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Dear Aunties, Stop Telling Me It’s My Turn to Get Married

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3 min read

by Monica Bhatia

Okay, I get it – Indian people love weddings, dancing, eating, etc., but does that really mean at someone’s wedding all the aunties need to be on the lookout for who’s next? Honestly, they’re probably better at scouting singles than professional scouts are at finding good athletes. Weddings are great and all, but really, what does “it’s your turn next” even mean when it comes to getting married?

Why is it still a thing that once an Indian girl reaches 22-23 years of age the word marriage has to be included in just about any conversation? I’m currently 26 and super, super thankful that I have been blessed with parents that don’t constantly torture me to think about getting married and “finding someone.” I do, though, have distant relatives, family friends, etc. who absolutely love bringing up the topic. Along with this, so many of my Indian friends have said they’re constantly dealing with the pressure of finding someone – pressure brought on my family members and other aunties. For all this, I just have one question…

WHY? Why does it matter so much at what age someone gets married? It’s unacceptable when someone gets married too young and it’s unacceptable when someone gets married too old. So basically there is this small amount of time when Indian people deem it to be an “acceptable age.” Come on!

[Read More: Help! The Pressure to Marry and Have Kids is Destroying Us]

After college, I started working right away, then went on to graduate school for two years, and now I’m starting to work in my new field. In between all this, I had no desire, not even a tiny inkling, to think about getting married. Still, even when you tell an Indian aunty that you’re busy doing all this, one of the first questions is,

But, beta, what about getting married?

Reallllllly? I just told you how busy I was being awesome, but I’m not awesome enough because I’m single, right?

[Read More: Unlucky in Love?: Here’s How One Brown Girl Learned to Open Her Heart]

I know Indian parents care deeply about getting their kids “settled” and making sure they have a great life planned ahead, but putting pressure on your kids to get married isn’t going to help the process. I feel like more and more people are holding off on marriage until they “find themselves” and feel emotionally ready, and these are definitely not things our parents’ generation thought of. Most of the times, they were thrown into marriage and expected to swim (and the majority of them do really well). So I do understand, but that doesn’t make the situation any more fun.

I love my culture and I love all the Indian aunties out there, but statements like “you’re next” or “it’s your turn” have got to go.

Monica Bhatia recently graduated with her masters in social work and is living in the suburbs of Chicago. She will be working as a school social worker and is extremely excited to begin her new career. Before going into social work, she was a high school Spanish teacher for four years. She has always had a passion for working with kids and helping create a better future for them. Some of her hobbies include traveling, reading, playing with dogs, and trying as many different foods as she can.