I've had so many people ask me this in the recent past that I've thought of throwing the enquirer from the balcony, over and over again, much like in Jodhaa Akbar. Honestly, it's not about the question itself - I have myself unflinchingly used this as a conversation starter with newly weds several times. What annoys me is that -you are only allowed two answers - 'great' and 'good'. No one wants to stop and hear even a syllable more than that. That's probably because my audience is either the much-married-well-meaning-aunt- who-doesn't-really-care or the Don't-talk-to-me-about-marriage-I'm-too-cool-for-it-friend.
It's not the easiest thing in the world to explain how marriage makes you feel. But there definitely is a difference. Something that can still be felt even if you strip off the years you have known the person, the languages you speak, the Gods you believe in (or don’t), the food you eat or the person you are. Companionship.
When your teachers asked you to pick a partner for lab, when your professor told you to pick a team mate for project work, has there ever been a slightest doubt of fear in your head?
I have had it. All the time. Oh, God. Will she work with me? I hope he's not already taken. God, please please, don't let me end up with that girl. That guy is lazier than me, please, not him. Sometimes, if you are lucky you end up working with a person you like, good vibes, good chemistry, good results. You then team up for a couple of projects and there is a certain security - when the next project is announced you only look back at the person and smile, amidst the noisy deal making. The small joy of knowing you have a great team-mate without having to clamor for it, without having to worry about being there before someone else does.
Marriage is like that. It's like finding that perfect activity partner for life. There's someone to split those calorie heavy molten lava chocolate cakes. Someone to bring you home safely when you are many a happy drink down. There's no sitting alone on the roller coaster cars anymore. There's someone to yell at the driver to stop when you are busy retching on a highway. Heck, now there's even an excuse to order that ultra heavy Death by Chocolate. And yes, all of the above works both ways.
It's a pretty cool thing if you think about it. This one's there for good and can't complain about how s/he hates to work with you. (Even if s/he does, it doesn't really matter, they are under contract for life). So there, that's how it feels. Really. I would recommend it. For even if you have to sit through Iron Man, you know you won't miss 'Sex and the City'!