By Damn Fab Desi
It was bad enough doing this the first time around. The dreaded chat would start once studies had finished.
“It’s time to find a rishta”.
Well, at least back in the day — and I can’t imagine much has changed in that respect. The word ‘rishta’ is used loosely now to basically mean, find a man.
However, so much has changed for me from then to now. One marriage, broken by a betrayal I never saw coming, left its mark for a long time — and if I’m honest, still has. It has taken me over three years to start feeling more comfortable and confident in navigating the man scene again.
It’s vastly different to how I remember it. Back in the day, there were plenty of single blokes in my city. People would make their enquiries, a few meets and the deed would be done. The blokes in my city are married off and settled with kids. As I wanted to widen my network, I’ve had to venture onto that scene. You know the one — online.
It’s pretty shit, let’s be honest. Matching people according to their profiles, basing things very superficially on photos. I’ve probably overlooked loads of guys who, in a more natural setting, I would probably hit it off with and vice versa.
There have been the odd positive stories. I may not have found the one but I’ve met a few genuinely nice men and from each experience I seem to learn something new. At the beginning, there was always a sense of urgency in my head: how much time I had wasted with my ex; how little time I had now to find someone before I would become “undesirable”; setting a time limit for talking to a man.
A few months ago, something clicked. I realised that I was being driven by fear. Fear of becoming too old. And fear would force me to run into the arms of yet another potentially difficult relationship. I started to relax and took my time getting to know them.
Yes, I agree, the men who are serious will probably want to meet sooner. I don’t believe, however, that just because they want to meet or talk for a longer length of time than what is considered “standard” in our culture, it makes them players.
Relationships have to be built, even on the rishta scene. Perhaps this is the key thing which I have recently learned. Taking your time is not encouraged in my culture and for this very reason we can be too dismissive of people. For us to be able to expose a true sense of ourselves to each other, sometimes it needs time.
Take a thirty something Muslim woman, add one cheating husband, blend in some brown and you get the inner workings of Damn Fab Desi. Spurred on by the emotions of a breakup in a culture which doesn’t allow for open discussions about cheating, divorce and abuse. Read her blog here. Follow her on Twitter.