If you are one of those countless young Indians grappling with questions like “Why are Indian parents against love marriage?” or “How to convince parents for love marriage?”, look no further. We have lined up awesome expert advice on why parents oppose love marriage and how to make them see your point of view!
Parents are against love marriage, but this is bound to change eventually
Here is an interesting data point from the India Human Development Survey, conducted by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and the University of Maryland.
First of all, arranged marriages are not going away and continue to be the preferred way for people to get married in India.
At the same time, love marriages or, at least, the practice of exercising greater choice by young men and women continues to grow. Just look at the chart below. You will see that a greater percentage of younger women meet their husbands before marriage.
This point becomes even more important as the below trend was from 2012 and we can reasonably conclude that this trend should have become stronger ever since. While meeting husbands before arranged marriage does not automatically mean love marriage, it does indicate a growing preference to exercise choice in the matters of marriage.
That’s not all. At least in urban India, especially large metropolitan cities, online dating is becoming increasingly popular. It was recently reported that the dating app, Tinder, saw a 400% increase in the number of downloads in India and that women are more active in dating apps like Tinder.
Now combine this with a widespread prevalence of male-dominated cultural limits on women and you have a recipe for a major clash between young people and their traditional parents. One of the outcomes of love marriage and intercaste marriage (which are love marriages anyways), is “honor killing”.
The clash of traditional mindset of our parents with the increasing tendency among young Indians to embrace modern ideas like dating is probably the reason why Indian parents are against love marriage.
7 tips to get your parents to accept your love marriage
We have decided to combine real life lessons and also borrow proven principles of negotiations and apply these lessons to help you convince your parents. As always, we rely on experts and scientific research to substantiate our points where we can. So let’s begin.
Tip 1: Learn from your friends and family
Photo via Alamy
You will not be hard pressed to find a few friends and family members who’s parents are against love marriage. These examples provide clues for how to convince parents who are against love marriage.
A young lad from Bangalore wanted to marry a Japanese woman. After the initial drama, he went ahead and married her. After marriage, they are leading normal lives.
A girl wanted to marry out of her caste. The family disowned her and refused to attend the wedding. After she had a child, everybody is back to talking terms and all the drama before the wedding seems like a distant dream now.
A south Indian man joined a spiritual organization on the insistence of his parents. He met and fell in love with a north Indian woman (from another caste) working for the spiritual organization. The parents were against it initially but because the head of the religious organization gave his consent, they relented. The marriage was successful and everybody is happy now.
Each of these real-life stories has some lessons for us. The common thread among all the above stories are:
People chose their partner based on love and perceived “compatibility”.
They refused to back down from their decision.
People that chose to marry outside their caste and nationality were financially independent. In other words, they were ready to walk away from the family.
They believed in their cause and luckily, they have had a successful marriage so far.
Their spouses tried their best to win the hearts of the families that rejected them.
Parents who rejected the idea initially did not take extreme measures such as suicide or hire goons to set things right.
Parents were not financially dependent on the children that wanted to defy their wishes.
Parents eventually realized that the decision was sound and came around to accepting it.
All you have to do now is to figure out what is your situation with respect to the above points and see if the balance is in your favor. I don’t think your family is in a state of mind to accept rational arguments. Taking a calculated gamble is the best way forward. The gamble could be to get married to your love interest against your family’s wishes or break off the relationship in light of your family’s opposition. Obviously, you want to get married to the love of your life!
Tip 2: Negotiate like a child
You wouldn’t have noticed something that parents face all the time. It is children and their negotiation tactics. They throw tantrums, win over through sympathy, approach the parent that is likely to say “yes” or pretend to fall sick. Most of the times, they end up getting what they want eventually.
When you bring up the topic of love marriage at home and you know your parents are against love marriage, you probably braced yourself for a stern opposition. Unlike a child, you are overcome by empathy and go through an incredible anguish that can potentially derail your plans. According to Adam Galinsky, people who empathize during negotiations tend to lose out!
In the book titled “How to negotiate like a child” by Bill Adler, Jr gives us practical ways to borrow the negotiation techniques that children commonly use to get what they want. Here is a simple lesson you can apply to great effect:
“All children quickly learn that there is no unified, single mind known as “The Parent.” There is Mommy and there is Daddy, and they have different personalities, weaknesses and abilities. Sometimes it’s better to ask Mommy something; sometimes it’s better to ask Daddy.”
