Don’t marry the person you love!

I don’t remember the context but still remember a conversation with my mother, a long time ago. She had said, ‘never marry the man you fall in love with.’

I had ignored her, not only because I was madly in love but more importantly I didn’t believe her!

Marrying the man you love is not only a natural progression for a relationship but also the obvious best case scenario! Love is key to building a life together, being committed to the relationship. Then what did she mean?

expectToday, after being married for 12 years it’s finally dawned on me what she had actually tried to say. I still love my husband but our love has gone through myriad changes over the years. In turn it’s changed us as individuals, as a couple and also as parents.

Love means different things to different people at different points in time. And each of these definitions depends on the person’s present state of mind. That presumably is the biggest quality or defining factor of love – its dynamic! It is capable of changing and adapting as we live our everyday realities.

And of course, love is just one of the binding factors but definitely not the only one that sustains a relationship. Perhaps, that’s why they say, ‘love is unconditional, and relationships are not!’

In a recent episode of CSI, David Hodges asks Morgan Brody ‘am I making a mistake by marrying her?’ She responds quoting a wedding vow she had once heard, ‘never marry the one you think you can live with. Marry the one you know you can’t live without!’

Strangely true but why? Is it because of the comfort factor that is bound to set in if you know you’ll be great together? Does it mean that you won’t tend to work as hard at the relationship? Does it become easier to take your partner for granted then?

Or is the concept of the unrequitedness of love that makes the man or woman you love but unable to marry that much more desirable? Such relationships are exciting as they challenge every view we’ve ever had. The charm of the relationship continues unimpeded as no harsh realities make a dent on our expectations? And of course, no expectation mismatch means that you don’t get hurt?

It’s easy to say, to each his own but how do you respond if someone genuinely wants to know how to find the right person? If someone is really confused and needs to understand as this they rightly believe, is a decision of a lifetime.

One could be philosophical and say stop trying to find the ‘right person’, instead be the ‘right person!’

Many a times parents help to search for the right partner – they do so keeping in mind their own understanding and views of relationships, their social standing, their financial positioning and their understanding of what their child (in this case either the bride or groom) ‘needs’ to be happy. Sometimes it all works out well, sometimes they fail miserably and sometimes their children refuse to accept their decision.

Does this positioning help to bring a semblance of equality to the relationship – i.e., no stark differences in social backgrounds mean similar expectations from life? Or do children sometimes rebel as they fear that accepting their parent’s choice would mould them to ‘become their parents’ later in life?

Most single people enjoy being happily single till they have to attend social gatherings, family dos, festivities. That’s when a keen sense of failure arises – failure to find true love and happiness! At such times peer pressure can be killing.

To alleviate such pressures there are numerous apps available in the market today like Tinder, Lulu, How about we, Moonit, OkCupid, Grindr, Grouper, Plenty of Fish etc. amongst a host of others to help with dating, find true love or search for a life partner. Can they truly help to decide? Is it right to assume that the net savvy generation prefer these instead of looking around at real relationships to decide? How scary is the thought that this dependence on an app is more appealing and comforting?

Increase in the pace of our daily lives due to various technological advances could be one explanation for our collective sense of urgency which in turn informs our time perception – too much valuable time lost trying to find someone, biological clock is furiously ticking away; opportunities and potential partners have been missed as expectations were too high.

expect3So then, how do you decide?

Keeping in mind that relationships are dynamic and require commitment and hard work, is it better to just go with the flow? If the person matters to you at the present point in time, you think they make you happy and the thought of being away from them tears you up inside then don’t think too much. Tomorrow is another day and you can deal with the situation “together” later on. For now, this is the person you would want to live your life with.

Or am I being too naïve?