The Pressure of Getting Married in South Asian Society


Living in Canada I never felt it the pressure of getting married. Just one trip to Pakistan made me feel it all in a short 3 weeks. A country where your biggest accomplishment isn’t your achievements or who you are it is whether you are married. As if without being married you aren’t a complete person. You could be a Nobel Prize Winner but you are unaccomplished because you are single. Let that sink in.

When are you getting married

In Canada, you are asked when you first meet someone they ask you how you are in Pakistan when you meet someone they ask you when are you getting married. At first, it seems like a harmless question.  I personally don’t take the question seriously, and respond with when you find me someone. To me being single isn’t a deficiency it just means I haven’t found the right person. I find that perfectly okay.

But when you are asked that question again and again it makes you feel pressured. For me, Pakistan was an escape I was taking from my real life on the trip so it didn’t get to me I could take it lightly but just imagining what people living there are going through makes me feel uncomfortable. You would start questioning yourself. Is there something wrong with me that I am not being able to reach this one marked achievement?

If you aren’t married by 25,30, 35 it doesn’t mean you didn’t achieve something or aren’t whole. Marriage isn’t the end all be all. It doesn’t even matter to these people whether you are happily married. It is as if it’s just a checklist they accept you to achieve where you tick of married.

Let people get married at their own pace

I am all for marriage but it has to happen at the right time not because you are pressured by society. When you pressurize yourself into something that is when you make mistakes. Of course, marriage is always a leap of faith. You never know how you are going to end up but when you are pressurized even if you have the gut feeling that something is wrong you go into something. Because well it is better than being asked the question when you are getting married. It is that pressure I felt when I didn’t have a job and everyone else had one ( so I rushed into something for the sake of it) but with a job, I can change it every 6 months if I want to but marriage it is forever and you can’t just jump into it because you are pressurized.

Imagine someone feeling the reason they have to get engaged is that they are thinking about what will people say. If I thought like that I think I would have had two divorces by now.

When you get married when you are younger you haven’t lived as an adult on your own. That stubbornness hasn’t kicked in where you have gotten used to certain things your way. So getting married at an earlier age makes sense to me because you are more compromising and adaptable. But we are at an age where early marriage doesn’t happen for everyone and those that choose not to do that shouldn’t be made to feel deficient.

When we are asking the question when are you getting married it comes so naturally that you don’t even think about it twice. But if we don’t stop asking that question how will we get the pressure removed. I get it is a nice conversation starter but at what expense? Imagine if you were the sole breadwinner and just lost your job and everyone around you kept asking did you get a job and did you get a job. How good would that make you feel?

Let’s change our ways

I am not saying I haven’t uttered that question out of the sheer normality it has been given in society. But I am here to change my ways and so should you.

So next time when your mouth opens to ask that question think about how that could make someone feel. Is it worth it? Are you willing to be the change you want to see in society. Or are you going to turn a blind eye to this problem?

Thinking of getting married? Instead of thinking about what will people say ask your partner important questions about the future to make the decision. 


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