Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category


Thou Art the Ruler of the Minds of All People – Dating and Marriage Customs in India

India’s national anthem, Jana Gana Man, translated to English means Thou Art the Ruler of the Minds of All People. To put down in layman language, someone who can rule the minds of people will be victorious.

In India, sadly even after calling us a progressive nation, developing so much in IT and infra, a person himself cannot rule his own mind. Society, rules, customs, ideologies and what not, there are various name labels to how our love life shapes us.


Step 1 Dating:

The first step to a relationship is dating. You can argue that nowadays in the modern India, youngsters get to choose whom they want to date and take it to your parents when you are ready to get married. But is it really true? I feel that this trend consists of only 1% of total Indian population and that too the ones who live in Metro cities.

Predominantly, dating is still the same, your parents arrange dates for you, you meet and talk once and if you are lucky then twice. The surprising part is that you don’t even get to date alone, you are usually accompanied by your sibling, aunts, uncles and even parents. What’s the point of talking alone right now when you would have your whole life to talk later, right!

Step 2: Get Married ASAP, Indian Single Life Sucks!

If you are a boy then sure single life is fun for you but if you are a girl then it’s screwed. If you are 30 – unmarried and working – there’s definitely something wrong with you. General consensus, you are probably too modern, have lot of affairs, drinking openly and partying whole night even if you do none of these. But if you haven’t found a boy to settle down with yet, then you are surely difficult to get along with and thus not a suitable match for the sanskari boys out there who are looking for a virgin wife. I don’t have any statistics to backup my theory but I think India is probably the last in the number of Singles!

Step 3: No Sex Before Marriage

Even though government of India has no issues in couples living together but society has a lot of issues. In March, 2010 by a three judge court (Chief Justice K.G.Balakrishnan,Deepak Verma and B.S.Chauhan) ruled cohabitation legal. “When two adult people want to live together, what is the offence. Does it amount to an offence ? Living together is not an offence, it cannot be an offence. Living together is a fundamental right under Article 21, Constitution of India”. But people in India don’t believe in the legal mumbo-jumbo and if you are having a live-in relationship then it’s a taboo. Story is different in Metro cities but only if your parents are not living in same city. Another interesting fact, many couples don’t even engage in lip lock until their wedding night. I personally feel it’s very important to have sex before marriage, if the sex is not good then your marriage is doomed anyways, so better try before jumping in for the lifetime.

Step 4: Engagement

Now everyone fancies a romantic setting when the boy bends down on 1 knee and proposes to the girl. Girl says yes, he slips the ring in her finger and Vola they are engaged.

In India, it’s different, engagement is not just about the couple, its about celebration. When parents have agreed, a big ceremony takes places and 100’s and sometimes 1000’s of people are invited to watch the couple put ring on each other’s hands. A grand meal follows because no ceremony is complete without yummy treats. And how can I forget the grand display of gifts which are not just for to-be bride and groom, they are to be given to the entire family because well families are also getting engaged. If the gift is gold and cash then better, no one really cares about dinner sets these days.

It’s lot more fun to get engaged if you are in South India, here it’s not important for the bride and groom to be present in their own engagement, its more like a commitment between families so why would you be needed anyways.

Step 5: The Wedding

Now undoubtedly this is the biggest event in any family in India. Depending on how much money you have, scale of celebration increases. Indian weddings are huge events, I personally hate attending weddings but then if you live in India, you just cannot avoid them (India is 2nd highest populated country in the world, imagine how many weddings must be happening each day).

So, back to celebrations, weddings are noisy, colorful, drama oriented, full of 100’s of ceremonies/rituals that I’m sure most of the bride and grooms don’t understand the meaning of. Weddings usually last 7-8 days with each day having some or the other function featuring music, grand feast for the guests, bangals clicking, ghaghras fluttering and shining jewelry. The best is when the Groom arrives sitting on a horse, I just love that part in a wedding….

So in western countries they prefer to have just 1 day of wedding, you say “I Do”, dance, eat and run off to honeymoon. But in India, even though it’s a poor country, people need to have elaborate weddings because well society needs it. Honeymoon is not important, but wedding rituals should be done completely.

