Tag: Arranged Marriage
Break up after engagement happens!
The real question that we should all be asking ourselves is “Are we ready to face a break up after engagement?”
According to Huffington Post, our brains reacts to a break up that same way it reacts to a drug withdrawal! We know that’s not a pretty experience for anyone.
In India, where arranged marriages are prevalent, a break up after the engagement is not just about dealing with our personal disappointment and dreams turning into a nightmare, it is also a loss of face for the entire family!
If you are keen on reading engagement break up stories, you will find people sharing their failed engagement stories on Quora.
The only advantage that Indians have when they go through arranged marriage is that engaged couples are usually not in love before the marriage and that makes breaking up a little less emotional for the parties involved.
If you are planning to end your engagement or if you ever face this situation in the future, we have lined up 15 important things you should do in order to handle your break up after engagement. After all, every failed engagement should be seen as a temporary setback and not the end of the world.
15 things to do to manage a breakup like a boss!
Here is our comprehensive list of things you should consider doing once you choose to break off your engagement. We have included all the cold, calculated things you should do along with softer things that will help you cope with the breakup after engagement.
1. Communicate your decision to the other party
Once you decide to break up the engagement, make sure you communicate your decision to your fiance / fiancee and his / her family directly. Don’t leave hints and hope that they will get your message! If you are going through an arranged marriage, the communication can be handled by your parents.
Not taking calls, not showing up at a place when you have already made plans to meet, or radio silence of any sort doesn’t help your cause.
Be up front about why you want to break off the engagement and you are NOT obligated to let them down gently.
2. Seek the support of close family members
Thankfully, family members are a key part of arranged marriages and even love marriages (eventually). Unlike the western world, you may not be left to suffer the pain of going through a break up after engagement all alone.
In arranged marriages, breaking up after the engagement is a family decision and their support on this matter is granted once the decision is made.
It is important to seek the support of family members other than your parents or siblings who might be emotionally upset about the turn of events and may not be able to think clearly.
3. Be ready to report it to authorities
Depending on the reason for your decision to break up after the engagement, you should keep your mind about reporting the other party to law enforcement.
Especially in India, cases of dowry harassment or mistreatment of women by the fiance is not uncommon. In some instances, you may discover that your fiance is already married or has other illicit relationships.
In all such cases, you are better off reporting the incident to law enforcement. Don’t let pleading or appeals for mercy deter you from reporting it.
If you have had a sexual relationship after your engagement, there is a distinct possibility of the girl’s family filing rape charges.
4. Communicate your decision to friends and family
Once you have communicated your decision to your fiance / fiancee, it is important to make sure all your family members and friends are intimated about your decision to break the relationship.
This will help avoid embarrassing situations for you. You certainly don’t want a relative or friend to congratulate you publicly on your engagement (that you secretly terminated) or ask you about the wedding date!
People are curious by nature and anyone hearing about your break up will want to understand what really happened. Be ready with a consistent answer. Decide to what extent you will reveal the gory details and just stick to the same story once you have made up your mind.
5. Erase all traces of the relationship
Every one of us has a different way to cope with a break-up.
If you are going through an arranged marriage and you are forced to end the engagement, the best strategy to move on is to destroy all traces of the engagement. In arranged marriages, engagement ceremonies are elaborate and family / friends are all invited. These ceremonies are recorded by multiple photographers and videographers in some cases. Make sure all copies are accounted for and destroyed.
If you are breaking off an engagement with someone you loved, you may find it difficult to erase anything and everything that will remind you of your failed relationship. Some people end up holding on to a few items as a memento or keep the items in a boxed up, never to be opened.
Our recommendation is to take a clean break and erase everything that reminds them of the relationship.
Don’t forget to unfollow / unfriend your ex-fiance / fiancee from all social media accounts and block their emails as well. You can change your phone number as well just to be on the safe side.
6. Return gifts exchanged before the breakup
Elaborate engagement ceremonies in India always include a bevy of expensive gift items exchanged between the newly engaged couple and their families.
The best approach to deal with these gifts is to catalog the gift items you may have received and the gift items you may have given out in order to arrange an exchange with the other family.
Make sure there is a written evidence about the returned gifts in order to avoid future claims.
7. Make sure you cancel all wedding arrangements
When you end your engagement, it’s not a pleasant affair. It is natural to find yourself consumed by anger, grief, sadness and hopelessness about your situation. While all this drama is unfolding, you will probably lose sight of arrangements you or family might have made for the wedding.
These arrangements include marriage hall, caterer bookings, photographer, wedding invitation printer and in some cases travel books for you and your relatives. Make sure you cancel all these arrangements as soon as the decision to end the relationship is taken.
Document the financial loss you will incur when you cancel the wedding preparation and negotiate with the other party to make sure they assume equal responsibility for the monetary loss.
Even the Supreme Court of India supports the idea of reimbursing / sharing expenses if the engagement is broken off!
8. Handling the break up in a foreign country
If you are engaged to an NRI and you are living with him / her in a foreign country, things can get tricky if you choose to end the engagement while you are with your fiance.
The key to managing such situations is to make sure you are always in possession of your passport and some emergency funds that you can access if required.
You should also share your whereabouts with your family members. Ideally, if you have friends and family members in the country you are visiting, you should know how to reach them in an emergency. Being aware of how to contact emergency responders or local law enforcement in the country you are visiting is a must.
Did you know? The K-1 visa allows you to visit your fiance in the US.
9. Learn how to deal with rumors and gossip mongers
When you go through a break up after engagement, you are likely to become a victim of baseless rumors and gossip. Considering the fact that your engagement was well publicized, people will start assuming things or spread their own version of the events that lead to your break up.
The key to successfully dealing with rumors about your failed engagement is to stick to one version of the story and remain consistent with it.
Keep yourself busy and remember that there is no need to explain or clarify your situation to anyone other than your immediate family members. Rumors have a short lifespan if you choose not to respond to every rumor or becoming too defensive.
Are you being forced into a marriage you don’t want? Read our comprehensive article on how to say no to an arranged marriage. Click here to read more.
10. Breaking with one you love
Breaking up after engagement becomes a difficult and tricky affair if you were in love with the person you were engaged to.
Here is an extract from a scientific study that proves that break up with someone you were in love with is physically tough on you.
Neuroscientist Dr. Lucy Brown conducted an experiment in 2010, in which her team looked at the brains of the recently jilted with the help of an MRI machine. Participants were shown photos of both a platonic pal and a recent ex, and the brains’ responses to each photo were then compared.
Brown found that a photo of an ex activated the same brain regions that are stimulated when someone’s going through cocaine withdrawal.
The best way to handle such situations would be to stop looking for answers and run a personal inquisition to find a reason for what happened! You will be better off believing that it was not meant to be and move on with your life.
Also, remove every possibility of bumping into your ex as you go about your day to day life. Having a supportive family and good set of friends will be helpful as you grieve the loss and attempt to come out of it.
11. Don’t blame yourself
When people break up, they tend to introspect and invariably start doubting if they have an inherent flaw that led to the breakup. Remember that every relationship involves two people and for it to work, the two of you have to demonstrate compatibility. A broken relationship has many reasons and you cannot confuse incompatibility with your personal flaws.
Blaming yourself for a break up after engagement can have negative consequences for you. You may end up suppressing your opinion or ignoring bad behavior of your future partner just to avoid going through another breakup!
12. Take care of yourself
In the land of Devdas, we are used to seeing jilted lovers and people with failed relationships go into a tailspin by getting drunk, and acquiring a taste for other bad habits.
While it is OK to grieve the loss of a relationship and feeling bad when dealing with the “shame” of a failed engagement, you will be better off if you make a conscious attempt at taking care of yourself even after you break up after engagement.
Going out with friends, going on a holiday, working out, getting a manicure and pedicure, eating out, shopping, are some of the things that you should consider doing to regain your mojo.
13. Handle common friends with care
When you break up after engagement with someone you share friends with, you need to have a clear strategy to handle such friendships after the breakup.
First of all, if you force them to choose sides, you may end up losing their friendship forever. Remember this before putting a gun on their head! Be ready to deal with a double whammy of a broken engagement and lost friends in such a scenario.
Avoid trash talking to your common friends if you plan on venting with them! Try not to put down your ex-fiance when you are talking with common friends after the breakup.
Make sure your common friends know your boundaries as far as talking about your ex-fiance in the future. Communicate your expectations clearly and don’t be caught off guard later on.
14. Take a break from relationships
When you are injured, you take a break from your routine to rest and recuperate. The same principle applies to broken relationships.
If you believe your break up after engagement has taken an emotional toll on you, it is OK to stay off matrimony sites or dating sites for some time. Let your family and friends know that you are not ready to be “set up” again till you are ready.
Don’t let your zealous family members to pressurize you into saying yes to another match if you believe you are not yet ready to go through with it.
15. Learn from mistakes
Every failed relationship or a breakup after the engagement is a blessing in disguise. They give you an opportunity to identify some mistakes you may have made and correct them.
Some of the mistakes people make when they decide to get engaged include – Placing too much emphasis on the wedding ceremony and parties and ignoring the person; Ignoring red flags such as drinking habits or behavioral issues for the sake of keeping up appearances or family honor; Saying yes to someone just because your friends are married or engaged.
A break up after engagement gives you the luxury of avoiding the missteps you made the first time and keeping your eyes open when you walk into a relationship.
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Posted in Marriage, Relationship
Tagged with: Arranged Marriage, Break up, Engagement, relationship
Fending off an arranged marriage proposal
What’s common between an arranged marriage proposal and a tiger in the jungle? They both have a way of sneaking in on you!
It is common knowledge that arranged marriages are primarily driven by the parents, uncles, and aunts. They hold the responsibility of making sure prospective matches are lined up when they believe it’s the right time for you to “settle down”.
This results in awkward arranged marriage first meetings. There are numerous anecdotes and stories of how an arranged marriage proposal turns into surreal experiences for the boy or the girl.
Obviously, the best way to tackle an unwanted arranged marriage proposal would be to just say no and get on with your life!
