How tying the knot gave me a culture shock in my own culture

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I am from India. My family has always been among the most educated and progressive sections of society, with the highest exposure to different ideas and people. In the course of being exposed to said people, I developed close friendships with folks who were all from similar backgrounds. I even met my partner in these circles.

Then I entered the workforce. Again, I was part of the cream of society. I was in tech, where the culture was decades ahead of other industries. I had amazing colleagues who respected me. There were strong, smart women to learn from. My opinion…


We can learn a lot about relationships from the Obamas

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Every sitcom has that episode where the girlfriend wonders if her boyfriend is going to propose. And in parallel, the boyfriend is asking his friends whether she’s going to say yes. And then there’s a season finale where he gets down on one knee and she tears up and he puts a ring on her finger.

Now, I’m a die-hard romantic. I always enjoy these scenes, and I do tear up at some of them. I like cute gestures.

But why do we romanticize such poorly planned decisions?

The world has progressed over the past several decades. Relationships and their…


If you’re into fantasy or science fiction, his books are a must-read for you

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Fantasy and science fiction have always been my favorite genres. They’re known for their great settings and immersive worlds. These books provide a place to get lost in, a sense of escape from the real world and its problems.

I used to read literally every fantasy novel I could get my hands on. Any kind of magic impressed me, and any world with imaginative creatures and lore fascinated me.

Until I started reading Brandon Sanderson.

This author has taken fantasy and sci-fi to new levels. He’s shown me what good quality writing really means. When I discovered this author, I…


A mental model to create awareness and have better arguments

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I took an elective on negotiation in my second year at B-school. It was mostly focused on business negotiation and I’ve found it pretty useful to apply those learnings at work.

But I’ve found that the same concepts can also be useful in conflicts at home. My partner and I have arguments all the time, just like any other couple. But one particular theory brought awareness to our arguments and approaches. It helped us de-escalate and solve problems without always making mountains out of molehills.

The concept is based on The Thomas Killman Conflict Mode Instrument.

Here’s a simplified definition…


Learn to approach your relationship with a beginner’s mind

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Recently, I stumbled upon a concept called “Beginner’s mind” while trying out this CBT app, Bloom. I was quite taken by the concept, and I’m on a journey to cultivate this new perspective in my daily life.

So what is beginner’s mind?

It’s dropping our expectations and preconceived ideas about something, and seeing things with an open mind, fresh eyes, just like a beginner. If you’ve ever learned something new, you can remember what that’s like: you’re probably confused, because you don’t know how to do whatever you’re learning, but you’re also looking at everything as if it’s brand new…


It’s pretty great to see how Marvel has learned how to write fantastic female characters over the years

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Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for all the movies in the MCU. And if you haven’t watched them, you probably won’t enjoy this post anyway, so why continue reading?

I am a diehard MCU fan. While I love superhero stories in general, I think Marvel will always hold a special place in my heart because of its beautiful storytelling and deep, relatable characters.

I have lost count of the number of times I’ve rewatched all the movies. I’m doing a rewatch of the seven seasons of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as well. …


Both extremes are a cause for concern

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Popular media is full of advice on making your relationship a priority, and making time for your partner.

We hear accounts of successful people and their regrets about how having spent enough time with family.

“Looking back on their careers, quite a few high-powered business leaders, politicians and entertainers say they wish they hadn’t worked so hard, and that they had instead spent more time with their families.”

What 8 Highly Successful People Wish They Had Done Differently, Huffpost.com

I’ve even written a piece about this myself.

However, there is a lesser-known problem at the other end of the spectrum…


Drop the attitude of “Let’s get this over with”

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When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, you start developing a coping mechanism to deal with problems. You can go one of two ways

  • Blurt it out immediately and try to get it over with asap
  • Compartmentalize it and let it accumulate until it finally bursts one fine day

Sounds familiar?

Same here. I’m the first type, and my partner is the second. The combination is even more deadly than the sum of its parts.

Obviously, neither of these strategies work. Both have one inherent flaw in common — the argument always happens like an explosion, when both…


Learn about your partner’s condition like you’re at school

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I suspect that I have had anxiety ever since I was a kid.

It used to manifest initially in the form of extremely good memory (thanks to all the obsessing that happened inside my head). Then it turned to anger and other heightened emotions during my teenage years. And in my twenties, it progressed to panic attacks.

I’m saying all this with the gift of hindsight and introspection. I was actually 23 or 24 when I actually heard the term anxiety and learned a bit about how to spot it. …


You’re not alone, and there’s a simple solution

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When my partner and I started living together, it was amazing. After four hard years of plowing through long-distance, we finally had unlimited access to each other. We spent every free minute together and savored it. It was a glorious honeymoon phase.

As I’m sure you’ve guessed, we ran into problems.

It was like a bag full of candy had been given to a couple of small kids. Without teaching them how to eat it responsibly. They will eat too much of it in one go, and ride the sugar high until they crash.

Which is exactly what we did…

Aditi Balaji

Writing about relationships. feminism and books. I’m an introvert, a fantasy/sci-fi nerd, and a dog mom.

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