Ever since I was young, I wanted to get married. I was absolutely fascinated by wedding festivities and everything that came along with them. The weeks-long celebrations; the family get-togethers; the music and dancing; the gifts and the presents; the gossips and the late-night talks; the glittery dresses and the makeup – I loved them all.
But that’s all I associated with marriages – the celebrations.
The sparkles and the glitter. The motions, but not the significance.
What I never realized was what it meant to be married – the responsibilities and the negotiations that come with this commitment to spending the rest of your life with someone. As a Bollywood fan, I always believed in happy endings. This furthered my illusions with weddings and the celebrations that came along with them.
That was until I grew out of Bollywood and looked at life for what it is – unfair. Raw. Real.
As I grew up, the differences between the reel life and the real life started to become more obvious. Slowly, I came to realize one very important thing: marriage is more than just grooving to 90’s music. Marriage is about grooving to whatever music that plays in the background of your life.
And I am just not ready for it emotionally.
My parents always believed that education comes first, so when I was in school, I didn’t worry about getting married like some other desi girls have to all the time. I lived my college life carelessly while not being bothered by any thoughts about marriage. But since I’ve graduated, my parents have begun to talk about my marriage, and I don’t know how to tell them I am not just ready for it.
Marriage, as I see it now, is a gamble which you enter at your own risk. If you get lucky, your life is made. And if not, well, then your life is ruined. That’s how it is in desi society anyway. I am scared that I will ruin my life. Not my future husband, not my future in-law, but I, myself, will ruin my future. Now, why do I say that?
It’s because I am not emotionally ready to commit.
I don’t know how to handle conflicts. I’ve always found it easy to end relationships than to work on them. I am a very emotionally needy person, and I expect to be loved all the time. I like to be told I’m loved regardless of how obvious it is. And that’s not how it works in reality.
At the same time, for me, loving someone is nothing more than being confined in a prison. That’s not to say I don’t want to fall in love or I am afraid to fall in love. I want to accept love, and I want to give love. But, I am afraid of what will happen when I am in love. I don’t want to become chained to my relationship – whether it’s a marriage or not.
In a relationship, any relationship, I tend to care a lot about the other person. Be it my parents, siblings or friends. And that is what you do when you’re in love with someone, right? You care about what matters to them; you care about their likes and dislikes; you care about what they think about you. Basically, your life starts to revolve around them. That’s how it’s supposed to be.
A lot of people consider this love.
I consider this a prison.
I’ve realized that I tend to lose my personality slowly into this stranger this other person wants me to be. For instance, I’ll wear red regardless of how much I hate red just because I know he likes it. I’ll leave my friends regardless of how much I don’t want to leave them if he wants me to do that.
Notice how I don’t use the word order or instruct? Because I’m not talking about him, but I am talking about me. I am the one that changes myself willingly – not because my partner forces me to. I let myself be controlled by my partner’s desires. I will willingly change into this person he would like me to be, and I don’t know how to stay true to myself. In the process, I lose me. I lose my freedom. I lose my personality.
He won’t take these from me, but I will give them to him willingly.
Marriages come with compromises and sacrifices, and I am ready to make them. I do want to get married. But I just don’t want to get married yet.
That can only happen when I learn to find and commit to myself before I can ever commit to someone else.