Indian Dating: Tradition and Family
Indian culture is rich in tradition, with family life highly valued. If you’re not Indian and your date is, celebratory social occasions and family events will likely become part of your life. Ask questions and show both enthusiasm and respect for these new experiences, understanding that some family members may be cautious about immediately embracing an “outsider,” especially if the expectation is that your significant other will marry an Indian.
Share your heritage and family traditions with your date, too. Determine if your lifestyles and values are compatible. Are you spiritually on the same page?
If you’re both Indian, don’t take tradition for granted. One of you might be more invested in culture and history than the other. (Are you both vegetarians, for example? Is spirituality an active part of your life?) Be sure to talk about what being Indian means to you in practical, everyday terms.
Indian Dating: Roles and Expectations
Everyone has expectations and assumptions about what a relationship should look like, regardless of culture or heritage. Traditionally, Indian dating wasn’t even an option, with arranged marriages being the norm. Just because your Indian dating experience is far from that, there are likely some expectations about gender roles and the progression of a dating relationship.
What does romance look like? Should the man be asking the woman’s father for permission to date her? In a marriage, how are household chores divided or designated?
While some Indian men will be quite progressive in their view of women’s roles in relationships, some are still quite traditional. Clearly communicate what you need and expect from a relationship early on. While opposites might attract in many ways, relationships still need to be built on mutual respect and understanding.
Indian Dating: Wait
A woman’s virginity is highly valued — and often expected — in many Indian households. Unfortunately, many Indian men who sleep with their girlfriends still hope to marry a virgin. Talk about sexual boundaries and expectations early on, and be cautious about moving forward physically if your relationship has elements of the traditional in it. You won’t regret waiting.
Conversely, if sex is important to you in a dating relationship, your date needs to know that. It’s important that you respect each other’s values and boundaries. If you’re not compatible in this area, the relationship will only hit roadblock after roadblock.
Indian Dating: Clarity of Intent
One advantage to dating an Indian — whether you are or not — is that dating intentions are rarely vague. If marriage is something your date values, it will be discussed from the get-go. This should give you the freedom to communicate just as clearly about where you hope and/or expect the relationship to lead.
While everyone has the potential to play games, Indian culture traditionally takes the quest for a mate quite seriously and doesn’t look fondly on casual dating.
Indian Dating: Communicate
Communicate, communicate, communicate. Assume nothing, share everything. A danger in dating someone from the same culture as you is the assumption that you value the same things. This is rarely the case. Talk about your cultures, your friends, your families, and your histories. What do you want the future to look like? How do you see each other fitting into each other’s worlds?
Look beyond the label of “Indian” and get to know your date from scratch, ignoring all preconceived ideas about what an Indian date will be like.