Sunday, April 25

Lifting The Purdah

So three months are officially up then, and I've fulfilled the challenge that had been set out for me; and as such here is the inevitable analysis and post-mortem regarding my findings.

First up some qualifications and admissions. I did actually break the contract a few times before today. There was a single dinner out with friends, four of us in a mixed group of equal numbers, but more criminal than this was me visiting a friends house for dinner where I turned out to be the only guy of five. For shame. To be fair one of the girls was leaving the country indefinitely so I felt I could bend the rules on that particular occasion.

Then of course there's the fact that I was out of the country for most of the time I was placed under conditions. That said South Africa had potential to make my life difficult, but quite fortunately my Durban leg turned out to be full of bromance and man-crushes anyway. That said, I'm glad purdah lifts today since I suspect there will be times when I'll have to chat to women, and I'd like to be able to enjoy that without awkwardness, thanks.

Overall, I think I fulfilled the terms of my contract.

So what has changed? Well not much to be honest. I don't perceive women any different to how I did three months ago, and I haven't all of a sudden begun to appreciate or fancy any of my girl mates (well not any more than I already did anyway). Avoiding women hasn't made me any more desperate to get married (although that's probably because it's impossible to be any more desperate than I already am) and I find myself still wanting the same things from a wife. In that sense the experience has been quite vindicating and reassuring that I'm sure about what I want and can offer in return.

So what have I learned about myself? Well most of the lessons have been indirect; not being able to join my usual circle of friends for dinners and the like taught me that I didn't need to take up all the invites to socialise thrown my way and that I wouldn't die if I missed out on a dinner or two.

I also grew a pair and found that, actually, hanging out with guys can be quite fun; provided of course that I'm hanging with the right guys. This is good to know seeing as most potential wives seem to reserve their right to do their own thing from time to time so at least I know I won't get too bored when they do.

And finally I've demonstrated to myself that I'm able to cut out certain things in my life should the need arise. Although some (including me to a certain extent) may find the idea of limiting friendship, especially on gender lines, pretty harsh, at least I know how possible such an action would be to do. And possibly more usefully, potential rishtas now know this too.

So yes, all very interesting (or not I guess). I must admit that I found it a relatively useful exercise to take part in, even though my prediction that it wouldn't actually get me any closer to actually getting actually married came to pass as true. Whether or not it actually helps in the long run I don't think I'll ever know, but for now I just glad that I'm able to go back to enjoying the exquisite company of my female friends once again.

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