Indian millennials – a whopping 69% of them – have marriage on their minds and are willing to initiate the first step towards that goal. It is important for them that they have their parents’ approval for their choice and they value the chance for a stable relationship that meets their expectations and comes vetted and filtered. But even as you entrust matchmaking to people or services you trust, you can do your bit to ensure you and your potential partner are on the same page by asking the right questions. You may be as open as PreityZinta’s character in Dil Se or as clueless as Kajol’s in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum, but everybody has important things they want to know before they agree to spend the rest of their lives with someone. Here the absolutely essential topics of conversation you should have covered before you take your relationship to the next level.
Habits and Personality Traits
You are going to be spending the better part of your life with this person and share everything from the newspaper to, possibly, your surname. So you had better be aware of what the other person is like. Is either of you an early riser while the other likes to sleep late? Does one of you have an obsession with cleaning while the other tends to ignore the dust on the side table? Speak frankly about yourself and lay down the deal-breakers when it comes to the other.
You are both adults who are probably used to living on your own and have a fair share of independence. When you start sharing your lives, make sure the burden of keeping the home affairs in order does not fall on just one partner. Be clear about what you are willing to do and what you would like your partner to do.
Talk earnestly about the place of children in your life. Do both of you strongly believe in having children? If so, when? And how many? Do you have a specific idea of how you want to raise your children? You should certainly share those with your partner and get their views on the same.
Marriage is one of the most beautiful milestones in life but it is not the only one. Be clear about what you have in mind regarding your future as a professional and what kind of support you expect from your partner in this aspect. You should also have a clear view of where they expect to be and whether that is something you can adjust with as well.
Money is often a great source of disagreement between partners if you haven’t talked beforehand about it. Everything from your income and assets to spending habits and debt, if any, should be frankly shared. Both partners’ expectations for the future – including a home or car and travel goals, if any – should be openly discussed so that there is no money-related frustration down the line.
Beliefs and Principles
You may be an admirer of Greta Thunberg while your potential spouse thinks global warming is a hoax. It may seem like a small thing but it points out to a basic difference in your world view which can be a major irritant in the future. Be frank and clear about things that matter deeply to you. Ideally, you should be on the same page when it comes to deep-rooted beliefs and principles you hold dear.
If you think of your hard-earned apartment as your home for life while your partner wants you to live with their parents, no one is going to be happy. Discuss living situations, clearly stating what you expect and what you are not comfortable with. If your job involves transfers, also discuss whether your partner would be willing to move with you when required.
Taking Care of Parents
In a family-oriented country like India, it is only natural that your parents and siblings play a big part in your life. You may want to spend weekends with them or give them the European tour they have always dreamed of. It could be at a later stage in your marriage that caring for a sick parent or supporting parents financially comes into play. Discuss these issues at the outset so there is no ill-feeling down the line.
In those rosy days of courtship and long talks into the night, you may only be concerned with what music your partner likes or what destination they dream of for your honeymoon. But discussing the hard facts can lay the foundation for a strong relationship. Make sure to cover all these points in your discussions before letting the matrimony matchmaking blossom into happily ever after!