Marriages >> Planning to Marry
If you are planning to marry
The concept of marriages has changed. And, not just for men. As a woman, ideally, your life partner should be someone with whom you can share interests and who will encourage your independence. As with any relationship, friendship is the key. Good communication from the beginning will help ensure that yours is a lasting, loving partnership.
Now take a look at how to go about looking for these characteristics in the context of marriage.
What are you looking for?
The first thing to keep in mind is to make a list (at least mentally) of attributes you would want in your life partner, so you can focus better on your search.
Depending upon your preferences, some factors that might be taken into consideration (not necessarily in this order) are -job, salary, educational qualifications, appearance (looks, height, weight, etc.), caste, horoscope, values (traditional, liberal or moderate), habits (drinking, smoking, etc.), location, family background, social standing, etc.
Inform your parents
It’s best to spell out any preferences beforehand, so your parents can search accordingly and the list can be narrowed down. This way, you will save your parents’ time as well.
Meeting your ‘could-be’
Deciding to marry someone is one of the most important decisions of your life. If you are confused, unsure or awkward, don’t fret — so is the other person. Just a few things you can keep in mind when you meet your could-be significant other:
Wear something that is both flattering and comfortable. Try meeting away from relatives. Choose a neutral venue like a café, shopping mall etc.
Don’t approach the meeting with the mindset that you have to marry this person. Don’t think you’ll be sure to hate him either.
Before, during, and after
Before meeting, try getting in touch with the person over the phone or through e-mail to prepare you, to some extent, for what to expect. During the meeting, keep an open mindset. Relax and just be yourself. Don’t hesitate to discuss important issues. Afterwards, think calmly and give yourself time to assess. Although this meeting may not indicate if this is ‘the’ person you should marry, it can certainly tell you whether you want to get to know the person better and take a step forward.
If, at any time during the meeting, you realize it won’t work, keep your cool, be polite, and try to keep it as short as possible. Trusting your gut feeling is the most important — if you feel something is not right, it probably is not.
It’s perfectly okay to ask any questions you have in mind. But remember, timing is the key. For example, it can be outright insulting and offensive if the very first question is ‘How much do you earn, both net and gross?’
Sometimes, information is not offered voluntarily and one hesitates to ask. But, if the answer to a question is important in taking matters further, there is no harm in asking. Maybe the person you ask will feel offended. But, when you are taking such an important decision, you have to take that risk. Isn’t it better that they feel bad now, rather than you feeling worse later?
Important questions that to be asked once you get familiar
- Are you ready for marriage?
- How would you describe yourself?
- How do you like to spend your free time?
- How do you feel about smoking and/or drinking?
- What are you looking for in a spouse?
- How much time do you want to decide?
- What are your preferences, in terms of food (non-vegetarian or vegetarian)?
- How do you feel about pets?
- What is your family like?
- What do they feel about dowry? Zahej?
- What are your likes and dislikes?
- How do you act when you get upset?
- How often will we visit our extended family (if staying apart from parents or close relatives)?
- Do you believe in sharing housework?
- How do you handle the money?
- How about having children, naming them, their religion.
Appropriate questions on the profession front
- What are your future career plans?
- How much time do you spend at work?
- Are you looking for a working wife, housewife, or is it immaterial to you?
- What would we do in the situation that I get transferred?
Before You say YES
Follow the checklist given below
Although researching the boy’s background might seem painstaking, it is very important.
The difficulty of researching goes up a notch when the boy is abroad, especially if you don’t have any friends/relatives to help you out there. This was the case with one girl, who married an NRI in the US only to discover, when she got there, that he had a live-in American girlfriend.
- Make discreet inquiries outside with the help of relatives and friends, with respect to his job, family background, age, education, habits, financial condition, medical history, lifestyle, etc.
- You can get an employer verification to find out if he is working there or not.
- Definitely check the visa status.
- You may also ask for a proof of employment letter, request a medical test, etc.
- Try calling discreetly at an odd hour to see who picks up the phone at night.
- You can hire a detective to do a background check (this is expensive, however).
- If you have friends and family abroad, ask them to meet him and find out more.
- Additionally, communicate regularly through email, phone, chat, etc. to get a better idea about the person.
These days, it is not uncommon at all to have had a previous relationship. It depends on many factors like the type of relationship, duration, feelings, etc. As long as it is a thing of the past and he is now committed to his marriage, one should not mind.
However, finding out about a potential partner’s previous sexual history is next to impossible. Asking such personal questions will seem too embarrassing. Indian marriages involve the whole family and private information coming out in the open could have severe repercussions, so some may not openly disclose this aspect.
A medical checkup?
Both partners getting a blood test specially for HIV is absolutely a MUST. If the boy’s side feels offended, help by telling them that you are convinced about getting it done yourself too. One should also check up for a history of hereditary disease in his/her family? Does he/she suffer from an illness that requires constant medical attention? Actually, it is difficult for the girl or the girl’s side to ask this, but isn’t it better to be safe than sorry.
There are cases where, out of hesitation, marriages have taken place without such insistence, based solely on the goodwill of the family. The boys have been discovered to be HIV-positive later.
Is he the one?
Finally, there should be mutual consent and understanding from both sides; only then can a marriage be sustained. It is important that you like your prospective partner enough to marry him. Good arranged marriages occur when the parents support and help their children find life partners.
- If he hesitates to reveal all the essential personal information to you in spite of your enquiry.
- If he is showing inexplicable hurry and a kind of now or never type of attitude
- If he demands dowry.
- If he leaves the decision of dowry/zahez to the ‘elders’.
- If he / his parents want your share of inherited property to be transferred in his name.
- If he keeps questioning you about the family or friends?