It’s a little different in my culture, we’re not supposed to date around in order to avoid temptation as we are to enter marriage as virgins.
Can you imagine how difficult it is to be 24 and never have been in a relationship. I am craving male companionship and physical contact, not necessarily sex, but simply holding hands and having someone to hug. Try going that long without that physical human contact, it gets quite lonely.
I have informed my family that I am ready for marriage and they have started ‘the search’. This involves them asking friends and family in our community of any suitable matches. It’s basically old-school match-making. Word spreads and you end up marrying your Gran’s-sisters-husbands-brothers-sons-cousins-friends-uncles-son.
It’s an arranged marriage which isn’t so much arranged. My family are the matchmakers who introduce potentials and we both will meet and chat and decide if we would like to get to know each other, but you do so with a marriage in view (average engagement is around 1-2years). During the time that you ‘date’ you are essentially wedding planing, which may seem odd to those from the Western world.
I have had limited physical contact with people in general, let alone with males. Having not been a ‘touchy-feely’ kind of person my whole life, I have lacked both receiving and giving affection. You know the type of person who flinches or subtly moves away when another places a hand on their shoulder, or touches them accidentally by sitting too close? That’s me. I don’t even like my own mother touching me for-goodness-sake!
One week ago at a wedding I received warm, friendly, if not slightly flirty admissions from a handsome young-man. Its a weird case of knowing of one another, but only having met for the first time there and then. He was slightly drunk and greeted me warmly, we knew one another in a distant way. His simple way in actually making me feel welcome opened me up to him. I felt my walls come crashing down, and boy have I spent years putting them up. I felt free when I sat there laughing and joking with him. Corny as it is, I felt heady and was lost to all around us.
I couldn’t fully understand his intentions, but his behavior consisted of repeatedly doing the following: