"If a man can make you laugh he's a keeper”
The typical Bollywood scenario usually consists of boy meets girl, girl meets boy, involves a lot of singing and dancing and so the pursuit begins; a love story in the making.
After the countless rejections towards one another, one day they realise they found love and so the search begins. All that keeps them apart is the everlasting field filled with yellow daisies.
As they stand gazing at each other, catching their breath they suddenly start running eagerly, with every step their dreams are getting closer as they know once they embrace each other, it is the moment when life changes dramatically and cue the love song. If only it was that easy.
But as the young girl goes through adolescence to become a woman, women eventually realise that life is far from a fantasy/fictional love story.
“My marriage was arranged and I never had a chance to explore what type of man I wanted as a partner, I was sixteen years of age and I did not know any better, in those times everything my parents said, I had to do,” said Harpreet.
“Even though the separation, I still had no indication what I was looking for in a man. As years passed by, I only then realised what qualities I desired when searching for my partner.”
In Harpreet’s case traditionally parents would find ‘rishte’ for their daughters without taking into consideration the attributes and qualities their daughter desired in a partner.
Nowadays arranged marriages are changing, they haven’t diminished altogether and probably never will, but women today are not afraid to tell their parents what kind of partner they’re looking for.
Although a small number of women still welcome the idea of allowing their parents to be matchmakers. Sairah says:
“I would rather my parents look for my Mr Right, it’s less stress for me! It’s so hard to find a decent man but that’s not to say they know what kind of person I’m looking for. As awkward as it was I had to communicate with my parents.”
Women’s aspirations and views change with time. Nowadays, women have more control over certain aspects of their lives from choosing their career, the lifestyle they live and finding their life partner. We as individuals have our own sense of individuality, however, millions of women across the world share one common ground and that’s finding love.
Every woman has her own vision of her prince charming. Some go for looks, personality or even wealth but how do you generalise difference of opinions? Here emerges a common criterion among women along with real British Asian women’s views and opinions.
“I like a man to be tall, of average built and has a nice smile. A man that has a good sense of style, not the tight flare trouser wearing socks and sandals kind of style,” laughs Sairah.
“He needs to take pride in his appearance,” she adds.
“First impressions count, some women can base it on looks. Attraction is important in a relationship but it’s just not the physical appearance, it’s about personality too.”
Women are increasingly becoming more attracted to men who have great physical attributes especially in this day and age where people take pride in their physique. This can include a lot of things such as the way men dress themselves to the way they carry themselves or the way they ooze confidence that accentuates their natural good looks.
Some men may not have the natural good looks but they can flaunt their great personality through the confidence they exude. Women can also be attracted to men who are able let them feel the inner strength of their character.
“I believe that if a man can make you laugh, he is a keeper!”
She also added :
“Yes I have a type, as crazy as it sounds I like men with nice teeth but if I meet a man that may not have the looks but he is confident, caring and has a great sense of humor then I’m not letting him go. Life passes by our looks will one day fade away, our personalities will remain everlasting.”
Men have always strived to gain financial stability. Men take pride in being ‘the breadwinner’ as it enhances their masculinity. However, nowadays women earn just as much as men and can in some cases become the primary breadwinner of the family.
“I am a very focused and career minded individual, if my ideal man cannot pay for dinner or does not have a successful job then it’s a big turn off. I’m not after a rich man but a man that is financially secure for life.”
“Women long to be happy in all aspects of their life not only physically but emotionally and psychologically as well. Being able to provide for the relationship is a huge asset. I wouldn’t want him to pay for everything as I’m involved in the relationship too. It’s about finding the right balance.”
This evidently means that to the Asian woman of today balance is very important. Especially, when it comes to sharing activities both domesticated and financial. They days of expecting the Asian women to do everything are no longer the norm. Although, there are Asian women who still feel and believe that the man should always have the upper hand in a relationship as it is part of the natural make-up of a man, and they feel more secure this way.
Culture and Education
The British Asian community consists of people originating from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and other parts of South Asia. These countries have a rich and diverse culture; they have great influence over the traditions and values which has enriched the British-Asians’ way of living. Asians also believe education is an important factor in life.
“A partner that is educated, well-spoken and family-orientated is ideal,” Sairah says.
“I admire a man that has respect for others and is in touch with his roots. I was born and bred in the UK and would like my partner to share the same values as me. I am not looking for a traditional man that has not integrated with modern society.”
A woman plays a significant role in life; she will not only be a wife but a mother too. However, the journey as a wife and mother starts with a partner.
Women ideally look for men as their lifelong partners or soul mates and have their own criteria when looking for that special someone. Though what women really seek for in a partner varies because of individual differences as well their past experiences in men.
What do you think it takes to be an Asian prince charming in modern day society? Do you think it is all about looks and money or is personality the real thing that matters? Or is finding the right prince with the right charm is not a major challenge for British Asian women today.