Dating in a foreign land



Dating Indian men as a western woman in India is not easy.

Friends ask me why I don’t go for an expat, but the problem is finding one from my country, single, of a similar age with similar interests is hard as the pool of expats is so small.

The next best option is an Indian. But dating an Indian man appears to be nigh impossible. Everyone I had met in the year and a half I had been here until recently just wanted to be friends. But now I’m question whether my understanding of the word dating and friends and theirs are the same.

Recently, I went round to see my neighbour, a TV producer, who lives in the flat next to mine. We are both singles looking for love in this city. We had met weeks earlier when my cat ran into his flat at 2.30am and we spent two hours searching for her under his bed.

Sipping a glass of wine I asked him how he was. “Oh I’ve been dating several woman.” “Dating!?” I said excited. Realising this was my one chance to understand the Indian male psyche, I asked him what dating was.

“I’m meeting several women,” he explained

“So, have you made a move on them?” “No,” he said. “We meet up once or twice for dinner, and then I don’t meet them again because I don’t like them.” “You are saying you are dating them even though its non physical?” “Yes,” he said. “I wouldn’t expect to kiss them for four to five months.” But that isn’t that friendship, I thought.

“That’s the way we do it in India. We get to know the person. I’m looking for maturity, compassion and understanding and I’m not finding it.

“You mean chemistry, appearance and the physical side of the relationship are not important?” “No,” he said. “I’m looking for someone I want to marry, so if I went for physical appearance there would be no point as they would only get wrinkles. I’m looking for someone who cares for me, with whom I have an emotional connection and a deep friendship.”

The UK is different. The physical side of the relationship is crucial to defining ‘it’ as a relationship, otherwise it is a friendship. You don’t have to wait months for the relationship to start physically. In fact if you are friends first, it is unlikely to move into a relationship. Normally it is a relationship from the outset, on an emotional and physical level and you find each other physically attractive.

Until you marry you date lots of people, many don’t work out, and then you date someone else. It’s perfectly acceptable to introduce them to your parents and if the relationship ends, you move on. If you are lucky you will eventually marry one of these dates but you don’t judge them based on whether they are marriage material at the outset. That comes much later. This is the system we have developed I guess as we don’t have an arranged marriage system. I’m in no way advocating it, but it is the only system we have. And dating is a very important part of young people’s lives in the UK. However, expats trying to date Indians are mostly unsuccessful.

One of my British male friends in Mumbai is just one example. He is very frustrated as he can’t date any Indian women. He says they all only want to be friends. But now I’m wondering if in their minds they are dating him, if according to my neighbour, a non physical relationship is dating. Or is dating per se culturally unacceptable here?

This spurred me to meet Prit, the Indian man, who I had dumped after he changed his status on Facebook to single, while we were, in my view, dating. Read about that here.

He had claimed we were not dating and therefore there was nothing wrong with updating his status.

I was curious to know what he had thought had been going on between us.

So, in the café we met in, I put the options to him as to what we had been doing. We had either:

A) been in a casual relationship.

B) been seeing each other.

C) been dating.

D) Having a relationship.

E) Been friends.

I finished my Americano and waited for a response. Silence followed.

“Somewhere between casual and seeing,” he replied confidently. I was astounded.

I spoke to  an old friend this morning who asked me why I had not met him for such a long time. “I’ve kind of been seeing someone (referring to Prit),” I said although aware Prit had not been seeing me, added: ” It’s complicated.”

“I guess we can’t meet then.”  We had had dinner a few times, we have never had any physical relationship, but he phoned and texted me a lot. To my knowledge him and I had been friends. So, why couldn’t we meet? Did he think we had been dating?

I am so confused.  If you are meeting up with someone, going to the cinema, and spending lots of time together, and there is a romantic side. Is that not dating? Meeting occasionally in a non physical relationship is friendship is it not? Or is this all a problem of semantics?

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  • Anusha

    Naomi, it’s not just you. Even I am confused with people’s perceptions here in my own country.
    May be it’s all because people are confused;-)

    [Reply]

  • Naomi

    Anusha, it’s so good to hear that you are as confused as me….I’m wondering what is going on here.. Do people actually date here? How do they define dating? Is it the same as the western definition? Can dating be non phsyical?

    [Reply]

  • Dylan

    I think its sorta people trying to be ‘cool’ by copying the western dating style and at the same time they try to be ‘Indian’ i.e. not go too far.. so its somewhere in the middle, which can apparently be very confusing for people like you. Haha..!

    [Reply]

  • http://facebook.com/dope.smugglaz Rahul

    I don’t believe dating can be non-physical.

    But there are countless out there who have been in a relationship (leave alone dating) for years and been not physical.

    May be its just over-’simplyfing’ but middle-class India looks for marriage from the first ‘date’. And some how during the creation of the Indian culture, we missed out on physical aspect of marriage as a valid comptibilty point. Ofcourse exceptions will be commenting soon :)

    A great read. Already subscribed through feed.

    [Reply]

  • Tushar

    I thought I was the only one who didn’t understand the difference between ‘just friends’ and dating. Wohoo!!

    [Reply]

    Alok Reply:

    Somehow, I think that it is high time that every “relationship” that we get into, shouldn’t have a serious side. Unfortunately, most girls also look at that. The idea of a purely physical relationship is absent, not only because people are looking for that something extra (read: long term relationship), but also because they think that a purely physical relationship is morally unacceptable. I don’t think physical relationships should be frowned upon. Unfortunately, it’s hard to break free from the shackles of society. But, to each their own.

    [Reply]

    Prabhakar Deshpande Reply:

    Naomi, Can you clarify to this gentleman Roy.
    I thought you wanted to get married……….not just get laid……
    You said that in so many words………..in your “Gori Gori” article in Hindustan Times on 20/09/2008

    And no doubt Jesus was resurrected(that is the technical term, not risen from grave)….but surely he must be buried later atleast….unless he is still alive, though I haven’t seen him recently
    And the name, Mr Roy is Prabhakar Deshpande, not Pandu……………
    regards

    [Reply]

    Anusha Reply:

    Mr. Prabhakar, CHILL!!!

