Almost every man comes to this cross road at some point - and more often than not, get stuck here: "How do I decide if this is the right girl for me?" We've asked a lot of folks, and there are lot of ways to do this. The hard part, as always, comes when we need to decide one way or the other.
The summary is that we need a good mix (is it possible?) of certainty of our needs/priorities, instincts, and then a strong will to "make the best out of our decisions".
Some inputs from the experienced folks:
Click here for Kiran's comments.
Question to Manjesh: "...if it's not too private, can you share - roughly what were the topics you spoke on phone and when you met her each time in person? What were the deciding factors? You're allowed to skip the details, but we would still like as much as you can :)
I know this question comes up everytime there is a 'commitment' ...but still there is no definitive guide to it. So, for the sake of 'loka kalyana,' your inputs would benefit the hunters in real time!"
"What if it's only a little private? :-)
Just kidding! I'm in the mood to write a long email and here it comes - whether you like it or not!
I've spoken to quite a few people on the phone before this and it's a tricky thing. It's tough to ask questions without making it seem like an interview. Earlier, I used to ask what now sounds to me heavy-handed questions and be quite serious. But I realized that's the wrong approach. So somewhere along the line, I decided that I'd be very casual on the phone and just try to get to know the other person better. To this effect, you can discuss anything - college(s) attended, movies seen, favorite books, comic characters, favorite restaurants/ haunts, etc. etc.
When we did meet in person we talked about the more serious topics about married life, mutual expectations from it, career, life in the US, future plans w.r.t. higher studies etc.
As for deciding factors, I liked the fact that talking to her was very natural and comfortable. We connected very easily. It seemed to me that she's sweet and caring too. And when we met, I found her attractive. Even though she doesn't have any strong interests/hobbies (so there's no chance of matching interests), she seems amenable to trying out things. After learning this much about her, I decided that I could indeed be happy with her and it turned out that the feeling was mutual.
When I started on this process, I was anxious about how I would make this decision and what sort of compromise I should make (as I've learned by now that most good decisions in life are smart compromises) . I'm also not the sort of person who makes convinced instinctive decisions about people. So it would be fair to say that I was looking forward to a tough time. But then again, it shouldn't be too tough a decision too. You shouldn't make a decision so tough or a compromise so big that you don't feel happy about it. It's important to make a decision that you feel happy about.
And also, one of my guiding philosophies has been that, what you make of a decision is more important then the decision itself. Basically, if I've to choose between close alternatives, I don't spend too much effort making the perfect decision. I take what seems to be a reasonably good decision and then try to make most of the it.
I've applied the philosophy to this aspect of my life too. Though it hasn't proved to be difficult, this decision did involve compromises (her lack of occupation being one). But I'm very happy about it and I'm going to do everything I can to make it count.
I don't know if my ramblings prove helpful to you, I hope that they make for interesting reading at least!
The best part was the paragraph starting with "As for deciding factors...".
And my other favorites are:
"You shouldn't make a decision so tough or a compromise so big that you don't feel happy about it. It's important to make a decision that you feel happy about."
"...what you make of a decision is more important than the decision itself."