Choose your better half for a better life
It is increasingly common nowadays for life partners to part company. Those who wish to enter into a happy marriage would do well to heed H H Swami Mukundananda’s advice on selecting their mates
The decision to couple up with someone and be in a committed relationship is one of the most important ones of your life. Relationships have many variables such as appearance, qualities, and character. If you pay attention to things that really matter and are meaningful, you can easily find the right partner for yourself.
In the ancient model of arranged marriages, you did not have a say in the choice of your partner. Parents decided based on externals such as looks, wealth, and social status. That was more like getting a lottery ticket because you did not know if the other person was suitable or not.
Then came the Western model where you fall head over heels in love with someone and live happily ever after. That model also doesn’t work because statistics from the West tell us that 50 per cent of marriages end in divorce.
For better or for worse: Remember that marriage is a lifelong commitment that can have a huge impact on you and your family. An ideal partner is one whom you trust, connect with, and share goals with. A true companion provides support, guidance, and fosters an environment for growth. Someone with integrity and nurturing virtues can brighten and enrich your life, whereas insincerity, vices, and emotional disconnect between two people can lead to disharmony and unhappiness. Paying attention to things that are of value to you is important for long-term satisfaction and a lasting relationship.
Hence, it is critical to understand and evaluate your personality as well as that of your prospective partner before deciding on the right partner for yourself. Though everyone’s value system is different, you want to look for certain universal characteristics in your life partner. Let us discuss them.
Being a good human being: You’ll find that as you move ahead in life with your significant other, loving gestures of showering gifts and compliments will not please you as much as the good-heartedness of your spouse. Someone who is spiritually inclined and believes in higher values is likely to have a noble character and virtues. These people generally will have fewer bad habits such as drinking and gambling. Their lofty ideals and goals will inspire you to do good, become better, and feel better.
• Being a good communicator: Good communication can always resolve many issues. If your spouse is a good communicator, which means being a good listener and having the ability to communicate ideas gently, it will help resolve the inevitable conflicts that come between husband and wife. Hence, effective communication ensures an avenue for a resolution that helps both people feel happier. It further fosters a deeper and more intimate connection between two people.
Sense of humour: A spouse with a healthy sense of humour becomes a tremendous plus, especially during difficult times. A little bit of humour changes the perspective and makes life easier. As someone said, “Don’t take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.” When life is a dead end, it is good to be able to laugh at it and at your own silliness. A person who is light-hearted is worth getting serious with.
• Positive attitude: The art of positive thinking is such a boon because it can make going through life a breeze. A positive attitude is the ability to see the world through the lens of optimism, faith, and gratitude. One who has adopted the mindset of positivity will be a good-finder in the worst of situations, while a negative thinker will find fault with others and blame circumstances, making their life miserable alongside yours. Hence, someone who has mastered the art of thinking positively will enhance your emotional well-being.
• Empathy, consideration, and respect: Differences in opinions will always exist in any relationship. Being obstinate and holding unrelenting perspectives can make it difficult to get along. But if someone has empathy, the willingness to consider your viewpoint, and agrees to disagree, harmony is maintained. Likewise, a partner who respects all aspects of your life will be supportive of your needs and tolerant of your conduct and habits.
• Trustworthiness: A relationship devoid of honesty and trust is bound to fail. The best life partner may not necessarily be the wisest or the most attractive, but they must be trustworthy. The longevity of any relationship heavily rests on this one trait. Transparency, straightforwardness, and openness help build a secure bond. This frees you up from doubts and having to deal with underhanded behaviour that often crops up due to a lack of sincerity.
• Similar values: It is said that opposites attract. Though it is good to be a little different from your partner, you must share similar values. Shared values form the foundation of your relationship. There should be agreement on thoughts of marriage, parenting, lifestyle, spirituality, and other fundamental beliefs. Such commonality will allow the relationship to prosper and succeed because of similar interests.
• Thoughtfulness: While you want a partner who treats you well, they must be thoughtful of others also. The way they treat the people in their lives such as parents, peers, and colleagues speaks volumes about their character. A thoughtful partner is not judgmental about others, is tolerant of their shortcomings, and shows appreciation for them. Research shows lower marital conflict with a partner who is gentle, kind, and understanding.
• Ability to manage emotions and problems: Having an emotionally intelligent partner bodes well for the relationship. One who has the emotional maturity to remain calm in stressful situations and is not bothered by every minor issue has learnt the art of managing their emotions. Such people don’t rely on external circumstances to make them happy. Instead, they exercise their free will and choose to be happy and peaceful irrespective of the situation. These people are proactive rather than reactive in action and focus on the solution, not the problem. This helps maintain cheerfulness, hope, and effectivity while handling challenging situations.
• Ability to cope with your family: Marriage connects your partner not just to you but also to your family, friends, and relatives—your support system. Marriage introduces your partner to a different set of customs, traditions, and practices that are an inherent part of your family. If your partner can adjust and cope with your family, it will help prevent conflict caused by differences in conduct and behaviour. It will also allow you to readily interact and stay connected to your family without restrictions.
These are good reference points and parameters to help you select a suitable partner, but there are no guarantees in life. Picking the best person for yourself at the right time is an art form that must be performed with care and wisdom. It requires one to balance both the head and heart and choose judiciously.
What if you don’t wish to get married?
Although this community is small, there are people who do not want to experience the peaks and valleys of marriage. They prefer to stay single and channelise their energy in achieving their goals, as they find greater satisfaction in it.
Some of the popular people who remained single and hugely successful are Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the ex-prime minister of India; Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the ex-president of India; Lata Mangeshkar, the nightingale of India; the Wright brothers; and Sir Isaac Newton.
If you have a specific goal in life that needs all your attention, are self-sufficient, and do not seek the association of others, then you can contemplate on being single. But this is a choice you will have to make for yourself.
Selecting a life partner is one of the biggest decisions of your life. No one is perfect, but certain universal traits in a relationship with your partner will ensure a happy outcome. If two people have good fundamental values and help bring out the best in one another, married life can be heavenly. So take the time to assess your partner before entering into the institution of marriage using the pointers we discussed.
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