When I celebrated the first anniversary of this blog, I conducted a poll to find out what you enjoyed the most over here. And a whopping 73% of you said that you enjoyed the 'Personal' section which mainly deals with stories and narratives on my life and relationship with Shane. Honestly, I wasn't surprised at all because if I were taking that poll on any other blog, I would have chosen the same section. I've always loved reading about and watching relationship dynamics especially those of couples from my generation.
I remember that growing up, I had really weird and illogical ideas about love and relationships. First of all, I can't remember seeing my parents express much affection to each other. Secondly, I often heard grown ups saying pretty negative things about marriage in general, even in jest. And finally, there was Bollywood. Indian cinema in general, up until recent times, showcased the ideologies of love at first sight and fighting for a prize, and sometimes even romanticized physical abuse, stalking, lack of boundaries and crazy jealousy.
So there I was, at the age of 14, having my first crush on a guy and assuming that we'd get married in 10 years because we "loved" each other. Just like in the movies. What's his favourite flavour of ice-cream? Not sure, but I do hope it's not pistachio.
At the age of 16, when I "fell in love" with my actual first boyfriend (because by then, I was wise enough to discern that the first time around, it was just a crush), the main driving force behind falling in love was that he was oh-so-handsome. And when my handsome first boyfriend told me what to wear and whom to talk to, I actually thought that was cute and endearing for a while. I thought it was because he was "protective", the way good boyfriends are. Just like in the movies. And it was pretty clear that he grew up watching those movies too.
I'm so grateful for those experiences today because they contributed to all the growing up that took place in the following years. However, I still feel the need to complain about the lack of resources at the time when it came to talking about crushes, puppy-love, boy trouble, and jealousy. I could never go up to my parents and talk to them about these things because it was hard to even discuss their relationship without feeling uncomfortable. I didn't have any older siblings who may have been in a position to help me. I didn't have any friends who knew what they were talking about because we all went to the same movies together and we all had just those movies to rely upon. It was a weird, confusing time of my life and I wish I had access to blogs, Youtube videos, and forums dedicated to these topics back then.
But that's okay because now, I'm in a position to contribute to one such forum which I've found incredibly useful to young Indian couples. When bonobology.com approached me to contribute to their colourful archives on Indian couple dynamics, I couldn't resist the offer. They cover a wide range of topics from choosing to be single to loving more than one partner. From the day this website came into my life, I have been binge-reading everything they have to offer. I have been sitting on my ass and going "ooooh" and "aaaah" as new and different yet incredibly relatable stories blew my mind.
For example, in 'The Third Dimension', the narrator describes a scenario where the married woman he's having an affair with chooses to bring in one more man into the equation. 'Single and willing to wait at 35' is a powerful piece by Supreeta Singh which relates how she's been in love a couple of times but is willing to wait for the right person to come along. And she insists that it's not about the "perfect" partner but the right one. What I loved the most about this piece was how positive her outlook was. "I have nothing against marriage, even if it happens through a matrimonial website! Many such couples I know are happy and secure with each other. I would love to get married", she says. 'Love in the time of lupus' is a heart-wrenching tale of a happy couple that didn't get their happily ever after due to the onslought of disease. It's still a very positive piece as it tells the story of how they lived each day to the full in the time they had left together, and left no stone unturned when it came to exploring happiness in their lives together - 'The more her condition deteriorated, the more intensely we lived'. There was even a piece called 'how sleeping in separate bedrooms made them a better couple', which I found very hard to digest but it looked like it worked out really well for the couple in question and I respect that.
I thought I was going to stop with one or maybe even two examples but there you go. There are many more articles in there that I absolutely loved including a few on balancing your relationship with your spouse and your in-laws, and on the need for widows and divorcees to express their desire for sex. Moreover, the website offers professional relationship counseling appointments as well as many articles and interviews with the professionals. There's even a little section in there called 'Celebrity Speak' where they've interviewed Shah Rukh Khan, Arjun Kapoor, and Nargis Fakri among others to get their views on relationships. I feel privileged to share my own stories and insights in this forum and I hope you check out my posts in there as well. So don't forget to follow them on Facebook to get updates when I blog for them!
To more discussions on love, sex and relationships for healthier couple dynamics!
This post is brought to you in partnership with bonobology.com