Not married?

Are you married? You’re not married?

I don’t know how many times we were asked that over the 18 days we were in India, but there’s nothing more than having a question repeated at you to make you slightly paranoid. They couldn’t understand why we weren’t married, and assuming it was a cultural thing, expected us to explain it.

Only we don’t know the reason why not either. Maybe it’s because no one had arranged anything for me Indian-style, one guy suggested. ‘Wife is life, husband is life, marriage is life,’ a cycle rickshaw driver lectured us, as he panted pedalling up a hill, dragging us behind him, then turning to beam at us. ‘I am a very happy man and you should be happy too.’

‘We are happy,’ we’d insist. Aren’t we?

And we were so old to be unmarried. 31 years old and with no husband or children. ‘I was married at 16,’ someone proudly boasted.

When we got asked as we checked in to our final hotel in Jaipur if we were married and for the umpteenth time said No, we decided to invent boyfriends, who were unable to get the time off work to come on holiday with us. Somehow this made things a whole lot more bearable. Having boyfriends meant we weren’t as pitiable anymore.

My imaginary boyfriend was called Rob, and FF’s was called Danny. When a waiter asked us if we were married and we told him we had boyfriends, he asked us what their jobs were.

‘Mine’s a pilot,’ said FF. The waiter’s eyes lit up with curiosity. ‘Mine works for a bank,’ I replied, and the interest died. ‘Oh,’ he said. ‘An accountant.’

I like inventing characters and it made me wonder, if I were going to invent a husband or boyfriend, what would he actually be like? Maybe that’s a question I should take some time to answer and then I’ve got a reference point to use for tracking him down. I’ll let you know if I do.

Regardless, it seems that in India, if you’re not travelling with a man, you inevitably look like either an aid worker or Princess Diana. As FF so beautifully illustrated throughout our trip…

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122 responses to “Not married?

  1. Yes, I am afraid people in certain countries will think you a sad sack for not being married! But in the west you know you are tops. You have all the freedom you want to travel and to make friends. Enjoy every moment.
    And how about next time you are asked what your boyfriend does, say”Oh he’s in the SAS!” Ha ha. Don’t be dull – think of a more exciting job, as your friend did.

    • I’m married and I have all the freedom I want to travel and make friends too. Being married doesn’t change that. Being married doesn’t have to restrict your freedom or limit you. It makes me sad when people see marriage as some sort of shackle or ball and chain, it doesn’t have to be that way, at least not in western culture.

      • AMEN! I’m married, too. I was lucky enough to find the right man, but here I am. I also don’t see marriage as a dead-end; I see it as a new beginning. I’m also a VERY liberal woman and my notions of marriage are certainly not traditional! Anyhow, I think marriage is beautiful, when you find the right person, and that people shouldn’t be afraid of it. West, or not.

      • Goodness what a lot of posts. Goodness, did people actually think I was knocking marriage. I find that incredible. I had 38 years of happy marriage with Mr Right. But it is not good being married to Mr Wrong!

  2. I think it must be time to ‘throw you in the path of other eligible young men’ Ha ha!
    Their incredulity at your not being married was because you are both so lovely, how could you not have been snapped up?

  3. My first reaction upon reading this was ‘how very different their culture to be so concerned about marital status’ but then I had a think and realized that we too often wonder the same about people. I have often asked that same question of myself – how could I not be married at my age?!

  4. This is a funny post. Made me smile !! Wait till you are married…. then everybody asks…”you have a baby??… the questions never stop – it just goes to the next level everytime !

    • And it doesn’t stop there: they meet your two children and say, “You make such beautiful babies! Why do you only have two? You should have more!” There’s just no pleasing some people! 😉

  5. You could also experience the same question over and over again in Utah, USA :). Men rarely get asked, but some of my female colleagues were regularly asked by strangers if they were married. Here in Arizona people aren’t quite so forward, but still consider you flawed if you are in your 30s, unmarried, never been married, and have no kids.

