'You don't need marriage to be happy'

Jun 10, 2016, 06:00 IST | Dr Love

Introducing Dr Love, who solves your relationship riddles in a confusing digital age

Q. Can a bachelor live a happy life?
A. Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was a bachelor, as were Isaac Newton and Voltaire. So is Al Pacino, for the record. There are millions of non-celebrities as well, who have, over centuries, managed to live perfectly happy lives without committing to marriage. There is absolutely nothing to suggest that any of these men were or are unhappy. Yes, marriage has its advantages; no, it is not a guarantee of happiness. We are social beings, but the kind of relationships we have with friends and family are as important as relationships we share with people we choose to marry. Look for an unhappy married man and you will find your answer.

Dr Love

Q. I hold too many grudges against my partner. Is this unhealthy?
A. The fact that you question your behaviour shows there is a small part of you that has a problem with it. Holding a grudge against your partner is unhealthy for a number of reasons, and not just for your partner alone. It can damage you too. Holding a grudge leads to an enormous amount of anger, to begin with, along with negativity and doubt that can damage your relationship permanently. Learn to forgive; it’s the only thing that will teach you how to live a happier life. A grudge won’t solve anything or make things better.

Q. Where do you draw the line on a date? How close can you get on one?
A. You can get as close as the person you’re dating wants you to. This doesn’t mean you try and push boundaries to try and coerce your date into letting you get closer than he or she is comfortable with. Are you on a date because you want to get to know another person better or because you simply want to get physically close to the person? Your date has his or her personal space, just like you do. You should learn to respect that, because dating in real life isn’t like a B-grade Bollywood film.

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