However, how you say no to an arranged marriage proposal depends on the situation and the context.
When you ignore how others perceive your negative response and the context, you will invariably create a bad name for yourself and arranged marriages in general!
One of the reasons arranged marriages have a bad name or people assume it’s outdated is that people say no to arranged marriage proposals for the weirdest reasons!
Here are some real-life incidents – The father-in-law expected to be served tea and poha instead of samosa and sherbet, the girl did not like a birthmark on the prospective groom’s neck and for having graduated with the “wrong” degree. The list is endless and you can read all the gory details here.
But not everyone says no to arranged marriage proposals for the wrong reasons.
Some people reject arranged marriages for the right reasons. Image Credits – Karishma Walia.
Recently a young girl in Bangalore rejected a prospective match because he did not like her pet dog. That’s not all. Her encounter made her realize who will call the shots after marriage. You will find the details here.
Let’s face it, if you receive arranged marriage proposals, you may not like all of them or most of them! That’s the law of nature! We have put together 7 practical ways to say no to an arranged marriage proposal.
1. Tell them you are not ready!
Unsolicited arranged marriage proposals usually come in from distant relatives and from the family-friends network. Women are often pressurized by overzealous family members to get married. Overzealous relatives try every trick in the book to set you up. The seemingly random meeting with an eligible bachelor or his mom then quickly becomes obvious going by the line of questions you may have to field.
It is important not to cave into such pressures and here are some elegant ways you can say no to such arranged marriage proposals.
When you are talking directly to a boy or a girl, consider using these responses.
“I believe I need more time to establish myself in my career. Marriage is certainly not in the cards.” or “I think I am still too young to get married and I have not yet thought about settling down.”
When you are dealing with parents or relatives of a prospective match, you could say something like
“I am flattered that you would consider me worthy of your son / daughter. However, I want to focus on my career / passion now. I hope you will find a suitable match soon.”
While we rake our brains to figure out how to reject a guy in arranged marriage, it is important to set the right expectations with your parents and relatives. Tell them exactly what you think about getting married and don’t try to play the role of an “obedient son or daughter”.
If you are not sure about who you are, your are feeling insecure and don’t know what is important to you, you are not ready for marriage.
2. Saying NO to messages from online matrimony sites
While it may be easy to justify why you said no to an unsolicited arranged marriage proposal, saying no to people who express interest via online matrimony sites should also be handled properly.
Most matrimony sites make it easy to say yes or no when someone expresses interest in your profile. You need to make sure you take the trouble of clicking on a button to let them know if you are not interested. Seems very simple, but you will be surprised to find how many people fail to embrace this basic etiquette.
However, things can get tricky when you initiate a chat, email exchange or an offline conversation with someone you found on a matrimony site only to discover that they may not be a suitable person after all.
If you are chatting and you figure out that this may not a suitable match for you, just say,
“I think we may have to stop chatting now. I did enjoy chatting with you but I don’t think we are a good match. Best wishes for your search.”
In response, if the other party agrees and signs off, you can close the case. If the other person starts arguing or feels offended, you can always log out or you can report the person to the site for abuse. Remember, don’t get drawn into an angry exchange ever.
The best way to decline an arranged marriage proposal in an email would be to write something like this:
“Hi <name>, Thank you for sharing your son / daughter’s marriage biodata. After careful consideration, we have decided that this match may not be suitable for us. Our best wishes to your son / daughter and we hope you will find a suitable match soon.”
You can modify this template if you are directly sending a message to the prospective match.
If you ever moved from expressing interest online all the way to a phone call with the prospective matches or his / her family, you will have to tactfully end the conversation if they are not suitable for you.
The best strategy to pull this off is to move the conversation from the phone call to an email! It’s better to avoid expressing no in a phone call as you may end up feeling guilty or worry too much about hurt feelings. If you are forced to tell no over a phone call, always tell the truth and end the call quickly.
“I don’t think this is going to work for us. Good luck.” is all you need to say.
If they ask for an explanation, you can use these examples.
“I don’t think there is a personality match”, “We have different expectations”, “Horoscope match is important for us and our astrologer doesn’t think there is a match.”
Always remember that if you come across an abusive individual in an online matrimony site, report the abuse immediately. Take screenshots for evidence.
3. Saying no after arranged marriage first meetings
Rejection hurts more when you know the person and his or her family and have had a chance to interact with them. Saying no after arranged marriage meetings should be done with elegance and due consideration for the other party.
If you would like to find out how not to say no to an arranged marriage proposal, you should read these personal incidents. Click here to read the stories.
Here are some guidelines that will help you politely say no to a marriage proposal after the first meeting:
- Ask all the right questions during arranged marriage first question. Don’t ask frivolous questions.
- Don’t let your parents hijack the conversation. Set the ground rules before the meeting with your parents.
- Understand what the red lines are for you.
- Don’t communicate your decision at the meeting. Always say, “we will get back to you.”
- Make sure you communicate the decision with a follow-up call or email. Don’t leave it to your matchmaker or any other third party to explain.
We put together all the important questions that will tell you how to judge a boy or girl or what to ask a boy or girl in an arranged marriage first meeting. Click here to read this article.
4. How to say no after a one-on-one meeting?
Let’s assume you have had an arranged marriage first meeting and you have now moved on to a one-on-one date with the prospective match. You may meet him or her a couple of times and then decide that this may not be the right person for you.
The key strategy is here is to figure out if the other person is emotionally invested or not. If you have had several meetings and you know each other fairly well, you got to lay him or her down gently. If it was just a meeting and you are still “strangers”, rely on your family to communicate the bad news.
As always, the best strategy would be to switch your conversation channel to chat or email so that you can keep the communication objective and not let it become emotional.
An email could be sent by your parents to end the contact or if you have some personal rapport with the other party, you can send out a polite email.
“I enjoyed meeting you. However, I think we may not be compatible. I hope you will find the right person.” should do the trick.
There is no need to respond to any follow-up questions from the other party after you send the email. Stay silent and they should get the message.
5. How to say no after the engagement?
Most engaged couples go on to get married, but there are chances that you may want to break off after getting engaged.
While this may not be a pleasant experience, cutting off a potentially bad life-long relationship before marriage is a wise decision. In the Indian context, because marriages are associated with family honor, breaking off the engagement means a loss of face for the family.
Parents fear that their son or daughter will be always tainted by the failed engagement and that they may never find any suitable match. In the unlikely event that you are forced to end an engagement because you discovered a nasty truth about your fiance or his / her family, it’s important to do it swiftly and decisively.
If you have discovered malicious intent, you can follow these guidelines.
- Break off contact with your fiance and get your parents / close relatives to handle the communication.
- Make sure all photographs are deleted. If you have already shared your engagement photos via social networks, make sure you delete them.
- If the other party continues to stalk you, delete your social media accounts and change your phone number.
- If you have exchanged expensive gifts, it’s better to return them.
- If things get nasty (your fiance or family threatens you), do not hesitate to report them to the police for harassment.
If you are both reasonable, having a conversation in person is the best way to communicate your decision. When you talk in person, remember to:
- Be respectful and not use derogatory language.
- Focus on the big reasons why you think this relationship may not work. Don’t bring up trivial reasons.
- Give your fiance the opportunity to ask questions.
- Don’t give your fiance any hope of changing your mind. Let it be known that your decision is final.
We put together 9 simple and effective ways to identify red flags in arranged marriages. Read these tips to find out if your prospective match is a fraud!
6. Saying no to forced marriages
Most westerners assume all arranged marriages are forced marriages. While this is not true, forced marriages do happen in India.
In the event, you believe you are being forced into a marriage or know anyone who is in this situation you should act and not watch from the sidelines. You can act by filing a complaint at the police station or reach out to support groups or social service agencies.
Read the story of Rekha Kalindi, an 11-year old girl who fought against her own mother and the society when she took a stance against her forced marriage. This should serve as an inspiration.
For more resources including legal provisions against forced marriages, check out this page from Chayn India.
7. Giving the silent treatment!
Finally, there is one proven approach to say no to an arranged marriage proposal and this is by not responding to the proposal! While staying silent may be considered rude, it is effective in communicating your lack of interest.
Here are some scenarios where giving the silent treatment might work well.
- Don’t respond to relatives who pressurize you to get married in a social gathering such as a wedding.
- If you have persistent suitors (either online or offline) who don’t seem to take your no for an answer.
- If you are asked awkward questions in arranged marriage first meeting, staying silent should get your message across.
Silent treatment works well when you believe engaging the other party in a conversation will not end well. When you have the option to say no easily without any emotional attachment, say no and move on.
In summary, saying no to an arranged marriage proposal is your right and you should always have the final say. Choosing the right approach to turn down arranged marriage proposals should help you handle the situation without creating problems for yourself or conveying the wrong impression. Considering the fact that arranged marriages involve your family members as well, being open and honest with them will help avoid situations where you are pressurized into a marriage.
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Posted in Arranged Marriage, Marriage
Tagged with: Arranged Marriage
Via Anna Salmi on Tumblr
More and more Indians are finding love online
Indians are big believers in finding true love after marriage!
Finding love online is probably that the last thing your parents want you to do. But things have been changing so fast that you will be surprised at the speed with finding love online has taken off in India.
Here are some pointers that tell us why finding love online is a happening trend in India today.
a. The estimated value of the online matrimony market in India by 2017 is projected to be worth $250 Million, according to Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India. Parents are one of the most active and motivated users of matrimony sites!
b. Indians are also finding love online through dating sites. Dating is all set for a boom and the proof of this happening is the mushrooming dating sites and apps that range from matchmaking services to Tinder clones.
c. Let’s not forget that social media tools like Twitter, Quora, and Facebook has also helped Indians find love online. However, these connections don’t happen deliberately and are no different from you falling in love with a handsome, young man you bumped into at a mall!
d. As Indian families migrate to urban centers, away from their villages and extended families, they find that their social network in the real world has shrunk.
That’s not all, Indians have not yet developed the social skills needed to find their soulmate on their own nor is it still acceptable to have casual conversations in public places or meet women in bars!
