13 November 2012

Relationship checklist

I was reading an old copy of TheStar today, as I have been rather busy and preoccupied of late.

I came across the column, But Then Again, and couldn't help smiling. I cut out the article straight away for my 11 year-old boy to read. Kids are starting younger than their parents in most things these days, including having an interest in the opposite gender, and therefore will quite possibly start dating sooner too.

Anyway, the columnist Mary Schneider wrote about the Relationship Checklist. I couldn't agree more.

Do you remember when you were so head over heels in love with your boyfriend/ girlfriend that heart ruled over head, even over the sensible, level-headed and seasoned advice of your parents, who had eaten more salt than all the rice you have consumed (Chinese saying to describe the wisdom of the elders)? Well, now you're married to the person of your choice, and I really hope it has been a bed of roses for you so far.

Sure it's great falling in love. As Mary said, if it's a fling then there is no need to have a row of boxes to tick off. But if you plan to make this special person a permanent feature in your life, till death do you part, then practical and seemingly small matters are actually a big deal in everyday life!

I am not sure how many wives share negative and now extremely tired feelings about these:
  • toilet seat issue
  • bad urinary target
  • cut finger nails left on bed-side table
  • used clothes left in a pile
  • bottle of shaving foam, bottle of hair oil, tube of tooth paste all left lying on the counter top
  • my car keys are in his pocket (don't ask how come) and he has gone to work, so I have to retrieve my spare keys in order to drive out
  • it's ok if he goes out without his wallet (because I have mine) but not the other way round as I get lectured
  • he hates waiting for me and the kids to get ready to go out, but when we're ready it's ok to make us wait while he finishes chatting on his multiple online forums
  • drinks from multiple cups/glasses and leaves them all on display on the counter top
  • different views on education, family/ extended family and spiritual issues
  • who always has to win in arguments

So, those cute little transgressions aren't so cute anymore years later? Right you are.

I will be sure to let my kids know about the checklist when they are considering a serious long-term partner in the (I hope distant!) future.

After a little thought, I have a preliminary checklist for my girl (which I will probably edit and update as the years go by):
  • so you think he's cute and funny and smart. Is he also hardworking, doesn't give up on things easily?
  • is he even tempered and able to share his feelings, rather than the strong silent type?
  • does he like surprises? Does he like giving you surprises?
  • what are his views on finances - does he save, does he think of investing, will he support you and the family willingly should you choose to stop work in the future?
  • does he dream of retiring at age 45? (if he's made his fortune by then, to last till you are both 85, then fine)
  • what are his hobbies and outlets?
  • does he like children? Or does he just want a couple-hood existence forever?
  • will he share in household and family responsibilities and chores?
  • how does he treat his own parents and siblings?
  • is he well mannered?
  • try and gauge the size of his ego (because it only gets larger)
  • observe little things like: does he pick up after himself, level of personal hygiene, toilet habits. Can he cook to save his life??
  • it would be nice if he could change the light bulb or squash a cockroach
 For my boy, my preliminary checklist is:
  • so you think she's pretty, cute when she pouts and sexy. Is there anything else under her fancy clothes and stylish makeup? In her brain and in her heart, I mean.
  • I hope she is sensible as a wife makes up the backbone of the family (and extended family)
  • Is she a shopaholic? 
  • how does she treat her own parents and siblings?
  • Is she well mannered?
  • Are her parents supplementing her income because she can't see that too much expenses and too little revenue lands her in the red?
  • Does she demand gifts and flowers to be reassured of your love and affection? Goes for the latest in makeup, handbags, shoes and pouts when you don't buy them for her? It may be cute when you're dating, but consider her pouting for the next 10 years
  • Does she want children (assuming you do too)?

(pictures from http://www.123rf.com/stock-photo/love.html)

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