What one should look for while looking for a partner is a question that I find very difficult to answer. My young cousins contemplating marriage have thrown it at me many a time, and I have fumbled for an answer. This is despite the fact that my husband and I took the decision to spend our lives together on our own, very decisively. In Indian parlance, it is called love marriage.
I wonder if the answer is a set of common values or shared interests and tastes. Of course, other factors like socio-economic compatibility, horoscopes and so on are some inescapable basics in a conventional situation.
In the last decade and a half that my husband and I have been together, we have evolved into a very different set of people. We were in our 20s when we met and our world was very similar to each other. Work on weekdays and unwind with weekend activities such as movies, restaurants and concerts — was the pattern. But with time and change of station in life, we have inculcated new likes and passions. Becoming a parent, running a household, getting exposed to different things, the social media explosion, and sheer aging, have all contributed.
We still watch movies but separately, on television and in the cinema, alone and with our buddy groups. We do watch the one-off movie together still, but not always.
Then, is it worthwhile marrying a person only because he or she enjoys the same things as you? From my perspective, it is not. The marital contract in India typically lasts many decades and is a substantial chunk of one’s life span. Trying to share all the interests through the journey may not allow each individual to realise his or her potential and dreams. In the bargain, one would end up sacrificing for the other.
I think common values hold us together, longer and stronger. They manifest in our day-to-day behaviour. In our case, we both believe in spending time with our parents and kids, eating together as a family, taking family vacations and so on. As for sharing our time, as of now we enjoy discussing current affairs, politics and the like!
And I realise that over the next few decades, we would continue to pursue our interests and passions independently without bothering each other or pulling each other back. At any point though, there may be some common interests, sometimes a few and at other times, far more. Hence we happily continue our journey called life, hoping to share some stations together!