Dating sites, matrimony sites are capitalizing on this opportunity by making the process less intimidating and private to some extent.
Finding love through online matrimony sites
When you reach the “marriageable age”, the first thing your parents do is to create a biodata for marriage. They will share this document through traditional snail mail or through email. The idea here is to find people within your parent’s social network. Invariably this process is a hit or miss. Most likely, they will enroll in an online matrimony site.
There are plenty of choices available for you when it comes to choosing the right matrimony site. Here are a few simple questions you need to ask yourself to identify the site that best suits your requirements.
Answer the following questions and you will probably have a shortlist of sites that may work for you.
Answer these questions before you shortlist a matrimony site.
1. Would you prefer to interact with parents or with potential matches directly?
Most popular matrimony sites (Shaadi, Jeevansathi, Bharat Matrimony) have a large number of profiles created by parents. They do have profiles created and managed by prospective matches but you won’t find too many of them. If you want to directly interact with potential matches, you should look at the countless other sites that have sprung up in the recent past.
2. Are you very specific about marrying within your religion / caste / sub-caste?
Once again, the big three sites excel in helping you search within your community. You will also find regional / local sites that cater to specific communities (Example: Sai Sankara Matrimony in Chennai caters to the local Brahmin community).
3. Do you consider yourself “elite / high-net-worth individual”?
If you have a high-paying job or running a big business or you come from elite schools, you will find it difficult to meet someone who will meet your “standards” through traditional matrimony sites. You are better off taking the dating route or hire a matchmaker who specializes in providing services to rich / high-flying people.
4. Are you open to arranged dating before marriage?
Matrimony sites may not be the right option for you if you would like to date the person you shortlist before committing to marriage. You may have to look at other matchmaking options. Read on to find out.
Here is a list of online matrimony sites in India along with pricing information and customer reviews. Click here to read this in-depth article.
Finding love through online matrimony sites starts with finding a compatible person who meets all your basic expectations. You need to then really do that hard work before and after marriage if you have any hopes of converting finding true love.
Here is how online matrimony sites work.
1. Sign up to create your profile free of cost.
2. Complete your profile and upload a photograph.
3. Use the search feature to start searching for matching profiles.
Matrimony sites have mind-numbing search options!
4. Express Interest or send a message.
5. You will also receive notifications when other parents are interested.
6. Remember to also check out self-created profiles. You may be lucky to directly interact with a boy or girl. Don’t have your hopes high on this front.
Most profiles in matrimony sites are created by parents
Beware of these matrimony site pitfalls
There are several challenges you will face when you use matrimony sites.
First of all, you will be sold to at every turn to upgrade.
Matrimony sites want you to always upgrade to a premium service!
Sign up for the upgraded version only after checking out the free version.
Beware of con artists and charlatans using matrimony sites as their playground. Here is an extract from a recent news!
Con artists use matrimony sites to lure victims.
Finding love through dating sites in India
Young, tech-savvy men and women of India have easy access to smartphones, laptops, and other such easy-to-carry gadgets and they are always ‘connected’ and looking to try new things through trendy apps. Dating sites in India are capitalizing on this trend as young Indians in urban centers are hoping to find love online.
Here are three reasons that explain the phenomenal growth of dating sites in India.
1.Exposure to the culture of finding love before marriage: Westernization and greater exposure to the idea of not depending only on a chance meeting to fall in love have led to the growth of dating sites in India.
2. Increase in connectivity: The big jump in the smartphone usage (650 million in the next four years) along with mobile internet connections (354 million as of June 2015) has provided young Indians an opportunity to discretely find love away from the gaze of the families and with privacy.
3. International dating companies have opened shop: The entry of international dating apps like Tinder and the likelihood of other apps like Zoosk, OKCupid, Hinge, POF, and eHarmony entering the Indian market in the near future will see more marketing campaigns that will get more Indians to try the idea of finding love online.
There are plenty of local online dating apps and websites.
You can take a pick from many Indianised dating apps if you want to try your luck in finding love online. Truly Madly, Woo, Cogxio, Vee, are some of the dating applications in India.
Here is how most of them work.
1. Sign up.
2. Complete your profile.
3. Like people and wait for them to like back before getting connected.
Here is how Tinder works.
Dating sites make it easy for Indians to find love online.
Indian counterparts of Tinder have a more elaborate process to sign up and some of them place emphasis on validating profiles or use sophisticated matchmaking algorithms.
In addition to online dating, Indians in cities are finding love using dating / matchmaking services that provide a combination of online and offline services.
Sites like UrbanTryst, Floh, and Aisle provide an opportunity to create your profile and declare your expectations. They then match you with prospective dates in a casual setting or a group date. These are organized by the service provider around fun activities with the hope that cupid will strike at least some of their members.
Here is how UrbanTryst explains the process.
Hybrid matchmaking service providers have an elaborate process.
Online dating – Gateway to nightmares?
All said and done, online dating in India (and elsewhere) is fraught with major issues. Here are some you should keep an eye out for.
1. Do you really know who you might be meeting? Manipulation of personal data on online dating platforms is one of the biggest concerns for women. There is no guarantee that a man with whom a woman is interacting has shared genuine information pertaining to his identity.
2. Beware of stalkers and ‘players’. Stalkers, spammers, and verbal abuses abound on dating sites. Real life stalking is also a possibility and many women have had to face unsavory incidents of stalkers turning up on their doorstep.
3. You can always sign up but you can never leave! After having explored the world of online dating for a while, if a woman wishes to exit, she may find that parting ways is pretty difficult. The removal of her account from the dating website doesn’t guarantee that her profile will be disabled.
4. No means yes? Men in India still have problems taking rejection in their stride. There are countless cases of acid attacks, kidnappings, and other forms of harassment that goes beyond stalking. Bollywood also has driven home the point that if you try hard, every woman that says “no” will end up saying “yes”!
Finding love through social media
According to a research conducted by a marketing firm, Indians use Facebook, Shaadi.com.and Twitter to find love online.
The study also reported that 35% of Indians surveyed in a study reported that they found love online.
Surveys apart, there are some real life stories of how social media brough people together. Here is an example of how Twitter brought together these love birds who eventually got married!
Real life story of a girl finding love through Twitter!
Facebook and Twitter are not the only fish when it comes to finding love online. Ever heard of Quora, a Q&A site? Finding love on Quora seems to be ridiculous, but Indians (who are one of the most active users of Quora) seem to have fallen in love with other Quora members!
Here is a story of a girl who found her husband on Quora.
A real life story of a girl who found her husband through Quora.
You can read more Quora love stories here.
Last, but not the least, Facebook has always resulted in connections that move beyond just being friends. Some of these love matches cut across international boundaries! Click here to read one such story of a woman from Orissa who married a Pakistani man, thanks to Facebook!
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Posted in Arranged Marriage, Dating, Love, Relationship
Tagged with: Arranged Marriage, dating, Finding love, India, Matrimony Sites
Indians are embracing long-distance marriage!
These days, the idea of a Long-distance marriage seems to be quite common in India.
However, you will be hard pressed to find your grandparents or ancestors even imagine the idea of living separately after marriage. In the past, Indians were content living either in their place of birth of moving to the nearest town or city to make a livelihood.
In the last several decades, we have seen a huge migration of Indians not only to foreign lands but also to different parts of the country. With such large-scale migration happening, many couples are forced to embrace the idea of a long-distance marriage.
Long-distance marriage in the land of arranged marriages?
It seems strange that in a land where parents make sure you marry someone who is of “acceptable” height, weight, skin color, and family background will willingly agree to a long-distance marriage!
There are plenty of reasons why Indians seem to get into a long-distance marriage irrespective of whether they went through a love marriage or arranged marriage.
1. Economic Reasons: One of the largest contributors to the trend of arranged long-distance marriages is the economic condition of the woman’s family. They end up marrying a blue collar worker who earns a living in the middle-east or in a different corner of India.
We find that women who are married to men working as laborers in the middle-east lead a lonely life in India as their husbands don’t make enough money to allow them to bring their family to the country where they work.
Men who migrate from states like Bihar also face a similar situation as they end up leaving their families behind.
2. Career-Driven Couples: Some arranged marriages end up turning into long-distance marriages when the couple have lucrative careers that keep them away from home for extended periods of time.
We are now seeing couples embracing a long-distance relationship as international job opportunities are available for highly educated Indians.
The popularity of IT industry has contributed to the husband or the wife traveling to customer locations for extended periods of time resulting in long distance marriages.
3. Lack of Social Network: Some NRI couples choose to embrace a long-distance marriage if the wife doesn’t want to continue living in a different country that offers little or no social network.
In some cases, married couples embrace a long-distance marriage for the sake of better education for their children.
Lonely nights for India’s women left behind…
Via Adam Cohn / Flickr
A recent article published by Reuters focuses on the plight of women left behind in India as their husbands try to make ends meet by working as contract laborers in the Gulf. Here are some excerpts from the story that highlights the problems women face in long-distance marriages.
Bhagyam sits with a faded wedding album and talks about how much she misses her husband, who works as a welder in the Gulf.
Unaware of the recent problem of Indian migrant workers stranded in Saudi Arabia with no wages or food, she said the couple has a home loan to pay off, and she has to assume her husband is fine.
“They went in a group so they must be safe,” the 36-year-old mother of two said slowly. “Even if things are bad there, he won’t tell me. He’ll just say everything is okay and give me details of the money transfer every month.”
Like Bhagyam, in every other house in the fishing hamlet of Sadraskuppam near Kalpakkam town in Tamil Nadu, a wife waits anxiously for a call from the Gulf.
There are more than 100 “women left behind”, as they are known here, living lonely lives in the small hamlet, among an estimated 1 million such wives in Tamil Nadu.
They are often depressed and always worried, found a February 2016 survey commissioned by the state government.
Nearly 70 percent of the women reported feeling anxiety, fear, and loneliness.
