Arranged marriage VS Love marriage: The Western way is not necessarily the correct way
Call me traditional, backwards or boring – but I will always be for arranged marriages as opposed to love marriages. My opinion is based on logic rather than fantasy and expectations. Firstly let me clarify the idea of arranged marriages– I was very annoyed to type ‘arranged marriages’ into Google only for it to be followed by forced marriages; these are not synonymous. An arranged marriage is when families of the people getting married find suitors for the individuals and suggest compatibility. This is with the consent of both individuals, whereas forced marriages put either individual at pressure to marry, without consent. They are two completely different concepts; I am extremely against forced marriages, yet I am for an arranged marriage.
Arranged marriages are common in Africa, Middle East and Asia, and are fairly rare in western countries where the focus is on finding your own partner and falling in love independently without any family interference. The influence of Hollywood films and certain interpretations of freedom/equality and feminism lead people to run away at the thought of an arranged marriage as it seems to be a breach of their freedom. Yet in the countries that seem to shiver at the thought, the divorce rates are very high. In December 2012 the office of national statistics discovered a divorce rate of 42% in England and Wales. In the US around 50% of marriages end in divorce; and in India only 1 out 100 marriages meaning 1.1%, The figures may not suggest that arranged marriage is the reason for successful marriages in India, yet it can be seen as a factor, because arranged marriages are common in that region of the world.
To westerners, love can be seen much more appealing. They have access to anything and everything, which would allow them to escape from reality, books, internet, films and TV. This would create a concept of the perfect life, through the perfect person, which is interpreted as true love. The issue with a love marriage is that it overlooks these impractical incompatibilities. Love seems invincible, something that can conquer all issues – you don’t need money when you have love! You don’t need to be practical when you’re in love! You’ll manage! Love will get you through!
NO. Practical compatibility is key.
In places like India, Africa and the Middle East, culture encourages the concept of the family as being your main priority. If the family is the main priority, you will listen to them, and you will trust them. The arranged marriage will in fact take into account practicality, logic and compatibility – these are LONG TERM necessities that will make the marriage last, instead of solely love. The most important part of the arranged marriage is also the fact that – you can blame your family if it doesn’t work out. They will not be able to say “I told you so, I told you he wasn’t right for you, I told you it wouldn’t last”
Jokes aside, it is true however that your perception of someone may be extremely wrong, and if a family arranges the marriage they will have every piece of information, from upbringing to family politics. These things are so important. You would be so much more willing to sort out arguments because your families would be dependent on your relationship. To be honest, you would have less arguments because your families would find like minded people, this would form a sense of equality, thoughts on education between the two would be similar so your children would have a set idea on what the right path is according to both of your compatible views. Your families would look at every practical issue from money, to personal compatibility, and in the end it is your choice whether to accept it. Finally, neither would have expectations, you wouldn’t expect your partner to chase you and win you over, if they do then great, but if they don’t then you would have that healthy security because of the lack of expectations and disappointment – anything either partner does may come as a nice surprise therefore making the gesture ten times more effective because you did not expect it.
There are so many counter arguments; yes you can argue divorce rates may be lower in Asian countries because it is taboo in some cultures. Yet my view is based on the people I have seen around me, the majority of marriages that have been successful have been arranged therefore – family knows best.