Step 6: Moving In – Oh, Not with the Husband but with his Family

In India, it is customary for a girl to leave her parents and live with her husband’s parents. But for a boy to leave his parents is unacceptable as boys are supposed to take care of them. If the husband happens to work in another city then he will surely have a place of his own but out of question if you are in same city. So once you are married, you cannot expect to get a privacy that you probably need especially in an arranged marriage. Make sure sex is hush-hush without a lot of sound, you never know in-laws could be hearing from other side of the wall.

Step 7: Mother-In-Law

In India mother is considered the most important, most sacrificing and one of the noblest person in the entire world. So undoubtedly she holds the highest authority in the family. So when a new member of the family comes in to live, her authority can waiver and thus, she holds full control of the son to make sure that he doesn’t love the wife more than the mother. Of course it is not true always, but it holds in almost 60-70% of the marriages.

And that’s how even though you are born alone, you die alone, but you don’t live alone. Society and family make sure you don’t use your brains and go by the rules they were made to follow when they were your age.


Did You Get Into a Relationship for Happiness?

Few days ago, I went to a party where bunch of people were talking about their relationships.

“Just being with my husband makes me so happy that I feel I’m on cloud 9”

“Thanks to my spouse, I finally found happiness in my life”

“I’m done with my husband, he just doesn’t care about my happiness

“Why don’t you leave your husband, you deserve to be happy too”

I was surprised, did all these people get into a relationship so that they could be happy or unhappy depending on outcomes?

I couldn’t control myself from thinking, why have these people become so dependent on others to control their happiness? How can it be fine to let someone hold the remote of our life and change the channels of our emotions?

My Thought – Relationships are not meant to keep you happy!

One cannot be happy unless he knows how to keep himself/herself happy. No one can make you happy unless you are super rich and you pay people to do all your job….

Putting the task of changing your moods on someone else just makes no sense. You married me, now keep me happy forever…even the sound of this statement is ridiculous.

You make yourself happy or unhappy on your own! Don’t put that onus on someone else and start blaming them when your mood conks off.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t involve yourself in a relationship, relationships are wonderful and add a lot of meaning to our lives but they are not there to add happiness in your life which you were not able to find in yourself.

The phrase, “Better Half”, in itself is a myth, relationships or people cannot fill a void in your life or act as a band-aid to your pain.

We are all complete human beings without a relation…Relationships are like add-ons, saying that so-so completes me is stupidity. A ring on your finger doesn’t make you complete, it’s just a fashion accessory.

For me, the true purpose of a relationship is to grow. It’s like you work in a company, you learn from your boss and grow in career. Similarly, in relationship, you learn from your partner and grow in life. It’s a mirror, it shows you parts of you that are good, which are bad and in need of improvement and lastly which are horrible and just worth discarding.

We don’t break a relationship if we are unhappy, relationships get broken once you have served each other the purpose of growth and you feel you are no longer growing. Just like when you resign from a job when growth stops, you break a relationship too.


Are Modern Women Too Independent?


Apparently, we women have some a serious problem. We have something in ourselves that we are not able to sustain a relationship for long. I know, I’m shocked too at this revelation, but unfortunately its true.

Last week I happened to meet a very old friend of mine. She was very successful in her career, recently working at some senior management position, but still wasn’t happy. Her 1.5-year-old marriage, which finally had taken place after 10 years of courtship, was in trouble.

When she confronted her husband to understand what had changed, he said, “you are too-independent” you don’t need a man.

In order to give a second shot at her sinking marriage, she decided to take a break from work and try to be an ideal housewife. She barely survived 2 months and went back to work. Her long work hours, an independent lifestyle of 10+ years and a strong liberated women-oriented attitude couldn’t let her stay at home. She was so used to doing all the things herself that even small tasks like fixing a bulb, which usually husband’s boast about doing, she would do it.

Eventually her husband started feeling left out and started getting closer to his ex-girlfriend who was clingy and always needy. She made him feel like a knight.

I remember my mother always saying, women are born delicate and weak and they need a man in their life to take care of them. I didn’t realize it then why she said it this way. I started earning in my mid-twenties, started living alone by myself, earned a decent amount of money and had good friends. In all, I was happy and healthy I didn’t need a man in my life until I met my life partner. We dated for 2 years till we finally decided to tie the knot. The day I said, “I do”, I realized, I didn’t need a man in my life to take care of me, I need a man to love me and make me complete.

