How exactly does one define love between a boy and a girl? Some believe in love at first sight. Others say that its infatuation and you develop love only after knowing and moving with a person for sometime and realize that you like each others company. Still others say that its the intense feeling that you simply cannot live without the other.
Everyone has a different perception about love. Basically its accepting each others companionship and staying committed to it. Coming to think of it, Facebook has a status 'Committed' and not 'In Love'.
Marriage is the process of legalizing that commitment.
For the extremely shy introverts out there it may not be easy to find a person on their own. Friends sometimes pitch in and help two folks, whom they think will get along well, enter into a relationship. If this happens, what do you call it? Love or Arranged?
Arranged Marriages of today are way different from yesteryears. Its not that the families decide the bride and the groom and the parties involved merely nod their heads in agreement.
The preferences of the girl and the boy are asked well before the parents start looking for alliances. Once they find a suitable match, the girl and the guy meet and converse with each other, sometimes over many meetings. Only when they think they are quite compatible and will be successful in a relationship, do the parents proceed with the engagement etc.
I also know a few cases where the guy or the girl realized that they had made the wrong choice after the engagement and the whole marriage was called off. What I am trying to say is that, the personal preferences of the bride and the groom are given top prioirity in todays arranged marriages. Its more like a date arranged by parents after considering some of their own priorities like caste, family background etc. which for now cannot be totally done away with in todays India.
There are cases when the couple know each other for a very long time and their relationship is already well established after going through all the challenges that grow while building one. For them marriage is just a formality. For the rest, there is not much difference between love and arranged. In most cases we may not reveal our true selves fully till we are married. Not intentionally, it just happens. In arranged marriages, the couple enter the marriage without too many expectations and with a more open mind. Of course they take some time to get accustomed to each other and communicate openly. Additionally there is a suspense factor. You dont know everything about each other and there is definitely a thrill in knowing little little facts as we move along. Even in arranged marriages, its imperative that the couple marry only because they like each other and not because they are forced by someone. That is just plunging each others lives into misery!
In love marriages, the couple is already in a very comfortable level of communication.Thats an advantage but having said that their expectations tend to be at a higher level. If its a relationship where their compatibility is perfect there is nothing like it. But sometimes, certain attracting factors tend to take upper hand in making a decision and the compatibility is overlooked.
Whatever be the path one follows to enter a marriage, life after that is a totally different ball game.
Spending some happy hours and moments with a person, sharing gifts and cards, hanging out together and speaking words of romance, hugs, tender kisses etc ...All these are sweet.But marriage is sharing ones life in all its entirety with a person and its much more complex and much more challenging.
In Tamil Brahmin marriages, one of the customs during the wedding is that the priest places a miniature bullock cart yoke between the bride and the groom and narrates some verses. This is to indicate that in a marriage one needs to move like the two bullocks tied to the yoke. For a smooth ride they both have to re-adjust their paces and walk in unison.
I had an arranged marriage and this is my 7th year in matrimony. When I see old couples walking together in silence , I can feel the million words they share without actually speaking. Reaching that beautiful level of companionship takes time and perseverance whatever be the path one chose to get into the marriage - Love, Arranged, at a temple, in court , whatever. Few points from my view :
Sinusoidal Relationship Curve
Our feelings and opinions about any person is like a sinusoidal curve. There are times when it is at its positive peak and there are times when it hits the rock bottom. In relationships the same thing applies and when people decide to snap it at the negative vertex, it results in divorces and breakups. People we love may not always act in a way we like. One must learn to either put up with the negatives or get the other person to change. Both are possible but needs patience.
Nobody is Perfect:
Learn to love each others commendable qualities as well as the shortcomings. None of us are perfect. If we meet half of our spouse's expectations there must be another 50% where we fare pretty badly and vice versa. Accept the person as they are and love him or her with all your heart.
Adjust and Compromise:
There is greater happiness in giving than in taking. Similarly there is greater pleasure in giving in to another person's way rather than stubbornly sticking to the way you want. Small adjustments need to come from both ends.
Do Away with the Ego:
"Why should I listen to you?You cannot order me around" etc are sometimes just not worth it. The other person's advice may actually be valid but our big bad Ego will come in the way just to mess things up. Learn to keep it under control.
Dont bond with grudges:
If there were moments when he hurt you real bad (I dont mean physical abuse here) there would be moments when you totally drove him crazy. We are all humans , we are not perfect. There are so many times when our EQ is at its worst best. It serves no purpose to cling on to grudges and make each others lives miserable.
A taxi driver once told me ' You must have kids. They strengthen the bond'(they are the topmost sources of free advice in the world). When the couple stops concentrating on each others likes, dislikes etc and starts sharing a big responsibility the bond becomes stronger. Not necessarily through children alone. Being an active part of each other's families will go a long way.
Love and nurture:
For a marriage to be successful, it needs a whole lot of love. Not just towards each other but to the very relationship itself. Despite squabbles and misunderstandings, both husband and wife should firmly stick on to the belief in the marriage and work towards nurturing it. To do so, there needs to be lots and lots of open communication. Many marriages fail mainly due to lack of the same. The more open you are, the stronger the bond.
Give it some time:
In many of the posts that I read for this contest, people kept saying that if they went for a love marriage, they would be soleley responsible if something went wrong. Something going wrong and walking out of the marriage is a very easy way out. Its becoming very common today. Relationships need time. Things will not always be rosy. Allow it to blossom , wither and re-blossom.
In short any marriage begins with two pendulums swinging haphazardly in their own directions and getting attracted to each other. It takes some time for the pendulums to blend with each others momentum and then start swinging together in unison. It needs time, love, patience and above all maturity.
This post has been written as part of the Love Marriage Ya Arranged Marriage contest by Indiblogger and Sony Entertainment Television. Do visit www.facebook.com/LoveYaArrange.