  6. By reading this article I realized that I’ve been in simular situations here the in the US. I didn’t know that it would be a Bigger situation in India or in areas near there. I would like to to do some traveling with one of my best friend and she isn’t married either. I guess we have got to watch out for where we would like to go for our trip. My best friend doesn’t have any children but I have Kids but I’m not married. there are times when I have to make up a pretend boyfriend just to keep others thinking there is something wrong with me. My friend and I sometimes have to explain why we are single and aren’t really looking for anyone at this time and we may never find that significate other. In out our culture we have to wait until our elders tell us if we are allowed to marry the first time and if there may be a second time we are to marry.

    • You’d think family parties would have been prep enough, but we were still caught off-guard. Duh…

  7. I think a lot of cultures stress the importance of marriage. The thing I try to remember when faced with pressure on any subject is I have to live my life in a way that makes me happiest, if I’m not happy first there is no point in trying to make others happy,

    • What’s the fundamental problem with promiscuity, as long as you’re being safe and avoiding STDs and unwanted pregnancy? Sex drives are sex drives are sex drives… humans in all nations experience the same sexual urges, some people just repress it more than others. Sex drives are natural, so why the big fuss to make them seem dirty and wrong?

      • People act irresponsibly.That’s the fundamental problem with promiscuity. It’d be great if people acted safer, but they’re not always going to. Marriage doesn’t make you responsible and it doesn’t make you loyal either. But if people were more focused on marriage, they’d probably be less focused on promiscuity. If you disagree, then you disagree. Like I said, it was just a thought. You make a good point about sex urges too.

  8. Congrats on being Fresh Pressed! I was in Kyrgyzstan in the Peace Corps, and then went back for my thesis research. The first three questions any stranger asks when they meet you are, “1) What is your name? 2) Where are you from? 3) Are you married?” When I was in the Peace Corps, I had a boyfriend at home, and would mention him. (people still thought I needed a Kyrgyz boyfriend, but that’s another story *smile*) But when I went back, I was single. When I would tell people I was unmarried and had no boyfriend, they would of course ask why. My response? An offhand, “I’m not pretty.” This would inevitably turn the conversation to effuse praise of my beauty, and get off the topic of marriage. I loved it!

    • Great reply and one I wish I’d thought of. I’ll definitely be using that in the future just to see the look on their faces!

  9. This might be more prevalent in India and have different cultural contexts, but I get this many times in my life as an unmarried almost 26-year old. I was with my ex fiancee for 7 years, and it was always “When are you guys getting married? What are you waiting for?” Get engaged and it’s, “About time! When’s the wedding? How soon do you think you’ll have kids!” Cancel the wedding and break up, and well, I’m getting some “What are you going to do now? Don’t you want to get married?” I’m afraid the questions won’t stop (ever). I just tell them that I’ll get married when- or if- I want to and I find the right person. There is not rush to get married just for the sake of getting married. There’s a reason half of our marriages end in divorce in this country, people.
    http://simplysolo.wordpress.com

    • “There is not rush to get married just for the sake of getting married. There’s a reason half of our marriages end in divorce in this country, people.”

      Awesome point. I wonder a lot about people and the nosey questions they ask. I’m married and we are constantly bothered about why we’re not having kids. I have heard all kinds of crap, had ppl ask me if i COULD have kids and more. Don’t ppl mind their business anymore? It’s as you said tho, when we were engaged it was all about when are we getting married, and now it’s all about ppl trying to convince me to have children.

      People also get their panties in a bunch over women not taking their husband’s last name. I keep wondering if its 2010 or 1910…

  10. Don’t worry – even when travelling India with my boyfriend we got asked ALL THE TIME why were weren’t married and why we didn’t have any children and we were SO OLD to have not done these things (we’re 27).

    We ended up inventing a beautiful wedding and a small child at home (who was being looked after by my mother – many appreciative smiles) just to avoid all the awkward questions!

    • Doesn’t it annoy you, though, to have to invent stories? Its a very good strategy, but gee is it annoying. My husband and I have begun to tell people we’ll have kids after we’re done with school and have our business off the ground. A small part of me wants to scream and throw things everytime i have to utter that lie, though. I think we should be free to make decisions that are best for us, and in our own time, without strangers thinking they have a right to speak on it.