My mother was right to a certain extend but her theory changes slightly with modern women.

I called my friend the other day, I told her what my mother told me but with a twist, “dear, you might not need a man but your man needs you. Make him feel that you are not complete without him and no matter how much money you earn, how many friends you make or how competent you are in changing bulbs, he will always be the one whom you would love.”

A relationship should never be based on needs. If a bulb is broken, you can call the repairman to fix it, but if your heart is broken, you would always call the person you love!


Does He Truly Miss You?

Last week I met a long lost friend and was surprised that she was going back and forth for almost 1 year now after her relationship ended with her boyfriend. Since they broke up, surprisingly he has been saying “I’m missing you a lot”, “I can’t forget the times we have spent together”, “I can’t believe we are not together anymore”, “I MISS YOU!”. When she told me that he has been saying such things, I was confused, if he is missing her so much, what is preventing them from being together, especially when he was the one who broke up. It’s not that they didn’t try getting back together, every time he made a claim that “he can’t live without her”, she melted and went back to him. But it lasted for few weeks till he started making commitments which he couldn’t fulfill including marriage, kids, etc.

This entire story made me really confused and I started thinking, “how much can someone truly miss you or want you back?” 

What exactly does missing someone mean and why is it that people are unable to bridge the gap between missing and getting back together? It is easy to say “I love you” and “I miss you”, but what is it that prevents us from taking a step closer and start the relationship again.

According to me, missing someone actually is recognition of the fact that someone is absent from your life, be it temporarily such as going away on a trip or the loss of someone after a breakup.

When someone is missing you, it can also be an expression of sadness or regret because they no longer get to enjoy you in their lives, whether it is by their choice or yours. They may think fondly of you and wish that they had another chance, but let’s be real, it will not be about getting back together mutually, and it will be more about missing the things that helped them enjoy you on their terms.

Now it is understandable when you are miles apart due to work or family and you say you miss each other but also respecting the fact that why you are apart. But it is simply beyond my comprehension that how much two people can miss each other, when they are in same town, maybe even working together and there is no real obstacle keeping them apart, other than themselves?

It is beyond my imagination that why people keep saying I miss you even though they know that being apart is the right thing to do. Saying I miss you to someone with whom you really do not want to be together even prevents you from honoring your emotional commitment somewhere else. Or maybe people are too mean and they want to keep their Ex as backup in case their current relation doesn’t work out. Keep saying “I miss you”, so that the other person has a lamp of hope always lighting and some feelings for you so that when you have really messed up with everyone else, you can go back to your ex knowing that he/she will be there waiting for you.

Saying “I Miss You” in my opinion is a vague expression of sadness and regret, but it’s not really saying anything concrete and it is not any commitment. Seriously I personally fail to understand what goes on in minds of people who have moved on or broken up themselves, even started dating someone else and still have the audacity to go and say to your ex – “I Miss You”, you are not committing yourself but yet want to keep a foothold in their life.

The worst part is when you are again dumped coz you were too weak and you melted with the “I Miss You”. You shout and say, “But you said you missed me! How could you do this”, after building your hopes up and possibly even dropping your underwear.

And very conveniently they will say, “yes I said I miss you, but I miss being with you, but nothing has changed……….”. After a pause they will say, “I never said we were getting back together”…..and bang, like a big blow on your head, everything seems bleak and you are ashamed of yourself of being fooled once again.

Brings me back to the earlier point, missing someone does not mean they want you back. If they truly wanted you back, you would have felt it on your own. The sincerity in someone’s eyes can speak a lot more than the cute words said to blindfold you.

Maybe they are too convenient with your presence in their lives and don’t want their lives to change and that is why they miss you. Sometimes they even say this out of guilt to pacify you and console you for breaking up.

It’s not wrong to miss someone like this, but to keep their hopes and fake dreams alive is wrong. Some people like to keep missing their ex, they will be like, “Poor me, I’m helpless without you” and thus, they feel it is all right to disrupt your life.

If someone is missing you but not adopting a solid and consistent action plan that takes them from missing you stage to being with you stage then it’s time to make them realize that you no longer care. They can keep missing as much as they want from a distance while you comfortably move on with your life. Trust me no life is worth wasting on someone who doesn’t have the guts to be with you against all odds and keeps saying worthless words which they don’t even mean.


