Love in the time of quarantine

Fully quarantined ah? Which one of this is you?

Divided my friends and loved ones into 3 QUARANTYPES! 🤷🏻‍♀️ Which #quarantype are you? 😅 .
.
.
#stayathome #quarantype #flattenthecurve #breakthechain #coronacontent #justforlaughs #oiledhair #goodlife #actingpractice #creativejuices #overflow
March 25, 2020

I surely oscillate between the types. I’m sure you do too.


People say long-distance relationships that work, survive the test of love. But it’s the contrary because distance is the much needed respite in a relationship. If you can survive being with your loved one in lockdown, and still go back to them when you don’t have to, that my friend, is the true test of love. Sort of like love in a marriage. Actually if you removed wifi from that, then, I bow to thee.

I’ve learnt so much about love and relationships trying to stay married than I ever have falling in and out of love multiple times before that. Finding oneself a partner is a finite game and hence, fairly exciting. But staying married to them is an infinite game, and unless you enjoy the journey, it can be fairly exhausting.

But how does one even enjoy the journey?

Couple goals, milestones and an endless enthusiasm to pursue them.

Ey, but all this seems like so much work. Who has the time to even think about all this amidst the working from home, stepping in for the maid and trying to figure out which day of the week it even is?

Forget couple goals and milestones. Take it one day at a time. Slow and steady wins the race, after all.

This is precisely why my good friend, Nikhil Jois and I are building something super fun and exciting people (re) discover the joy of being locked down with a loved one (pun intended) just a little bit more, that too, one day at a time. Follow “LoveinLockdown” on Twitter to know more.

Not Locked down in love yet?

You don’t have to be in a couple right now to enjoy “LoveinLockdown” because it even works on future lovers that are currently sitting in your inbox on Tinder or Bumble! ;)


Among the other projects I’ve started since the lockdown, here are the broad themes:

  1. Self love - A school friend and I are trying to trace our journeys of self-love, why it was (still is) important and how it’s helped us heal, and made us better versions of ourselves. We want to take our discoveries and share it with other people who may benefit from a bit of kindness to themselves because we know, love hurts.

  2. Love when you can hardly spell it - Through M.B.A., I mostly get to work with people who’ve resolved to settle down, or so they think. This means, I seldom speak to people under 25 about love and relationships. So, I started talking to people between the ages 15-25 to learn how different or similar it is to fall in love today than it was yesterday. Surprisingly love remains largely untouched by technology in the last decade.

My biggest take away from all conversations this week is that we don’t deal with rejection very well, and unknowingly we start to build our lives around it. Rejection takes very many forms - being unloved by someone, being hurt by someone, being mistrusted, having our trust abused, etc. but the one that goes unrecognised is rejection by oneself. Hence, we are in constant pursuit of external validation, that usually comes in the form of love.


Having been under self inflicted “lockdown” for the last two weeks, it’s been invaluable to have someone to talk to at home. I occasionally call relatives or friends, but its not the same. These are some very uncertain times, and together, we are trying to stand up to the unknown. But knowing that we are in this together is somewhat comforting. It’s sort of like how life is in general - having someone with you while navigating the unknowns is always comforting. So, wanting to be in a partnership or a family is only natural. We often blame too much work, and too little time for not being able to find ourselves in a meaningful relationship. But what’s your excuse now?

No, I am not suggesting that you install every dating app there is on Earth and swipe away incessantly. I think you should do quite the contrary actually. Delete all apps on your phone - give your finger some much needed rest.

With all the time on your hands, why not just get in touch with yourself.

Oops, I did say give your finger a rest no? Shoot!


WHY LOVE?

When I was younger, I’d lie down on my terrace, looking up at the stars thinking about how inconsequential our lives were, and despite all the drama, we were hardly a speck in the Universe. Yet, I could come down and melt into the noise my life was. But it is exactly this ability to make sense of the noise that makes us human. As Yuval Noah Harari says in Sapiens, one of the things that makes us human is the ability to make things up. How else can you make sense of being in quarantine all by yourself, or even with a loved one? Our life is made up, our drama is made up. So is love. It exists collectively in our heads. Without love, we’re hardly human.