  11. I am 30 year old unmarried person from India. When I went to family meeting people always asking me, why don’t u have a better job? Are you married. They never stop asking like these, after marriage they will change their questions, how long u get married? No kids? lol

    Just leave it, Nothing is life, life has everything ………life on this planet not last too long, let the people go their own way………….

    http://picasaweb.google.com/manojap.nair

  12. I like your post and pictures! I think you are smart to make out a boyfriend. In my home town, people are similar to those in India. That’s why my younger sister had to be married with a youngman by parent’s arrangement. In the end this marriage ended up with devorce three years ago. So, go on your own way, niglect what people saying.

  13. I would have looked them in the eye and said “Yes, I’m married to Hugh Hefner. No, really, I am!”

    Who’s freakin’ business is it anyway?

    Marriage is overrated. Kudos for taking your time. It’s not what it’s all wrapped up to be.

    • It is what it’s all wrapped up to be if you find the right person. When you know, you know. I don’t know any happily married people that would tell you it’s overrated. It’s truly a blessing and I’m so glad I waited for the right one to come along. Take your time. Sounds like you are having a great time and I’m so jealous of you for being in India! What an awesome country! I like how you mellowed out the conversation with your bank bf. No rock star stories, huh? Great pictures too! Looks like you all either made friends or everyone wanted their pictures taken with the pretty single Americans!

  14. hahaa…Ya India..that’s how it is. It’s still on its way to finding the balance between society rules and individual happiness.

    I’ve lived here all my life and after reading you post, its strange to think that maybe if I met you , I might have asked the same question, well not for the ‘marriage is all’ reason, but yes out of curiosity to know you and the guys relationship. I hope you got to see the other aspect too.

    That’s how it is here..too much or atleast a little into other’s lives, but then there are other aspects also to this rather seemingly annoying interference nature of my country. People are helpful, families are close, love and warmth is around whenever you need.

    Yes, our culture focuses on marriage a little too much, (in really older times there used to be child marriages)..but times are changing and somehow the bar of marriageable age is on its way up..with more single people every year and gay rights recently being legal.. we see a lot of changes yet to come to my loving country.

    Hope you enjoyed the visit!! 🙂

  15. interesting culture exchange! I was just reading about some 5 year old proposing to a 3 year old, and the parents were happy. Really interesting to see how different we are, while still being so alike.

  16. Married to what, I wonder are they in India?. Married young, into the rut. More children than is good for the resources that they have to feed them on.
    Well it is a big diverse world out there.and its great to have the freedom of being not married yet, see see more of it, no ties, fewer chains to bind. So keep on truckin.
    Don’t end up like the guy in the Squeeze song, ‘ Up the junction,’ when it all happened with the Girl from Clapham!!!!!

  17. You’d probably get the same line of questions in South Louisiana – not to the same degree, but certainly close family and friends will dog you about it.

    When I was in England our female compatriots all had to get “fake” wedding bands just so the Muslim men we would daily encounter would leave them alone. As I recall, they had to do similarly in Central Asia when we went.

    Maybe someone should tell them they’re being intolerant? Or maybe they’re just less civilized than we westerners because they just don’t understand? 😉

    • Less civilized? Seriously?? Are you less civilized for not using chopsticks? Because that might be how many Asians think of you, if you use the same logic.

      There’s no need to assume people are inferior to you simply because they don’t share your views. (I know, the smiley face indicates you think you’re being funny, but I’m sorry, I find that joke offensive).

  18. Perhaps you should’ve said no, but that the purpose of your trip was to find two rich Indian husbands 😀

    I have an aunt who seems traumatized by the fact that I’m single. But I’d rather be single and happy then with someone who makes me miserable!

    Great post!

  19. I used to get asked this constantly when I took a car service home late at night from NYC. Most of the drivers were from India, Pakistan, or the Middle East. They almost always asked if I was married. I always said “No.” Then they asked why. I said because I didn’t want to be. At that point about 1/2 of them hit on me, asking if I wanted to date them. “No.” Why not? “Because I don’t want to.”

    If the person was very persistent I usually said I had a long-term boyfriend, whether that was true or not. I learned that certain regions of the world think a woman MUST be married or something is wrong. I disagree. I loved not being married. Now that I am married there is much less discussion, but I don’t feel I have changed,I think people’s responses have changed. Folks who think a woman should be married have a narrow cultural viewpoint and I think it’s kind of funny that people feel so very free to be so pushy about their opinion that every woman should be married.

