One of the most difficult decisions in life is choosing your life partner. It may look simple from a distance but grows complex as one experiences it. In traditional Indian families, the parents took the responsibility of finding partners for their children. This was based on horoscope matching and other family considerations. After all the astrological and horoscope matching process, some marriages clicked and others failed. This is when one realises that selecting a life partner is not that easy as it may appear.
Let us look at what makes it so challenging. We all grow up in our families and societies with certain value systems. While some of us, are privileged to experience different cultures and societies as we grow up, others may not be. This makes our adaptability to different cultures and personalities difficult.
If we look at the Indian system of choosing a partner for life – there are generally two types. In the traditional system, our parents put in the efforts on choosing a partner for us based on horoscope matching , astrological predictions and family compatibility as they see it. The other is when one partner meets the other in school, college or a the workplace and choose each other.
If I look back at my own life, I realise that neither the traditional match making by parents guarantees cent percent success nor the individual choosing their own partners ensures life long partnership for all. If this this the. case, we can neither say the traditional is better nor the modern is a recipe for success.
Then what could be the best way to choose a partner. I have all the questions in my mind and I am still searching for an answer. I would give my “Take 5” for building life partnerships. My life experiences teaches me that while choosing a partner some of the factors, which may help in moving in the right direction could be :
A. Mutual interests and compatibility : It is important for both partners to explore mutual interests and likes and dislikes. It is better to know what works and what does not before we venture out into a life long partnership with each other.
B. Family Values : While many may say that family values may or may not match. I personally vouch for similarity in value system as it helps in mutual compatibility. Family values is like the glue or culture in an organisation. It definitely helps to build relationships
C. Mutual respect : One of the most important factors which may help is mutual respect. Is is important to realise that the other partner is an equal partner in joy and sorrow in the future. We need to earn each other’s mutual respect through our actions and not our words. My true value is tested in challenging times and not in sharing joy.
D. Give and take : It is worthwhile to realise that we may not be able to find a partner in life, who is going to be hundred percent match in every aspect of life. Hence, our ability to adapt to each other is important. Our ability to give and take is critical for success in our partnership. First give and then take and not the other way around.
E. Financial independence & mutual trust : In today’s day and age, it is critical for both partners to be financially independent. It is equally important for establishing mutual trust through our speech and actions. Unflinching trust leads to trustful and life long partnerships.
My list may not be complete. It is neither a guarantor for success nor a recipe for failure. But, it may be worthwhile to try out these tips as I have failed many times and succeeded some times in my life partnership over the last three and half decades.
Time to try your luck when you are ready for it.
S Ramesh Shankar
15th Nov 2020