I was talking to a friend a few days back. She is someone whose philosophy toward life I hold in high regard, someone whose clarity of thought is impressive, who walks with such a degree of self assurance that you tend to think, confidence ought to be her natural ally!
I was reminiscing about our college days when something that she had told me then came back vividly, the trigger being the fact that she has chosen her life partner now. Back then, she had told me that two people should never imagine a future together if they are not “complete” individually. To elaborate, if I seek something to feel “complete”, I should not look for a partner who will possess that “something” and by consequence, make me feel “complete”.
She is an admirer of thought provoking literature and it is little wonder that she was able to put forward such a profound thought in so simple terms. As I discussed that philosophy with her, I could not help but think of the couples and relationships I have come across till date.
Some people look for their opposites in their partners thinking that opposites attract and the union would sustain by virtue of the novelty each partner would see in the other. Some others enter into relationship because of some attribute in their partner that they find very appealing. Because people change over time, this attribute that drew them in the first place might lose its appeal and a weariness begins to set in. In this case, the relationship starts off with a one sided attraction that turns into an obsession and evolves to a state where one becomes very much dependent on the other.
Some people keep it simple and have physical attractiveness as a criteria conveniently ignoring the fact that while the body can age fast, it is the mind that can remain sharp over a longer period! Some others simplify by looking for things that they themselves have in lesser measure, money, status, gregariousness etc. This is not different from looking for opposites. A few others prefer looking for similarities in taste and interests.
The common thread that runs across all these people is that they “look” for something in their partner. They might either lack what they look for or they might think that by looking for something definite and specific, they can make their own situation better. This is like a person trying to switch a job in search of a better pay and a better profile to augment his skills and lifestyle! The funniest part is when people think they are in “love” when they are doing this!
Aren’t we better off not seeking anything in a partner, in other words, feeling a deep sense of contentment in ourselves before looking for a partner? If only, as my friend said, we feel “complete” and we realize that true happiness can only ensue by individual striving and inner peace, we would choose wisely: We would choose someone who is able to tolerate us, who accepts us as we are without wanting to change us, who is confident enough not to indulge in petty possessiveness, who is generous enough to accommodate our tastes and interests and give us the space we need to be ourselves…!
Will forever remain indebted to this wonderful friend who is a source of inspiration in many aspects…!
Guest Author: Sivaraman Natarajan, a HatkeShaadi member in his late 20s, shared this contemplative article with us.