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Indian men “cannot take on an alpha woman”, I was told, so my matrimonial prospects seemed poor “unless I agreed to change myself”!
“Beta, you really have to change yourself to be able to get married now. You will be 30 in a few years and it is so difficult for us to find a match for you. Because of your age, and also because you never agree to change yourself. Why do you always have to speak about everything on your mind on dates? Keep certain opinions of yours to yourself, and see how you find a match!”
I have been so tired of listening to the same thing for years now.
It’s been 2 years since my family and other people around me have been looking for a match for me and still nothing worked in my favour so far. I have always had the freedom to choose my own partner, and I have also been on a couple of dates on my own, but nothing lasted. And then there was a ton of advice that came from everyone around me, which had the same end meaning – Change Yourself!
But what was this change that was expected out of me? Where was I as a woman, as a person, going wrong in this entire game of dating and match hunting? Why was it easy for my friends to find a match and so difficult for me? Was I just the unlucky one, or was there actually a problem with me?
All these questions kept haunting me.
My bhabhi decided to schedule a “brain washing session” with me – where she would tell me all of her analysis of what must have possibly gone wrong with the matches so far.
One fine Sunday afternoon after lunch, my bhabhi took me out to her favourite coffee place in Powai. The atmosphere was good, it was drizzling out there and we sat at the perfect window location sipping the hot coffee and discussing.
She pointed out to me a couple of things on why it didn’t work with Abhinav (an arranged match) and Rohan (my boyfriend).
So Abhinav had liked me after our first meeting at my place, but rejected me after our 2nd meet, where we met outside for lunch. He said it didn’t click with him, and I was ok with the explanation he gave. But as per my Bhabhi the reason would have been something else.
She said, “Abhinav must have had a problem when you paid the bill on your first date outside. See, not many men can take this, and in an arranged setting, sometimes this can create a negative impression. You come out to be strong and intimidating to men. I am not saying all men would take it like that, there would be guys out there who would love that you pay on a couple of dates and he pays on a couple of dates, but I am just telling you from my experiences so far.”
And regarding Rohan- I still do not remember the exact reason why we broke up, but it was on the day of my promotional party that Rohan and I had a huge fight, and I was done with his narcissistic behaviour. But my Bhabhi again had a different observation on this. She said to me that Rohan had a clear problem with me earning more, and most men cannot take an Alpha woman.
It was hard for me to believe that we still have men in our society whose male ego is so fragile that it can be broken with a woman’s promotion?
The conversation set me thinking that night. And I googled the traits of an Alpha female and they were :
Research suggests that many men get intimidated by Alpha women. Apart from other things that intimidate them, an Alpha woman’s power to show men the mirror about their emotions is also one major reason.
The problem is that we always focus on one gender and put a lot of expectation regarding anything specific on one gender.
Like a man must be a breadwinner, but if he chooses to be a homemaker, society won’t easily accept him or will mock him. Exactly the root where the problem creeps in on why Alpha women are not easily acceptable, but ridiculed and criticized. Our society is ok with a woman being breadwinner, as long as she will also be at least a part time homemaker. Because in the end it is always “Maa ne kuch sikhaya nahi?” (Hasn’t your mother taught you anything?), but never “Baap ne kuch sikhaya nahi?” (Hasn’t your father taught you anything?)
2 years of my experience of finding a match, I have now come to be at peace with the fact that it is totally ok to be alone. Better oops than sorry. A person who really likes me for who I am and won’t expect me to change is worth waiting for; I am sure there are few men out there who aren’t intimidated by Alpha females.
But we as a society really need to work on raising men to be more acceptable towards all sorts of women, unlike what happens. In our patriarchal society, everyone desires a ‘strong empowered’ woman, but still expect her to be the ‘aadarsh sanskaari bahu’ who won’t raise her opinions, or drink, smoke, talk, party, grow.
We have raised empowered women, but we haven’t raised men who can accept these empowered women. For years we have put in all the efforts to make our daughters stronger and equal to men, but we as a society I feel still failed on raising sons to accept Strong women, to make our sons more sensitive towards emotions and to let our sons be as emotional and vulnerable as a woman.
It’s high time that society starts accepting a woman for who she is, and stops putting her into frames of a ‘good woman’ as per their definition. I am not saying that there aren’t good men around and that men have no problems to deal with, but there is still a lot of additional baggage on a woman, especially when it comes to marriages and compromises.
To all the women reading this, I request you, do not ever ‘change’ yourself just to be with someone. Understand the difference between adjusting a little out of love, and compromising your self-identity in giving everything away under the name of love. Understand that if a man truly loves you, the adjustments will be on equal level.
Never alter your core personality. Even in arranged marriage dates, never ever pretend to be someone you are not, just because there is a pressure to get married. Whoever is the person, he should accept you for what you are. Often women are told in an arranged setting, that they hide their true selves until married, and I totally am against this advice. Show what you truly are, because a person should love you for who you are. And if someone doesn’t love you for that, oh dear woman, you are so better off without such a man; you deserve so much better!
Image source: a still from the film Piku
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A corporate serf and aspiring baron with a passion to write fictional and non fictional-
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