Sixty percent considered the additional responsibilities they must bear in the absence of their husbands – such as caring for elderly parents or sorting out financial matters – a big drawback of the migration.
The survey, which covered 20,000 households across 32 districts in the state, flagged health and children’s education as the other main causes of concern.
Men have been migrating to work from Kalpakkam for years. The nuclear power industry operating in this coastal town does not give them jobs, neither do local builders, who prefer the cheaper migrant workforce from northern Indian states.
“We know that life is not always comfortable in the Gulf but we keep going back because we have no choice,” said S. Prabhu, a returnee migrant already looking for another job abroad.
V. Kalaivani, 32, doesn’t follow the news and knows nothing about the crisis hitting Indian workers in the Gulf.
“Over the many years my husband has travelled to Qatar and Saudi to work, I’ve got used to the idea,” said the housewife with two daughters. “I guess we have been lucky so far.”
Bhagyam and Kalaivani don’t remember the names of the companies their husbands work for. They don’t know who interviewed them or how they got to their destination. A copy of their husband’s passport is somewhere in a cupboard, they think.
That is the biggest challenge, said J. Jeyanthi, coordinator of the non-profit Arunodaya Migrant Resource Centre.
“The women are clueless and that often causes anxiety. The families need the money but the women pay a heavy price because they are alone, restricted by unwritten norms which include avoiding social gatherings like weddings.”
Even a small issue like who will drop the children at school if they miss the bus turns into a big deal when husbands are away, Kalaivani told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“Most of us have parents and in-laws living a few houses away but it’s not the same,” she said.
Many women say they do not sleep well at night.
“We wait for our husbands to call,” said Bhagyam. The phone usually rings way past midnight, when the men have finished their overtime. “In the day we are busy with housework. But at night, the loneliness is unbearable,” she said.
Three advantages of long-distance marriages!
We are a thinking, feeling species, marriages for us are not just about propagating the species. It is also about companionship, support, and sharing the burden. Given the realities of job market these days and the dogged pursuit of fulfilling careers, long-distance marriage has become inevitable.
From Quora to Times of India to Psychology Today everyone is talking about how to make it work. After all, distance doesn’t matter when the connection is strong. Let us make finding the silver lining an imperative.
1. Long-distance marriage gives you the best of both the worlds
Even the most liberated and single by choice amongst the young feel a little frisson of worry when they see their closest friends pairing off. Married and living apart removes that undertone of anxiety, especially for the liberated yet preferring marriage amongst the young. Yet, you get to do everything you prized in your single days. Hanging out with your closest friends’ day and night, pursuing social causes, working on environment projects, etc.
There is always some angularity in every couple, he likes a neat house, she has a laissez-faire attitude to housework, she doesn’t like heavy breakfast, he believes it is the most important and heaviest meal of the day, she wants IPL, he wants Game of Thrones.
Coupledom slowly devolves into a series of compromises. Well, when you live alone, you can do what you want, when you want. don’t have to compromise at all! The short time you do finally see each other, it will be a pleasure to do what the other person likes.
2. Absence makes the heart grow fonder
Living apart uplifts the daily call, the facebook shares, the WhatsApp messages into the plane of exquisite romance. However busy you are, the ping of WhatsApp will make you peek quickly at what your loved one has to share.
If you are living together you might think impatiently, why can’t she wait until I am home, doesn’t she realize how critical this task is? Loving apart erases the mundane from your love life.
You will not be caught up in the flurry of daily activities of cooking, cleaning packing, working, quickly sharing daily highlights, cooking, cleaning sleeping. You will have more time for quiet reflection. This is the time you will think of all the good things you partner has to offer with a bittersweet yearning.
3. Interesting, capable, individuals and a fabulous couple
A common problem, especially with women is the handing off of minor electrical repairs around their house to the spouses.
I used to do all the heavy lifting for my garden, manure procuring, choosing seasonal plants all by myself when I was single. Now, I water sometimes, control pests, weed and collect the harvest. That is it. I doubt if my body remembers what it feels like to haul 50 kg soil up two flight of stairs.
When you are single for all practical purposes the onus of handling everyday burdens, car break down, kitchen flooding, mild sickness, immediate family issues falls on each of you individually. Dealing singlehandedly with the day-to-day crisis is bound to make you stronger both in the domestic domain and in the outside world.
Dealing with a crisis on the in-law side, single-handedly will certainly earn you brownie points from both spouse and the in-laws. A case in point would be a woman dealing with her father-in-law’s stroke while her hubby was abroad.
I think every partnership has the extrovert and the introvert, the diplomatic one and the firebrand.
The introvert gets even more introverted because they can expect their significant other to pick up the ball in every social setting. The firebrand can always expect the diplomatic better-half to soothe hurt feelings.
Living separately forces you out of such complacency, you are responsible for your own socializing and for hurting or soothing anyone in your circles. Life skills learnt this way will make you a stronger, well-rounded person.
You might be slowly developing the idea that long-distance marriage sounds better than what you have at the moment. Let me caution you.
Let me caution you.
Long distance marriage is more thorns than roses
Via Rajarshi Mitra / Flickr
In theory, love can overcome anything, but in practice, it is frequently all about simply showing up.
As Jene Bennet says, a crucial benefit of being in a relationship is having someone who will hold you when you cry, provide you with a hot cup tea of tea when you have a cold, a compliment when you are all dressed up for an important meeting. If you cannot have these things and especially if you live alone, you start questioning the very benefits of being in a relationship.
1. Doubts can creep in
You may know each other at a deeper level, but you don’t know the details of each other’s days and nights. When you are coping with 18 straight hours of work, you may start wondering if your other half is painting the town red with friends. The thought will colour your online dealings with your other half, setting up a little friction. You might decide it is churlish to bring it up when you talk, but the effort the decision entails draws a veil between the two of you. If you were together you would scream, yell and then hug and apologize.
2. Lack of physical intimacy
One benefit of marriage is the assured physical relationship with your spouse. It generates a feeling of well-being and emotional closeness even if you are not the talk-about-feelings sort of person. Long distance marriage removes this completely from the equation. Some may seek the closeness elsewhere. The chances of a relationship recovering from such a breach of faith is very low.
3. Missing out on your spouse’s emotional journey
People grow every day. The person you are today is certainly not the one you were yesterday. If you live apart, especially in different nations, your growth trajectory could diverge considerably. My cousin used to chant the Hanuman Chalisa to ensure he got his student visa. Now, 3 years in the US, he is agnostic.
Luckily his wife is with him and the change was gradual and acceptable. My aunt (his mother) is a little shocked. If the wife had been here and had been the religious kind, it would have been very hard for them to accept this chasm in matters of faith.
4. Unexpected perils of long-distance arranged marriages
Now that you are forewarned, should you even say yes to someone in an arranged marriage when the prospects of it being a long distance marriage are rather high? That is very interesting question and the short and sweet answer to that is “it depends”.
One end of the spectrum is, the groom or bride is working in the US and the future spouse is either working here or just about finishing education, like Amanda. A temporary long distance marriage, with the bride or groom returning immediately and then arranging for a suitable visa for the spouse to join is the norm. This could be a lovely time in an arranged marriage. You get to date with parental consent, you dream of life in the new country with a new spouse unencumbered by obligations of getting to know long line if relatives at both ends.
People queuing up for a US visa. Via R Raju / The Hindu.
But the time apart could also be fraught with insecurity. Your spouse has an established life in a foreign land and you are breaking off every known contact and joining them on their turf. You may be upset over small things during your online conversations, but you cannot read each other’s expressions and you are also not comfortable voicing your grievances.
There is also the added anxiety of not knowing if and when your visa will get through. This problem will recur periodically, he having a valid visa and you not having one or vice versa until either you get a permanent residency or return home.
Indians are better equipped to deal with a long-distance marriage
There are multiple reasons for ending up in a long-distance marriage. You may consciously decide to marry someone who is in the shipping industry or a transferable job, or will be travelling so much on business that it feels like a long distance marriage!
However, the emphasis on collective, as opposed to individualistic attitude towards life, provides a cushion for Indians getting into a long distance relationship.
Even mythologically, I think we handle separation fairly well, for us it really about the family, not just one individual. Urmila staying behind in Ayodhya pining for Lakshman for 14 years is no less commendable than Sita accompanying Rama on his exile.
In summary, there are challenges in a long-distance arranged marriages. You will have to look deep within yourself to understand what are your must-haves in a marriage. If you are willing to take up the challenge and you are a fairly strong person, go for it. Even if you aren’t it is quite possible that at some point, some opportunity might enforce separation in your marriage. So take the time.
Take the time every day to examine where you are, how you feel about yourself, your spouse and your relationship. If at any time you feel alienated, it is time to be strong. Be strong enough to admit this is not working and sacrifice the benefits your long distance marriage is giving you and just get together.
As someone said, “Distance is not for the fearful, it is for the bold. It’s for those who are willing to spend a lot of time alone in exchange for a little time with the one they love. It’s for those knowing a good thing when they see it, even if they don’t see it nearly enough…”
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Posted in Arranged Marriage, Marriage
Tagged with: Arranged Marriage, long-distance marriage
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Common grooming mistakes women make
Who said only Indian men are clueless when it comes to grooming? Grooming tips for women are just as valuable to the fairer sex in India!
Forget the fashion-forward, style conscious, and upper-class women who know the moisturising routine and carry a loyalty card with the local manicure / pedicure spa or beauty parlour in a chic corner of a tony neighbourhood.
We are talking about grooming tips for women from a middle-class background who duke it out every day in the local trains, buses and two-wheelers to go to work and have hardly any time for themselves for most of the week.
That’s not all, some women go out of the way to make themselves unattractive just to make sure they are not harassed by men in the street! Here is what Vinati Sigh had to say about it on Quora.
Women sometimes go out of the way to make themselves unattractive!
All said and done, a big chunk of the population of women in India for reasons such as lack of time, money or awareness fall short in matters of grooming.
If you are a woman who is of a “marriageable” age and know you are destined to go through an arranged marriage first meeting or “date”, committing these grooming mistakes can ruin your chances of finding a match.
