Expert Interview with Dr. Amita Puri- The Difference between Dating and being Married


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India is going through a transitional phase where socialism is moving towards individualism. This in turn has affected the values attached to family, relationships and marriage. While it has brought about positive changes in certain aspects, it has also brought about struggles which has negatively impacted us in terms of relationship. Dr Amita Puri, a Relationship Expert, speaks to Bhargavi Kerur on the changes a couple is likely to go through before and after marriage and how to overcome these to achieve better quality of life.

  • What are the most prevalent issues faced by the dating partners in India?
  1. Loss of trust, respect and love over time because one partner is trying to control the other partner, change the other partner and not giving each other space as is required for a healthy, happy relationship.
  2. Less time for each other due to work/career priorities – this becomes an issue if one partner is busier than the other. This factor combined with too much freedom and options might cause the partner getting less attention to deviate from the commitment even if the other one is genuinely busy.
  3. Long distance flares up the attention needs especially when they see other couples around them having a good time being together and around each other.


  • What are the changes that can happen when dating couples get married?

Marriage might get stability into their lives with no more need to hide their relationship from their parents or go out more freely but it also adds up to another big lot of responsibilities. So every couple changes after marriage in their own way. With family and family expectations adding up to their own expectations from each other, it might get too heavy for the partners because while entering the relationship, they did not sign up for that.


  • How can the transition from dating to married life be made smoother to achieve better quality of life?

Dating and going out is very different from living with each other. Living with someone gives more insights into the other person’s living habits. Only when two individuals live with each other will they know how it will be after marriage. It is completely on the couple and their internal understanding how strong their marriage will be. Making the transition smoother is entirely up to the couple. They need to understand each other and the families need to take it a bit light on them.


  • What are the prevalent issues faced by the dating partners when they get married?
  1. Too many expectations and a drastic life change.
  2. Getting used to someone being around all the time, lack of personal time and space may cause issues.
  3. Family members trying to impose themselves and their beliefs in the relationship of the two individuals can affect their match of frequency.


  • What are your tips in addressing them for a better adjusted life?
  1. Better understanding by keeping oneself in the other’s shoes.
  2. Not expecting a lot. Respecting each other’s time, space and opinions.
  3. Giving respect to your spouse / partner as he is and not trying to change him too much. Also, respecting the family members of your partners will also help address the adjustment needs and satisfy the social needs of your partner too.
  4. Appreciating your partner publicly and whatever differences you have little or big may be discussed only in the privacy of one’s own walls.

These subtle things will add quality in the relationship and enhance the happiness quotient.

The to-be married couple could consider these factors before getting married. Remember that you bring in patterns of thoughts, emotions and behaviours of two different families. Understanding the differences and learning the healthy ways to address these differences will go a long way in building a long lasting happy marriage. Also, seek out support by way of counselling which is proven to be effective according to various studies. A review of literature “The Effectiveness of Family and Relationship Therapy”  by Phillippa Evan and Shelley Turner in 2012, found that there is evidence to support the effectiveness of a number of approaches with couples and families, including multi-systemic family therapy and family problem solving.

About the Expert

A PhD from Dept of Psychiatry, PGI, Chandigarh, Dr. Amita Puri is a mental health professional who is a clinical Hypnotherapist trained from California Hypnosis Institute, who has been in this field for the last twenty years. Relationship management is her fore and she has been conducting workshops across the country on various issues pertaining to parenting concerns, adolescent aches, relationships, office stress, time management, enhancing emotional quotient and various aspects of teacher training. She specialises in cyber consultations and has healed thousands of hearts to date.