Love is said to be the swiftest yet the slowest of all growth. Yet love is all we hope for and long for. We want someone to be a partner through life, someone to share our burdens and successes, someone who doesn’t wince when you ask even the most stupid of questions hence the urge to fall in love, to get married and settle down at some point in life.

When you are single, you can go anywhere and stay out as late as you want, you can flirt and talk to anyone. You don’t have to cook and clean up after someone and your money is YOUR money. You can party and watch anything on TV without anyone complaining. You don’t have to worry that someone does not like your friends and you have no in-laws to worry about. Everything is your decision, no compromise or debate with anyone. Besides, the remote is always ‘safe’ wherever you leave it.

On the other hand being married gives you a confidant and someone to lean on. You have company; you can talk and share your sadness & happiness. You have someone to help out around the house and if you are both employed, you have the benefit of two incomes. You constantly have someone to grab onto during those scary moments and someone to hold you in bed. You have someone to cook for you and someone to cook for, not forgetting the joy of coming home to your friend, if you are lucky that your spouse is your best friend. Statistically, it’s proven that married people live longer.

However, marriage takes a lot of adjustments, needs a lot of understanding, honesty and openness. They say living under the same roof can at times drive even the Dalai Lama to hurl a set of keys hard enough to puncture any wall. Marriage is not for the fainthearted; it requires more than love — you need true commitment and dedication. Indeed marriage is no panacea or magic wand hence no guarantee for a confidante and that you won’t be lonely. Thus the nagging dilemma: To stay single or get married.

Marriage, how come almost everyone I know have a problem with it? Some have problems getting into it; some have problems getting out of it!

Today, we are either too selfish to take part in a real loving relationship or we unknowingly rush into marriage. We don’t know what we want in a partner. In fact, we don’t know who we are ourselves — so how can we know who we are marrying. It’s important to find out who you are, who the other person is, and how you accommodate or don’t.

For marriage to work, you’ve got to know how to compromise a lot. Ask yourself whether you and your partner are adept at resolving conflict (no violence), can speak openly to one another and fully respect one another. Your attitude regarding the nature of marital commitments and roles, children and child rearing is of importance. It is your shared responsibility to discuss your similarities and come to agreement regarding your differences. You should appraise not only your partner but also yourself and remember that love and attraction do not guarantee long-time compatibility. In other words, find out if you have a common set of values in life for the relationship or you are in trouble.

Is pairing off really in your best interest?

I believe marriage has many pressures as well as many pleasures. When it comes to whether or not to do marriage, the grass always look greener on the other side of the fence. One therefore needs to examine what they value in life. Carefully consider whether you truly want to get married, both individually and as a couple. Such decisions should be made with the mind, the soul as well as with the heart. Have some sense of purpose as to why you want to stay single or get married. Don’t follow anyone on this, only your heart.

In my opinion, marriage is a very important thing to do, for when two people have similar goals, values and needs, marriage can result in a partnership of love and respect, shared laughter and tears, friendship, and intimacy that is ultimately fulfilling.