Common grooming mistakes made by women in India
Not taking care of facial hair, especially those on the upper lip.
Embracing the ‘Kajol unibrow style’ that works only on Kajol.
Poor hair care and oily hair.
Sporting sweaty armpits.
Bad breath aka dragon’s breath.
Not taking care of body odor.
Wearing ill-fitting clothes that probably belong to someone else.
Wearing mismatched accessories.
Men are visual creatures and end up deciding if someone is attractive just based on looks. So if you don’t take the effort to present yourself properly, you are shooting yourself in the foot when it comes to arranged marriage first meetings.
8 Essential grooming tips for women for arranged marriage first meetings
We lined up 8 essential grooming tips for women to help you highlight your personality better and improve your chances of meeting your soulmate. These tips are designed to be applicable without requiring a trip to an expensive salon or requiring any experience in applying makeup products. The idea of lining up these tips is to help you enhance your natural beauty and make sure your sloppiness doesn’t come in the way of finding Prince Charming.
1. Removing facial hair
There are many effective home remedies for removing facial hair easily without using any harmful chemicals or fancy instruments. Some of these home remedies include preparations that require items such as coconut oil, lemon juice, wheat flour, water, and honey to name a few.
Check out this video that gives you a demo of how to remove “peach fuzz” (which is the thin, light colored hair that grows on the sides of the face and on the forehead).
2. Removing hair on the upper lip
Indian women have been using natural ingredients such as turmeric to not only remove unwanted facial hair but also to exfoliate the skin and protect the skin from infection and the harsh sun. In this video, you can do away with the hair on the upper lip using talcum powder, rose water and a thread!
3. Haircare for Indian women
The Indian tropical sun along with high pollution levels in our towns and cities cause major problems for women when it comes to maintaining the hair. The result is bad, frizzy hair that seems to have a mind of its own! So here are some of the ingredients you will need – coconut oil, natural shampoo, comb, scissors, bananas, milk, and curd / yogurt to get your hair back in shape.
4. Dealing with underarm sweating
Among all the grooming tips for women, the remedy for underarm sweating probably has the most relevance for men and women in India.
Excessive sweating in the underarm area can be embarrassing. When you have to meet a prospective groom, you want them to look at your face and not at the wet rings adding its own design pattern to your shirt, salwar or blouse!
Here are some easy ways to solve this problem. Look for a natural antiperspirant, avoid eating spicy food, make sure you are not emotionally excited before you meet anyone important, and wear loosely woven clothes such as those made of linen, cotton or silk. Check out this informative video for more details.
5. Tackling bad breath
The biggest buzz kill in an arranged marriage first meeting could be your bad breath! While it’s OK to brush your teeth or use mouthwash before meeting a prospective groom, you might have to tackle the issue on a more consistent basis if you suffer from chronic bad breath. Natural remedies include the use of clove, cinnamon, mint and cardamom. Of course, don’t forget to brush twice a day, and keep your tongue and gums clean.
6. Taking care of body odor
When you meet someone with a body odor, you most probably end up disliking them! While this may sound cruel, just notice what your brains tells you when you meet someone with a bad odor. Fear not, you don’t actually need fancy shampoos and deodorants. Here is a simple remedy -Just make a paste of sandalwood and orange peels and use it instead of soap.
7. How to put together a smart wardrobe
Let’s face it. Clothes make the man and indeed a woman! You are as good as the clothes you wear and books are indeed judged by their cover! According to a research study, people indeed feel and act differently depending on the types of clothes they wear! Here is an interesting video that will give you practical tips to help you build a wardrobe for traditional Indian clothes that you may choose to wear on occasions such as arranged marriage first meetings.
8. Choosing the right footwear
If you are someone that wears the same footwear for every occasion, you should check out the video below. Shoes and outfits go together. Picking the right outfit for the occasion and a matching pair of footwear really creates a great impression. So stop skimping on footwear.
We hope our grooming tips for women will help you present yourself properly when you meet a prospective match or his family. Remember, you don’t need fancy lotions and potions from high-end boutiques to look good. Simple home remedies and spending time in properly grooming yourself can certainly get your mojo back and that’s always good for you.
Featured Image Credit: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock
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Posted in Arranged Marriage, Grooming
Tagged with: Arranged Marriage, Grooming, Women
Amitab Bachchan & Jaya Bhaduri with Amitabh’s Parents, Via Pinterest
Love Marriage is still an exception in India
There very few epic stand-offs that rival that between Indian parents and love marriage! The broad understanding we all have (thanks to the constant diet of Bollywood movies) is that all Indian parents are controlling and love marriage is not in their vocabulary. The reasons proffered ranges from the importance of commitment and practicality to the fear of losing control over their wards.
Parents are opposed to love marriages because arranged marriages are the norm in our country and anyone trying to challenge this stranglehold of arranged marriage is considered to have gone “astray” from the family traditions.
In order to maintain peace with the Jodi-making generation (As opposed to the Jodi-seeking generation), we are going to turn the question on its head and ask why arranged marriages are so prevalent in our country?
Love marriage is not in India’s DNA!
10th February 1840: Queen Victoria (1819 – 1901) and Prince Albert (1819 – 1861) on their return from the marriage service at St James’s Palace, London. Original Artwork: Engraved by S Reynolds after F Lock. (Photo by Rischgitz/Getty Images)
We are arguably the oldest culture still thriving, the societal norms set in the Indus Valley over 5000 years ago are still followed. If our epics are believed to be factual, then the rules of our society were set up 4 eons ago. Older cultures like older people look upon change with suspicion.
Arranged marriages have been the norm the world over for a very long time. Love marriages have gained currency only since the famed marriage of Queen Victoria and Price Albert, about 200 years ago. We will get there at a more stately pace in the next 200 years with one caveat: If and only if love marriages prove to be more successful than arranged marriages.
We speak different languages, follow different but similar traditions and the flora, fauna varies enough across the country to earn the sobriquet “Indian Subcontinent”.
Our food habits are varied! A single meal of Roti-Subji makes my staunch south Indian father positively ill while a dinner of rice and sambhar makes my Delhiite neighbor feel very heavy! I made a mango chutney in the Bengali style and my taste buds decided, adding Panch Phoran wrecks Mango Pachadi.
How do we ensure our tiny but, significant differences are propagated across generations? By insisting on marrying within our own groups, i.e., arranging marriages. It has helped preserve our Indianness despite multiple invasions since the time of Alexander and foreign rule since the time of Mohammad of Ghazni.
Life here makes a mash of what is tradition and what would come under religion. We let our holy books cover every aspect of life from what would be a good time of birth to elaborate rituals at the end of life. And we let traditions govern our religion. Even when we change the faith we follow, we carry our traditions along. Do churches in any other country have a Dwaja Stambham at the entrance? I doubt it.
How can this mishmash of tradition and religion not dictate marriages? And marriages can be subject to dictates only if they are arranged.
Love marriage is not part of our societal makeup
Weddings in India is a celebration of the collective, not individuals. Marriages take place between families. It is both a means of propagating the families forward and ensuring a sufficient number of retirement activities for the older generation: social activities like Weddings, Namakaran and yes, condolences double with every wedding!
More gossip, more people to share gossip and more people to gossip about. This social network has managed to subsume even Facebook, forcing the younger generation to mind their P’s and Q’s when posting online!
The only way to remain part of the collective is following the tenets of the collective. The primary tenet is marrying within one’s culture.
There is also an economic angle to the preference for being a part of the collective by marrying within the community. The huge extended family is always willing to pitch in and help the members(s) in need, fiscally or otherwise.
The price one pays for this security is conformity. Conformity is assured and ensured by arranged marriages where the partner is carefully chosen to fit in the family.
Opposing love marriage is just responsible parenting!
We are the nation that gave the world Yoga. Yoga sutra teaches us to take responsibility for our lives. “I am late because the bus broke down” is a no-no, “I am late because I didn’t plan for bus breaking down” is the correct reason.
However, we have internalized and personalized this advice and introduced an element of selfishness into it! We keep our homes clean by throwing trash out onto the street, we work towards the economic and social prospect of our families disregarding the society at large.
This strain of responsibility certainly extends to children’s happiness. How can the apple of the parent’s eye handle the vagaries of love? Will the child have the sensibility to choose wisely or will the latest Bollywood heartthrob look-alike capture his/her heart?
Parents simply bypass the heartache of failed love by arranging marriages. They are simply taking responsibility for their children’s future happiness.
Indian parents helping their children by passing on answers at the exam hall by climbing the walls! Via BBC
Parenthood is frequently a journey of diminishing expectations especially for Indian parents who are peculiarly involved in every aspect of their child growth and development.
Heard the term Helicopter Parenting, where the parents hover anxiously over their wards at every phase of their lives? Indian parents take it a step further, they are parenting quadcopters!
They track their children from birth until their own batteries run out. They are so invested in everything their children do, they become exceedingly anxious about their prospects as time goes on.
At 2 years the child seems to be a veritable genius. How can he/she not be the next Einstein or the next Bill Gates? At 12, they begin to wonder, will he/she even pass high school?
They decide the child does not have the capacity to decide on a career path and frequently pick the college and course for the child. They pour time, patience and money into ferrying the child to a dozen different classes to ensure the child makes it into the college.
Then starts the next round of worry. Can he / she ever hold down a job when remembering to close the lunch box before putting it in the bag is too much to do?
They just follow the downward intelligence arc to its logical conclusion and decide they cannot trust children to choose sensibly. They decide to arrange their lives by first arranging their marriage!
Love marriage and Mark Zuckerberg
When Mark Zuckerberg is praised for not letting anyone else run his creation, Facebook, why aren’t and shouldn’t parents be praised for managing their children’s love life?
Love marriage is similar to dating. The western world where dating is the norm has 40% out-of-wedlock childbirth. They have a well-defined sex-education from middle school years. In a country uncomfortable reading prescribed Sanskrit texts and English plays because of the reference to sex and a country with absolutely no sex education, can you imagine what will happen to our birthrate? We are already the most populous country in the world. Now imagine the stress on both the social fabric and social security of our beleaguered nation!
