Posted in "Theory of pursuit"

Thoughts of a 26 something

How much ever I can write about marriage, and being not ready for it, trying to push it away saying it’s not time yet, somewhere at the back of my mind, I do know its gonna happen one day or the other, if not not now, may be an year later, or couple of years later. Being analytical as usual, thoughts have passed my mind couple of times. I, myself was curious to find out what I think about marriage, and how do I want it to be.

As I began to think about this, first thing that crossed my mind was a casual conversation with a friend some time back, when she mentioned to me about difficulty in finding someone for yourself once you are out of college. At that moment, I did not think much about this, but then today when I think about this, it sounds so much true. It is really important to spend lots of time to develop a liking towards someone, and I am sure even instant crushes would need months together to realize the real feelings when it comes to couples. College provides you enough time, and enough people around, thinking practically it does have higher probability that you may end up liking someone.

I do not think office romances can work, specially the kind of time we spend working, amidst all the competition and loads or work, people hardly find time think about something serious, even if we happen to like someone, there is hardly any time to spend with each other.

Somewhere my thoughts on this contradict my own thoughts, I also feel its so much Dependant on the person, some might find hard to find time and interest during college, and some might find enough time even in tight schedules at work, to fall in love and get married someone at work.

Taking both into consideration and trying to think practically, I guess at 26, with not so much of social prowess, nor tendency to try to find someone amidst the work life, many guys like me might end up choosing the arranged marriage. I have really no ill feelings about that, nor any affinity towards love marriages. I have never really compared the two. May be both have their pros and cons, and really am not sure which way I would go. In all practical possibilities I may end up with an arranged one.

When someone talks to me about marriage, the main problem in my mind is how badly I am prepared for it.Simple things first. For a person who has grown up alone as a kid, we are hardly used to sharing anything, I just can’t imagine how its gonna be finding someone else’s stuff in my closet, more importantly I am not yet sure, how I am gonna make some space for one more person’s belongings in my closet space. For a person who has never shared even food with some one, sharing a room, and every waking moment of one’s life with a fellow human being looks very scary. How does one learn the habit of sharing in such a short time?.

Moving on to other worries, compatibility is something which is very important to any relationship, and we all know it cannot develop overnight, but then we also know and have seen with our relationships with other friends, how incompatible people can be, the ideas differ in such huge amounts, and then there are such fundamental differences that one can’t coexist. So how do you judge compatibility with people. I do not think, taste in movies nor in food, or language we speak, or the caste we belong to, or the common people we know, all these are going to give me any clue regarding this. To be honest, I really don’t know what to look for if and when I have to find out if I am compatible with someone. I feel its gonna be like shooting in the dark hoping that the assumptions and judgments we have made hits the bulls eye.

I think guys and gals should be thought responsibilities from young age, specially for people who have never stayed away from home like me, we hardly know how it is to take care of a house, we are used to mothers putting food on table early in the morning, and some to take along to work, by the time we come home dinner is ready. So how the hell am I gonna survive, when I need to equally contribute when it comes to running the family, the vegetables are no longer going to find their way into the refrigerator, food will no longer be something which is just meant to be eaten, it also needs to be cooked once a while by each of us, atleast one cannot just ignore the kitchen and expect things to be ready made. Laundry is not something which will happen on its own, and of course its not just “YOU” whom you will/should be concerned about.

Thinking of finances too, its not going to be simple. I have really no clue, how much my parents spend in a month towards running our house, how should one learn to budget, how do couple plan their finances. Its no longer going to be me spending my money and
her spending hers, it has to be “we” spending “our” money. In a way it sounds exciting, the prospects of “We”. But with “We” also comes loss of total control, I/her will/should no longer make a decision which is right for ourself, it has to be right or “us”. I have really no clue about this one, its definitely not easy to decide for the self, now knowing that there is one more person whose life you need to consider makes it even harder.

I am so naive about the social responsibilities and responsibilities towards another person. I have never cared for someone, nor have any clue as how it needs to be done. Lets take a simple example. We were all having lunch around a table in a ceremony recently, when my cousin’s wife suddenly started sneezing hard and coughing, he ran and fetch water, he stood next to her, making sure she is feeling alright. I could see concern in his face for long time, making sure she was ok every 10 minutes, checking if she needed something else. I just imagined myself in the situation, all I could imagine was at the most I would have brought a glass of water, I could not see myself developing concern for someone so easily. May be it is something one develops after one gets into a relationship.

