Arranged marriage first meeting in a one-on-one setting
According to this paper, The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness: Procedure and Some Preliminary Findings, researchers found that by having pre-matched couples discuss their responses to a carefully selected set of questions, designed to bring down the guard, they were able to accelerate the level of intimacy between the couple!
We are NOT recommending that you ask all the below questions in a one-on-one meeting. Try using at least a few of them from each of the three sets of questions. The questions were designed to be answered by both the parties, but depending on how your prospective match responds and the power equation in the conversation (who takes the role of the interviewer), you can keep it one-sided or conversational.
Arranged marriage first meeting – Set 1 (Low-intensity questions)
These first set of questions will help you break the ice in an arranged marriage first meeting.
1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
This question will help you find out broad areas someone is interested in. For example, if the response is Amir Khan, you probably know she is passionate about movies or an Amir Khan fan. This will help you ask follow-up questions to find out why she chose Amir Khan!
2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
Response to this question can help you find out if the person is happy with a simple life or ambitious. Of course, if someone says they would want to mimic Carlos Escobar, you may want to consider the next steps carefully!
3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
Some people are impulsive or spontaneous and others plan ahead. This question will help you uncover how someone prefers to lead their life.
4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
This is a high-impact question as it provides a window into the day in the life of your future partner as he would like to picture it. Right away you will know if there are elements of compatibility between the two of you.
5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
One of the best questions to ask a boy before arranged marriage! You can quickly determine if you are dealing with someone who has a zest for life or a romantic streak. Just don’t ask this question to a musician!
6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
A profound question to ask anyone. It provides a window into the attitude of a person towards life. Some people believe in outward beauty while others cherish mental toughness or attitude.
7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
We believe this question should be used in a light-hearted context once you have broken the ice with the other party. It makes the conversation interesting and could lead you to unexpected conclusions about the other person.
8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
If someone says, “we belong to the same caste, religion, and city”, you should run from the meeting immediately!
9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
Another excellent question to identify the person’s values. For example, if someone says they are grateful for their family, you know you are dealing with someone who cherishes relationships. Warning – Most people will say they are grateful for their family. Modify the question to get more out of them. For example, “Other than your family and friends, what in your life do you feel most grateful for?”
10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
This question would probably bring out the person’s regrets or ambitions in life. In most cases, people will say they don’t wish any change at all! This could probably indicate a lack of self- introspection.
11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
This might be a great question to ask right up front! There is no need to specify the time, though. You will know based on the highlights that find a place in the life story.
12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
If the response to the question is “the ability to answer all your trick questions”, you know you are dealing with someone with a great sense of humour.
Do you know how to say NO an arranged marriage proposal? We created a detailed article that will help you say no elegantly. Click here to read this article.
Arranged marriage first meeting – Set 2 (Medium-intensity questions)
Now, be ready to dial up the seriousness of your questions if you both get through the first set of questions without hating each other!
13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
A profound question that can help get a glimpse of the deepest anxieties or yearnings someone might have. Not many people will provide a good answer, but you can always try to get as much information as you can!
14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
Not all of us do what we enjoy doing and get paid for it! Some of us have unfulfilled dreams and this question is a gateway to finding out what your future partner is really interested in.
15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
Some of us will come up with trivial responses but there is always a possibility that you may uncover something profound. There could be new dimensions to your future partner’s life that was never shared through the marriage biodata.
16. What do you value most in a friendship?
This is a fairly open-ended question to find out what aspects of a relationship appeals to your future partner. Look for responses that you will agree on.
17. What is your most treasured memory?
This question is designed to find out who might be the most valuable person in someone’s life or what accomplishment they truly cherish.
18. What is your most terrible memory?
If you would like to learn about the someone’s weakness or anxieties, this question might open the person up to reveal them to you.
19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
Never ask this question if the other party hasn’t opened up or you feel it is appropriate. You can use this question in subsequent meetings if required. The objective of this question is to find out what habits someone would like to toss out.
