Help! I love her, a lot!!!
January 14, 2009 7:26 PM   Subscribe

How did you propose to the man, or woman, you loved? Did it work?

Are you guys still together?? The reason I ask is because I'm in love with this Hindu girl, and the religion might be a problem in the long run. That is if she ever decides to marry me. I haven't told her yet how much I love her, but I do; she even came to visit me in the hospital, when I was all broken up and shattered, and has since come to visit me when I got home. She's spoken with my mom and sisters when I was inside so they both know her, and she's a great gall, not like a lot of the one's you find here, who's main interest is in finding a great job and making some quick bucks. She's got a great job, working for GE, which is the only job she's had for the past eight or seven years, and her excellence in it has given her due to be promoted a number of times. She's great in class, and even outside it; which is why she likes to go home and visit her mom and dad and sister's and elder brother. Her favourite right now is her nephew who seems to be a gem of a kid.

I think she likes me, and I think she knows how much I like her, but how do I get this across (without scaring the bejeesus out of her) because she doesn't deserve that. Should I keep this thing to my self (like I have been for the past 3 year) or should I slowly and cautiously let her know how I feel?

Have any one of you been faced with this kind of problem in the past? How did you guys deal with it, and did it work. Please guys, I need some help here, because she's so worth it.
posted by hadjiboy to Human Relations (39 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Three things that you'll probably be hearing a lot of in here:

(1) Well... you should let her know how you feel, but for the love of all things don't do this by proposing. Nothing would scare a girl off quicker.

(2) If you're actually talking about a proposal, it will end up having nothing to do with whether you stay together.

(3) [...]and she's a great gall, not like a lot of the one's you find here, who's main interest is in finding a great job and making some quick bucks.
Also this phrase concerns me.
posted by you're a kitty! at 7:39 PM on January 14, 2009 [2 favorites]

Is dating culturally appropriate?
posted by k8t at 7:44 PM on January 14, 2009

Three years? Clearly, you have to say something. The little I know about Indian culture would lead me to believe that she's probably waiting - given her interactions with your family, visiting you in the hospital and all that. I'm guessing you're Muslim (?) That would be helpful to know, as you write that religion might be a problem. The fact of the matter is that if neither of you care, the real problem would only potentially be with her family (because yours already seems positive about her.) I'd guess that if this were such a familial taboo, she wouldn't be coming around. But you leave a lot of information out!

Don't propose, but start talking to her about her wishes for family and future. Tell her honestly how much her visits have meant to you. Be a little flirty and tell her you'd like to take her to a movie or whatever passes for a "mild" date in your neck of the woods. Whatever you do, give her some signs. The way your scant information reads, I'd be more afraid that you've kept her waiting more than you'll scare her off. Good luck!
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 7:49 PM on January 14, 2009

Response by poster: Yes it is, k8t.

And thanks for the tips you're a kitty! I hadn't thought of surviving without not telling her, but if it ever does come to that I'd rather not tell her than run the risk of what we have right now being turned afoul.

(That phrase is meant for the girls who just couldn't stack up against her and is probably my way of dismissing them... thanks for bringing that to my attention.)
posted by hadjiboy at 7:53 PM on January 14, 2009

The way I proposed to my fiancee (wife later this year) was by taking her up to a lookout over the ocean (here's the spot on the day I proposed, FYI) and I got down on bended knee and told her that I loved her, we'd face lots of challenges together as we went through life together and that I wanted to marry her. After some blubbering she said yes. I then told her that we had to go have lunch at a fancy restaraunt that was nearby after which we had to check into our 18th floor hotel room with an ocean view for the weekend.

She tells me that this was a very good way to propose. :)

Onto the second aspect of your relationship; religion. I assume it's a potential problem for you because you're from a different religion to her own (Islam if I remember correctly from one of your older posts/comments). The woman I asked to marry me is like me, an atheist, so it wasn't an issue when I considered marrying her, but I was in this position with a girl I was with a few years ago.

As I said, I'm an atheist. She was a Catholic whose family bristled at the fact that I wasn't a Catholic and who would never accept me marrying her for those reasons. We often discussed if it went to marriage how we'd handle that. I wondered if I could convert, despite the fact that it meant going against everything I believed in. This led me to wonder if I loved her enough to do this. The answer I quickly came to was that I ddidn't, and that we were wasting each others time by staying together. We broke up. It wasn't a good break up either, by the way.