    Ashima Tyagi Reply:

    A simple blog s takin such gigantic proportions!!…:P

    It is no doubt complicated out here in India since every1 s trying to discover thr own definitions of dating, seeing, relationship and all tht jazz…. Every1 tries to be careful so tht they aren’t caught up with the wrng person frm the 1st date itself…

    Naomi Reply:

    Guys, I am seriously going to reply to these comments soon..not least to give you my versions of what seeing, casual and dating mean (in my head)….I like Arindam’s comments – quite insightful….just have to file a story urgently….

    Sli Reply:

    lol, great article.

    its funnier because m going thru the same thing in europe with the girls here. One of them even managed to compel me to have a look around and recheck if i was back in India. but i really love doing this over the cultural divide, adds a little more zing to it. It is a part of the great foreign exploration.

    Cheers!!

    lovebird Reply:

    dear naomi its a very very interesting post indeed. 2 date an indian firstly u wud require 2 know what is an indian man. although i m indian still i m not able 2 understand any one of them. forget about dating, its out of question at least 4 me.

    Prabhakar Deshpande Reply:

    Your options are so damn funny…………………………
    A) been in a casual relationship.
    B) been seeing each other.
    C) been dating.
    D) Having a relationship.
    E) Been friends.

    “Just Good Friends” is a phrase used to avoid marriage.
    Does Casual relationship mean you are not doing “IT”
    Does “Seeing Each Other” also mean Seeing Each Others Private Parts?
    Does Been Dating mean only having food or more than that?
    Does Having Relationship – How many Relationships is one allowed to have in Life? – 1, 10, 100, 1000, 10,0000?

    Again what does this searching for a “cat under the bed mean”? And do you often sip wine at neighbours place at wee hours of night? Is that relationship, especially after you have searched for cat under bed!!!

    [Reply]

  • http://pranavbhalla.blogspot.com Pranav

    “Seeing”, “being friends”, “dating”, well said Naomi. Its truly a relative problem of semantics. Just the way ‘Namaste’, ‘Hi’ or ‘wassup’ is. They are essentially forms of greeting the other. But we get entangled in putting them in some context of some definition of culture of some society. Is the Indian Man so not-busy that he can afford to date so many women, perform a research, draw up graphs to compare them, do some litmus tests and then pronounce them as ‘just friends’, ‘close friends’, ‘dates’ or ‘girlfriends’. I am, again, not promoting the UK way or the Indian way, but a survey, asking people from ‘broken marriages’ about which way they preferred starting initially would reveal interesting results. And Naomi, dating culturally unacceptable? give me a break. Let’s not look at every issue through the ‘Mangalore’ prism.
    Going for a physical relationship initially MAY mean there is some expectation from either the boy’s side or the girl’s side or both. Here is where we may be going wrong. Any relationship can be beautiful if we don’t expect anything from the other, and instead, express all our joy through him/her. Once we do that, “seeing”, “dating”, “looking”,”sitting” become irrelevant.
    And who invented these labels “seeing”, “dating”, “looking”, “not-looking”, “peeking”. Facebook ?Well Well.
    Note: I did not go to a pub named Amnesia and I did not order any ’spirituality-on-the-rocks’. ;)

    [Reply]

  • Prabhakar Deshpande

    Naomi,
    Indian ideas on dating(Love) are not actually different from Western ones…at least not traditional western ones…….
    Christian marriage vows state “You may now kiss the bride”…………
    Which means you would not have kissed the bride till after you tie the knot……………….

    But this 60s revolution changed all that and not necessarily for better….
    I can understand 2-3 relationships before marriage………………….

    But 20-30 relationships before marriage? And that is the average joe moral person…………
    The James Bonds have 200-300 relationships before no marriage….
    Jesus Christ must be turning in his grave!!!!!

    [Reply]

    K Reply:

    Well said, Prabhakar !!

    [Reply]

    Swarup Reply:

    Very well said… atleast gives some perspective

    [Reply]

  • Arindam

    Hey Naomi

    Nice blog.Well the problem isn’t you.The girls in INDIA don’t easily want to get a tag of bein dated.Before others crucify me for this statement let me clarify.The Indian male psyche is quite backward in most cases.The moment a girl starts to be friendly,laughs and talks to him 90% of the guys in INdia think the girl has fallen for him.Girls are wary of getting beyond friendship not because they are confused but are afraid of the Indian male.So what guys feel most of the time is if a girl is out with you for a coffee its a date which isnt in most of the cases.Hope my speech helped…………

    [Reply]

    Tushar Reply:

    Yeah chill! The lone lady in the conversation apart from the author says so. hehe . no offence just kidding. Its interesting to see men actually giving so much thought to the complexities of dating and relationships.

    [Reply]

    K Reply:

    Yeah, quite backward ……….to the extent that they start thinking from their rear ends !!!

    If some indian guys in Naomi’s neighborhood are not agreeing to humping the first female they meet in the middle of the night, then they must surely be backward !! LoL !!

    Its amazing how the ‘Indian psyche’ starts believing it needs to be a ‘horndog’ to start sounding ‘forward’ again !!

    What makes you think that having sex on a date is more progressive than aiming for a more sustainable relationship ?

