Through his website and speaking engagements, Dr.Vijay Mehta has reached thousands of young desis in their search for traditional love. A surgeon by training, Dr. Mehta describes his most recent passion to be “giving practical advice to the confused generation.” We first came across “Vijay Uncle” at an annual Network of South Asian Professionals Conference where he drew in a crowd of 500+ young desis to his panel. His to-the-point advice drew a mixture of shock and respect from the attendees. He is now available to answer questions for SAPNA readers.
Reader Question: I am a 27 y/o desi girl and I’m starting to believe I will never meet Mr. Right. It’s not that I am not trying, I have had a different boyfriend every year for the last 3 years. I date really intelligent, good looking, and successful men. But when it comes time for a commitment, it seems there is always some unresolvable issue. At the end of each relationship, even though I know we are always fighting, I want to work it out because when its good its great. But after some back and forth, they completely cut it off. The crazy thing is, they all really care about me and the break up process is equally bad for them. I can’t figure out what’s going wrong, are they afraid of commitment, is it me, or am I doomed to be alone? – 27 & Worried
Dear 27 & Worried,
Here is the good news – you found three acceptable guys in three years. So your expectations are realistic. Your ability to maintain relationships with these guys for several months indicates that you may not have big time deal breakers!
Once you feel comfortable with each other, the relationship goes southward. Once certain level of comfort is reached, the real personalities come out or fear of commitment raises its ugly head. Does he see the light at the end of the tunnel or an oncoming train? The number of non resolvable issues goes up. Are you fighting to resolve the issues or to express your frustrations? It is healthy for couples to have arguments but how you resolve the arguments determines whether you are heading for a successful relationship or not. I suspect that in your case â€˜conflict resolutionâ€™ might be an important issue. Please focus on the mantra that, â€œI would rather be happy than right!â€
You must be a good spirit; they care for you even after they break up with you. The fact that they do not come back after your willingness to â€˜work it outâ€™ tells me that these guys actually felt that you were not capable of change even when you wanted to change things. A self assessment is in order. Maybe you can ask your friends to send you an anonymous note as to which qualities of yours need adjusting?
You are the common denominator in all of these situations and the only person whose behavior you can control is your own. So, it is time for you to do a funeral and an autopsy!
Once you are convinced that a relationship is over; you need to do a â€œfuneral of the relationship.â€ We go to a funeral home and see some very vibrant person we love laying there with no chance of him/her ever coming back. We mourn the loss, pay the last respect and then the person is cremated. This whole process reinforces in us never to expect that person to return. Same way, the funeral of a relationship prevents you from wishful thinking that, â€œmaybe we can get back together.â€
When one of my patients dies, in spite of hard work on the part of medical team, we go to the autopsy room to learn from our mistakes. As we walk in the room, our mindset is, â€œI need to observe this person from the inside not to blame him for what he did wrong but to understand what I could have done differently.â€ The central question is, â€œIf I knew then, what I know now, how would I handle the situation different?â€
During the autopsy, do not waste time thinking about what the other person has done wrong to you. But, focus on what you could have done differently. Not, â€œhe was a jerk for such a long time,â€ but â€œwhy was I so stupid to put up with such a jerk?â€ Not, â€œI worked ten times to make this relationship work,â€ but â€œ why do I not like myself enough to recognize time and time again that this was not going to work?â€ Now make a list of things you have learned for your self and make a promise never to repeat them! A well done autopsy can be very empowering. Now you know how to get back in the game and expect a better result.
If you are really serious about getting married, you might want to consider switching to marriage mode from the dating mode. Dating mode presumes that you will bump into the right guy and gradually fall for each other and eventually may get married. So, there is no way for you to know if the guy is just enjoying your company or is seriously looking to settle down. Some guys think, â€œwhy buy a cow if you can get the milk for fre e?â€ This brings more frustration on the part of one who is seriously looking. The time you wasted on dating a guy who is not ready yet could have been better spent on looking for someone who is ready to commit.
No, you are not doomed to be alone for the rest of your life. I am sure there is a prince waiting for you out there. Good luck. – Vijay Uncle