life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, wedding, women

When love conquers

When I arrived in New Delhi, there was someone waiting for me: V., my driver. I was shocked when I saw him the first time, because he looks like my ex. An ex I haven’t seen for fifteen years now. I thought it was funny that V. would be my travel companion for the two weeks I spent in India.

V. is very young. And because of that, he wasn’t that careful. He didn’t speak a very good english. I was often lost in translation whenever we tried to talk with each other. But he was kind with me, and didn’t want me to walk alone in the streets of the cities I visited. He would also always bring me something whenever we stopped. Some candies, chewing gums,…

Because he was young, the other drivers often watched him carefully. On our way to Jaisalmer, a motorcycle hit our car when we crossed the road of a village. V. got out and saw the damages, but people quickly gathered around the car. An old man, the so-called wise man of the village, came to us, looked at the car, and told V. there was no accident. V. came back in the car and drove away.

I understood that day codes and casts still rule the society in India. V. asked me if in my country there are a lot of love marriages. I replied to him people do get married because they fell in love, but because of that, many couples go belly up after years of marriage. Love is not enough to make a marriage sustainable. In India, arranged marriages are still the rule.

But V. told me he was going to get married because they fell in love. “We needed our family approval. But we got it” he said, with a big smile on his face.

V. is lucky. Because in India, it is still difficult to marry someone who’s not from the same caste or the same religion. And if your family doesn’t approve your choice, your union can be doomed. This is why some have reacted against this, like the love commandos. 

The punishment for getting married against your family will can be deadly in India. Unfortunately, the one who gets killed is the bride, because women still carry the honor of their family. Honor crimes are still happening. That’s really sad.

As for V., I just wish him the best. When he drove me back to the airport, he gave me a small statue of Ganesh, the God of good luck in hinduism. He said I need it.

Ganesh is the God every Hindu pray whenever they start a new project, especially a marriage. V. got a Ganesh statue in his car too.

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celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, wedding, women

Catching the bouquet

One of my friends recently told me that she stopped trying to catch the bride’s bouquet when she’s invited to weddings. “I caught so many of them, and I’ve never got married” she said.

So, during my sister’s wedding, she voluntarily  declined to join the other single ladies participating to the tossing of the wedding bouquet.

When I saw the picture of this moment, I realized there were two groups of women: those who fought to catch  the bouquet, and those who didn’t try at all. But my sister confessed she threw a fake bouquet, and not hers. She followed her friends’s advice, who told her she could throw a fake one, because everyone does it, apparently.

My sister later explained she didn’t want to give away her bouquet, because her husband carefully picked it for her. One of my friends, who was present, disagreed strongly with her. But hey, my sister didn’t want a traditional wedding as she said. The bouquet was my idea (and also, a request from some of my friends who were attending…). I guess she shouldn’t have thrown her bouquet. Most of the weddings I attended didn’t have a bouquet tossing.

The tradition in Europe and North America says that the bride should throw her bouquet (the real one) to all the single ladies attending the wedding. The bouquet became an alternative to the pieces of the wedding dress.

But most weddings I attended lately didn’t follow the tradition. There was just one where we shared something in common with the bride: food poisoning.  The fridge where the cake was waiting broke down during the ceremony. I let you imagine the rest of the night…

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celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, wedding, women

Getting hitched no more

A recent article in the Economist says that Asian women with the most education are the most reluctant to get married. Besides, the more diplomas you have, the fewer potential partners you can get.

Well, I can tell you it’s not necessarily the case. Some of my single female friends didn’t graduate from a prestigious College, and some of them even dropped out of it. Yet, they also find it difficult to find their match.

Most of young women these days don’t want to end up like their mom.  They all say they don’t want to be like  their mother, completely subdued to their father, or broken-hearted because their husband left for another one.  Of course, this is a painful experience we all want to avoid when we grow up.

So, after a series of bad dates, some of them prefer to stick with their girlfriends. And this is how they stay single for a long period.  Among my single friends, who are for most of them over 30 year-old, they all act like that. Their social life is very rich, and they are very satisfied with the way it goes. Yet, some of them still dream about getting married and having kids. Very few contemplate the option of a sperm donor or an adoption, out of wedlock.

Some will end up getting married. I’m sure. As we grow old, the number of single friends diminishes. The prospect of getting old alone pushes people to find someone and start a family.  This hasn’t change.

