Monday, September 9, 2013

Freedom in your marriage -The Independence Weekend

It’s been eight years since I got married and I took my first solo trip this year. It was not to commemorate Independence day or to assert my independence, or anything like that; it just happened to fall on the Independence weekend. I did have a fantastic time (below are the pictures of my trip) and it also got me thinking about freedom in marriage.

Do we have freedom after marriage? 

Freedom to pursue our interests and passions? 
Or do compromises take it all away?

I know of a lot of people who are scared that marriage spells the end of freedom, no more late nights, no more beer parties, no more all girls’ night outs! Apart from these rather frivolous things, many even give up their dreams and passions, because they think it does not gel with their partner or fit into the new marital routine.

But have you talked about it with your partner? Have you sold the idea or pitched it rightly, as they say? You know, there’s a time, a place and a way to talk about these things…these things that are so important to you. And you must.

If you’re really passionate about something or want to live with more passion, then heed Yoda, who says, “Do or do not…there is no try”.

Often partners imagine what their spouse will say about something that’s out of the domestic or marital routine. It’s like they’ve made up their minds about how their partner will react and even put imaginary words into their mouth. “My wife! She’ll freak if she hears of this! No way, I can do it!” Or, “No, it’s not possible. I know him. He would never allow it!”

But have you really tried? Have you spelt it out? Have you told your partner how important it is to you?

I would say, stop guessing and start communicating! You will never know your partner’s true reaction unless you ask or communicate, or as I mentioned earlier pitch it in the right way and at the right time ;-).

While in reality you do have to make compromises in marriage, it need not spell the end of your dreams and passions. All you have to do is communicate. I know of a couple, both travel enthusiasts who take turns to travel, so one parent can manage their kid’s routine, unless they travel as a family!

Even as our Independence day is over, freedom can and does prevail in marriage. Only, you’ve to make the effort and find the balance to make that freedom work for both of you!

Share your freedom stories!

Pleasures and pains of solitariness

Interiors of the Tree house
Kotagiri hills
Lazy Hills , Kotagiri
Lazy Hills,Kotagiri

Gazebo-Lazy hills,Kotagiri

Monday, August 5, 2013

Build a stronger marriage and your kids benefit.

Sometimes, in marriage, all goes fine till the kids come along. It’s
sad but true. I’ve known of couples divorcing after the kids came
along, because the marriage didn’t make sense anymore or they just
stopped getting along. I’ve also known of couples drifting apart and
finally divorcing once the kids were grown and had moved on, because
there was nothing to hold them together during the empty nest period.

Isn’t it ironic? You marry because you love each other

 and also, in most cases, to have a family of your own. And the
‘family’ itself becomes the source of your rift? How did it every get
to be that way? And does it have to be that way?


Of course once the kids come along A LOT does change. Most of your
time, if not already taken up by your regular office work and house
chores, etc., is now eaten up by your kids! Everything begins to
revolve around them! Their bedtime, meal times, play dates, homework
and the list goes on! And what suffers? Your marriage. You might not
even notice how your marriage slowly but gradually gets pushed to the
corner, until it gets confined there and becomes more and more
insignificant, and sometimes until a spouse has breakdown and sadly,
too late for damage control.

But it need not be that way. You can make both work beautifully with
some planning and some effort. And interestingly, research shows that
kids too benefit greatly if couples spend more quality time with each
other. It’s so simple that you’ll be surprised you didn’t think of it
earlier. The more quality time you spend with each other, the more
positive and happier you become; this in turn reflects on the entire

And it’s not that hard to steal some ‘couple time’. Yes, even with
kids, office work, et al.

•       Cuddle and hug each other and no it’s not odd to do it in front of
children. On the other hand, seeing this demonstration of love will
only strengthen your bond as a family and children will grow up as
strong, loving and caring adults. Isn’t it beautiful for children to
see their moms and dads ‘in love’? Steal moments together, before the
kids wake up and before you turn to your cuppa or the newspaper. Make
sure you hug or plant a kiss, when you say bye at the door. If the
kids are asleep or are busy with their homework, try and spend that
time together.

•       Tell your children that moms and dads have to also spend some time
together alone. Hire a baby sitter or drop them off at your parents’
or friends, or relatives’ house for a romantic dinner. If that’s
difficult, try and squeeze in lunch date every once in a while.

•       Even on your family time together, see how you can make it a
‘marriage time’ too. When you take the kids to the park to play, steal
some quiet moments at the bench, while you watch your kids, or if you
have help to monitor them, hold hands and take a short walk around the
park. When you help kids with their project homework, involve your
partner so you can spend some time together.

•       When you find some time to yourselves, skip the TV, instead cuddle
or just talk. TV time is not couple time; instead it’s just the
opposite, because you’re not focusing on each other, but on the TV.

We’d love to hear from you! How do you make ‘marriage time’ after the
kids have come along? Share you tips.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Seek out the people who seek you

I would like to continue from my previous blog “Why can’t I find someone?

