The Problems

The biggest problem appears to be finding guys who want to date. Apparently everyone wants to have sex. Which is a wonderful goal in life, but doesn’t help me much, because of Rule #3. Of course, so far all attempts have been via http://www.okcupid.com, since apparently no one in all the people I know actually knows anyone who’s up for a date with someone their friend says is a fun person. One of the early conversations I  had was with a chap who claimed he wanted to “get to know me” on chat, and then proceeded to ask me, almost exclusively, for details of my sex life. After a while I told him:

please ya. you dont need to know “where i prefer the guy to ejaculate” to get to know me
maybe what i like to read or eat or places i have travelled or want to or how i fel about gaza
but not whether i like from behind with my hair pulled

That shut him up, but of course I never heard from him again.

Which brings me to Problem #2: Desi boys.
It seems to me that Indian men are trained a certain way. On the one hand they do want to you know settle down and so on, but they seem extremely reluctant to admit it. Well at least the ones in my circles (urban upper middle class and upper class?). They are also very deeply immersed into the Madonna-Magdalen trope; they want a wild crazy girl to fuck but a sweet chaste girl to date. They are also rarely raised to tolerate, forget about appreciate, secure, opinionated, independent women–yes even the ones raised liberally. They are also not taught to look at themselves critically (which is probably true of lots of people everywhere, regardless of gender or nationality or sexual orientation!) So while they tell me I’m really great, when it comes down to it, they will also tell me that if I want to meet a guy I need to tone it down a bit. Make him feel like he’s smarter, like you need him. Eyeroll. The irony of course is that just makes them whine about needy girlfriends.

Then there’s the very real problem that the majority of okcupid thinks dating=sex. You won’t believe how many times I’ve been told that I’m so brave to do this and talk about it publicly, or that I should be ashamed of myself for doing it at all. Guys write in to say I should get to know people before dating them. It’s all very confusing, clearly. Which is why the rules are up on my profile, but still it seems to confuse them.

That’s because of Problem #4: They don’t read my profile. I have actually told guys to go back and read because they’re asking me question that are answered there. Why are you on OKC? Jeez dude it’s in the first paragraph of my profile!

This is related to Problem #5: Laziness. Now I’m hardly the poster child of activity but I do take the initiative; I write to people; I ask questions; I answer properly. Here however there is a distressing tendency for every question asked to be ‘Wassup’ and every answer to be monosyllabic, or at least mono-errr…loguic? (Something. There must be a word; I shall find it.) they give one-word answers, making every conversation an exhausting enterprise. Then you’ve fought your way to conversation and you want to meet and they say oh anything is fine, pick the place, pick the time, pick everything. Now I’m not saying there’s some moral imperative for men to take decisions but seriously! Offer some! We can decide together.

Problem #6–shame–can also be the cause of painful conversations, because you can’t get a straight answer out of the guy because he’s so ashamed of being on okcupid. Names, jobs, histories, plans, meeting in person–none of this is possible; they will just keep dodging. This is a giant waste of time, so now I just walk away.

Problem #7 is probably not unique to this area: it’s often very difficult to figure out logistics. Delhi is huge; people live all over it. We all have friends. Many people have family. Finding time to date is difficult. Finding a time and place that work for both of you is shockingly HARD. And if you don’t meet soon enough you lose momentum and it all fizzles out.

Problem #8 is unique to me: I’m broke. So either I come across as grasping harpy who wants 50 guys to take her out, or I have to carefully plan and curate my dates.

Problem #9 is entitlement. This can manifest itself as:

  1. I bought you dinner, so have sex with me
  2. I’m a nice guy, so you better like me
  3. I’m interacting with you, so you better reply ASAP HOW DARE YOU HAVE A LIFE AND OTHER THINGS TO DO

Every version is mind-numbingly banal.

Problem #10 is a Delhi thing–or maybe a big city thing, because I did feel something like this in New York. People in Delhi are very cliquey. It’s not that they don’t want to be friends with new people, but everyone has their nice little circles, and they’re nice and comfy and don’t want to mix them. In Hyderabad, if I called someone to hang out, and they had plans, they’d just tell me to tag along. Here however, it’s as if the world will end if you introduce two new people. Eyeroll. This makes it ridiculously difficult to meet new people. Or even see many of your old friends, as I discovered when I moved back here.