The truth is here in my country, marriage is coming back with a vengeance, despite one marriage out of two ending in a divorce. People don’t hesitate to marry because they know how easy it is now to get divorced. Before, the long procedure hindered some couples to get divorced.

As for the most educated women, maybe there’s another factor playing in their celibacy. They all look for someone like them. Which leaves them very little potential partners. But they can be intimidating. Education is one thing, and I believe it is very important. Yet, when it comes to relationships, it can be useless. If you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, education itself isn’t enough. It won’t necessarily help you getting along with the opposite sex, even if the guy has more diplomas than you. Worse, he can see in you a potential co-worker.  Diplomas are appealing to a recruiter, not to a lover.

What helps a lot in a relationship is common points (apart from a diploma!). That’s why it’s important to have hobbies and to know what you love, even the silliest thing. Even if you work 60 hours a week. You never know. I know two PhD who clicked because they share a passion for doodling during seminars… Their diplomas helped them to find each other (they wouldn’t have met otherwise), but it’s not that factor that influenced their bonding.

And always remember this: “on n’attrape pas les mouches avec du vinaigre”. So, diplomas are great. But they don’t give you the right of letting yourself go…

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celibacy, life, love, men, thoughts, wedding, women

Married for the wrong reasons

Why do we get married? Most of us, in our Western civilization, will answer because of love. But in some cultures, marriage is still seen almost like a financial trade, where the woman is the good to be sold.

I was recently reading this book written by Pascal Bruckner, a French philosopher. It’s true that marrying someone because of love doesn’t guarantee it will last forever. Love is a delicate feeling. It can last forever. But it can also fade away. Based on this two outcomes, marriages based on love have only one chance out of two to be sustainable.

Bruckner said that maybe we expect too much from our marriage. This is why divorces are progressing. And sometimes, our expectations have nothing to do with love. Love is irrational, we have to remember this. It’s also subversive. Some people have never fallen in love and don’t know what this really means. Yet, they can get married. And think they get married because of love, although it is for a different reason.

When I was in high school, some of my female classmates were forbidden by their parents to date whoever they wanted. They were also asked to remain virgin until the day of their wedding.  Their date also had to be approved by their parents, and this meant the date had to come from a wealthy and powerful family.

Twelve years later, some of these girls are married, have children, and depressed. Because their husband have a mistress/ left them/ discovered their homosexuality. And they thought they were in love when they got married…

I met more recently couples who got married only because they make a powerful couple. In this kind of unions,  they just use each other to parade in important events. But some of them don’t last because one of the members of the couple finally fall in love with someone else. Some do. But they only keep appearances. One of them are still married and go to events together. Yet, they do see other people in private.

Frankly, if I had to get married for these reasons, I would rather marry someone who’s dead. Like Chinese women many many years ago.

I’m still believing in marrying for love. And bear the risk it doesn’t work. After all, life is really sad if you haven’t truly fallen in love once.

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broken heart, celibacy, life, love, relationships, thoughts, wacky, wedding, women

A past never far?

A few years ago, one of the ministers of my country got married to a famous attorney. At their wedding, they picked their ex’s as best man and maid of honor. This story was really weird. And no, their ex’s didn’t intervene to ruin their marriage. They are still together now.

Would you invite your ex to your wedding? And as a best man/maid of honor?  Personally, I wouldn’t, in any case. It sounds like a revenge on your ex. I asked around me if people could do so, and this is what they replied.

It depends. If my ex is married and have moved on, I wouldn’t consider this as a revenge. Of course, I have to remain friends with my ex, otherwise I wouldn’t even bother to invite him to my wedding” O., 34, said.

No, it would be too weird. Even if N. and I remain good friends, I could never invite him to my wedding. And I wouldn’t want to go to his wedding either. N. and I were engaged before we decided to call it quits. This is why I think it would be too weird. It’s like we would remind us of our own failure to get married together” B., 32, said.

“My ex is the God father of my daughter. So, yes, I invited him to my wedding. We were dating when we were in High School, but we realized we were better friends than lovers, and we decided to remain that way. As a friend, he never lets me down. And so do I.  It was obvious I should have invited him to my wedding.” P., 35, said.

Certainly not. B. and I find it hard to resist to each other. He’s not himself when I’m around and so am I. So far, I’ve never dated a guy who could make me forget about him. And he had come back into my life several times, ruining all my relationships. So, I don’t think I would get married someday. I would hope it will be with B., but it’s hopeless. And if I do get married with someone else, I will never invite B. at my wedding. I would also have a hard time accepting B.’s wedding with another woman” N.,33, said.

