultures in this respect vs. us (I say this as a 5’10 guy, and in fairness, guys have this issue too seeing that most 5 10 to 6 2 desi guys I know would say a girl 5 7 or taller is simply too tall).

The topic of the blog post was on age. And at the end of the day, it all comes back to the same problem our generation has — too much choice via,,, and of course eHarmony (which is by a MILE the best site for desis looking to be serious although most I know use the first 3 far more, kind of ironic). Our parents would meet someone and say “the odds are really low I find someone this nice” whereas our generation logs in and does a search which tells us, in 10 seconds, that 100+ matches “meet our criteria” for search. So we limit it further, by age, height, etc etc etc. And thus the debates begin, whether on age or on height as in the comments. In the end, it all comes down to foundational values matching (see Vijay Uncle’s question list for what these are), families liking each other, and having some physical attraction.

Vijay Mehta M.D. said…
February 24, 2010 5:16 PM “we need is statistics.”
No you do not need statistics you need common sense. Trouble with statistics is that you need wisdom to interpret it or else you may get a totally wrong message. Like Smile Moon said “People do not change their lives based on what they know. They change their lives based on what they FEEL.”
February 25, 2010 12:17 AM “I have started reading your blog, I have actually started having doubts….. belief that everything was going to work itself out.
You are wrong. What you need to do is not to stop reading but start absorbing from the tales of others. The purpose of this blog is to give a wake call to your generation. Do not get in wishful thinking. Que Sara Sara is not a winning strategy.

February 25, 2010 8:30 AM “hi. i’m a guy here suffering “the one that got away syndrome.”
Most of you in thirties probably have met at least three to four matches who would have been right for you but at that time you did not seize the moment. Few years later you look back and realize that indeed it would have been much better than the options you have to choose from.

February 26, 2010 2:43 PM “I think even Vijay Uncle has a funny post/writing about this regarding how women wait around for an eternity for the perfect man to show up.”
Check out //
Ladies and Gentlemen, please use this discussion to comprehend the challenge facing your generation. Blaming others will not help you. Time has come to recognize that what we have been trying is not working.
Let us learn that yes age, height, looks, name of university, degrees, money, family, dietary preference, previous marriage, children and many more are all important considerations. But most important is to be able to give them proper relative value. In process of looking for deal breakers let us not ignore many wonderful attributes of the prospect may have.

One who is more likely to have a happy marriage life is not necessarily the perfect prospect who finds another perfect prospect. It will be one who had realistic expectations in life and is able to choose the least imperfect of all the prospects available.

Good Bye and Hello Vijay!!

Anonymous said… You folks talk about a “short man complex.” But I think there is a “short girl complex.” As short as Indian men are, Indian girls are shorter. And the shorter the girl, the taller she wants her man to be. Girls who are 5’0″ to 5’3″ seem to be notorious for wanting tall guys. Girls who are 5’4″ – 5’6″ are surprisingly more accomodating. I say this because I myself am 5’8″ and it seems like I have dated more girls in the latter group than the former. And I have spoken to girl friends in the shorter group who tell me that I would be too short for them. This is astonishing, considering I have date girls much taller. So maybe it is the short girls who try to compensate for their height.

Anonymous 9:53 said… Vijay uncle is right. Happiness does not have anything to do with perfection in your spouse. I know a lot of gorgeous women who married okay to ugly looking men and are very happy. I do not even know what it would be like to date a man without 6 pack abs. I have always dated gorgeous men with well defined cheekbones and above average intelligence. Anyways, and I have ignored other potentials who I could have been VERY happy with.   All I can say is, peeps, pay attention to a man/woman who is very interested in you. Give them a chance. go out with them for 2 hours on a date. what do you have to lose?   You may find that despite whatever they do not have, they somehow have the ability to make you happy and may be suited for you.   Also another thing I learned I want to share. Please ladies do not waste time in fantasy relationships. If a guy does not ask you out in less than a month than chances are its not going to happen. Just because you think you are a hottie and he flirts with you every now and then does not mean he will come around and ask you out and there will be a happily ever after. I just want to share this so others do not experience the same pain of waiting and time lapsing that I did.

Vijay Mehta M.D. said… Short men complex – short girls complex (Napoleon complex) etc., are all confusing. Being challenged in the heights department myself, I have a tendency to make sure no one misses noticing me when I am in a crowd. But that in it-self is not bad. It has prompted me to make extra effort.
You need to reflect on yourself. It will not help when others label you. When someone gives you a title you may get in a denial or debating phase.

