September 14, 2012 · 0 Comments
Many parents of especially well-educated, well-groomed and sophisticated young women are growing increasingly frustrated with their daughters who show little or no sign of wanting to settle down with a nice young ‘doctor’or ‘engineer’ from a good family and raise children. To be perfectly clear, most of these second generation South Asian girls have every intention to marry someday, it is just that they are in no hurry and are inclined to postponing the inevitable (marriage) as long as they can get away with it.
A real estate agent tells me that he’s noticing more and more single South Asian women buying or renting studio apartments in Toronto or condos around Square One in Mississauga. Far enough from their parents who often live in places like Brampton and Mississauga. These girls are in a high-income bracket, work and now play in the city.
Faced with limitless possibilities and hanging out with an ever-growing tribe of other single men and women all on a fun-seeking quest, the city is an exciting place indeed. Suddenly the idea of marriage, house, chores, cooking and kids can seem noble but a daunting proposition that could threaten to leave them feeling suffocated. To trade a world filled with possibilities and self discovery for something stable and predictable is well, quite boring.
Who really wants to give up a life where you can sign up for an Archery classes on Monday night, Ballroom dancing on Wednesday, take in a performance at the Sony Centre on Friday and really light up the dance floor over the weekend? The point I am making is not the dizzying array of choices available to these professional South Asian women but the freedom that comes with single status that makes all of this possible.
I know of a 32-year-old single South Asian who literally decided one Friday morning that she wanted to attend a friend’s party in New York City and flew out that evening ,spent the weekend there and was back in time for work on Monday. Last year she and two other single women decided to take a last minute all-inclusive vacation to Cuba.
This class of South Asian women are independent-minded, strong-willed and not given to suffering prospective husbands who knowtow their family line.
Second-generation South Asian boys are generally eager to marry but often not the kind who prefers living solo in a glass enclosed highrise buildings. For one, it is unlikely these girls would serve him tea in bed.
It is hard for South Asian single and professional women to find an ideal partners. Many of them have been in relationships that held so much promise but fizzled out in the face of family pressure from the boy’s side or the boy himself who expects the girl to turn more domesticated. And sometimes it is the way that these women assert and project themselves that can put off even progressive young men.
Increasingly many of these women have even stopped looking for prospective partners from within the community preferring to cast their nets wider. Other single South Asian women living solo are often those who’ve been married before to a desi boy only to realize there were way too many differences to reconcile. And more often that not, once a young woman in the prime of her life gets accustomed to independent living, she needs a really compelling reason to give it all up and move in with another human being and share everything except for the bank account.
A close friend who’s daughter is now 26 years old tells me that whenever she brings up the topic of marriage with her, the daughter placates her by saying she has enough time to settle down and insisting that she’s still young. She wants to bagpack across Europe with friends next summer, go across Canada the year after and ofcourse she wants to take trips to Costa Rica and eventually even spend some time at an Ashram in India. An idea that came to her after she watched the movie Eat, Pray and Love. The only trip she’s not particularly looking forward to is the trip down the aisle or joining the institution of marriage.