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I’m A 30-year-old Single Woman In Modern India, And I’m OKAY

I’m a 30-year-old single woman in modern India. Okay, I’m 4 months shy of turning 30, but let’s not get technical. And I come from a fairly conservative family from south India, so the pressure of being 30 and single is sometimes overwhelming. I’m an independent working woman, who is self-aware, has certain expectations from her partner, and is not ready to settle down until such time that I can find the kind of partner I’m looking for. And trust me, it’s not that demanding a list of expectations – at least I don’t think so.

But every time I turn around, there’s this one question that people fling at me without care, and sometimes, with too much suppressed glee – when are you getting married? It’s the same wherever I go, be it weddings of friends or extended family, get togethers, or even a casual meeting with acquaintances. It’s like marriage is the be-all and end-all of my existence. Like I’m defined by either getting married or not. Like my entire identity hinges on this one fact of either me tying the knot with a man or not. Like my accomplishments, failures, likes, dislikes, highs and lows, are all incumbent on me being a Ms or a Mrs.

woman thinking_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Is that all there is to a woman’s life? Don’t I have a say in my own life? Granted that we live in a society and we do need to adhere to a few societal rules and norms. But this shouldn’t be at the cost of my identity as an individual, right?

There was a time when women who crossed a certain age, read age 25 or thereabouts, were regarded as unmarriageable and pushed into spinsterhood, to eternally rot on a shelf, all because she’d crossed the societally-accepted age limit for marriage. But times have changed a lot since those days, and women are making the choice of when and whom to get married, if at all. But all that seems to have happened is that this ‘deadline’ seems to have simply moved arbitrarily to 30 with no rhyme or reason whatsoever.

Suggested read: Strong women aren’t difficult to love, nobody is

What if I don’t want to get married at all? What if I want to focus on my career and look for a guy who’d be compatible with me and my life choices at the same time? What if I want to travel, soak in all that the world has to offer, and live life as a single woman? Will society, and more importantly, my parents let me do all these in peace? No, not even in my dreams.

My parents, who are part of this most-often-than-not-rigid society that we live in, are so entrenched in it, that they can’t and won’t see a path for me beyond marriage. If, by some miracle (I’m not holding my breath :P), they do give me their blessing to follow my heart, I know what would happen next. The whispers, the accusations, the rumors that would follow my parents everywhere they went – that I must have besmirched my family name with an unspeakable act; that I must have had an affair with a boy from a different religion and my parents wouldn’t have anything to do with it; that I must be a closet lesbian who wants to date other women; that I must not be fully a woman, because what kind of woman doesn’t want to get married; that I must be holding out for my Prince Charming in my delusion to find the perfect man.

woman walking_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

I have already heard whispers, rumors, slights similar to these despite minding my own business. And I don’t want to subject my parents to this despite the fact that I’m willing to wait for the right guy. But then, these two don’t need to be mutually exclusive either.

As I’m readying myself to turn 30 in exactly 4 months and one day, I’m also ready to face the world as a woman who is 30 and single and, who’ll focus on building a fulfilling life that is intellectually stimulating, financially rewarding, and giving me an opportunity to blossom to my full potential. And, when the right person comes along, I’ll ‘choose’ to have an equal partner, rather than make a decision bound by an arbitrary deadline.

As much as things have changed, so they remain the same. But I have high hopes for the future. (See, I’m not a cynical closet lesbian! :P)

Featured image source: gimmesomeoven

Article Name
I'm A Woman Who Is 30 And Single In Modern India, And I'm OKAY
I'm 30 and single, and a woman to boot, in modern India. But surprisingly, I'm OKAY!
Chaitra Ramalingegowda

Chaitra Ramalingegowda

I fell in love with storytelling long before I knew what it was. Love well written stories, writing with passion, baking lip-smacking-finger-licking chocolate cakes, engaging movies, and home-cooked food. A true work-in-progress and a believer in the idiom 'all those who wander are not lost'. Twitter: @ChaitraRlg