Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ready-made Vs Customized

It's a wonder how the best ideas come only when you're walking to the market, or defecating. Or in some cases, both.

Ladies, this one's for you. You will not like it, because of the validity of the following proverb:
The one thing that a woman hates more than a man who lies to her,
Is a man who tells her the Truth.
But you are most welcome to prove me wrong. It would benefit humanity in more ways than one ;)
This post is to do with your opinions in choosing a life partner.

Recently a friend was very excited over a match on a wedding portal, wherein she was approached by a CFO of a certain company for a match. FYI, it didn't work out eventually. Why, will be discussed further. That suddenly brought me to a possible fact that we all love to hide : With our purchasing choices, even our expectations have become ready-made. Ladies, we look for success - financial and social - in a potential life partner. He must have this-and-this, and be so-and-so. Naturally, conventional wisdom dictates this for the family's well-being. A match is made - everything's picture perfect, we're all happy.

Fast forward. Something happens. I'm seeing so many people in these picture-perfect weddings having miserable marriages. Love, trust, bonhomie, fidelity - you name it and they lack it. "Where did we go wrong?"

Hmm, well. This is going to take some time.

Let's start with something small. Imagine you make a handbag. You stitch together the raw materials, attach the zip, work on it over and over just so you get it right. Voila. After a lot of hard work and time put in, you have it ready - YOUR handbag.
Now, imagine that at the same time, someone gifts you a branded designer bag. It looks way better. Oh, your peers are going to be SO envious! So naturally this new one is preferred. But wait, you had MADE the other one. It's unique. It's yours. It holds more intrinsic value to you. But the newer one is so much better extrinsically... it would definitely look better to everyone else, right?

And this is where we come to a fundamental mistake. You junk the one you'd made, and make this shiny branded one yours. Show it off. Oh wow, it feels GOOD! But lo and behold, a few weeks on, somebody else has got the same thing! A couple of weeks later, everybody's got it! Now, you feel the shine wearing off. Soon, you start picking faults, mishandling it, comparing and wishing you'd waited for another model. You had taken this one for the extrinsic benefit. That benefit is no more. So what's next? Go get another one, simple! And when that one loses its sheen, another... and another...

What did we do here - in exchange for extrinsic value, we sacrificed intrinsic value. And in the process, lost both eventually. We all know that extrinsic value doesn't last. "Beauty is skin deep" - stuff like that.

But it's not so simple of course... the handbag was just an object. Now we have to bring in another human being into the equation when we go one level up.

UPGRADE : Handbag replaced by Husband.

Girl gets herself a branded, high-end designer Man. Shows him around, everybody says ooh, it's perfect! Everthing's great, but after sometime, you notice your friend got someone just like him, or someone even better! Richer and more handsome too! The shine starts to wear off. Soon, you start picking faults, comparing, and wishing you'd waited for a better...

Unfortunately it's not so easy to change here, but we're doing that also nowadays anyway. A divorce. Find a better guy. Another marriage. The sheen wears off.. another one! In case that starts to look bad, then we gotta stay put. Then complaints, nagging, misery, possibly some relief through affairs, who knows??
Not to make any incrimination here, but remember that it happens on both sides. If you can't keep your partner happy, someone else will. Simple. So let's drop the self-righteousness and get real, shall we?

But there's nothing intrinsic here. See, when you make something, when you've spent your time and sweat and blood on it, it holds value for you that is intrinsic. Something that will never die out and will never be replaceable. Compared to that, like the branded handbag, you got this guy ready-made! He's already made his millions, achieved his successes, and you had no role in it.

And add to that the other human's perspective. Guy got a designer bride, everything's perfect. But she's with him for what he's already achieved. Like a bonus. One that... you show off, and spend! Sure, they get along just fine. But is love all about getting along, or getting involved?

Ladies, please try to understand here. You're not really WORTH much to a guy if you came to him after he became successful. You didn't help him make his millions. You weren't there when he had really needed you, at the start of his journey. You're the external decoration, not the internal column in his house. And now he's got to prop you up. You become his burden. Is it really a wonder if he then goes around looking for other decorations once you get old and annoying?

