Today I was asked probably the most difficult question I’ve faced all my life and given that I have no experience in the area, it was even tougher. So, what was this mysterious question? How do you really know when you can marry someone?
I took a deep breath, stalled for a bit, brought out all my philosophical and MBA skills, tried to frame it instantly and then blurted out whatever came to my head. Now that I’ve had time to reflect, I’m sharing the theory or rather the flowchart, which I hope can help people looking for guidance in the area.
Step 1: Evaluating a person
What do you think of the person? Do you respect them, do you trust them? Do you think they are genuinely good people?
This is the most important step since 2 years down the line, you don’t want to have ended up with a person who is nothing like who you first met. Here, you need to consult other people, close friends, acquaintances etc. to see what they think of this person. Peer evaluation is necessary here, as you alone are not enough for the job.
Next, you have to observe them closely and their actions when they’re around you. Don’t let your heart make the decision here, give power to the brain. Be objective about evaluating.
Ask them questions that show the kind of person they are. Ex: “What would you do if you got a girl pregnant? Did you ever cheat in your previous relationship? If an innocent person is being hit by bullies, would you help them or walk away?” Tough questions that show you the real face of the person. These answers should be the ones you respect and should never be opposite your value-system. If you can’t respect who you are with, it will only create conflicts in the long term. Love, or what you thought was love can dwindle over the years, but respect and trust live on forever.
Remember, any red flag in this step and you need to stop. End it then and there. Because you won’t be able to afterwards. Move to step 2 only if you are sure about step 1.
Step 2: Mutual love
Ok, step 2 is about how much that person matters to you and how much do you matter to them? If they disappeared from your life right now, how much would you miss them? And if you disappeared from their life, how much would they miss you? Is it just right now that you would miss them, or would it be the same 5 years later? (The last part is tough and you may not have the answer. That is totally fine but give it a shot.)
How much can you sacrifice yourself for them and how much can they sacrifice themselves for you? Do you give up some things so it makes them happy and do they do the same in return? Because, if they do, they will be willing to accept your flaws and you will be willing to accept their flaws as you go along in your story.
Remember, it’s not their words that matter, it’s their actions and their gestures. Anybody can talk about love, very few can really pull it off. I don’t even want to get into the grey area about what love is, so let’s keep it simple. Do they put your happiness over theirs or is it always about their happiness and you just go along with it?
Let me remind you this step comes only after 1st step, once you are sure about the person. Don’t jump directly to this step or you’ll regret it later on. Jumping to this step without evaluating the person or having respect for him leads to a fling, or infatuation which will not be long-lasting and end up leaving emotional scars on you.
Anyway, so if the person has passed through both these checks, there is only one logical thing to do afterwards.
Step 3: Take a leap of faith
You’ve made a fully-informed choice. All you need now is to trust your gut and jump into it all the way. Sometimes, things will not work out. Sometimes, even after all this, people will turn out to be jerks.
But if you’ve thought about it long enough, made the right choices along the way, chances are that you have just found the perfect match for yourself.
Just one final check: Close your eyes and ask yourself are they the right person for you? You and you only know the truth, you and only you are responsible for the person you end up with. Make the right choice, take a leap of faith and say yes. Because they clearly deserve you and you clearly deserve them.