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So why get married? For love? For love, two persons can just spend lots of time together, so why bother throwing an expensive wedding, sharing a 20 year home mortgage and putting oneself through the complications of bearing and raising a family? Because while love is good, division of wealth and questions of inheritance are not. While love is enough for two people to co-habit, decisions on who should earn, how much they should pay towards household expenses and who should be making breakfast are not. While love is full of compassion and forgiveness, it can turn to full blown hate at the very hint of betrayal and disloyalty. So marriages are created to ensure that all the goodness of love is not torn apart by the harsh realities and practicalities of life. Love can’t survive on an empty rice bowl. A marriage builds the system necessary for love to thrive in the long term. It determines the rights of each partner, the responsibilities and also the limitations of third parties. This is pretty cool – especially among interfering families and friends as everyone outside the marriage fall into the outer circle, limiting their influence and maliciousness, if any. So now about finding the right person for marriage. Easier said than done. There are four types of people when it comes to finding the one: 1. Those with ‘talent’, but without the credentials: If you are one who has talent, there’s little to worry about working hard. No job, no money, no family connections but you can still find the one. Because you have the talent of charming a person out of their senses. Well done, good for these people, in the short run that is. Successful marriages in this category require continuous inflow of new types of talent, the type that can keep sinking ships afloat. But many have and are walking successfully in this path, so this makes a major category. 2. Those without ‘talent’, but with the credentials This category belongs to those people who have great degrees, great jobs, reputable family connections, a paid-off condo even, but completely lack the ability to tackle or charm anyone. This lack of talent can come from a very orthodox upbringing, an overdose of mum-and-dad sentiments or a higher than average sense of duty and responsibility which leads to over-filtering and other-thinking, in finding the one. 3. Those with ‘talent’ and with the credentials Needless to say, this belongs to people who have both the credentials as well as the capability to attract the people they like. So finding the one and getting married is supposedly, an easy endeavour. However, due to the liberty of choice, comes a host of pretty rash decisions and also a sense of competition in finding the best partner, which creates short-lived liaisons and delayed marriages, creating a long line of very eligible yet hard-to-get bachelors/bachelorettes. 4. Those without ‘talent’, and without the credentials Before dismissing this category, do note that there are ample people in this group, and they have a pretty solid strategy. Life is hard on one side – work is tough, savings non-existent, education seems not to make any difference. Now add the complications of bringing a new person into the equation – the kind of budget involved, the time required and so forth. So this category just leaves it all to God, or circumstances. Someone’s bound to fall in love with them. Or some circumstances may turn them into someone’s white knight. Things will fall into place. One day. Discussing talent and credentials, it’s hard not to notice how ironic it is that 40-50 years ago, there were hardly any unmarried aunties/uncles or siblings. But in a super connected world that we are in today, where everyone is just a Whatsapp message away, marriages are not as easy or as simple as they used to be. Economic progress has definitely created new challenges for us, but as the most agile creatures God has put on Earth, we can use the same progress to build new ways of connecting two people who are destined to spend the rest of their lives together.