Again the idea of a marriage does not come with its own set of fears. One of my biggest fear is, what if we end up as one of those couples who live together, and do not share anything more than a room in a house?. What if marriage ends up as a commodity where you are forced with a no return policy?, what if you end up staying together physically with a huge mental distance to travel?

Wish there were schools where one could get educated on these matters, books more like encyclopedia where one could search answers. Or may be like the cliched Love gurus from movies like hitch, whom one could approach with these questions and dilemmas.

15 thoughts on “Thoughts of a 26 something

  1. sometimes i think ,, you are weighed to heavily in this inner communication with yourself about marriage… do you realize how much that raises the bar?? how much more difficult it will ever be to find someone to measure up and then to have to maintain that standard of excellence you have set for your mate once you have found one?? please be careful not to become a burden of love…

    you know how when there is way too much hype surrounding a book or a movie and you finally read it or see it it usually pales in comparison to the level of wonderment you heard it was???? that is marriage…

    Paisley
    I thought this was the standard I set for myself…and trying to raise the bar from my side..yeah I do know its not so great to expect too much..
    sorry Paisley I do not agree with your definition about marriage, I do believe its more like the times when one chooses a hard course in college knowing for sure its gonna need more work, but is also aware about the perks once you get past the hard part.
    -Rambler

  2. lovely post! i could relate to each and every word of this, being an only child myself. such thoughts do run through my mind from time to time. i think i will trust my gut instinct when it comes to making the final decision. πŸ™‚

    Priya…
    thanks for making me feel a little less weirder, great to know someone else in the same boat πŸ™‚
    I just thought one needs to prepare mentally for one of the biggest steps in our life.. what say you?
    -Rambler

  3. i think you think too much…relax when the time comes, just stick to your instincts, it should work out πŸ™‚

    open your mind and i think you will find that love when it happens is beautiful too, you will learn teh satisfaction in giving and sharing…

    as for years down the line, that’s Pessimism…:)…wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all look into the future?

    TA,
    thinking too much :D..well wish I could be relaxed about anything in life.. more of the planner types..
    I just hope I do enjoy the sharing part..

    hmm actually didnt get the last part of your comment..
    -rambler

  4. You have brought up a lot of points in your post but I shall respond to a few.
    The first one about finding a mate in college is something I too have said to someone! For the same reason you said, and more. In college we are not on our best behavior and it’s easier to get to know the real person. But again as you said it’s not a hard and fast rule…it depends on the individual and also the kind of organisation he/she is working for.
    About compatibility – I think it’s possible to get along with anyone (barring extremes and assuming values are similar) as long as both partners are ‘ready.’ You say you are not ready, and in that case you might find it more difficult to get the right person. But readiness is something that can happen in a matter of a few weeks or maybe months. It’s when we realise that we want to share our life with someone forever and we start thinking about what we want in a partner. You have started thinking along these lines, which means you are getting ready. πŸ™‚
    It’s the values which have to match. That’s important.

    Nita,
    you might be surprised, I was at best of my behavior though out my college πŸ™‚
    I like your idea, anybody can get long as long as they are ready to get along.. nice thought..
    values.. now thats a totally different thing which I forgot, may be I need to write a part 2 for the post πŸ™‚
    -Rambler

  5. My wife and I met at work and we got married when we were 24 years old. Now, 20 years later, we can look back and shake our heads at all we did wrong. Marriage is a lot of hard work and takes two committed people willing to share.

    Good luck.

    Brian,
    well exactly, willing to share.. one needs to develop the will, don’t we?
    -Rambler

  6. maybe you’re thinking too much. hopefully when the right person comes your way, you’ll see it through.

    don’t worry too much, you’ll do fine.

