I’ve come to conclude that it’s actually damn near impossible for an expat or an NRI to ‘date’ in Bombay ! (in my personal opinion)
It just doesn’t happen. It’s as if the concept of dating does not exist or has not existed in this city. I look around me and see couples and I wonder – how did they start dating ? I’ve even asked a few of them and the response tends to be pretty generic ..
‘we went to school / college together and had the same friends and one day we were a couple’
‘we met in college, became friends and now we’re a couple’
‘we lived in the same building / neighbourhood – saw each other a lot – and we’re now together’
Give me a break here – that’s not dating – that’s just settling with someone you are comfortable with i.e. your friend ! (and I say that without any disrespect). Maybe these people felt shy to tell me about the actual dating process – but the more I hear stories like this – the more I come to believe that dating does not exist at all in this city. It may sound cliché – but it’s true. All the ‘married couples’ I know have ‘dated this way’.
At the end of the day – it comes down to peoples’ perception of dating. In my last post ‘Dating ? What’s That ? – I tried to look at various view points of dating – and the comments that the post received were honestly – just phenomenal !
Dating can be quite a simple thing – but after living here for 3 years – it seems to be the most complicated concept that anyone has come across ! It’s not like I don’t meet men – in fact I know way too many people – and despite that I’ve not met anyone I really want to ‘date’ nor have I been too impressed by the ‘supposed dates’ I have been on.
When I do meet guys with dating potential – it’s as if I’ve been thrown into the twilight zone and somehow have to decipher hidden messages and just ‘know’ what my next move ought to be. Seriously – you can’t get to know a person over ‘text messages’ or ‘BBM’ .. you have to meet someone and take the time to get to know them … but in Bombay even that concept is a myth ! (ironic considering majority of the locals are all in relationships with their friends)
Fair enough – we all have a busy life and schedule to follow – but would it kill a guy / girl to take a few minutes out of their day to pick up the phone and have a chat with someone they are interested in ?? Technology doesn’t make dating easier – it makes it harder (but that’s another post altogether)
I’m not a 5 year old – I don’t play mind games – it’s as simple as ‘hey I like you and want to get to know you’ … but alas this city doesn’t make it easy for me .. Every time I have expressed interest in a man who has clearly shown the initial interest in me – it’s like ‘poof’ – he suddenly becomes a chameleon and it’s as if we don’t know each other. I thought it was just me – but no – conversations with other friends (men and women) have proven that this ‘poof act’ is not restricted to any gender and applies across the board.
I’m confident enough in myself not to ‘need’ the label of ‘boyfriend / girlfriend’ – it would be nice to know though if one is ‘dating’ someone … Cos sure enough – I know people who think they are dating someone only to find that its been a ‘friend thing’ … Come on ! At least clarify whether or not one is in the friend zone or not ! My blogger buddy SingleCityGuy got it spot on when he said ‘be clear about what you are seeking’
Just when I begin to get the faith back in men who might know what dating is – I end up thinking ‘WTF just happened’ !! From a female perspective – I’ve noticed that every time I have taken an initiative with a man (after his initial expression of interest) – it’s as if they become ‘weary’ and ‘unsure’ of what they want.
I get that we all enjoy the chase – men and women both – but seriously shouldn’t one gender stop to get caught ? At least it will help determine if the chase was worth it !!! (and save both parties time and energy)
What are your thoughts ? If you live in Bombay or surrounding areas – what do you think ? Are you an expat in Bombay and having trouble dating ? Or have you found yourself thinking you’re on a date but it’s really not a date ? Don’t worry – it’s called the ‘Non-Date Date’ … Nando has dissected this theory with his post The Non-Date Date Illusion and I’ve come to realize that’s what tends to happen when a girl and a guy get to together (at least here) – it’s a non-date date with the precautionary safety net of the friend-zone !
Side Note : I haven’t gone into the various areas of dating here – but from the looks of it – I will have to do that. Just read a fabulous article and it’s perfect for what I have in mind !
Oh and if you aren’t from Bombay or even from India – please don’t let that stop you from leaving a comment. Dating is NOT easy anywhere in the world – I’m smart enough to realize that. Times have changed. People have changed. Perceptions have changed. I just believe it’s perhaps 10 times harder to date in Bombay or in India - especially for an expat or NRI.
Do make sure you mention where you are from (city/country) and what you feel about the dating culture over there. Is it easy ? Is it difficult ? How many dates before you meet Mr or Ms Right ? Or is dating just over-rated ?