WOW | Coffee Break

Marriage, Living-In or Single

Mausham Shakya
Coach / Consultant, Mindfulness, Mind Training

We have all got so much love, attention and care from early childhood which is embedded in our deeper level of mind that we continuously seek this often unconsciously throughout our life. Though our upbringing is not perfect, we do learn to be happy, comfortable and emotionally contained whenever we spend quality time with the person who understands, supports and loves us.
Love is one of the most profound emotions known to human beings. There are many kinds of love, but most people seek its expression in a romantic relationship with a compatible partner. Romantic relationships are one of the most meaningful elements of life, providing a source of deep fulfillment. Intimacy, security, respect, good communication, a sense of being valued is essential for healthy and happy relationships. The ability to have a healthy, happy, loving relationship is not innate. A great deal of evidence suggests that the ability to form a stable experience with a caregiver who reliably meets the needs.

Failed relationships happen for many reasons. We should begin to work on ourselves as early as possible for better relationships.

I think single life is the most important stage of life. In this stage, one should try to understand oneself as much as possible and try to be one’s own friend. A lot of people are afraid when they are alone. They look to the external sources and stimulus to keep themselves happy. However, a person not happy when alone, will not be happy with other people either. They will project their unhappiness, their shadows and their unfulfilled desires and knots onto others. They will always think that external factors are making them unhappy, where as it is the inner knots and complexities that hinder them from living a fulfilled and satisfied life. It is only a happy and self-fulfilled person that can make a great relationship with a partner. Transition from being single to in a happy long term relationship brings lots of benefits. Lacking a relationship, people who are alone and unhappy, may run the risk of social isolation. This can lead to depression and neglecting one’s health.

Everyone wishes for a healthy and stable long-term relationship which leads towards marriage which is simply a process by which two people make their relationship public, official and relatively permanent. It is an institution developed by society to formalise commitments and bring family and social support. There are many rules in marriage that can be a bit suffocating nowadays. Most couples strategically want to maintain the social aspects superficially. Today families also understand that two people shouldn’t be forced to live together just because of certain cultural and social customs. With more marriages happening between different identities, it’s become very difficult to follow fixed customs as it is.

The joining of two people in bond that putatively lasts until death, a lot happens. Personality changes, bodies age, romantic love waxes and wanes. Additionally no marriage is free of conflict. It takes building confidence and trust to open up fully to your spouse.

I think live-in relationship should be like an art where the artists are free to create the object of their dream. It is a practice of two people to train themselves to love and accept each other with cordial or unconditional love. It is not easy for two people, who come from entirely different back-ground and psychological makeup, to live together. So, it should be platform for each of them to train themselves to treat their partners with openness and acceptance.

Normally, people enter a relationship because they want their partners to fulfill their unfulfilled desires. So, there is a possibility that a relationship lasts until the other partner behaves and reacts according to the other partner. In this process, if the whole thing becomes a game of ego where one partner has to lose and sacrifice his/her identity, dreams, desires where one partner remains suffocated, unsatisfied and suppressed then it will definitely turn into separation.

A life partner is not an object like computer or television, which we can do whatever we want wth. S/he is a living person with their own desires, dreams and needs. And each partner must understand, care and allow another to maintain their space.

Normally live-in relationships last for a few years – either until a couple separates or they formalise the relationship into marriage. Getting married becomes necessary as it is very difficult to establish a support system for the continuation of family life with kids and other members.

Having shared that I remember my female friend once said, “Life is too precious to make compromises or follow social norms blindly. So whatever gives one true happiness is all that really matters. I have friends who are happily married, happily divorced and what not. I’m happily single. I’m not against marriage or living in if that brings happiness.”