WHAT’S LOVE?

It’s acknowledgement, it’s acceptance, it’s appreciation, it’s adoration and the ability to surrender or sacrifice for someone.

HOW DO YOU LOVE?

Before we go out there and try it on someone else, we’ll start with ourselves, ok? Practice makes perfect, after all. I’ve written down simple instructions to try this at home.

  1. Get up, go take a nice shower and dress up.

  2. If you’ve got a full length mirror at home, go stand in front of it.

  3. Take a nice long look at yourself from top to bottom. Stare at your face, and observe every little detail - the shape of your eyes, nose, mouth, hairline, colour of your face, the facial hair on it, your pimples, freckles, lines. Run your hands over and along your face, with one finger, all fingers. Watch your hands, chest, tummy, thighs, legs, feet and head again. Look at your hair, or the lack of it for those of you its more relevant. Go closer, go farther.

  4. Say something to yourself. Say your name. Watch the way your mouth moves as you say it.

  5. Wave, to say hi. See how your body moves.

  6. Stand still. Watch where your hands go. Watch how your body looks.

  7. Smile at yourself. Say something nice to that person in the mirror. If you enjoyed hanging out with this person, say you’ll come back and see them again tomorrow.

DID IT WORK?

Was it love at first sight? Or, you think it’s going to be more of an acquired taste?

Did you feel weird? or, did the person in the mirror feel weird?

Who do you think was more open to trying this? You, or the one in the mirror?

Who do you think will be ghosting the other?

Have you ever wondered - you may not be one person. You may be a combo of two. The one who stands, and the one who sees. The one who talks, the one who listens. The one who touches, and the one who feels. The one who feels, and the one thinks. The one who waits, and the one who is always searching for the better half.

We don’t spend enough time discovering ourselves, doing things for ourselves, learning and building things on our own just because we’re curious. Let me tell you that’s there’s no better time to start discovering yourself and doing the things you love, and falling in love with yourself before you do so with someone else.


RESOURCES

Going on the journey of (re)discovering yourself on your own is never easy. As a relationship coach, most of the work I do is around helping people (re) discover themselves and what they value in relationships. Just defining and acknowledging this is a powerful step in the journey of finding love. I’m super excited to have partnered with Masterlife, in building a course in self-discovery that we cheekily call “How to attract the right partner in 30 days”. This course is for anybody looking to be in a healthy relationship, or running away from it or simply proud of being in one. Through this course, you’ll discover things about yourself you’d never known.

Masterlife is a new venture started by a school/ college friend, Anirudh Narayan. Masterlife helps you learn and build much needed life-skills that can make you more awesome than you ever were. What better time than now to brush up your dating skills so you can be ready to unleash when the world is ready.

Stay home.

Stay safe.

Does experience matter in love?

Recently, a friend met a girl he got along with very well, but unfortunately got turned down by her for not having been in a relationship before.

“Does experience matter?” he asked.

I didn’t have an answer for him.

I usually meet equal number of people who’ve been in relationships, and those who haven’t. So, personally, “experienced” or not, it’s never made a difference to me as an outsider.

Does a partner’s experience matter to me?

At the time that I met my husband, he had less experience than I did. I definitely appreciated his inability to play mind games, which is usually a strong coping mechanism with most people who’ve gone through one failed relationship at least. It’s not like my husband doesn’t try to manipulate, but he’s not very good at it, at least not as good as someone who’s already tried it on someone else.

Since I was struggling to empathise with people seeking experienced partners, I asked a friend (who has above average EQ for a man) as to why this might be. Apparently, a girl once told him that she can’t be bothered training men from scratch on how to be with women, and that she’d much rather be with someone who’s already trained by someone else. It seemed logical, except I couldn’t quite empathise with it. Isn’t it easier to learn than unlearn, and then re-learn?

