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How to ask smart Qs to find out what a man wants


LAYAAN

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Quick facts and background -

I'm in the US for education. I've a profile on a matrimonial website and meet men through that. (I'm raised in India)

Most men that I met this way asked me (what I consider) very demeaning/humiliating Qs... mostly finance and career related. I would not waste the space to enlist those Qs. To summarize, they wanted to make sure that they married someone with a job, a good career, etc.

 

What I'm looking for - is reliability, honesty, humility/down-to-earth nature in a man. I believe that good work ethics, good money handling habits, decent education (atleast a BS), a progressive attitude (in life in general, not just career) and an ability to roll with punches will help any person stay afloat and even become successful professionally. I'm looking for someone I feel connected to/can easily talk to and someone who will be willing to support me during times that I'm out of work/looking for a job/delivered a baby/want to take a break to take care of the baby, etc. From talking to these men and meeting them, it appeared that most men were interested in what and how much I'm bringing to the table (business component of a marriage) than anything else.

 

My approach - I go through the profile once to see that my basic expectations of education, looks are somewhat met. I don't ask Qs about these things again. No salary, loans, debts Qs, what car you drive, what home you live in Qs either. I am looking to see if I like the guy, if I feel comfortable/at ease with him, if he is someone I can talk to, have fun with, enjoy and look forward to spending time with. Do we seem to have enough similarity in terms of what we value, do we want similar things, do we want them at similar times.

 

I feel angry and hurt inside when I look back on how my 1st meeting with most men has been. I felt humiliated, felt like I was being interviewed for a job position. I want to change this.

Would it be okay if I email/talk to men and be very open to them about what I'm looking for and my approach to selecting a man and see if they are okay with it and still want to meet me? or would I come accross as someone who is touchy, hurt, holds grudges? What can I possibly do to avoid repeatedly being in same situation?

I would really appreciate some input.

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What I'm looking for - is reliability, honesty, humility/down-to-earth nature in a man. I believe that good work ethics, good money handling habits, decent education (atleast a BS), a progressive attitude (in life in general, not just career) and an ability to roll with punches will help any person stay afloat and even become successful professionally. I'm looking for someone I feel connected to/can easily talk to and someone who will be willing to support me during times that I'm out of work/looking for a job/delivered a baby/want to take a break to take care of the baby, etc. From talking to these men and meeting them, it appeared that most men were interested in what and how much I'm bringing to the table (business component of a marriage) than anything else.

 

Why are what they are looking for with regards to your education, work etc. any different from this list of what you are looking for from them? Your 'shopping list' is also about what they can do for you regarding support and money.
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Why are what they are looking for with regards to your education, work etc. any different from this list of what you are looking for from them? Your 'shopping list' is also about what they can do for you regarding support and money.

My "shopping list" is not ALL about their finances. If you read carefully, I said I believe good work ethics... etc. I was talking about myself and the other person. The qualities can only be revealed over time when we date. I never asked them how much their salary was. I said college education because I am getting double doctoral degree. By-the-way, my last BF didn't have a BS and I was okay with that because I thought that he was indeed a bright man.

I don't think you get what I'm trying to say. I said that the talk was only about my education, whether I'll get a job, how much loans I had. I never asked any man these Qs. If one of the partner loses job, I don't think its wrong to expect the other partner to be supportive while I look for another job opportunity. Many women take break from work a few years to raise kids. All I'm saying is I'm facing finance related Qs on 1st date. I don't think thats appropriate.

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But the basic fact is that you have expectations in a man you would consider marrying. They have expectations from about the type of women they would consider marrying and the fact that they are not the same doesn't make either of you wrong. These particular men are not interested in being what you want - they don't want to be in a position to support a wife. There is nothing wrong with either set of expectations other than that they are incompatible. You seem to think their requirements about money are demeaning to you - but you too have financial requirements.

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I agree with DN. I'm sure it's weird feeling like you're on a job interview when they ask you these questions, but it doesn't make sense to get involved with someone and not ask them important questions such as these over time until after you are already involved with that person. The end result of imcompatability that isn't address immediately will be either one person settling for something they didn't want or a painful yet imminent breakup, both which would be avoided if addressed on the first date or two.

 

When they ask you these questions that are important to them, why don't you reciprocate & ask them yours? You don't want to wait until 6 months in to find out they are not tolerant and do not want to support you during your unemployment or desire to stay home with a baby.

 

I know money isn't the most important thing, but I would not marry someone who was up to their eyeballs in debt. I refuse to be in debt and if you married someone like that, they will just drag you down with them. I would prefer to not even bother getting involved with that person & just end it before it even starts. Then again, I see educational loans differently. Taking out loans to get a degree (lets say, as a physician) is different than taking out loans to buy things you can't afford. The first is responsible loans which will likely be repaid. The second is irresponsible and will leave you with their growing debt as well.

 

It's not the most romantic way of looking at things, but don't you think you would end up with a more compatable person for you if you only dated people who met your prerequisites & vice versa? How is financial compatability less important than compatability in values and character? After all, finances (I've heard) are the most frequent causes of conflict in a relationship. If one person is very conservative with thier money and the other isn't, you're bound to have some big problems getting along.