There are those who are able to absorb thousands of pieces of information prioritize them properly and are able to make a quick decision and act upon it with confidence. While there are others who get hung up on few attributes which prevents them from seizing the moment. The latter group generally ends up at the short end of the stick.
You need to learn to question every notion you have and prioritize them to meet your long-term needs. Categorize them into groups such as must have, desired, not desirable and deal breakers etc. Next give them relative value as to their impact on your marriage life. Finally, you have to be able to honestly answer “why these attributes have the value you assigned? If you need an objective feedback do send it to me at and you will get my 2 cents worth for free!

Remember, the difference between a compromise and a smart-choice is that in former the person is indecisive till late and than forced to choose randomly. In Smart choice the person is able to let go of lesser attributes in favor of valuable attributes.

Being ‘anal’ is neither smart nor sexy.
~Vijay Uncle

Anonymous 10:45 said… Hopefully no one chooses “randomly.” Getting desperate and picking someone is not the answer. You will have to stay with this person for a lifetime. Unhappy marriage, divorce, and conflicted family relationships can result from an incompatible relationship, so I say give it at least 6-8 months and interact a lot to get a feel for that person. Better be single and live your life than be with a man/woman you are not that crazy about.

Anonymous 11:31 said… Hey SM, in the spirit of me sending you links before like the NYT article, here are 2 more for your readers – AL
For those who like “stats” here are some on this age topic. Obviously not limited to us desis but interesting regardless

1) The Case for the Older Woman
And now “The Perils and Pitfalls of Post Modern Romance” from Psychology Today magazine. sub-heading of the article is: ” #1 Rule of the dating game? – stop playing games!”

2) The Perils and Pitfalls for Modern Romance

Curious said… To February 27, 2010 9:53 AM, I am interested in hearing your story. Are you single, engaged, or married?
Where are you meeting these (Indian) men with 6 pack abs and great cheekbones?
What is this pain of waiting that you experienced?

Anonymous said… To the Curious one, trust me, there are desi men out there with the abs and the high cheekbones. I have met them at social events. Pain of waiting meaning, crushes are not very becoming after high school. Especially a crush that lasts for a long time and when you keep waiting for him to come around, that is, well, painful. I have learned my lesson, if I meet him and he has not asked me out in 2 weeks time, I move on, I do not make believe that something will happen for me somehow with some guy. I am single and dating someone.

Smilemoon said… wow, so many comments (thank you everyone for posting!) & so little time, but i need a break from packing so…

so on the height thing… this exists in every culture although possibly not in such a skewed way as in desi culture; i def know what 8:20 was talking about the range of even shorter girls seeking far-taller-than-them counterparts. this isn’t wrong b/c to each their own when it comes to attraction, but the whole collective & GRAND list of desi-deal breakers will eventually & unfortunately, land a lot of us in the category of people from the “no ring no regrets” article. now if people are really comfie with not being married/finding a life partner, then hey, “no ring, no regrets” is great, but considering from everything from Vijay Uncle’s 1000+ friends & this blog, i assume that only a small %age of people in the desi community are/would be okay with that.

now 4:36 & 4:49, i thought the conversation going on between the 2 of you was really interesting. i believe that many of us singles think pretty darned highly of ourselves & our other same-sex-as-us single friends as well, & we often do not understand why we/they are single. for example, i might be completely delusional & wrong (i’m sure someone will tell me if i am), but when i look at 4:36’s list i do not find one criteria that depicts me except maybe D (see below) & well, we all know that i’m an all-star self-reflecter! so, i know that if i was going to pick one viewpoint, i’d personally (& probably uh duh, naturally) go with 4:49.

& i agree with her point on “B” – i honestly think the big mix up happens (it becomes complicated) when people are not clear in their intentions & feel like they are being lead on. for example, i had the “i think of you like a sister” line used on me once when i approached a guy about what i thought was a “connection”/him being interested in me & so when i called him out on his un-we-are-related behavior (not hooking up, but he wasn’t the way he was w/ other friends who were girls), he back pedaled & said “you fill the void in my life of not having a girlfriend.” he did not want to be in a relationship with me, but i was filling a void unbeknownst to me. that was a looong time ago, & now, i’ve just become very comfie with the “he’s just not that into you” phenomenon. i’m not going to lie it’s a toughie sometimes to understand b/c it’s like “well… errr… he sure SEEMED REALLY into me,” but when things do not transpire (no matter what the circumstances, excuses, etc) it really is HJNTIY, b/c when a guy is bothered enough, he will not let the opportunity (girl) pass him by.

