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My fingers numb a little. It’s been over five minutes that my cursor is looming over the ‘not interested’ tab under the profile of a prospective groom. The picture is a bit hazy, almost all of them are covered with glares, the family information and groom information sounds just about okay; however, none of it is enough to make me want to click on the ‘I am Interested’ tab in his profile. Yet, there is this voice in my head, which debates may be you can talk with them and then decide, too early and too little reasons to reject, at least meet him first, sometimes you just need to take a chance. What I, and I am sure a million other girls in my country, fail to understand is whether it is our own mind rationalizing with you, or is it the prerequisite of the societywe have been nurtured in, that is echoing in our minds.
We fail to understand the truth behind our dilemma. Most often, our judgement is clouded with years old tradition, family culture, societal pressure along with the complicated combination of our own personal thinking. Sometimes all of these lead us into getting married for all the wrong reasons. I understand these days there are a great number of families who let their daughters choose their own partner, or families who involve their daughters as much as possible in searching for the right match. The others just tell their daughters when to get married, whom to get married to and why to get married. Although the ‘why to get married’ question is something that is a common denominator in all the households today. Every parent can come out with their own long essay on why their daughter needs to get married or 1001 perks of having a husband. In reality, I believe, this is one question, or perhaps the only question that every girl needs to ask herself before taking ‘the’ step.
It starts when a girl is around ten or eleven, when the mothers casually remarks, “Do not speak so loudly, your in-laws will say that your mother didn’t teach you anything.” The story continues into adolescence “Look how dirty you are keeping your things, how will you manage your own home in future”, “Oh, we just want you to be married, then we can relax” or when you cross the age of eighteen, family wants the girls to graduate to at least being an amateur cook, because more than the girl itself the mother and the grandmother are worried that their daughter’s future husband might starve.
Every single remark during these conversations subtly inculcate the would be future picture in the girl’s mind, leaving her to think that the ultimate goal for her is to get married, find a good husband and keep him happy. It leads them to believe that everything they are taught is for the greater good of their future in-laws. No matter how ambitious then a girl becomes, the family focus lies only in getting them settled until then the family is generally in ‘duress’. If the girl gets married to end their duress, think again – she might end up with someone, which will lead to lifetime of stress!
“So, leave aside everything, you tell me first when are you getting married”, this will probably be the second or third statement from your aunt or uncle whenever they talk to you. They are the ones who make it their life’s mission to badger you and your family with matrimonial questions. Every get together, every gossip over tea, even a small interaction with neighbors while evening walk, or connecting with (already married) friend after weeks, everything will be circling around your questionable single hood.
Worse are those relatives who have already gotten all of their children married; they will talk about your family, as if, may be your family is not competent enough to perform the job of finding you a partner. If you are searching for a husband in increasing desperation in order to end this interrogation, think again!
And then there is the famous age factor, every second that ticks by on your age clock is directly proportional to your parent’s pressure to get you married. They are worried for two reasons. One, all the ‘good young guys’ will be gone and their daughter will end up with an ‘average middle-aged balding man’, or two, you will not be able to bear children. But before you build your own myths about the age factor being the reason of having pregnancy problems, consult a reputed gynaecologist and get the right medical consult.
It will be prudent in today’s day and age that you decide yourself what is the right time for you. Having a child is a huge commitment in itself; ensure you are ready not only physically but mentally, emotionally and financially for this.
Many people also draw a comparison between your career, or the lack of it, to the choice of getting married. When, what a girl is pursuing in her life is not deemed important, parents generally get the idea that she is done living her life and it’s time to get her married. Or god forbid, if she is not pursuing a career or doesn’t hold a job, the only thing remaining for her would be to find an alliance, in order for her life to get a purpose.
Get married when you know you have a grip on your life, which does not necessarily mean you have to go out and get a fancy career to justify your time; absolutely not! All you need to know is what you want out of your life and how you envision yourself achieving it.
Then there are some – who have been in one relationship after other, right from the time they understood the words ‘love’ or ‘relationship’. It gets increasing difficult for them to not be in a relationship as there is a pattern of dependency in their life. For such people, the state of being on your own might put them in a lot of discomfort. There is nothing wrong in wanting to have someone to depend upon, but it is also very important to understand that your companion is looking for the same qualities, and the only way you can play this role confidently is when you are independent in your thoughts, in your decisions and in your life.
On the other hand many of us tie a knot because we do not want to be lonely. And we might latch onto the first possible choice if the motivation behind the companionship is loneliness. Try to figure out who you really want to be with, and what you are looking for in your companion. If being alone with your own self is not only discomforting but next to impossible for you, then it’s high time you take some time out for yourself, sit in your own company and try to understand who are you. Pursuing your long lost interests can do you some good too, being alone need not be a bane; make it a boon.
Fear of pain
Another wrong reason to get married is when you are in a relationship for a long time, the pressure of taking that final step is constantly present. There are relationships which although exists for long but the only reason the girl and boy decides to take the final step is because they are guilty of leaving the other with a broken heart. They are guilty and scared to back out. But if you are not ready, or if marriage is something you do not want for yourself then, backing out will be a favor you will be doing to yourself and your companion. You need to be ready for the commitment and no one can talk you into doing so; it has to come from within. The willingness should be of your own.
End to celibacy
Then there are some people who just want the celibacy part of their life to be erased. Of all the reasons this one, right here, can be even more dangerous than the others. Lust will, in no way, lead you to find the right partner or even a smidgen of love in your relationship. In fact when the lust part is over, you might realize that the person you are waking up with every morning is not the one for you.
Marriage needs a lot of work, patience, endurance and maturity. First step towards understanding marriage is to have a complete understanding of yourself, your needs and your expectations from life. When you are having a good day or a bad day it will be your companion who will laugh or cry with you. When you will be desperately trying to get your children in the schools, it will be you with your spouse who will have to do all the hard work. When you will be sick in the middle of the night, it will be your spouse who will stay beside you. It will be your spouse who will tell you how great you are when you are having a horrible day. It will be your spouse who will give an ear to your cribbing, frustrations and disappointments.
Moreover, you will be the one doing all these things for your spouse too. So, ensure you are ready for this, ensure when you do get married the ‘time’ is right for ‘you’.