Love, Jealousy and Distrust

Things were going great, it felt like being on cloud 9 and suddenly life hit a rock. One word which all the relationships and marriages dread came into picture, jealousy and distrust.

Almost all the relationships reach this stage at some point or the other, the partner is jealous and wrongly accuses you of something which you didn’t do. No one can define what jealousy is really, it’s a mix of many emotions, distress, agony, loss, sorrow, pain, envy, and humiliation. But whatever it is, it sure is a painful emotion which leaves behind broken hearts and tearful eyes.

Mistrust like this when enters into a relationship can be very frustrating and upsetting to both the partners. There is tension in the air, unspoken words, and cold stares. Whether the suspicion is small or big, it is hurtful and can even end up breaking a relationship. It does not mean that love is lost but the cycle of mistrust has engulfed you so badly that you cannot come out of it.

Yesterday I met a girl who recently got married and was at the verge of breakup already. She assured her husband that she was not doing anything wrong and that she loved him a lot but her partner simply couldn’t put her past behind and move on. Only time can tell what will happen to their relationship but it got me into thinking, is jealousy such a strong human instinct that it makes you see things above love and makes you over possessive.

Sometimes, we fail to understand why our partner reacted in this way and we blame him/her for being so jealous. But there can be no fire without spark, so evaluate everything before you jump to some fast conclusion.

Be a Listener!

Try to look at things closely and listen to your partner’s fears. I know it’s really hard to stand and listen to false accusations without defending yourself, but just this once, listen as an observer. Look closely from your partner’s point of view and maybe you can understand things better.

Maybe you are more outgoing than your partner and you like to talk and laugh with other people who most of the time happen to be of opposite gender. While there is nothing wrong in your heart, but some of your actions and talks can be misread by your partner.

It is also possible that you are still friends with your ex and your partner is threatened or jealous of your friendship and doesn’t find it appropriate.

There can be many such reasons for insecurity, so be a passive listener, observe and understand your partner’s point of view. You can also try to put yourself in your partner’s situation and evaluate how you would have felt if things were the other way round.

Word of Wisdom!

I personally feel that telling your partner that “I have not done anything wrong” or that “I will not meet this person anymore” is not that effective as explaining “what means the most in your life and what you want”. Share honestly how you feel life should be and what you feel about the relationship. An open communication of this sort can actually make the relationship strong and possibly even eliminate jealousy.

A relationship should always Grow in Love and not Die of Jealousy!


“Honey, I’m Sorry But I Didn’t Mean What I Said, I Was Just Angry!”

“Darling, I’m really sorry but I didn’t mean the things I said earlier, I was angry and said things without meaning them”. Does this statement sound familiar to you? Probably yes, either you said this to someone or someone said it to you at some point of life. 

Usually when two people are locked in a heated battle and their adrenaline level is rising high, chances are that they are not going to solve any issue and are likely to say things to each other that are mean and hurtful which they will regret later.

Infact in worst situations, many people end up taking one sentence said by the other person in the heat of the argument, will hold on to it forever and become convinced deep down that “this is how he/she feels for me or else he/she would never say such a thing even in anger”. I’m not sure whether people say the truth in anger or they say things they don’t mean because they are angry, whatever it is, the things said in anger are most of the time hurtful and harmful to any relationship.

You might counter this statement and say that that words thrown out in anger are not from the heart as if it is something that they really felt, wouldn’t they have said it earlier?

But, I think that “I didn’t mean it… I was really angry.” is one of the lamest excuses I’ve ever heard. Anger is no excuse, and using that as an excuse means that perhaps they didn’t mean what they said, but they meant to say it just to hurt you, which as far as I’m concerned more worse.

It is highly possible that we speak things without any meaning when we are angry and we just say those things to hurt someone but still what you say is something that cannot be taken back by covering up with your anger. Besides, isn’t it part of being a full-grown individual to weigh things before saying and to have control on what comes out of your mouth?

Also, many men have an illusion that it is a “woman thing”. It is common to everyone and people get pissed and mad when things don’t happen their way irrespective of gender. We feel bad and angry when we don’t see things happening the way we want, we leash out our anger on the other person coz we just want to hurt that person.