I guess it all depends on how it ended with your ex. But personally, I don’t think it’s a good idea to invite your ex to your wedding. And even worse, your significant other’s ex.

Would you dare?

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life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, wedding, women

Committed

When Chelsea Clinton and Mark Mezvinsky got married this summer, it was said that they invited only people who knew personally either the bride or the groom. Among the personalities attending the wedding, only Ted Danson and Margaret Albright were counted, apart from Bill and Hillary. Still, there were 400 people attending. But as one of my friends say, they must have a big family. His wedding was also very crowded. Both his wife and he got large family, and without even counting their friends and co-workers, they reached over 300 guests.

Or maybe they have many many friends.

I was thinking about this event because a friend of mine attended recently a very posh wedding where most of the guests were celebrities. They were obviously invited by the groom’s parents, who know everyone in the who’s who guide of my country. When I asked my friend if he knew either the bride or the groom, he replied “not especially“. “I got invited because my parents work with his folks, and personally, I thought this wedding was more of a giant networking event than a wedding ceremony” he said.

The groom was only 24 year-old. This would explain that.

We don’t marry at 20 like we would marry at 30. Most of my friends who married at a young age told me they let decide a lot their parents in their guests list. “Back then, I only wanted to get married, but I had no clue about what I wanted for the wedding ceremony. And I also listened to my mom, who told me we should invite a lot of people they knew because it was like that, and they would be pissed if they weren’t invited. I remember telling to myself the D-Day: who the hell are those people?And there were way too many of them. If I could do this again, I would certainly limit the number of guests, and pick only my close friends and family” said F., who got married at 22.

When I married for the first time, I don’t know why, I wanted a big ceremony, with a lot of people. I didn’t care who would be present at my wedding, as long as there were loads of people. Seeing those people coming for my wedding had something thrilling about it. I didn’t think about it that much. All I knew back then was that I was in love and I wanted the whole world to know about it. I was young. For my second marriage, I didn’t want that anymore. We just had a ceremony with my close friends and family. That was it. And it was much more meaningful to me” J., 36, said. She got married again last year.

I got married at 32. And I went to a lot of wedding ceremonies I couldn’t stand. So, I only wanted something simple, with a few friends and family, in a nice place and nice atmosphere. This was what mattered the most. I had many problems in finding the place, the dress, the date, I can’t imagine how it would be if I had invited a lot of people” A., 35, said.

The first time you marry is also an important moment for your family. The second and other time you get married is on the other hand way less important. For some people, the first wedding isn’t even in their hands. Some told me they got married because they were told so. “We were dating since our first year in high school, and our parents thought it would be better if we would get married” L., 34, explained.

To be honest, I don’t know what it is to get married. I never got married. I only got proposed once, and returned the ring two days later. But if I ever get married, I know I wouldn’t want a big ceremony.

So, what would you want if you get married? And did you enjoy your wedding?

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celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, wacky, wedding, women

A case for divorce

I went yesterday to a wedding where I barely knew anyone, except the light of my life and two of his friends. The ceremony was a bit weird. During the opening dance for the evening, the newlywed  chose to waltz, instead of a simple slow, and they barely looked at each other, too concentrated on not to fall. Then, as the evening went on, she started chatting with all of her friends, while he was dancing on the floor with his. One of my man’s friends whispered that this marriage was ill-fated. My man agreed, and so did I.

Before the dance, their friends showed us some videos about them, and there was also a clear unbalance between the two. For the bride, her colleagues (!) put a video of her at work. For the groom, his friends showed a collection of his antics, and a warning for the bride about his many passions. We all concluded that she was a workaholic, and that he was a party guy. How can such a combination work in a marriage?

I may be optimistic about love, I’m not sure this can last. Both are young (24) and I suspect the parents pushed them to get married because they were living together. I would have loved to ask the bride if her husband was the man she was dreaming of. I bet she doesn’t have a clue about what she really wants in a man. I can’t blame her for that. Many of my friends and acquaintances told me they didn’t know what they want until they reached a certain age.  Some still don’t. Few people I know have a thorough list of what they want from their soulmate. I had a classmate in high school who made her (long) list, and she had the guts to quit a relationship that didn’t fit to her standards, many times. I don’t know what happened to her. I hope she has found the one.

So, have you ever made a list of requirements for your potential husband/wife/ significant other?

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