A friend of mine recently told me that she and her boyfriend have applied for a flat. In two years time, when they graduate, their home would be ready! And they won’t have to be “homeless” for a time. With the rising costs of housing in Singapore, and the long wait for a flat, this seems like a practical move, on the surface.

So, on one hand I’m excited for her. What fun it must be to imagine your own home – a blank canvas for your own tastes and fancies! Coming from a home of six people and two bathrooms, I’d love to have a space to call my own. Not that my home is tiny, but it is a little crowded. On the other hand, being of the same age as my friend, I’ve started wondering about my own future too. And a move like that is scary!

Having parents who are marriage counselors is both a boon and a bane. While they plan for sessions, I get to peek at their PowerPoint slides and catch snippets of their conversations. I’ve seen and heard about tips for better communication and also bits about differing personalities and how to get along amongst other things.

Seeing how much preparation goes into just talking about how to prepare for marriage, I wonder how much more preparation do the couples themselves have to do then? There’re so many topics and potential issues to go over and resolve; not to mention the many things more to learn about your partner beyond his or her character and values. Sometimes it’s the nitty gritty of everyday life that can trip you up. And even my parents have their tiffs.

Because of my parents (the work they do, not their tiffs), my fairytale happily-ever-after vision of married life has gone up in smoke (“bane”?). I now see that marriage is hard work! It isn’t something to take lightly and that’s why when my time comes, I want everything leading up to my decision to be conscious and purposeful. In the meantime, I’ll be working on making sure I grow into someone another person would want to marry.


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