When will you get married? A terrifying question for an Indian girl and her family as soon as she is in her early twenties, sometimes maybe younger. There are different ways of asking. Some people are direct, and others try to be subtle. They will ask what their daughter is up to in her life without having an actual interest to know about any of her academic or professional achievements. They would slyly move on to the more ‘important’ question, which is- When are you getting your daughter married? Don’t you think she is getting old? All the eligible men get committed early, and your daughter will have to compromise on everything if she doesn’t get married at this age or not so subtle people might also say she would be stuck with the ‘leftovers.’ I kid you not, people do say such things.
Let me ask you this: is there a marriage without compromise? However young or old you are, will any relationship survive without a ton of compromises? Let’s be honest, if there were a correct age to get married just so you don’t have to compromise, that would be the official age to get married, globally, because who wants to compromise, right?
Is there a right age to get married? Do you think age is the only thing important for marriage? It is in India. Here, if you want to be ‘settled,’ then you need to get married. Otherwise, no matter what your achievements are, you will never be considered settled. Don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to generalize, some people choose their paths, but doing so is daunting in this country. Everything has to be society approved if you know what I mean. But let’s face it, people will talk, whether you do or don’t do something. You might as well do what makes you happy!
We need to do better, and we need to understand that getting married is each person’s prerogative and choice. Getting married is not like being on social media or binge-watching a show on Netflix that you would do out of peer pressure. We need to do a better job of raising our kids. Girls need to be told that getting married is not their only goal. Women should have equal freedom to live their lives the way they wish to, before or after getting married. Society, parents, your peers, friends- none of them should be able to tell you when it’s time to get married or to do anything for that matter.
To all the women out there, if you are going through this, hang in there, you have got this! Don’t give up, not on yourself or your dreams.