Madhur, my single friend who was about to celebrate her 36th birthday called to say that she is ready for a long-term relationship and she wanted to understand how an online matchmaking service works. She called me because I am building one. Since Madhur had kept this dimension of her life closed for a long time, I was ecstatic. I was keen to celebrate this momentous occasion with our friends and arranged a girl’s night at my place.
Disclaimer: I am the founder of an online matchmaking service for Urban Indians. We make getting to know each other fun vs being transactional. Having said this, I plead to all who are open to meeting partners be it arranged or via an online matchmaking service that the onus lies with them to make the effort to get to know their prospect match. We just provide the platform for the initial introductions and interactions.
Back to the lunch that was to take place at my home. Since we were meeting after 8 months of being cooped up because of COVID, we wanted to make it fun. We decided on a color-themed get-together. All of us were to dress wearing shades of yellow! Even food that was to be served would be in shades of yellow or golden. Madhur was the first one to arrive as expected, she has always been punctual. It was fantastic seeing her as well as meeting the other ladies. Madhur and I had a quick discussion around her finding a life-partner, I told her about the online service I was building. I stressed the importance of being patient as well as the need to invest in the search and asked for her feedback once she signed up. The rest of our girl gang arrived within 30 minutes of the decided time and my home was full of banter and laughter with wine and beer flowing. Someone asked Madhur what she was expecting from a long-term relationship. Madhur replied that she was looking for a committed relationship in which she and her partner lived in their own respective homes. She was prodded to share more details and she went to describe what she seeks in her partner and her expectations from a relationship. Her expectations sounded reasonable. Then I asked her if she was aware of the characteristics, she needs to possess to sustain a long-term relationship. Caught off guard, she asked us to list which qualities we thought she should have. This shared list in random order has been made by 5 Urban Indian women in their 30s and 40s who are happy in and with their relationships.
- It is important to spend quality time with your partner as well as to spend a reasonable amount of time together. This does not mean both have to be joined at the hip. It just means that a conscious effort needs to be to be made to invest in the relationship that you share. There will be times one makes more effort than the other.
- Never expect your partner to read your mind. If you are not someone who is communicative but looking for a meaningful relationship, then it is important that you work on your communication skills with your partner. You should be able to share with your partner what you appreciate as well as your trigger points.
- Do not expect the partner to change into the person that you want them to be. Keep reminding yourself that both of you are individuals who think and comprehend differently. It’s your shared values and belief in each other that holds you together.
- Avoid threatening to break-up during an argument or disagreement. Patience will go a long way even if the partner is at fault. But when emotions are high try to stay calm. You could even drop the argument and revisit the issue when you are both in better mind space.
- Understand that your partner like yourself would like to enjoy some ‘me’ time.
- Discuss your obsessive behaviour/s in a constructive way. We knew Madhur has an obsession with cleanliness and tidiness and we hope she meets someone similar. We believe that a constructive discussion and the will to stay together can overcome such challenges.
- We also knew that Madhur would be financially supporting her parents for the next 5 years. She is helping her father pay off a loan. We told her to have an honest discussion around finances and her contribution in building the relationship – when the time was right. We also brought to her notice that there is a possibility that her prospective partner may be in a similar boat when it came to taking responsibility of his parents now or maybe at a later time so she needs to keep an open mind on this issue.
- If there is no abuse, all disagreements can be resolved with discussion., For this, the ego must be parked or has to be MIA (missing-in-action).
- She would need to be patient with her “in-laws” (partner’s family given she did not plan to be married) as will the partner with her family.
- Avoid involving the family in your and the partner’s disputes. We recommended that she reach out to one of us or take professional help.
- Do not get stressed if a bond or an attachment with the prospective partner is not built immediately. It can take a year or a little more for the deep attachment to be formed.
Once we were done sharing the tips, I thought she would let out a huge sigh and say, forget it this seems like too much off work and that she is better off single. But I was pleasantly proven wrong! She surprised us by saying, “Is this it? I have given it a lot of thought to my decision and I am confident I would like to share my life with someone special and will need to work on my patience – just as I do with all of you.” She continued with a smile, “it is the lockdown which gave me time to reflect and I am confident that want to be with someone to share my life with.
We cheered with our glasses and got up to eat Post which, we huddled around my laptop to book a much-needed weekend outing into the hills.