On the other hand, my brother, also an atheist, was with a woman who was a very devout Christian. Although they never married, I think that they loved each other very much and ended up having a child together and fostering another. I think towards the end these differences in religion became much more pronounced and they kind of stayed together for the kids sake, until she eventually succumbed to cancer a couple of years ago. But he supported her right to the end, despite their differences, so it wasn't as though it became a toxic relationship. So a bit of sweet and sour there for you, but it definitely offers you more hope than my story did.

The common element in all three of these stories is love. Do you really love this woman? To be considering marrying her, I assume you do, and your subject line suggests that you do love her a lot. But again, do you really? I think given what you're considering and the issue that you think could be a potential dealbreaker for your marriage you need to really be sure you love her, so that you don't waste any more of her time or yours.

I've spoken before here on Askme about the litmus test for knowing without doubt if you're in love. I won't repeat it here but I'll link you to it. Have a read and if you come away with any doubt you're not in love, please, really consider if you want to marry this woman given the potential issues that your differing religions might create for your marriage. If you do really love her, then the first step is to actually tell her that you do (you say you havent even done this... this is probably a very important first step) and see if she does love you back. Then you need to talk about your religious differences, and see if they can co-exist in a marriage that's meant to be until death, or if they can't. After that, the rest is probably easy.

Good luck to both of you.
posted by Effigy2000 at 7:57 PM on January 14, 2009

Response by poster: Hey Dee Xtrovert.:)

Nah, she has a full life to be waiting around for me, which is why I'm sometimes worried if I may be taking things too far. Yeah, we do go out, all the time, and I happen to be the only guy (I think; she has a bunch of girlfriends who she hangs out with) who happens to take her out. And she lives quite far from my place, so just to dress up and make the long commute over here touches me. Also, she's a practicing Christian, and I'm a Muslim--yes. So she does go to church every week, either on Saturday or Sunday, which is close by to her house, and I even joined her there once--enjoying the atmosphere.
posted by hadjiboy at 8:04 PM on January 14, 2009

I apologize if there are cultural factors I hadn't considered, and casual (or not-so-casual) dating isn't an option. I guess I'm looking at everything through my own life lens, where marriage is something you consider after you've been living together for years. So I'm sorry if I came off as insensitive.

It seems like you have a whole lot of admiration and respect for this girl, and love, and if you two are as good of friends as it sounds like then she probably realizes that. Girls pick up on these things. When I suggested, you know, not immediately proposing, I didn't mean that you shouldn't tell her you love her. She probably already knows, which means that telling her out loud shouldn't ruin what you have now. If she doesn't feel the same way, then you're just acknowledging what's already there as subtext and a strong friendship should be able to weather a little awkwardness. If she feels the same way, awesomeness ahead, whatever that might be.

In short: don't ask her to marry you out of the blue, or if you do, don't ask for an immediate answer; do tell her that her support has meant so much to you, and that by being so incredible she's made you fall in love with her.
posted by you're a kitty! at 8:12 PM on January 14, 2009

How did you propose to the man, or woman, you loved?

In early November I secretly got with her parents and asked them for permission to propose, they asked me when, and I said it would be before the New Year.
It was Christmas Eve. I went to the flower shop the day before, purchased 3 dozen roses, and asked the lady working if they had any more roses they were going to be discarding, she gave me a decent sized box of "heads" (for my lack of a better term).
I drove up to have Midnight Mass with her family, and then we were all going to open presents after. I snuck a moment with her sister earlier in the night to give her the roses, as I had tore all the petals off and put them in a big box, except for a half dozen that I left whole, and wrapped nicely.
As we started unwrapping presents, her sister excused herself and got things ready for me, she got back a bit later, and we finished opening presents.
I had been building up for about a week that I wasn't going to be able to afford a gift for her, because I had spent my meager savings on her family, so once the present opening was done, I asked her if she wanted to go out for a short walk, since it wasn't too cold out, and we both liked going out at night.
There was a decent blanket of snow, and we got our stuff on and went out to walk, we passed by the parked cars, and I grabbed the half dozen roses I had her sister stash, and we continued to walk towards her parents yard. There was my car parked, with the headlights pointing into the yard, illuminating a giant heart made out of the rose petals on the freshly fallen snow. It was allmost exactly midnight as we walked into the giant heart, and I got down on bended knee and did it properly in the snow. She hadn't seen the ring up to this point, so getting to reveal it, and the proposal got to be her Christmas present.

Did it work?
Yes, we were married the next summer.

Are you guys still together??
Going on 7 years.

