End of first date
In arranged marriages, most of the time, the first meeting happens after several rounds of scrutiny:
- Good profile on paper – check
- First few text exchanges aren’t too boring – check
- First phone conversation was pleasant – check
- If parents are involved, their approval + horoscope – check
From here on, the process as I’ve seen diverges for men and women. Of course, this is very generally speaking as this can vary on a case by case basis.
For men, in quite a few cases, by the end of the first meeting, they already know if it’s a “Yes” or a “No” or which way the decision is tending towards. They may choose to express their thoughts or not depending on how responsive the woman is. If the woman needs more time or isn’t able to commit just yet, you just meet again, and again. Now, this is only the case if the guy is already convinced about being married in general. But this isn’t the case for men who haven’t made up their mind about being in a committed long term relationship.
These meetings are really important in learning about each other, and understanding each others’ temperaments, values and aspirations in order to envision being a couple for a long time to come. You will never fully learn about anybody before you are married to them, whether it is a love or an arranged marriage. In the case of an arranged marriage, given that you don’t have the benefit of learning about someone in a natural setting where they aren’t trying to impress you, you have to try your best in assessing compatibility on all the major issues that you think are important for your relationship. This varies from person to person.
Now, for women, first meetings are usually just the beginning. They seldom make the “Yes” or “No” decision by the end of the first meeting. If anything, the choice is between “Maybe” and “No” in case of women. When it’s a “Maybe”, you will meet again, and this loop continues until the “Maybe” turns to a “Yes”. Now, this can take either 1 meeting or 10 meetings before it actually tends to a “Yes”, but if both of you are really serious about seeing this through, then it’s worth the time invested.
Compared to men, most women have little trouble deciding if they want to be married or not quite quickly. The bigger hurdle for them is who they must marry, and hence, they prefer to take as much time as possible to make this decision. In order to really ascertain who is right for them, after the first meeting, they prefer to meet again, and again.
So, after the first meeting, it’s really important that at least one of you follows up with the other on how the first meeting went and whether they’d like to meet again. Now, the onus of the follow up is on the person who feels more sure. But if this is met with rejection, then so be it. You just have to pick yourself up and move on. But if it’s a “Yes” (eventually) from both sides, usually the parents are informed, and they meet and things move forward.
This post was originally published on Quora when someone asked me what happens at the end of a first date in arranged marriages.