The following are not amongst the things that are generally discussed with a soon be to be spouse. For a match made in India, food, movies, books, financial background of the family, love for pets and many such day to day stuff are discussed to check for compatibility. Sense of humor, good looks and a level of romanticism are also considered for the much awaited ‘I Do’. However, I believe that no match should be complete till the bride and groom discuss the following 8 commandments beforehand.
- Finance: There are some who track their expenses meticulously and then there are some who don’t. There are those who save at the beginning of the month and then there are those who never save. There are those who send their parents a part of their paycheck, some who donate to religious institutions, some who donate to animal shelters. There are those who love to take from parents and there are those who expect the spouse to be the provider. When it comes to money, every person has their own ideology and making sure that this ideology matches is of utmost importance.
- Equality: While the concept of “women are equal to men and deserve to be treated as such” is catching on, not all men are ready to treat their wife as an equal and not all women wish to be treated so. Talk to your spouse-to-be and make sure that your views on this match. You really do not want to spend half the night at office trying to fix some issue of utmost priority, only to come home to find out that your other half has problems with you coming in late.
- Kids: Discuss this no matter how awkward you think it is. Not everyone is open to the idea of waiting for a few years before having a kid. Not many are open to the idea of adoption. Not many are able to decide how many kids they want and then there are a few who believe kids are god’s gift and humans should not interfere to stop the process. So, regardless of what you believe, having your partner on the same page is of utmost importance.
- LGBT Rights: This one is close to my heart. I believe everyone should have the freedom to Love. Make sure you and your partner share same views on LGBT Rights. You might think it is not significant, but it is more significant than you think. Recent studies suggest that more than 8% of world’s population may be LGBT, most of them who have never come out. There are chances that the child you bring up in future might be in that 8%. Having diverse LGBT views can affect your relationship more than you give it credits for.
- Religious Ceremonies: Religion is a vast subject in itself and can touch upon variety of topics. On one hand there are the atheists who question the existence of god and on other hand there are folks who believe nothing happens without the grace of god . Then there are a few who spend most of their lifetimes in prayers\rituals. Make sure that you are tolerant of each other’s habits, beliefs and practices.
- Parents and Relatives Trap: There are several big decisions one has to take in life – where to buy a house, where to settle down, which school does the kid get to go to etc. Some can make these decisions easily while some folks have to consult others on their big decisions and ensure their approvals. While discussing these with others might not be a problem, awaiting approvals from far flung relatives might be. Discuss the role the relatives will be playing beforehand.
- Hobbies and Habits: Nobody can change who they are for someone else no matter how much they want to or they try to. So, finding a partner with matching habits ensures that the changes are limited to a bare minimum. Make sure your hobbies and pastimes align. One should not be a globe-trotting adventurer while all the other wants to do is curl up in front of the TV with a packet of chips.
- Fitness and Food: It is easy to let go of oneself and gain the flab as the responsibilities build up with age. Your partner might have different ideas about that. If you are someone who believes that one is born to eat and your partner checks calories before picking up anything, there might be a time in future where you are headed for a disagreement, and those issues my friend, are bound to be heavy.
That being said, compatibility on the above 8 points does not ensure a Happy and Loving Marriage. I know a few couples out there whose views do not match on any of the 8 points but they still make the best of couples.