Does my experience matter to a partner?

Yes, and no. People who had more experience than me thought I was too enthusiastic for them, and the ones who didn’t, never noticed, or just thought I was good crazy. In fact, the indifference that comes from being jaded, is even considered sexy sometimes. Now, what can I say? We are a very strange species.

So… if experience can make us sexier, why do so many of us not have any?

Whenever I meet someone who is over 25, and they’ve never been in a relationship, the most common reason I hear is that they come from a conservative household, and hence, dating or any clone of it was never allowed anywhere close.

Do I buy it?

No, I don’t. I had a rather conservative upbringing too, living with grandparents, being allowed to only pursue professional interests while being expected to respect the boundaries of my family in the society. We were strictly encouraged to pursue “other interests” only once we were on our own feet. That meant no boyfriends through school or college. Anyone thereafter would also be strictly screened. Love was taboo. Love marriages were extensively debated, looked down upon and strictly not allowed in the family as long as my grandparents were around (2006).

But did that ever stop me from falling in love? No. Will my parents be upset to listen to these stories and feel cheated? May be. But am I better of having gone through these experiences in life? Hell yes!

So, how did I manage my “experience”, then?

I strictly operated on the philosophy of survival of the fittest, so my instincts were only natural. But, why did I need surviving in the first place?

Imagine this….

You are back in school after 5th standard holidays, the pinafores are replaced by bosoms, boys are suddenly wearing pants, their voices half cracked and we’ve all just discovered the concept of “having a crush”. There are rumours that some boys have a crush on a couple of girls. You think that it’s a pandemic like the COVID-19, and it’s going to get us all, except it doesn’t. This unfortunately follows a power law, only a couple of boys and girls will be affected by the “crush”, the rest of us just have to be affected by the lack of - crushes, bosoms and baritones. Now, the problem with middle/ high school is that it operates on mob mentality - everyone is only allowed to have a crush on the crushable.

What does this mean to those of us who are not being crushed? We will never be crushed, to the point where it will be considered uncool if someone ever dares to crush on the uncrushed. This is not like prom in America where everyone just has to find themselves a partner. So what do you do? Find solace is education, and good marks. Your parents were right all the time - the only thing that no one can take away from you is education, and that’s what you’ll go after. I, thankfully, didn’t fall into this trap mostly because I never got any good marks, or solace from it.

I wasn’t going to let my school steal my confidence. I had to have what I couldn’t have. So, I decided to bet on other markets - I found myself a boyfriend outside school. In fact, I’d found more than a boyfriend - I’d found a strategy to cope with life.

Fast forward a few years, I found myself in the exact same spot, yet again - I was in the tail of the curve in college. There were a handful of hot men and women who got all the love, and the rest of us just had to make do with what was left. Luckily, mob mentality is less under play here, so people do end up finding love far more easily in college than in school. You don’t fall in love, just to seem cool. There are other “benefits” of love when you are in college, and so people are more generous with love. Given that hedging was a lifestyle by then, I had plenty of love in and out of college.

The point is, when one market isn’t working for you, you need to find yourself another one where you are better off, especially when you can’t outlaw the power law.

But why even try?

Every time I meet someone who’s never been in a real relationship, and we talk about what they seek in a relationship, I find their needs fairly basic and naive. This includes people who’ve dated for 10+ years without ever being in a meaningful relationship. I think there is something about being hurt in love (or being in a relationship, which is the same thing) that makes you have realistic expectations from life. It makes you a better person. It’s like a secret passage in “Prince” that will take you a few levels higher.

Think about this - Wouldn’t you love to chance upon someone amazing, unexpectedly fall in love and spend the rest of your life being with this person? What is the likelihood of this happening in your life today?

If not for COVID-19, it would be fairly high you’d say.

Right, who are we kidding?!