Some of you may say, “In my house, there is only one parent that calls all the shots”. In that case, Bill Adler suggests other useful techniques to deploy.
Playing one parent against the other is a great strategy. Approach the “relatively more liberal” parent and win their approval for your love marriage and have them negotiate on your behalf.
Another strategy would be to take your time and stick to your guns till you reach a point that your parents give up!
When it comes to announcing to your parents about your intentions to marry someone you love, avoid surprises. Surprises in these matters don’t end well and only ends up reinforcing the hardline stance that your parents are inclined to take.
From the perspective of your parents, you have broken their trust and ruined their dreams of getting you married to a person that they believe is suitable. But the question of building trust is not just between you and your parents. A strategy that might work in your favor is to introduce your love interest casually as a friend (if your family is not too conservative in these matters). This will give you and your love interest to build rapport and gain trust. So why is trust important when it comes to convincing parents about your love marriage?
Dr. Robert Adler is currently a member of the Obama administration in the US. He is an expert in negotiations and has written award-winning books on this topic. He is a believer in the concept of selective information-sharing. This is about sharing pieces of information that will help you and cannot be used against you. Introducing your soulmate as a friend, at first, is a similar strategy! Of course, you need to make sure your partner put her or his best foot forward and create a great first impression when your parents are against love marriage.
In an experiment, Stanford and Kellogg students negotiated over email. When they only exchanged their names and email addresses, they reached deals less than 40% of the time. When they shared information that was irrelevant to the negotiation, schmoozing about their hobbies or hometowns, 59% reached an agreement. When you open up about something personal, you send a signal that you’re trustworthy, and your counterparts will be motivated to reciprocate.
Tip 4: Highlight the potential of your soulmate
You may have found the most accomplished partner that you could ever imagine. You may believe that the person you fell in love with so much more accomplished by anyone that your parents might have lined up for arranged marriage. But just highlighting that fact that you have caught a “big fish” may not work well. In fact, your parents may turn around and tell your lover is way out of your league and that the marriage will never be successful.
The findings from a research paper titled “Preference of Potential“, (published by experts from Harvard and Stanford University) explains this concept through field studies that included athletes, comedians, students, chefs, university administrators. According to this study:
“When people seek to impress others, they often do so by highlighting individual achievements. Despite the intuitive appeal of this strategy, we demonstrate that people often prefer potential rather than achievement when evaluating others. Indeed, compared with references to achievement (e.g., “this person has won an award for his work”), references to potential (e.g., “this person could win an award for his work”) appear to stimulate greater interest and processing, which can translate into more favorable reactions.”
But, please remember that this study was focussed on assessing talent as a student or restaurant chef. Do not apply this concept blindly. Use it as yet another tool in your attempt to influence your parent’s thinking.
Tip 5: Build allies and seek advice
When your parents are against love marriage, one of the easiest strategies for convincing them is to build a strong coalition that can champion your cause and provide advice. At the least, they provide much needed moral support when things get heated between you and your parents.
Pranay Manocha, co-founder of Refugeemaps.org has interesting tips to offer via Quora to a woman that asked a question about convincing her parents for an intercaste love marriage. According to Pranay:
“In order to convince your family, it is best to open a point of negotiation. Find the members of your family who would be least resistant to your marrying out of your caste, this could be your mother, your aunt or your brothers/sisters or cousins. Look for an opportunity and confide in them that you love this man. Be open and honest and request if they would be open to meeting him. Emphasize that you really like him and want to be happy with him.
Do this for members of your family, one by one. You will gain confidence in how to negotiate with your family and win support from family members who will meet your boyfriend and will undoubtedly like him. Family members who genuinely love you will definitely end up liking your boyfriend, as they want to see you happy.”
Tip 6: The best time to break the news about your love
Breaking the news about your love interest to your parents is a nerve-wracking experience for some of us. The response you get from your parent(s) about your love is dependent on several factors such as how open they are to accept such ideas, their prevailing mood, and of course, your horoscope (just kidding).
Lakshmi Balachandra of Babson College, published this HBR article titled “Should you eat while you negotiate?“. Here are a couple of important points she makes.