    [Reply]

    Naomi Reply:

    I spoke to an Indian friend last night about this whole subject. His response. “There is no dating scene in India. It does not exist,” he said.
    Well, that explains everything, then. I have noticed that in Mumbai people go around in huge groups – of friends – and members of the opposite sex – are friends – and it’s all about “just friends.” That is all very nice, but there is something somewhat exciting when you date someone. There is an emotional closeness (hopefully a physical one), there is chemistry, there is a reason to get excited when that person calls or texts you and within that relationship you also learn something about youself, your insecurities, your knowledge of the world and popular culture, and so on…it’s also a test of who you are, it tests you in a way a friendship does not, because spending a lot of time with someone is demanding, it’s testing, you see how much of you there is, what you can offer someone, how goods or not your conversational skills are…I dont know I kind of like it. Its like a part of my life, a part friends andfamily dont fill. So to not date anyone for a year and a half and to be just friends with everyone, I simply just find inadequate.
    Im surprised to hear that an Indian man thinks if he is having coffee with me and I am laughing, then I have fallen for him or we could be dating….simply not true…unless ‘it’ has taken a romantic twist, to me there is nothing more than friendship……which means we are not dating….doesnt matter how many coffees we have had…(for the record I am not dating my neighbour…he very kindly helped me find my cat and also I havent had and dont intend to have 200 relationships…I think 20 would be quite adequate)
    I do think that there are two sbjects we should be taught either in school or from our parents – dating/relationships and economics/finance…Both these are subjects I for one was never taught at school and I would now find both a lot more useful than… Latin…Also my parents didnt really speak to me about either….mine are the parents who met each other at 19, got married at 26 and never really experienced the whole single in the city/dating scene.
    So anyway, since its a subject that noone discusses, I am delighted to be able to discuss it here. Everyone’s views are so helpful, and Im glad to see half the world is experiencing the same problems as me.

    [Reply]

    Tushar Reply:

    You are glad that the world is experiencing the same problem as you. HA!

    Prabhakar Reply:

    Naomi,
    Hmmm……….
    I define three categories of Relationship
    Friendship….many people …Nothing Physical.
    Love…..Exclusive…..One on One………..Physical is only partially Moral.
    Marriage……………One on One……..Physical is Moral and almost Mandatory……….

    Are we Friends?

    Rastogi Reply:

    India does not have a uniform concept of ‘dating’ for several reasons. India picked up the concept from the west only very recently. And India is not even a homogenous society. Like all other western concepts, the meanings that Indians attach to ‘dating’ would vary across regions and socio-economic strata. In any case, a concept from one society will hardly get copied in another society without any modification.

    Naomi Reply:

    That’s all fine, but can you please define to me what dating means now in India (with all the modifications.)Thanks.

    Rastogi Reply:

    Each person defines it differently. I know my friends all have different concepts. And the problem is worse if you want to go out with girls! :-)

    Tushar Reply:

    Means you have all the fun but dont tell anyone. If you get married, you were serious, if you don’t get married, it was a phase!

    Rastogi Reply:

    That is yet another version, Tushar.

    Since the concept is so new to India society, it will be a while before it gets institutionalized and there is a commonly-understood social definition.

    Till then, to each his (or her) own.

    Naomi Reply:

    You are saying that outside marriage a physical relationship is immoral?

    Prabhakar Deshpande Reply:

    Let us first define what Morality is and What Law is

    Law prevents one from harming others – rape, paedophilia for incest.

    Morality prevents from harming oneself.

    Is Physical Relationship outside Marriage harming Oneself.

    Depends on What one Wants in Life?

    If one just wants to have fun, possibly not……………..
    io
    But if one wants to have a deep 50 year old relationship, having physical relations outside marriage may harm you.

    Very clearly extra marital relationships can destroy Marriage.

    And Pre Marital Relationships, might make marriage unnecessary.

    So possibly Physical Relationship outside Marriage may harm one.

    But Morality is not Social, Law is Social.

    Morality is Individual.

    So what I may consider Moral, Someone else may consider Immoral…………………..

    Now to your Question,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    My Answer is …………………Morality is Individual, Not Social…..So the answer necessarily has to be Subjective and there cannot be a Binary Universal Objective Answer to your Question……………

    Anusha Reply:

    Really Prabhakar? Is Morality preventing from harming oneself? I mean is Morality just preventing from harming oneself not others?

    And yes morality can be individual. ya it is.

    Lamb of God Reply:

    I really like this bit on one of your comments— >>>I do think that there are two sbjects we should be taught either in school or from our parents – dating/relationships and economics/finance…Both these are subjects I for one was never taught at school and I would now find both a lot more useful than… Latin…
    I’d like to add one more – creative writing. I think creative writing should be taught in schools in India too. It’s much better than say calculus or econometrics.

    Anusha Reply:

    i’ll keep it in mind, might put up a school one day ;-)

    Naomi Reply:

    I was taught creative writing at school. It was an important subject. Is it not taught here? I saw a book an MBA student was using to learn once and was shocked at how rigid and out-of-date it was – it was some kind of English verbal reasoning and he had to know the meanings of some very obscure English words noone uses and pick the correct one out of a list of five…seemed completely pointless. I do think education curriculums need to be updated to fit with the times. ‘Dealing with depression’ could be another subject. I studied geography and it was all about types or rocks – I honestly would have found the stock market more useful.

    Naomi Reply:

    That was an Indian preparing for MBA entrance exams by the way

    xyz Reply:

    Not is a rare case but if you happen to date/have physical relationships serially then I’d have a problem accepting you (like your Indian Aunty said) as that would mean that my future wife is willing to get intimate with anyone who can show her his romantic side, many a times a way to have sex with a foreigner for fun. (And no, before you label me somebody from the 60’s Britain, Im very much a forward thinking man (emphasis on thinking))

    Naomi Reply:

    You are saying that outside marriage a phyiscal relationship is immoral?

    Saarthak Reply:

    Thanks for this article Naomi, you brought out all the confusions of my own mind. I am 23, from Delhi…and my idea of dating is exactly as its yours. However, I used to find it incredibly difficult to find a date. Most girls just wanted to be friends…and those were were ready to date were just not ready for a physical relationship. Forget being physical, I was always confused whether I can ‘kiss’ my date on the first, second or even third meeting…would she be offended? I’ve had just one girlfriend till date – a relationship that lasted 6 months…

    Right now I’m in the opposite position of yours. I’m studying my masters in the UK…and although it seems I can date much easily here, I just haven’t got the time with my demanding journalism course!!