So as to the address the rest of your issue. Let her know how you feel. But I wouldn't suggest doing it with a proposal.
Start going out. Get the process rolling. Don't jump into it.
My wife and I were together 3 years before we got married, and friends two years before that. We talked constantly on the phone, even if it wasn't saying anything. Build that up before you take the next step.

Good luck!
posted by JonnyRotten at 8:22 PM on January 14, 2009

As I began to read your entry, I thought "oh, great. Another white guy with an Indian girl fetish. It's the 'docile [East] Asian woman' White Man's Offical Fetish of the 21st Century." (I fucking HATE those assholes. But that's for another day.) Then I looked at your profile and realized that you're probably in India, given the .in e-mail address and the fact that you use Former British Empire spellings, namely the random insertion of the letter U into words where the letter U has no business being. ;-) Your spelling of "favorite" was especially cute!

(OMG I'm such an asshole . . . )

Disclaimer before I continue: I'm on my third Manhattan, and am clearly feeling a bit of a buzz. Some would say, however, that this is where a lot of truth comes out.

You do us a great injustice by not telling us your ethno-religious background. Normally, I would say that shit shouldn't matter, we're all part of the universal human family, etc., but because YOU are the one who made it an issue -- by mentioning the girl's religion -- and just generally by posting this AskMeFi, I can see that it's clearly an issue for YOU, so I think it's perfectly acceptable that I say you should tell us more about yourself -- if for no other reason but to give us a sense of WHY exactly this is a problem for you. It gives us all a better insight into WHY, exactly, you feel that having strong feelings for "this Hindu girl" is a potential show-stopper. For me -- a Hindu by birth -- having feelings for a Hindu girl would be my parents' wet dream (actually, it would be a nightmare for them now, because I just MARRIED a Hindu girl . . . but it WAS their wet dream back when I was single), and I don't see why it's a BAD thing. I've managed to gather (from contextual clues) that this is problematic for you, but I had to do some detective work to figure that out. If you had said, for instance, "hey, guys, I'm not Hindu, but I'm really into this Hindu girl, and that's kind of verboten given my upbringing," that would've saved me (and the rest of us MeFites) a lot of work.

But given your MeFi username, I'm going to take a leap of faith and guess that you are Muslim. (You're in AP, which means you MIGHT be Christian, but again, given your MeFi username, I'm going to go with Muslim.) Hoooooooooo boy, this is rough. But as a Hindu -- Brahmin, at that! -- who has had crushes on more than one devout Muslim girls, I think I'm uniquely qualified to speak to your situation. ;-) I am also NOT one of those flag-waving, ultra-nationalistic, mouth-breathing, jackass "I HATE YOU FOR THE MUMBAI ATTACKS" assholes either.

I say all that to say this . . .

I will freely admit that, even though I am an ABCD -- for those AskMeFites who have no idea what that means, it basically means "person of Indian ancestry, but born in the United States, and most likely of upper-middle-class suburban upbringing," I'd like to think I have a pretty good handle on the range of reactions you will get from the Indian community, because I've been exposed to it through cousins, nephews, uncles, grand-uncles, and the like.

Number one: From what you've told us so far, this girl is a great friend. FRIEND. There is nothing in your story that leads me to believe she has any romantic interest in you. I'm not saying she doesn't, or that she can't. But the information you've given us doesn't give me an automatic, slam-dunk sense that she wants you "in that special way." I also agree with the first respondent that your introduction of the phrase "she's a great gall [sic], not like a lot of the one's [sic] you find here, who's main interest is in finding a great job and making some quick bucks" is at least mildly problematic (to put it kindly).

Number two: It does certainly sound to me like you two like each other. LIKE. Do NOT mention marriage at this juncture. The old-school desi in you wants to do that, I know. (Non-Indian AskMeFites: "Desi" is just a fancy word for "Indian or Indian-derived.") But you are a Modern Indian Male (TM), and she is a Modern Indian Woman (TM). You are not your parents. You do not talk about marriage at such an early juncture. Further complicating matters, as you mentioned earlier, you're of two different faiths. IXNAY ON THE ARRIAGEMAY! (Just for the moment.)

Here's my suggestion. Don't say anything crazy right now. Just continue to hang out. It's lovely that your mother and sisters like her -- very good start. You're on the right path. So just hang out with this girl as a friend for as long as you can. Get your mother, sister, father, friends, nieces, nephews, uncles, etc. -- whoever you can -- to like her, too. The more they like her (without asking about religion, etc.), the better. Because ultimately, the religion question WILL come up, and when it does, it could be really ugly. So you want to have as many people on your side by that point when it does.

