The title might suggest that this article is only for unmarried people, but I suggest even married people read it, so that they can help their friends or relatives who could use some guidance.
Arranged marriages have been a part of Indian culture for generations now. They have changed from just seeing each other once, to families meeting together, to meeting each other with families to now meeting each other in private, multiple times if needed.
Imagine dating someone for the first time and knowing that you have to decide whether or not you want to spend your life with them after 2-3 dates. That surely creates a lot of pressure because there is no time to become comfortable around the other person. Many still think of meeting only once before they make the decision. Thus, the inevitable questions arise, â€œWhat should I ask?â€ â€œWhat should I talk about?â€
First and the most important thing one needs to understand that it is not an interview and you are neither the interviewer nor the interviewee. So basically you donâ€™t just have to go and start firing questions at each other. Even if you are that straight forward, why would the other person answer every question of yours when they have only just met you?
I am not saying that you should not go prepared, but what you should focus on is finding out as much as possible about the other person while asking as few questions as possible( Remember how an interview makes you feel). The other person will only open up if they trust you (just like in any meeting or relationship). Problem is how to make them trust you? Solution is so very simple that many even laugh at the suggestions.
You should go with a mindset of sharing about your life, your experiences, your likes, your passions, your dislikes, your beliefs, your principles, your Modus Operandi, your family, your habits, etc. What I am trying to stress here is that you have to first open up about yourself. Only when the other person sees that you are sharing sincerely and hence showing your trust in them, will they also begin to trust you. Once they trust you, you will not need to ask any questions, and yet you will return from the meeting knowing more than you expected to in the first place.
Before the meeting, make a checklist of the qualities or things you want or do not want in the other person. Assign priority to the items on your check list. Define the must-haves, the nice to have and the can doâ€™s and should doâ€™s. This will give you a clear idea about what to expect from your prospective partner.
There are some basic communication guidelines and yet I think we keep forgetting them ever so often so I am going to mention them anyway. During the meeting, make sure to maintain eye contact while you are speaking or listening. When the other person is speaking, let them speak, do not interrupt them. Do not keep checking your phone. I would suggest to not even answer any calls and keeping the phone on airplane mode or switched off, or at least completely silent with the internet off. These things are a huge distraction and can ruin your meeting if you keep getting interrupted.
Another thing that I personally feel one should ensure is being absolutely and brutally honest. When asked something, even if it makes you uncomfortable, like your income, do not take it negatively and close yourself up. In fact it is a healthy thing to discuss considering how important money seems these days. Be as open and as truthful as possible. If there are things which you think the other person will not like, discuss them first and foremost. You donâ€™t want to spend so much time, build trust and then have it go waste by holding back something important till the end of the meeting or even worse second/third meeting. This way you will save the time and energy of both.
The most important thing is to Be Yourself. Do not keep boasting about yourself. You are going to meet your prospective life partner. Your goal is not to impress them but to express yourself. If you do act in a certain way to be selected, it is not easy to keep acting your entire life. Getting someone to like you for something you are not is just the biggest mistake you can make in a marriage. Not being chosen is not failure. Learn to deal with rejection. You donâ€™t want to marry the wrong person and spend the rest of your life regretting.
Make your search for a Life partner exciting as it is supposed to be and not just another thing to get over with on your calendar.
I am leaving you with some personal pointers. Things I think are important to know about the other person:
- How they treat people of all ages
- How attentive they are while you speak
- Their views about living with/away from parents
- Their career goals
- Their personal goals
Points to take away:
- Be Yourself
- Be Honest
- Use the meeting to express not to impress
- Build trust first
- Discuss first the things you think will be a hindrance
Points to Ponder:
- What are your expectations from marriage?
- What are the things about you that are most important to share?
- What will make it to your checklist as must-have items?
- Do you want to marry someone similar to you or someone that completes you?
Let me know what are your thoughts in the comments below.