With the arranged marriage still prevalent in Indian society it is difficult to take a leap of faith and enter into a interracial relationship. There is the doubt that he will only leave you for an Indian Bride or his parents won't approve of a love marriage, yet alone an interracial love marriage. These are all the stresses I had before I married my husband who went against the stereotypical Punjabi living abroad. That stereotype being young and not yet married but fast approaching the marrying age, yet in an interracial relationship, only to suddenly leave her at the drop of a hat to marry a good Indian girl arranged by his parents. Or worse yet secretly marries a Good Indian girl and continues to have you as his girlfriend while his wife is in India.
I decided to write this in the hopes that I can share my experiences with others who are unfortunate enough to share similar thoughts and doubts about their partner. At the time I kept making the same mistake and always dated the wrong guy who ended up leaving me for an arranged marriage. Unfortunately I am not alone and this is a very common behaviour for a lot of Indian men abroad. So on that note if you are in a similar position and dating a Punjabi and feel something is not quite right, then these warning signs may help you.
He may not necessarily act out in all these ways and then again these signs may not indicate that he has an arranged marriage. So please use your own intuition here as more often than not your intuition is right. I write this based on my own dating experiences before meeting my husband. Along with experiences of others in similar positions and from friends who have been in interracial relationships to have their partner leave them for an arranged marriage. So based on these views I have come up with ten of the most common warning signs to look out for.
10 Signs Your Punjabi Boyfriend
Has An Arranged Marriage
1. He Avoids Any Signs Of Affection
If your partner suddenly shy's away from any signs of affection this is one of the earliest warning signs that there may potentially be issues. He may have been given the call from his parents advising him they have found a suitable bride. Despite knowing earlier about his parent's wishes for an arranged marriage if they haven't found a bride to be then there is no moral dilemma about dating another woman. But as soon as he discovers that he now has a bride to be and is already in a relationship, he will most likely just shy away from affections. Given there is now a moral dilemma as he has both a girlfriend and a bride to be. Particularly any public displays of affection such as holding hands, hugging or kissing. He will do this out of respect for you although respect is all about perception.
2. Refuses To Say I Love You
Have you been dating for months now with the belief that you are in a relationship, yet continue to wonder when he will say those three words? This might be a sign that he is not in it for the long haul. The same as not showing affection many men will avoid saying those three words out of respect. Although he may love you he doesn't want to hurt you by giving you the wrong impression and announcing his love.
3. Suddenly Becomes Distant
Not showing affection or announcing his love for you both attribute to becoming distant. However he may also start to shut you out of his life. His behaviour may seem peculiar to you, and he ignores you and starts acting like he no longer cares. When you question him he just shrugs it off or comes up with an excuse.
4. Stops Answering Your Calls And Texts Randomly
This is a huge warning indicator if he suddenly stops replying to your texts for days or even weeks. Or never returns your calls, even if you had plans that day. He will suddenly have an excuse to not contact you. A Punjabi friend of mine didn't call or text his girlfriend for weeks on end given he had received the call from his parents that they had found him a suitable bride. He couldn't face her so he just ignored her and his excuse to her was my phone was broken.
5. Won't Introduce You To Any Friends Or Family
This goes without saying for dating in general. If you have been together for long enough and he still hasn't plucked up the courage to tell his parents or introduce you to at least his friends, then unfortunately you are most likely just his girlfriend. Many parents still believe in arranged marriages and most sons won't deny their parent's wishes in fear of offending them. So if this happens to be the instance for your guy then he will go out of his way to make sure you both are always alone at his house. Or his family and friends will always be conveniently busy or live too far away to visit. There will always be an excuse as to why you haven't met the friends and family. If something feels off then you are most likely right.
6. Keeps You A Secret From His Parents
Even if you haven't met the family your guy should at the very least tell his parents about you. I dated a few guys who would never tell their parents about me and always had an excuse. Such as they are in a bad mood, they haven't called me this week, I will do it next week and so on, the excuses kept coming. Then I met my husband and he told his parents as soon as we started a relationship. Sure it wasn't easy for him but he was serious about dating me so he told them. Even if the parents are in India every son will talk to his parents over the phone on a regular basis. So there really is no excuse if you have been in a long term relationship or believe that it is time. With that said he might be serious and truly need the courage to tell his parents, so listen to your instincts.
7. Stops Prioritising You
If he used to always put you first in the relationship and then suddenly starts to prioritise everything else, this may be another warning sign. Especially if he starts becoming busy all of the time and all your plans together go to the wayside. Then he won't even bother to reschedule with you. He always has an excuse like he can't let his mates down or work are super busy and he has to put in all this extra over time. Whereas before he would juggle you and his life making time to fit it all in. This could potentially be a way to gently let you down.
8. Won't Make Any Future Plans With You
It is normal to start making future goals and plans together as a couple once you have been in a long term relationship. Such as moving in together, adopting a pet, buying a house, or going on an overseas holiday. If he becomes reluctant to make plans or even discuss plans together as a couple this could be a warning that he isn't in it for the long haul. Or it may be that he used to make future plans with you and now suddenly has stopped. My ex partner would discuss moving in together and things like having a family, then one day these topics suddenly became off limits.
9. Only Wants To See You When It Suits Him
Like with any relationship if he always turns you down on dates but then expects you to visit at 9pm on Saturday night, then this is definitely a warning. Especially if it is always late at night and he never ever does anything with you during the day. Many men think of the western woman as 'fun' and not the marrying type. So he will happily have you as a girlfriend till it starts becoming serious or he has to marry his Indian bride to be.
10. Disappears Without A Word
Okay so this may not always occur but there is a chance he just cannot face you and take the next flight to India to wed his bride to be. This is what happened with the guy I dated before meeting my husband. He just one day disappeared, his phone number was disconnected and I didn't hear from him for a few months till he returned. I was told by his cousin that he had an arranged marriage. So this one isn't a warning sign as it is blaringly obvious if he just one day disappears. If you don't hear from any guy within a few days or a week at the most then you would usually move on. Unless he has a damn good excuse.
Have you been in a similar position and been left for an arranged marriage?
If you are still having doubts then be sure to check out this readers real life story My Punjabi Spouse Had An Arranged Marriage While We Were Married. She shares how her husband secretly had an arranged marriage back in India whilst they were together and only find out years later.