The Hindu-Muslim thing is BIG in India. That's why I'm telling you . . . get as many friends/family to like her while you can right now. When you're satisfied that everyone loves this girl, slowly introduce the idea that you might want something more -- actually, no -- THEY will do it FOR YOU. At that point, you can politely inform them that she's a dirty infidel. ;-) (Remember, I'm Hindu, so I can make that joke.) By this time, ideally, they'll have fallen so in love with her that they won't care (too much).

Meanwhile, this girl is not an idiot. She'll be falling for you, and she'll be laying the same groundwork with her parents, relatives, and friends. Just as you Muslims (espeically in India) have a certain bias against us Hindus, we Hindus (in the subcontinent, but I've found it extends to North America, at least in my parents' generation) have a bias against Muslims, too. The key is to get both sides so far in love with each other that by the time they find out you guys are of different faiths, it's too late.

Then, and only then, do you begin to introduce the idea of marital bliss. First mention it to the occasional cool uncle or nephew. See how they take it. (Trust me, she'll be doing the same on her side.) If they're cool, slowly climb up the ladder.

Meanwhile, communicate, communicate, communicate with her. Not right away -- you don't want to say the M-word just yet. But stay with her -- go out on dates regularly, etc. -- to let her know you're interested. When you feel the time is right -- and you'll be able to feel it -- gradually hint at the idea of potentially marrying one day. See how she reacts. Feel the situation out. Your gut instincts will be your best guide at this point.

Anyway. To answer your "how did YOU do it?" question: There was no real magical Hollywood/Bollywood moment. We dated for a while, and we were having a normal conversation one day, and we just kind of . . . decided, in the midst of that conversation, that hey . . . maybe we should get married. That's it. No magical fireworks overhead, nothing astonishing like that. So then she said to me, "OK, well . . . I guess you should probably tell my parents, because they're sitting over there in the kitchen, wondering what exactly we're planning to do."

That being said, the girl was brought up on asinine Bollywood movies, and she'd seen the scenes of the Brooklyn waterfront in "Kal Ho Na Ho" and other movies, so I knew she wanted some idiotic romantic scene. So on Valentine's Day, 2007, she flew into JFK (it's a long-distance relationship), and we were going to dinner in Manhattan. On the way there, I said "hey, we've got some time before our reservation . . . want to hang out on the Brooklyn waterfront, which you said you liked on our first date?" She said yes. We went there. We admired the view. I brought out this heart-shaped plastic candy holder from my coat pocket and said "hey, you want an M&M?" and she said yes. I set it up so that, as she dug for an M&M, she'd hit upon the engagement ring. And as it turns out, the M&M's were personalized, and they said "TMSK?" Which stands for "Te Mujshe . . . " fuckit, I forgot. But it translates to "Will You Marry Me?" in Hindi. It was insanely cute, if I may say so myself.

(Dumb story, but HEY -- you DID ask "how did you propose?")

Oh, Christ, I'm drunk. I need to stop. Now. I hope this response was of some kind of help to you.

(FYI . . . this is a response to the "good job with GE" part of your question. I've managed to gather that you are a young, 20something member of the up-and-coming New Indian Generation (TM). You are not your parents, and you're very proud of how cutting-edge and hip you are, thanks to globalization and stuff like that. I will tell you this right now: DO NOT think that emulating all things American is a good thing. It's not. As an ABCD who wishes he was MORE Indian, I'm here to tell you that the US brought a lot of good things to the world, but pop culture is generally not one of them. Do NOT try to emulate us in that arena. Please remain your proud, solid, independent Indian self. Culture-less ABCDs like myself, who don't even know how to speak Hindi, are looking to you for inspiration.

I say that to say this: GE is NOT a company to admire. Those motherfuckers are defense contractors. They build jet planes and bombs that KILL BROWN AND BLACK PEOPLE the world over. They are assholes without a conscience. As a brown person, you should keep this in mind. Do NOT sell your soul for what you believe is your dream woman, who is only furthering a Military-Industrial Complex asshole's wet dream.

This is the part where I remind you that I've had a few drinks tonight, by the way . . . )
posted by CommonSense at 8:22 PM on January 14, 2009 [7 favorites]

Response by poster: Effigy2000, I have to say that was a wonderful way to propose. I can't imagine being a woman and being proposed in that way. Yes, I am Muslim, and she is Christian, but I don't think it will be a problem, since she is neither a die heart atheist. But she does like her faith, and whatever little she can get from it, and she would be looking for this from the guy she hopes to marry.