    Jos,
    I was really not worrying, it was just my way of saying we need to think a little.
    -Rambler

  7. yes, i agree. it is very, very important to be mentally prepared for marriage before you commit to a relationship. marriage brings a lot of changes in every little aspect of life, from dressing and food to career and health. the situation deserves even more thought in case of a girl. but i guess, once you meet a person you think you would like to spend the rest of your life with, you start getting mentally prepared. πŸ™‚ btw, nice to meet a person who thinks on the same level as me. you an only child? if at all u dont mind sharing?

    Priya..
    exactly my point, it is indeed on of the most important step in one’s life. we do need to prepare mentally..
    even more thought in case of a girl?? .. oooh sorry don’t agree, I guess you haven’t read my thoughts about gender bias πŸ™‚
    yep nice to meet a person who thinks , and that too with the same wavelength..
    yep you are right I am only child..
    -Rambler

  8. You know, I don’t think anyone is ever really prepared for marriage, no matter how much we try to prepare ourselves. But the good thing is this, we are very flexible and adaptable creatures by nature and so when our circumstances change from single to couple we just get on with it. I think the one thing that is critical for all to learn though is compromise and communication – without thouse two things (along with respect and trust) maintaining a relationship is very difficult.
    Funny, like you, having grown up alone, I also wondered what it would be like to share space with someone else – it was a lot easier than I expected – as I say, we’re pretty adaptable creatures πŸ™‚

    I like your idea vanilla, that we are flexible and adaptable creatures..I somehow don’t like the word compromise..its more like being considerate..
    he he now coming from a person who has grown up alone.. I think that really helps πŸ™‚
    -Rambler

  9. Rambler: The only thing you have to be ‘ready’ for is commitment. In India, we use a word ‘adjustment’ which is not quite the dictionary definition of the word, but it encompasses a whole bunch of adaptable behaviours, tolerance and consideration. These are required of you every day, many times a day when you are married.

    When tempted to judge your spouse’s imperfections, remember if she were the perfect woman, she would not have married you; she would be searching for the perfect man! In other words – the enabler is a great deal of self-awareness.

    I am not all gung-ho about college romances. Love is blind but marriage is a great eye-opener! πŸ™‚

    I think colleges are not always the best hunting ground mainly because few at that stage of life are mature enough to understand their own sense of priorities. As a certifiable nerd, I also think that is a stage of life, when education and learning to pave the course of life are more important, not mate-hunting, for which plenty of opportunities present themselves in later life.

    Besides, it is perfectly valid a choice to stay single. Since you almost always bring up marriage as an issue being discussed around you and you almost always say you are not ready, have you thought if you may simply not want to be married?

    Shefaly..
    To be honest with you, I was waiting for your comment on this post.. I was almost sure you would have a opinion totally worth listening to.
    Commitment I totally agree, but then how can you expect a man, who feels just out of college, with only idea of commitment derived from the one he has to his work/friends.. understand the real meaning.. one has to put some efforts right?
    “when tempted to judge imperfections”, I guess you do have read what I feel about imperfections.. its not about perfection, its about learning to know what to expect.. and what not to judge.. won’t that take some effort?
    Ah like the line.. love is blind.. marriage an eye opener πŸ˜€
    You know what I would have totally agreed with you about views on college, in fact all throughout my college I would be saying the same thing to many people, I also believed the college romances hardly worked, but then to be honest they do work some times, and some dont. but then, one thing I have realized after all the studying, its not fully worth it..we could have enjoyed a little more..
    not wanting to be married ever?.. never thought abotu it, and to be frank I don’t think I would want it..may be I might be a little over analyzing stuff.
    -Rambler

  10. Came looking for your WI post and landed here… You have lots of advice for comments, and all are true…a last one from me. Dont let such worries stop you from exploring and finding that gem of a person who can be your life-partner. Unless you prefer to remain single for a long -long time before deciding to settle for the second best, keep your eyes open and put some effort into finding her- be it arranged or love, you have to find her…and then go with the flow. Believe me, you will know exactly what to do…so stop pondering and get into action, you are young, you sure dont wanna look back at 26 when you are 62 and think -if only ! Oh didnt mean to go on, better move my butt to your season post. Take care, UL

    UL
    Glad you stumbled upon this one UL, I have been told this by some people really close to me, to keep the eyes open and put some effort into finding her. Time to take some action? πŸ™‚
    -Rambler

