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The wedding season is on and apart from the amazing free food, there is also the encounter of a likely kind that is waiting for you. You will meet the many relatives who will come up to you and ask you this question “When will you settle down?”.
Now you don’t really have to answer all the aunties and the uncles, because they will be happy if you listen to the five-minute lecture that will follow this question. The lecture on the perks of settling down. But it’s not all roses – marriage. While it is a beautiful institution, it needs some tender loving care. So before you answer the question of when to settle down, answer for yourself are you ready to settle down?
They say “when you know, you know” – but what are the signs that help you know you are ready to say “I do”? Here are 11 signs that will help you answer the question.
1. When you love to travel together – Travelling is not just a journey into self-discovery, but it also reveals the side of your partner that you would otherwise never know. Whether it is the food that you gorge on, or the many stressful situations that you have to deal with together. If you love travelling with your other half, it is a huge step forward.
2. When you can have a common pet – Pets are like your own children. They need as much care and comfort as humans do. It also lays the groundwork for having the “baby talk”. If the two of you are on the same page when it comes to having pets, there is a strong chance you will find a way to be on similar grounds when you decide to have a baby.
3. When your dreams do not clash with your relationship – Being ambitious is necessary. To develop not just in your career, but to also evolve as a person. Your partner should feel like a constant support when it comes to your dreams and not come across as a deterrent. If you have to choose between a career and a partner, chances are your partner is not the person you would want to grow old with. Sacrifices should not feel like one and your partner is more of a strength, than a weakness.
4. When you talk about “our money”, rather than “my money” – You have a career and an independent bank balance. Check! But if you keep referring to it as “your money”, rather than “our money”, there is a problem. A life together throws your way many questions. What house to live in? What car to buy? What lifestyle to maintain? It is important to be financially independent, but the thin line between “mine”, “yours” and “ours” needs to be defined.
5. When you make five year plans – If you start planning projects together that have a time frame of more than a year or are long term in nature, you are looking at a long time together. If the thought of a future together is anything but scary, that is a sign that you are ready to take the vows.
6. When getting married just feels like a step forward – Your relationship starts with a meeting, perhaps through a common friend or at a party. It evolves into a date or two. Hours on the phone, the hand holding, the first kiss and then an anniversary as a couple. Every step you take is an evolution in your relationship and feels like a seamless transition from one point to another. Marriage is nothing but an evolution of your relationship and it should be just that, seamless. If it is, congratulations, it is a good omen.
7. When you like each other’s family – Indian culture is less about the couple and more about the families during a wedding. You meet two people who have brought up your partner and made them what they are. If you love your partner, it is imperative that you will respect the family that he or she is a part of. I am not saying you have to fall in love with them, but if you strongly dislike them, be prepared for a lifetime of stress. Now why would you really want to put yourself through that?
8. When living together doesn’t scare you – If you can’t wait to spend every waking moment of your life together, a sign is what it is! Every morning you get to see yourself in your worst look, drooling on the bed and putting that alarm to snooze to catch the five minutes of sleep. If the first thing you still want to see is your partner, there is no reason why a marriage should scare you.
9. When having sex is always about making love – Sex is an important topic that needs to be discussed. A healthy sex life is the need of every human being no matter how less we want to talk about it because of the unwarranted taboo it carries. But sex is even better when you do it with someone you love. And if you can talk about it with all the comfort in the world, it is how it should be!
10. When you love “I”, before you love “we” – It is important to know yourself and have your self-respect intact in your relationship. If your partner gives you the conducive environment that helps you retain your identity and doesn’t make you lose yourself, he/she is the one.
11. When you love the imperfections just as much – Everyone has fears and pet peeves. While you can feel embarrassed in front of the whole world, your loved ones acknowledge and understand it. You may have the worst temper in the eyes of that person in your office, but you are not marrying that person. Your partner should be able to understand your imperfections and help you make them perfect.
Signs or no signs, you really have to be mentally ready to get married. The jaded jokes on marriage should in reality be just that – jokes. If they really reflect your reality, no signs can make it better. Only you and your partner can.