Across cultures, dining together is a common part of the process of reaching negotiated agreements. In Russia and Japan, important business dealings are conducted almost exclusively while dining and drinking and in the U.S., many negotiations begin with “Let’s do lunch.”
Research has shown that the consumption of glucose enhances complex brain activities, bolstering self-control and regulating prejudice and aggressive behaviors.
The key lesson from this insight is that people have a tendency to be in a better mood when their blood sugar levels are on the higher side. Perhaps, Diwali is the best time to break the news about your love affair!
Tip 7: Win-Win strategy always helps
Parents are against love marriage because they love us and want us to be happy. But culture and traditions also define how they want us to seek happiness. They are convinced that we may not have the maturity needed to take unilateral decisions on marriage and going against conventions is an affront to their traditions. When the dust settles, a majority of parents only want to see their children have a happy married life.
When your parents are against love marriage, your task is to make them see the end objective beyond the haze of culture, traditions, and “honor”.
1. Develop a win-win strategy that will make you and your parent a winner. As an example, suggest a meeting with your girlfriend or boyfriend in a casual setting so they get a first-hand opinion for the person you are in love with. In exchange, keep your dealings with your love interest open and don’t do anything behind their backs. Convince them that they should, at least, give you a fair chance and highlight how forthright you have been in discussing this with them.
2. Follow the policy of a joint agreement that will ensure that neither you or your parents will ever do anything without first mutually agreeing on it when it comes to marriage. This is a great strategy to maintain status quo for some time till the tempers settle down when there is a greater chance of seeing reason from both sides.
If your parents are against love marriage as well, let us know your experiences in convincing them by commenting below.
Remember the movie, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button? Brad Pitt starts off as an old man and then progressively becomes younger. Well, successful arranged marriage unfold in a similar pattern. Two strangers get married based on initial impressions and cold, calculating facts listed by their families but magically, they fall in love gradually and over a long period of time.
There are things you tell yourself when you realize your parents are not in love. Love probably isn’t necessary past a certain age. Maybe the way your mother and father go about their daily routines like professional ice-skaters—a careful distance always held between them—is what real love looks like. Whose parents are really in love, anyway?
Growing up in New Mexico in the 1980s, I took it for granted that my parents’ marriage, which was arranged by their families in India in 1968, would last forever. True, it lacked the palpable electricity I saw between some American couples, but so what? Who said all that hugging and kissing was a good thing? Too many of my friends’ once-affectionate parents were splitting up. My parents, in contrast, were remarkably solid, a well-thought-through match of religion, goals, and socioeconomic standing, clearly in it for the long haul.
“The problem with the Americans is that they get so wrapped up in this who-I-chose business,” my father, a surgeon and regular confidant of the OR nurses, told me when I was thirteen. “They will say, ‘He has changed’ or ‘She isn’t who I married.’ Indians never say that. We have no idea who we married!”
His logic was simple: When you don’t have passionate feelings to glaze over your partner’s flaws in early marriage, you are less likely to be undone by inevitable disappointments later on. True, I’d never seen my parents look dreamily at each other, but I’d also never heard them threaten divorce.
The night before I went back to New York, I came home to a sight so disquieting that I stood outside in the dark for a full five minutes, just watching. It was late. The television was on in our living room. In front of it, my father sat on the couch, my mother cradled in his arms. She was fast asleep, her cheek pressed to his chest.
I went inside. Though I hardly made a sound, my mother woke up. She blinked quietly, then sprang up with the realization that I was there. “I was asleep!” she said, as if I’d accused her of something. Then she got up and took herself to bed, disappearing down the hallway. My father gave me a funny grin and followed her.
Why this kolaveri?
Flying back to New York, I could not stop thinking one thing: Why now? Why this sudden attraction to someone who had been there the whole time?
If on the surface they had been well matched, temperamentally they couldn’t have been more different. My father was mercurial, charming, intuitive, a man who liked to say “I am not sentimental” and then cry during commercials. He moved through the world with open arms, and for good reason: He demanded love and gave it easily.
Not true of my mother. I don’t mean to make her sound cold or cruel. She’s the opposite: bright, engaging, and quick to laugh, a connoisseur of politics and gossip. But she doesn’t tolerate emotional scenes easily. When I was young, her deep reserve left me frustrated, and, as I grew older, occasionally furious. Later, once I realized she couldn’t help it, it just made me sad. I worried for her and for my father, who sometimes seemed to want more of a connection than she could offer.
