I was explaining my situation to her when suddenly I felt that how ridiculous it sounds when I say it out loud. She asked me if I’m single and I said yes. She asked again why I’m not in a relationship.
“You have to be either single or married to someone. There is no other options in Iran.” I answered. I saw how she was surprised when she asked: “What do you mean?”
I started to talk. And both reasons for being single and being in a need to be married were convincing to her. I explained that I’m not with anyone yet, because there are many responsibilities in being a husband like you would be in charge of all the the expenses of the family, you have to pay Mahrieh, you need to hold a wedding ceremony and there are also many customs like buying gold for the bride, gifts and so on… So when you’re still a student and you have not enough income, you can’t talk about marriage.
I can’t stay single neither. Because there are social pressures on me. For example it’s very difficult to rent a house when you are single. You are also always under the focus when you talk to a female at your work, at university and every where. Another problem is that to apply for many jobs in Iran, being married is required. Above all this, being alone is very dangerous for your health, both mentally and physically and it could easily lead to depression for instance.
“Are you telling me that your motives for marrying someone is to become able to rent a house, to relieve your self from physical and emotional needs and not to be under the pressure in your society? Don’t you think that these are not good reasons to marry someone?”
I could proudly say “yes”, but she was right. I was trying not to stay single and these things were really influencing my motives. What could I say? To stay alone? NO. To marry someone? NO.
She started to laugh. And she was right. It’s ridiculous and there is no more options but to laugh at this situation. “Now, what are you gonna do?” she asked out of curiosity.
I told her that I’d rather go for a marriage. My mom is searching for an appropriate girl; because I gave up starting new relationships after I wasn’t successful in convincing my family to let me marry someone who I loved. And this time it’s not going to be a relationship. There will be some proposal sessions in which we are supposed to decide if we can marry to each other.
“So, you propose to someone who you just met?!” She started to laugh again. “And by the way, who are your family to decide to whom you marry?!”
I was so confused. I didn’t know how to explain this to her. And the more I tried to clarify our situation in Iran, the more ridiculous I sounded. So I had to stop the conversion. We said goodbye and after that I couldn’t find a better way to explain this silly reality to someone else.