So I dedicate this blog post to my friend Nikhita , who wanted me to shed some light on this very important issue that people often don’t like to talk about. I’m far from achieving this milestone and definitely unqualified to talk on this matter nevertheless, I’ve included the experiences and opinions of people I’ve interacted with, who’ve had success in their relationships:
Let me start with a simple question: What are the qualities you look for in your partner?
Not so simple after all is it? As I’ve posed this question to many folks or am asked the same, my brain freezes because it’s not as simple to answer as it sounds. There are probably a 100 different qualities you’re looking for that are running through your mind yet you don’t know which quality/characteristic deserves to be first on the list. You feel like if the person you met had all the qualities, it would be a match made in heaven.
So from the people I’ve spoken to regarding this topic, here seems to be the list of things people prioritise:
1. You may not be surprised to know that physical appearance, as vain as it is, often ranks the first on the list. With the advent of beauty based magazines, ads, and an overly looks-obsessed social media, the world has become ever more superficial with an even greater emphasis on one’s physical appearance as a main priority in choosing someone. Thanks media! You’ve done a great job in making people even more lost.
2. Naturally there are folks that entirely focus on this physical aspect to the extent of compromising on other more important qualities in life. Usually such relationships don’t tend to last for long in my opinion unless both individuals are equally vain that they’ll be more in love with themselves than with their partners and the relationship then seems to be one of convenience.
3. So the first parameter usually only takes you so far. Yes it’s important to be attracted to someone but to stay attracted to that person, you have to look further. Beauty is as they say after all skin deep. We all age with time and eventually shrivel up like plants that have been deprived of water. But then comes the more challenging part: getting to know someone’s personality. This can be a herculean task as we humans, have been brought up to always be guarded and restrained from the get go, for the fear of not being taken advantage of or seen as someone weak. So this step often takes the longest time in a relationship as you’re looking for a similar compatibility, similar interests, similar qualities in a person that will hopefully gel with your own. Unfortunately the truth is that most people focus on physical appearance before they learn someone’s personality as it’s just the way we humans are tuned. There are exceptions and I’m truly amazed how such unions have occurred and continue to be strong. Love is indeed blind.
3. I personally think friendship should often be the backbone in a relationship When the going gets hard, it’s often a friend you look for, one that you can rely on. I hear all this mumbo jumbo how I could never see that friend as relationship material but that’s not what I’m saying in the first place. You may find the qualities you like in a person, but you should with time strive to aim for a friendly union.
4. Lastly, the most important point that skips most people’s attention: Compromise. We are often too egoistic to make compromises because we live in a world that says why compromise when you’ve got it all and can get better (another illusion). This often leads to divorce/separation. More often than not does one see this among unions with two professionals in a similar career, where they can compete to outdo the other. But remember without compromise, you won’t get far. You have to learn to accept the negatives, the quirks and the positives of a person. You rarely can have it all. The happiness lies in being able to compromise in some aspects of your relationship yet being in harmony with each other.
(Coming up:: he Indian marriage scenario and why it’s so confusing to foreigners, heck it’s confusing to us second generation Indians ourselves.)
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