So, if you are at the receiving end and always get upset with things said by people in anger, the key to stop getting hurt is to ignore those things, it can be tough at first but you soon will realize that there is more to what was just said. I have learned this rule and it sure has my life simpler:

Anger = Temporary Insanity

Surely, you wouldn’t want to be upset with things said by an insane person. Think about it.


Am I Allowed to Take a Break?

In every relation there comes a time when you wish to take a break and say, hey, “I need some space”. We do tend to believe that taking a break will hopefully make things better and maybe the other person will realize your importance when you are not around. But have you ever wondered that taking a break might be a sign of running away from some critical issues which will still be present when you get back together?

It is not only about the relationship between couples but it can be applicable to any relation. You might want to take a break from your parents, siblings, friends, boss, for that matter anyone. I have personally found myself in situations when I feel it’s enough, let me just go away to a place where I can be away from all the hassles. On one hand, it can be a sign of wanting to simply take a break from the routine or on the contrary it could be an easy way of running away from problems instead of facing them.

I do personally feel that taking sometime alone is not problematic for a relation as it can give one time to retrospect and analyze the issues causing the tension. But there are certain rules for taking a break to make sure it is the right thing to do.

Breaks are not quick fixes.

While taking a break might sound as a tempting solution for running away from the daily chaos, every couple needs to realize that it is not a substitute for solving the issues. If you part with the problems looming in between, they will not vanish on their own once you come back. It is important to talk about the issues and then mutually decide whether a break is the best for the relationship or not. Many people can get scared if their partner needs some space. They think, the end has come, we are going to breakup as my partner doesn’t love me anymore. Well, if you are having such thoughts, then your love is weak in the first place. Second, if your partner is not going to come back after a break then you both were not meant to be together. Third, taking a break never means breaking up, Period.

A little time alone can help you connect with yourself.

Feeling of stress or resentment will most definitely come at some point in a relation. There would be a point where you will feel, “what am I doing here”. Now, a relationship is based on compromises, we all do them in order to keep things healthy and happy in our relation. No two people are same and to maintain a level of harmony, we end up letting go part of ourselves in order to compromise the differences. In doing so, there can be times when you feel that your identity is lost completely and you start having stress and resentment towards your partner even though it’s not related to him/her.

We all talk about relations where two people become one and in doing so we neglect ourselves as individuals. It becomes important to discover our own identity before it gets too late. Take some time apart to see yourself as an individual, connect with your own soul before you can go back and connect with your partner again. At least you will feel you are not lost and your identity is preserved.

Slow down to learn more about each other.

The initial days of a relationship are very exciting with holding hands, kissing, taking romantic strolls and maybe sex. Things move really fast as you feel on the seventh heaven and you don’t want to stop all the happiness that is coming towards you. Well, when the excitement settles down and reality kicks in, you start to ponder that maybe you took things way too fast and you start getting stressed and scared.

I personally feel that in such cases also it is good to take a break. Just go somewhere away from each other for some time. When you come back, who knows you might be able to come back with better understanding of each other and revive the romance that you had when you first started. A space away from each other can end up bringing two people more close than they were ever before and make a bonding which can last really long.

If you think that taking a break will break you apart, then remember if there are issues that seem like a rock and do not go away, then you would have broken apart anyways down the line.

A break can help you re-evaluate your relation, connect you back to your individuality and can even help you understand the differences which all coupled together can make up for a solid platform for a long lasting and understanding relation.

But well no two relationships are same and sometimes a break can never bring back a couple together, like a broken vase, you can fix it with glue but you can never make it look like it was before. That is why I said, think it through, talk with your partner and then decide, “Do you need a break?”


Do Age Gaps Really Matter in a Relation?

If we all were asked one question, “would you be comfortable having a relationship with a significantly older companion?” I’m sure most of us would say, age doesn’t matter when love is there. But are these words too good to be true? 

The base of any successful relation according to me is compatibility. We all want someone who understands us, appreciates us, cares for us and loves us. Sometimes it gets very tough to find someone with whom you can really be compatible and when you find the right person, you definitely would want to hold on to them. But what happens when the love of your life is 10-15 years older or younger than you?

Recent trends have shown that most people end up with partners who are very close or of the same age to them. I would say around 2-3 years max of age gap is the norm. But then you would also see people who would say, to hell with the norm, I’m cool with partner of any age as long as we love each other.