It’s strange how sometimes you find yourself in the trap of: those you seek don’t want you or you don’t want the people who seek you! Strange isn’t it. So, are you attracting the wrong people or maybe you’re attracted to the wrong people. 

Now when you look closely at this conundrum, ask yourself, “What can I do about it?”
Well, the first thing is to be one list of the people who want you and steer clear from the people who you don’t want. Easier said than done? So how do you do it?

Most often, we would try and change the person who we like or seek, and who probably doesn’t share the same feelings. We would argue with him/her and try and convince him/her why we’re the best and why we’re made for each other, etc. But oh, it’s so futile! 
Trying to change someone is like trying to change the color of the sky. 
It’s impossible. Accept the fact; it can’t be done. 

But what you can do is change yourself. Change your thinking. Most importantly, change the idea of who you think your ideal partner should be. 
But hey, not every guy can earn a fat salary and not every woman is slim, fair and beautiful! Many times we would think that a person of a certain status, certain looks or earnings or having the perfect figure might be the ONE. You could show off the person amongst your friends and peers and feel good about it and society will say, “Oh, what a perfect couple they make!” But is that really it? Will that make you truly happy? 

When I was helping Rashmi (name changed) find a partner, we got into a discussion. Here was this guy who was the VP at a large global company, who had the looks and the social status and the money, but she wasn’t sure if he was truly interested in her, because he “Talked about himself and his achievements all the time,” said Rashmi. On the other hand, there was this guy, who was simple and average , but he was warm and made her feel nice made her laugh and he was genuinely interested in her.  
But Rashmi was pursuing the VP, because he was the ideal partner she had mind. Suave and sophisticated and one she could show off to her friends and she thought she could eventually be happy with him. But the problem was he wasn’t as interested in her; he was more interested in himself.
So, I asked her, “Does he make you feel happy?” she was hesitant. And I knew why, because the heart doesn’t crave qualifications and credentials, it wants true connections. 
I advised her to seek the man who was genuinely interested in her and ditch the man she thought was ideal for her.

Yes, sometimes, changing your own perceptions or preconceived image about the ideal partner might open doors to happiness you never imagined.  

Do you agree? Share your thoughts.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Why can’t I find someone?

When I met Deepa (name changed) for the first time, the first question
I asked myself, being a match-maker notwithstanding was, “How come she
hasn’t found anyone yet?” And the first question she asked me was the
same: “Why can’t I find someone?” She was smart, beautiful and
sweet-natured, in short a very marriageable person. And yet, here she
was, unmarried and in her late thirties.

In the years following my first meeting with Deepa, I have
increasingly come across men and women, who seem most eligible, and
yet ask me this question: Why can’t I find someone? You sure can,
especially in a land of 1.2 billion people! You just have to look in
the right direction and be a little bit open about willing to find
that someone and also be ready to change your perception of love,
dating, and marriage.

I keep telling my clients, if you want to find someone, you have to
first a) be open to dating and meeting people and not dismiss someone
because he’s too short of she wears specks; and b) be willing to
change your perception about marriage; even as people want to get
married, very often, and at the back of their mind, they find marriage

For dating and meeting new people, you have to first be open and more
importantly, patient. The prince/princess on a white horse is only a nice
dream, now wake up and smell the coffee. Be open and ‘no’ it’s not a
show of desperation if you’re seeking someone. It’s only natural. And
if you’re going to be neutral in your attitude, your prince might
never show up. Be proactive. And more important, be ready to work at
it. If someone is being nice to you in the office, respond to the
niceness. Make an effort. If a decent guy gives you a phone number or
asks for yours at a bar, don’t be shy. More importantly, don’t judge
the person on your first date, tempting and easy as it may be. Give
each other some time. Don’t give up easily.

Now, coming to marriage, just because your cousin or your aunt is
unhappy with his or her married life, doesn’t mean you’re not meant
for marriage. Some people, while they want to get married, argue that
marriage can be a constraint. Women feel that they might be at the
mercy of the demands of their husbands and in-laws, while men might
argue that they don’t want to think twice if they want to spend
evenings out with friends or like the idea of someone else staking
claim on their hard earned money.

If you’re going to find faults with marriage, or find it unpleasant,
it’s unlikely you’re ever going to find anyone to marry. On the other
hand, marriage is not a bed of roses either. There will be thorns, but
if you and your spouse can mind these thorns or even be ready to pluck
them out, it can be all the good things you want it to be. But yes, it
needs work. And yes, from both parties.

So now when someone asks me, “Why can’t I find someone?” I say, “I can
find you someone provided you help me by being open to meeting new
people and by focusing on all the great things that marriage be.

Share your thoughts!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Does marriage still matter? It does!

