What are your expectations of the person that you want to get married to?
Over these decades, I am seeing a certain trend among our young people. In the 40s through 70s, young people had little expectations of the people they were going to marry. As long as it is a person of the opposite gender and is not already married, people were okay to tie the knot and have their lives take off from there. In the 80s and 90s, with more young people going to colleges and universities and with the exposure to many stories of rich, beautiful and ultra-successful people, many of those looking for life partners started adding on attributes such as education levels, society standing and physical looks to the list of ‘must haves’ before agreeing to settle down. But such a syndrome only afflicted a small portion of people during that time, and those who were raised on more humble grounds matched up easily to that handful and many a weddings took place.
But now, almost everyone has high expectations. Years after moving out of manual labour jobs into cosy corporate positions, specifically jobs in service sectors, and with exposure to high end lifestyles and the continuous onslaught of stories of successful and glamourous people on TV and the Internet, young people are treating their “would-be”s as another line that they will be adding to their already ultra-polished CVs. And so, young people don’t want to settle for less. A degree holder wants to marry a degree holder, a pretty engineer wants an established doctor, a social science masters holder wants an accomplished lawyer, a RM4000 wage earning girl wants a RM5000 wage earning boy – young people are pushing the entry standards so high, that they search for the ‘one’ at this ridiculously high rungs of social/economic hierarchy, and then feel that there’s no one at the level that befit them.
The truth though and the point a lot of people miss, from the observations of all the generations before and after mine, is that, GETTING ONE HUMAN BEING who is willing to spend his/her life with us is actually a MIRACLE. It is not easy for anyone to live with another person as all of us come with our own baggage. This baggage can be physical, emotional, mental and even spiritual – and having another person accepting that, tolerating that and moving on with that for the rest of his/her life is a very special gift from God.
Unlike the usual perception, nailing a great spouse material is not the equivalent of getting into a top university or buying a high-end German made car. The university and the car don’t have emotions – you do your work, and they confer you the experience. But human beings do. Even if you are perfect, human beings can change their mind and walk away. Human beings can become sick and die. Human beings can become angry and frustrated when you are not in your best form. Human beings can come into your life, full of bad karma, and pass it to you and your children. So, there’s no such thing as the great other half. It is all made to look like that to trick a lot of young people into putting off a journey together with people who really love them and who would be willing to share their entire life journey, no matter how arduous, how long it is.
My point is, don’t be fixated on looks, education levels and riches. If you are young and are starting up, be open to people of all walks of life. A so-called ‘average catch’ today can turn out to the best gift you will ever have in your life – a one-to-one companionship that no job, no riches, no social class, no Nobel Prize can ever buy. Finding the right partner is not a competition, it is a story and the best stories always start with a simple beginning.
And lastly, schooling and university may seem to give our young the impression that great things are lined up one after the other and one just struts along hitting milestones after milestones. In real life, no one arranges anything for us. And no one has the obligation to see us through life, not even our own parents. We have to get moving on our own, and if another human is coming along after seeing you and knowing you, and wants to be with you till death does both of you apart, take that friend along! You probably have found your soulmate.
This article was first published here