The weight of being a British Indian woman already carries certain expectations. As the years went by, and I was nearly 30, I experienced my lowest point. I felt so sad and down that I couldn’t find the right person. I wanted to have been married, and felt inadequate for not achieving marriage and children. I felt it for my parents too, who had been nothing but supportive of me and just wanted what most parents want for their children, for us to be ‘settled.’ Yet I felt like a failure, like I had let them down, and more so myself. I couldn’t help but question and feel bad for the choices I had made.
Had I been too picky? Was I too busy focusing on my career? Was it really that none of the guys I had met were unsuitable? We often hear stories about people getting divorced, but as a single woman looking for love, doesn’t our heart break a little after each experience? We certainly go through our own level of ‘divorce’ after each experience.
As the years went by, I have had random acquaintances make comments to me like: ‘you best hurry up and get married you know, before you get old’ and ‘don’t you think you should hurry up, when will you get married, and have your kids?’
This made me question why I was feeling bad about being single? Why am I hanging my head in shame? Why am I feeling inadequate, like a failure? I knew that I had to speak up. I had to just share an honest account of my journey, in the hope that if it resonated with one person, my work is done. So, I began writing, I kept writing and writing. The pen wasn’t stopping, and it felt good to pour my innermost thoughts out on paper. Suppressing those feelings, not understanding I was even feeling low, allowed me to use my journey to share with the world. I found something that lit up my soul. I felt like this was my calling. My purpose is to help other women. I felt like I can use my own experiences to help transform and make a difference to the lives of women, especially single women.
7 years ago I completed my practitioner course in NLP, timeline therapy and Hypnotherapy. A few years later, I began digging out my old journals, and revisiting past experiences. I found new meaning to write. My two books : Why ain’t you married yet? : the adventures of a 30 something Indian Woman, and Being Single : Exploding the Myths and Finding Happiness will be out and available on Amazon in February 2020.
I cherish my journey, because it's been a journey of self discovery. Maybe, I was meant to have this time to learn about myself. To get that time alone to really put myself first, and live life on my own terms, has been the best journey to knowing who I am. Yes, I might not have had lavish holidays with my hubby, and family holidays, but then as a single woman, I have been blessed to travel to many countries, meet some amazing people on the way, progress both personally and professionally, and make decisions on my own.
That doesn’t mean love won’t happen for me, and I haven’t ruled it out. Whether I find Mr Right or not, only time will tell. Maybe he will reveal a part of his heart and share his vulnerabilities, his struggles, and maybe like me he is now ready for the next chapter, and wants to find a companion who will be his best friend and he wants the next chapter of that family life and children. The point is, this is my journey and I wanted to write to celebrate those chapters that have helped me to evolve and become the woman I am today.
Being a single woman in the Asian community is never looked at favourably when you have passed 30 and you’re still single. It’s difficult for people to understand the pressures, and parents and the older generation don’t always understand as they often got married in their late teens.
The key thing I have learnt is that being single doesn’t mean you are a failure. That, at the end of the day it’s your life, you have to make the best decisions for you. Some people might not even want to get married, so we shouldn’t even normalise marriage. Some people are happy being single. The main thing is, do what feels good for you. If, like me, you are still navigating and looking for love, have the patience and faith to know that you are exactly where you are meant to be for your journey and embrace that.
Maybe we should give a bit of credit to the single men and women(those who are divorced, separated after a relationships, single mums and dads, widows, and like me who have never been married), who are brave, fearless, learn to wipe their own tears without a plus one, and we can wait for love. Maybe we do know what we are doing after all.
Sukhi is a master level NLP coach, and draws on her experiences, to help women, especially single women to become unstuck and live their best life. She currently offers tailor made master classes, and personalised one to one coaching.