She attends mass, and will expect her children to as well. And I am Muslim and would expect my children to attend mosque. The fact I'm marrying a non-Muslim is only something that would work in my favour since I want to see how it would affect my kids. Don't know about her parents but I'd like to bring mine over to this point.

Also, she's just so smart; she'll definitely understand this, I hope. If she doesn't, then I know she's not the one for me. We'll stay friends of course, but I want to know if there's anything more there.
posted by hadjiboy at 8:23 PM on January 14, 2009

Wait, is she a Hindu who practices Christianity? I'm confused.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:24 PM on January 14, 2009

My [then] boyfriend said, "So when are we getting married?"

And I said, "I don't know, May?"

We're still married 11 years later.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 8:34 PM on January 14, 2009

Are you asking: "how do I propose marriage to someone?" In which case there may be cultural traditions at work for you that would be helpful to know. How have proposals worked in your family and hers?

Or do you mean, "how do I propose having a relationship with a girl, with an eye towards being in love and getting married, when we're now good friends, and which I don't want to ruin?"

Or do you mean, "should I ask her to marry me, even though we are not currently romantically involved, and if so, how?"

All three are very different situations, and I suspect the difference will determine some of the answers here!
posted by barnone at 8:44 PM on January 14, 2009

A lot of the stuff you have to figure out here is going to be culturally specific to you, hadjiboy, and the advice you receive from those of us in the U.S. and Europe may not be translatable to this situation. One thing is clear, though. People in great relationships usually decide what is important for themselves. You have to figure out what works for the two of you, in your situation. And the way you do that is by talking to her. Are you really sure she likes you? Maybe you could start by telling her that you really enjoy your time together and see how she responds. Then go from there. I agree, you shouldn't begin with "What would happen if we get married?" but more like "What does your family think about the time we're spending together?" or "Are there any marriages in your family with people from different religions? How does your family accept that?"

Here in the U.S. most people would enjoy this for what it is and not worry too much about the long term issues (religion, family, etc.) just yet. But of course "dating" is much more common here. In India, you have a couple dates and then marriage is a real question that comes up.

Can you speak with anyone in your family about this? In some Hindu families, religion can be more inclusive of other beliefs than Christianity or Islam typically are. This may be a bigger issue for your family than for hers.

Good luck. I'm happy for you. Keep us posted.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:47 PM on January 14, 2009

Wait, is she a Hindu who practices Christianity? I'm confused.

Me, too. Or is Hindu a linguistic reference only, in this case?

In my case, I just asked her. But (and this is a really, really important "but") I live in a culture where it is appropriate and normal to just ask the woman (or vice versa) and family/religious/etc concerns are usually considered secondary. Here, love marriages are expected, and arranged marriages are deeply unusual; caste is not a concern; and so on -- the point being, my context is very different from my very imperfect understanding of yours, in almost every way imaginable.

Meaning, you need advice specific to your place and situation, not stories of proposals and relationships from far away. I have enough friends from India to know that these things can be quite different there, and that religion and language can play different roles.

At the most general level, I think it is always good manners to avoid making someone else uncomfortable. Sometimes that means finding an intermediary, sometimes that means keeping your feelings bottled inside, and sometimes that means talking with them directly. But whatever you choose, make sure it is driven by good manners and a concern for her feelings, not your imagined version of those feelings.
posted by Forktine at 8:47 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

So this isn't really "how to propose" but more like "how to tell her I like her" as far as I can see. I'm also a little clueless as to the cultural sensitivities but it sounds like you have a major crush on a girl. That's sweet and it seems like she likes you. It sounds like you need to go slowly even though in your head you want to be married to her. So you hang out already? Can you start by telling her that you *like* her?
posted by otherwordlyglow at 8:49 PM on January 14, 2009

I'm Indian too, and hadjiboy, in my opinion, you're nowhere close to the time for proposing marriage to her. You may have known her for three years and even had feelings for her, but from what I am reading, she is right now playing the supportive friend role. Unless you two are both openly having some kind of romantic relationship (where both of you know it), you might want to hold back on the proposal. And given the cultural reluctance of Indian families to marry outside caste and religion, I advise even more caution.

You have not given us any information about how you two know each other and whether you've gone out on dates or done stuff in a non-platonic context, so judging her involvement is difficult. If you haven't done so already, I suggest you go out for a few months and see how she feels for you. If there is clear chemistry there, you might want to carefully judge her willingness to marry a non-Hindu, and then take it forward. But I see this as a six month process.

