My husband and I had known each other virtually for almost two years before we finally decided to meet. There were a lot of pressure in terms of if we’d live up to our perceptions of the virtual personas we were acquainted with. Hence, I was fairly skeptical to even meet the husband and watch my perception crumble like an Oreo cookie. But after a lot of coaxing from his end, we finally decided to put a beat all around South Bangalore so any awkwardness can be drowned down by the people, traffic and noises around. In fact, this also meant, we would also escape eye contact or the lack of it with relative ease, leaving very little scope for judging. At the end of it, our conversation was as distracted and beautiful as our gtalk conversations online keeping all expectations intact. It is very rare that expectations get managed so magically.

A lot of people tell me they want a partner they can have a great conversation with but during an arrange marriage date, all they end up talking about are things like traffic woes (which is why one of them got terribly late for the date!) and quality of service at the coffee shop.They fall into the trap of getting into an interview mode with a long checklist that we want to tick off because meeting someone in person seems like a cue to make the final decision and unfortunately, unable to manage expectations, we let go off something that has a second date potential if not a lifelong commitment. This is because their matrimonial profiles already explicitly states all “logistical details” such as how the guy wants the girl to stay with his parents and the likes. Yeah, that’s never up for discussion, just like the authenticity of his six figure salary or her frauded non-manglik horoscope. Now, unless you discovered that both of spend hours at the Silk Board junction on your commute to work everyday and are great fans of that twitter handle, I doubt you’ll feel a “connection”, let alone jumping with joy to get married to each other.

Jordi, one of my friends from school, has once told me that a great way to start any relationship is a one night stand since you’ve the most carnal need thoroughly tested and the rest is just a bonus if the person turns out to be nice. However odd that may sound to a conservative person, the essence of his theory is that its always good to start with very low expectations and watch yourself be pleasantly surprised along the way. The best way to replicate such an experience in the arranged marriage market is by getting set up on blind dates where you know very little about the other person and you meet them under extraordinary circumstances i.e. other than a coffee day just so you can get yourself out of the typical interview frame and allow yourself to be surprised. The best part of this deal is that you haven’t spent several weeks or months texting each other only to break up awkwardly at the end of it (high transaction cost this is!).

When you’ve no expectations, you’ve nothing to only have everything to gain!