    Thank goodness I grew up in the U.S. and could make my own choices without the social stigma one would apparently have to endure in another country if they chose not to get married.

  20. We Indians tend to be little more concerned about other people’s happiness than we should 🙂 That being said, single ladies bear the brunt of unwanted concern, advise and match making aunts in the west too. Just ward off such people with a smile 🙂

  21. Wow, you are from Clapham and you have travelled to India and I also live in Clapham and I’m going to India in 7 weeks – small world! Nice post Clapham girl and I’m jealous of your high comment count! As you are single, I think you would appreciate my posts on the London dating scene, filed under ‘dating disasters’ (honestly!) on my blog thislittlethingcalledlife.com

  22. Hi! I really enjoyed your post, it has made me realise that my mum would be very at home in India,she’s always asking why I’m not married!! P.s I live in Clapham too!

  23. People really do say the darndest things. When you are pregnant they will give you unsolicited advice too.Then when you are raising the children, and on & on… I guess it’s human nature, but sometimes I wish people would count to ten before they just blurted out anything they wanted to ask another person, thought it through. Maybe if they realized how much they were infringing on personal space, they wouldn’t ask unsolicited and unwanted information & give unsolicited advice. Just sayin’

    evelyngarone.com

  24. ‘It is not good for man to be alone’ & every woman needs her own man as does every man need his own woman.There is something to Eastern, African and other non western culture that the west can learn from.Being single is good but there is nothing more natural than being married(TO THE RIGHT PERSON).It is the foundation of continuity.

    Hope you both grow old with someone to share companionship, love and life challenges.(it would be a shame if you didnt share yourself with some chaps who are out there incomplete and who need to find the flesh of their flesh and bone of their bones)

  25. It is true all men are born free and equal, but some of them get married.

    Unfortunately in India we do not believe in much of freedom or equality that is the reason everybody is married to someone.

    We truly believe single people are a threat to the society 

    Those who are not married are all foreigners or outcast, but we do not bother much with what they do because they are bound to go to hell anyways. 🙂
    But you see we are very liberal and respect some singles too if they happen to be our religious gurus, as we want them to be single so that they can serve our gods with undivided love and attention.

  26. It is defnitely a cultural thing, oh yeah. I am originally from Pakistan and got married at 25. 10 years ago, that was considered late. Now times have changed and mid twenties for a gal has become ok but still the ideal age would be 21-22, I am not kidding. India is a big partner in crime so yes I can totally believe people boasting of tying the knot at 16. In India, they literally do too. 🙂

    http://maryawrites.wordpress.com/

  27. Your title caught my attention right away. I am 26 and get this question while traveling with friends too. In Fiji they kept asking us if my friends and I were married, and couldn’t understand why not. I loved your post and pictures!!

  28. I like what mum says. I’m single and unmarried and well into my twenties (some might say- so well into my twenties that I’m knee deep in my thirties!). I am not against marriage but the men I meet don’t want to travel or leave the country, let alone the city.

    I dream big and my dreams include living in australia AND back to France for awhile. Until I find a man who either wants to join me on my travels or add a few new places to go, I think I’ll remain happily single.

    Keep up the single fight (unless you decide to get married) 😉

    I’m signing up to your blog! feel free to sign up to mine too.
    Cheers!

  29. Just ignore these people. I’ve had encounters similar to yours in the past. They’re just trying to project their marital frustrations onto you. These home-bred desis often get shoved into arranged marriages that they eventually realise are completely unworkable for themselves (or anyone else). So they keep asking you the same questions over and over like they’re trying to reaffirm that their mental health are hunky-dory because they’re married, which in reality is not the case.

