Do Arranged Marriages Work?
Arranged marriages are no 'one size, fits all'. The parents who arrange their son/daughter meeting, make use of matrimonial sites to search for alliances fitting certain criteria. When the children okay the proposal, the parents make most of the wedding arrangements.
How are Marriages Arranged Today?
Arranged marriage sounds anachronistic in today’s world, or does it? Arranged marriage is practiced predominantly in India, Africa, the Middle East and parts of East Asia.
The search for a partner in an arranged marriage in India is conducted by parents, family members or matchmaking professionals who wade through possible matches and weed out impossible ones.
The modalities for arranging the marriages vary widely. At one end of the spectrum we have marriages where parents force their decision, sometimes through tactical emotional pressure, without bothering to ask their children's opinion. At the other end, we have the liberal ones where the family is used merely as a networking resource for dating.
Potential couples meet a few times, exchange their opinions, preferences, expectations, and determine whether they are suited for each other.
In recent years, a number of marital websites have sprouted across the internet like Shaadi.com, Rishta.com, JeevanSaathi.com, IndianMatrimonials.com, BharatMatrimony.com and IndianDating.com.
Like everything else in this world, arranged marriage has evolved with time and metamorphosed into something that even today’s urban youth is able to identify with. I would focus on the proof-of-concept of arranged marriages and its dynamics in the present day India where the new breed of MBA-educated women are no longer prepared to be docile wives, yet they give the green signal to their parents to look for a potential partner.
In most progressive families the parents decide who gets through the initial vetting, but the final decision is the couple's. Today's parents are more liberal and more in tune with their children's thought processes. Unlike in the past, the parents of the boys do not make greedy material demands from the girl's family which, they know, will ultimately alienate the son and lead to their estrangement. Many parents are cool - "I'm happy if you are happy" - and knowing their children's likes and dislike, they do their bit of screening; and the time-strapped children are happy to be relieved of the tedium.
One is not allowed to take the time it takes to get to know someone, but has to decide on a deadline. The couple gets married based on practical reasons, and work on building affection later. They look beyond trivial issues and get to know one another at first on a practical level alone – like education, career, and attitude – and try not to be too judgmental.
Does the Arranged Marriage Work?
So now, why or how does that work?
May be it is culture, tradition or whatever; once you're married, the society puts pressure to keep it working. One doesn't jump out the first available exit point at the sign of a firework. Everybody, including the family and friends, works at dousing the fire.
In the movie Fiddler on the Roof,based on the life in the early twentieth century in the Russian village of Anatevka, Tevye, the milkman, asks his wife Golde if she loved him. And she replies
Do I love you?
For twenty-five years I've washed your clothes
Cooked your meals, cleaned your house
Given you children, milked the cow
After twenty-five years, why talk about love right now?
But Tevye insists; and Golde says, "I suppose I do" and together they sing
It doesn't change a thing
But even so
After twenty-five years
It's nice to know
So they didn't call it love; but nevertheless love followed years of committed companionship as automatically as a shadow.
Dr Howard J. Markman, from the University of Denver, and co-author of Fighting For Your Marriage believes that the western culture puts a premium on the capriciousness of love.
Markman says that most marriages fail because we enter relationships with poor communication skills and unrealistic expectations. There's a science to staying in love; at the heart of love is intimacy and friendship, not passion and drama. Too many people believe in the myth that passion provides us with the fuel to get through life together.
Robert Epstein, who is editor-in-chief of Psychology Today and a research professor at the California School of Professional Psychology, declares that love is anything but blind. He believes that instead of simply waiting for Mr. or Mrs. Right to come into our lives, we can "make a conscious, serious and sustained effort" to trust, communicate, resolve mutual conflicts, and love somebody with whom we share some attraction and a basic compatibility.
That's the essence of arranged marriage.
Will marriage Become Extinct in the Future?