    Deb Reply:

    Absolutely not! It may not even be dishonest, unless done with knowledge of ‘other’ expectations existing in the partner’s mind. Morality is very individual – one sensible comment.

    Pearl Reply:

    Hey Naomi,
    It’s quite incredible you can’t seem to find a date in Mumbai. I know tonnes who are dating or are in serious relationships. Even I managed a few dates with different blokes (surprise… surprise). May be you are intimidating the poor Indian fellows you run into. Overall, yes Indians are slightly less inclined to dive into a physical relationships right away and may be less demonstrative than couples out in West End. But it’s just the cultural jigsaw we all struggle to solve when in a foreign land. In India, we just make it all a little more interesting. Have fun and stay safe.

    xyz Reply:

    A, this is hogwash. Don’t paint all Indian men with the same brush, just in case you don’t know, the modern Devdas is way different from his old brethren. Get real.

    [Reply]

    Arindam Reply:

    well I am not advocating sex on your first date…….
    Dating doesnt mean you gotaa have had sex…………
    And i’m not painting all men with the same brush as i said most men and its a reality.Go out of your city or even in your City if you keep your eyes open you can see numerous examples.
    And Mr K a sustainable relationship is always good….
    Dating for me atleast means your partner knows you have a romantic feeling for her and vice versa and just not having coffee.
    And tell me one thing….
    If a guy has got 2 girlfriends wats ur response?

    And if a girl has got 2 boyfriends wat will be your response?

    [Reply]

  • Prabhakar Deshpande

    If your western concept of dating was smart………why is it that you have to date so many before marriage………..
    Why are you not married at age of 35?
    ( I am not married because of my health problems which has improved only recently)
    Again if you have dated so many people before chosing someone right for you…why are there so many divorces……………………

    [Reply]

    Rastogi Reply:

    India does not have an established uniform concept of dating because of several reasons. It is something that India picked up from the west only very recently. And India is not a homogenous society. So, each person defines ‘dating’ differently. Definitions would also vary in different regions, cities and across socio-economic strata.

    [Reply]

  • Roy

    Looks like Deshpande is getting nuts here.
    Now i wonder why he is not married. ( must be confused onthe subject of Dating )

    Jesus Christ must be turning in his grave!!!!!
    Firstly Pandu dont mix Our lord Jesus with your stupid conversation. Because he is not in his grave but Risen from his grave.

    Secondly there is no difference in the dating system here and Abroad its just that every one has his/ her own version of dating. Every one wants to Lay or be laid now a days and that is the present fact of dating. No one wants to be out with a boy or girl and just look at each others faces. It was in the 80’s & above that you would find couples not indulging in such acts.

    [Reply]

    Shelly Reply:

    I agree, it is all so confusing and makes one’s head hurt! I think you’ll find, that the status of the “liaison” comes down to what ever is going on in the man’s mind about the purpose of spending time with the woman. Dating seems to be looking for a long term relationship (as opposed to a fling, or a thing). So yes, a guy can be “dating” (without being physical) if he has it in his mind that he’s looking for a lasting relationship, not just out for a friendly chat over dinner. And he won’t be “dating” if in his mind he’s just out for a bit of fun and fling so to speak. And of course a friend can be a friend, but also have something more physical in mind (like your old dinner companion, who subsequently considered himself out of the running when you started spending time with Prit!).

    The situation is only made more complicated when it involves a foreigner (I’m one myself). An Indian male is very unlikely to see any “liaison” with us as dating or a relationship (having long term potential) because the prospect of relationship longevity and them spending their future with us is limited. Therefore they won’t take the “liaison” seriously. The realty is that having a foreigner as a friend is often looked upon favorably, but to be seriously involved with one is a “no, no” as it’s way outside normal acceptable social boundaries. And then of course we foreigners are viewed as being here in India “for a good time, not a long time”.

    Needless to say I’ve somehow managed to find myself married to an Indian guy.,, that I met in India. lol. And he did admit to me that he found it hard to take our relationship seriously at the start, no matter how much he liked me, because of the above reasons.

    I’m pretty sure that the Indian girls won’t be “dating” your British ex-pat friend, for the same reasons. He won’t be looked upon as having long term relationship potential to them, and culturally it would look bad if they were to be seriously involved with a foreign man. It’s just not the done thing. And taking him home to meet the parents in such circumstances… no way!!

    [Reply]

    Naomi Reply:

    Shelly,
    Your response requires a whole new blog, I think as this is a whole new subject: how seriously the Indian male takes the western woman and vice versa….!!
    I shall get to work on that blog soon:)
    Actually my definitions are:
    casual relationship – just physical, no emotions, no future and no meaning
    seeing – emotional and physical, precursor to dating, checking other person out
    dating – emtional and physical, could be exclusive, romantic, time spent together, with meaning, but still checking person out, light and fun, precursor to relationship
    relationship – boyfriend and girlfriend – its serious….definitely emotional and physical, has meaning and is something you ‘work’ on , develop and build together, meet each other’s family, discuss the future to some extent
    Friends – non physical.

    [Reply]

    Sagar Reply:

    Nice blog Naomi…Very interesting definitions those…
    As far as commenting on what dating in mumbai is like……well, I cannot coz I dont think i have ever done it…or maybe i have and i didnt know……We all r so confused :(

    Ishan Reply:

    Naomi, thank for defining these words casual relation, seeing, dating and relation. And I agree with Arindam’s comment. People cannot really distinguish between the terms (casual relation, seeing, dating, etc…) And I would not say only India man’s psyche is backward but it implies to both man and woman. I have visited few dating sites and I rarely found woman/girl who knows the exact definition of dating. What they define “dating” is by what you have defined “Friends” or “Casual relation’. And if by any chance this friendship (dating in Indian terminology: p) reaches to a physical relation then either of the partners (or both) presumes it as a relationship.

    In my opinion, physical relation is not only to fulfill physical desire but it’s also a reason for emotional attachment. In Indian psyche physical relation means just a physical attachment or to be satisfied physically, and In most cases it hardly has any connection with emotions.

    Good day!

