The following post is a guest post from Beth, who has been living in India for years. She’s dated Indian men and has a few tips to share for foreigner women dating Indian men here in India whether on their travels or if you are living here as an expat. Feature image photo credit via flickr.
Dating in India as a Foreigner: The Do’s and Don’ts
I had only been on my first date in India for about 30 minutes, and already I was almost in tears and wanted to go home! It was a nightmare! A friend introduced to me to a nice looking Indian guy who asked me for my number. I thought, why not? I’m single and Indian guys are hot, so I gave him my number.
Several days later I accepted his offer to go out for dinner. But just as we were parking to go into the restaurant he pulled out a three pack of condoms and told me he was ready. REALLY? Ready?
Was he serious??
I struggled to maintain my composure. Frankly, I was pissed! How dare he assume he would get sex from me on the first date! I’m not saying it was completely outside the realm of possibility, but his presumption, and approach to it, shocked me!
After taking a couple of calming breaths, I asked him what gave him the idea that I was going to have sex with him on our date.
He seemed hurt, and equally shocked that I was upset. “I thought that was what you wanted,” he said, sounding genuinely confused. “I thought you would be happy that I was prepared.” I asked him how he got that idea and his response was that he thought that was what all American women wanted.
After further discussion he explained that he got that impression from watching American TV shows like Sex in the City and Desperate Housewives.
I didn’t go out with him, or any other Indian guys, for a few months after that. But when I finally did I had a much better experience. By then I had learned some basic do’s and don’ts of the Indian culture. It helped tremendously with my expectations.
I still had a few other shocking experiences though. While spending a weekend in Dubai I met a nice guy from India and spent most of the weekend with him. A few days later he left a marriage proposal on my voicemail! Yikes! Here are some helpful things to keep in mind.
Do’s for Foreigners Dating in India
- Dress modestly or at least according to the local standards. For example, Goa is much more modern than Delhi so you can get away with shorts and tank tops in Goa. However, if you wear such things in Delhi you will attract the wrong sort of attention.
- Expect bars to close around 12:30, and they really don’t start rolling until after 10:00, so you might not have a lot of time to hang out.
- Realize that our idea of friendliness might be their idea of flirtation. Not long ago I went shopping with my Indian boyfriend and was chatting with the clerk that helped me. My boyfriend said he thought I was being flirtatious while I just thought I was being nice and polite.
- Ask if they have a car. Car ownership is not as prevalent in India so you may need to take public transportation.
- Realize that they may think we are less inhibited (or easier) than Indian women. It does not take much to encourage them. Even sharing your phone number might make them think you are interested in more than just a date.
- Be safe. This applies to dating in America as well, but it is even more important in India, where a white woman is viewed as a prize. Always tell someone where you’re going and who you will be with. Go to a public place and pay attention to where you are.
Don’ts for Foreigners Dating in India
- Get upset if their mom starts calling around 9:00. Most Indian young men live with their parents until they get married. Even then, their new wife often moves in to the household rather than them getting their own place. So it is expected that his mom will worry about him and call him to make sure he is okay and behaving himself.
- Be afraid to offer to help pay the bill. We make a lot more than most of them do.
- Be surprised by chivalry. It’s alive and well in India. Guys still open doors and bring over flowers.
- Expect to be introduced to their family any time soon. I have been with my current boyfriend for eight months and still haven’t met his family. 90% of marriages in India are still arranged and I’m sure I would not be the type of traditional Indian girl they would want for their son.
- Be shocked if people stare at the two of you a lot. Interracial couple are not common in India.
Beth and her boyfriend, Kirti, living it up at the Grub Fest in Delhi
I am lucky to have beaten the odds and to have found a great boyfriend in India, but it did take some effort. We still have some major culture differences but we enjoy each other’s company and are open to the possibility of a long term future together. I hope you will step outside your comfort zone. You never know where you might find love.
Beth Bauer is an author, freelance writer and entrepreneur working as an expat in India, and is soon going rogue. Follow her adventures at www.TheJourneyofBethB.com. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google Plus.
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