When an Indian reaches the age of 23-24… definitely 25, the trend has been for Indian parents to start passing comments on how said “Indian Child” needs to get married. As the years pass, the pressure builds up to find a spouse IMMEDIATELY. As if rapport doesn’t matter between two people so long as some day (soon) said “Indian Child” gets married.
I’m married. I’m happy to be married, and I’m having a great time being married. But as I observe my age group more closely a thought started creeping into my mind. A few years ago I found myself in a pretty bad predicament. If you know you know. Mentally at an all time low, living alone in the beautiful city of San Diego – I had started doubting whether I wanted to be married at all, ever. With the best of intentions at heart, my parents did the only thing they knew how to do. They freaked out. They were positive I was going to ruin my life if I stayed single for the rest of it. At my age 18, the same parents who didn’t want me to even make eye contact with males, at age 27 were horrified I didn’t even want to anymore. Okay, so then I got married. And they were finally at peace. Their duty was done.
But what the heck kind of duty was this?? If I was so self-reliant, self sufficient – why was getting me married SUCH an important hurdle that had to be crossed??
This sequence of events along with listening to various stories from unmarried and seeking people about their parents’ behaviors on this topic made me start wondering on why it was so important to get married. Of course it’s one thing if a person wants to get married and is actively seeking. Don’t get me wrong, I understand companionship and do love mine, but the way that the older generations go about it slowly but surely started rubbing me the wrong way.
It almost seemed like the thought was that a person is only 50% until they are married. As if life isn’t fulfilling until you’re married. As if you need to be married to live a successful life. As if without a spouse, you will perish and die in misery, childless (topic for another day). Which is odd because I’m pretty sure getting married significantly increases the degree of stress in both parties since beyond the love and attachment part people spend so much time annoying each other (see marriage jokes – they had to have some basis).
The other day, in convo with a friend, I had an epiphany. Should be obvious but it’s really not. To anyone. The fact of the matter is that I was not 50% before I married Sagar. I was 100%! I was ALWAYS complete. And so was my husband before me. I was able to take care of myself, financially provide for myself, anything I needed or wanted to do – I could! Anything I couldn’t, I could always hire someone to do it! I didn’t need a man in my life romantically to do anything because I could literally do it ALL (or get it ALL done one way or another). If I chose to have a partner, it was because I wanted one, not because I needed one!
So when will we finally shift this thought process from “needing” someone to “wanting someone”. I don’t NEED anyone. So if someone is in my life – that is a privilege for them which they need to appreciate and maintain. Same goes vice versa, if I am in someone’s life, it shouldn’t be because they NEED ME (not trying to get used for the benefits, or on the flip side build up my own ego) but rather because it is my privilege to be loved by them. I think when we start shifting our understanding of why someone is in our lives (or we theirs) – we will start appreciating being in a relationship more. At the same time we will also learn to preserve our self-reliance which is an extremely important thing to never lose.
I’m already in a relationship with, engaged and married to my husband. But today I spent some time proposing to myself. The truth is, I am my own soulmate. I am fully capable of (and actually am!) my own provider. I love myself more than anyone else in this world loves me, and I am the only person who 100% has my own best interests at heart. No one is going to go out of their way for me the way I would go out of my way for myself, and no one is going to prioritize me and my happiness the way I prioritize them. So why not give myself some credit for being the best soulmate to myself that I could ever have?
I am 100% complete. I always was 100% complete. We all (mostly) are 100% complete when we don’t need someone to fulfill our basic needs. And we should be proud of that independence. All other relationships, are a bonus. So no we are not 50/50 only to be made whole by marrying just about anyone because “we’re getting too old”. The privilege to be loved by the person you love is given and taken, to be appreciated and cherished – never to be taken for granted.
Because when someone is 100% complete to begin with, it’s you who is lucky to have them. And hopefully… that understanding goes both ways.
I am… 100% complete.