  • Tushar

    what about girls who insist on being friends but doesnt look like it. Like they ll talk about their deepest secrets only to you, keep tabs on where are you, make food for you, talk cuddly things at whatever times thay they choose to call, get nasty when a girl talks to you or messages you

    But when you respond, act surprised and say “I just wanted to be friends yaar”. I never knew you had all this in mind. WTH???!!

    – lonely soul

    [Reply]

    Alok Reply:

    Lol, it’s a situation of been there, done that for most of us, I bet. Agreeing with what has been said before about most girls being wary is true. Unfotunately, there is a large percentage of girls also, who don’t entertain the whole idea of ‘friendship with perks’. Which leaves a lot of people confused. So, one never knows who might like the idea of a purely physical relationship, and one who might balk at the mere thought of it. There is quite a difference in perception, depending who the person is, the upbringing they have had, etc.

    [Reply]

    Anusha Reply:

    just ask the gal what her perceptions are and believe her. usually boys ask that but don’t listen.

    [Reply]

    Anusha Reply:

    if the gal’s talking secrets with you, she surely considers you a friend but anything else. majority of girls don’t discuss real secrets with the one they interested in, atleast that’s how it is here. i know it’s strange.

    [Reply]

    Tushar Reply:

    what about the rest of the things. I personally feel that girls wanna have all the fun and not share any of the blame in case it doesn’t work out. ASk the girl what her perceptions are!! If girls are not gonna be honest in telling you their real secrets, whats the guarantee they are gonna tell you anything. Was Einstein single??? Maybe he could figure these complex equations that girls create

    [Reply]

    Alok Reply:

    Well, I’ll back that up and say all the “talking”, just refers to friendship. If a relationship was purely physical, only after a lot of fornication, would it head somewhere, otherwise people don;t bother investing time, money, emotions, etc.

    [Reply]

    Tushar Reply:

    This is turning out to be the agony aunt section of singles in the city.

    lovebird Reply:

    ya friend naomi lots of confusion and only confusion. matter of misconception, differance of cultural, religious values. dating with someone really a???????????????????????

    Mann Reply:

    It is really amazing to know that — “majority of girls don’t discuss real secrets with the one they interested in, at least that’s how it is here”— How can you not share your secrets with someone you may intend to spend your whole life — Don’t you think this way you will be starting your “your relationship on wrong footing?? You or many girls may be right in this regard but for me it is really unbelievable!!

    [Reply]

    Deb Reply:

    It is quite belieable, my friend. And why not? Each person should be able to decide what information to share with whom. And honesty may be a virtue, but are we really living in a virtuous world. IMHO it’s hypocritical to expect total honesty from ‘the other’ while not subscribing to that tenet for oneself half the time. The main thing is respect – respect for the other’s views and also respect for the other’s preference for privacy. Otherwise the relationship sometimes goes on an awkward road.

  • Tushar

    On a serious note, most of my rantings are from personal experiences. And feedback (from exes) suggests that I need to grow up. So until then….

    Lonely Soul

    [Reply]

  • jyotsna sharma

    you know Naomi its not difficult only for non Indian woman to date a Indian man, its equally painful to crack the dating code for a Indian woman dating or beginning to date a non Indian man.

    been almost 2 years now away from India and not a single date to my credit, i wont blame the guys here its our messed up ideology we grow up is to be blamed. all thanks to all kind of social stigmas attached to girl – boy relationships we end up blurting out the most horrible things we frigging dnt mean at the time it matters the most.

    i have mastered the art of frustrating the shitt outta guys here, though not much regret except for one guy i so wanted him to be with me. so hell yeah.. i ended up making so called FRIENDS and loads of them. :(

    [Reply]

    RICK Reply:

    this is india and not uk ok , where u know only to **** and money matters , eeven we do it but there is a limit so my advice to you madam stick to indian way not the english or british way.

    [Reply]

    tushar Reply:

    GAWD ppl…. naomi…quick come up with another singles topic to discuss man…. lets move on ppl

    [Reply]

    Swarup Reply:

    Messed up ideology… yes, that could be your problem

    [Reply]

    tushar Reply:

    GAWD ppl…. naomi…quick some up with another single topic to discuss man…. lets move on ppl

    [Reply]

    xyz Reply:

    I don’t think our ideology is messed up – its rather pretty simple – get serious (and by serious, I mean get physical and emotional) only with the guy you see yourself marrying and then, wel simply marry him. The problem starts when try and thing from the western notions which do not fit our way. Simply don’t follow them and its gonna be all ok.

    [Reply]

    Aghori Girl Reply:

    Naomi, have you come across the term “proposing” in India? As in, “I proposed a girl today”???

    At first I was like, “wow, these people are kind of young to be proposing marriage already”…

    Then I discovered that they “propose” FRIENDSHIP!!!!

    I’m kind of surprised to hear of a white woman finding it hard to meet guys to date in Mumbai.

    1. Indians claim that “dating culture” is deeply woven into Mumbai just as it is in the West.

    2. I thought Indian men generally tend to “exotify” white women, so I assumed you’d be considered a “catch”. If not for marriage than at least for “dating” or “proposed friendship”. (same thing)

    [Reply]

    Nilaav Reply:

    Ya .. AGhori Girl is kinda right .. You do have a system of proposing in India (that is if you are fifteen) … However its not friendship that you propose … Its more like a ‘I Like You’ (or in some cases ‘I Love You’ .. which I must add is normally premature) kinda statement. For a Fifteen year old this is the point where he/she has started dating (which would have solved your problem if you were fifteen .. which i presume you arent).

    The thing is that people in India come from so many different kind of social backgrounds that you just cannot set a single yardstick for all of them. I would have elaborated on all this .. but unfortunately my client will not pay for the time that I spend :P

    Nilaav Reply:

    AGhori Girl is kinda right .. You do have a system of proposing in India (that is if you are fifteen) … However its not friendship that you propose … Its more like a ‘I Like You’ (or in some cases ‘I Love You’ .. which I must add is normally unbelievably premature) kinda statement. For a Fifteen year old this is the point where he/she has started dating (which would have solved your problem if you were fifteen .. which i presume you arent).

