Experts share amazing arranged marriage tips
People looking for arranged marriage tips are confronted by a lack of information, false information, anecdotal incidents that draw broad conclusions based on personal experiences. In summary, any attempt to get arranged marriage tips only results in confusion and fear about an impending arranged marriage.
We had, through our insightful blog posts, attempted to bring information to people looking for arranged marriage tips. Our approach was to steer clear of just popular biases against arranged marriages and instead rely on research, expert opinion and first-hand interviews.
As 2015 comes to a close, we have decided to provide a comprehensive round-up of what scientists, psychologists, and relationship experts have to say about arranged marriage. We have also listed arranged marriage tips that are based on expert quotes.
We believe this round-up will give you a dispassionate view of the pros and cons of arranged marriages.
1. Arranged marriages are culturally suitable
According to a study titled, “Are the Young and the Educated More Likely to Have “Love” than Arranged Marriage?” from the University of Maryland, researchers Manjistha Banerji, Steven Martin, and Sonalde Desai conclude that:
A key reason for “parent supervised arranged marriages with participation” emerging as the most common form of marriage arrangement is that it is best suited for a cultural context that does not have a dating culture of the kind existing in the West. Such a “dating culture” requires that it be socially acceptable for the young to “romantically link up with each other without any kind of adult supervision in a setting that is not defined directly as leading to marriage” and to “try out” different potential mates before deciding on a marriage partner.
Arranged marriage tips
- Arranged marriage will continue to be a viable option for young Indians to get married till it is socially acceptable (on a much wider scale) for people to go on dates.
- The concept of dating is at an early stage in India and cultural taboos associated with dating precludes dating as an alternative to arranged marriages.
2. Role of parents in arranged marriage
According to Brian J. Willoughby, an assistant professor in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University,
“Whether it be financial support for weddings, schooling or housing, or emotional support for either partner, parents provide valuable resources for couples as they navigate the marital transition”.
Arranged Marriage Tips
- Parents can play a constructive role in arranged marriages. Don’t dismiss their opinion outright.
- Parents have the resources needed to help get through challenges in your married life because they have been there and done that.
3. Love after arranged marriage
Michael Ben Zehabe is an author, columnist, and speaker. He wrote a book for his daughter that was later published. The book is a collection of wisdom from the various women in the Bible on how to make love last a lifetime. The author believes in the fact that ancient scriptures and books have a lot of wisdom applicable to our contemporary life.
“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.”
In 1982, psychologists Usha Gupta and Pushpa Singh of the University of Rajasthan in Jaipur ran a study comparing marriages of choice in the United States to arranged marriages in India.
They found opposite trends: love marriages experienced a lot of initial passion and little compassion thereafter while arranged marriages experienced no initial passion but increasing compassion as the years went on.
Arranged marriage tips
- Many successful arranged marriages in India is a result of the ability for couples to fall in love after marriages. In fact, the relatively lower divorce rates associated with arranged marriages is a testimony to how love develops over a period of time. This is just one side of the story, though!
4. All marriages are arranged marriages!
Diane Sollee is the founder of SmartMarriages. It’s a movement that aims to strengthen the institution of marriage. Through her seminars, training programs, and outreach, Diane helps couples navigate their marriages through the minefields of day-to-day issues and challenges. She thinks all marriages are “arranged” and for any marriage to be successful, you need to work on it and invest in it.
“In actuality, all marriages are “arranged” marriages whether they’re arranged by some website matchmaker, our parents, or by Mother Nature and her magic. In each case, you’re matched up with someone you don’t know and with whom you need to – gradually and progressively – fall ever more deeply in love.”
Michael Rosenfeld is an Associate Professor in the department of sociology at Stanford University. He has done extensive research and studies on marriages, interracial marriages, and same-sex marriages. You can find a list of all his current and past publications here.
The people we end up married to or partnered up with end up being similar to us in race, religion and class background and age, which means that they might not be all that different from the person that your mother would have picked for you.
Arranged marriage tips
- All marriages involve two “random” people falling in love. It’s only a question of who “arranges” this chance event and how and when love grows.
