An article published previously entitled ‘Single and Searching,’ focused on why so many of today’s youth are still single even with the advances in communication and travel. It stressed the low level of tolerance and high expectations individuals have in today’s drive through culture while emphasising the need to compromise and realise what is in front of us in order to prevent from losing out and regretting later. After reading the article, a reader responded and wrote;
‘Nicely written but made me feel as the ‘older’ woman, that you were really promoting going for the younger girls in turn alienating us even more. It’s really difficult being here at 30 and single and these words really don’t help. Take what a man feels like day by day and take those emotions and multiply it by 10, and then you will understand how a woman feels.
Maybe your next article can be about us thirty-somethings who really are great, no actually, we are FABULOUS people and are still worth taking off the shelf and taking a chance on. After all, I may be older, but I am just as willing to compromise as the 24 year old. I’m just more mature, and wiser, and know a little bit more about life. Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be willing to bend to make a relationship work. I have had to wait so long for one, that if it does come along, I’m not going to shoot the gift horse in the mouth. I think some of the younger 24 year olds don’t always realise what they have’
– Anon 30 yrs Female UK
As requested dear reader, I have taken up the gauntlet and will delve into the subject of how FABULOUS we thirty-some things are and are worth more than simply taking a chance on. However, before I begin I stress that this is a generalized view and not a personal attack. Every rule has exceptions so before the hate mail pours in remember, this isn’t necessarily about you!
There is a common notion amongst the Sindhi community that a younger male/female can be moulded. One could argue that since they don’t know exactly what they want, they can be shaped and also more able to compromise. However, is it really compromise if you aren’t really aware of what one is giving up or sacrificing?
Another reader writes;
‘Yes we may get more set in our ways, but it may also mean we just have a better idea of what we want from life, we are more the person we are meant to be. And if a man or women looks at the opposite sex in their 30s they may actually see the true person that they are’
– Anon 29 yrs Female UK
During several discussions with a group of men as to what age range of women they prefer, the consensus was usually split. Some prefer younger women for numerous reasons while the group that preferred older women sited the following reasons;
- They know what they want
- They don’t play games
- More experienced
Women on the other hand feel it’s hard to find a quality man regardless of age. A number of women residing in the US state that a majority of local Indian men including those above thirty still have a college mentality and behave like boys. As a result, these women have decided to seek for a potential partner overseas in hopes that he will be more mature than the local stock. Meanwhile men argue that women are confused and aren’t really sure of what they want. In this case men should perhaps consider looking at women in their 30s who ‘have a better idea of what they want from life’.
Today, infidelity after marriage is a concern for both sexes. Even though women are no strangers to the world of adultery, a majority of them struggle to find that ‘quality needle’ in the constantly surmounting haystack. The arguable difference is that the older woman realizes the size of the stack and in turn appreciates the value of the needle while a younger woman may not.
Now if we flip the coin once again, older men who have left college days back in college are generally more mature and settled. Perhaps because they are older they are more ‘seasoned’ and have got whatever they needed out of their system. The wisdom that comes with age and experience would in turn allow them to take care of their wives better.
‘I feel, one should put in sufficient effort to search for a partner, but once you have chosen one, you should try to mould yourself according to your partner and not just expect him/her to change as per your desires. Acceptance is the key to success here. We may never find perfect partners but we can always make a perfect marriage by the bonds of love, understanding and acceptance’
– Anon 28 yrs Male UK
In ‘Single and Searching’ I focused on two main points. The first is to REALISE what you have in a world that continues to diminish in value, and make a conscious effort to appreciate in a society where it’s only natural to take for granted. The second is COMPROMISE. Most married couples will argue that the first six months to two years are the hardest of a marriage. This is not to say that a marriage cannot be beautiful and romantic but like any relationship, it requires work, support, and nurturance. Another reader responded by writing;
‘It’s not just about realization or about compromising. It’s about finding someone decent. Perfection, name, money doesn’t matter. What matters is finding someone decent. Decent enough to stand by you through thick and thin, through good and bad. And if it means I stay single for a while, I’d rather do that than get married to someone who is an a**hole. Someone I would hate my children looking up to as a father, someone who would set a wrong example of fatherhood. I am not saying I’m perfect– definitely not. But deep down I’d like to think that I’m a decent human being.
People compromise in their lives, in their jobs, in their marriages, in their dreams, in their families. But like everything in life, it’s about coming half way, about doing the right thing, and about standing next to each other as a ‘team’ when everything around you breaks apart. Sure team members would crib, and have arguments, but in the end, they would work together towards achieving something good, something meaningful. Because deep down, they are thinking about the other person, about their families, and not about themselves. But if they are missing the basic value of decency, then the line between right and wrong is blurred, and the world only revolves around what you want, need and desire.
These very fights lead to resentment, and resentment to anger, and anger to indifference. A child will know when unhappy parents are having problems, and if we cant give them a childhood with good funny happy memories, then we are really messing up the world’
– Anon 30 yrs Female UAE
There are numerous factors that are required to make any relationship work in addition to compromise and realization. As the reader mentions, decency is core value that’s lacking in this day and age. In addition to that every relationship requires honesty, devotion, communication and patience to be successful. Perhaps realizing the importance of these requirements only comes with time and maturity?
‘Marriage is a compromise, but more than that, it is a journey that brings two souls to the same goal, however the couple defines that goal. Who you are when you meet is not who you will be throughout time in your relationship. Every conversation, every experience, every emotion that takes place within that relationship changes you, and as individuals, we are constantly changing. While core values and beliefs remain the same, the way we think versus the way we thought reflect our level of maturity.’
– Anon 29 yrs Female US
The strength, devotion and love in a relationship are not only measured by the good, but also how much of the negative is accepted and endured. Harold Kushner, author of ‘When bad things happen to good people’ writes, ‘Love is not the admiration of perfection, but the acceptance of an imperfect person with all his imperfections’. Older men and women are likely to have experienced how difficult it is to find a decent match. As a result they are more tolerant of their partners and willing to work things out, in turn building a solid foundation rather than discarding the person because they don’t fit perfectly.
At the end of the day in any relationship, young or older, we want to be loved and appreciated while being accepted for our flaws. Sure it’s a generalization but what sets the ‘30+’ crowd apart is the 30 plus years! There is no substitute for experience and that’s what makes us thirty-somethings so ‘FABULOUS!’
After all, life begins at 30
Born in Africa, Chandru grew up between Nigeria, India and the UK. With a Masters in International Business from the University of Westminster, he moved to New York where he worked as a Business Development Manager for three years. In 2002, he returned to Nigeria where he currently resides and runs a trading company. Chandru has been writing for Beyond Sindh (www.beyondsindh.com) since 2004 and has published numerous articles in the quarterly publication. His story entitled ‘The Love Letter’ won the Mirage Book short story contest and was published in an anthology titled Inner Voices in January 2009. His short story ‘Zero’ is scheduled to be published in the anthology Indian Voices towards the end of 2010.
In December 2009, Chandru’s first novel, ‘The Journey of Om’ was published in India by Cedar Books.