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(Even Martha Stewart, who in 2013 declared in her Match profile that she was looking for a “lover of animals, grandchildren, and the outdoors.” Martha, have you considered Raya, the private celebrity dating app?) Locking eyes across a crowded room might make for a lovely song lyric, but when it comes to romantic potential, nothing rivals technology, according to Helen Fisher, Ph D, a biological anthropologist, senior research fellow at the Kinsey Institute, and chief scientific adviser to Match.The second-grader who once was an extra on an episode of ? The class clown who kept teasing me on the playground? The quiet, brooding fifth-grade art lover who told me my arms were hairy like a monkey?Well, fuck that guy now, but damned if I wasn’t into him then.“It’s more possible to find someone now than at probably any other time in history, particularly if you’re older.You don’t have to stand in a bar and wait for the right one to come along,” says Fisher.“I think kids of arranged marriages are better at sorting through what’s real and what’s not,” he surmised.“Even when they go crazy, they know what they’re supposed to want.” And that’s the gap my mother, my surprisingly liberal Indian-born, Indiana-bred mom, has bridged beautifully: the ability to relate to her daughters without ever having been in their shoes.
Their union was arranged in India back in 1975, when my then-18-year-old mom agreed to marry a 26-year-old man with a mutton-chop mustache the size of Madras whom she’d known all of three weeks. I used to be jealous of my American friends, with their sitcom-worthy parents who publicly kissed on the mouth.Even 11 years later, each subsequent breakup still induces panic about dying alone, but damned if my mom hasn’t been right so far — there is always someone new “just around the corner.” And each boyfriend I’ve dated has always been a slightly better fit than the last.For example: When I brought my college boyfriend, Neel, home for the first time, I was sure he was perfect — a smart, shiny, student government-participating Indian boyfriend, the kind of future son-in-law Indian parents dream of. “He’s incredibly nice, but he’s too conservative for you.” When I once again dismissed her, she texted back a cryptic “You’ll see.” Four months later, we had broken up over his disapproval of my love of tequila shots and wearing backless Forever 21 sequined tops to parties with other guys around. Despite having done nothing egregious in her presence, Neel’s subtly domineering manner about trivial things (like when we needed to leave and who should drive) set off alarm bells in my mom’s head.” (Prompting an immediate trip to the gynecologist.) No topic has been too real or too forward for her to offer up judgment on.Recently, my friend Vivek and I were discussing dating in America while growing up as products of arranged marriage.