    The thing is that people in India come from so many different kind of social backgrounds that you just cannot set a single yardstick for all of them. I would have elaborated on all this .. but unfortunately my client will not pay for the time that I spend :P

    As for the Indians who told you that we have a dating culture and that Indian men ‘exotify’ whit women .. they probably were just talking about their shallow selves … I suggest that you get new Indian friends.

  • NItasha

    hey!

    nice blog..cheers!

    [Reply]

  • Ankur

    You [whomsoever is author] are very much correct in bringing out actual ‘martial position’ of India.
    But one thing, there lies a problem in India, I can say that man if given a chance can easily evade away the barrier of ‘being friends’ it is just ‘women livelihood culture’ which has refrained men community.
    as an example, I just read that ‘ Shiv sena ‘, a well known ‘gunda’ community has declared that on V’day (14 Feb) , if any couple is seen in intimate position or even together will be marraiged than and there only.
    It’s ridiculous.

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  • Naomi

    It’s ok….another one will be coming soon…

    [Reply]

  • DJ

    Dear Noami,
    The other side of the story is equally interesting. The side being an Indian man’s encounters with a western woman. I must tell you that I am quite surprised that the men you have met in and around Mumbai have been so stuck up, or maybe you’ve keep meeting the wrong ones. When I was growing up in school and college, my hometown was a popular place for foreign tourists and the locals from that area have a good equation and understanding of men and women from Europe and America because of having spent time with them at an early age. The problem for an Indian man I guess arises in asking a western woman out — does she take it just as a few hours spent outside work or is she open to your making an advance? Is her agreeing to meet you in the evening enough of an indication that you can take her to bed or is that just her normal way of meeting someone she thinks of as just a friend? The rules of engagement are almost the same as in UK: a frienship rarely goes into a relationship even though it might have some latent attraction, and a physical relation usually starts without much of a thought…as far as the other question is concerned, No I don’t think that sex outside marriage is immoral, though I am sure it comes with a bit of guilt…Cheers

    [Reply]

  • http://ankurkakkar.blogspot.com/ ankur kakkar

    hi ,

    before i begin, i would like to point out that your writing style is more frank and honest than i have seen in most other journos…. the huge response to this blog is a testimony to this fact..
    maybe the other reason for the huge response is that people(especially men) get attracted with the idea of a young foreign woman writing for a national daily…

    anyway, coming to this post… i believe that different people/societies perceive dating , quite differently… we human beings are complicated people and we all have different desires and expectations from life… and yes, a lot of our lifestyles have to do with the way our culture has shaped our midsets… so, it is a combination of so many factors….

    [Reply]

  • Satyam

    Hi,

    I think, before I say anything on this, let me tell you that Indian society is quite conservative where men and especially women are expected to be chaste and virgin before marriage. However, things are changing for now as we are getting exposed to the global world. Newer concepts of individuality, fresh perspective on relationships are dawning upon the Indian youth. Youngsters of metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore etc are now defining their own ways to approach their lives and relationships and thus are open to western concepts like Dating.
    Though we have picked the term from the west, we have Indianised it in our own way. Indian men and women are now open to opposite sex in terms of relationships etc. However, the social baggage still exists in our sub-conscious mind and we are unable to take it to that level (physical intimacy) at the very first go. Sex is no doubt overrated in India and thus the confusion. We have yet to come with terms that physical intimacy between two adults has nothing to do with the society. Thus dating is often defined as friendship, acquaintance etc.

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  • Pankaj

    Hi Naomi,

    You have brought up an interesting n important issue. Let me tell you that you are not the only one so confused here. I’ve always had real tough time asking any gal out for a cup of coffee, fearing what the simple invitation to go out for coffee would be perceived as. Will she think m actually asking her out on a date? That has always been the biggest question (or rather perplexity) in my mind while I want ask any gal out for a cup of coffee or just to hang out and have a drink etc.
    I think the problem with most Indian people is that they assume too much and most people are not very comfortable discussing their physical partners.
    Guess it’ll take ages to change.

    Peace out:)

    [Reply]

  • Pankaj

    Well this is one hell of a post… lol
    i cudn’t laugh any louder…hahahhahahahahhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaa

    [Reply]

  • manan

    i think the main cause of this problem is that what many young educated indians think they are doing before commiting to some relationship, is dating ,which is not true.They have instilled some indian values in the western phenomenon called “dating”, which no longer is that.

    [Reply]

    Naomi Reply:

    Manan, What do you mean? What Indian values have they installed into dating and why is it no longer that?

    [Reply]

    Deb Reply:

    The “Indian values” could be two people engaged to be married (most probably through family contacts first – the typical ‘arranged marriage’) going around. Maybe somethings they may not have done before being engaged! The relationship may or (most probably) may not mature into physical intimacy (the ‘wedding night’ syndrome). And if it does, it would (again, most probably) come with its own set of guilty feelings. That’s Indian values for you (:-).

    [Reply]

  • yogesh

    dear naomi,
    in india the men dont make a physical move fearing rejection as many women feel a guy who makes a physical move is only interested in the physical aspect of the relationship. the concept that one can have a perfectly wonderful romantic time with a wonderful physical compatibility & relationship & yet not be committed to marry, be free to choose to end the relation IF it does not work is not yet clear to the indian male & woman.
    of course having said that i could be wrong & this is my assessment…cannot elaborate on a public forum…or maybe some day i will write about it… but thats as close i can explain in brief

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  • Vivek

    RANT……..

    With me it’s just the opposite…..

    Here I am, a perfect gentleman, intelligent, witty, sensitive, financially solid and someone who is great company and universally admired by all who know me. And not too shabby fitness wise either…

    Am I looking for a long term relationship – of course, but I’m not about to jump onto the altar or into bed with any girl on the first date, nor am I willing to believe that the first person I meet will be ideal in all ways.

