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A Calmer You, by Sonal Kalra: Seven promises to make to your loved one – Valentine’s or not!

February 11 happens to be Promise Day. Hope you and the one you love make and stick to these promises for a more joyful life.

columns Updated: Feb 10, 2018 19:32 IST
Sonal Kalra
Sonal Kalra
Hindustan Times
Sonal Kalra,A Calmer You,Sonal Kalra column
Have you made a promise yet?

While the famed Valentine can safely claim the crown of idiocy from among a bunch of days this month, hope you know that there are strong contenders in some other days of poor February - chocolate day, hug day, propose day, dispose day, remorse day, morose day and God knows what day! But the day that February 11 happens to be, is a good one. For those who, unlike me, aren’t cool enough, it happens to be Promise Day.

Now promises, I like. They give hope and happiness, without an involvement of calories or body odour that chocolate or hug days bring. So I thought I’d suggest some nice promises for a couple to make to each other, this year. Just so you know, I don’t care if you are man or woman or gay or straight or married or living-in or human or Chaddha ji…I just hope you, and the one you love, make and stick to these promises for a more joyful life.

1. Promise to not maintain a scorecard

Nursing a grudge, especially against a loved one, is genuinely like renting out a portion of your mind to an obnoxious tenant. It constantly pinches, and does not leave room for joyful thoughts that companionship brings. It’s much, much better to leave each argument with some logical conclusion than to end on a sulking note, so that life keeps starting on a clean slate. If your partner has knowingly or otherwise done something that they shouldn’t, fight over it once, and then forget about it. It’s much more effective at making them not repeat a mistake, than reminding and tormenting them at every possible opportunity. We’re really good and wise at advising our friends to ‘move on’ in life…but we can be pretty pathetic to ourselves sometimes. Even the scorecard of a match ends when the match does. Why does the score card of your fight have to stay valid?

2. Promise to not judge the strength of your relationship by whether you know each other’s password

You know, couples fight worse over sharing or not sharing their passwords than countries do, in wars. Achha thoda exaggeration ho gaya but there’s some truth nah. Sach bolo. It is such a huge matter. We give each other sermons over the importance of trust in relationships. Par tum password change karke dekho. Explosion. I really don’t know whether to take the side of sharing it or not, but I do know that the issue matters enough for people to have a strong stand about. Basically, understand that you knowing the password of his or her phone or mail does not keep your partner from cheating on you. Them not wanting to cheat on you does. That’s all that does, seriously.

3. Promise to let your partner have friends, who may not be your friends

Dekho, thinking of each other’s parents as your own is fine and mushy, but that’s not how it works with friends. It is not just unlikely but highly improbable for you to like your boyfriend’s friends the way he does. And in case he decides to express the same affection as you have towards your girlfriends, toh Mahabharat. So basically, promise to happily let them be with their friends. Happily is the keyword here. Not as a favour to them. And don’t force them to be your friends, too, if they don’t wish to. Force was the keyword in this one.

4. Promise to wait till you are alone, to bring up differences

Nothing speaks worse of a relationship than to see a couple fight in public. It’s ill-mannered, if not downright disrespectful to the relationship, from both sides. I’m sure no one does it out of choice, but then you don’t pick your nose at a party even if the treasure inside your nostril is screaming for your attention to discover it, do you? Wait till you both are alone, and then fight fair. Remember that even if they are the closest friends or family, the only pleasure people derive out of seeing a couple fight, is pleasure. Why give it to them for free?

5. Promise to surely bring up your differences – when alone

Fighting with your partner is the lesser of evils, when it comes to not talking about the matter at all. Because not talking about a thing that’s bothering you leads to the worst emotion in the word — sulking. Sulking erodes the very foundation of happiness in a relationship. And it tortures both people equally. Make a promise to each other today, that no matter whether you agree or disagree on the TV channels to watch, the channel of communication will always be on, between the two of you. No matter how uncomfortable the conversation may be. Talking it out only makes things better.

6. Promise that when you’ll say you are fine, you will mean it

The problem with most of us is that even after settling scores and making a point after a fight, we say we are now fine, but don’t mean it. Holding on to resentment either way — after making a point and winning an argument, or after giving in and making a compromise — is unfair. For a relationship to work, promise to either convince, or get convinced. But promise to not hold onto bitterness.

7. Promise to take an interest in your partner’s life, not in running it for them

Unless you are suffering from the Khilji complex and consider yourself to be the Sultan of mere desh ki dharti, stop running anyone else’s life for them, least of all your girlfriend or boyfriend’s. They’ve signed up to be your partner in love, not to have a resident hostel warden in their life. Promise to be interested in what they would like to share with you, but give them space where and when they would like. It works wonderfully both ways, they would do the same with you. And what joy it indeed is in life to have someone close enough for care, but far enough to not have their presence suffocate the air you breathe. Enjoy your Valentine’s Day. Till next time.

Sonal Kalra promises to not suggest anymore promises. Is she a promising columnist? Tell her at sonal.kalra@ or Follow on Twitter @sonalkalra

First Published: Feb 10, 2018 19:26 IST