If you had told me ten years ago that I would voluntarily set up profiles on matrimonial sites, I would have laughed in your face. But time has a way of turning the joke on you.
When we are students, we think that it will always be easy to meet people and become bosom buddies. Obviously albeit unexpectedly, it did not work the same way when I entered the workforce and interacted with people in mostly a professional setting. Of course, I made work friends but things were not the same.
Some of my friends were lucky enough to find boyfriends in their colleagues - but then we all know that’s the exception rather than the rule. In my case, the pettiness and patronising attitude I witnessed in a few male colleagues only managed to make me wonder whether the opposite sex is not a tad overrated. (The verdict's still out on that one.)
Also read: #MyStory: What My Parents Told Me About Getting Married…
For some twenty-something women like my friends and me, we do not have the time nor energy to forge bonds made over relaxed conversations and late-night quests for food and alcohol. And the reality of today's lifestyle is that you barely meet new people, and news reports have taught you to be wary of new people anyway.
And this trust issue is why I personally cannot use dating websites or apps. I would go on a dinner date fully expecting the guy to take out a machete to chop his steak - not even sure whether I wanted to be proven right or wrong.
While these thoughts germinated in my head, my friends got married one after the other, like a contagious epidemic. Some of them had gone the love marriage route, others the arranged way. Interestingly, as months and years passed, statistics showed that love or arranged marriage wasn’t the decisive factor of how happy my friends were in their marriage. Among two friends who married their long-term boyfriends, one was content while the other said it was the worst decision of her life. Similarly, among my friends who went for arranged-marriage, a few were matter-of-fact about their life partner and said they would have preferred to be more adventurous in their personal lives. But some were insanely happy with their husbands and were in a constant barf-inducing honeymoon phase.
Also read: #MyStory: Why I’m Totally OKAY With Being Single At 25!
The realisation that perhaps matrimonial sites can work as a cousin of dating sites and you can meet new, like-minded people was the turning point for me. A screening process filters out the potential serial killers (or at least some of them).Then you chat and talk on the phone with someone and see if your interests match. Then you meet them in person and if you keep liking the person, then you meet each other again and again until you either get sick of each other and move on or decide which path to walk together.
I have been warned that the process can be a downer - but then doesn't that just make it even more closer to real-life dating? *fingers crossed*