Somehow he had made it inside, past my mother’s carefully erected boundaries, past the cool remove, and in response, my mother loved him for it. And now, because of that, I knew what real love looked like.
Very often, we find the debate between love marriage and arranged marriage is based on personal experiences. It is easy to dismiss such arguments as they may not be representative of the entire population. This article is remarkable in actually highlighting the strengths of an arranged marriage that is completely aligned with scientific study results on this topic!
This is a post for Dummies; a sort of ‘101’ or listicle if you ever want to fall in love in India.
MATCH YOUR HOROSCOPES
First steps first, better get your kundalis (or horoscopes) matched before falling in love. Else your partner’s father’s second cousin’s granddaughter will probably die of whooping cough! We don’t want that now, do we?
IF SOMEONE ASKS, DO NOT SAY YOU ARE IN LOVE
Wrap your love as if you are packing sambhar powder between your towels before you set out to the US! Only if you are cool about marriage now, now, now, let the cat out of the bag.
YOUR SEXUALITY IS A MATTER OF NATIONAL CONCERN
Unless you want the Agni 5 tested on you and your partner, stick to the opposite sex. After all, you choose who you want to love, no?
‘Kisi ke honth achche hain, kisi ke baal achche hain’ apply to the movies only. So stop running around trees. Choose between the honth/baal and get married already! (English translation: Don’t be so picky with your choice for the spouse and work with whatever option you have been presented with).
ALWAYS INFORM YOUR PARENTS ABOUT YOUR LOVE
If you don’t, someone out there morally ‘straightening’ the society will speed dial them. Young love or old love, to quote Amitabh Bachchan from Mohabattein, we are a country of “Parampara, Pratishtha, Anushasan” (English translation: “heavy synonyms” for the word culture). So, if you want to love, or even sneeze, “Daddy se pooch lena”! (English translation: Ask Daddy).
INTER-CASTE/INTER-RELIGIOUS LOVE? CONVERT OR FORGET
Ever seen Indian films before Emraan Hashmi walked in? A kiss was always replaced with two flowers dancing in glee or a bee sucking out the nectar. Wait a minute… these analogies are quite perverted!
NEVER HOLD HANDS IF YOU ARE A COUPLE
If you do, be ready to get married. A recent article I read stated that this Valentine’s Day, certain activists plan to put Alok Nath to shame and perform an impromptu kanyadaan (English translation: Giving away the bride during a marriage ceremony)!
NO PRE-MARITAL ***
Shhhhhh! We don’t speak the word. You may have heard about the Kamasutra being written in India. But I have my own doubts!
‘Love = Marriage’ is the new theorem about to be introduced in the science textbooks. So, honey, no one cares if you need time to settle financially, emotionally, vertically or diagonally! ‘India wants to know’ when you are getting married!
Love Marriage Vs Arranged Marriage – Similarities & Differences
The love marriage vs arranged marriage debate has been raging on ever since the idea of marrying for love has become a common practice in India.
In contemporary India, there is a growing perception that arranged marriages are giving way to love marriages due to changing education levels of the population and increasing the ability for women to exercise choice. Arranged marriages are also being perceived as a failure on the part of the man or the women to find someone to marry on their own!
What is love marriage?
When two individuals choose to marry for the sake of love and not base their marriage on any other factor such as religion, caste, economic background, social status or any other criteria that go into matchmaking by a third party, it is a love marriage.
What is arranged marriage?
When two individuals choose to marry based on the recommendation by their family members who base their choice on factors such as religion, caste, economic background, social standing and other factors, it is called an arranged marriage.
Just remember that not all arranged marriages are forced marriages!
Difference between love marriage and arranged marriage
The difference between love marriage and arranged marriage is when the couple falls in love – before marriage or after marriage! With love marriage, you are going into a relationship knowing this is what you really want. In arranged marriage, you get into a relationship hoping that you made the right choice.
Similarities between love marriage and arranged marriage
Irrespective of how and when you find love, any successful marriage requires oodles of flexibility, compassion, empathy, selflessness and sacrifices for it to succeed. Love can grow over a period of time or it can gradually fade away as well. The success of a marriage boil down to a supportive social environment and the willingness of the couple to make it through the ups and downs of married life.
