Relationships are beautiful. But they are hard work. Get legally bonded through marriage and there is a sense of responsibility that sets in. From just us two, there comes a bandwagon of loving relationships. But in the reflection of you in your spouse, does your reflection become fuzzy some days? Do you find losing yourself amidst the many people that become a part of your life?
I don’t believe in love at first sight, even when I have grown up on watching the cheesy Bollywood flicks. In fact, I believe it takes more than a couple of sights and conversations to fall in love. And marriage is a different ball game. It is an evolution of your relationship. The “after” of what you read in the movies that ended with “..and they lived happily ever after”. I am not writing to dampen the thoughts of those who want to get married. But it is important to not make a whimsical decision over a count of 10 meetings.
The relationship counselors with Urban Company helped to put up a list comprising nine things that a couple should do before they say “I do”.
1. Travel together
Travelling is not just about the place and the fun of exploring it. It is also an experience that helps you explore yourself. You step out of your comfort zone and reveal a different side of you, a side perhaps even you are unaware of. How would your partner (or you) react when you are in stressful situations? Miss the train, are lost, don’t find the right food? Travelling together would reveal all.
2. Live together
In the cultural set up that we have, this option is not really as easy as I would like. But if you can find a way (because I could), then live together! Living together puts many things in perspective. How to share the household work, the chores, and the bills. It’s not really all roses when your maid doesn’t show up one fine day and you can’t decide who will clean the house. But hey, some days Urban Company can help you with home cleaning services, other days you really are on your own.
3. Talk money
Apart from having an independent career and an independent bank balance, it is also important to discuss what you will do with your money, together. Would you pick an exotic world tour over buying a house? Whose salary gets saved and whose gets spent? What should be your saving options? Care for a common CA to help you answer these?
4. The baby talk
Many couples are opting to not have kids or have kids much later than our parents had us. If you strongly have opposite viewpoints on having a kid, talk it through in excruciating details.
5. The five-year plan
One question in every job interview is, where do you see yourself five years from now? Answer these questions as a couple keeping every aspect of your life in mind, the family, the finances, the house & the career.
6. Have that ONE big fight, many times
Fights are always ugly. They have the potential to bring out the worst in you. But that’s the idea! You need to get acquainted with the worst in your spouse. Both of you can’t really spend the rest of your life by staying polite with each other. But, don’t let it get out of hand either! A couple that spends a major part of each day fighting is definitely in trouble! If you’re spending too much time fighting, or alternatively engaged in a silent, cold war, then maybe you should consult a relationship counsellor to figure out your issues together.
7. Discuss your worst fears and pet peeves
I have an irrational fear of fire and lizards. Who likes them right? But when I say irrational, I mean an exaggerated fear. While the rest of the world can get a kick out of it, my partner understands. He keeps our home pest free with Urban Company services and follows all the fire safety measures. If the one person who is supposed to protect you for better or worse does not understand your fear, the sense of abandonment creeps in.
8. Know thy families
To love thy family, know thy future family before you get married. Indian marriages involve families and are more about them anyway. Get to know the people who get to spend the most time with your partner.
9. Let’s talk about sex!
Last but certainly not the least, talk about sex. Discuss everything from positions to your libido. The conversations are not supposed to be uncomfortable when you have them with your future spouse – the one person you promise to sleep with for the rest of your life.
Marriages have their fair share of surprises because you grow together in it and change as every day passes. While surprises are good, these 9 things can minimize the shocks. Have a blissful life together, in love! And, just remember, when you need anything- from finding you a couples yoga teacher to relationship counsellors to a house party chef, we’re always here to serve you!