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  • Dating

    when you were growing up, what were the rules/limits your parents had [if any] on dating? what about for your kids?

    personally now that im a parent, im much more in favor of arranged marriages. i actually did make a contract with one of my friends to have our little ones married, although that was made in fun more than anything else. but i obviously wouldnt want my children mixing that precious genetic material with the wrong sort!

    anyway, how do you parents handle this issue? oh and you kids chafing under the constraints of responsible parents, you can rant here too, i guess.

  • #2
    Re: Dating

    I want to see my grandkids before I die, so if dating leads to marriage which leads to kids (that's the correct order right?) I'm for dating at 10. My wife on the other hand tells all our kids not to date until they're 35

    I tell my kids (all boys) that if the girl requests going "Dutch" then by all means don't argue the point...this is the 21st century and I think it's about time girls pay for a change and same goes for flowers at work, but maybe substitute the girly stuff for power tools. Yeah that would be cool, getting a cordless Dewalt 9-piece power tool set from an anonymous female admirer.

    When going out and sharing Ipod ear buds make sure you wipe the buds with disinfectant. Practice safe listening of illegal download tunes!

    And finally if you going use my BMW for impress one chick, I like one full tank of gas when you come home at 9pm! DAS RIGHT FULL YEAH DAT TOO...9PM! Now go have fun tonight
    Life is what you make of please read the instructions carefully.


    • #3
      Re: Dating

      My parents came from India. So while the rest of India changed and has become a bit more Westernized in outlook, my parents are frozen in time. They retain the values from the period of time when they were in India. As a result, though I was born and raised in the US, I was not allowed to date in high school, wear makeup or certain kinds of clothes (like tank tops), go to football games/movies/school dances or other evening school activities, watch kissing on TV (and yes, the kissing rule was still in effect even when I went to college!), or spend the night at anybody's house. When I realized that my parents would NEVER talk to me about dating/relationships, I turned to secretly reading romance novels just to learn about the "act" itself (those books can really expand your vocabulary, btw, and not just for the "naughty" words!). I knew I could never approach my parents with any questions I may have had. Obviously I rebelled and deliberately broke away from the rules that I felt stifled me once I hit college, and I'm still dealing with the disappointment and frustration of my parents right now that I won't allow them to arrange my marriage and that I'm choosing to date someone who is not Indian and not Hindu (I'm currently in my mid-20s).

      During my final year of college, tired of the constant fighting between myself and my father, I tried to sit down with him and talk to him about my frustrations and the cultural differences. When I attempted to tell my father, (I was 22 at this point), that I went dancing at clubs like many other college-age girls, he was firmly convinced that I must have AIDS and should be tested. He automatically assumed that any girl who likes to go to clubs to dance (a pretty common Westernized activity for college students) must be promiscuous and on drugs (not true in my case at all!). At the time I didn't think it was funny that he had no faith in my ability to make sensible decisions. He still doesn't know that I drink. (I enjoy a good martini/pupu happy hour once in a while or indulting in a good bottle wine with cheese in the company of friends). I don't believe my father thinks women should drink, and at Indian social events, you'll see the men separate to have a few drinks, while the women chat and socialize over cooking in a separate area of the house, while also supervising the children. For my father (and I'm sure many fathers out there!), drinking + daughters must automatically = promiscuous behavior.

      I struggled with living in places all my life as a child where there were no other Indians, and like many Indian children of strict parents, I ended up doing what I could get away with beause it seemed to me at the time that the standards for me didn't match the standards and expectations of the parents of my peers when it came to dating. The communication lines between my parents and myself were (and still are) very strained as a result (a cycle of mistrust on both sides, both mine and theirs), and I never bothered to tell my parents when I dated anybody until I broke the news to them of my current boyfriend of two years. I told my parents only a few months ago that he existed. My sister, also graduated from college, has been dating the same non-Indian, non-Hindu guy for four years now, and my parents don't know about him at all. Meanwhile, my brother, as an Indian male, has been given a little more dating leniency, but my parents and brother fight a great deal over my brother's current girlfriend. In addition, recently my brother told me that after dating that girl for over a year now, suddenly he is forbidden by HER parents not to see him anymore. (His girlfriend is not Indian either.) I only recently found out about this development, so I'm waiting for a while before pressing him for details on what's really going on. (I doubt it's a cultural issue in this case.)

      I am trying now to be more open with my parents about my life. I don't want to continue to have such a strained relationship with them. The distance of thousands of miles certainly helps, though. And their "hold" over me still has lingering results--when I'm out in public holding hands with my boyfriend, I have to struggle not to let go of his hand when I see random Indian people on the street (Indian couples, including husbands/wives, do not show any affection to each other in public, and there is never any hand-holding!). My boyfriend and I definitely notice Indian couples we dont' know outright staring at us when my boyfriend and I walk past. When I watch the love scenes in movies, I tend to squirm uncomfortably and look away, even when I'm by myself, somehow expecting my parents to magically yell at me from across the miles about how I'm not supposed to watch "that kind of dirty stuff."

      I do have a friend here in Hawaii who was born and raised in India until he came to the US for college, so for him, the ultimatum from his parents that he either arrange his own marriage in a certain time period or his parents would do it for him was not a problem--he's still happy over a year later to be married to the girl he found through an Indian online matrimonial website. They corresponded back and forth via email, sent each other a picture, and soon after my friend travelled to meet her and make the wedding arrangements They are both wonderful people who seem to get along very well. I also recently in Hawaii met other married couples where the female is Indian and the male is not--their stories of getting the Indian parents to accept the situation give me hope that eventually my parents will come around.

      On the flip-side, I dated a local Japanese guy here in Hawaii for a few months who said he was reluctant to introduce me to his parents because I wasn't the "right" kind of Asian. It drives me crazy that people consider Indians to not be Asians, as though India were a totally different continent or something. In fact, I recently encountered a person here who honestly didn't know that India WAS a part of Asia geographically! I guess that's another topic for another thread, though.

      I'll end by saying that the Indian dating situations in movies like "Monsoon Wedding," "Bend it Like Beckham," or "Mississippi Masala" are not at all far-fetched, and in fact, I found myself relating a great deal to these characters and their situations. And a warning for parents--don't restrict your kids too much, or you'll end up with kids who hide things behind your back A LOT more than the average kid. Remember Vanessa, the straight-A, "good child" from "The Cosby Show" (that was me too!) who didn't introduce her boyfriend to her parents until AFTER she was engaged to him? I know an Indian person who did the same thing, but unlike Vanessa, it was because she knew her parents wouldn't approve of her being with a non-Indian. She waited until after she was engaged to even tell her parents about the guy. They've been married for several years now.


      • #4
        Re: Dating

        As if!