 

Try not to get too offended when they ask you questions about your job. Heck, you will have a double doctoral degree; I highly doubt success will be a problem for you!! You are fully entitled to ask them your questions as well.

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Thank you for replying to my post. I find your replies useful.

When a man asked me Qs about debt, this was my reply.

 

"I don't like that fact that you are asking me Q about my debt and loan on the 1st date, but if I dodge this Q, you will think that I indeed am neck deep in debt/big spender, so I'm going to answer this Q. As of now, I have no loan of any sort or kind. I worked before I started school and dilligently saved money, invested it in such a way that yielded me a decent return. I then put myself through school and worked again a part-time job and saved money for my pharmacy license exams. I'm the only child and my parents will vouch that I have never asked them for money after age 21. I have no credit card debt as of today and live within my means. I would not lower myself to your position and ask you 'okay, so now its your turn to answer me, wat's your financial position?' because I'm not looking for financial stability today. What I'm looking for is a man with good money handling habits. Money will definitely grow then. Also, any normal student that pursues professional degrees in the US is not without a significant educational loan. So, debt is not an uncommon word if I'm looking for men with good education. The source of that debt is more important than the amount per se. If my husband has taken out loan for his medical school and I see that he is working hard and keeps his expenses within his means, definitely I would not mind going ahead in that relationship."

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I suspect most men who received that reply would not respond but would look for someone else.

Yeah, in my experience when I get a response that hostile, it's time to move on. Not only is it unlikely I'll repair the breach, it's a pretty strong indicator that she deals with conflict, even mild conflict, very poorly. I'd rather be with someone who tries to work things out without inflicting additional hurt, rather than someone who lashes out at the least provocation.

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I suspect most men who received that reply would not respond but would look for someone else.

Thank you for your reply.

This is a sincere Q. What do you find hostile in it? and am I really wrong to react this way since I'm being questioned about my finances on 1st date? Can you please guide me as to what an ideal response should be?

Thank you so much.

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Yeah, in my experience when I get a response that hostile, it's time to move on. Not only is it unlikely I'll repair the breach, it's a pretty strong indicator that she deals with conflict, even mild conflict, very poorly. I'd rather be with someone who tries to work things out without inflicting additional hurt, rather than someone who lashes out at the least provocation.

Thank you for your reply. Its not what I expected to read, but okay, so if I'm overreacting to what you consider a benign Q, can I also ask this Q to a man on a 1st date? Is it allowed? and can I expect a transperant, non-hostile answer? (This is a sincere Q. I really want to know)

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OF course you can ask those questions without having to expect a hostile response; the matrimonial website environment actually supports this rather business like approach to a partnership. If you want to have a more romantic/ western-style approach to finding a partner, then those type of websites are not the right method.

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hmm... I see Penelope. I guess, I am the one who is wrong to expect romance in an arranged marriage market. I think thats where I'm going wrong. I think arranged marriage is a quest for the best possible deal one can get. You can custom-make your choice, I guess. Love and affection may or may not happen.

 

So, Penelope, it means that if I am looking for a loving relationship where the guy doesn't see this as a business deal, I should avoid going the arranged marriage route. If I want to take this route then develop a tough skin and be ready to answer these Qs probably even before meeting and also ask the same Q back. Don't feel bad about having finance talk during 1st meeting.

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hmm... I see Penelope. I guess, I am the one who is wrong to expect romance in an arranged marriage market. I think thats where I'm going wrong. I think arranged marriage is a quest for the best possible deal one can get. You can custom-make your choice, I guess. Love and affection may or may not happen.

 

So, Penelope, it means that if I am looking for a loving relationship where the guy doesn't see this as a business deal, I should avoid going the arranged marriage route. If I want to take this route then develop a tough skin and be ready to answer these Qs probably even before meeting and also ask the same Q back. Don't feel bad about having finance talk during 1st meeting.

 

I sort of disagree with this. Everyone "shops" around when it comes to dating or finding a long-term partner; they just differ on the values they seek in the ideal relationship and the methods to gain such a relationship. Love and romance CAN happen in arranged marriages, assuming that people in that arrangement value them at all of course. The same applies to the improvisations that most westerners do.

 

From what I'm reading here, the OP just seems tired of the traditional methods of marriage-matching in her home country and has tastes of her own that she'd like to experiment with. I would just like to advise that she take the quest with grace as much as possible, because more often than not she will meet those who do not match her values enough.

 

Going back to the main topic at hand; don't be afraid to ask the tough questions. Do be concerned about asking them the wrong way and at the wrong time. Pacing and technique is very important to many people seeking a serious or casual relationship, just as it is in the job market. There will be those few who are very open and like to "get to the point", but most prefer to focus on the fun and let the serious details get in between.

 

Again, this is the improvisation that I'm talking about, and it's far from easy. There's no real method, tradition, or set of rules, just learning from your experience.

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