I have no clue if we were made in the image of God or not. But, children are certainly made in the image of their extended family – eyes like mom, height like dad, intelligence like grandpa etc. Basically, they are their creation and our contribution to a better planet. Then, it stands to reason, the extended family manages the direction of their children’s lives.
What decides health and happiness better than the choice of spouse? Arranged marriages are the best way for parents to ensure their children are on the right path to happiness and prosperity.
Convincing your parents for love marriage – 5 Tips!
Having said all that, the bottom line is life is moving at quark speeds these days. Between advanced science and humanities lesson, we learn to understand ourselves and our interests very quickly. Social Media like Facebook and Google+ quickly shrinks the world to a village. And if Hillary Clinton is right, and it takes a village to bring up a child, then, this village has a hand in your upbringing and values. The person you choose to spend the rest of your life is a denizen of this village but probably a lot different from what your parents expect.
So, how do you convince your parents to approve your love marriage? Here is a 5-step approach.
Pick someone they would approve of! They don’t necessarily want a boy / girl whose great-great-grandfather was friends with your great-great-grandfather. They only want someone who can empathize with the journey your family took over the past few generations. Shouldn’t that be a given in a significant other?Prove it is more than puppy love. Remember Kamal in Manocharithra? He stays away from Saritha for a year to prove his seriousness. What would be the minimum length of time both the sets of parents would need to believe in the depth of your love?
Prove your maturity. You know all the minor irritations you create – leaving the sugar bowl open, not emptying out your pocket before dumping clothes in the laundry hamper, leaving late for work perpetually, not informing your whereabouts? Fix them. Pronto. This level of self-awareness and self-improvement shows you are maturing as a person.
Fight their fears. Parenthood is an exponentially decreasing curve of parents significance in child’s life. Marriage quickly reduces the significance of your parents. Every extended family fears a love marriage would reduce the role of relatives in one’s life at warp speed. Before even bringing up the issue of love marriage, first prove how important your family is to you. Spend time and energy shoring up their affections.
Win over each other’s family. It requires a modicum of humility to pour energy into befriending someone who views you with distrust. Both as a couple and as an individual, it is worth it. They will remember this when you need company grocery shopping, assistance in the kitchen or help babysitting.
That’s not all, we rounded up expert advice on convincing your parents for love marriage. Check it out here.
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Posted in Arranged Marriage, Love, Love Marriage, Marriage
Tagged with: Arranged Marriage, Indian parents, Love Marriage
Red flags in arranged marriages
The ability to spot red flags in arranged marriages can potentially help you avoid lifelong misery and get you closer to finding your soulmate. Spotting red flags in arranged marriages has assumed a lot of significance due to a variety of reasons.
1. Arranged marriages have spread beyond your social circle
Our grandparents usually married within the extended family circle or social network in their town or village. In these instances, the need for extensive background checks on a prospective match was not required as everyone knew everybody else in the town or village. Our grandparents probably met each other only on the day of their wedding!
This is definitely not the case nowadays. You are probably meeting prospective matches who are strangers and you need to quickly spot red flags in arranged marriages before its too late. The stakes have just gone up!
2. Families have gone nuclear
As families move away to cities, the joint family system has declined. The traditional social network has shrunk significantly and more parents are relying on online matrimony sites and newspaper ads to find suitable matches for their children than ever before!
All the trust associated with knowing another family for decades has vanished and your word is as good as mine!
3. Increased mobility and relaxed criteria
More and more Indian are traveling to different parts of the world for a better life. The huge NRI diaspora in the US, UK, Australia, Middle East and Africa is a testimony to the migration. A lot of these populations have young men and women who still want to find prospective matches in India.
Even within India, people are migrating to different parts of the country. The increased mobility has reduced the ability for parents to find suitable matches from their communities or hometown.
As matchmaking through arranged marriages become more difficult, the qualification criteria such as sub-caste, profession, lifestyle are also being relaxed so that more prospective matches can be lined up.
In summary, spotting red flags in arranged marriages has become more important than ever before. If you are careful and deliberate, you can spot red flags upfront even before you meet a prospective match!
Typically, arranged marriages go through the following phases before marriage
1. Evaluating an online profile or marriage biodata of prospective matches
2. Initial conversations and meetings with shortlisted matches
You can spot red flags in each of the above stages of arranged marriage. We have lined up practical tips to help you spot these red flags. Ignore these 9 tips at your own peril!
Spotting red flags in biodata for marriage
When you are scanning a biodata for marriage from a prospective match, watch out for these red flags.
1. Education: Make sure the names of the university or colleges mentioned in the marriage biodata actually exist. A simple google search will tell you if the college / university is genuine. University Grants Commission (UGC) publishes blacklisted colleges / universities and a simple scan of their page and the press releases pertaining to derecognised universities can throw up interesting information quickly 🙂
2. Professional background: If someone claims to work for a company, just make sure that’s a real company and the information is consistent. Just google the name of the company and make sure the company has a website with contact information (telephone number). When things get serious (or at later stages), you can even try calling up the company and ask to speak with your prospective match.
Most professionals will also have a LinkedIn profile and you can look up their profile in an anonymous mode to not only verify their professional credentials but also look at the other details like their education and personal interests.
Use LinkedIn to verify employment credentials of your prospective bridegroom. This is a simple way to make sure there are not blatant mismatches in the marriage biodata.
3. Lifestyle claims: A Facebook and Twitter search can also help identify red flags. A “strict vegetarian” having a great time at KFC is a cause for concern.
Here is an example. A girl met a boy at a club. They hit it off well but the girl did not have the contact information of her crush and she posted a Facebook post asking for help in finding her man. Her post goes viral and she discovers that her crush already had a girlfriend!
Most people may not think through the implications of sharing everything on Facebook and this is helpful for once!
When you indeed find red flags, keep in mind the fact that most online matrimony profiles or marriage biodata are created by parents. Sometimes, parents may be in the dark about their children’s preferences and lifestyle.
If you find contradictory information in the marriage biodata, it may not always be a premeditated scam. But, you should keep your eyes open and verify everything.
Red flags during arranged marriage first meetings
Arranged marriage first meetings is a breeding ground for red flags! When you meet your prospective match and the family members, observing the body language, the questions they ask you, and their behavior can throw up red flags. Here are some practical approaches to spot these red flags.
4. Is that the same person? Does the prospective match looks similar to the profile photo online matrimony profile / biodata? This is very important as people sometimes go to great lengths to project a completely different image of themselves to attract prospective matches. If there is a big difference in how the prospective match looks when compared to that of the photograph you may have seen, it’s a big red flag!
5. Lack of interest: If the prospective match seems uninterested in a conversation, there could be several reasons – shyness or no interest in getting married. In some cases, they may actually be in a relationship and showed up for the meeting under pressure. In any case, lack of interest is a red flag that needs further investigation.
6. We just want the usual: If you hear the word dowry or any other question that hints at ‘gifts’, it’s a big red flag. Check out some of the indirect ways parents of prospective matches can bring up the D word!
7. Run from the crazies: If you hear anything strange or unbelievable, it’s probably true. Run! Here is an example.
Red flags after engagement and before marriage
In some arranged marriages, the skeletons will start tumbling from the cupboard after the engagement! Here are a couple of red flags in arranged marriages that you should keep an eye for after the engagement.
8. Strange behavior: Behavioral quirks during one-on-one dates after the engagement can be big red flags depending on what you consider as appropriate.
Here are some examples:
a. Your fiance mistreats waiters at restaurants or does anything else that’s culturally and socially not OK.
b. Demonstrates controlling behavior about what you wear, what you eat, and even tells you how fast the fan should be running on a hot day!
c. Dwells on past relationships. This could mean your fiance hasn’t moved on.
d. Forces you to do anything that makes you uncomfortable or anything you are not ready for.
9. Turncoats: Change in the behavior of your future in-laws. Sometimes, people can put up an act to mask their real intentions. But after the engagement, when they know you are committed to the relationship, their real intentions comes to the front. Example: If they start asking you about dowry or if the bride’s family suddenly starts putting pressure on the bridegroom to find a better job. Beware of turncoats!
In summary, pay attention and share your concerns openly when you spot red flags in arranged marriages. Never come under any pressure to sweep these red flags under the carpet. Indian society values tolerance and places great emphasis on tolerating hardships without complaints. However, if you choose to ignore red flags you will be left holding the pieces of a ruined marriage.
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Tagged with: Arranged Marriage, Marriage
5 burning questions on matrimonial biodata format
Matrimonial biodata format is the first thing that young men and women search for when it’s time to get married. Here are some of the typical thoughts that will run through your head when creating a matrimonial biodata. Not having clarity or answers to these questions can stop you in the tracks or worse, make you yet another lifeless, uninteresting candidate for marriage.
1. Why me?
This is probably the first thought that comes to your mind especially if you are a romantic. All your dreams for finding your soulmate has now boiled down to writing everything about your personality and expectations in a matrimonial biodata format that seems like selling yourself to the highest bidder!
2. What should I write?
This is by far the most popular question after you have reconciled to the idea of writing matrimonial biodata. What should I write about myself and how do I express everything I have in mind when it comes to my soulmate? Then there are questions about your education, profession, and the list is endless.
3. Is that all?
After spending several hours or sometimes days to complete a matrimonial biodata format, you then start worrying about what’s next? Your parents may possibly want to include a copy of your horoscope (if you are a Hindu) and pick out the most embarrassing photograph along with your marriage biodata.
4. I want my biodata back!
Let’s assume you shared your marriage biodata with a distant relative or a distant family friend. After a few weeks, let’s assume you don’t hear anything back from them. Your parents follow up with them only to find that the prospective match has rejected you based on the photograph. To rub salt into the wound, you don’t get back your biodata and most importantly, the hard copy of your photograph back from the other party! You will have to create one more copy and control yourself from picking up the phone and yelling at the other party.