  30. I totally identify with this! First it was the “Oh, not married? Huh…” And they kinda wonder what’s wrong with you. Then, after being in a relationship for a certain amount of time, they start asking when you will get married! Well gosh, when it seems right??
    Congrats on getting pressed 🙂

  31. I started to smile when I started reading this post. Im happy to hear that other cultures appreciate the convenant between a man and woman, and didn’t forget that marriage is the foundation of civilization. I’m glad you had a wonderful experience, maybe I’ll visit one day! 🙂

  32. Congrats on hitting the top WordPress blogs of the day! I like your blog and will definitely add it to my favorites blogroll. Also, I recently lived in Northern England for 6 months and loved it. 🙂

  33. I love that you invented boyfriends. Maybe the next time some creep askes if I am single I will bring out the boyfriend line and invent some great boyfriend up.
    I wonder what would happen if you said you were recently divorced. Its not uncommon for people at 30 to have done the marriage thing and ended it.
    A lot of cultures don’t embrace the strength in single! Enjoy your travels its very inspiring for a twenty something to see this! 3 months and I start my single travels!

  34. maybe India should think about using birth control and less about marriage. they’ve had thousands of years to get it together and the entire country is a breeding disaster

  35. I’m Hispanic and I get asked this question all the time. It’s a cultural thing to be married at a young age and at my 21 years, I’m considered old. I absolutely refuse to get married before the age of 25 for the sake of myself and my future marriage. This doesn’t really sit well with my family that insists on an early marriage so reproduction can begin. Oh well, it’s my life, I do what I want. I’m happy right now, even without a boyfriend. =]

  36. It’s also tough when you travel with your boyfriend and random people ask you when you’ll be getting married – talk about putting you under pressure!

  37. I discovered the same thing in Peru a couple of years ago. I was with my partner and we are still not married but they assumed we were and asked how many children we had. When I said none and happily so, the local guy was incredulous. It is amazing how someone else’s opinion can so affect you. I could tell that there was no shadow of doubt in his mind that we couldn’t be happy unless we had kids. This really upset me as I really don’t want them, then or now. I am not saying that this won’t change but I don’t think that other people have the right to tell you what will make you happy. Looking back, I know that the guy was talking from a place of concern for another’s happiness and that my strong opposition was more to do with my own state of mind and cultural/familial guilt about the subject.
    The reason we travel is to engage in other cultures and to see and experience what we have not got at home. Different opinions are not evidence of more or less civilisation but proof that different cultures have different ideas, that’s what makes the world an interesting place. Some times it’s a little hard to accept these ideas, sometimes they press our buttons. When this happens the best option we have for our own happiness is to question why this is upsetting us so much. If we can heal any in congruencies within ourselves it won’t upset us so much the next time. This is of course all very well in theory… If only i could put my money where my mouth was!!!

  38. Lovely blog I can understand your plight.
    I am 45 now and my grandmother 40yrs older, she told me when I was 18 don’t get married noguy is worth it, you can have kids without marriage people will talk about you until they find a new topic it usually takes 24hrs for one.
    Now that I am married with two daughters I get stark strangers telling me to do various stuff so that I can have a son. 🙂

  39. Haha! Looking at home from a different perspective is always refreshing. I am 21 and Indian. Whenever I go to other weddings (my cousins’ etc), I am approached by “eligible bachelors” and “potential parents-in-law” who want to know how old I am, which university I go to and so on. There is an unquestioned understanding that all young, marginally good looking, educated girls are “available” for marriage!

    It is annoying.

    But fun, if the guy is cute 😉 🙂

  40. This is simply hilarious! It was just a culture shock. I love this post. You should have just said yes after a third person asked you just to get on with it…

  41. Congratulations on being featured on Freshly Pressed!
    I really enjoyed your post and the phantom husbands.
    A few years ago I lived and worked in Thailand. I had to outfit my apartment with furnishings, TV, etc. and was really pressured a lot by salespeople…sometimes by as many as five at a time. It took me a while but I finally learned that if I said I needed to consult with my husband they smiled politely and backed off. Whew…it was a relief to get that one figured it out. It was so powerful that I continue to use it when I travel overseas. I confess….I use it at home too….unless the salesman at the car dealership is particularly handsome and not wearing a ring from his wife…LOL.

  42. Well done, you’ve encountered a cross-cultural difference! Enjoy and savour it – you have an opportunity to learn how other people who grew up in a different environment than you view the concept of marriage and family.

    Certainly, keep hold of the values you hold dear – but be open to gaining a new, wider perspective on life.

  43. You must have had fun or annoyed hearing the same question. Being single keeps our option open to anything. We get to enjoy life to the fullest without the hassles of thinking if the other half is happy with what we are doing. But life is lonely without a partner, eh. 😀 I might reach the same age like you guys are into right now, but life isn’t in a hurry. God has different plans from all of us. Cheers!

