Sunday, October 23, 2011

All the Single Ladies

Interesting article on "the new marriage market" in this month's Atlantic Monthly:

Recent years have seen an explosion of male joblessness and a steep decline in men’s life prospects that have disrupted the “romantic market” in ways that narrow a marriage-minded woman’s options: increasingly, her choice is between deadbeats (whose numbers are rising) and playboys (whose power is growing). But this strange state of affairs also presents an opportunity: as the economy evolves, it’s time to embrace new ideas about romance and family—and to acknowledge the end of “traditional” marriage as society’s highest ideal.

Check it out here.  It's worth reading the whole article (written by a single 39-year old woman), because she makes several interesting observations.

However, I'm not sure I buy her conclusions.  In case anyone has any doubts I would like to shout from the rooftops that women have WAY more choices than just deadbeats and playboys!  Since the beginning of time there have been deadbeats and playboys, and there have also been good, straight-forward guys.  Present day is no exception.  It's a matter of knowing how to discern who is who.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Karma and Common Sense

Photo by fabrizio
Soon after I got engaged a single girlfriend asked me, "Do you think finding love is because of karma?  That it was just your time?"

It made me think how complicated finding long term love - a partner for life - can seem.  It has become, for many women, the central source of drama in their lives.  (And by the way, I'm no different.  Although I wouldn't have admitted it before, and I may not even have realized it, before I met my husband I was in the same boat.)

This is the paradox.  I know so many women - attractive, good, kind, intelligent women - who haven't yet found someone that they would be enthusiastic about committing to and who would be enthusiastic about committing to them.  Yet it's something that many of these women deeply want.  Because there have been so many false starts, it has started to feel like some impossible dream.

I know people like to say that everything is a learning experience.  "Every failed relationship I had brought me closer to my true love," one woman told me.  That's a positive way to look at the past.  However I think it's possible to bypass future failed/short-term relationships, or at least to lessen the chance for them.  We need to use our heads.

Once I met my husband, the ways in which I had gone wrong before seemed so obvious.  Maybe it was partly my karma to meet my husband - it certainly felt magical to me - but I believe it was a change in my thinking that had happened in the months prior that had changed my approach to this area of my life and set the stage for it.  This is what I want to share.  It's not mystical, it's not philosophy, it's not even setting positive intentions for the future.  It's simply common sense for getting from A to B.  I didn't have it before, but I've got it now.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


“We are the most important search engine on the Web, not Google. The search for companionship is more important than the search for song lyrics.”  
-- Sam Yagan, founder of OK Cupid
(from the article Looking for Someone, in last week's New Yorker)

Friday, June 24, 2011

RT: Is Arranged Marriage Really Any Worse Than Craigslist?

Just finished Anita Jain's fantastic memoir Marrying Anita: A Quest for Love in the New India.
I have lots to say about it, which I will get to in the near future.

In the meantime, I highly recommend Anita's article in New York magazine:
Is Arranged Marriage Really Any Worse Than Craigslist?

(Hands down the best article title of all time)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

There's a Fine Line Between Love and a Waste of Your Time

Photo by Dan_H
I saw the *fabulous* musical Avenue Q last tonight.  (If it comes to your city, go see it!)

One song in particular really touched me.

First let me give you the backdrop:
A young guy named Princeton, fresh out of college and unemployed, is sure he's special and destined for some kind of greatness.  He's just not sure what his life purpose is yet.

He meets a girl named Kate - an assistant schoolteacher who would like to find a mate, they fall in like, and end up spending a night together.  Soon after he freaks out that she's distracting him from his life purpose, and breaks up with her.

And then she sings this song full of such heart and truth: There's a Fine Line Between Love and a Waste of Your Time.  Ain't that the truth.

You can listen to it here:


There's a fine, fine line between a lover and a friend;
There's a fine, fine line between reality and pretend;
And you never know 'til you reach the top if it was worth the uphill climb.

There's a fine, fine line between love
And a waste of time.

