An elderly person came in for counseling. He is of the impression a man and a woman need not interact for more than two minutes. There is nothing to keep them talking for longer than that. If they are talking longer, then the aspect of attraction comes in. Each will look at the attractive features of the other and then unwanted thoughts will start coming in.
He is an elderly gentleman, so trying to argue with him or get him to change his thinking is futile. He belongs to the older, orthodox generation and he believes his thoughts are right.
It is surprising to come across such thinking in people in this time and age. With exposure to the whole world, different cultures and education, if this belief persists in the minds of people, then humanity cannot move towards actualization. Why focus on the differences in gender that lead to problems? Why not focus on the differences that can help build, lead and nurture? Differences when celebrated will lead to fulfillment.
A young lady is committed to marrying a person who claims to have been in love with her for several years. He recently declared his love and this impressed the young girl and she has accepted his proposal.
This young lady is very impressed by her young man’s devotion and is looking forward to the marriage. The only confusing thing for her is he does not want her to interact with men. This is one condition he has for her.
The young lady wishes to work, he is not really for it. He believes in being true to his love, so he expects this from her also. For him it is not necessary to chat or interact with opposite gender unnecessarily. The two worlds need to be kept apart. He is entitled to his beliefs and values; but this is upsetting the young lady. She has lots of friends of both genders, and since she wishes to work, she feels this imposition would be hard to follow.
She wants him to change his belief and attitude. He seems to be obstinate in this area. His schema is colored with this outlook. He will find it difficult to change it. Maybe he did not have pleasant experiences with the opposite gender, or he feels genders can come together only for physical pleasure. This is definitely a constricting schema.
The young lady is confused. She believes in his love for her, she feels it is better to marry someone she knows. If only he were to change his outlook, she would be extremely happy. So her efforts are to argue with him, try to get him to see she can have friends of the opposite gender, and that need not harm the marital relationship. But she has not succeed so far.
Now she is wondering if marrying him would be a great idea. Her parents want to go ahead with the wedding. Their argument is he is from a good family, he is educated and well employed. External parameters are fitting the bill. But what happens to the relationship after the wedding? The young lady has to adhere to his dictates and how will the parents help?
She can refuse to marry him. She can marry him knowing the conditions. She can hope some years down the line his belief will become flexible enough for her to be comfortable. Or due to some incident, he will change his belief himself. He could be convinced that friendship between genders is possible.
Are there any other options?