Hello penguins! In the last post I talked about 5 of the top 10 questions you must ask yourself (and your boyfriend/girlfriend) to determine whether you’re ready to get married. Here are the last 5.
1. Do we know each other’s negative sides and have strategies to deal with them?
Do you know what your boyfriend is like when he’s really (I mean really really) angry?
You can’t live without your dogs. Do you know if she can live with them?
Are you too ambitious for him/her?
Before you decide when to get married, make sure you know about (most of) those aspects of your partner which you don’t like. For this, you need to know each other closely enough. Don’t decide to get married in a rush (like I did, and had to put in a lot for effort later, before we came close to finding solutions).
The second step after figuring each other out is learning to deal with each other. When you should get married will depend largely on what kind of time you take to develop strategies to handle each other’s negative sides.
For example, decide whether you’re ready to live pet-less for the rest of your life for the sake of your pet-o-phobic partner. Make your peace with your partner’s may-not-be-so-awesome career before you’ve decided to get married. Taking the plunge carrying qualms and disappointments in your mind is a near-perfect formula for marital disaster.
2. Do we respect and admire each other as individuals?
Are you in love? Great. But it also means you have a fancy pair of glasses on your eyes (I know I had). Glasses which make him/her seem like The Best Thing on Earth, The Thing to die for, The Thing to live for.
Of course I’m joking. Of course you’re not going to think about marriage in that stage of your relationship. The stage when everything looks pink. Unfortunately I did, and I really hope and wish (and warn) that you don’t.
You love each other and care for each other. But also ask yourselves whether you value each other as individuals, for the qualities that you have (and beauty or physical attractiveness is not one of them, because its magic wears off). If you’ve never bothered about those, start now. You don’t want to know what happens when you marry someone thinking they’re gold and your shared life proves them to be only glittery, and not gold.
3. Have we become part of each other’s family?
I cannot emphasize the importance of this one enough, especially in an Indian context. Knowing each other’s families and becoming integrated is important not only because you’re expected to spend time with them after marriage, but much more importantly, because you can’t know a person fully unless you know their family. When you’ve spent time with your partner in their home, with their family – you get to know them in their most comfortable context. It’s here that you get to see their truest self.
This is important especially if you and your partner have met each other at a later stage in life (say, after college). Never make the mistake of taking your relationship too far (close to marriage, that is) without knowing your partner’s family well enough. People grow out of their homes and can develop an exterior which doesn’t show their true self, their core values and beliefs. When you spend enough time with their family, get to know about their childhood, their relationship with their parents and closest friends – you get to look past that veneer.
Secondly of course there’s the question of developing a relationship with each other’s families. This involves knowing their positives, negatives, expectations from you etc. You might like them, you might not. But in any case you need to have your strategy of dealing with them in the best possible way. This strategy is best developed over time, in a no-pressure situation. In other words, before marriage (unlike me ;)).
4. Can I see him/her as a parent of my children?
The import of this one of course needs no re-emphasis. Does it fill your heart with happiness to think of having children with him/her one day? Is he/she the kind of person you’d want to share your genes with, in the form of your legacy in this world?
On this count, the question of his/her family comes into play once again. You might love each other and want to live with each other. But before deciding when to get married, be conscious of the fact that your children are as much a product of your family, as hers/his. Are you happy to think of your child as a dot on the line of his/her family?
If not, think again. And very carefully.
5. Is he/she The One?
I’m an idealist when it comes to love. I believe in all the good old concepts like there being a special someone waiting for each of us, and a couple being two parts of a whole which fit perfectly into each other, and each other only. While everything I’ve mentioned so far is crucial to deciding when to get married, nothing replaces that special connection you feel with him/her which you’ve never felt before. Only this morning I was thinking of how meeting your Special One is like resonance in physics – you’ll never get to see the how much your heart can fly unless you’ve hit the resonant frequency, of which there’s only one in this world. In fact I posted about it (along with a lot of other fun, romantic and quirky quotes) in our Facebook Page.
If this box is not ticked, deal’s sure off. No questions asked.
And after many shameful confessions of not asking (most of) the right questions before marriage, I’m bloated with pride to inform you that this one is something I managed to tick the first thing after I met him. :D
6. Is there a #6?
Well there wouldn’t be, but as our most enthusiastic friend and follower Connie Omari has pointed out in the comments to the last post, a shared spiritual (NOT religious) belief is crucial too. You’re an atheist, your partner goes to the temple every Thursday, you’re fighting about it every day and you’re still hoping it’ll all be ok after marriage – unlikely to work.
What are the questions you’re planning to go over before your marriage?
What did you ask and what did you forget to ask before your marriage?
I can’t wait to hear it all out in the comments.
Have a great day!