  44. I think that’s pretty funny. I wonder what the responses would have been if you’d have told them you were divorced, or worse, widowed! You might have gotten tons of sympathy then, way more than you got for having an accountant for a boyfriend. lol Interesting that the thought was husband is life, wife is life & marriage is life. Maybe when you find that point of reference and the guy, he will feel that way 😉

  45. I was married for 25 years, and every time we traveled together he put a damper on my fun. He just wasn’t a fun guy. I’ve always had the most fun when I travel with my grown children or do things alone. I don’t think marriage is life. If we choose unlikely it’s more like death. LOL!! Being happy is life, and if that means being single then so be it.

  46. Dear Clapham girl,

    Funny, years ago I was traveling in Ireland with a friend from Uni (as they call it now)…asking for help with somewhere to stay in a bar, we were appraised by an old man sipping a hot whiskey. After a little while,”Fine Gels ye are,fine gels, now let me tell you there are some lovely young farmers in these parts, lovely boys unmarried with plenty of land and a good house to go with it……you might be interested? Fine gels…”

    So they didn’t stop at asking they thought to do something about it for us!

  47. I’m Indian and can completely identify with this post. Any family or social event that I go to, I get posed the question on whether I am married. When I say, they look puzzled and go “why? How old are you?”. “26”, I proudly proclaim celebrating my singlehood. This then leads to a lecture on me being a woman who’s aging and so I should get married and have babies.

  48. Is this the reason why the population of India is massive?

    I think Marriage is influenced heavily by the current structure of economy and human greed at least in so called developed countries. Statistically the divorce rate is very high especially in Anglo-American countries, where it is not easy to identify the meaning of marriage any longer. Catholic countries like Italy or Spain have got totally different mentality as Catholic doesn’t recognize the divorce. However even in those countries, nowadays, distinctive influence of other developed countries could be noticed.

    In the end what is a marriage nowadays? What is a marriage in India? It was clear years ago.

  49. Great post. I didn’t get married until I was almost 30, so I had to suffer hearing that question over and over. Then, it was “when are you guys having a baby?” then it was “when are you going to give your son a sibling?” Now that we’ve been married almost 11 years, most people don’t bother me with questions, they just can’t believe we haven’t divorced yet.

  50. Hey I am Russian and back 15 years ago in former Soviet Union if you are not married by the time your are 20 years old than you are an old mate. By the time you are 25 year old and not married, forget it!!! there is something wrong with you 🙂 and nobody wants you 🙂

  51. I love this concept . . . I’m a 44 yr old guy, and to me, a 26 yr old girl is positively a baby. I could MAYBE date somebody that young . . . but probably not! Anyway, I am sure you have many marriage proposals coming your way. Do yourself a favor and just say no to the first three or four of them!
    -Wineguider, http://wineguider.wordpress.com

  52. As a Filipino, I am often asked the same question of why I am not married at age of 28. I don’t even have a boyfriend! And although roughly about 90% of my batchmates are either married, about to get married or at least have a boyfriend, I do find myself enjoying being single since I get to do whatever I want when I want. 🙂 But yeah, being in this culture makes you feel a little bit pressured to find that ‘right one’ and I do miss having somebody there for me — the one I hope I’d marry someday — but why force it when it’s not yet the right time, eh? 🙂 Better be free than stuck with somebody who’d make your life hell specially here where there’s no divorce. Hehe.. 🙂 Nice post! Nice insight about culture differences. 🙂

  53. Oh no, what was that? ‘Oh, an accountant.’ My job-to-be sounded sooo boooring. Haha.

    I remember my Mom, she always talks about what age we should marry, or consider marrying, blahblah. And she always has this somewhat annoying speech that she repeats over and over again to my cousins who reach the age 29. She keeps on persuading them to get married as if time is running out.

    Just droppin’ by, I love the pictures btw. 🙂

    Have a good day!

