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How To Deal With A Family's Expectation For You To Marry

Family together.

Jasbina Ahluwalia asks Sanjit Singh: author of Are You Indian? A Humorous Guide to Growing up Indian in America:  Those listeners who have heard me speak or in person have likely heard the refrain that I like to mention that I feel that many Indian Americans experience growing up.

That is, “Don’t date. Don’t date. Don’t date. Okay, now get married.”

Your Finding a Mate chapter begins with the words, “Your parents will instantaneously switch from telling you that you cannot date to you must now mate.”

That really resonated.

What are the ways, in your opinion, that Indian parents may make it harder for their kids to find life partners?

Sanjit Singh

I think you hit on one of them that was in the book.

Community Pressure to Marry, But You Cannot Date!

I found that to be a funny switch. “You cannot date. Now you must mate.” It’s such an abrupt change.

I think it would be nice to have more of a transition. I think sometimes Indian parents are too rigid about what they expect or demand in terms of your life partner.  

That’s when it gets difficult. It makes things hard for the young single person. They may have totally different ideas.

At the end of the day, you find that they’re not that far apart. When there is conflict, it’s because one person is being a little inflexible.

That’s what I’ve found. That’s what my peers have told me. Now that I’m in my early forties, I’ve heard so many stories.

Jasbina Ahluwalia

Speaking of stories, do you have any funny parent, auntie or uncle stories that you’d like to share around this issue?

Sanjit Singh

Do you mean regarding pressure for marriage?

Jasbina Ahluwalia

It could be anything. You hit on how you think that Indian parents may make it harder for their kids to find life partners.

Do you have any anecdotes that come to mind while you were compiling the book about this?

Sanjit Singh

Community Pressure to Marry: Meet Pitbull Auntie

There are so many funny stories that come to mind. I wrote about a lot of them in the book.

I think everyone has a character like this in their ecosystem of aunties. Everyone that I’ve talked to seems to have this one auntie who is particularly pushy about the issue of marriage.

I refer to her as the “Pitbull Auntie” as an archetype.

Respond with Wit to Community Pressure to Marry

One of the things that I’ll direct your listeners to if they read my book is all of the great responses that you can come back to the Pitbull Auntie with when she pressures you to get married.

Jasbina Ahluwalia

Give our listeners one of those responses.

Sanjit Singh

They may not necessarily want to use my responses.

Community Pressure to Marry – Throw Them Off

One that I like is, “I haven’t decided whether I like boys or girls yet.” That automatically creates an awkward silence.

Hopefully, it diffuses the Pitbull Auntie and she slithers away. Then you can smile to yourself and say, “I really got her back for grilling me. She’s probably never going to ask me questions again.”

The above is an excerpt from Jasbina’s interview with Sanjit Singh

The entire interview transcript is at: Sanjit Singh Interview – Are You Indian? 

Listen to the entire interview on: Intersections Match Talk Radio – Jasbina’s Lifestyle Show 

Listen to the entire interview on Blog Talk Radio: Conversation with Author, Sanjit Singh  

Listen to the entire interview on iTunes

Jasbina Ahluwalia is an Indian American Attorney-turned-Entrepreneur, Relationship Expert, Radio Show Host and Matchmaker/Dating Coach

She is the Founder & President of Intersections Match by Jasbina, the only Premier Full-Service Selective Search, Dating / Relationship Coaching & Online Dating Support Firm – For Indian Singles. 

Jasbina is also the host of Intersections Talk Radio, a monthly holistic lifestyle show – conversations with published authors/experts on relationships and health and wellness.

She has received worldwide press (Oprah, Chicago Tribune, Inc., Entrepreneur Magazine) including TV and Video & Radio

For more information, please visit Feel free to submit a Question to be considered for this column to Jasbina directly at info @

For more from Jasbina: 

This article was originally published at Reprinted with permission from the author.


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