(I'm a bit miffed at your broad characterisation of all women here as being gold-diggers though.)
posted by madman at 9:05 PM on January 14, 2009

I think you just need to go ahead and have the "big conversation." At least, that is what you will think of it as if it turns out to initiate the relationship. Otherwise you think of it as the "embarrassing conversation" and try to think of it as little as possible. I tend to think people tell themselves they do not want to spoil the friendship or make the person uncomfortable but really they are just afraid of losing even the possibility of something more, which you can keep if you just never talk about it. Well, someone will come along and take it from you if you don't at least try. Mature people of good will can get past an embarrassing revelation that one of the individuals is interested in romantic potential and the other is not and maintain a friendship. I speak from experience, not in the abstract: I still have two friends I gently pursued fruitless romantic involvement with in the past. In the end just coming clean about my feelings worked for me: married over seven years now.
posted by nanojath at 9:28 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Just finished going to the toilet: hey, even guys who've had major surgery have to go through those; and our mum's have to help us out with it--I love my mum. She's a great lady, and if I ever get the chance to write about mom's on Mefi, she'll be on the top of my list. But back to where I left this post: you're a kitty!: I myself sometimes consider myself to be more American/Western than Indian, so don't bother apologizing; it's all good.

Also, JonnyRotten--thanks for all the info dude.:)

And yes, if it's not a post by ABCD--American Born Cultural Desi. American Born Cultural Desi:D
Glad to know you're with us, even if you are on a few Manhattans--who cares--not me. Please feel free to comment. Actually the people at GE were glad to hire me, but when I saw what was going on over there, when I hit the floor after a couple of weeks--I was like--what! Is this all we do--I thought we were supposed to do more than this--and quit. She was surprised by my leaving, but deep down she understood why I had to, which is why I think she liked me, and me her.

It's just too bad she couldn't do the same thing because she had a family to support and was thinking about them. There's so much else to say but my Physiotherapists might be arriving at any moment so I've got to go and get ready for them.
posted by hadjiboy at 9:30 PM on January 14, 2009

Hold on, is this the same girl as before? The one you told how you felt but then told you she wasn't ready for a relationship? Man, this is confusing.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 9:56 PM on January 14, 2009

it's not only confusing, but spooky, because i clearly received some kind of telepathic communication from the cosmic consciousness regarding these events:

no word from [hadjiboy] here since late September. i expect he may have fallen in love again, or something
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:06 PM on January 14, 2009

Having read the earlier post, this is becoming more clear now. I think she isn't ready. Or isn't interested, period. It could be the different-religions thing (now that I realize she's Christian, and not Hindu, from my Hindu point of view, frankly, you two have MORE in common than I thought, but . . . ah, well, what do I know?). It could be that she's Just. Not. That. Into. You. It could be anything. I'm 34 and I still don't understand women. This despite being married.

In any event, you're 29. It's not THAT much younger than me, but it's young enough. Hell, I've posted my share of confused, lovestruck, "I think she's the one for me and I don't want anyone else" crap here on Ask MeFi, only to end up marrying a completely new woman. (FYI, for anyone who does the actual legwork of digging up my earlier Ask MeFi posts, in particular That One (TM): Yes, I still think about her on occasion, and yes, I still love her, but . . . I'm married now. To someone else. So it's a moot point. And dammit, stop reminding me of her, would you?)

Er, sorry . . . where was I?

Oh, right. My point is that the process of growing up entails meeting two, three, or more people you will be convinced are the PERFECT one(s) for you . . . and not getting them. It will hurt LIKE HELL when/if you can't have them.

But slowly, you will heal and move on (I know, it's hard to believe now, but you will). And you'll eventually find happiness with someone who actually has the common decency to return the same feelings, and you'll both be happy. You know, like me, who just got married to someone he wouldn't necessarily have thought he'd "end up with" someone like that your age.

(There's a big fat caveat to what I just said, something that would make me one gigantic hypocrite, but that gets into shit I really don't need to be revealing in this semi-public forum. So just go with what I said. Shit, I've already said too much . . . )
posted by CommonSense at 10:14 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Sorry madman, I didn't mean to characterize all Indian women as gold diggers, but believe me--ever since this computer boom hit us, and we've been getting all of these jobs on hand, and bosses telling us we have to drive the profit--girls are getting screwed, which is not to mean the guys aren't. Oh, they're becoming even more bastards, screwing over the women too--and this is all supposed to be the white hat that everyone keeps talking about. Hey, I can type, but I want a job where I'm actually helping someone.

Ubu, she's a Christian--believe it or not :)

Happy 11th year anniversary, rabbitrabbit!

barnone, I'm asking, how to propose to Jacqueline--yes, that's her name--in connection with others who have done so, and succeded.

