Q I’ve been dating a guy (Indian American like me) for a couple of months. I wonder if learning about his dating past is the best way to get a sense of his mindset at this early stage in our relationship. Should we discuss it?
A Between the “Don’t date, don’t date, don’t date … ok, get married” and “Don’t ask, don’t tell” phenomena common among second-generation Indian Americans, there does appear to be quite a continuum of dating experience. When it comes to relationships, what is more relevant than the dating past of your partner is whether he is meeting your expectations for the stage of relationship you are currently in. Are you happy with (a) the way you feel when the two of you are together; (b) the level of exclusivity of the relationship; (c) the level of interest he shows in you? Also consider whether there are any deal-breakers in the relationship.
If you are comfortable with your answers to the above questions, and content with the pace at which the relationship is moving forward, focus on the present, and continue to let the relationship unfold. The more the guy feels that his life is better with you than without you, the more invested he will become in moving the relationship forward.
On the other hand, if you (not friends or family i.e. not the expectations of others) are feeling anxious about the pace at which the relationship is proceeding, consider being honest and upfront with him about your feelings. Express yourself using a confident and positive emotional tone. Do not expect him to read your mind, and do not attempt to read his.
Unfortunately, women sometimes attempt to repress and hide their dissatisfaction for fear of “rocking the boat,” thereby allowing anxiety and frustration to build up until they just can’t stand it anymore, and then proceed to unleash their pent-up frustration in such an intense way that the guy feels he’s being attacked, and begins to question the relationship.
Importantly, when a woman expresses her feelings, she must be fully open to the possibility that her guy may not share her expectations. This is not about one person attempting to convince the other of the superiority of his/her views. Instead, it is about respecting oneself as well as the other person enough to truly listen to each other’s feelings and expectations, and thereby determining whether expectations are sufficiently aligned to continue investing in the relationship.
Jasbina Ahluwalia is the founder of Intersections Matchmaking, the first national, personalized, matchmaking firm for singles of South Asian descent. For more information, visit www.IntersectionsMatch.com. Jasbina may be contacted directly at Jasbina@IntersectionsMatch.com.