5. More questions!
That’s not all, let’s say someone has received your biodata and they think you are a great match. Let’s assume your parents think the party is a good match for you. What’s next? You will end up meeting the other party.
Arranged marriage first meetings can be a disaster and disappointment if you haven’t done your homework properly. Do you know anything more about the person you are meeting other than their height, weight, skin color, religion / caste and salary? Are you ready to waste your time only to find that there is inherent lifestyle mismatch or personality incompatibility?
There is a better matrimonial biodata format!
We have thought about the questions posed and came up with one simple conclusion.
Your biodata for marriage should be impressive and for that, you need a matrimonial biodata format that’s professional and comprehensive!
So we set about deconstructing the matrimonial biodata into various subsections. For example, every marriage biodata is expected to have a photograph, description about yourself and your expectations, a brief write up about your family, your educational and professional background and your lifestyle and interests.
Then we decided to look for proven best practices for each of the above categories based on common sense, personal experiences, and most importantly, based on expert opinion.
This is what we came up with!
Yes, you guessed it right. We created the in-depth guides on writing matrimonial biodata and we are the first company in the industry to do so!
They are for you and completely free to download.
7 reasons to access the guides
1. Women’s matrimonial biodata is different from that of men’s
First of all, we have created a separate guide for men and women. Most of you will be shocked at the fact that there is a distinct difference between a matrimonial biodata for men and that of the women. But, we know for a fact that cultural practices in India place a distinct set of expectations on men when compared to women in the matters of marriages and matchmaking.
2. Answers to the question “What do men and women want?”
Our guides will help you take a completely different perspective to how you should project your true self through a marriage biodata. The tips and insights we have included in our guides will help you understand two key questions – 1. What do men want from women? and 2. What do women want from men?
3. How to take an attractive profile photograph?
Marriages are made by matrimonial profile photographs! If your profile photograph is not attractive, you will be rejected instantly (research says people make up their minds in 1/10th of a second!). We have included awesome yet practical tips to help you take a winning profile photograph.
4. Sample profile descriptions for your inspiration!
We have included sample profile descriptions that will help you frame a write-up that truly projects your personality and character.
5. Tips on expressing expectations
We have different examples of how expectations can be written not only to convey your dos and dont’s but also to attract the right set of potential matches.
6. Tips on highlighting your education and career
Should you include your salary or should you talk about how much your prospective match should be making to qualify? We have provided clear guidelines to help you stand out without sounding like a snob!
7. Practical insights to help you stand out in the crowd!
All said and done, the purpose of these guides is to help you stand out among a sea of drab, stereotyped matrimonial biodata. You will walk away with practical and simple tips that will not only make your matrimonial biodata attractive but also help you find your soulmate faster.
What are you waiting for?
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Posted in Arranged Marriage, Biodata for marriage, Marriage
Tagged with: Arranged Marriage, Biodata for marriage, Matrimonial biodata
Is Age difference in marriage a key factor?
What is the ideal age difference in marriage? Seems like an odd question right? Especially in the context of arranged marriage, where your ideal match is picked for you. The question probably arose because of one of three possibilities:
1. You are interested in someone who is above or below the perceived perfect age difference for marriage.
2. Your parents are pushing you to marry a man who is a lot older than you.
3. Your parents are pushing you to marry a girl who is just a wee bit older than you (most probably the other way around!)?
What is considered an acceptable age difference in marriages, especially arranged marriages?
If you look around at your own friends and relatives, the age difference varies widely probably from a few weeks to decade or so. The girl is usually younger than the boy, but that varies too as long as the age difference is within a year or two. The main deciding factor, arguably, is how well the horoscopes match!
In this blog post, we will explore how age difference in marriage varies across cultures and the pros and cons of age difference in marriage from different perspectives in the context of arranged marriages.
Age difference in marriage over the centuries
Historically, age difference in marriage has been one sided. Husbands were expected to be older than the wives out of a purely biological impulse: It maximised the number of surviving offspring.
Among the pre-industrial Sami people of Finland, the ideal age difference for marriage was 15 years according to the Scientific American. Yet a survey of marriages between 17th and 19th century (before the advent of antibiotics ensured child survival thus eliminating the age gap’s raison-d’etre ) showed only 10% of marriages were between men and women 15 years younger! The age difference for marriage in the Sami community ranged from the wife being 20 years younger to the wife being 25 years older with the average being 3 years younger.
Over a period of time, parts of the western world seemed to have finally settled on a rule of thumb: Half your age plus seven as the acceptable age of a bride for any western man.
This rule throws up rather interesting results as depicted in the chart below.
Why is it interesting? According to this chart, an 18-year-old girl can marry someone no older than 22, 4 years apart, but a 30-year-old can marry someone 46 years old, 16 years apart!
Age difference in marriage in India
In the vast, comforting, confusing mess we call our homeland, the answer varies and is always coloured by personal experience and expectations.
For our grandparents and great-grandparents, age difference in marriage was about a decade or so. The girl was married off quite young, frequently even before puberty and the boy was also rather young.
The expectations were vastly different in those days, the husband’s house served as a sort of finishing school for the girl. She underwent a trial-by-fire, vocation training for learning household management skills and handling a large group of not-all-friendly strangers with no help from parents.
Many cultures (Marathas, Sindhis) even changed the name of the girl after marriage. The girl would develop her persona primarily post marriage; marrying young, arguably, helped bond in a joint family setting and develop deeper roots within the husband’s family.
The boy’s responsibility was just as high though there was a safety net in a joint family. He was expected to do enough to make everyone proud, his wife’s status in the joint family was mainly a reflection of how well he did.
Navigating these social labyrinths, yet creating a unique identity as a couple must have been a challenge! They had not experienced anything easier, so they probably complained a lot less.
But even in bygone days, when people more-or-less toed the line of tradition, the age difference for marriage varied widely. The grand old man we all love and respect, Bapuji was a year younger than his helpmeet Kasturba.
Being in a Joint Family meant marriage could occur long before the boy was ready to bear the responsibility of a wife. Marriages were more of an alliance between families than between the boy and the girl.
Ideal age difference in marriage in the modern world
So, fast forward to the 21st century to a survey conducted in the US of A, a country where even the presidential election is held only to confirm the pre-election survey of their infinite channels and magazines.
A survey of 2000 random couples throws up 4 years and 4 months as the optimal age gap for marriage with the girl being younger than the boy.
Another research group, seeking new fodder for the research publication mill, decided to try a different angle.
They surveyed couples rating blind dates (in the western world dating is a necessary condition for marriage, so yeah, it definitely applies) as per the rules set forth by a couple of newspapers.
The newspapers’ rules were very simple, the couples were matched based on responses to an online questionnaire and they agreed to provide both a narrative and quantitative rating in exchange for a free meal at a restaurant.
The surprising conclusion from the study is, while age seems paramount in the abstract (all things being equal, men desire younger women, and women desire older men), in practice, when two people actually go on a date or get married, the age difference might not have as much importance as other considerations, such as physical attraction and a compatible personality.
This conclusion poses an interesting question. Should we just conclude that age difference doesn’t really matter when people fall in love?
Why consider age difference in marriage at all?
One way to understand age difference in marriage for a population is to plot a distribution curve called bell curve.
In the distribution, average marriage age difference [i.e., the mean] would be plotted in the middle of the curve, where the ‘bell’ shape is the tallest. Most of the couples [i.e., 68% of them, or 34% + 34%] have age difference for marriage around the average.
When the height of the bell curve is low, the age difference for marriage varies more widely, that is, there is no single age difference in which the majority of the population lies.
In bygone days, the boy was the breadwinner while the girl was the hearth keeper, so it made sense for a young girl to seek an older, well-settled boy.
Marriage was not meant to be an equal partnership either. A younger girl ensures the status quo of a patriarchal society is retained. There is also the popular misconception that childbirth somehow ages girls, marrying an older guy evens out the real age of the couple.
The 2013 US census shows the bell curve peaking at an age gap of 2 – 3 years with the boy older than the girl.
A study in Madhya Pradesh shows the average age gap in the state across all socio-economic class is about 4.4 years. No wonder India has fewer divorces 😉
Age difference in marriage: Pros and cons to think about
Knowing about the different problems arising with a different age difference between you and your intended match helps you navigate future conflicts.
Age difference of 3-years or less: Advantages
A 4-years or more age difference in marriage puts the bride and groom in two different generations as far as cultural experience go! A gap of 3 years or less, the holy grail both the couple and their parents seek, is the ideal age difference for marriage.
1. Marrying someone in his/her own age group sounds like a continuation of single life – A new person to hang out with, one with whom you connect instantly.
2. The socialising, the energy level, the life experiences, the cultural experiences, will probably dovetail beautifully. You will both idolise the cricketer in the same generation, if not the exact same one. You will each know the most popular songs of the day. You will both read the same book or watch the movie made from the same book.
3. Not only will the friends of both your friends will be in the same age group, each could play cupid and set up friends together and grow into other phases of life as joint couples.
We see such stories everywhere both on (Yeh Jawani Hai Dewani) and off the silver screen. And we end up with perfect playmates for future kids 😉
Age difference of 3-years or less: Disadvantages
But yes, the syncing up of both the bride and groom’s lives throws up a lot of problems.
1. Both will go through similar ups and downs in your careers at the same time. The bride will work longer hours, sure that the groom can handle the dinner prep, but that particular evening is when he also needs to work more or decides to take a break and recreate bachelor days.
2. Similarly, the groom might be in a crisis mode at work when the bride has just come out of hers unscathed and wants to celebrate it.
3. Both, the bride and groom, will display similar (im)maturity in dealing with personal issues.
4. Both will face similar health issues as both age together. But that last bit is a few decades away yet.
There will be plenty of storms amidst the lull of a happy life. But, if both of you can navigate these stormy waters with a bit of love, a bit of yielding and a lot of understanding, the relationship would turn out to be the stuff of legend!
We are always deeply attached to the one who stood by us in times of turmoil right? The late 20s and early 30s have plenty of turmoil for both the bride and the groom.
What’s it like having an older wife?
