Something very specific prompted me to write this post, & when I thought about it so many things occurred to me.
I recently saw a video of a bride & groom on Facebook (their ethnicity was either South Asian, Arabic, Muslim, East Indian…I am not 100% sure). The bride fed the groom some cake, then the groom took the fork and fed himself some cake (instead of feeding the bride) & the bride chuckled but the groom was very serious about it. He didn’t do it as a joke – almost as to say, it’s all about me. That wasn’t what caught me – it was the comments section of the video where a few people mentioned that maybe it’s an arranged marriage & that most people don’t have a choice about who they end up with etc.
I felt an obligation to clear the air a bit for those with misconceptions. Not saying that anyone is wrong in the way they think of arranged marriages – they actually have a bad rap. I know its ironic for me to write about this – I am in, what my Hindu culture would call, a “love marriage” – meaning that I chose my partner & we got married.
I was always against arranged marriages growing up. The reason is pretty obvious. Everyone wonders how you could spend the rest of your life with someone you hardly know. The thing is – that’s not always how it is. As a matter of fact, especially in recent times, it is completely different to what people believe. I have seen some arranged marriages fall apart but more than those I have seen “love” marriages fall apart.
So how do arranged marriages work in modern times? Well, you can let your parents go ahead & find someone suitable for you, as long as that’s what you decide is right for you. They look around at different families in the community to see who is eligible & start the matching process. They then come to you with images & basic information of persons they think you may make a good match with & you take it from there. You can then go ahead & meet with them in person, meet their families & decide from there. Most people are okay with this. They really are. It’s actually the lazy way to date! Get your parents to hook you up 🙂 I’ve seen couples who people met at weddings briefly & then ask their parents to get information about the person they met & arrange everything. I’ve seen so many happy, compatible people make arranged marriages work. I think in some situations, yes, it is a forced issue. For the most part however, I’ve seen some wonderful people meet through these means and have happy marriages.
I think our preconceptions are valid sometimes but the overall negative feelings people have about arranged marriages are displaced. Maybe the term “arranged” is what bothers most people? I’ve heard the term “you will learn to love the other person”. I think that happens in all marriages doesn’t it? People are constantly changing even after they’re married – aren’t we constantly learning to love the new changes in them too? Don’t we embrace different circumstances together in marriage? Don’t we give & take for each other’s happiness? Isn’t all of that “learning to love”?
I think marriage on a whole is a constant journey & work in progress. In my humble opinion, even though there are some marriages that are forced in this way, arranged marriages are not so bad after all & are actually some people’s preferred way of finding a partner for life.
I don’t think the length of time you’ve known someone or how well you think you know them determines whether your married life would be successful or happy. I also don’t think that someone you’ve chosen yourself would be absolutely right for you as compared to someone chosen for you. Sometimes, even after years of knowing someone & marrying them, we learn something new about them. The question I leave you with is – do we ever REALLY know someone? I welcome questions, no matter what they may be. I would love to start a conversation!
Love & Light x