The likelihood of having social encounters (IRL) is highest either in school, college or at work. Now, falling in love at work is a bit trickier, people like to keep their personal and professional lives separate, there’s a lot more at stake if things go south, and you’ve far lesser appetite to deal with widespread repercussions as you grow older. You are most likely to fall in love organically and benefit from it early on in life. So, wasting these precious years of socialising is a sin.

So, when I think about it, “prom” is a great concept. It gives everyone a shot at gaining some experience. You’re better off going to prom at 16 rather than at 26. Most Indian kids think prom is the bride/ groom seeing ceremony. Being a fresher might fly at the ceremony, but not when you’re called aside to “talk in private”. Having the right skills helps you get the right “job”. It’s always easier to get a job when you’ve some experience, rather than not, right?

But your parents told you otherwise, didn’t they?

In India, parents are super invested in the intellectual upbringing of their children since it directly results in earning a decent living, and this is great. Where this starts to loose credibility is when this “study well” logic is applied to finding oneself a partner - If you study well and get a good job, you can get a good partner. Back in the day when women married men for financial support, this logic worked. But how does it even make any sense today? Women don’t need men for financial support. Men don’t want women not needing financial support. So, getting good marks or having a decent job might help us survive on our own, but it never implies that you’ll easily find yourself a fulfilling relationship.

What would happen if our parents had applied the same rigour they applied for education when it came to our emotional development? Would we have turned out any different? Would we be any more desirable as partners than we are today? Or, would our population simply have doubled if not for our “culture”?

We’ll just have to wait, and watch.

Ghosting

“Ghosting? What’s that?” asked my 37 year old husband who’s been off the dating market for a little over a decade now. So, I thought it might be useful to start with a simple definition.

Ghosting is when someone who you think cares about you (to whatever extent), disappears without any explanation. No call, no text, nothing.

It’s an old concept but has a new terminology.


There are some things in the world we can absolutely do away with, and ghosting is definitely one of them. I’ll make my case for why we ghost, and why it’s important for us as a society to join forces in abolishing it.

The what.

Ghosting can happen anytime. For instance, you match with someone on a dating app, and then you drop them a text to connect, they don’t respond, that’s ghosting. When you’ve been on 3-4 dates with someone, you trust them enough to open up to them, they disappear on you without a clue, that’s ghosting. When you’ve been dating someone for a while, even as long as two years, and suddenly they stop responding to your calls or messages and vanish into thin air, that’s ghosting too. Some of this happens more often than others, but they all hurt nevertheless. The impact is a function of who gets ghosted and how invested they are.

The why?

Well, there are a range of possibilities:

  1. It wasn’t a real person, it was a bot

  2. No, it wasn’t a bot, but they’re horrible people, what other explanation is there?

  3. They liked you by mistake, and they don’t care enough to clarify

  4. They liked you because they didn’t have much choice back then, but now they do, and so they don’t care enough to clarify

  5. They don’t want to exhaust their options, and so they want to string you along till they find someone better

  6. Their phone got stollen, and they don’t know how to reach you now

  7. May be they died

People don’t want to take any emotional responsibility - not for themselves, not for anyone else. So, when you have to deliver a message that is expected to have unpleasant repercussions, you don’t want to be responsible for either delivering the message or handling the emotions of the person who reacts to your message.

So, what do you do?

Disappear without saying anything.

Easy no?

For you, yes. Not for the other person. It absolutely sucks, albeit even for a minute.

Sure, you feel guilty for running away and wish you didn’t have to run away. But guess what? You actually didn’t have to run away. You had a choice to stay, explain and then walk away. Instead, you chose to run away without saying anything. That choice makes you who you are. In the short-term, running away might work for you, but in the long-term, you’ll never grow the muscle to deal with anything difficult. It probably doesn’t even matter to you, but I’d still like to tell you what the other side deals with in the short-term.

The impact.

Ghosting hurts. People need closures. People are far better equipped to deal with fizzling. Oh yeah, that’s a thing too. Fizzling is when things trickle down in fervour slowly over time, and then dies a slow death. Death in general is hard for people to cope with, but if one’s allowed a preference, I think slow death is preferable any day considering the grief, and effort needed to make peace.