20. What does friendship mean to you?
This is just a variation of the question number 16! In addition to finding out if they are fairly consistent in their responses, you can also find out a little more. Don’t use questions 16 and 20 in the same meeting. Use this question in a follow-up meeting.
21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
This question is fairly straight forward. It’s meant to gauge the how love and affection has moulded someone’s life. If the person answering this question had a rough childhood and a broken family, there could be serious issues to watch out for.
22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
This is an ideal game to play on a one-on-one date where you start by sharing something positive about the person and they return the favour This is designed to create a positive bond.
23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
This question is meant to find out more about how close the person is to his or her family members and how their family shaped their childhood.
24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
A critical question that women should ask men in the subsequent private meetings following arranged marriage first meetings.
How to impress a boy in the first meeting for marriage? We put together grooming tips for women to create a great first impression! Click here to read more.
Arranged marriage first meeting – Set 3 (Intense questions)
The following questions are not easy to ask or respond to. Use common sense and judgement to ask these questions.
25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling … “
There are no right answers for this question. The response could be humorous, profound or silly and could possibly reflect the person’s presence of mind.
26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … “
Most people may give a corny response such as “…I could share my life with.” Anything better than that should be welcome.
27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
This is a clever way to reveal “secrets”.
28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
This is a big challenge for you and is also a test of how the other person will react to unexpected comments. Example, “I really appreciate your honesty and straight forward responses. But don’t you think your approach has made you more enemies than friends?”
29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
Your story from your past will either have the person laughing or find the nearest exit. Both are great outcomes for you!
30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
This is a question that can bring out something profound that happened in a person’s life. If someone says they have never cried, they are not being honest.
31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
This is tough for the person answering the question! Not all Indian men and women can muster the courage to bring this up in an arranged marriage meeting. If you think you can pull it off, do try this and see what the response is!
32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
This question is designed to find out what the red lines are or topics that seem to touch a raw nerve.
33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
Don’t expect an honest response for this question. If you do think they are being honest, you have succeeded in opening them up to you!
34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
It is actually a simple question that can put the focus on what is really important for the other person.
35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
A no go question for most of us!
36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.
Life after marriage comes with plenty of ups and downs and this question is designed to figure out of your future partner is man/woman enough to stand by you!
Here is a tip – Avoid asking questions (No.35) about death or anything that sounds tragic. Use your judgment and, of course, remember to ask about basic things that did not come up when your families met for the first time.
Arranged marriage first meeting tips – Use this instead of that!
Be mindful of how you phrase your questions so that you don’t put the boy or girl on the defensive or spoil your chances! We have listed better ways to pose some of the common questions you may have for an arranged marriage first meeting.
WRONG: What is your monthly salary?
RIGHT: Where do you work and what do you do at work?
TIP: Don’t ask for salary details if the other party has not already disclosed it in the first meeting. Knowing where they are working and what they do at work should give you an idea of their income.
WRONG: Did you have boyfriends/girlfriends? or Do you have a boyfriend or girlfriend?
RIGHT: I have had past relationships that did not work out. Wait for the response and ask Did you have any relationships in the past?
TIP: Talking about past relationship should ideally happen later in the arranged marriage process. If you want to necessarily find this out, volunteer information about your own past relationships or lack of it. Wait for the response and then ask about the other part’s past relationship if you think it is appropriate.
WRONG: How many boys/girls have you met so far?
RIGHT: When do you start searching for marriage and what are you looking for in an ideal match?
TIP: Always ask questions that will help you decide if the person is suitable for you. While small talk is OK, steer clear of topics that can trigger negative emotions with the other party in arranged marriage first meeting.
WRONG: Can you cook and clean the house?
RIGHT: Do you roll up your sleeves and take on household chores if required?
TIP: This is true especially for men. Remember, you are not marrying someone to clean your house or cook for you. You are probably looking for someone who will take responsibility on a need basis.
More tips for your arranged marriage first meeting!