First Date Conversation
This post was originally published on Quora when someone asked me what a girl and boy talk about on their first arranged marriage date.
An arranged marriage meeting is quite similar to meeting someone new at a party. You would casually chat them up to learn more about them and allow them to get to know you as well, right? I would take the same approach initially.
Arranged marriage meetings are awkward by design. So, it takes a while for people to really get comfortable talking to a stranger about things that are quite personal. This includes even political or idealogical beliefs. Not everybody wears their beliefs on their sleeves, and it’s important to appreciate these differences.
A lot of people have very strong political or idealogical beliefs and prefer that their partners align with that, and hence, they feel it is important to get these out of the way right in the beginning to avoid wasting time. I respect that. However, if you asked me, I believe it’s best to keep the conversation open and cordial to begin with, and avoid broaching controversial topics. This way, you allow each other a chance to get comfortable enough with each other to be yourselves.
It is important to get to know someone in their natural setting when they can be themselves, and it takes a bit of time and work to get there, and one must be patient till this happens. When you go with the mindset of wanting to build a relationship as opposed to eliminating yet another person to get to the “right one”, you will enjoy the process as opposed to feeling very frustrated.
I believe in order to build a relationship, it’s very important to:
- Be open and curious
- Have the ability to deal with ambiguity/ changes
- Have a growth mindset
Once you both have warmed up to each other and feel comfortable to approach more serious questions pertaining to building a relationship together, it’s okay to discuss things that are important for you. Usually people take 2–3 conversations before they approach more serious questions like relationship values or what they want from a partner, couple goals and general logistics (where they’ll live, what their life plans are and so on). These questions are really a function of who you are and what’s important to you.
While it’s okay to have casual conversations the first couple of times, the casual vibe may not sustain the relationship. You will need to get into the more important stuff after the first couple of meetings, else the conversation may not go anywhere and it’s likely to fizzle out.