What ended up striking me is how varied their opinions were about men and women and how people’s expectations change with age. Not surprisingly, their older clients had much higher expectations than their younger ones who hadn’t lived long enough to know what they don’t want. That inflexibility creeps in and, the longer one lives alone, the less likely we will bend to the needs of another person.
The woman from India said that this process shouldn’t be that complicated and that you adjust to the other person and they adjust to you. This is the tradition of her country and she herself was married at the ripe age of 20 after 3 weeks of knowing her future husband who proposed on the third date. It was of course arranged. She said that so much of this is about mindset but it only works when both people understand the governing rules and are on the same page. The minute there is divergence on this shared vision everything risks falling apart.
We in the west have different ways of thinking now and, after having jettisoned our religious affiliations, marriage has become less about a union which one works at to one about our convenience and what suits us at the time.
I must admit that for myself a fair amount of rigidity has now set in and, while it’s not quite rigor mortis, it greatly resembles it.
NB: I am putting the finishing touches on my book and correcting awkward phrasing where I find it.