- The outcome from matchmaking by family/parents is no different than the outcome from falling in love as the underlying principles of mate selection is similar.
5. Love conquered arranged marriage
All is not lost for love marriages! An economic model put together by Gabriela Rubio from the University of California, Merced, in her 2014 paper titled How Love Conquered Marriage: Theory and Evidence on the Disappearance of Arranged Marriages came to a conclusion that love marriages are financially profitable!
Arranged marriage tips
- The reason for the decline of arranged marriages worldwide (first in the west and now very slowly in India), is because of economics. Financially, it makes more sense to find somebody outside our caste/community as the chances of marrying someone who is more wealthy is more. While money should not be a major factor in marriages, it does play an important role eventually.
- There is a practical reason for parents to insist on knowing the salary and other related details that provide additional information on the lifestyle of the prospective match’s family.
6. Arranged marriages are associated with lack of choice
According to Stephanie Coontz, director of research and public education for the Council on Contemporary Families,
“Many arranged marriages in many countries are associated with a lack of choice for young people and are particularly repressive to women. The fact that arranged marriages tend to be more stable is not a measure of success because we know that people are sometimes held in them without any options.”
Things are however changing. The practice of exercising greater choice by young men and women continues to grow. Just look at the chart below. You will see that a greater percentage of younger women meet their husbands before marriage. This point becomes more important as the below trend was from 2012 and we can reasonably conclude that this trend should have become stronger ever since. While meeting husbands before arranged marriage does not automatically mean love marriage, it does indicate a growing preference to exercise choice in the matters of marriage.
Arranged marriage tips
- If you can, resist undue pressure from parents and relatives to marry an individual of their choice without taking into consideration your opinions and preferences.
- Women in India continue to be forced into marriage due to lack of education or poverty. These are forced marriage and should not be confused with arranged marriages. Arranged marriage = choice. Anything else is not arranged marriage.
Arranged marriage tips from a 37-year-old Indian woman
We interviewed a 37-year-old Indian female in Bangalore who is a housewife and is happily married for over 13 years with two children. We asked her about her experiences in going through arranged marriage and asked her to share arranged marriage tips based on her experiences.
For everyone around me, my life is a fairy tale and I am constantly used as the benchmark for a “good” girl that did everything right and did everything as it was supposed to be done in order to receive my parent’s blessings. I had an arranged marriage and interacted with my then fiancé, mostly over the phone, for a few months before the marriage.
Arranged marriage tips based on my personal experience
We learned about each other (my husband and me) over the years and have a great relationship.
In arranged marriages, there are two instances where you will feel overwhelmed.
The marriage ceremony felt like jumping into a well. But, the challenges after the ceremony felt like diving into a deep ocean without knowing how to swim!
Meeting the so-called relatives every day, simply smiling at people without paying attention to what they are saying, and answering crazy questions about my family, phew!
Here is how you will suddenly discover that your world has completely changed – All of a sudden, your parents are a distant memory only heard on the telephone a couple of times a week! Not only that, you will feel as if your life is being controlled by random strangers. OMG! Your independence, the freedom to openly express your thoughts, and personal choices will suddenly take a backseat.
The first few years of any arranged marriage is very critical and will determine if you will have a long-term happy marriage. The best way to navigate the first few years would be to make everyone around you feel they are always right!
This is the toughest challenge as you will have to conquer your ego and hide your irritation. Having good friends and a supportive husband will be a great asset to bank on in such tough times.
Never say, “I don’t know” if you are asked to do anything. Always, make an earnest attempt and seek guidance. At the end of the day, it’s a question of directly appealing to the self-esteem and ego of the other party!
In summary, arranged marriage tips inferred from experts as well as from married women have one thing in common – it’s common sense!
The biggest problem with love marriage is that we are susceptible to confusing lust with love, or we let our egos come in the way of sound decisions about lives.
Arranged marriages provide us an important advantage in the form of parental evaluation. If the same common sense is applied to married life after an arranged marriage, the chances of long-term happiness are significantly better.
Arranged marriage tips are not necessarily provided by experts. Look around your family, ordinary people can provide insightful arranged marriage tips based on practical life experiences.
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