My sym­pa­thies, if the love of your life is a friend-ob­sessed-per­son

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Leisure - SONAL KALRA Maa Sonal gives lec­tures on hap­pi­ness and calm­ness on ap­pro­pri­ate pay­ment. In cash. Oh what the heck, it was worth a try. Mail your feed­back (and just that) at sonal.kalra@hin­dus­tan­times. com or face­­al­kal ra13. Fol­low on Twit­ter

Yoohoo, the fes­ti­val sea­son is here. Oh, sorry. For those who only whine about every­thing on God’s earth — alas! The fes­ti­val sea­son is here. By the way, talk­ing of whin­ers, there’s no one who quite beats Mrs Chad­dha. I’m cer­tain that she must have cribbed about the non func­tional AC and the stain on the nurse’s uni­form right af­ter she was born. Any­way, this one time when she whined and whined in front of me (yes, I have noth­ing bet­ter to do), I ac­tu­ally ended up sym­pa­this­ing with her. When I’ll tell you why, I’m sure a lot of you would re­late to what she was harp­ing about.

“Chad­dha ji ne dukhi kar maara hai. All he un­der­stands by ‘en­joy­ment’ is the com­pany of his friends. If we have to watch a film, it has to be with his best friend and his wife. If it is our an­niver­sary and we go out for din­ner, his friend and his wife have to ac­com­pany. Now, in the fes­ti­val hol­i­days, I’m ask­ing him to take me on a va­ca­tion, but he says we’ll go only if his friend and his fam­ily would also go along. “Friend se hi shaadi kar lete woh,” she cried.

Ab this prob­lem of Mrs Chad­dha is noth­ing new, but is very real at the same time. An un­due ob­ses­sion with friends takes the cou­ple-time away from many, whether mar­ried or dat­ing. This stress is gen­der in­de­pen­dent, though I’ve mostly seen girls crib about their boyfriends or hus­bands in­sist­ing that ev­ery plan of out­ing in­cludes their friend and his part­ner. So here’s what I feel like telling Mr Chad­dha… and all such FOPs. Friend-Ob­sessed-Per­sons, yaar. Aur kya?

1 No­tice the warn­ing sig­nals:

Whether you are care­ful enough to no­tice or not, there are al­ways sub­tle warn­ing sig­nals of your part­ner’s dis­plea­sure if you are an FOP. Be­fore, of course, th­ese sub­tle sig­nals blow up into full-fledged war horns. It’s an­other thing that you may have an ob­jec­tion to your part­ner’s ob­jec­tion of your ob­ses­sion (word play, ha ha!), but that’s some­thing that you can cor­rect only by try­ing to con­vince your wife or girl­friend po­litely. If you’ll be dheeth enough to ig­nore her crib­bing and keep con­vert­ing all your evenings into par­ty­ing with your friends (fo­cus on the word ‘your’), she won’t be wrong in sug­gest­ing ki shaadi bhi unhi se kar lete!

2 Re­spect your part­ner al­ways, es­pe­cially in front

of your friends: This is truly a golden rule, and I’m say­ing this af­ter a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence on dis­pens­ing gyaan on re­la­tion­ships. No mat­ter what mood you’re in, no mat­ter how ir­ri­tat­ingly your part­ner is be­hav­ing, never make the mis­take of in­sult­ing her or him in front of your friends. Friends may de­rive plea­sure in pro­vok­ing you or teas­ing you with ti­tles liked hen-pecked or biwi ka cham­cha, but deep in­side, they will also judge you right and re­spect you if you be­hold your spouse’s dig­nity. Be­cause, trust me, that’s the only way to be.

3 Learn to de­fine — and di­vide — your free time:

En­joy­ment can never only have one mean­ing, or one de­riv­a­tive. You may be truly en­joy­ing your out­ings more when your best friend comes along, but not at the cost of not get­ting any pri­vate time with your own part­ner. In an ideal world, your part­ner also loves your friend’s com­pany as much as you do, or maybe your part­ner IS your best friend, but you know what, aise chamatkaar real life mein kam hi hote hain. So do the next best thing, di­vide the time be­tween group out­ings, and your per­sonal ones. And, as much as pos­si­ble, avoid forc­ing your part­ner to ac­com­pany you for all the former, un­less he/ she wants to. There’s no big­ger mood spoiler than a sulk­ing part­ner. You do your thing, and let her have her own peace. This way she’ll value and cher­ish the mo­ments that the two of you spend alone, much more.

Fi­nally, a word to part­ners like Mrs Chad­dha who have got­ten into the habit of crib­bing about the FOPs in their lives. See, hand on heart, it’s not that big a deal if your part­ner hopes and expects you to en­joy the com­pany of his friends as much as he does. If you’ll not be too hung- up and up­tight, you may just start en­joy­ing group out­ings more than you cur­rently do. That smile of ac­cep­tance on your face would mean the world to your part­ner. And what­ever said and done, the real worth of a re­la­tion­ship is how hap­pily we ac­cept the way our part­ner is. Try it, and watch the magic.

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