& i also agree with 4:49’s thoughts on F… i def do not think anyone should obsess about “getting married” a few months into the relationship, but in our later 20’s & 30’s, if after a few months & the conversation of “where is this going?” completely freaks any party out, i believe there’s a huge problem. i’ve said it before, but if our parents could make marriage work after a few meetings or none at all, what is that all of us need this extended period of time to figure out?

on that note ladies, again, i really recommend being genuine from the beginning (w/out being crazy). there is no harm in telling a guy who you are spending more than “hi/hello” time with that you are not looking for something casual (& if it does cause harm, as much as it sucks, you’re probably just a time pass to him & “he’s just not that into you”). the kind of guy you really want to be with will respect you for not wanting something casual & let the ones who get scared be on their way. as i said in my posting “Casual Relationships,” it’s a whole lot of CASUAL that has gotten us all in this predicament.

& one more thing ladies, i cannot say this enough, as women we are all about “commitment” to everything, but modern times require that we not get so committed to any one guy until he gives us very good & clear reasons to. for example, we’ll meet a guy out that we really like & then we do not talk to anyone else. or we start talking to a guy who we are interested in, & stop considering other guys (whether they be in real life or online) only to have that one thing not pan out & all those other guys end up as non-options. ladies, i promise you that guys are not “in it to win it” until they make it clear with their actions.

& so much of the frustration that women feel is that they are constantly trying to figure out everything a guy does from his in-person behavior to a text, an emoticon in that text & everything in between. i’ve definitely gotten caught up in it & i’ve seen it make some people completely looney tunes; now THAT is not that guy’s fault. when there’s so much “what does that mean? where are we at,” WE are just being blind to what he’s making clear.
k, break time is over. more from me later! 🙂

Anonymous 3:14 said… Some common pitfalls, from a guy’s perspective.
In the above discussion of some of the common perils and pitfalls in South Asian dating, there are a few in particular that I have encountered that I thought I would share with the blog:
(1) Inexplicable loss of interest
Often I will be introduced to or meet girls that are extremely promising prospects, and who I may initially find quite attractive. Over the course of a few meetings/dates, however, this interest seems to vanish for a number of reasons:

(a) the girl asks for a commitment too soon; (b) the girl is not a challenge or develops feelings for me before I develop feelings for her; or (c) I get to know her better and discover something that is a deal-breaker.
I am not sure how much of this is a pitfall versus me being overly picky, but I do feel that there *may* be an issue here since there appear to be many such situations where I have moderate-to-high interest which suddenly disappears after a few meetings. To some extent this is part and parcel of the dating process, but I wonder if it is necessary for one to constantly engage oneself and evaluate one’s loss of interest. Or should you just trust what you feel?

I have always been and continue to be most afraid of expressing interest in the girls that I am most interested in. It’s the girls that put me at a loss for words, or put a lump in my throat, that I seem to avoid at all costs…probably because rejection by them would hurt a lot more than girls that I was never really that interested in to begin with. The potential with these girls is sky high, and I probably owe it to myself to pursue these opportunities, but I find myself so hamstrung and so afraid of what might happen that I often invent excuses as to why it would not work or why I should not show interest.

In the process of trying to find a potential partner, you may come across someone whom you cannot for whatever reason see a future with, but who is willing to see you casually. In some cases she actually senses the loss of interest on your part and tries to hold on to you through sex (the old adage about women exchanging sex for love; and men, love or the promise of love for sex).

A number of thoughts may be going through her head: (a) she hopes that you will eventually see how great she is and ‘come around’ (b) she doesn’t see any other great prospects and figures that having fun with you now is better than nothing (c) it’s easy, it’s NSA, and who knows maybe she can really handle it (probably not).
I have found that in some cases, women will try to even ‘lure’ you into a relationship by sleeping with you, and then acting like you are a player when you tell them you are not interested. To be fair, I will admit that I have used the line “I am not ready” when in reality I have just lacked the courage to tell them that I am not interested in them.


(1) Don’t give into temptation. Stay away from casual relationships; they will likely prevent you from finding and/or pursuing the One.

(2) Don’t be afraid of pursuing the girl that makes your heart skip a beat. You know who she is. Why is it okay for you to take risks in so many other aspects of your life, but be reluctant to take a chance in the one area of life that is arguably most important?