Remember one of Naseeruddin Shah’s early movies, “Dil Aakhir Dil hai“? He ends up married to an older girl, Rakhee, on family compulsions and is unable to accept her.
At the end of the movie, he comes back to her, having learned the value of her love and forbearance. This was in 1982.
He addresses her as Kusumji for almost the entire length of the movie. In the last scene, he asks her to forgive him and very subtly signals his desire to get back together: he starts calling her Kusum.
1. These days, showing someone respect for just having been on Terra Firma longer, is an archaic concept. Respect and Love are earned by the capacity to do and to just be. Marrying a younger girl is not going to guarantee anything. On the other hand, women live longer than men, older bride younger groom ensures longer companionship in the dusk of our lives.
2. The family size norm of just 1 or 2 kids makes it ridiculously easy to maintain a fairly svelte body if one desires it.
3. And finally, women’s interest in “conjugal bliss” increases in middle age while it decreases for men, it just might be prudent for an older girl to marry a younger boy!
The legendary Sachin Tendulkar is 3 years younger than his better half. Ranbir Kapoor ended up both mature, responsible and happy for coming to know Konkana Sharma in “Wake Up Sid!“
What about a woman marrying a man who is a lot older?
There are huge advantages to bucking the trend and marrying someone from a different generation altogether.
1. There is, first and foremost, the cache of being unique, standing out as someone who follows his/her heart. Then there is the Mona Lisa smile of being blissfully happy, knowing every nosy aunt is wondering why while your own heart just knows!
2. You get to tread two different decades of life in parallel, the 30’s/40’s and the 20s, enjoying the fun frolic of youth and the wisdom of age at the same time.
3. Following your heart in love lets you follow your heart in other facets of life too. One partner being well entrenched in a career or having enough savings from a decade-long career allows the other the luxury of a more non-traditional and maybe even a non-remunerative careers.
4. There is the luxury of having someone experienced in the ways of the world always in your corner. One tends to not easily get agitated with age. The faith that, the world will sort itself out and life will continue much as before, whatever be the crisis, comes with age.
Both pop-culture and classic culture bless a May-December romance (Cheeni Kum, Jane Eyre and Mr Rothschild, any number of Mills and Boon novels).
Marrying an older man has its share of problems
1. It is not without its own problems either, the possibility of one partner dying earlier or facing health issues is certainly not theoretical anymore. The friends and relative group(s) may not be compatible.
2. There will be a culture shock for you. You may adore Kohli but your husband swears by VVS Laxman and you ask, who is that? You will look to AR Rehman while your husband swears the only music director worth listening to is the incomparable Ilayaraja.
3. There may also be vast differences in child rearing ideas. You believe in freedom he is a disciplinarian. You want to be a friend he wants to be a guide.
4. You love sharing life online, he is security conscious and thinks Facebook is only for immature teens!
Open communication and greater tolerance are definitely required if you plan to have a long-term marriage with an older gentleman.
Finally, does age difference matter in arranged marriages?
You could choose to be a fatalist and say whatever fate has in store for each of us.
You could be a romantic person and say whatever/whoever strikes your heart as the right person.
You could even be a pragmatist and realise there is no such thing, every age difference is the ideal marriage age difference, provided, you are willing to put in the hard work to make it a good life.
When the heart says yes, everything else will always fall in place!
How did age difference in marriage impact your married life? Share your story in the comments section below.
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Posted in Arranged Marriage, Marriage
Tagged with: age difference, Arranged Marriage, older bride, older groom
Modern Indians are scared of arranged marriages
The advantages of arranged marriage are not apparent. Educated Indians and those living in cities seem to be running away from arranged marriages because of valid reasons. This video sums up everything that’s wrong with arranged marriages.
Here are some of the reasons people hate arranged marriage:
Some Indians and westerns confuse arranged marriages with forced marriages. While child marriages and forced marriages are still prevalent in India, arranged marriages are not bad if you can still have the final say about who you will marry.
Matrimony sites have done their bit to create a scare among young Indians about arranged marriages. Their stereotyped approach to matchmaking provides very little incentive for men and women to use these sites and only reinforces everything wrong about arranged marriages.
Matrimony ads in newspapers provide fodder for ridicule. Click here to check out some funny matrimonial ads for arranged marriages.
The constant diet of movies that glorify ‘dating’ (aka dancing around trees) has created an aura about falling in love.
Exposure to dating apps and increase in international travel has exposed young Indians to alternatives for arranged marriages that seems more aligned to the current context.
Advantages of arranged marriage: Finding love
1. Goodbye to dating pressures: The challenge of finding someone who can fall in love with you and sign up to get married is difficult. Finding the love of your life on your own is a like playing Russian Roulette. You can win or get shot badly. Introvert men and women find it difficult to express themselves or approach people from the opposite sex. No matter how modern you are, striking a conversation with a stranger or asking someone out is a difficult challenge that has spawned an entire industry of dating gurus.
2. Say goodbye to heartbreaks: Falling in love is hard on your knees and bad for your heart if you don’t find your soulmate in one go. Taylor Swift bases almost all her songs on failed relationships and makes the most out of them. Unfortunately, for lesser mortals, all we are left with is heartbreak and rejection. There is no such issue in arranged marriages. When prospective matches turn you down in arranged marriages, there is a limited emotional attachment to worry about!
3. Greater commitment: The intent in matchmaking through arranged marriages is very clear. There is no doubt in anybody’s mind about the outcome of the matchmaking process. In love marriages, you may discover well after you have invested emotionally into a relationship that your soulmate wants to remain a bachelor for life or not ready for a long-term commitment.
Advantages of arranged marriage: Rational thinking
4. Planning for the future: One of the advantages of arranged marriage is that your parents are constantly worrying about your future when you are busy enjoying the single life and partying with your friends.
There is no way you wake up one day and discover that you are way too old and all your friends have disappeared as they all have families now. Your parents are probably always thinking about ‘what’s next?’ in your life and will make sure you never stay lonely when they aren’t around to take care of you!
5. Thinking with your head: By far the biggest advantage of arranged marriage is that you now have someone to think rationally and leave out the emotions. Modern Indians who are exposed to diverse cultures through travel and media may wonder why marriages should be based on anything other than love?
The answer lies in the fact that love marriage has the added risk of people not thinking straight and let their hormones dictate terms. Once the magic of love fades away and the reality of married life hits you, you will probably realise that you made a bad choice!
6. Salary and profession: Just scan the matrimony ads in newspapers and the matrimony profiles on online matrimony sites. Young Indians will find it difficult to digest the fact that parents are focussing on salary and profession along with caste and skin colour. While the focus on skin colour or caste doesn’t really have any ground to defend, there is an element of rational thinking behind specifying the salary and profession.
Certain professions (such as a career with the military) have unique challenges and unless your family is exposed to the profession you may not appreciate the advantages and disadvantages. Picking on choosing desirable professions such as IT or career with an MNC helps find matches that will be compatible with your expectations as well i.e a happy married life. Salary mismatches also lead to jealousy and other complexes among married couples. Listing them out explicitly screens out all these issues upfront.
7. Family background: Diligently vetting the family background has its advantages. Forst of all, we are trying to rule of unpleasant surprises after marriage. There is a slim chance of your finding out that your father-in-law has a criminal background or that there is a congenital condition afflicting all the children in the family that you married into.
8. Greater adjustment: Considering the fact that two people have voluntarily agreed to marry based on a fairly rigorous evaluation, there is a tendency to accept the partner for who they are. Commitment to the marriage is a key advantage that contributes to the success of arranged marriages.
Advantages of arranged marriage: Family support
9. Financial support: When it comes to money, arranged marriages have one significant advantage over love marriages. They guarantee some kind of financial support at every stage of your life after marriage. First of all, marriage expenses are borne by parents (mostly the bride’s parents) and at every major milestone such as the birth of a child, house warming etc, you will have plenty of relatives to bankroll your expenses. When things become difficult, you will have the option of reaching out for help.
10. Counselling and conflict resolution: In arranged marriages, two families come together and whether you like it or not, everybody has a stake in the success of your marriage. When things get challenging with your married life, you have the option of seeking advice or having a shoulder to cry.
11. Bringing up children: Children look cute when they are all dressed up and pose for photographs. But day to day life for a working couple with children is challenging. More so if you have a child with special needs. Even NRI couples that love alone in foreign countries have their parents travel all the way to take care of their newborn child. Seeking help in taking care of your children from your parents becomes a no-brainer if you are in a arranged marriage.
Advantages of arranged marriage: Culture
12. Rediscover your culture: What better way to rediscover your roots and culture than to go through an arranged marriage. The elaborate rituals that proceed arranged marriages, the rituals during the marriage and post-marriage ceremonies bring to the fore culture and practices that have been in practice for generations.
13. Greater lifestyle compatibility: Married couples will have an easier time dealing with each other if they actually understood and appreciate lifestyle choices. Many of the lifestyle choices are dictated by culture and family values. For example – food habits, dress habits etc. Having a spouse that has a similar lifestyle or understands why you are doing whatever you may be doing creates a harmonious marriage.
14. When you get old: The arranged marriage system creates a sense of dependency among the children and the family members on both sides. The system ensures that parents are taken care of when they are old. Just remember that all of us eventually get old and we may need our children as well as other relatives down the line.
Advantages of arranged marriage: Expert’s opinions
Here are some quotes from experts that beautifully bring out the advantages of arranged marriage.
15. The determination to grow love: Our matriarchs had an interesting advantage over today’s western women. Matriarchs didn’t begin their marriage with love. Instead, they were taught how to love. They entered marriage with an earnest determination to grow a love that would sustain their marriage for a lifetime. Michael Ben Zehabe.
16. All marriages are arranged marriages: The people we end up married to or partnered up with end up being similar to us in race, religion, class, and age, which means that they might not be all that different from the person that your mother would have picked for you. Michael J. Rosenfeld.
17. Planning your love life is not bad: 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. Dr. Robert Epstein.
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Tagged with: Arranged Marriage, Parents