Finding a companion is one of the most innate things we humans do. We try to look for camaraderie with those our own age or older than us to share things of common interest. But when it comes to getting hitched for life things are not as easy as two toddlers learning to share their toys… It’s beyond the nitty- gritties! Marriage is a lifetime commitment that comes with a world of responsibilities. It is only wise to introspect if you are ready to take on that responsibility or step into the role of a wife/ husband. Here are a few points to keep in mind before you decide to walk down the aisle.
15. Be emotionally stable…
Most of us want to experience the security of marriage without being prepared for it. Emotional baggage of the past, name-tags that we had to live with from past relationships stay with us when we allow ourselves to enter into wrong relationships. Getting over those experiences take a whole lot of time and it is a much needed time before getting hitched for life. Being able to let your hair down and experience the fullness of life is an art. The first step to experiencing emotional stability is to allow yourself to live again, hope again and believe that there is a little world inside us that craves happiness and wholeness, and no one other than us can provide that fullness for us!
14. Pamper yourself with a long holiday
Life is a mystery… There are unknown territories, feelings that you never felt or been oblivious to moments when you could burst out in joy for the simplest of things in life. These are moments in life one must experience. When was the last time you laughed yourself to tears? Or the last time you experienced the total bliss of watching the waves come raging at you? Well, if you have not experienced it, then go do that before you tie yourself into a lifetime relationship. Plan a trip with some of your closest friends, and visit some place where you can just experience freedom. By freedom I mean, emotional freedom! Go dance at a beach party, stare into the starry night sky, have a deep conversation with someone you will probably never meet again and kiss yourself goodnight. Now, that I would say is exhilarating!
13. Do something memorable..
Has the thought of traveling the world alone ever appealed to you? It may have to some of you. What then stopped you from fulfilling that dream? Is it your fear holding you back? Why care? If you are someone who has the sense of keeping safe and contained during odd hours of night then you must drive yourself out into that thrilling journey alone. Traveling on your own is one of the most insane but incredible things one can do. Being alone teaches us countless lessons- it teaches us that we are not that weak after all, we have the emotional strength to go on without anyone’s support and that this realization is not a result of anger or rebellion towards any human being. It is but a refreshing reminder of who we really are and what we really can do. It is fulfilling! So what are you waiting for? Do your homework, choose a safe place, pack your bags and head out. Oh yeah, don’t forget your favorite book and your music player:) Music has a rippling effect on your soul that transcends natural boundaries.
12. Do you know yourself?
I think most of our lives pass by only trying to figure out what we really are and what we want from life. As we age our desires, our aspirations and our expectations change. The person we were at 15 isn’t the same person we are at 25 or even 30. We meet different kinds of people, we experience pain, heartache, laughter, joy, and these experiences molds us into who we are. The realization of who we truly are probably happens at 30 or sometimes as late as 60 but the search goes on. The degree of change we experience depends on how flexible we are at every step of our life. However, the earlier we understand ourselves the better it is for us, because the more we understand ourselves and life the lesser mistakes we make. The key to a successful life and marriage is to know who you are and not allow anything to change you or dictate life to you.Yes, change where you need to but hold on to things that are good and you strongly believe in. Remember, you can’t be everything everyone wants you to be but you can surely be what you should be to make a good human being:)
11. Enjoy the peak of career
Have you ever been in a situation where you have questioned your own abilities to do something you are good at? When life comes at you with the onus of taking up house chores, taking care of kids or dealing with lack of appreciation for who you are at home then you can truly begin to lose hope. Therefore it is very important to have a successful career, know that you are very good and that you CHOSE to give it up to pursue something more important that requires your immediate attention. Life is all about priorities and knowing that doing house chores too requires tremendous strength is the way forward! You are not small or weak when you choose to rear children, know your worth!
10. Are you ready?
This is probably the most important question you will ask yourself before you finally decide to get hitched. Are you missing a companion? Do you need someone to constantly tell you that you matter? Are you past the age for marriage and being ridiculed by people for still being single? Or here’s the big one, have you just broken off a long lingering relationship and are now depressed? Well, if the answer to all the above questions are ‘Yes’, then let me tell you, these are THE wrong reasons to get hitched. Marriage does not complete you, you are complete. Marriage does not make you feel good, know that you are good and worth and finally, marriage is not the remedy for depression, on the contrary depression or the desire to fill your days with someone around you is a recipe for disaster. Get married when you know that you can add something to someone’s life, that you have the courage to give, build and safeguard what has been entrusted to you at the altar:)
9. Take a marriage counselling session
This is a fantastic way to start off with your journey into getting hitched. If you are dating someone and you are in doubt, talk to couples who have been married for 15 odd years, been there done that. Those are the only people who can really prepare you to take those initial steps into a fulfilled marriage. They will tell you what to expect, and dangers that you can avoid in case the man/ woman you are dating is not “The One”. One word of caution, don’t talk to two kinds of people –
- Those who are young or are in abusive relationships but cannot let go.
- Those who are always nodding their head to everything you say, challenge your decision by talking to those who will tell you the truth.
