Edited by: Maya M. Haidar
First of all, do you really need to? Isn’t hiding it all, sneaking out in the middle of the night, or saying you’re hanging out with friends when you’re actually on a date with him working out for you?
Okay, maybe you are tired of lying and I get that. But remember, this is a big step that you may be taking in your life and once you do it, there is no turning back. There will be constant eye-contact and long glares with awkward questions about how your boyfriend is doing and what he has been up to. As long as you consent to this, you can carry on reading because you need to be prepared for what you are getting into.
So, the following are the steps that hopefully will help you introduce the boy you like to your Indian parents:
1. Make sure you are 20 or above and are acing college
Unless you want to hear the “you are distracted all because of a boy” and “you scored less in your exams because you are dating”, make sure you introduce your boyfriend(s) from the age of 20 or above only. That way, your parents cannot hold your 12th grade percentage over you. Speaking of exams, don’t let your college GPA drop either, because that would definitely hinder our process. So, if needed, go back to the current research paper you are dreading to write: you have to grind now for no taunts later. Who am I kidding, for a slightly reduced amount of taunts that you’re ‘dating’ someone whom you may or may not marry. Oh how they hate ambiguity!
Being in a residential college is a plus point because in case your parents do decide to throw you out, you have someplace to live. You no longer need to lay any groundwork to go out for two days in the week and that smells like freedom to me.
2. Ensure your Raashees are compatible
First of all, you need to collect the current applicant’s biodata. You need to know his family history, his kundli, his 12th grade Board marks—and you better hope they are more than Sharma Ji’s son at IIT. You will also need data on what his parents do, if he has any siblings, and how old they are. Ideally, his choice of subject should be engineering. If it’s Arts then I suggest you reconsider this decision of introducing him.
Prepare answers with him for questions like ‘what would you like to do in 5 years’ and please ensure he doesn’t say a start-up because unless he is a prodigy, I don’t think desi parents will care. Along with this, ensure he has memorised each and every aspect of his resumé so that he can ‘woo’ your parents with his two-month-long invaluable internship in companies that no one has ever heard of. Of course, and this goes as a given, the ‘#Open to Work’ on LinkedIn needs to be disabled.
The last and most crucial aspect of preparation is to get him to shave. For desi parents, beard=Gunda=drugs.
3. Warm up your parents to the idea of your ‘friend’
Okay, this is an important step and needs to be executed perfectly. Ensure your parents are well hydrated and have been able to complain about the day’s news as well as give you your daily instructions. Upon entering their room, have your sibling/best friend, someone who knows all about this boy, join you for moral support.
You begin by asking them how their day went and create enough small talk to establish a rapport. Next, you tell them there is something you would like to share with them and in case you want to drive them wild, place your hand on your stomach while saying this. Well, on second thoughts, don’t.
Move on to sharing an instance with them that happened with a friend of yours, where she opened up to her parents about her private life and they weren’t accepting at all. I leave the drama, conflict, and climax to your creativity and imagination. Your desi parents will channel their need to involve themselves in others’ business very well.
After this story ends, it is crucial that you say these exact words: “I know that you are so understanding and caring and that we have such an open, respectful and trusting relationship that you would never react like this”. I know, it’s emotional blackmail in a sense, but I think it is justified for you to manipulate them just this once, considering they have been doing it for years.
Now is when you introduce the idea of a ‘friend’ that you would like them to meet. It is crucial to note that you cannot say ‘boyfriend’ at any given point in time. This makes it easier because your parents are smart enough to know what ‘friend’ means and you still haven’t given them a verbally binding contract about your relationship with this ‘friend’ for them to call you out legally.
Once you do this, tell them you have opened the round for questions and they have 2 minutes to ask whatever it is they want to ask. If questions are related to him, answer, and if they are related to your ‘relationship’ with him, give the typical Liberal Arts answer revolving around the ‘social constructs’, ‘relations’ and the ‘nuances’ of your heteronormative framework excluding platonic inter-sex relations’. I am sure you have enough practise from class.
In case things get ugly, please have your sibling/best friend on standby mode to save you from your parents.
IMP: Remember to do this only when college is just about to open so that you can safely go to campus in the next few days, in case there is a target on your back for indulging in very normal things like relationships.
4. Meet in a restaurant
If you are lucky and alive enough to reach this step, first of all, congratulations! I am glad you have made it this far.
Now you have to book a table at your parents’ favourite restaurant, which needs to be your boyfriend’s favourite as well. Please train your boyfriend to forget all about his personality and embrace your parents’ likes and dislikes. If they don’t watch football, don’t bring it up.
Booking a restaurant is safe for all parties involved since it is unlikely that your parents would end up making a scene. Although, I am not sure if your dad would stop with the stinky eyes to your boyfriend, sorry ‘friend’ from a distance.
Upon meeting, ensure your boyfriend knows how to give a good, sturdy handshake to your father, and a loving namaste to your mother. You may ask him to bring flowers for your mom if he wishes to. When sitting, make sure you and your ‘friend’ are sitting across your parents for effective interrogation.
Pro Tip: Make the waiter who will serve you your friend, aka tip them enough, so that they can be the diffuser during certain heated/awkward moments.
5. Divide and Conquer
Once the meal is over and you are in the car ride back home, before you know it, your parents will bring him up for you. Now, this conversation can usually go in two extremely different directions: they like him or you are not allowed to date him. In case it is the first one, I am truly happy for you. But let’s be realistic, that ain’t going to happen. So the best way to deal with this is to divide and conquer. Don’t talk about your ‘friend’ until you reach home and split your parents. Talk to each of them separately and convince them of his amazing accomplishments. Let them feel like they actually have a say in your feelings for him and you should be good.
Note: How good he is in bed isn’t an accomplishment.
6. Ensure them sex is reserved for marriage, only for purposes of procreation
There will be a time when your parents may attempt to give you a ‘talk’ and I would suggest you listen and make gross faces for bonus points. You can be horrified if you want, but don’t be too dramatic or they will know.
In case it is too hard to get through, you can just blame your knowledge about sex on the 8th grade chapter on reproduction that was not actually taught in class—but they don’t know that. Assure them that you are going to give your ‘flower’ to one man and one man only, that is, your husband. The key point is to reiterate to them that the only female pleasure you know of is that of being a mother to their grandchildren.
Now, once you follow each of these steps and are not abandoned or disowned in the middle, you have officially introduced your ‘friend’ to your parents. While the introduction is done, how to have a sustained relationship with your desi parents when you have a ‘friend’ in your life is a whole new ball game. First, aim to reach here because if you thought this was difficult, you have no idea what is going to come after.
P.S. terms and conditions apply because each and every individual parent relationship is different and this list isn’t comprehensive of that: I could totally be wrong.