C'mon Inner Peace… I Don't Have All Damn Day
My current reach is over 10,000 followers through various social media, and each day, I’m contacted by several panic stricken, western women.
First of all, don’t be scared.
Indian men don’t bite (well… maybe a little)
I’m sorry if I can’t reply to all your messages right away, please be patient, and I will eventually reply to every one of them.
In a previous post I mentioned “support groups,” and I would be happy to help those in need, but first, I like to “personally” chat with you a bit to learn a little about your relationship.
It’s very important to understand exactly what you’re getting into.
You need to learn what is considered culturally “normal,” in-law expectations, your role within the family, and so much more. In this day and age, relationships like ours are becoming more commonplace. Whether you met online or in person, “culture” will ultimately play a HUGE part of your daily life.
For those of us who met online, people in your immediate surroundings may not understand how you could consider someone your “boyfriend” when you have yet to meet in person.
I understand your frustration… trust me.
Our relationships are very real; we feel love, we fight, we know their whereabouts and daily routine..
I get it. Really, I do.
The problem lies with those who have absolutely no understanding. And, it doesn’t help that Reality TV would like to profit off people like us; we’re freaks in the minds of so many, right?
So here you are. You’re in love, and he lives 10,000 miles away.
He is the sweetest guy you’ve ever met, but you can’t figure out how in the world you are going to get to India/Nepal/UAE to meet him face-to-face. At first, it feels like a far off fantasy, but then you realize… this CAN actually happen.
So, you start reading blogs (like mine) and realize that it’s not only possible to meet, but “happily ever after” DOES exist.
I’m sorry to burst that bubble, but, not always.
There are many obstacles to overcome before this type of relationship can succeed. I’ve learned a few things on this crazy journey, and not all of it is Rainbows and Butterflies.
If you’ve read my blog, you would know that it’s very easy for us to go visit them, but it is extremely difficult for most of them to visit us. Hence, the first major hurdle to overcome is usually, distance.
Why can’t they visit us?
Well there is a passport hierarchy, and countries which have a high rate of people wanting to exit… have a difficult time doing just that, EXIT-ING.
India, has a large number of people searching for a “better” life, for lack of a “better” term.
“Your” country doesn’t think that an Indian would want to go back if they laid eyes on our beautiful streets “paved in gold… (sarcasm)” so they require a lot of information before issuing that visa.
I’m not going to debate the laws, rules etc… but typically they would need to own property in THEIR name (not in Mommy’s name), have a “good” job with seniority, and “other” things which determine a “reason” for them to return to India, and NOT disappear into the fabric of YOUR country.
My advise is almost always, don’t even bother wasting time on a tourist visa, unless you have met a man who has already traveled.
Then, you start reading about the K1 Fiance visa… Yes, with certain countries this avenue can be a very easy path to follow, but not India. Sorry, please see my previous articles. HERE
I do not recommend it.
You’re at the point where either, 1) He has told his family about you, and your are ready to meet them. Or, 2) you’re still a secret and unsure where this is headed. Either way, your flying off into the unknown, to meet your LOVE.
Like I’ve said before, it is very normal to be a secret up until it’s time for marriage.
Indian culture seems to keep many secrets, especially about relationships. “Dating” as we know it, kinda happens, but is rarely spoken about with family.
I have NEVER met a young Indian who does not have a secret relationship they are hiding from their family. Sorry Auntie, your precious daughter may not be so innocent! (evil laugh)
In fact, I find it quite entertaining exactly how many of my Indian friends tell me their secrets, and my husband knows none of it.
I’m like, the “secret keeper” of New Delhi, I think.
So chill-out about being a secret, unless… he suggests getting married on the down-low. That’s a huge red-flag. It happens; some have very true, loving, relationships which started out by eloping. But, this is red-flag numero uno!
Red-flag dos? Visa-talk… if he is asking too many questions about the Visa process, and not focused on relationship issues like introducing you to Mommy, then you may want to consider the fact he is interested in something other than YOU.
Sadly, we hear “VISA, VISA, VISA…” from both Indians and Westerners. It seems our relationships are not taken seriously by ANYONE; it’s a constant uphill battle to prove our love, isn’t it?
But, in the nay-sayers defense, I have seen some unbelievable things with my own eyes. I completely understand why the Embassy is so suspicious, because it happens… A LOT! Both men and women have to take a hard look at reality; so many of us are blinded.
