I've come to a point in my life where I'm considering arranged marriage as an option. I know not everyone agrees with this, but there are plenty of men out there using matrimonial apps to find their life partners, so why not give it a shot?
During this process, I realized that I often didn't know what questions to ask when talking to potential partners. What should I ask someone I'm thinking about spending my life with? So, I decided to be honest with one potential partner and told him I was unsure about what questions to ask for such an important decision.
Surprisingly, he admitted that he was just as clueless as I was. This made me do some research to find the right questions. I did some old-fashioned Googling and also asked friends who had been through the same process and, of course, consulted my parents.
I got a lot of different answers. Some said it's important to know a person's income, while others emphasized understanding their hobbies to learn about their character.
To compile this list from various sources, I made sure to consider questions from a male perspective, which resulted in responses that may not be as relevant for women. So, the following list is based on what I found most relevant for men and how they can find the right partner. Here it is:
Make sure to go through their profile
Before we get into the questions, it's important to make sure you've thoroughly checked the profile of your potential match. If, like me, you're using matrimonial apps and want to have a say in choosing your partner from a wide range of people online, it's crucial to review profiles.
We all have certain things we're looking for in a potential partner, whether it's their physical appearance or specific characteristics. While checking profiles, make sure that at least some of these preferences align with what you're seeking. Also, take note of any hobbies they've listed; this can be helpful to keep conversations flowing and avoid awkward silences when you eventually chat.
However, if you're going through the traditional arranged marriage route where your parents or well-wishers show you images of potential matches and you make a selection before they initiate discussions, it's essential to go through the bio-data provided by the family.
Having some information about the person you're going to meet and potentially build a future with can help you understand if you share the values necessary to move a relationship forward.
Once you've decided to meet this person, it's time to prepare your questions. Even if you're unable to meet them in person, you can still ask these questions through a phone call or message.
We all come from different backgrounds, and even if you and your partner share some similar values and traditions, there might still be differences in what each of you expects from your relationship. In our society, women are often raised with the idea that marriage is one of life's most significant goals. Over time, many women develop their own ideas of what their ideal marriage should be like. These ideas can vary widely, from envisioning a lavish wedding to something as simple as a courthouse marriage. The truth is that society has instilled in women the belief that their wedding day is a day when they should be treated with the utmost importance. On the other hand, men may not grow up with such specific expectations about their wedding day. The first question you should ask your potential partner is about their expectations, whether they're related to their wedding day or any expectations they have for their future spouse. Many of us have certain qualities or characteristics we desire in our ideal partner, as well as traits we are sure we cannot tolerate. For example, a friend of mine is certain that she could never date or marry a smoker, but she also knows that she wants a partner she can rely on financially. These expectations extend beyond just personal qualities; they also involve how they want to be treated and what they envision as their "happily ever after." So, your initial question to your partner should revolve around their expectations and what they are seeking in a relationship.
You might be wondering why the question about someone's intention regarding marriage comes second. Well, the reason is that once you know what they're expecting, it shows they are serious about taking the next step in their life. Additionally, asking about their expectations helps break the ice and allows people to be themselves.
Understanding why someone is looking to get married, especially through an arranged marriage, is crucial. Knowing the "why" behind their decision helps you grasp their motivations and becomes a significant factor in moving the relationship forward. It also ensures that they're not making this decision under any kind of pressure, whether from family or peer pressure.
Learning what someone enjoys doing during their free time can provide valuable insights into their personality. For instance, an adventurous person may spend their free time socializing or planning their next travel adventure, while an introvert might find happiness in reading or playing games at home.
Understanding your future partner's personality is crucial because it shapes their characteristics. It gives you a glimpse of the aspects where you might need to compromise and the activities you both can enjoy together.
In our generation, we recognize that the term "workload" encompasses not only office tasks but also household responsibilities. It's essential for men to understand that even if their partner isn't currently employed outside the home, they still carry a significant domestic workload, which can be quite stressful at times.
Take the initiative and ask your partner about their expectations regarding managing the household. Creating a comfortable and happy home is a shared responsibility, not solely the duty of one person.
Taking the conversation to a deeper level involves asking about the person closest to them, whether it's a friend, family member, or cousin. If they talk about their closest friend, be sure to inquire about how they spend time together. This will provide insights into their social circle and the activities they enjoy doing with friends. Do they prefer weekend getaways or quieter evenings with their partner?
Asking about their closest person also helps you understand the type of individual your future partner might be. It can show whether they have a strong family influence and frequently base important decisions on family counsel or if they have an independent mindset and value advice from loved ones but ultimately rely on their own judgment.
Kids and marriage
Even if you feel a strong connection with the person you're talking to, it's essential to remember that this is still an arranged marriage arrangement, not traditional dating. Therefore, questions about starting a family and the timeline for marriage are not "too early."
You might assume that everyone seeking marriage is also open to having children, but that's not always the case. Not everyone subscribes to the idea that a family is only complete when there are children involved. A single person with a cat is also a family. So, it's important to understand your future partner's perspective on what constitutes a family.
This is also a good time to discuss when they envision getting married. It could be within a year, two years, or even as soon as next month. Since it's an arranged marriage, it's entirely possible that someone may be eager to get married sooner rather than later. This will help you assess your readiness for this next step and how much time you might need to find and understand the person you believe is right for your future.
Lastly, in any marriage, whether arranged or love-based, compromises are inevitable. If a person continues to live their life as they did during their bachelor days after marriage, it can lead to problems. Therefore, it's crucial to discuss the things both you and your future partner would be willing to compromise on. Equally important is understanding the things your partner cannot compromise on. Ensure that their non-negotiables align with what you can accept. For instance, someone with a pet may not be willing to compromise on their pet's well-being for your needs. So, make sure that these are aspects you can comfortably live with.
Making one of the most significant decisions in your life can indeed be daunting. Finding the right person to be your life partner can be even scarier. The questions mentioned above are designed to assist you in this important decision-making process.
Please keep in mind that these are not the only questions you should ask, but they form the essential foundation of your broader list of questions. Also, remember to give yourself the time to get to know the other person well and make your decision with a clear heart and mind. Best of luck to all of you on this journey.
Written by: Aakanksha Bajpai
Edited by: Aniket Joshi