We certainly don’t want to take sides before discussing the pros and cons of love marriage and arranged marriage. Check out these arranged love stories!
Love Marriage Vs Arranged Marriage – Sensible arguments
If we were to break down the process of getting married into three key stages, it will be become easier to evaluate practical challenges and issues in order to come to a conclusion on the love marriage vs arranged marriage debate. The three stages include finding the right set of prospective matches, shortlisting the person you want to marry, and post-marriage support.
1. Finding the right set of prospective matches
When it comes to finding the right set of people to evaluate your options, arranged marriages come out trumps hands down. Your parents and family do all the hard work and all you have to do is nothing!
While this approach is a God sent for Indians who may not have the social skills needed to find a partner on their own, it has its disadvantages.
You have no control about the criteria you parents or family members may apply to select potential matches for you. Invariably, they may use hard parameters like vital statistics, skin colour, religion/caste, and income. While these factors may be important, they may not necessarily mean long term happiness.
Women tend to be at the receiving end of the arranged marriage process. Forced marriages can cut short a woman’s dream to pursue her dreams and we see this play out every day, especially among economically weaker sections of the society.
if you are someone who believes in finding a soulmate on your own, you are pretty much left to your devices to find the special someone. The advantage of love marriage is that you have all the freedom to pick and choose the “hunting ground” from where you may net a catch eventually! People in western countries and in urban India get into the dating process to find their match. However, marriage is not an immediate outcome in this approach.
The biggest challenge that young men and women in India face is that they may not have the required social skills to interact with the opposite sex in a casual setting. Also, in India, it is difficult to meet single men and women in a social setting without attracting undue attention.
Verdict: Arranged marriages are great if you know your parents and family understand your personality and expectations. If not, love marriages seem like a better option to look for prospective matches.
2. Shortlisting the person to marry
Once a limited set of prospective matches are identified, the arranged marriage process moves on to the rather tedious process of finding that special someone. This involves the awkward arranged marriage first meetings.
The biggest advantage arranged marriages offer is the focus on objective facts and the complete absence of “heart” or “emotion” at the start of the shortlisting process. This is probably helpful in taking the right decision about a potential match.
But if the focus on objective decision making is taken too far, you will end up offending people and create hilarious situations like these stories here.
Love marriages come up on top because it provides plenty of options to interact with someone you may like or love before getting married. While Indian society gives very little public space for people in love, love marriages happen after the couple had known each other’s likes, interests, and behaviours very well.
The biggest challenge the couples in love face before marriage is the lack of objectivity. When your heart is racing and hormones are acting up, you will see no drawback in your chosen partner. However, these drawbacks can start becoming apparent after marriage when the realities of life hit you hard.
Verdict: Love marriages seems to have an edge as the couple will have plenty of opportunities to make sure they are compatible. However, if the arranged marriage process can provide more opportunities for the prospective couple to interact with one another one-on-one, arranged marriages may win this round!
3. Post marriage support
Arranged marriages happen because your parents and family played a key role in the decision-making process. Hence they have a stake in the success of the marriage as well. In terms of post-marriage support (emotional, financial, and physical presence), arranged marriages have definite advantages when compared to self-chosen marriages.
The fact that parents and family members continue to be involved closely in arranged marriages can also cause a lot of issues to the married couple. Living with in-laws or in a joint family has its own challenges to deal with. Lack of privacy, inability to take decisions without family consensus and demands by other family members can derail arranged marriages.
In love marriages, especially those where the couple leads an independent life, there is complete freedom to choose a lifestyle that works for the couple without the fear of having to conform to traditions, expectations, and rituals associated with the extended family members.
However, when love marriages or intercaste marriages happen against the wishes of the family, there is no social support in case the couple faces marital challenges, financial issues, health issues, or the burden of rearing children.
Verdict: Arranged marriages where the couple has the luxury of leading an independent life with the occasional involvement of the extended family probably delivers the best of both the worlds. However, love marriages do provide a stress-free environment for the couple to lead their lives the way they choose to.
Love Marriage Vs Arranged Marriage – Expert opinion
As we have seen, love marriages and arranged marriages have their pros and cons. We would like to present an objective view from experts.
If you examine the practice of arranged marriage, you will notice that arranged marriages represent the coming together of families. It’s no longer about you and your spouse. There is an inherent pressure on the couple to make things work and getting a divorce is not just the couple’s decision (there are exceptions always)!