If I matched with someone, and they didn’t respond to my text, I might be down for a day but the impact would be wildly different if we went out for months, and they ghosted me just like that. I will kill myself with overanalyses about what I could’ve done wrong to kindle such a reaction from that person.

I will then oscillate between hating that person and hating myself. Over time, I might stop looking for answers, and I might start convincing myself that it wasn’t my fault or the other’s, and that things like this happen all the time. I might even forget this ever happened, but remember that a part of me will be scarred forever, and nobody, including myself, will know for sure what the damage is, but damaged, I will be.

It will take me a few bruises to not notice anymore, but in the process, I’d have started paying back, not to the person who ghosted me necessarily, but to other people who didn’t deserve it in the first place, just like me.

The what now?

In an age of constant communication, people aren’t foolish to not read the signs if something’s not meant to be. It’s different when someone reads too much after being betrayed one too many times. But in general, we can all do with a bit more kindness in the world.

We may not be generous to share our wealth with someone, but I think there’s not much to lose with a simple response to someone who is obviously invested in a conversation with us. It’s basic courtesy. Is that so hard in a civilised world? What are we doing with all the education anyway?

If we feel like we don’t have the energy to engage someone in a lengthy discussion, it’s okay to say so. It might hurt, but it’s better than us not responding to them. That’s the least we can do when we’ve chatted for days, exchanged a few laughs, possibly a coffee, had sex with or whatever counts as an interaction that merits a response. I think, of all the things in the world we can eradicate, ghosting is definitely a social evil worth abolishing.

Even if we aren’t doing this for the other person, we could avoid ghosting, for ourselves, just so we learn to take responsibility of someone’s emotions other than ours, otherwise what’s the point of even trying to be in a relationship?


P.S. - I am collecting stories of people who’ve been ghosted, or who’ve ghosted other people. If you’ve got a story to share, you should send in your stories here. If we love your story too much, you can win a chance to be a part of a fun community of singles. Given COVID-19 and all, we might stick with e-mixers before we allow physical contact within the community ;)

Have we simply lost the ability to fall in love?

My earliest memory of being in love was from when I was 12 years old. It was quite fashionable back then to have a crush or be crushed by someone. There was this boy in my class who sat several benches away from me. Once in a while, we’d exchange glances and giggle for no apparent reason. I can’t put a finger on how I felt but I’ll simplify it here and say I used to blush every time he smiled at me. I’d call his landline, just to be able to hear him say hello, and later get abused by my dad for increasing the phone bill. Now, if this isn’t love, I don’t know what is.

I’m not terribly old myself, but I’d like to say when I was younger, love was relatively simpler.

Even as late as about a decade ago, love was pretty straightforward. There was a boy I worked with and we obviously had some chemistry, and it didn’t take us very long to do something about it. But before we even got there, I’d always long to chat with him, tell him about all my joys and sorrows, and somewhere tucked in the longing was a dollop of love, intensified by the mystery of our intentions for each other. We didn’t need an app, we didn’t care how much money we had and we were happy living in the moment, which didn’t last too long, but for all it was worth, it felt like love. I’ve never felt the need to rubbish this just because I fell in love with someone else, enough to want to marry them.

Through my journey of being in love several times, I’ve seen that love takes too many forms for us to stand holding a template into which some perfect person would come fit into.

In order to fall in love, you need to be vulnerable.

It’s like leaving the door slightly open to let somebody know that you are home. When someone knows you are home, they’re more likely to come knock. But if you keep your door shut, no one will ever know if you’re home, and that you’re ready to let someone in.

Easy enough, huh?

Except, we’re too afraid that we might get robbed. Robbed of our freedom, robbed of our space, robbed of the opportunity to choose who we let in, and when.

When I ask people what they are looking for in a relationship, the first thing most people tell me these days is freedom, and space. Isn’t it rather ironic? If it is freedom that we seek, aren’t we better off single, relatively speaking? Why is there a need to find ourselves in a couple where freedom is not the benefit, but it is the price we pay.