(3) Be realistic. If you have dated many amazing women in your life, you cannot expect that your future wife will exceed all of your previous dates in every respect. Think hard about what is most important, and what you can compromise on.
Now if I can only practice what I preach…

Vijay Mehta M.D.
Anonymous at 3:14 AM, You seem to be quite sober at the wee hours of Saturday morning!!
I think you hit the nail on the head. Many of you do know what you are doing or not doing that is a hindrance to you. To translate the information into an action plan is a huge hurdle.
Hence in my Assisted Matchmaking I actually do ask those girls you may think out of your league – it does no harm to find out.

I am absolutely against casual relationship once you are in serious phase.

I will call you on your expectations once I have feedback from two to three prospects. The mantra is, “if you are ready to get real the uncle is available to keep you on the track!”
By the way we have a facebook page “jay ho Vijay Uncle” that was started by Kinjal Jalavadia where we try to post all the interesting tidbit of information about the subject. We also plan to hold events in several cities aimed at specifically those who are seriously looking. So please join us and encourage others to join.

Anonymous 11:16 said… Just wanted to FYI to the men.   Please call the girl if you are interested do not text at any point. I had to cancel a prospect out as they were just texting and not calling. If a guy is serious about getting to know a girl he would stay away from such evasive forms of communication. Anyways, confirm the date in the afternoon if it is in the evening by calling, and by all means call the girl and NOT text if you really want to impress her or get to know her. I do not really want to discuss this, but just wanted to throw this out as a tip.   Also, Anon 3:14 am, thanks for your open and candid experience. See ladies, they really do want to chase us. The interest and challenge is over if we show feelings. Anyways, so just show feelings ladies when the man has demonstrated that he really loves you through his actions. Why should we go all goo-goo gaga over someone who has not demonstrated loyalty, niceness or dedication. Anyways, all this info 3:14 anon is helpful.

Anonymous 8:26 said… I do not think that 3:14 was in any way saying that ladies should not show feelings. I am sure if a lady did not show hime feelings, he would experience an “inexplicable loss of interest.” In fact, based on his point number 2, it would seem that ladies would be doing themselves a favor by nudging a guy now and then to let him know they are interested. Ice princesses have no shot, in my book.

Anonymous 9:21 said… Casual relationships, or friends with benefits do not exist as such. This is partly for physiologic reasons. Close physical contact with a person causes the release of several hormones, including Oxytocin, a hormone which promotes feelings of well being, attachment, and love. Once those feelings are present, jealousness, longing, guilt, and despair soon follow. Only the most callous man and woman can avoid experiencing one or all of these emotions when in a “casual” relationship.  Therefore, great discipline should be excercised in the avoidance of such relations.
Anonymous 8:41 said… I have found the kids thing to be a deal breaker for many men–not because i’m not fertile. I am a spry 29-year old woman and could have kids if I chose to. But by personal choice, I’d rather adopt. Most desi men however seem to reject the idea and are stuck on needing a mini version of themselves, as if the world would end if their genes weren’t passed on. It makes me wonder two things:
1. Are desi men not as compassionate and openhearted as I thought? Wasn’t Krishna adopted? Why is it so difficult to accept?
2. If this is a dealbreaker, then are you really just looking for a babymaker instead of love? Do you love me for me or my uterus?
I understand this may be an oversimplification of the issue, but at the end of the day it seems to be the bottom line.

Anonymous said… I am sure plenty of Desi guys are open to adoption, but recognize the pressure from parents and other relatives to carry on the blood lineage. You need to think like an Indian in India, where views on adoption are quite different than in the West (I am certain that the caste system is a factor). Unless a couple is dealing with fertility issues, most Indian-Indian grandparents will frown upon adoption. I do not agree with them, but that is the way it is!
In your case, you will probably be better off finding a non-Desi guy.

If you haven’t read my previous post, “REALITY CHECK,” that will give you more insight into how this all came about.  After reading that post, a reader posted a comment that resulted in its very own blog posting response & 177 comments! Here is how it all transpired…

February 9, 2010 – Anonymous 7 pm: “Hi Smile Moon, I do not know many desi singles in the small town I live in but I am soon moving to Boston and I had a couple of questions as I am very oblivious to the desi dating scene in big cities (your blog has been tremendously helpful in providing me some insight, thank you). Hopefully, you or the visitors on this blog can clear up some puzzling questions I have.

1. Are desi guys in their late 20’s and early 30’s serious about marriage?

2. Do desi guys expect their wife to be ‘pure’ when they get married? What about the other way around?

3. Do most desi girls have sex (with the one they want to marry) before marriage or hold off until after they’re married?