8. Opposites don’t attract
Have you heard of the saying “Opposites attract”? If I could be very honest with you, they don’t! Opposites may attract for a while or is okay in small matters but areas that make a difference, such as religious views, or general outlook to life and marriage or commitment, you cannot have contrary views. Because it is these very differences that will eventually destroy your marriage. It is important to be with someone with whom you are in agreement and someone you would love to strike up a conversation with every waking moment of your life, because it is communication that keeps a marriage alive, not sex or attraction, they fade!
7. Have a picture of who you want to marry…
I was once told by a couple to list out things I wanted in my man and pray over that list everyday. I can’t tell you how much that list helped me. First of all it helped me set up a standard of what I really want in my man, secondly it also helped me to stay aware at all times and look for those characteristics in every man I met. If they did not fit the bill they would stop taking any space in my mind. I can’t stress more on the need to know what you really want from your partner and your marriage. When we list down the attributes of what we want in our man or woman, it gives us a better perspective of how our life will look like.
6. Are you infatuated?
Remember the feeling you first felt when you saw that guy or girl? Every song reminded you of them, you would wait every opportunity to meet them. In case you caught a glimpse of them somewhere your heart would skip a beat. Well, at this stage it would be difficult to tell the difference between love or infatuation. How can we know what we are experiencing isn’t just a fleeting emotion, but love? Well, time alone can say. You cannot decide in a day or a month that this is the woman or man you want to spend the rest of your lives with. Sometimes it takes months and years to understand each other, go through heated arguments and patch ups to decide if it is love or not. Love that stays through the years in spite of fights is the real deal. Feelings change but love is not a feeling, it is a decision, a decision to love and to hold, cherish and hold close to your heart someone, who has touched your life in a unique way. You cannot have an attitude to give up at the drop of a hat neither can you build your marriage on a foundation of sand.
5. Know The man/ woman thoroughly
Relationships need time. If you have found someone, give him/ her time, let time pass you by. Try to know every aspect of your partner’s life, his/her family and their real character behind closed doors. Try to hang out with their parents, get to know their family members, see how you are received by their family members. Love is blind, you may think you can live with certain characteristic flaws of your partner but trust me marriage is not a cake walk, so knowing your partner inside out will do two things, one, it will make you certain about your decision and two, you will get to know the level of attachment your partner has towards his/ her family. Because, if the majority of the people in the family don’t accept you, chances are you will continue fighting to be accepted all your life with very little support from your partner. It may not be a rule of thumb for every man or woman, but most men tend to ignore nitty gritties of their families because they are wired differently. Previously we were expected to know our partner well before we got hitched, but now greater stress is laid upon knowing his or her background, family and value systems, because these are biggies in marriage one can’t ignore!
4. Discuss your differences and the way you will handle them..
Every couple is different and may communicate in different ways. The biggest thing is realize these differences and how they may affect a marriage. It’s one thing to only worry about yourself and how a certain situation may have an impact on you. When considering the partnership of marriage you must take into account that any decision that is made affects both people in the relationship. It is no longer just about yourself. Know and understand these differences before walking down the aisle. The more you do know the easier it will be to overcome any bumps down the road.
3. Discus the various responsibilities
If you are dating a man who can’t handle financial stress then let me warn you! I have spent 33 odd years of my life seeing couples fight over finance, it is an undeniable stress that wrecks marriages. Most men don’t encourage discussing their financial issues with their partners. While finance may look trivial or irrelevant, it has broken marriages. Every couple must discus how finance will be dealt, how financial crunch will be dealt with and also alter difference of opinion about what is a luxury and what is a need. A woman may love shoes, bags while a man might love gadgets. Have you met women who have a fetish for branded clothes, or addicted to shopping? And then there are women like me who loves eating out 😉 Learning to value money is an important process we all have to go through!
2. Be completely transparent about your past
You may not agree with me on this but this is a very important step before you walk the aisle. Here is why I feel letting your spouse know about your past is important. Some people don’t genuinely care about your past as long as you are what you are in your present, while to another few it makes a huge difference who you dated or the fact that you may not be a virgin. So, if your partner is cool about your past relationships but don’t need the details then that is a good deal, however if you feel that anything from your past makes your partner cringe then you must understand that it has the capacity to destroy your peace, so don’t brush things under the carpet. Are you scared of revealing the truth for fear of rejection? Whether you face it today or after your marriage, you have to face it. If they leave you today then that is exactly what they would want to do after marriage too, but an agreement will stop them. Do you want an agreement to keep you both together? Think about it!
1. Let the magic last…
And finally here it is…. if there is someone you feel the sparks with, a feeling you both can’t deny then go fight for it. Once you have weighed the pros and cons with positives outweighing the negatives then don’t wait. No relationship is perfect, there are elements of doubt and conflict in every relationship but the ones that make you smile through them all is the one you must not let go. Does your partner respect and honour you? Is he/she considerate towards you? What is their opinion about women/ men in general? Does he or she honor elders, consistently helping people and is kind? If a person’s values and morals are in the right place and fears God, then that is the person you must choose to spend the rest of your life with, ‘cus ultimately, if a person honors God and other human beings then he or she will honor you and your needs too!
Sometimes giving up is all you can do while holding on is something you will choose to do… And someday along the journey you would look back and smile thankfully that you made some wise choices:)