“Why do you want to get married?”
I was expecting this question and had already thought of an answer. It was going to be something romantic, something that would bring my partner to tears. But everything went blank at that moment. All those hours of rehearsal to give the perfect answer went to waste. I started to panic and it was time to improvise. This wasn’t going to be a rehearsed answer; it was the first thing my brain could think of. Feelings were quickly being formulated into words. This was an answer sincere from the heart:
“I want to have something similar to what my parents have. I’ve seen them go through multiple hardships and they have never stopped loving each other. They have showed me what it means to be loving, kind, selfless, thankful, and patient in a relationship. And I want the same.”
I’m 27 years old and this is what my parents’ 28-year-marriage has taught me.
You won’t agree on everything and that’s okay.
I’ve seen my parents fight and have learned that this is a sign of passion. I’m not saying that this is the case for every couple – sometimes you have to get out. But I don’t necessarily associate arguments and fights with a bad relationship. I have learned that if you care so much about another person, you will encounter situations that you won’t like. If you don’t care, you wouldn’t care to waste a breath on someone. Despite the arguments and fights, in the end, true love endures. I have learned to accept and embrace differences, be patient, be slow in anger, and when you’re ready – let go, forgive, and forget.
It’s not about what you have, but about what you can give.
My parents aren’t the richest in possessions, but they are rich in laughter, in family, and in love. We lost all our possessions when we decided to leave our country and seek safety in a foreign country. Yet I have never seen my parents complain about anything. It’s never been about expensive date nights and trips; it’s been about time spent together. They’re always grateful for the things they do have with a smile on their face that makes you feel the joy they express through words and actions. I have learned not to seek possessions, but instead to seek a genuinely kind person, laughter, and love.
Involve each other in everything you do.
Despite the popular opinion that dependence in a relationship is a bad thing, there are studies that have shown the opposite. My parents’ decision to involve each other in everything confirms this even more to me. It’s not about doing everything together, but about involving your significant other in the things you enjoy doing. You can often simultaneously have your alone time as well as enjoy each other’s company. I’ve seen my parents often sit together in the living room while doing their own things, or go for a walk together yet spend it in silence. I have learned that you make the other person feel wanted if you at least ask them to join you in your activities, if you involve them in everything you do. They always have the option to say no, but merely asking them will make them feel being appreciated and wanted.