Someday I wish I could be free to write about these stories, but for now, please understand there is a very real possibility that your “Prince Charming” only sees you as the “Golden Ticket” from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
Please use your mind, as well as your heart.
In India, people pay/bribe a “visa broker” thousands of dollars to help them get to the US, UK or Canada… Imagine how wonderfully amazing it would seem to have met a sweet American girl willing TO PAY for the visa, because she “loves you?” I mean… it’s sorta like winning the lottery.
Ok, so your LOVE has passed all the tests… you’re positive they TRULY love you. Now it’s time to be introduced to the family, major hurdle number TWO.
Every single day, women reach-out to me in tears, “My boyfriends family won’t accept me…” My only advise is… Listen to your boyfriend, he is your gauge to what he is willing to deal with. I do know, the majority of Indian families which don’t accept you at first, eventually do… after much drama and guilt. Typically, they threaten “health issues;” we don’t want to give Daddy a heart attack, so best not to upset the status quo.
Ugh. If I had a quarter for each time I’ve heard that.
Their culture seems to have a long way to go before realizing that what they see in Bollywood about “western women,” isn’t exactly true. I have been told “some” Indian elders view western women as the “lowest of the low.” Apparently, our very existence disgusts them, so certainly we are not good enough for their sons.
BUT, it’s up to your boyfriend to decide if he’s willing to go through hell, for a brief time. Some guys never grow a set…
IF and when the family accept you, you’re thrown into a world so vastly different from your own, it’s almost magical! Your first trip to India seems like a dream. You overlook the bad things… and fall in love with not only “the man of your dreams” but his entire culture.
The colors; the spices; the music; the birthplace of Yoga… it truly IS magical, the first few times.
Quickly though, reality sets in.
Your internal dialogue keeps asking “Could I live here?” Some can handle it, but most of us can’t, for various reasons.
This is the truth about India: You will always be considered an outsider. You will be stared at. Pictures will be taken of you, without your permission… Sometimes it’s flattering, but oftentimes, it’s not.
I love it; love visiting; love my family who live there… But personally? I could not live there for many reasons. Mainly, I’m too independent, and I love “the gays.” I’m a proud advocate of free-speech, women’s rights, and animal rights… but, I love India, really, I do.
Having the family accept you is a huge deal! But, after meeting the family, and successfully navigating wedding traditions, and honeymoon stage…
Reality sets in, again.
Major hurdle number three… The mundane, everyday life. Being married to a person from another culture is a continuous battle between misunderstandings and immense joy.
Manny and I love each other very much, but that doesn’t mean we understand each other. Only after living together, these cultural differences show their ugly head.
I would not change a thing… trust me. But, we have chosen a very difficult path.
Marriage within a similar culture can be hard; throw in upbringing… and your marriage turns into a daily struggle. Remain focused on the prize, keep the love in your heart and fight, fight, fight.
More of “what to expect” soon. Please see links below to read more about our story.
We did it!! See wedding pics and follow our story below:
“My Indian Boyfriend pt. 1 “—>HERE
Culture Shock: The Good , The Bad, The Ugly: —> HERE
My Big Fat Sikh Wedding: Prelude —> HERE
My Big Fat Sikh Wedding: Showtime —> HERE
My Big Fat Sikh Wedding: Indian Astrology —> HERE
My Big Fat Sikh Wedding: The Dress —> HERE
Surviving Long Distance Love—> HERE
Open Letter to my Husband—> HERE
Our Story, Retold —> HERE
Culture Shock: What to Expect?-–> HERE
Culture Shock: Six Months in America —> HERE
Culture Shock: Manny’s First Christmas —> HERE
Culture Shock: The First Year—> HERE
Our Honeymoon: Rishikesh India—> HERE
K1 Fiance Visa: The Process—> HERE
K1 Fiance Visa: The Inteview —> HERE
Cr1 Spousal Visa: The Timeline —> HERE
Cr1 Spousal Visa: Interview Questions —>HERE
A Journey to: New Delhi—> HERE
A Journey to: Jaipur India —> HERE
A Journey to: Dubai UAE —> HERE
Our First Diwali—> HERE
Giving Thanks, Shukryia —> HERE
Being Sikh in America—> HERE
The Indian Grocery: Natural Products—> HERE
A Path to Happiness—> HERE
True Love Lives Quietly —> HERE
Buddhaful Britt: Most Interesting Travel Blogger —> HERE
Buddhaful Advise: As We Think, So We Become —> HERE
Buddhaful Advise: Inner Peace —> HERE
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