Choosing a life partner is one of the toughest decision one faces. I am not undermining the other decisions one makes which have life changing impact.. but this is the one single decision which often stays with us (for better and for worse) for life.
The essential difference is that, unlike in the case of parents, who choose you (and a mostly one way decision), the choice of a partner is an individual decision for which one has complete ownership...
So it is not surprising that a lot of us who linger on with the decision... wavering between indecision towards decision, till you finally call it !
What is the single most important criteria for this decision ?
While the cliched answer might be compatibility, this might not be true, atleast in an Indian context, where most marriages are a conclusion of meeting and talking and not much beyond. Compatibility is probably what evolves over time, based on understanding and interpretation.
So what exactly is it...
After the limited interaction (before and after marriage), we often discover some stuff we like, and realize that the person doesn't have some of the characteristics we don't like.
As odd as it might sound, both these lists are equally important and instrumental in making the decision.