  11. hey, i was not talking about gender bias…. not that way. i myself am against gender bias. πŸ™‚ i was just saying that the girl, when she gets married, changes everything in her life. her family, her house, sometimes even the city and the state. so naturally she has to think more before she commits. πŸ™‚

    Priya.. I knew you weren’t talking about the bias.. I just meant that its hard for all of us πŸ˜€
    btw discuss this with a guy.. he will try to convince you why it is more harder for a guy ;)… but then the fact is its tough for all of us.
    -Rambler

  12. I see that you have got enough and plenty of advice on this. Well, here is my share of free advice from hard earned wisdom πŸ™‚
    On sharing – boy, forget sharing closet, wait till you start sharing the loo!!
    On compatability – I think it is important to know about one’s tastes and interests – not that knowing them will make you have a perfect life, but it definitely makes it a wee bit more enjoyable. A common maxim goes – marry some one whom you can spend time talking with. Companionship count a lot more as we grow older and it is then that we need some common platform.
    And as far as other worries, dont worry laddie, you will be surprised how adaptable humans are.. you will learn as you go!!

    Rusty..
    Oooh I can’t even imagine sharing the loo…
    Interests and tastes.. well it does help, but then that requires a lot of time don’t you think,
    adaptable humans.. now thats what I am banking on πŸ™‚
    -Rambler

  13. Rambler:

    “Commitment I totally agree, but then how can you expect a man, who feels just out of college, with only idea of commitment derived from the one he has to his work/friends.. understand the real meaning.. one has to put some efforts right?”

    This is where irrationalits creeps in. My male friends, who have been married for 10-15 years, tell me that they made a commitment to commit and that is it. They understand it as a complex construct which means placing in the other person implicit trust, not curtailing their freedom/ dreams/ ambition, respecting the other person and resolving to resolve issues rather than fight loudly or threaten or seek divorce. Sounds irrational? If I told you what some of these people do for a living, you will be surprised. They are highly committed if somewhat hard-nosed business people with serious positions in global firms. Research by Gottman and others into relationships shows that how people are at work is a good indicator of how they are at home. In the case of these men, it is true too.

    Confused? I suppose you are. The point is at some point, analysis stops and an action is taken. Sticking to it in a way that the relationship is non-negotiable is what these men say they do. Their wives agree that this is how they act too.

    Shefaly.. This kind of gave me a lot of hope..I just wish I am atleast as good as I am at my work, in my future home… people may be ready to commit, but then people hardly know what it means to commit. thats what I meant when I said, one needs to know the things well.

    “I also believed the college romances hardly worked, but then to be honest they do work some times, and some dont. but then, one thing I have realized after all the studying, its not fully worth it..we could have enjoyed a little more.”

    I did not say college romances do not work; I have at least 2 classmates whose did. I said that in my view, explicitly seeking relationships while in college to the detriment of the principle aim is not a great idea. If you think I only studied in college, well, what can I say? πŸ™‚ Considering I went to college in the conservative North, I was the only girl with an active outside life – extra-curriculars, watching and participating in sports, going out to eat, cinema, etc. Many girls considered going to have tea at the dhaaba beneath them. Not me. The dhaaba had great samosas. I had plenty of fun and much more than most others – girls or boys – did.

    Shefaly.. Actually I meant I just studied in college πŸ˜€

    I think the dialogue you seek is with yourself. πŸ™‚ Others will tell you stuff that I am telling you and since we do not really know you, whatever we say will not be relevant or will just confuse you further.

    Shefaly.. Believe me people here know me much better than people I know in person

    Analysis is good and important but staying in tune with yourself is more so. (I have a friend who called off his wedding 3 weeks before it was due to happen; he tried after the formal engagement to get along with the arranged-marriage-fiancee but she totally changed colours and her behaviour was not something he could envisage tolerating long-term; his view was no point in divorce when we can prevent the marriage. It was not easy for him; everyone cursed at him. But he is happy.)

    But at some point, you have to act. πŸ™‚

    Shefaly.. he he time to act…yeah just 2 years down the line [according to me] and some time very soon [according to my parents ]:D

    Good luck.

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