There's a fine, fine line between a fairy tale and a lie;
And there's a fine, fine line between "You're wonderful" and "Goodbye."
I guess if someone doesn't love you back it isn't such a crime,
But there's a fine, fine line between love
And a waste of your time.

And I don't have the time to waste on you anymore.
I don't think that you even know what you're looking for.
For my own sanity, I've got to close the door
And walk away...

There's a fine, fine line between together and not
And there's a fine, fine line between what you wanted and what you got.
You gotta go after the things you want while you're still in your prime...

There's a fine, fine line between love
And a waste of time.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Why Arranged Marriage Isn't Such a Crazy Tradition

Photo by madaboutasia

Ten years ago when my Bombay-based friend Anu decided she wanted to get married, her family went about looking for suitable husband candidates for her to meet.

Their basic criteria was the following:

1. Comes from a good family
2. Educated and has a good job
3. Reasonably nice looking
4. Ready to get married

The fifth criteria, of course, was the X factor that only Anu would be able to perceive once she met him: Personal chemistry.

Anu's parents let their network of family and friends know that Anu was looking for a husband, and their network in turn let Anu's parents know of suitable guys they came across who were looking for a wife.

With an open mind Anu met them, one by one.  The meetings usually involved Anu and her parents meeting the guy and his parents.  (Needless to say, there were no drunken hook-ups or time spent by the phone wondering "Why didn't he call?")

One of the guys, Prashant, she particularly liked.

Prashant was five years older than her and, having established himself in his career, had deemed himself marriage-ready.
What Anu noticed about Prashant was how good-natured, confident, and warm he was.  He was enthusiastic about getting to know her, and she felt at ease around him.  She instantly liked him as a person.
His mother was an old friend of one of Anu's aunts, so Anu knew that his family was a lot like her family in terms of their values and outlook on life.  Prashant's parents were open and easy-going, and she felt comfortable around them (important, because he was extremely close to his parents).
Anu worked in HR for a software company and liked her job.  She envisioned a life where she would both work and have a family.  Prashant was supportive of that (important that they have the same picture of what their life together might look like).  At the same time he worked in his family's business, which was successful, so Anu knew she would have a comfortable life whether she worked or not (important, because money can be a big stressor in a relationship).
He wasn't a model, but he was definitely attractive to her.  Although she is herself quite beautiful, Anu told me that she didn't want a partner who attracted a lot of special attention for his looks.

They met a few more times - on their own - before deciding to get married.  A couple of months later they had a formal engagement ceremony, and a few months after that they had a wedding.

Ten years and two kids later, they are still happily married, love each other deeply, and are devoted to each other.  They had adjustments to make, for sure, the kind that are always required when two human beings come together.  Life has its own drama.  However, looking back what is most striking about Anu's story is how little drama was involved in her finding her life partner.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Photo by swisscam
I thought of three things today, which all connect in a way.

First, I noticed that by far the most popular post on this blog is Five Must-Haves in a Potential Life Partner.  Interesting.

Second, I spoke with some friends who are in the midst of a serious house hunt.  They have their list of criteria, and they are putting in serious hours with their real estate agent, poring over listings, going to open houses.  They've found some places that were ok but are still looking for one where everything comes together.  Finding the house you want to buy could be like finding the guy you want to marry.  You have an idea of what you're looking for but there's also a sense of walking in and knowing that it's right.  This inner knowing is what makes it feel ok to plunk down your life savings.

And lastly, I thought of an old friend of mine.  When we were in college he shared a house with a bunch of other guys.  Several of them were stoners (one of them may have even done a little "home gardening" in his bedroom closet).  The phone had been cut off because someone forgot to pay the bill and no one wanted to cover the re-activation fee - and this was before everyone had cell phones.  On top of all of that, at one point someone flushed kitty litter down the only toilet in the house, stopping it up completely, and the entire household spent a week walking to the gas station down the street every time they needed to use the loo.

"Why don't you move?"  I would ask him.

"Well, I'm just not sure I can find another place as good as this," he replied.

(As good???)

So there's that too - the things we can settle for without realizing it.  Do you have any phone-less stoner houses with stopped up toilets in your life?