Top ten reasons why I am still single (according to well-meaning Indians)

I am an Indian girl, who is still single at the ripe old age of 29. It’s not that I don’t want to get married, but things haven’t worked out so far. I am okay with it, but me being single concerns everyone around me. They take pity on me and feel it necessary to give me tips!

Even people who barely know me come up with reasons as to why I am still single and offer suggestions that are supposed help me with my marital prospects. For the most part I find the whole conversation ridiculous and funny. I have listed the top ten reasons as to why I am single, given by the people I could care less about.

Note: I have ranked them based on how ridiculous they sound.

  1. “You are still single because you drink Starbucks coffee” – This is hands-down the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. According to this family friend, Starbucks coffee is American coffee and anything “American” comes in the way of me getting hitched.
  2. “You are still single because you have backpacked alone in Europe” – According to my neighbor I barely talk to, if a single/ never married girl travels alone, it means that something is inherently wrong with that girl. Since I have traveled alone, parents of prospective grooms assume that I am nut-job and decide not to consider me for their son.
  3. “You are still single because you don’t wear talcum powder” – I don’t understand my parent’s generation’s obsession with talcum powder. Talcum powder makes me look like a ghost. But according to my ‘well-wishers’ not looking like ghost is what makes me single.
  4. “You are still single because you are too tall” – According to random people I meet at weddings and other social gatherings I decided to grow ‘tall’ on purpose. For the record, I did not grow tall on purpose. You can blame my parents for giving me the genes and nourishing me while ‘growing’ up. Being tall according to them renders me unattractive to prospective grooms.
  5. “You are still single because you are into adventure sport” – According to my aunts and uncles, cycling is an adventure sport. Their contention is that, being healthy and pursuing a sport is deal breaker when it comes to finding a groom in the Indian arranged marriage market.
  6. “You are still single because you lived in the US by yourself” – According to a lot people I have met upon my return to India, living by myself (without any room-mates) is weird. They think that living alone is an indication of me, being messed up in my head and will scare the guy who might be interested in considering me as his future wife.
  7. “You are still single because your skin has tanned” – This point deserves no explanation.
  8. “You are still single because you are working on your own start-up” – According to a lot of people who are of my parent’s generation, not having a steady source of income is unacceptable. Being miserable and self-loathing about oneself for being in a dead-end job is completely acceptable as long as there is a paycheck at the end of the month. Not pursuing what you love and settling for an income makes one a sought after bride.
  9. “You are still single because you don’t spend a lot of time grooming yourself ” – According to a lot of acquaintances of my parents, grooming oneself is spending a lot of time and money on looking picture perfect on the outside. Not being true to oneself and focusing on external aspects such as looks, body shape and expensive accessories places the girl at the top of ‘most sought after girls’ list.
  10. “You are still single because you are not interested in ‘girlie activities’ ”– According to my uncle, breaking gender stereotypes is an abomination. For example, if a girl (me) decides to spend the evening building a Lego death star with her male cousins rather than go out shopping for more clothes with her female cousins she instantly gets added on to undesirable or unsuitable for marriage list.

P.S: The people who give these condescending dialogues say it with so much conviction and so often that I begin to wonder if they are correct in their assessment sometimes.  Crazy me, but sigh!

Coffee lover, data miner, gobble monster and Mad - hatter