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How important is Companionship or having a Life Partner?

As social beings, we inherently seek the company of others and like being surrounded by family or loved ones. With time, there are bound to be many changes. The most daunting is probably that we now live in a world where we have to make an effort to take out time for our own family, spouse or children, let alone friends, neighbours or relatives. In such a scenario, how important is companionship or having a life partner? Can a person survive alone?
As we approach Valentine’s Day which celebrates love, companionship and partnership, we talked to a few elder members of Bihani to understand truly, what it means to be a life partner? Is it just a social norm or obligation?

What is a ‘life partner’?

Bhuwan Singh
Bhuwan Singh

A life partner is like the oxen in a plough or the wheels in the wheel-barrow. One cannot do without the other. It is the balance and harmony between two souls having mutual understanding, support, love and companionship, fulfilling every need all along the way. Talking about relationships, the very first thing that comes to mind is companionship. It is the connection of two individuals with common purpose, goals and needs. Marriage is a social assimilation for a man and a woman to bond and live with each other. So people mould themselves to this social institution for social security, order and accompany each other in finding meaning in life. – Bhuwan Singh Rai, 55 Years

Pusta Maya Rai
Pusta Maya Rai

How can we ensure happiness with our partner?

Human desires never end. As partners, you should have common goals to succeed. The give-and-take relationship should be win-win and beneficial for both, ensuring that there is no imbalance. According to me, the secret to happiness in a relationship is to make each other feel valued and appreciated and of course loved. – Pusta Maya Rai, 56 Years

Why do people need companionship?

Novel Kishore Rai
Novel Kishore Rai

As social beings, people always want someone to be by their side, both in good and bad times. No one wants to be isolated. When people are happy, they celebrate and when they are sad, they let their grief affect them. Parents love their children and children need their parents for support and guidance along the various stages of life. The inter-play of social roles seems to have an impact on the quality of life and overall well-being as well as companionship. Those lucky to have life partner or someone to share with are always better off than those without a support system. – Novel Kishore Rai, 72 Years

How do we deal with being alone?

Veena Shah
Veena Shah

It is better to be alone than be lonely. You can be surrounded by people yet feel lonely however you can still make the most out of it by engaging yourself in hobbies or interests like cooking, reading, gardening, music or anything that makes you feel healthy and lively. Just because you are living alone, does not mean that you keep yourself aloof or isolated and avoid socialising. You can share your interests, wishes and life stories with people who will make the most out of them. -Veena Shah, 68 Years

Whether you are in the company of your partner and family or not, what matters most is, as Veena Shah suggests, do not feel lonely even if you are alone, keep yourself occupied. An article in Health Central by Carol Bradley informed that research has endorsed group activities to have a positive effect on people’s moods thereby, promoting mental status

People age naturally and eventually passing on is inevitable. Research has shown that men are more susceptible to depression than women are when their spouse is no more. When the husband dies first, the wife can control, have patience and adjust to life to a fair extent, however when it comes to men, most become vulnerable to depression, isolation and other health problems. It seems that one of the reasons is because men are not used to household chores or new social roles and responsibilities, and this affects their physical, mental and psychological well-being.

Sometimes a good conversation is all that our loved ones need. Simply taking a little time off to make a phone call or just being there with a person, sipping coffee and talking could be all that is needed.
Understanding the need and importance of companionship,Bihani Social Venture will be launching “Saathi Ko Saathi” (Friend for a Friend) service for the physical, mental and psychological well-being of elders and their families.

Suman Rai is the Organisational Services Co – coordinator at Bihani Social Venture and can be reached at 9843669843/suman.bsv@outlook.com

Bihani is a social venture aspires to create a positive outlook to life and living meaningfully focus on individuals above fifty years of age (but not restricted ) who want to re- engage, re – explore and re – live a new beginning or harness a rewarding second half of their lives.

www.bihani.com.np /www.facebook.com/bihanisocialventure/