I am obsessed with dating shows. There’s something about watching random strangers on TV meeting for the first time, seeing how they vibe and predicting their future together that leaves me feeling extremely satisfied and also like I’m some sort of single relationship expert who has loads of knowledge (but chooses not to use it in my own life lol).
During one crazy Friday night TV binge, my mates got me hooked on the Netflix show Dating Around and soon after that – not being dramatic here – I was SHOCKED TO THE CORE because:
- I’d witnessed the absolute worst TV date in history
- I’d seen someone who looks like me and who I can relate to – a Punjabi woman – on an actual romantic date, on Netflix!
My heart went out to Gurki after her disaster date with Justin ended with her in tears. The date went majorly downhill after Gurki admitted to marrying out of family and cultural pressure, which Justin didn’t understand. They argued and he stormed out.
The episode ended with Gurki gracefully walking down the street in a cute summer dress, shopping bags in hand, choosing to leave solo unlike any other contestant in the show’s two series. This was a pretty bold move, which I, as a single human enthusiast, very much appreciated (because why settle when you’re a bad B).
Here are 5 things I learnt from my chat with Gurki Basra:
- She’s had enough of ignorant comments while dating 🙄
Sometimes when you date out of your culture, you are witness to some RIDICULOUS questions and comments, like the time somebody told me they’d like to date me because it would make them seem more ‘interesting’. *Sigh* nothing could make you more interesting bbz. Turns out hearing ignorant comments is universal to women around the globe #internationallove
‘I feel like it’s pretty common to date ignorant guys…if you’re Indian and you’re dating outside of your culture you kind of hear these like dumb… statements about oh I love Indian food… or they will be like, I love mangos...
It can be disheartening cuz you’re just like I don’t have time to educate you on this stuff and like you should know better.’– Gurki Basra
2. She knew that being on the show had a deeper purpose.
Gurki mentioned that she felt like she was ‘meant’ to be on the show ‘for some reason’, and that reason became quite obvious during our chat.
‘I remember thinking if I’d seen good examples of divorced women that were like Punjabi and desi and everything maybe I wouldn’t have been so depressed and torn when I got divorced.’– Gurki Basra
Other than the one exception – Rupam from Indian Matchmaking – I’ve never seen another example of a divorced Punjabi woman. I fully rate that Gurki saw Dating Around as an opportunity to tell her story and inspire others.
3. She’s trying to learn from her past relationships.
We chatted about how we were putting our time to good use during lockdown 1,2,3,4 (idk which one we are on now) and with all this time to think, our minds can’t help thinking about our exes, the past and how we could have done stuff better – WHY IS MY BRAIN TORTURING ME?!
“I’m not perfect…I’m realising that I have a lot of my own shit to work on, maybe guys in the past that I wrote off…maybe there was some positive there that I could have taken away…There is a lesson in every relationship’.– Gurki Basra
Even though it is difficult to see the light sometimes, Gurki said she was trying to see the positives in her most recent break-up with Dating Around’s show director (we got all the tea over here baby).
4. Gurki dated 7 guys – not 5 😉
The show follows Gurki around on dates with 5 lucky dudes, but she told me that she actually got to date 7.
Damn how do I sign up?
5. There’s pros and cons to arranged AND love marriages and she’s trying to figure it all out.
Like many second or third generation Punjabis who have grown up surrounded by arranged marriages, whilst also being sold the love marriage dream every single place we look, you do sometimes ask yourself – which way works? I have no idea. Gurki had some interesting thoughts on it all.
She discussed the contrast between her parents’ arranged marriage, always having each other’s back and their relationship being strong, obligation driven – but definitely NOT romantic, with dating today where we have the freedom to love who we want but are dealing with people who don’t like compromise.
‘There’s like my parents’ relationship where they’re always gonna be together no matter what, they might not be super fulfilled or happy in terms of their romantic life…American guys are more like, you have to accept me for me, or this isn’t meant to be, kind of shit.’– Gurki Basra
Comparing the two, she said ‘I’ve gone through all of it and I can’t figure out…there’s a shade of grey (between the two extremes) and I want to explore all of that’.
Link to my YouTube video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnq_UVSgeZk
Sometimes I make comedy videos,
sometimes I talk about real stuff.