    For all my efforts ( online ) to find a smart nice girl who will date me ( in Bangalore ) , I have recieved exactly 1 response from an Indian. I have perhaps messaged about 250 people ( and I wasn’t scraping the bottom of the barrel, all these people seemed really intelligent and real prospects for something serious ). My messages were always polite, asking for a date in a coffee place or movie, in order to get to know one another and see if it could lead to anything further. But all I got was to be ignored. Not even a “Bug off – loser!” message.
    Bah! Who are they waiting for? Brad Pitt or someone?

    On the other hand, a really lovely lady from the US got in touch with me, We really liked each other and had a mutual attraction.She trusted me enough to be her caretaker when she visited India, and we had the greatest fun as I showed her around the capital. I am still very much enamored of her, she really is so awesome, though she says she felt no spark, even though she thinks I’m an awesome person.
    I have now decided I will try my best to make her give me another chance to woo her.

    I dunno right now since Diana has stolen my heart, but before that, Had someone like Naomi asked me out, I would have been so flattered and accepted immediately. I just think women in general are so fun to be with, whether theres just friendship, romance or lust involved.

    I would never refuse anyone who asked me out…
    That would be an insult and the rudest thing to do…
    Whats the harm in going on a fun date or two even if the person doesnt seem ideal in all ways….

    So I think both the Indian men who wouldn’t date a pretty woman from another race or the Indian girls who wouldn’t date me ( or even reply ), are really quite annoying and stupid and make me lose faith in humanity ( or Indians? )

    END RANT…..

    [Reply]

  • Aghori Girl, Ghar Jamai

    Hey Naomi, regarding dating in a foreign culture, check this out

    http://www.miscellanynews.com/2.1577/mini-course-raises-issues-of-sexism-and-racism-1.1638558

    – the comments too.

    Good luck.

    You might find more luck within the anglo-indian community in Mumbai or with Sardars (punjabi sikhs, and they are hot by the way…. balle balle!)

    [Reply]

  • Aghori Girl, Ghar Jamai

    I just read Vivak’s rant. If things don’t work out with Diana, maybe you and Naomi can meet for coffee?

    Good luck in any case. The dating world can be hard. The arranged marriage system is beginning to look better and better with each passing day….

    [Reply]

  • Ramachandra

    Noami,

    Almost all Indian men are confused lot. That’s why we resort to the safety of arranged marriages. In good old days it was literally arranged in a feudal sort of way i.e the bride and groom didn’t have any sort of a say. But these days , thankfully, the final word rests with boy and girl. This is a kind of supervised love marriage ( We Indians won’t go all the way but trust us to meet somewhere in between).

    Arranged marriages are not that crude as often portrayed on the BBC. It involves subtle nuances and deft diplomacy. Convoluted and confusing messages are sent and received, often deliberately , to asses the commitment of the other party. There are always sidekicks who nitpick on minor things; Once it is known that the boy and the girl like each other, good old ambassadors swing into action to ‘iron’ out any differences, I myself had the privelege of this ambassdorship a couple of times. In India marriage is not between two individuals but between two families.

    So I think the sequence here is to see, marry and date the one you married.

    Mine was a proper South Indian arranged one. The whole process was fun – horoscope matching, seeing the bride formally and the wedding.

    However things are changing very fast in India. Am surprised that you couldn’t find a proper date. I’d sugest that you take your mom along with you next time to give it sort of legal’ stamp…..It might help.

    [Reply]

  • Aghori Girl, Ghar Jamai

    “However things are changing very fast in India. Am surprised that you couldn’t find a proper date. I’d sugest that you take your mom along with you next time to give it sort of legal’ stamp…..It might help.”………………….

    Taking ones mom on a date will help? Are you serious?

    Somebody explain that to me please!

    [Reply]

    Ishmart Alec Reply:

    no amount of exlplanation ever makes sense to you. not worth the effort

    http://mywriterkeeda.wordpress.com

    [Reply]

  • http://www.agneepankh.blogspot.com Mohit Kaul

    Dating in ‘Indian Sense’ is a recent phenomenon leave aside the kind of Dating the author mentions. By saying this I don’t mean that it did not exist but then it was looked down upon by the society at large. The dating that the author mentions out here amounts to Pre-Marital Sex which still happens to be a controversial topic in most parts of our country. The things are changing now with more liberalization and the increased influence of the western culture. Lets face it that ours is not an open society in comparison to many western countries and we never can’t be, and that’s precisely why I say that the rules of the game may not be universally applicable.

    [Reply]

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  • Tarquin

    reminds me of… ‘guys and girls can never be friends’….. i think it’s true

    [Reply]

  • Rajan

    Modi do not want to be called PM in waiting.

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  • Chirag

    Modi is champion

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  • Anonymous

    All said and done, despite the power struggle looming large in BJP circles where highly ambitious Narendra Modi who is still keeping his cards close to his chest is itching to be the next PM of the country, to the dismay of Lk Advani who is following the policy of ‘try, try again.’! Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Ananth Kumar are insgnificant at the moment.

    [Reply]

  • anand mohan das

    Minority would not have voted for BJP anyway, with or without so-called “misdemeanor” of Varun. To this point, your otherwise fine essay sound like biased indian media.

    Election reform, that would include mandatory voting would go a long way in breaking this “en-block minority voting”. Untill then, BJP should stick to what it is doing at present. An all out assault on congress, and may be a more balanced media would change some hearts in India as well.

    Bottom line is – Like it or not, Modi is going to be defecto charismatic leader that India will eventually have as its PM. Against all odds, he has enough personality and glamour to seriously challange italian-gandhi family pop-image.

    Jaitely is very good, but he does not match this “X” factor that Modi has. A certain section of media, and mostly muslims are always going to whine and cry, no matter what. But then, experiments of Gujarat will be played out on national level, as we inch closer into the future.

    It is good thing for India, certainly a good thing for nationalism in this country !

