4 Things I Learned While Everyone Was Getting Married

Don’t need to be ‘ideal’ to find an ‘ideal’ match!

This might seem like a no-brainer but new age self help philosophy touts ‘become the right person, before you find the right person’. While it is certainly admirable to develop yourself physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally, in reality, self-help is a lifelong journey and is not tied to any milestone (like marriage). One does not HAVE to have themselves fully figured out, before committing to another. All too often, I hear the clichéd lines ‘Oh but if you are so well educated, come from a nice family, have a great personality and life, how come you aren’t married?’. This somehow implies that if you have all the boxes checked, the right woman/man will land up at your doorstep.

Yes it is true that when we are confident and self-assured about our lives, we project better vibes and this in turn, attracts better people/situations to us but this is always a game of probability. This often leads to us pressurizing ourselves to ‘perfect’ certain aspects of our lives (money, house, career, etc. ) BEFORE being open to relationships (when in reality, both can happen simultaneously). Interestingly, some of my friends have found their partners right in the middle of life’s tough times, when the last thing on their minds was ‘self improvement’.

So, cupid can strike anywhere and anytime. The universe is far too diverse, rich and intelligent – we can never know what is being orchestrated behind the scenes and what shows up when in our lives.

So lets not make one aspect of our lives – aka, ‘earning the right salary’, ‘living in the right country’, ‘being super fit’, ‘Will I be a good life partner’ become a barrier to other aspects!

Marriage is not the only answer

I went full circle on this one.

‘I dont want to get married’ > ‘Dating is both fun and not fun’ > ‘I like my solitude, no reason to change’ > ‘Solitude is overrated, but so is marriage’ > ‘Do I really want to be alone?’ > ‘I might prefer company, but am not 100% convinced’ > ‘Some things are more fun with another person to share them with’ > ‘Yes, Im beginning to like the idea of companionship’ > ‘I still can be happy single, though I might marry if I like someone’ > ‘Marriage is a model, not mandatory!’

And then back again.

So lets get clear on the facts here: It is a significant milestone in your life. Yes, worthy of your attention, worthy of your time and worthy of your love. But how is a 40 year commitment to a partner different from – a lifelong commitment to family, a 40 year commitment to your life’s career, an 18 year commitment to your early education (school/university), a 20 year commitment to raising your kids (assuming they go off on their own after that), and an everlasting investment in all things that make us happy?

All are significant achievements in life – each one making you truly grow in all ways. People are often told marriage makes them complete but what makes a person complete is a sum total of their experiences, passions, intelligence, fears and strength!

Happiness is in your Control – absolutely no one else’s. And it is always more internal than external!

This one took me literally dozens of experiments and a really long time to accept. It’s so easy for us to get carried away with people, events, things, and all those little dependancies that keep us happy. We go looking so longingly for that elusive perfect contentment or self satisfaction – through hobbies, relatives, friends, books, relationships. The ultimate reality and test, is when our core source of happiness (or what we deemed as the core source) suddenly disappears and we are left disillusioned, thinking ‘oh but even this was never a permanent thing!’. Having observed countless couples, friends, and people from all ages- there was one pattern that stood out – Happiness is internal and consequently, in our control only. The minute we subconsciously give away that power to someone or something else, we are signing up for another round of testing and learning (through our own experiences).

Nothing summarizes this better than the Upanishads ‘Happiness based on any reason is just another form of misery’.

You really can make things happen – all by yourself!

I used to be certainly guilty of putting off many things to do when I find the ‘one. (E.g.: That vacation place, that hobby class which appeared more fun when attended as a couple, that particular long drive that was good only with a partner). Ultimately, I got so exhausted of waiting for ‘that person’ that I just decided to do it all on my own. Doing this made me realize 3 things : 1) The ‘build up’ in my head – about all the amazing plans, was in reality, never that big a deal anyway, 2) I had so many lessons from all of that experimenting with strangers/friends, which probably would be very different had I only planned activities with a spouse 3) Most importantly, it made me more fulfilled as a person, and I concluded all these dreams never really justified the ‘wait’ for another person.

Yes, some people will say “I’ve done all this stuff on my own but now I want to do it with someone else”. It is perfectly okay to make plans imagining a nice future, but it becomes a burden when subconsciously we put things on a standstill UNTIL we find someone.

These are just a few of the things I try to remember and implement in my day-to-day dealings, there are of course several more realizations that I am sure many of you may have experienced and many more that I might live through, too! The point is, don’t fret. Life is kind. 🙂

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