Every relation between two people is like eating at a restaurant and then figuring out who pays. You can split, or one of you can pay but it's hard to decide who does. In a good, smart and mature relationship, both the people have the ability to pay and both the people always offer to pay the full amount. They both have a sense of duty towards the relationship and offer their best. There is a hidden expectation that if one pays today, the other one will even it out in another meal or another day - but they will and that they never restrict themselves.

The problem arises when one of the people decides to become stingy and makes the other one pay. He could directly say 'Oops I don't have enough money. Please help me out here' and this is acceptable if it happens once, or twice or thrice - but if the demand presents itself more often than expected the other person gradually start feeling abused and cheated and taken for granted. You will not want to eat with such a person and you'll want to find other people to eat with.

The problem is even more vicious if the stingy person decides to be dishonest about it, and pretends to look for money in his wallet, or lies about forgetting to bring it. Thanks to our gift of subconscious communication, our gut always tells us when we're being wronged - especially if the situation repeats itself. In that case, the victim of the injustice is even more repelled and puts his guard up and starts restricting their offer to pay eventually.

Now the currency in which you pay could be money, or it could be emotional support, or it could be effort you put to comfort the other person, or it could be blind trust you give. If you're always the pillar in which the other person is standing, and you never have that chance to be supported when you're weak, you'll feel misused. If you're always the one putting in more effort to make the other person happy, but that's not being reciprocated you won't feel it justified. If you pay a lot of trust and don't get the same amount of trust back, you're bound to want to restrict yourself sooner or later.

Ultimately, every relation is give and take. So you should be very open to paying every time when you have the cash, and somewhere you expect the other person to at least offer every time because you don't know when your wallet might be empty and you'll need their help. But continue mooching off the other person, and you'll incite a sense of resentment in the most large-hearted creature.

Sometimes we eat with a person who's not as well off as us and really can't afford that kind of a meal. In such a case, you'll probably sponsor their meal a few times because you're a nice person, but it's nothing you'll look forward too. We're programmed to look forward to a meal where the money will eventually balance itself out.

So next time you're with someone, pay. Or at the very least - offer, genuinely.

You live in urban 2015 but dowry exists in various forms, shapes and sizes. It creeps up from behind innocuous masks and plays the role of horror it has always played.

I've studied from the best institutes in the world, have done well professionally and don't really have a lot of problems in presenting myself. All this means a lot of matrimonial attention and makes me worthy of a good amount, you know. But apart from the fact that asking for (or getting without asking) dowry makes me feel like a major parasite, my biggest problem is that it turns the whole affair into a trade. It makes marriage into a business deal, a property transaction and the woman into a commodity that is being traded. I'm sure rounds of negotiation are carried out and final amounts are reached and after that everything is happy and rosy. After all, we've also seen this in hindi movies since childhood where the jerk is ready to marry the woman but only for a huge sum of money - it doesn't feel that alien - or does it ? The only issue is the girl's father does not ask them to buzz off, but instead wait's for the director's instructions to the hero to save the day.

But if we all agree that dowry is a hideous monster and it's unethical and unmanly, what is the point of this article a clever mind may ask. I've been trying to ask myself the question why is it wrong to do give or take dowry. But before that let's imagine a situation where two families getting merged are in principle okay with the concept of giving and taking dowry. I have always believed that if you're doing something that you in your heart feel is right, then it is ethically correct. So being very objective and applying the same theory, if people believe in their heart of hearts that it is morally acceptable, then let's vindicate them of the guilt for a moment.

Let's be super-objective and look at it from a practical point of view. What's the problem with treating a marriage like a deal or trade, even if were ethically justified. Well, the real problem is that when a relation starts like a deal, it will always remain a deal or a trade. How do you ever expect a human being to forget that she was traded like a commodity, and her new family accepted her only on a financial condition that was placed on her original family. How can you ever expect that person to treat the new family like her own?

Every relation in the world is give and take, someone might argue, all of them are trades. But think of the trade you had with your parents. You were little and helpless and mute. But they selflessly served you, gave you everything including material and values and made you independent. They didn't put a condition, but always hoped for your best sacrificing their happiness for yours every single day. And due to this most people end up loving our parents and being loyal to them even though people might not always agree or get along with them after growing up.

But parents don't plan this. Nature has subconsciously taught parents the way to welcome someone into your family. It's through selflessness and acceptance. Let the same knowledge apply to accepting someone into your family after marriage and if the basis for that acceptance is a major condition, especially a financial one, tell me how the person in question will ever forget that. How will that person ever selflessly love the others and how will she ever truly become a part of the family. I've always thought selfless love is a significant part of a marriage, but hey I could be wrong of course. All forms of conditions, pressures and terms just abrade the base of a newly formed relation and that, to me, is not a great starting point.

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