Till a few years back, it was the only passport into society as
someone respectable and responsible, but today, marriage is a choice
for many, society notwithstanding. Parents can’t force you, live-in is
fairly acceptable, society will not pass a harsh judgment on you,
friends will still stand by your side and relatives, barring the mean
aunt or a staunch grandparent won’t wag their tongues.

So, do you still want to get married? Is marriage still important? Or
is it out of fashion?

Well, yes. In my experience as a match-maker, I come across many young
people and even middle-aged people still wanting to get married,
despite the relative freedom that society now bestows. Strange, isn’t
it? Even as society and people are getting more and more tolerant and
accepting towards all kinds of people and relationships, marriage
continues to hold its ground. Why?

It’s not the stigma of being single, which is no longer a stigma; it’s
not ‘all my friends are married, that’s why I want to too’ or it’s not
even the fear of growing old alone. It’s more the feeling of belonging
to someone. Homeless or country-less people feel unsettled, they want
to belong to a place, a community and will go to great lengths to get
it. They want to be ‘accepted’ by someone, some place or some
community. Deep down it stems from the human nature of collective
living, of protecting each other and looking out, and after each other
and caring for each other.

Bring that same feeling to a micro level and you have the institution
of marriage. At the end of the day, you want to go back to a home; you
want to go back to someone. There is something comforting and warm
about, that nothing else can replace. Even as we are egoistic and
attach a lot of importance to ‘I’, we need the ‘We’, whatever ‘we’ it
maybe – a country, a community or a family and like you have something
that certifies that you are a citizen of a place or a community, the
institution of marriage, whether by a piece of paper or a ceremonial
‘I do’ gives you that certificate.

So, if you’re married, count your blessings, love more and criticize
less, accept your differences and lend empathy and care. Don’t forget
to tell your spouse now and then how much you love her or him. If you
are single, despite all that you hear about marriage and its
difficulties and the compromises you’ve to make, let me assure you,
marriage is still a beautiful thing.  And no, it will never go out of

Share your thoughts on the institution of marriage.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Get Physical!

Not sex, silly! What I mean is get physical by doing an activity
that’s physically demanding! But do it together. Run, swim, hike,
bike, climb, skate, play badminton, gym, dance… Anything that makes
your heart beat race, exhausts you, aches your muscles, but in the end
satisfies you. I know of a few couples who do the Nike run training
together,  do yoga, or make sure they go hiking every few weeks. And
let me tell you, they have great fun doing it together!

Such activities bring you and your spouse closer in more ways that you
can imagine. You understand each other’s body limits and become more
supportive, encouraging and caring; you’re doing an activity that is
different from your normal routine, which helps you bond because it’s
fun and adventurous; because you’re both going through physically
challenging experiences you bond at a different level, this helps you
respect each other’s physicality too; you’ll understand your spouse’s
sportsman spirit. In game of badminton or tennis, you’ll learn to lose
gracefully or encourage each other. But above all, you’ll have fun!
It’s great fun to race your spouse whether on a track or in the pool,
it brings back fond memories of school and college days, only now
you’re not competing with friends but with your partner!

Sport has a unique and unifying element! It brings people from all
regions, races and color together. It speaks a language that everyone
can understand. And it can do wonders for relationship too! It’s fun,
it’ll help you come closer to your spouse and boost your health!

So, go get physical! Go run, dance, sail, skate, play, swim, bike, hike...

Have you and your spouse indulged in physical activities together?
Share your experience with us!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

What would you truly enjoy doing in 2013?

So is your 2013 resolutions list out yet? Frankly, I’m not much of a
resolutions person. While I like the idea of it, I don’t like that in
practice it generally fades off by February. And come June, it’s long
forgotten and come December, I feel lousy about myself for not having
kept at it! So I generally avoid it.

But I do like the idea of it. And I find that, especially in
relationships, resolutions and frequent revisiting of resolutions
really help.

So, here’s something that you can do this year. Forget the long list.
Just do this. Fill in this blank: I think doing ______ in 2013 would
be fantastic.  And fill it three or five times. So now you have top
three or five things you’d like to do this year. Ask your spouse to do
the same. And, please, no cheating. Once done, compare your list.

You might be surprised by what comes out of it! Maybe out of your own
list, especially when you begin to truly introspect and even
prioritize things that you want to do, and maybe that of your spouse!
You might go, ‘Really? I didn’t know you enjoyed doing that! or, I
always thought that was a passing fad, and didn’t know it was
something you were serious about!’

Either way, it’s a great way to get done the things you truly enjoy
doing, discover new things and even maybe secret interests of your
spouse. This is also a great opportunity for both of you to be truly
supportive and encouraging of one another’s passions and interests.
This understanding works as a solid foundation for lasting
relationships. We’re so often focused on what ‘we’ want, what ‘we’ are
interested in that we tend to neglect our spouse’s feelings. This
effort towards supporting and understanding each other will truly pave
the way for a solid relationship.

So, get started! And go fulfill your dreams this 2013!