Disclaimer: The thoughts below are our own, and you may not agree with us. So, we can just agree to disagree.
We find ourselves counseling our clients quite regularly. We feel that a lot of us are lost and are not sure of who we really are, and as a result don’t know what we’re looking for either from a potential partner. If finding the balance of “chemistry”, “compatibility”, and “family” is important to you, we feel that there are three specific roles to look for from a partner.
Mutual attraction is terribly important. For women (we think), it transcends just physical chemistry. It extends to the overall personality of their potential partner. Their sense of humor, how they carry themselves, their temperament, etc.
For men, well, they are just extremely visual creatures. We feel the need to balance the expectations of both men and women when it comes to finding the right mutual attraction. We find it important to explain to guys that they’re not going to get a diva interested in marrying them. If they’re just waiting it out for that, then we just tell them to buy a big house in Vasant Vihar and wait for the right model to come along. We ourselves don’t quite get this too much. The women that guys marry is just a combination of their own financial and socio-economic backgrounds, and living in the world of Bollywood is kinda pointless. We advise men to really marry somebody that they are attracted to. This is really the best way. What you will find attractive could be very different to what I find attractive. I like women with short hair, and a lot of guys are turned off by short hair. Different strokes for different folks. But hey, if you’re rich, then the world is your oyster. There are plenty of women who’d wanna marry rich. But you’ve got to be rich. You can’t fake rich. If you fake rich, then you’re setting yourself up for years of despair and discontentment. And you can’t be poor and expect pretty. So be reasonable. However, if you’re okay with pretty and dumb, chances are that you could still find someone out there. But pretty and smart is just a deadly combination. And you’ve got to be lucky, or rich, to get both.
Women just tend to be a lot easier in this whole looks department. Granted, some of them have a checklist here. But they’re just a lot more open to explore the three roles in its entirety rather than in silos, especially when it comes to choosing a husband. I guess that’s why women are from Venus, and men from Mars. Or whatever planets. Interestingly, for women it takes about a couple of hours to see if there is a connect with somebody new and to figure if they are “marriage material”. For men, we feel it just takes a few minutes. And either they’re on or off after those few minutes. The more sensible men tend to also look for the three roles in its entirety.
We feel this is one of the most important factors when choosing your partner. After all, you’re going to be waking up to the same person for the next 40 to 50 years, and after those couple of initial years, the looks just tend to fade away. No matter how great the sex is, you’re going to get bored. No matter how great your arm candy is, you’re going to crave companionship. No matter how rich your guy is, you’re going to crave attention.
The role of a companion is different for different folks. It’s a combination of one’s exposure, upbringing, educational and professional background that makes you who you are. What you find funny could be downright sad to us, and vice-versa. If you can talk for hours, laugh at the same jokes – without having to explain yourself, find yourself agreeing to a lot of things, we think that there is a lot of potential there. You’ve got to play this with your guts. You cannot and should not overthink this. The “mental chemistry”, is either there or it’s not. You can’t build on this. This is your foundation. This is what’s going to keep you guys together. If you find yourself disagreeing to the fundamentals of what you believe in, don’t go in. Run. As you spend a lot of time together, and eventually marry and have kids, these disagreements are only going to aggravate dramatically. The negatives of a person are just overly (dramatically) highlighted more than the positives, over a course of a marriage.
This is the big one really. Interestingly, this becomes far more important in India than in the western countries. While we find that in the west, men and women marry somebody equal, and are generally okay with both partners working and supporting a family, in India, the expectations for a lot of people are very different from their partners. After all, in a country like India, it’s not the two individuals getting married. It’s two families getting married. And logically this makes sense too. After all, families tend to get involved a lot more in their children’s lives than in the west – from getting involved with their grandchildren, to spending holidays together, to the many festivals that we have in this country etc.
Moreover men have certain [unsaid] expectations from their partners. We feel that while most of them are looking to marry somebody independent, and career-oriented, somewhere during the course of the marriage, subconsciously, they do have certain expectations from their wives – that is the role of a mother, a daughter-in-law and that of a wife. Some of these expectations are deep-rooted in men and they’re not quite sure themselves what they are going to be okay with. We feel that their upbringing, and understanding about their parents and their siblings, gives us a better idea of the kind of expectations that they would have from their partner. We think the more self-aware (an absolute rarity today) you are as a person, the greater the chance that you’re going to have a loving marriage with kids and grandchildren, and even a successful career. While we have maintained that the best time to marry is in your 20’s (and the earlier the better really), we also understand that you lack the maturity and self-awareness in your 20’s. But that’s okay. Because in your 20’s both of you are very moldable and not very individualistic. Besides kids tend to marry somebody that their families pick, and that’s why community, common family and social backgrounds tend to become important (your parents do know the best for you).
At the end of the day, we think whatever role you expect from a husband or a wife, is best communicated clearly very early on. We’ve seen marriages fall apart because those expectations were just not communicated and understood early on. If you’re a woman, looking to marry rich, do understand that the money comes with tiny invisible strings. If you’re a guy looking to marry pretty, do understand that too comes with tiny invisible strings. Nobody gets everything they want. But we feel strongly, that a marriage is just a sum of many parts. For everything else, there’s Tinder.
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Client Lead, AWA Plus