We crave for Love in one form or the other. Romance is something everyone goes gaga over. Bollywood & many other woods sustain because of our fairy tale notion of romance & its natural successor, the marriage. Most of those overblown entertainers conveniently forget to show the story after Love & Marriage. So it’s very natural to assume that it’s next to a sin to marry someone for any other reason than Love. Specially to arrange a marriage, seems like a far fetched idea..!! At this point, we are in a hurry to fall in Love so that we can settle in a marriage. Concept of getting into arranged marriage worries us. Is it really something to worry about..?? Is the marriage out of Love more successful than the arranged marriages..?? Research says it isn't. Reported success rate of both sort of marriages are surprisingly same. Let’s see how Romance need not be linked to Marriage in spite of popular understanding & expectations..!!
1. Conscious Efforts of Lover Vs. Adjustment with Unconscious Patterns
When anyone falls in Love, he or she is super conscious about the way they behave. We want to do everything right for the partner. We take extra pain to explore the person we love and go an extra mile to ensure that things are perfect & romantic. We put in all sort of efforts to be totally in the moment & make the moments wonderful. So, when we are in Love, our Lover seems like the most perfect person in the world. In Marriage we have a slightly different story. In marriage we tend to expose every part of us to the partner. We show the exact way of life we are accustomed to lead so far. We do not weigh or sensor our behavior or reactions for long and just let our already built patterns & habits take over. In this mode we become the pleasure seeking and pain reducing commoner, who himself/herself is unconscious of most of his/her autopilot way of Life. Now the task is of 2 individuals to understand & accommodate each other when they hardly understand themselves, through each other..!!
2. Exploring the Exciting Side for Variety Vs. Establishing Stability
When we are romancing; we are inclined to explore the funny, adventurous & caring side of ours. Lovers will have something or the other to talk about even at 3.0 am. Exchanging the sweet nothings becomes a routine. Even the silence between them seems charged. It turns out pleasurable to be doing something for the other & bestow love through multiple gestures. Hence romance is about exploration, that too of the exciting side of oneself & the partner to enjoy variety. Marriage requires for the couple to create a common ground between two people who are different in many ways. It is an anxious task in the beginning to give up on some of the long established habits to make way for a common lifestyle. So marriage becomes a process of accommodation between two people with the primary intent of establishing stability. Once stability is established in one particular way; out of many choices available, couple does not usually explore further & disturb the calm.
3. Ingredients of Attraction & Caring Vs. Understanding & Communication
Both love & marriage require their own ingredients to happen & sustain. Romance is about intimacy more than anything else. Intimacy is the outcome of realization about the acceptance from the other person for different aspects of one. Romance sustains when there is an attraction between a couple who deeply care for each other. Hence main ingredients of Love are attraction & caring. As the marriage is about partners having each other’s back & growing together, it needs partners to understand each other. Understanding is a complex process. Though one might understand few things about oneself, he/she understands many things about him/her through partner either through interaction or through observations from partner. So it becomes detrimental for partners to have an effective & continuous communication channel in place. Hence key ingredients of marriage are understanding & communication.
4. Expectations from oneself Vs. Expectations from Partner
When you fall in Love, other person becomes the center of your universe. You naturally will be doing anything & everything to show your Love. You are curious to find out the interests & strengths of the person you love, hence you experiment. Overall you tend to have more expectations from yourself than from the partner leading to you, feeling good about yourself & the relationship. In marriage you settle down with another person & relax. As the other person can see your most honest & comfortable self, you start expecting the other person to understand you exactly the way you understand yourself. In the process you forget that the other person is not your replica. That, other person had a different upbringing, carries different set of beliefs, has different expectations, possesses different frame of mind & most importantly can see those parts of you, which you express but do not yet know. In marriage you expect the partner to understand, to adjust, & to care for you; very you, which you yourself hardly understand, accept or care for completely.
5. Loving what’s Special Vs. Coping with the Ordinary
When you fall in Love, it usually is with what is special & magical in another person. Once you notice appreciable things in partner, you are predisposed to recognize more of what you already thought the other person is. Once any aspect of one is recognized by another, he/she is on a spree to show more of what's appreciated & hence hold on to the image. It’s a constructive loop. Your partner eventually becomes sort of your idol. Hence when you are in Love, you wouldn't fall short of special qualities in partner to worship. In a marriage the other person is already your ally hence you tend to notice the positives as well as negatives in the partner & mostly take positives for granted & mention the negatives so that he/she improves. Even here other person automatically becomes more of what is noticed. This isn't very constructive loop. Your partner seems very ordinary now with many flaws & marriage becomes a process of coping with ordinary.
6. Love is a Choice & Marriage is a Commitment..!!
Falling & being in love is a choice. Attraction, Lust or even having a crush is instinctive. However love is not an instinctive process. You are in Love because you chose to be in Love. You might not make the choice for all right reasons. You might make the choice out of insecurity. You might be persuaded to make the choice. You might not make the choice due to inhibitions or fear. You might unconsciously give wrong signals. In any case Love is definitely a choice. You have all the freedom in the world to nurture the love or let it shrink. Marriage on the other hand is about committing to be walking with the partner irrespective of situations. Once you marry, you become responsible to nurture the marriage, the way you nurture yourself. You cannot afford to neglect a marriage. In marriage, you become the primary motivator for the partner to build a beautiful Life together. The differences between you both will be something to be bridged & not to be deepened. Commitment helps you understand another person, different from you to expand intimacy and sustain attraction..!!
Romance & Marriage belong to different League however Marriage can lead to Romantic Love & More…!!
If you are in Love, thank your fortune & put in efforts to stay in Love. If you are in a marriage, focus on taking it one day at a time & make each moment count. You need to stay in present & convert the marriage into romantic love, companionship & more to reap its true benefits. In short you need to implement all the factors of romance, into your marriage intentionally. To fall in love; in marriage, is the best way to make marriage glorious, irrespective of if you were in Love or not before marriage. A great marriage is an outcome of great efforts & the efforts you put in here, is the greatest gift you can give yourself..!!
When you look back after decades, at traces of your steps; hopefully they are complimenting another pair which is clear & deep, right beside yours..!!
Photo Credit : http://onemillionwallpapers.com/love-wallpapers-romantic-love/
Beyond Randomness is an organization run by psychologists, based in Bangalore...Know More