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Treat marriage like a business. Say what? I’ve read several articles that offer advice on how to have a successful marriage and many of them offer advice that could be considered career advice–When you disagree, never insult the other person’s character, but stick to the point at hand or don’t assume anything or never give up. Hmm…

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As a young single girl, who just might want to get married, I needed to know how to treat marriage like a business, and still have it feel like a loving relationship. I reached out to Sukhjiwan Singh, married woman (35 years) and author of “Marriage and the Love Myth,” to give me the biggest pointers to a successful marriage and guess what? They refer to treating marriage like a business in order to commit your life to the right partner.

1. Don’t ignore the parallels between business and dating/marriage.

Just like marriages, businesses fail all the time. Both demand your best effort and resources, including an inexhaustible amount of time, dedication and, usually, as much money as you can spare. As the fate of your business or romantic relationship goes, so goes your fate. While the experiences of both are often different, both require self-awareness, sound decision-making and the willingness to give if they are to be successful. Of course, this means finding the right niche in business, or the right person for love…

2. Follow the 80 percent rule in terms of compatibility for the “big stuff.”

No two people are exactly alike, so where should a single person start measuring compatibility with another? Define the “big stuff,” which may mean religion, culture and ethnicity for some. Another take on big stuff could be personality traits, physical characteristics, social skills and more. Still another take could mean where two people are in life, such as profession and education. Define the big stuff; if you’re compatible on about 80 percent of the list, you should strongly consider purchasing a warranty for a great relationship. In other words, getting married.

3. Communication skill – the glue of a lasting relationship.

While establishing a relationship, take note of the conversation. Does it flow and is it enjoyable, or do you find yourself bickering frequently? As with a business, you can have the ideal partner or employee who may look stellar on paper, but if you do not work well together, it’s not good for business. The same follows for a sweetheart who may seem perfect in every other way. Make sure communication is a two-way street, and watch out for frequent sarcasm toward you, which is a sign of disrespect. You should be able to talk and listen with care, respect and proper appreciation.

About Sukhjiwan Singh:

Sukhjiwan Singh is the founder and CEO of New Dimensions Realty, a real estate brokerage. Through her extensive experience as a volunteer counselor for victims of domestic violence, she has become deeply aware of the causes of divorce and its devastating impact on families. Born and raised in Punjab, India, she received a master’s degree in English from Punjab University and immigrated to the United States in 1979. Since then, she has lived a happy lifestyle with her two sons and the love of her life – her husband of 35 years, Malkiat.

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