Where is the intrinsic value here? How are we supposed to bring that into the equation?
If you're going to say "Have a baby!" - PLEASE, stop right there. No use propping another brick on top when your building's about to give way because the foundations themselves weren't right. You'll just make the collapse more noisy and destructive.

The problem here is that we have followed the ready-made culture. Use and throw. We're supposed to use objects and love people, not the other way around. But now we treat the life partner as an object. If the object develops a fault, we want to throw it away or destroy it or both. In the talk with the CFO guy, my friend too felt distinctly like he's negotiating a purchase, or an acquisition. He didn't treat her like a fellow human, but like an object. There was talk of "liked your profile" and "initiate the process". Like, Wow, in a thing like marriage! He did propose, in a very ownership-style. It was almost as if he was gone shopping, liked a shirt and said "Ok, I'll buy this one."

We're not supposed to do that, people. Love is something else. It is between humans, not objects. It's something we work for. Ladies, if you want to be with a successful guy and be truly loved by him, then the situation must be such that you are in part responsible for whatever he is. You must have helped making him the man he is. And that requires an investment - you can't go for the ready-made option. Stop rejecting a person simply because he's not successful enough YET - look instead for potential and possibility, of what he can become if you believe in him. Your man will love you, and you him, all through your life if you both hold intrinsic value for each other. Forget the ready-made branded handbag. Use the one you made instead, and it will always look good on you.

And that brings me to the TYPE.

"He's not my type".
If I could have a nickel for every time I've heard this phrase, well, let's just say I'd be very eligible by now ;)

A very simple thought exercise can blow this myth to smithereens. Ladies! When you want to reject a guy, "he's not my type". But let's ask a lady who's found her man, what does she say about him? "He is my type!" ??
NO. She says, "He is the one for me."

Take a pause and ponder on the difference between those two sentences above.

Question : Have you been produced in a factory? Have you rolled off an assembly line? Are there millions of other girls exactly like you?
No, right?
So you are not of a certain Type. Then what makes you think the guy who's to be your life partner will be of a certain Type? If you are unique, wouldn't common sense dictate that He will be unique as well?

THERE IS NO TYPE. Not one that's readily available, anyway.
You will never find a guy like that. When you do, he'll be a liar and you'll find out only when it's too late. So what do we do?

You cannot Find your ideal mate. You have to MAKE him. You are unique, so you customize him as well. Spend time with him. Get to know him. Get involved. Let him grow and become your ideal Man. Make your own custom-made, unique handbag. In the process, because there are 2 humans at work here, you will also be Made by him, into the ideal woman, the one he will spend his life with and love and be faithful to no matter how many designer women get thrown at him. And you will both have intrinsic value in each other's eyes, because you have both put in the efforts in making each other who you are.

I'm going out on a limb here, but I want to take a closer look at divorce and failed marriage statistics. For a long time we've been told there's no clear pattern between arranged and love marriages - they don't seem to have a correlation with the success of the marriage. I want to change the base premise here.

In the success cases of both types of marriage, I've heard the talk of "getting to know each other", "growing with each other", "love getting deeper over time". Could this be the MAKING each other case - the one that instills intrinsic value in the couple?

In the failure cases of both types, I've heard of "too many expectations", "romance losing its sheen", "lack of trust". Could this be the READYMADE mate phenomena?

Maybe the love marriages that fail are the ones where the guy and girl simply met and hooked up because they looked good together? Maybe the arranged marriages that fail are the ones where the families match up the profiles and compatibility and just put two readymade persons together? She being pretty and he being rich, both having similar lifestyles and qualifications, and that's it?

That thought leads me to this conclusion : whether arranged or love marriage, as long as you create the conditions in which the couple get involved with each other, becoming the twin foundations of their shared world, then you will have an intrinsic connection and a successful marriage. Who cares what it looks like on the outside!


Aditi Only said...

does it have a part 2 .. something's missing ... how do i comment withoutit ..

Nikhil Sheth said...

Part 2... ??
Why don't you provide it...

Varun in Thoughts said...

Nice one, but I feel something is missing... i'll come up with some more on this.. soon.. So watch out!

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