Slarty, thanks for the advice; it's good to hear from someone who's been there. I don't know anyone in my family who's been through this, but everyone in my end will be happy with someone who is kind and sensitive and caring, which she is--thank god!

Forktine, over here, at least amongst Muslims, arranged marriages are concerned normal. As for Christian marriages, I would think less so, but the least they would expect is someone of the same religion--that's what scares me.

Good point nanojath--just coming clean in the end might be good instead of just hiding it and thinking as if I'm doing the relationship a favour. I just don't want to ask her and come out of it looking like a fool which will happen if I do it now. The relationship needs some good strong time.

Yes, otherworldlyglow; I think I've already done that, I hope. For my sake:)
posted by hadjiboy at 10:15 PM on January 14, 2009

Response by poster: otherwordlyglow, I saw that post a few days ago when I was going through mine and didn't realize I had written about Jacqueline before. Yes, she is the one, but comming all the way to hospital, and sitting on the bed with me, just as I was on the throes of death--well, that's kind of changed me now, or my affection for her. If not some kind of a romantic relationship, I at least want to be there for her.

Fallen in love again, huh, cosmic consciousness--looks like you were right after all:)

Thanks CommonSense, I think your path will ultimately be the one I land up on. Just wish I have a wife that understands me that well. I will probably pine for this woman for awhile and then realize that there are a lot others out there, and understand that this one only likes me as a friend--hell, I'm already coming to that realization my self. Thanks a lot, CommonSense:)
posted by hadjiboy at 10:44 PM on January 14, 2009

My husband did the following:

It was my birthday and we'd been together a little over a year. I'd taken the day off and he came over after he was off work with some dinner from my favorite local Italian restaurant. One of my best friends was over, so he waited patiently while we all ate dinner and hung out. Once my friend left, he gave me my birthday card and urged me to open it. I opened it, expecting the usual "Love, Hubby" at the end of the pre-printed message. Instead, it said, "Wanna grow old with me?"

I looked over at him, raised eyebrow in question. I asked, "Is this what I think it is?" He chuckled, "Yep. Will you marry me?"

Our engagement lasted about 3 years and some change. We got married this past August and we're still happy as punch. What has worked for us is that we're both just dorks. We have enough differences and things in common to make it work. The proposal was just the icing on the cake.

As far as letting her know how you feel, I would just be straight with her. From what I read above, I can definitely see interest coming from her. Speaking from a culture very similar to hers, I know that girls are not supposed to be very forward with their interest in a man. Getting in touch with your family of her own accord and coming over to see you in hospital is quite a brave step for someone coming from that kind of background. The only thing left is for you to come forward and let her know that you're just as interested.

Good luck!
posted by arishaun at 11:01 PM on January 14, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks, arishaun--congrats on the marriage and finding the right guy.

You DO see interest coming from her; you mean it's not just me trying to see something that's not there.
Here's the question though; why does she always hold herself back. Whenever I ask her out for a movie and she's seen it, like this time, she reminded me that we had (which was sweet; which showed her caring side; after my accident it's kind of hard to remember stuff) and she told me how she had to go for this other thing, which was at work, but then I guess I could roll it down to me being a jerk and wanting her all for myself.

So she's got some functions at work, right--shouldn't I be happy.
posted by hadjiboy at 11:45 PM on January 14, 2009

Response by poster: Oh yeah, she doesn't always hold herself back--see how jerky I can be.

On the number of times I've called her (more than 25, easy) she probably couldn't make it on two or three occasions--and that too because of work... I am an ass, Jesus!
posted by hadjiboy at 11:49 PM on January 14, 2009

How to Get Married in India (Muslim boy version)

Step 0: Make sure she is interested
Step 1: Get good job and keep it
Step 2: Save up for a place (or an extension onto your folks place)
Step 3: Send aunt or mom or sister over to sound out her mom, who will sound her out
Step 4: Discuss Religion Issue via Proxies
Step 5: Get Engaged
Step 6: Party!
posted by By The Grace of God at 1:54 AM on January 15, 2009

You have the world's greatest monument to love and therefore venue for proposal on your doorstep.

