It’s a pretty good time to be a girl these days. You are no longer expected to meekly submit to your parent’s choice of a groom. You are allowed to pick whom you want to spend the rest of your life with, a choice that many in our mother’s generation did not get. It is up to you to ensure that you pick a prince from among the many frogs croaking out there in the marriage pond. Remember there are many frogs that you can kiss, but just one will turn into a Prince. This here is a guide that you can use to weed out the unwanted frogs.
Look for common ground:
Shared interests can go a long way in shaping a relationship into a strong marriage. Is there a particular activity you enjoy such as hiking, dancing, learning foreign languages, stamp collecting, rock climbing or even poetry writing? Now think of a place where you can meet a man who is interested in the same activity. Some of them will be glaringly obvious, while others you will have to think about a bit harder. Take a look at the situations given below to get an idea of what I’m talking about.
For hiking you could look at local hiking groups who tend to get together once a month to hike a particular trail. If you enjoy dancing think of taking a group class with a professional choreographer. Join French, Spanish or German classes after work. Look for stamp collecting exchanges where many other stamp collectors gather regularly to exchange stamps. Take a creative writing class at the university to meet other poets. Think about the ideal place based on the activity and go there. You will get the double benefit of doing the activity you enjoy, and scoping out guys who are into the same activity as you are.
Look at common attitudes:
All of us have a specific attitude towards life in general and specific events in particular. How do you feel about saving the environment? Or preventing cruelty to animals? Are you an avenging angel or a much more relaxed personality who couldn’t care less what happens outside her immediate bubble? You need to be on the same wavelength to get along like a house on fire. It can be difficult being married to a man who is shy and does not want to socialize when you are a gregarious, outgoing, party lover.
Similarly it can be uncomfortable being married to a man who wants to get up early each Sunday morning and go for a picnic with a wicker basket, when all you want to do is pull the cover over your head and catch some more sleep. It is important to pay attention to what you like and dislike when you go out with a boyfriend so that you don’t end up resenting having to do these things with him once you are married. Remember what seems mildly irritating before marriage can work itself into huge fights after marriage. Pick someone who has a compatible attitude to yours.
Look for similar morals and values
The values that we grow up with mold our character. The morals that we adhere to, give us our personality. So it is important to find a partner in life who upholds the same set of morals and values that you do. Look at the general behavior of your boyfriend. Spot the red flags. It can be very difficult to accept a person who says he will call back in five minutes and then does not do so, when you would promptly call back the person. Keeping your word is a courtesy that you give to someone you care about.
Similarly the level of dishonesty that you can handle is also an issue. Some white lie about working late in office may not hurt you very much, but if he is lying about working at the office because he is going out with another girl, it will be a lot worse for you to handle. Set your boundaries and stick to them. Don’t be too judgmental because you, too, are not perfect. There are bound to be flaws in your nature that he will have to accept and deal with. What you are looking at here is acceptable shades of grey.
Look for compassion:
There is a saying in corporate world that everyone is well behaved with their seniors. How a man deals with people who are junior to him is the actual measure of the man. This holds true even in real life. Is your boyfriend compassionate in his dealings with people who are below him in rank and status? Is his behavior tinged with kindness and consideration of other people’s feelings? The underlying empathy he shows will strengthen your marriage.
Is he so self absorbed that he doesn’t even realize how rude he is being? How much can you tolerate such behavior without getting alienated? Remember if he can show no compassion for his fellow man he may not have much to spare for you after marriage. It is easy to spot these traits if you take off your rose tinted glasses and take a good hard look at your boyfriend. You will have only yourself to blame if you manner an inconsiderate and selfish man.
Feature Writer : Cashmere Lashkari