I’m an introvert, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like people. I do – people I get along with and mostly those whom I have much in common with. I struggle to interact with people who don’t belong to that group.

This is a problem if you’re a Bengali girl in your late 20s. Even if you live in Sweden, sadly.

I normally don’t write down any specific details of my life here. Firstly, because it’s personal. Secondly, because what’s important are the emotions and not the actual events. Thirdly, because I don’t want anyone to start meddling in my business. And fourthly, because if you write generally about emotions then more people can relate to what you write.

Today I have to make an exception because well… people tend to make assumptions. And it’s better I spell things out than you guys draw the wrong conclusions.

So my mom wants me to get married. She kind of believes 25 is the expiry date for girls – everything goes downhill from there. She especially focuses on “beauty” – it’s there for a limited amount of time so girls need to get married while they still have it. I don’t blame her specifically for thinking the way she does; it’s just the environment she grew up in and what she learned from her parents and so on. That’s how things are supposed to be. As is common with the older generation, and especially so with Bengalis, changes… newness… isn’t accepted easily. Anything they didn’t know or didn’t do in their time, basically we shouldn’t either. Except for when it has to do with education, of course. Thank you British colonizers.

I’m 26, so needless to say mom is freaking out. Where before she would bring up the M topic maybe twice a year, now it comes up almost every other week. The way she talks about it is as if it’s my fault for not being married yet. Basically if she could have her way I’d have to bring someone here from Bangladesh and we all know that ain’t happening anytime soon.

Because of her constant nagging and my own paranoia, I’ve taken matters into my own hands. I’m not going into details here but I can say it’s not going well.

This is where those social skills come in that I mentioned in the beginning. If I had zero requirements, and would settle for a type that my mom would like, that would mean marrying someone basically with no personality at all. I actually thought I’d be able to do that, seen as how difficult it is to actually find a decent Bengali guy around here. Until well… let’s just say be careful what you wish for.

So I realized personality matters… a lot. Interests matter… a lot. Imagine you’re someone who doesn’t really listen to music but you marry a musician. Sometimes, you become interested in the stuff the person you’re interested in is interested in. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen as often as you would like. Which means it would be ridiculous for me to marry someone who doesn’t read books. Right? Right? I’m asking because I don’t want to be unreasonable. I want to be flexible and open-minded (well as much as possible anyway). I don’t want to believe that there are fundamental differences between people who read and don’t read. But there are… right?

Even… for some desperate reason… if I chose to overlook the literate aspect, I don’t want to get married just for the sake of getting married. What good will that do? In order to complete half my deen, I might find myself in the displeasure of God because I’m unhappy in my marriage and that leads to not being a good other half. So, mathematically speaking, I would benefit from being single longer.

I’m not depressed, or sad, or anguished or anything which requires of you guys to pat me on the shoulder, so please don’t come with “don’t worry, you’ll find someone”. I’ve heard that so many times for the past few years that I feel like strangling anyone who says it.