I wrote a Valentine’s Day post that painted a gloomy picture of love in the 21st Century. I said that only a very few ever find true love while the rest keep chasing for it with or without a partner. I may be wrong but if you look at the relationships around you, you’ll know what I mean!
So, are the majority doomed to a loveless existence? Well, most of us make do. We find a decent partner and make the best of it. If we break up we just go on to the next partner and so on … . We may be making do for our entire lives and still not find love! But, at least we reached out and lived!
“Making-do” with who you get can be another kind of love. It may not be the same as the dizzying romantic love of two people who click and bond so comfortably intimately that, truly, only death can do them part! “Making-do” love needs to be worked at. We find a suitable partner, and we think we can share life with him or her, fully aware love will grow as both commit to keeping the relationship going. What I call romantic love is what we dream of. That, too, needs to be worked at but it’s easier to adjust to because we just know intuitively that we love and are loved.
Making-do love, however, requires lots of effort. It takes a while before we realise that, yes, we do love this other person. We prefer true love to making-do love. But, when true love doesn’t happen, that’s when we try out alternatives: sex, money, status, any other means to get a chance at love. Sometimes, we find it, but most of the time we don’t and just keep on making do! To me, that’s very stressful!
I want to suggest here that there’s a kind of making-do love that works and can come close to “true love”. It’s what Indians have been practising for centuries — the cultural practice of match-making! For us, it offers a decent prospect at love that anyone can obtain.
Indians — worldwide — matchmake all the time! We do it because we care. If we know of an eligible single man or woman, we often discuss among ourselves, “can we fix him/her up with someone?!” When someone gets close to us and we find out that the reason is to get access to a potential “match”, we get into the act with gusto! We never feel and we never say “we are being used”. We go along with the endeavour because we want to help!
Of course, many Indians have abandoned this cultural practice but I just want to say here that the entire culture that has evolved from match-making offers hope for love to those who have yet to find it!
In Indian culture, preparation to become a match is ingrained from an early age. The concept of match-making is premised on the fact that we choose people like ourselves. So, from young we are taught to be the kind of people who will be a “good match” who can attract another “good match”! We are taught to be committed, faithful and true, and respectful of the other. We are taught to protect our sexuality and to preserve ourselves for the match!
All these qualities will serve us when we find our match! When the match is made, we come into it with romantic excitement and enthusiasm, unjaded by previous relationships. It becomes a journey of discovery and as we stay true to course, we find a love that gives us life and hope. As in all reality, it doesn’t always work out, but, I think, it offers the best making-do love!
If we follow the western model of making-do, I think, we will be stressed out with multiple partners and wanton behaviours. Indian-style matchmaking eliminates the stress and takes you straight into a committed relationship! There’s something to be said about the Indian art of matchmaking!