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31 thoughts on “The Problems

  1. ah well… starting to write this comment the third time around (because of a different reason holding me back each time)… read this post the same number of times… i agree with you mostly but… judging the way you write and your ideas… i’d be surprised by productivity via OKC… You are right, Delhi is clique. But that shouldn’t stop you from maintaining various or varied circle of friends. and in my experience, the circumferences will overlap somewhere or another. anyhow… to each his/her own. Happy hunting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • oh i didn’t mean to give the impression that i don’t have various circles and so on. i do. but i’m atypical of delhi in that i regularly toss them into a room and expect them to be grown ups and talk. and im always happy to tag along or have people tag along when there’s something going on. and of course there are exceptions. but it took me 2 years to make friends here, and none of them is local to delhi.

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  2. First of all, i think you write brilliantly. Most people (including me) won’t be able to articulate their thoughts so clearly even on a blog.
    Having said that, Problem #5 was a bit confusing to me. How is being OK & letting your date decide the place or time or other details a ‘problem’? Isn’t that being polite & non-fussy about things? After all the only thing important on a date is the people involved in it. Or maybe it’s just me.
    Anyways, good luck with your experiment

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    • First of all, thank you! It means a lot to me that people like how I write: I never saw myself as a writer.
      Well it’s not necessarily being flexible no; sinfulness it’s just unwillingness to take responsibility. After all if you pick a place and the other person hates it… Think about it. Someone has to take a decision. It needn’t be unilateral. I’m just asking for a contribution, a starting point. Chinese food. Hauz khas village. Somewhere with cheap beer.

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      • I guess it depends how u look at it. Maybe it’s taking things too seriously when u look at a date from the point of view of Responsibility. Dates should be fun & easy going for both people. Seems OK when u look at it as the other person trying to be considerate & polite. But again, maybe it’s just me :)

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      • welll…i think everything about life is responsibility. i’m a very laid back person but when i have to do something, i do it. the larger point is ok ill be considerate and polite too and then what? no no you pick. no you pick. no no you pick. no no whatever works for you. no no i’m fine with anything. neither person is being considerate or polite there. just lazy.

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  3. Oh if it’s continuous indecisiveness you’re talking about, then i understand. It’s OK to ask them once or twice, but after a certain point someone must take a call, either the girl or the boy. You can’t always put the ball in someone else’s court

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  4. Having recently moved here and trying the same kind of experiment you are! Bravo girl. u go.. incidentally our problems also seem to be almost exactly the same!

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  5. Was looking for your okcupid profile link. I am kind of sure that I had come across your profile earlier, but I might be wrong. Changed your username, perhaps?

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  6. Finally… there is someone in this world who appreciates the word – dating and what it stands for.. and esp. in Delhi where anywhere you roam around.. all you see are 3 kinds of people :-
    1) Couples – happy couples, sad couples, oh-we-are-so-much-in-love couples, PDA couples, fighting couples, gf-eating-all-the-time couples, bf-wanting-to-have-sex-all-the-time couples, rich couples, school-kids couples, college-friends-turned-couples couples, small-towners-in-delhi couples…. and the list can go on and on…
    2) The second type of people we have are people like us(well not 100% :P) SINGLES.. hahahaha.. These people we roam around finding “LOVE” watching singles.. feeling sad about their breakups.. gazing over guys/gals and “IF” they have a life hang out with friends.. but given a chance they are so ready to commit into a relationship.
    3)These are the most interesting type of people in Delhi.. the rest of the Dilliwallahs.. It can be anyone.. the uncles, the aunties,the people in metro, the policeman, the bus conductor, the parking wallah at any shopping complex, the tea vendor outside your office..everyone.. They will “check out”(probably more than check out) girls, check out couples(they check out guys too.. since we are “getting MORE OPEN” about homosexuality) have an opinion and then will share it with everyone around them..

    So its pretty good that you came up with something like this.. kudos..!!! and hope you get your 50 dates.. Cheers…!!!

    P.s. I’m not 32 yr old woman..