The biggest examples of such people are the celebrities, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher with an age gap of 15 years, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones with a huge gap of 25 years and Jay-Z and Beyonce with 12 years in between. There are many more such couples and when you see their relation, you feel if they can be compatible, why can’t we.

But why are we sceptic with the age difference? Isn’t love the most important element?

Definitely love is the biggest driving force in any relationship. But like every relation, even the age gap relationships have their share of issues.

Maturity Gap and Difference in Expectations

One of the most common problems is the difference in the experiences of life. These experiences can be about any milestones in their life including career, travel, marriage, kids, and all of these are highly affected if one person in the relation has already “been there, done that”.

For e.g., if you are 20 year old and dating a 30 year old divorced partner with kids from previous marriage, you need to get things straight with your partner. It is possible that having already experienced a family life, he/she may not want to go ahead with you in a similar way. Hopes and dreams change for individuals especially for those who have already lived those hopes that you are dreaming now.

People in a wide age gap often come up with statements to justify their relationship. Older partners have more life experiences which younger partner can learn from and the younger partner can bring a new outlook and innovation in the relation. While this may be true in cases of short-term romances, but in the long run, the success of any wide age difference relation is very less. In future, the older partner might find the younger one too energetic and immature and would want to look out for someone their age and younger one might find their older partner too old and dull and might want to be with someone young.

Insecurity and Jealousy

Another problem that comes up is feelings of insecurity, jealousy and possessiveness. Partners who are older usually have the feeling of insecurity that their young lover would any day move on with someone of their own age leaving them alone. Even when they see their lover talking to someone younger, they would feel jealous.

But again, these flaws can happen in any other relationship as well, you just need to know how to deal with them and have full trust on your partner.

It is very important to judge an age gap relationship by the same standards as any other romantic relationship. Does the person make you happy? Do they treat you well? These are the issues that really matter.

Consider the relationship as a relationship first, and an age-gap partnership second – but with an awareness of the additional issues that an age gap may introduce into any relationship, including aging, different life goals, and social pressure.

But, there has to be lot more to a relationship than just the number of years you have been on the planet. If you have a lot in common, you can really click with each other and you can open up honestly and talk, then to hell with the age gap. Ignore everyone else and if you have found what you are looking for, then go for it because there is nothing better. Age is just a state of mind. True love has no boundaries.

Making a relation with a wide age gap work involves as much effort as any other relationship. The key is strong communication skills, dedication, honesty and lot of mutual effort. Someone who has been in a relation with a big age difference can only tell, “Love is not only blind, it can’t count numbers as well”. In matters of love, nothing else matters.


Happy Endings – Are they a Myth or Reality?

I’m sure there is no one who doesn’t want a “Happy Ending” for his/her relation. And why shouldn’t we? Between the legitimate longings of our hearts, and the way the Disney Empire has fed our romantic fantasies for fairy tales, we all are captivated by storybook romance and believe in “happily ever after”.

But lately, the divorce and breakup rates are so high that “happily ever after” seems like a mirage. Why is it so hard to maintain the hopes and dreams that surround a relationship with all its promises of love and fidelity, sacrifice and service?

According to me, a lot of this has to do with the fact that most of the relations start with unrealistic expectations and misconceptions about how the relation should be. Some common ones that even you might have experienced are:

  • Both partners expect exactly the same things from the relation
  • Things can only get better from good when you have found the love of your life
  • Everything bad is just temporary and will disappear eventually
  • Your partner will make you feel complete

If we liberate ourselves from these myths, we can actually settle into the reality of our relationship and enjoy all the joys and sorrows, passion and pain.

Myth: Now that we are one, our expectations should also be same.

Most of the relationship problems are due to harmful expectations and beliefs that come in front of the face of the reality.

The biggest hindrance in a successful relationship is expecting exactly the same things from a relationship. We two people are in love, it is natural to assume that the other person has the same values and expectations as we have. But no two people are same, every individual has its own culture and beliefs. Still, we all make this mistake of expecting that our lives will continue the same way even after committing in a relation.

Someone wisely said, “Expectations are the mother of resentments”. When your partner doesn’t live up to your expectations, we feel frustrated and irritated. Sometimes we don’t even realize why we’re upset, but something keeps bothering us at the back of our mind. In the process without even realizing we push our partner away.

