After a certain age, a day will come, when your Whatsapp will be flooded with photos of boys. Sadly, these will not be the Tinder profiles shared by your BFF. Instead,
No matter how much you try to dodge
The Cycle of Acceptance
Luckily for us, Indian parents, too, follow the cycle of acceptance, also known as
The Cycle of Acceptance is a predictable cycle most people and organizations go through upon receipt of very bad news, which includes an opinion that differs radically from one
There are 5 stages basically you have to deal with before your parents finally
Stage I: Denial
The first and foremost stage. It roots from Indian parents’ inability to see beyond customs and pseudo-culture. They are gonna outright reject the possibility of you being in love. The replies you’re going to get will mostly look like:
“That’s not possible. It’s just attraction. You will get over it.”
“Love will happen after marriage.”
“We have seen the world. We know what’s best for you.”
“He just wants to marry in an upper caste like ours
to uplift his own status. .”
“He just wants to marry in a rich family like ours to uplift his own status.”
“He just wants to marry in a respectable family like ours
to uplift his own status.”
This stage is an impact-full one. It’s easy to give up at this stage. It will establish your presumptions about your parents.
“Dekha, maine kaha tha babuji nahi maanenge.”
What to do?
The best way is to simply give your parents some time to digest the news. Fighting back instantly will not help you win anything. It will, however, definitely piss them more. Everything you say will be held against you. You, however, need to make sure that your conviction should never look dwindled at any of the stages. Your parents can see through you and hear more than your words. If they find your confidence shaking at any point, you will find it hard to convince them otherwise.
Stage II: Anger
Once your parents start to digest the fact that you’re serious about him and there’s no convincing you otherwise, Congratulations! They’re now promoted to stage 2.
The reason this stage is difficult is
“Acha sila dia tumne humari parvarish aur laad pyaar ka!”
“It’s all our mistake that we allowed you to study/work/travel/party till late so much.”
“We should have gotten you married straight out of school!”
“You are a headache and an embarrassment to the whole family!”
Basically, it’s a sour cocktail of emotional torture, insults, taunts and a slice of belittling. The idea is to crush your ego and self-respect so much that you start doubting your decisions. Again, even a little hint of dwindled confidence will be leveraged against you.
What to do?
Whatever you do, JUST DON’T FIGHT BACK! They are still recovering from the news. If you fight back, you will come out as an arrogant spoilt brat. You have to
Find opportunities to explain to them the Whys.
– Why do you love your Boyfriend.
– Why do you want to marry him.
– Why do you think he is right for you.
A little bit of explanation from you can do wonders. The real problem is that they have made a fictional world in their imagination where everything is just plain wrong. Each of your explanation will help puncture that thought bubble.
Stage III: Depression ?
Just like everything else, Anger too doesn’t last long. It requires a lot of energy to sustain. Therefore, it is most likely to subside soon and something else will take its place. You will see your parents taking a passive backseat and the aggression will seem to fade away. While anger was to scare you, the new phase, Depression, is to break you emotionally. They know you love them and that’s what they are gonna leverage.
You will most likely be hearing:
“We will lose all our respect and status in the society. Everybody will look down on us”
“None of your sisters or brothers will ever get married.”
“We would wish we were dead.”
What to do?
Don’t give in to all this. Take everything on the face value. Trust me, the fact that this phase came is the proof that it’s a cycle. They are not actually depressed from the inside. Yes, they are upset. Upset that you’re not what they wanted you to be. You’re no more a dependent girl living off your parents’ permissions. It’s hard for them to see that you have grown up and harder for them to accept that you can decide best for yourself.
Try reasoning with them as much as possible. Try and address their concerns. Solve their doubts. Help them understand.
Stage IV: Bargaining
Wait a second, did they just ask you to leave him because they know a better guy? Congratulations! You’re at the final stage of this draining cycle. Go ahead, give yourself a pat on the back.
This phase comes when your parents’ confidence starts shaking. When they are almost about to give up, they try to bargain a deal with you. These are desperate and funny bargains. Try not to laugh.
“If you marry him, we will never talk to you”
“No one will come to your support when he and his family will torture you for dowry”
“His earnings will never satisfy your
“None of us will attend the wedding. You’re gonna be so alone!”
“Leave him and we will get you a much better guy/ family.”
“Leave him and we will send you abroad for studies.”
“Leave him and we will get you a new phone/ car/ penthouse/ unicorn.”
What to do?
Try avoiding laughing, for starters. You have come this far. Have faith in yourself. Know that the threats are just arrows in the dark. In most of the cases, they are just bluffing to try and scare you one last time. Even if they are serious, ask yourself, if your parents are ready to abandon you for one decision of yours, is it worth being considerate about them so much? Are you a human being or a bad investment? Just because the ROI (Return on Investment) is not as per them, is it justified to dump a blue chip stock like yourself? It’s funny how parents are ready to give up on their children.
Would you want to have a life partner who threatens to leave you whenever your happiness contests with his? Or how about having such Friends? No, right?
We want to surround ourselves with people who love us for what we are. People who guide us when needed. But people who want us to live life on their terms? A BIG NO!
So go ahead. Take the plunge. Their bluff will be caught 99% of times. They will come around in the end. Even if you’re among the 1% and your parents decide to outcast you, consider yourself lucky. You just escaped an abusive relationship. It’s a win-win situation.
Stage V: Acc..wait for it
The best part is, time works in your favor. While all this drama is happening at home, you are growing older simultaneously. This is a time bomb for your parents and even if they are not convinced in the end, they are more likely to give up and accept. Once they accept, doors open for everything else. They become more open and acceptable towards your relationship, the boyfriend, his family, etc. Slowly over time, the memories of past tussles and scepticism fade away. Your parents will feel like your parents again. Everything is most likely to get back to normal again. The family once sitting on the other side of the table will be standing next to you.
Few things to take care of and remember:
- Never ever take the argument to the point of no return.
- Be patient. Give time to your parents to settle with every new information. Boyfriend, caste, family, religion, salary, etc. Every new information can be a shocker for them.
- Your parents are not your enemy. They are conditioned by a society which could be different than yours.
Disclaimer: This article has been written keeping in mind an average Indian family. There will always be cases where parents might accept immediately or never.