I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination of different cultures and ways of life for a British Asian, Pakistani, European or White British person; or come to think of it the difference between men and women on a psychological level, but having spoken to my friends and colleagues I’ve noticed a few differences that amused me and felt I should write about (apologies for any stereotyping, most of what I’ll know of ‘White Dating’ will be from TV/Movies, but hey they’re called stereotypes for a reason right!?).
Bit of history to set the tone. I have been married before, in a stereotypical and not very original fashion for a Punjabi girl living in a Western World, it was arranged and I was 23. I was also divorced at 23, thus proving I have commitment issues as I haven’t stuck at anything much since (still to finish Prison Break, Breaking Bad, and Gossip Girl to name a few series I’ve started over the years on Netflix, clearly in the same league as being married!). So it’s safe to say I am not one of those statistics you hear about, where 99.99% of arranged marriages work. I do not disagree with this type of set up, it worked for my parents who worked hard at it and raised their family, they’ll be married 35 years this October, so they’re living proof it CAN work.
So, moving on, I enjoyed the rest of my 20’s, however, looming ahead of me were my 30’s, this was a different matter with regards to singledom. Where do I turn when less and less people are doing ‘introductions’ and even more so for a divorcee? Online dating obviously! Argh! What a minefield that can be, again it does work, my sister and now husband met online and have been happily married 3 years. Back to me, I’ve had 3 dates from online dating, spoken to a lot more guys, that somehow fizzled out and didn’t accumulate into dates, so that figure of 3 guys doesn’t sound too bad right?! As I said I’m no expert when it comes to dating I have, however, noticed that ‘dating’ for me is very different to my non-Asian friends, i.e. ‘White Daters’.
Scenario; Brown First Date
You meet, give an awkward one armed hug/handshake. Get seat at the restaurant, pub you’re meeting at and order food and drinks. Conversation flows, essential things are discussed;
- So, do you want to get married again? (As a divorcee, I attract other divorcees, for singles who have never been married I’m somehow contagious)
- Would you like to have children? How many?
- How many dates before we meet parents?
- When would you like to get married?
Girls are probably thinking about whether a kiss will make her look more like a floozy and less ‘wifey’ material. Other topics of conversation do include family background, siblings, jobs, earnings etc etc.
Scenario; White First Date
From what I gather from my girlfriends not all women like to eat on a first date, second or third for that matter, they find it odd, so preferably they’ll be meeting for drinks rather than food so can make a quick getaway if it doesn’t seem to be going well.
- Talk about jobs
- Talk about hobbies
- Talk about sports
- Talk about holidays
I’m guessing girls are thinking the same as a brown girl but will never say it out loud as they’ve been programmed not to discuss marriage, kids, weddings on the first, second, third etc. dates. It takes a year of getting to know someone, move in and THEN possibly, talk about marriage.
Girls are probably thinking;
- I wonder if I should offer to pay, I will just to be polite? Even though I’m a feminist HE must insist he pays (brown girls also think this).
- Do not mention the ‘M’ word or that your uterus is screaming ‘we’ll make such beautiful sproglets’
- Do we kiss? Do we not kiss? Where do we stand on the kissing?
- OMG! Is there going to be a second date, I want one, I don’t want to ask, I’ll wait for him to make him to mention it.
Okay okay, like I said I may be stereotyping but the scenarios are based on reality. Culturally us brown folk we know that when we ‘date’ we’re prospecting the person we meet to see if they are suitable to be a life partner, not just a boyfriend/girlfriend and see how it goes. Even if I class myself as British, culturally I have a different mindset, where I know why I’m going into a relationship, or should I say more vocal and open about the end goal. As friends of mine have pointed out it’s not that white British females don’t have the exact same thoughts they’ve just been trained not to voice them for fear of scaring men away. Me, I say, scare the shit out of ‘em and get everyone talking.
NB…long post, but wanted to add, once a proposal has been made, brown girls don’t always get the romantic one knee proposal, they’ll be 50 relatives that come round for the ‘official’ engagement and make it very awkward for the couple. This I think we need to adapt to a more Western style proposal, just the guy and the gal going out and being popped the question without a few nosy relatives asking loads of questions and advising how its best done.
Have a good day! xo