Love isn’t about being independent or having your own space in the relationship. Love is about making space for another person and letting them depend on you and vice-versa. In the process, if you’re able to carve out your own space, that’s a benefit. This benefit isn’t a given, it is earned as a result of nurturing a healthy loving relationship. This is a reciprocal effort, never works one way - in order to receive, you’ve got to give. As long as people feel entitled to receive love, it’s unlikely they’ll ever fall in love.

I advise people who are looking to get married, but I never advise people that they get married. May be that’s why I always work directly with people who are in the market vs their parents, because frankly, marriage isn’t for everyone. It’s for those who choose to go on that journey.

Yes, marriage or any relationship for that matter isn’t so much about where it started or where it ended, but it’s about the journey in between, and what two individuals can create in the process.

This one time, a woman told me that she can’t wait to get married and have her happily ever after soon. I couldn’t help but wonder what gave her the idea that she could live happily ever after once she is married. For some reason, we as a society have refrained from discussing this journey in greater detail and only glorify the various milestones such as finding a partner, having a child, ending the relationship and so on. May be that’s why, some people have unfounded expectations from relationships.

People know that relationship is work, and that’s precisely what they want to avoid by picking the “perfect” partner. For instance, if someone you consider unattractive expresses interest in you, what do you do? You reject them instantly because you don’t want to deal with the personal (having to force intimacy) and social repercussions of being with this person (as to how people would judge your choice) no matter how amazing they might be. You don’t look twice to try and find out what’s beyond their looks. It’s not just looks, we are fixated about people’s jobs, salaries, education, dietary preferences, family backgrounds and what not. Dating and matrimonial apps are no less - they indulge us all the time.

Let me tell you that it’s not enough that you pick lovely looking tomatoes to make a marinara sauce, you’ve also got to have the right recipe, skills and patience to make a good sauce else the outcome could vary greatly. Also, tomatoes are easy, it’s not like they’ve to like you back in order to be picked. I’ve made some of my best food when I’ve salvaged something from leftovers because I knew I had to work with what I have. Just saying.

Desire is a cheeky thing - It makes your body fool you into thinking that it deserves reciprocation.

When you desire someone, ask yourself if they’d ever long for you as much, and if so, why? When I ask people this question, they pounce on me to answer the question, except they never hear the question right in the first place. If you want to try this at home, I have a little activity for you, send me a message if you want to try it.

Love on the other hand, is kinder.

Different loves are different. Love between parents and children is just as special as love between a couple. Love between friends is just as special as love between siblings. None of these loves are engineered, they’re all mostly salvaged. It’s like we’ve evolved to salvage love but don’t quite know how to choose the one we want to share the love with.

This isn’t surprising because most of us are raised to believe that everyone from the opposite gender is like a sibling, and it’s immoral to have any other type of feelings for them, let alone expressing them explicitly, especially when you are still living with your parents on their money. We’ve not been raised to explore our sexual or non-platonic feelings for the opposite gender, or for any gender for that matter. So, when parents, and the society as a whole expect an individual to make an unexpected switch from viewing everyone as siblings to a prospective gene propagating partner, it seems a bit unreasonable, isn’t it?

Some of us have been fortunate to not rely solely on the exposure provided by our families, and hence, have experienced love at least once in our lives.

But there are millions of people who’ve never allowed themselves to experience romantic love in all its glory. This is not just because they didn’t have encounters with the opposite gender, but they were simply incapable of appreciating how they felt because they either thought it was immoral or that they didn’t deserve to feel anything.

Our society mostly dealt with this problem through child marriage, forced marriage or arranged marriage where the choice was facilitated for the ward, and the ward did what he was evolutionarily equipped to do - salvage love. But now, the gaps in our upbringing have been exposed - we’re neither emotionally equipped to fall in love nor choose our partners. This also means, people have a harder time getting laid. I don’t have any data to back this up, but I can bet that we’ve more 30 year old virgins in India than ever before, despite pre-marital sex being on the rise.