    Twitter @amdas108

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    As you have correctly said, Modi has, if not brought the minorities rushing into the BJP camp, at least sown the seeds of doubt in their collective mind and soul. In the coming years, it would be logical to assume that he would do a lot to rid the minority psyche of the Hindu fear and abhorrence. And then his march to Delhi would be free of pot holes.

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  • mohnish Patel

    I totally agree wth ur views, allies can be a prblm..Shiv sena,,wl go BJP’s way…yes JD(U)..wl mke sme ruckus..bt..no one wnts to leave th side of a wnning team..its jst tht Nitish kumar, dosnt wnt to gve Lalu any chance fr whch he is waiting to grab..An inside pact mst hve been made..tht thy wl criticize Modi..jst to appeal minorities..bt by th end of day, whn required ground is coverd thy wl go fr a kill..

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mohd-Anas-Khan/100002797725356 Mohd Anas Khan

    Now Modi’s future is same as Advani. waiting for PM seat whole life

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  • Abu Ahmed

    FDI in retail is great for the country. Farmers would get a better price for their produce; there will be more investment in the cold store chain – this means that would bring in a logistics revolution in the country. More freezer trucks, cold trucks and thereby fresh agro and agro-industrial produce would be available as those freezer / cold trucks would be able to travel long distance while keeping their load farm-fresh. Agro industries would receive a boost when cold stores are made available in their vicinity. That would mean more jobs in villages as well as in cities. Despite the presence of big stores all over the big cities, no neighbourhood Kirana shop has downed shutter. The population is so huge, there will always be room for the humblest and the most glittering store to operate successfully.
    As a huge country, we must rescue the EU businessmen and provide them an opportunity to invest in our country.
    And lastly, if we do not allow FDI, the CIA/FBI would allow another 26/11 to happen somewhere else in the country – they have several Headleys up their sleeve, you see, and they need employment too.

    [Reply]

  • Bharatgopal Rajagopalan

    “India is now the second-fastest growing big economy”

    wrong fact. India is the fastest growing economy in 2010 with a growth rate of 10.4% and China 10.1%. source: CIA WORLD FACT BOOK, WORLD BANK AND INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND.

    [Reply]

  • Bharatgopal Rajagopalan

    Advantages of FDI in Retail

    1. Definitely lowers prices due to high competition and other reasons like stock for high price and sell for low prices. Walmart style.
    2. Cuts down greedy and corrupt middle men. Supply chain would get regulated and farmers will definitely benefit by selling their stuff for correct prices
    3. High quality products, especially Fruits and vegetables, Walmart would have its own transportation system, cold storage facilities
    4. Variety of products go up. Indian manufactured goods will definitely dominate unlike claims saying that Walmart would import everything from China. There are restrictions.
    5. Employment. 10 (initially) to 50 million jobs (eventually) get created. More pay, more hours, safe work environment, secure job.
    6. Puts food on plate for lower middle class people (300 million)
    7. Millions of people can save money on food and invest somewhere else, since Indians spend most of their salary on food and rent
    8. GDP goes up and more foreign investment with better deals can start to come in after seeing the success of Walmart and stores like that.

    Even though there are some risks initially like small businesses losing business and even Walmart might find it difficult initially, during initial transition phase but we have to go by the saying “If Benefits outweigh risks” then go for it. It is the case with Pregnancy categories, when it comes to harmful drugs.

    Walmart have lot of money and they could invest 100 million dollars in each city with a population around 2 million. Eventually Walmart would dominate and reap in the benefits. Nobody can deny that.

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    This opinion piece is written with a flawed logic comparing it with computers and IT industry. The FDI in retail will definitely kill the mom & pop stores which actually sell merchandise slightly lower than the MSRP, thereby benefiting the most common middle class people. Perhaps they may not have noticed it in the flashy cities or the suburbs.

    And then on the pretext of providing better deal to the consumer, these bi name stores will bring cheap goods from China, in essence, killing the local industry and sending the local money overseas to procure these goods. We have seen this happening in the developed world, and now India is being targeted.

    And why the author of this article blaming just the BJP. The Congress Allies and many in CONgress itself are opposed to the FDI in retail. Looks like beating on BJP and RSS was a fashion and now it has become necessity to drive the point home.

    In my opinion, only the Patriotic will oppose this move.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7AX2IIBHAUN5EVTGWDW7KNYNGI Manoj

    I cannot understand the hue and cry over FDI in retail or any sector. Indians have to learn to be pragmatic and go by economic sense rather then emotions. The fact of the matter is that we are not a export oriented economy now as compared to China which was quick to adopt and assimilate foreign technology and capital. Just compare India (1.75 trillion $ GDP, 1.2 billion population) and South Korea (1.4 trillion GDP, 50 million population). The best way forward for India is to garner as much foreign capital and continue to boost its economy till we attain a reasonable developed country status.

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  • Anonymous

    Let the customer decide what they want and let india have investment in logistics and supply chain and customer front infrastructure…it will be best boon india could have when we look back 10 years from now in both manpower work force it will create and also the modern techology it will bring from Farm to the customer !!! The naysayers will always be naysayers….who have their own vested interests to keep the same old hoaders and middle man traders who are pinching money from farmers and the Consumers and at the same time causing 40 to 50 % of wastage in perishable agri products !! All upcoming countries – China, S africa, Mexico, Brazil etc.. have 100% FDI investment opening in their countries..

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  • Impi

    lol! Sorry. Do not mean to make light of your situation but this just rings true on so many levels for me.

    Now as to your particular problem, perhaps it is better to set expectations from early on. In Indian culture, It is quite alright to get to know each other for a few months before becoming physical. That, to us, is a quite a big deal. I would have thought Indian men are notorious for not being able to stay friends but you suggest that they are actually being honest and behaving like Gentlemen..Hmmm.

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  • tips on datings

    Great information. Thanks for providing us such a useful information. Keep up the good work and continue providing us more quality information from time to time. If possible, as you obtain skills, would you thoughts upgrading your website with additional information about dating.

    [Reply]