Most of the expectations are unspoken and we assume them by default. Thus, it is very important to talk about these expectations openly and clearly. The more couples discuss their expectations, the more likely it is that they create a common vision of their relationship that both agree upon.

Myth: Wow, I have found my love, now everything will just get better and better.

Meeting the love of your life, puts a blindfold on your eyes and makes you believe that love will last forever. We drift deeper and deeper into the whimsical world of fake hopes that everything good will just keep getting better and better. Reality – “everything does not get better”. I’m not saying that there are no better outcomes, but some things do get better and some things get worst. A relationship has its share of gains and losses both.

We all have heard of the story of Cinderella where a poor, tortured stepchild is magically turned into a princess and rescued by her prince Charming for a “happily ever after” ending. When we read the story, we also long for a Prince Charming or a beautiful princess to make us happy and wipe away all our tears.

But the reality is opposite of the Cinderella story. We look for our Eden where everything bad will go away and only happiness will pertain. There are no magical glass slippers in reality and the sooner we realize, the better it is for a healthy relation.

Ups and downs, happiness and sorrows are all part of any relationship. The question is whether your relation is like the capital letter A wherein both partners lean so much on each other that if one moves, the whole structure falls apart or it is like letter H wherein both the partners stand alone, or it is like the letter M, wherein they stand on their own but still choose to stay connected.

“Happily ever after” maybe for the fairy tales, but it does not mean that no marriage or relation can be happy and fulfilling. If you stay in the real world, have reasonable expectations, understand each other, and realize that there would be shortcomings, you would take your relationship to mountains of eternity. Just remember, always walk on the roads of truth and reality and not on the pavement of fantasy and illusion.


Are You Too Dependent on Your Partner?

Relationships is all about sharing and developing an eternal closeness. Sharing your intimate things, opening your heart and being completely transparent with your partner is in my view, the most profound type of sharing. This kind of deep sharing can be a boosting support for the future of a relationship.

But do we tend to get too dependent on our partners while sharing too much?

A healthy relation is like a balancing act on a rope. You bend too much towards one direction and you would topple. The right balance in a relationship involves both autonomy and connection. While it is very important for oneself to maintain their identity, values and goals, it is also important for you and your partner to share everything and become a “we”. If you lean too much towards self-rule, you will end up losing intimacy. On the other hand, if you continually sacrifice things that are most important for you, you will lose your identity.

Can high intimacy lead to too much of dependency?

Intimacy is an emotional and physical closeness that you share with your partner. Intimacy is not something that you can measure. Its depth keeps varying depending upon situations. One moment you many feel very intimate with your partner and other times you might feel very independent. But if your relation is perfect, intimacy and independence go hand in hand. Intimacy should never subsume your individuality, in fact it should work towards enhancing it.

But when you become unable to take even the simplest decisions without your partner, the intimacy takes shape of an unhealthy dependency which can even lead to frustrations and anger down the road. In such situations, without the partner, one can end up feeling helpless and incompetent.

Depending on someone for love, care and support is normal. But when this dependence comes onto your own identity, then it’s time to stop and think. “I” and “We” need to exist together in harmony for a relation to succeed. When you learn the fact that you can depend on your partner in times of need, but it is important to use your own self, then the level of intimacy is deepened, and the bonding in a relation is also strengthened.

There can be times when intimacy takes form of dependency, especially when you are trying to cope up with difficult times. You rely on your partner as a life jacket and expect him/her to protect you from sinking. For e.g., if there is a sudden death in your family and you are unable to cope up with the shock, you depend on your partner to pull you through tough times and stay by your side all the time. You even depend on your partner to remind you to eat and sleep, as you might not be able to think about basic tasks in such an emotional mental state. Depending upon your partners in times of stress is a measure of deep trust and not an unhealthy dependency.

But sometimes it gets tough to know if you are too dependent or not. Just stop for a moment, and think

  • Whether you have given up your individual choices in order to please your partner?
  • Do you find yourself unable to make any decisions without your partner?
  • Do you feel the need to know everything about your partner in order to feel secure?
  • Do you feel left out when you partner does something alone?

If you answered to all or most of the questions, then you can know for yourself what it means…