According to Stephanie Coontz, director of research and public education for the Council on Contemporary Families, arranged marriages are inherently biased against women.
She says, “Many arranged marriages in many countries are associated with a lack of choice for young people and are particularly repressive to women. The fact that arranged marriages tend to be more stable is not a measure of success because we know that people are sometimes held in them without any options.”
That’s a major point against arranged marriages in the love marriage vs arranged marriage debate!
On the other hand, there are some positive effects of arranged marriage when it is not a forced marriage and the bride and the groom agreed to the marriage in the first place. Here is an interesting article on this topic – Does love last longer in arranged marriages?
Another factor that contributes to the success of arranged marriages is the fact that matchmaking is fairly objective in terms of ensuring that the bride and the groom are well matched in economic and social standing.
Invariably, people falling in love also happen to choose partners with a similar personality, background, and attitude! However, as the matchmaking process places greater emphasis on caste, horoscope match, and racial stereotypes such as skin colour (in countries like India), arranged marriages continue to strengthen societal differences and fissures.
Dr Robert Epstein from the Harvard University has studied the subject of arranged marriages for eight years, that focused on arranged marriage practices among Indian, Pakistani and Orthodox Jewish communities. His research on the topic of arranged marriage provides an unlikely shot in the arm in favour of arranged marriage in the love marriage vs arranged marriage debate!
Here is an extract from The Daily Mail UK that talks about the findings of Dr Robert Epstein.
He has interviewed more than 100 couples in arranged marriages to assess their strength of feeling and studied his findings against more than 30 years of research into love in Western and arranged marriages.
His work suggests that feelings of love in love matches begin to fade by as much as a half in 18 months, whereas the love in the arranged marriages tends to grow gradually, surpassing the love in the unarranged marriages at about the five-year mark.
Ten years on, the affection felt by those in arranged marriages is typically twice as strong.Dr Epstein believes this is because Westerners leave their love lives to chance, or fate, often confusing love with lust, whereas those in other cultures look for more than just passion.
We really love this quote from Dr Epstein.“The idea is we must not leave our love lives to chance. We plan our education, our careers and our finances but we’re still uncomfortable with the idea that we should plan our love lives. I do not advocate arranged marriages but I think a lot can be learned from them.”
Love Marriage Vs Arranged Marriage: Research Study Involving Birds!
The researchers formed groups of 40 birds each, with each group comprising 20 male and 20 female birds. These birds chose their mates on their own as they do in the wild.
They allowed half the female birds to breed with their chosen partners, but they forced the other half to switch their partners with male birds chosen by other female birds in the same group. This is similar to arranged marriage that involves coercion. We can even call it forced marriages!
“When the birds were first released into communal aviaries, 46 out of 50 chosen pairs remained together, compared to only 38 out of 50 arranged pairs, indicating that force-paired birds were less willing to breed with each other and were more likely to divorce.”
It appears love marriages among birds last longer than arranged marriages!
Natural pairing produced 37% more offsprings
Researchers found a dramatic difference in the ability of pairs that chose their own mates produced 37% more offspring compared to birds that were forced to mate with random birds chosen by the researchers.
One more point in favour of love marriage!
Love marriage triumphs (at least among birds)!
According to the Guardian article,
“The researchers concluded that birds have idiosyncratic tastes, and they choose mates that they find stimulating in some way that isn’t necessarily obvious to an outside observer. These behaviours maximise the happily paired birds’ likelihood of perpetuating their genes through their thriving offspring.”
Need we say more?
Click to read interesting quotes on arranged marriage
Love Marriage Vs Arranged Marriage: Our Verdict
The question of love marriage vs arranged marriage boils down to the question of free choice. We believe in the strengths of arranged marriage process, namely the commitment and the involvement of the families in ensuring a successful match.
However, we do not endorse forced marriages and the concept of “husband is God” no matter what he does. According to the 2014 ICRW – UNFPA Survey, as women’s education levels increase in countries like India, the proportion of women meeting their husbands before marriage is increasing. This does not necessarily mean love marriages but rather indicate free choice in selecting a husband. That’s an encouraging trend.
In fact, Jodi Logik was started just to provide an opportunity for young men and women to exercise choice and not base their marriages (even when arranged) just on what parents might consider important.