I like to reason. I like it when I can reduce all my decisions to an optimization problem. I can happily solve for the maximum utility function or for the least uncomfortable experience, given the constraints.
So it frustrates me no end when my life’s most important decision turns out to be an intractable, no-optimization-would-work-on-me problem. How do I decide if she is the right one? Even though I tried modelling it in an excel spreadsheet (inspiration here), the results were unsatisfactory.
Adding to the complication are a few missteps that have made me far more circumspect. Suffice it to say that I will no longer be eager to take a longish flight to surprise someone in a long-distance courtship!
Having met scores of women with the explicit purpose of marriage, not only am I more confused now about what I am looking for but also have no inkling of the shape or form of the acceptance that would materialise once I met ‘the girl”.
Would there actually be a “click” sound when I finally happen to meet my destined life partner or would an audible “aha” escape from my lips? Would it be the mesmerising beauty of her lovely eyelashes or her Gladwell-esque intellect that would bowl me over?
See? I have no bloody clue what I am looking for.
For the first time when I went out on a date with the express purpose of finding a partner, I was determined to be positive and pleasant. She was a cousin of a friend’s friend and we started off well. But I suddenly realized that the weight of selecting ”marriage material” sat like a dead stone on my head and crimped my natural conversational style. Affectations took over on both the sides – mostly to appear cool and nonchalant. Pretty soon we became like two adversaries judging each other over coffee. I wanted to cry out loud that both of us were on the same side but of course I didn’t and neither did she. Tepid text about catching up again done away with, we continued our separate ways.
The story has repeated many a times since then. A few of the girls I liked chose not to go ahead, inexplicably, in my opinion. Some did string me along with gifts and long conversations but no cigar. Of course I am guilty of the exact same behaviour – ignoring perfectly acceptable matches in the hope that maybe a better one is just around the corner. And even though it gets tiring after a while, you don’t know when to stop.
My mother has continued sending me profiles with renewed fervour – filtering from many hundreds that she gets from the usual matrimonial websites. Someone told me about iBluebottle and I was curious enough to spend the better part of an hour completing my profile. I am hoping their personality based matching might help but the fundamental question still remains.
One charitable and encouraging view is that I would know it when I see her. In my heart. In an instant. And even though hope is not a great strategy, I have no other choice. Or I could be like the guy who decided that he had spent enough time looking and come what may, he would marry the girl whose proposal came next. And that’s what he did. I am not privy to how the marriage is going.
So the quest continues – kabhie toh milogae!