  54. Congratulations on being single, traveling with your friend, and enjoying life! =) I am married, and I’m very happy. However, I wish I could have the same husband and the same kids 10 years later. (I’m 25 now, I had my kids at 20 and 22, got married at 22 before the 2nd kid). Oh how I wish I could turn back time… to finish college, travel, figure myself out, and just basically do some more living before getting married and having kids. It’s not the marriage tying me down. It’s the kids! I love them with all my heart, don’t get me wrong, just saying I wish I lived a single life (or a married-no-kids) life for longer.

    By the way, my brother-in-law and his fiancée got engaged 2 years ago. I feel bad for them because before they were engaged, they dated about 3 years and after about a year and half, they were always getting hassled about “when are you going to get married?” “Finally” (lol) they got engaged, and they decided to have a long engagement. How long IS a long engagement? Everyone wonders. It’s been 2 years (maybe 2.5) and the questions never seem to stop. “So when’s the wedding?” The reason they want a long engagement is so that they can afford to pay for their own wedding. They’re saving. Unfortunately, it’s not just them who gets pestered. Even my family, who barely even knows them, is constantly asking me when they’re getting married. And just the other day, I ran into some friends who I hadn’t seen in maybe a year, who are mutual friends with my BIL and is fiancée, and had also not seen them in awhile. “So when are Tony and Sarah getting married?” No doubt, my husband gets questioned all the time too.

    Geez, I just want to say “You’ll either get an invitation or see it in the papers!”

  55. This was so amusing…thanks!

    My experience living in East Africa was quite similar and eventually I ended up inventing a “fiance” waiting for me in America. Congolese marriage proposals diminished after that.

  56. What a lot of posts – Lucky you.

    Goodness I was not knocking marriage, having had 38 years with Mr Right I am hardly likely to do that – but being married to Mr Wrong is no good, right? LOL.

  57. G’day, there’s hope for the unmarried, at 68 and 78 we are blissfully unmarried and have been for 28 years and can still travel in a tiny pop top Hi-ace with out too many “discussions”…

  58. Pingback: Is my ideal man an accountant? « Me and the Girl from Clapham·

  59. Yes, I feel you…
    I’ve been inventing boyfriends all my life for no one else than myself. It’s so wonderful to think how this imaginary man would treat you and how he’s be like.

    The down point is that it’s really hard to find someone like him 🙂

  60. I have to invent imaginary boyfriends to deter the creepy men in the pub where I work. The last one was Swedish!
    I hope you’re having a fantastic trip!

  61. Ah yes… I went on a cruise to Mexico and all the guy workers I came across asked if I was married…do you have a boyfriend…why not…etc.

    I wouldn’t exactly know what is the fascination with marriage or not being married or not being single. Something my psychological mind will have to mull over.

  62. Interesting post and quite funny too…coz even though I haven’t still crossed the “30” limit, even I get these similar volley of questions thrown at me during parties and festivites.

    btw…..nice inventions 😉

  63. Culture variances can’t be helped. Single, unmarried and out with a guy in South East Asia, eyebrows go up and people go tsk tsk behind your backs. Years of modernization will require a change to take place. But that doesn’t stop from leading life the way you want to !!! Looks like you had an interesting time in India…

  64. When I went to Shanghai I was asked by a bunch of people that spoke English the same question (“Married?”) And I’m even older then you! (36!) Mostly I was asked by other women, and they could not understand how I was not in a hurry to snap up an American businessman, stay home, and make a million babies. LOL
    Rock on girl…I loved your piece.

  65. Someone boasted about being married at 16? I’m sorry, but that seems unnervingly stupid to me. So many of our adult lives are spent finding ourselves and going through dramatic life shifting events (graduating high school, college, getting a job) that I think getting married before your mid-late twenties is likely a HUGE mistake. People change a lot – you don’t know who you’re going to be until you’re in a somewhat stable position in your life. So is 31 too old not to be married? Hell no.

  66. I am often asked that question too but here in Saudi Arabia where I work as a nurse. People often ask me if I’m already married and I say No. They all ask me why and most of them also ask me how old I am, thinking that I may be young to get married. I say I’m 25 and they all go “WHAT?? You’re already 25 and you’re not yet married? You should get married soon because marriage or having a family is a blessing.”, they say.
    I think the concept of the age of getting married is dependent on the culture. People in India just like the people in Saudi Arabia get married early because that’s what their culture tells them.

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