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 of 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 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 of 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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