4. Are desi guys controlling and abusive?

5. Do they hold traditional views when it comes to the role the wife and the husband should play within a marriage?

2018 Relaunch 8-years-after-this-post editAt this juncture in my life (& I have no crystal ball to tell you about the future), I have no desire to be dating/in a relationship/with a life partner/married or have kids. For the first time (& after 20+ years of caring so much about this as the “end-all-be-all” life goal), I don’t care at all and am fully engaged in a relationship with myself. I love my own company, feel no lack, and – accordingly – feel complete and whole on my own; it is an absolutely revolutionary feeling and I wish I could have known it in my 20’s. More on that later…

A perfect life:  Two people fall madly in love, get married, have 2 kids (one boy & one girl), a beautiful home, are successful in their personal & professional lives, travel the world… enjoy life, are happy, healthy & worry-free… they grow old together… everything plays out like a fairy tale until the one day they proceed to the afterlife together embracing each other in their “Notebook”-type ending (sans the Alzheimers, of course).

2011 note – like I have said about other older posts, this was authentic me and how I felt at that time.  I cannot say that my reaction would be any different now (I still would not respond very well to someone asking this at a first meeting – or prior to it – regardless of whether it’s online or in person), but again, I feel like a completely different person one year later.
I met up with a girlfriend of mine for coffee the other day, and she told me about a recent correspondence she had with someone (a supposed “Serious Looker”) that went something like this… after seeing each other’s profiles, my friend (who we’ll call “G” for girl) and this guy (“B””) were mutually interested in each other and there was a common friend (“F”) who was helping to facilitate the connection.  B passes an e-mail along to F to make an inquiry to G… “Would you be willing to learn Gujarati?”  When she told me this, I lol’d and said “Omg, we need to go non-desi.”

2018 Relaunch 9-years-after-this-post editAt this juncture in my life (& I have no crystal ball to tell you about the future), I have no desire to be dating/in a relationship/with a life partner/married or have kids. For the first time (& after 20+ years of caring so much about this as the “end-all-be-all” life goal), I don’t care at all and am fully engaged in a relationship with myself. I love my own company, feel no lack, and – accordingly – feel complete and whole on my own; it is an absolutely revolutionary feeling and I wish I could have known it in my 20’s. More on that later…

This blog topic is partly inspired by Vijay Uncle’s most recent status:  “Casual relationships are like placebos when you really need life saving medicine. It may not have harmful side effects but the time they eat up are harmful enough.” More from Vijay Uncle’s post later… This blog is also inspired by a recent commenter who referenced many examples of some of the most gorgeous and successful women in the world who were in relationships where they were abused, cheated on, etc. Although they are seemingly unrelated topics, I still believe they are inter-connected…

In no way is this blog meant to be a male-bashing; like every blog, I am writing so that we ALL look back at our past experiences and make sure we’ve learned something from them as well as reflect on what kind of results our current actions are getting and evolve as necessary… For starters, let me be clear that I think in every relationship, both parties have a part in how the relationship transpires and no one is completely innocent or a true 100% victim. I know I have certainly felt like a victim in previous serious relationships, but – had I listened to my gut – I would have either not gotten into those relationships in the first place or when I saw certain “red flag” signals along the way, I at least could have made like Forrest Gump and RAN.

For those of you who’ve been following the blog or who possibly saw the last “text vs. calling” posting that caused quite a stir, you may have also seen the large slew of comments.  Sure, a lot of them were from yours truly trying to address various posters’ comments, but there were 2 things that came up several times about desi women (and since I am grouped into the whole lot of “us” I thought they needed to be addressed):
1)  An apparent air of desperation we all seem to have, and
2)  Our supposed expansive list of “check mark criteria” that we are unwilling to compromise on which ultimately makes us pass up potential guys.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BLOG ONE YEAR LATER… I distinctly remember this time in my life, and this post was me being my authentic self at that time based on the experiences that my single girlfriends & I were having, but it is remarkable how much I feel like a completely different person exactly one year later… so much so that this was almost painful to read. For the sake of the length of this, I have pared down my original post, which is really absurd b/c it is still so flipping long!   Side note & something I found interesting after the fact… the results from my Dating Survey (which I am thinking of opening up again so haven’t posted here yet) lined up for the most part with what I was feeling… the majority of women prefer a phone call, then a text & least preferable is FB and they also would hope to hear from the guy within 1-3 days…
Getting her (my) number, but not calling it… that could be the theme of my dating world in the past year plus & that of many of my girlfriends as well.