Love can overcome all odds. Unfortunately, that romanticised idea ain’t gonna work on our pragmatic parents. If you’re bringing your partner home for the first time, here are a few questions they might grill him about.
1. What’s his qualification?
Employment in Singapore is based on meritocracy, which leads to a chase in paper qualifications, and we can’t say the same doesn’t apply when it comes to relationships – or at least, in our parents’ POV. Some parents opine that since they have spent money sending you to university, our partner should have at least similar qualifications in order to be deserving of us.
2. How much does he make? Is it enough to buy a HDB flat?
In Singapore, buying a HDB flat is serious business. It means we’re ready to settle down with him. Some people even use it as a marriage proposal. (“Do you want to buy a HDB flat with me?”) Naturally, parents want to be assured that their kids are well taken care of (especially when it comes to daughters). The best way to find out? If he can afford a HDB flat, our future is pretty much secured.
3. What do his parents do?
In most communities, especially Asian, you don’t marry an individual – you pretty much marry into the family. Which is why it’s important for both families to be able to get along to avoid conflicts so their kids won’t be caught in the crossfire. Finding out his parents’ jobs can give them an insight into what kind of person their in-laws-to-be are. In this way, they would also know if we’ll be ill-treated by your future mom-in-law after we marry into the family.
4. Does he want kids?
Some of us might have decided that we don’t want kids, but we can’t say our parents, who are more traditional, are open to the idea of not having kids. “You’ll have no one to care for you in old age,” is the common line used to convince us. This is why they are more receptive to someone who is at least open to the idea of having kids, even if they may not want one immediately.
5. Does he have a criminal record?
This is probably a commonly asked question no matter which country you’re from because parents find it hard to entrust their children to an ex-convict (the Yellow Ribbon project clearly has little effect on them). But their cause for concern is not unfounded. After all, who would want their children to risk being made into pawns for crimes?
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