    Liked by 1 person

      • I am not hot. And not visibly smart. Sigh. #foreveralone
        I have been getting some firang boy matches. But maybe it is only because they want to expand their portfolio. Ugh.

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      • well you know… maybe you can expand your portfolio? i think frangi boys visiting india swipe right on everyone just to maaro chance pe dance. anyway, annoying to hear this but take deep breath do something else. for a week. you’ll be surprised by what a difference a week away makes.

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      • Damn! That was really quick.
        I’ve been trying to go to meetups. Most are not so great, few are good.
        Is OKCupid a good way to meet new people? (Being a guy, meeting anyone on OKCupid will involve a lot of effort.)
        Dil mange more.

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      • Hey it’s a ton of work for a girl. More in fact because not only am I trying to find interesting people and get them to respond, I’m also fighting off hordes of brain dead horndogs

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  7. Some very interesting insights about social life in Delhi. I grew up here, left for college about four years ago, and returned this July only to be confronted by the unremittingly difficult task of readjustment. Delhi is cliquey because most Delhiites don’t live very close to each other or feel compelled to have spontaneous conversations with strangers. Especially and quite understandably, women. Last thing you want is being taken advantage of (possibly being sexually assaulted) by some random person you were nice to/candid with on the metro. I can understand, but the climate makes it hard for well-meaning, innocent guys—especially guys looking to meet new members from the opposite sex. What if you come back after a few years, have minimal access to old networks of friendship, and would like to hang out with new people? And what’s worse is that it’s hard to meet new people/random strangers beyond Tinder. You either know someone through an established social circle (friends, work, relatives, college (if you went to one in Delhi)) or you don’t. Point is, you’re still confined to a box and it’s hard to break out of it.

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    • It’s the same for anyone in any city. You can only meet new people at work… I disagree re the distances. I think Delhi being the size it is, many people actually stay here so you have a group. Also after a certain age you’re too tired to make the effort to meet new people and also there are fewer singles to meet

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  8. I can vouch for #10, but I only do it for the person’s sake. I mean if I have plans with my college friends, my high school friend will just feel left out if I ask him to tag along. I hate being the guy who does not anyone at the party! What’s your experience been?

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    • shrug. i think if you’re an adult doing adult things, one of them is learning to make polite conversation in a room full of strangers =) but i’ve been told i have unrealistic expectations… life seems to bear that out. also, it is hard when people don’t do any work. like i’ve walked up to someone and said hi, my name is x and held out my hand, and they’ve sort of limply taken it and said hello and stared at me. not even offeering their names. eyeroll.

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  9. Hi,

    I have been on OKC for almost a year. Right now my age is going to be Dirty Thirty lol but hey i kind of disagree with you at some points. But first let me introduce myself, My OKC Profile may be the longest one out there. I wrote so much about myself apart from my name. My likes,dislikes,why was i on OKC blah blah , Men read it, and they sure did. Every wise woman on OKC would have high standards and wouldn’t settle for less. Talking about ‘Trust factors’, even though i had trust issues, but men shared their personal details, where they worked, where they live, they even shared their facebook profiles. And i openly told my circle of friends that i was on a Dating site and i didn’t care if they judged me, My life My rules. Almost reaching 30’s, i wanted to date someone too. and guess what, where did i get an idea of making a profile of a dating site?? The American series called – Mistresses. When those 5 girls try to make a profile of their fellow friend to find her a date.lol
    Anyway, I met alot of nice men on OKC, there were a few jerks. The way you think about Indian men, was the same way those men(NRI or EXPAT guys) thought about Indian women. Which wasn’t true. I’m sure you have had your share of experiences, hence this Blog. In Delhi, there are not 3 kinds of People, You have a problem of categorizing people, or prolly you haven’t seen many, sorry to be straight forward but you are a big woman, you can take it in the right spirits. I know where did you do your book launch , hence i was there. but My Whole Point is, It’s sad that you couldn’t find a guy worth dating. As far as i know, i met some great guys through OKC, but i couldn’t date all those great ones, so we became friends, Now that i am newly married and Happy, I could choose The One.

    PS: I didn’t settle for less, but i settled for the Best.

    Just a Suggestion, Your blog is nice, but it is just one sided story.

    Thanks for the good read.

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