So, what do we do about this?

  • Abolish arranged marriages altogether so people are forced to fall in love and find their own partners? That might work.

  • Start love training centres alongside JEE coaching the moment kids turn 18? That would be hilarious, but I wouldn’t rule that out.

  • Stop telling your kids to not fall in love when they show some inclination to do so? Sure, as long as they’re not living off your money, no?

  • Not scorn at thy neighbours daughter hanging out with a boy at a mall? That’s it. That’s what we need. Freedom for people to express themselves, and our trust in their judgement, especially if we’re finding it hard to acknowledge that it may not be any of our business.

So may be our ability to love starts with letting people love - others, and then ourselves.

The real user journey

Initially, I wrote this piece as a blogpost, but then I thought - you, my readers, deserve to read this.


Ideally,  you’d love to prance into a dim lit bar, connect with someone over a drink, make out wildly and wake up the next morning knowing that you’ve met the love of your life and have nothing to worry about, except you decided to go on a matrimonial site to recreate this serendipitous situation.

So you see, the user journey is a little bit different here.

Step 1: You get on an app, spend a few days figuring out who you want to be on this very public platform that will judge you over and over again in about 3 seconds each time.

Step 2: You scour through thousands of highly unsuitable people to find someone hot, and muster up the courage to send them a little love with a handcrafted expression of interest, leaving your number for them to reach out in case they’re interested.

Step 3: Within nano seconds, you receive some love back in the form of a default response “We like your profile too, why don’t we take the conversation forward?”.

Step 4: You want to say “Duh, that’s why I left my number in the previous message”, but you pretend like you sent a default message that you didn’t notice either, and then ask them for their number because clearly they don’t want to be the ones reaching out.

Step 5: They don’t respond, and now you don’t know if they’re uninterested or missed the notification. Either way, you are a sucker for efficiency, so you just go to their profile, unhide their phone number and exhaust your quota of contacts that you can view for your money’s worth.

Step 6: You add them as your contact and see the display picture on WhatsApp to realize it’s not the ward you’re talking to, but the parent. Of course, now the silent treatment makes sense you think.

Step 7: You drop them a message reminding them about connecting on some platform with your profile ID for reference because you see people throw out expressions of interests like seeds for pigeons to feed on.

Step 8: Again, they don’t respond. So now you are sure they weren’t interested in the first place.

Step 9: You are about to delete their message off your phone and you see that they’re now “typing..."

Step 10: They respond saying “Please send me your profile on WhatsApp”. Now, initially, you thought people were nuts to be sending out expressions of interest without seeing your profile and then asking you to re-share a “profile” on WhatsApp. But pretty quickly you realise the rationale behind this ask.

Step 11: You send them a one-page pdf with a picture and all basic life details.

Step 12: Again, they don’t respond. Now you’re wondering if they’re messing with you. Just to be sure, you follow up asking if they’d like to take the conversation forward.

Step 13: After about 3 hours, they respond saying they’ll check with their ward and let you know.

Step 14: You politely thank them, give up hope and move on with your life because of course, you don’t hear from them again.

Step 15: After 3 days of radio silence, you receive a message from them asking either your horoscope details, salary or complexion which didn’t have a mention in your profile.

Step 16: Now, you’re torn between responding to the message and blocking them. But since you still have some sanity left, you choose the latter.

Step 17: You delete the matrimonial apps on your phone. Download Tinder, again and swipe incessantly in the hope of finding meaningless sex.

Two hours go by, your finger is sore from the swiping, not one match. Let’s face it, if you had so much game, you’d be using your finger for something else. You put your phone away, use your finger anyway, and manage to put yourself to bed.


Just as with deleting matrimonial or dating apps from your phone, or saying that you’re getting out of the market, the end never really means the end. True to its spirit, I guess this newsletter about relationships and the marriage market didn’t truly end either.

Loading more posts…