Everyone seems to have advice about how to know if he’s The One.
“If he’s good with your mum and his…”
“He is your best friend…”
“He lets you be you…”
But marriage is a long journey and these little adages may not be enough to sustain a healthy, productive, loving partnership.
Sheryl Sandberg gets it so right when she says, “When looking for a life partner, my advice to women is date all of them: the bad boys, the cool boys, the commitment-phobic boys, the crazy boys. But do not marry them. The things that make the bad boys sexy do not make them good husbands. When it comes time to settle down, find someone who wants an equal partner. Someone who thinks women should be smart, opinionated and ambitious. Someone who values fairness and expects or, even better, wants to do his share in the home. These men exist and, trust me, over time, nothing is sexier.”
We decided to speak to 10 strong, independent women who chose to get married about what they think makes a man a good partner for life.
1. Garima Assomull, Founder of Nay-Ked (a modern contemporary clothing label)
“It’s easy to love someone when it is convenient. But let’s face it, life is never convenient. Choose someone who’s there for you, who puts the relationship first, even when it is not convenient. At the end of the day, when you take away all the bells, whistles and noise, it’s going to be just you and your partner so choose friendship. Choose someone whose company you truly enjoy, whose likes, interests, and values align with yours. This is very important because as you grow you will grow together in the same direction. Sprinkle some kindness in there and you have the makings of a great partnership!”
2. Sargun Mehta, TV Actress
“Maybe you want more from marriage than an equal partnership – you want a man who can fan your fire, breathe life into your dreams, urge you to surge forward in life! When the whole world is trying to beat you down, you want a pillar supporting you. That’s what matters! We all have dreams and often don’t have the confidence to fulfill them. So find a partner who makes you realise your worth, trusts in your capabilities to achieve anything and that’s how you know you’ve found The One.”
3. Dr. Aalika Banerji Shah, Aesthetic Physician & Medical Nutritionist: HealthEsthetics Clinic, Mumbai
“My idea of an ideal partner has evolved over the years. I didn’t have a checklist when I was getting married – I relied on my instinct. We women are blessed with the intuition to call out the phonies.
The right guy gives you a sense of security. Yes, loyalty and respect rank high on the list of qualities but smaller things – attention, affection and appreciation – matter just as much. You want someone with whom you can be childlike and also rely on to discuss life-changing decisions. You want someone who is secure and someone you can grow together with but be independent at the same time. The list goes on but your better half should love and respect you for you and be ready to make you his priority through the good, bad and ugly.”
Photo Courtesy: Knotty Affair
4. Mitali Salvi, Dog Trainer
“I wasn’t just looking for a husband, I was looking for a team mate. After all, isn’t that what marriage should be about – choosing a person to go through life’s battles with you while having the best possible time. So the most important thing I’d look for in a partner is their ability to see things from your perspective, to be able to empathize. I’ve learnt that you can’t expect someone to fit into your perfect idea of a husband, because there is no such thing as perfect. But if your partner and you disagree, the ability of the man to be able and willing to step in your shoes (and you, his) is the key to avoiding silly fights that can ruin your day.”
5. Shubhi Grover, Blogger and Mrs. India Second Runner Up 2017
“You dream of marrying the perfect guy – but no one is perfect. Not even us. But I believe two imperfect people can create the perfect relationship. I’m fortunate to have found Mr. Almost Perfect – an athlete, a go getter, hard worker, absolute romantic and of course someone who treats me as his equal. But for those who are still on the road of discovery do date the bad boys, cool hunks from the college band and others till you meet and value the man who makes you feel complete. In fact my answer to the jury’s question during the final round of the Mrs. India pageant was about gender equality. I could say that confidently because my better half believes in gender equality every step of the way.”
Photo Courtesy: Dev Purbiya
6. Nami Jaisinghani, Doctor
“The first thing is he truly should believe that women have the freedom to make their own choices. So many men today have differing opinions on this, but for me being able to live my life on my own terms was the most important thing, so there was no compromising on this. We moved from being friends for over a decade to being life partners! He is my best friend first and then my husband. There are times when you should keep things to yourself, but that doesn’t happen with us. Marriage is about finding that one person who you go all out crazy with, be your silly childlike self!”
7. Neha Aggarwal, Head Partnerships and Communication at Olympic Gold Quest
“As a former international athlete, Shubham understands my work which includes travel all over the country and many days away from home. He respects that and we both encourage each other to do our best at work each day. Respect and trust in each other is super important.”
8. Dr. Sonali Kohli, Head Cosmetic Dermatologist: Skinlab Clinics
“I think as a life partner you need an accomplice for everything you do – good, bad and ugly. When you find a man who is your best friend and your protection, hold on to him because he is for keeps. Every girl should marry someone who empowers you and brings out the best in you.”
9. Rishita Makhija, Life coach and Vlogger
“Marry the man who complements you as a person and not who completes you. If you look for a man to complete you, you will always feel inadequate about yourself and be dependent. But if you get someone who complements you, your relationship will make you grow every day. This is what women need. And someone who complements you will have similar values, which is the most important aspect in a fulfilling and long lasting relationship.”
10. Navina Bole, TV Actress
“A good life partner is someone who respects you as a woman, who treats you like a best friend, supports your dreams and motivates you, laughs with you and hugs you when you’re down. You’ll want someone who is able to figure you out when you’ve faltered and who defends you when the situation demands it. And you must respect this person – it shows you value their thoughts, feelings, and views. Respect creates openness and good communication which is crucial.”
Photo Courtesy: Dev Purbiya