My wife and I were there 5 days into a year of travelling when I went on bended knee on the steps of the Taj Mahal. I figured that if we got through the next 12 months of travelling together, we'd do pretty well as a team for the rest of our days! We got married 6 months after our return - that was 12 years ago.
posted by hmca at 2:11 AM on January 15, 2009

Response by poster: By The Grace Of God--I didn't know you were Indian; that sounds like a text book version on how to get married--that, or you have a lot of Indian friends that I don't know about, who are married of course, or on their way to a blissfully married life.

hmca, I didn't even think of the Taj--you know--that's how much we take it for granted over here, or at least I do.
posted by hadjiboy at 5:22 AM on January 15, 2009

My now-wife was pressuring me to shit or get off the pot, so she knew it was coming, kinda. We went on a four-day road trip out the American Southwest, specifically to Canyon de Chelley National Monument. There's an overlook to a column of rock jutting up from the canyon floor called Spider Rock. I bought a plastic spider ring (like you give kids on the American holiday, Halloween). Actually, I had to buy a whole gross (144) of them, they're not sold individually. I tossed her one ring and said, "Wanna get hitched?" She said, "Of course, you fool!"

That night, while she was in the shower at our hotel, I seeded the bed with the other 143 spider rings. In her sleep deprivation, she was less than pleased.
posted by notsnot at 6:38 AM on January 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have a lot of Pakistani friends, similar order of operations for them, too.

The take home message for you, dear, is that you need to go WORK YOUR BUTT OFF AND GET PROMOTED AND SAVE MONEY AND GET YOUR HEAD STRAIGHTENED OUT (this all said tongue in cheek of course) if you want to be marriage material for anybody. And stop having crushes on people until you do - or get the lass to help motivate you to do this necessary work!
posted by By The Grace of God at 6:40 AM on January 15, 2009

We had talked about it in "hypothetical" terms. I bought a ring. Then asked her.

Don't propose marriage to someone unless you're already absolutely certain what the answer is going to be.

If you don't already have a clear enough sense of what's going on in her head to know out whether she wants to spend the rest of her life with you, then you are not ready to spend the rest of your life with her.
posted by ook at 6:43 AM on January 15, 2009

(Oh, and yeah, we're still together. 11 years now.)
posted by ook at 6:46 AM on January 15, 2009

As one of the characters in my favorite books says (actually, something to the effect of), "Don't play any flirty-birty games. If you like [someone], just say, 'Hey, how about getting married?'"

My friend's cousin married a Muslim guy and it didn't turn out to be a problem for anyone. They compromised on a lot of things (raised their son as a Muslim, but they aren't really religious) But they live here, in the U.S. and her family is back in India.

So, I suppose what I'm really saying is, go for it, discuss, and it's been done before, but I have no experience observing this sort of thing personally.
posted by anniecat at 7:16 AM on January 15, 2009

My (now) husband's proposal to me was a natural extension of our normal interactions. It was at a favorite picnic spot on top of a tall hill at sunset.

If I went into any more detail, it wouldn't sound especially romantic to anyone else, but it was perfectly in line with who my husband is and how we interact. I didn't say "yes" because the proposal was so amazing, I said "yes" because I had known for a long time before that that he was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

We've been together two and a half years.

Nobody should ever make up their mind about marriage based on one dramatic act (be it an expression of love or proposal of marriage), nor should they be expected to.
posted by itesser at 8:09 AM on January 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank's for all the important and helpful answers guy's; it really mean's a lot to me.:)

Yeah, By The Grace Of God--I got your message--why do you sound like one of my cousin sister's in that post. I will be concentrating on my job for now, and make sure I'm Financially viable, but I won't give up on her either. I got the mail from her yesterday reminding me that we had already seen the movie which I wanted to, and that she had a function to attend from work. So, you know what, I wrote back to her saying that it was good to know that she finally had something to do, ever since she had come back, because she was getting bored recently. And I ended the letter by calling her my Angel Eye's because she had sat next to me in the hospital, which I really appreciated, and made sure she knew that.

I think I'm going to call her my Angel Eye's from now on; not only do they look Angelic, but she was also put on that bed for me by God, and spoke to me too. I'm sure she helped in someway, and now it's my tern to pay her back:)
posted by hadjiboy at 8:37 PM on January 15, 2009

yes, al-hamdu l'illah, she was there to help you & be by your side.

but please, don't be too strongly tempted to interpret this to necessarily mean more than just that - friendly concern. keep an open mind to other possibilities, for sure, and play it by ear.

for now, concentrate first on your recovery, akhi.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:48 AM on January 16, 2009

Response by poster: Yeah, you're right--I shouldn't forget that--my recovery!

But she was there man, SHE WAS THERE...

Gotta' remember that as well:)

Equally, I hope!
posted by hadjiboy at 3:28 AM on January 16, 2009

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