Decision making unit
Marriage is a big decision. The composition of the decision making unit in India varies widely. Some people choose their partners independently, and some people jointly decide with their families. This disparity is caused by the transition our society has been making from operating in joint families to more nuclear families.
For efficient decision making, a key decision maker is essential. In my grandfather’s generation, much like all other decisions in the household, the alpha male (grandfather, father, uncle, whoever) used to be the key decision maker whenever anyone got married in the household. But today, as our lives become more independent, inputs of relatives become less relevant in our partner choices. As a modern day player in the marriage market, I prefer to work directly with people who are looking to get married rather than their parents or other family members.
Some parents may feel left out, but the truth is, their inputs are already internalised in their wards’ personalities by virtue of upbringing. There’s more to people’s personalities than just their families, and very often, parents have trouble acknowledging that. In my experience, I think it is easier to tell who the parents are based on a kids personality rather than who the kid is based on the parents personality.
Recently, I met a guy who came recommended as being a conservative guy from a traditional family. The mutual connection who introduced us even suggested that I connect him to a certain girl from a conservative family that both of us knew. If I were to make an introduction based on this tip, it would’ve been an epic fail.
When I spoke to this guy, I learnt a couple of things –
- This guy isn’t as conservative as his parents think he is. But, it wasn’t hard to imagine that his family may be conservative because his conservative upbringing was evident.
- This guy is so much more than his public profile, which was hardly acknowledged by his parents who represented him in the market
By learning about this guy first hand, I have a higher likelihood of finding him a suitable partner so he can exit the marriage market sooner than later. If more parents learnt to let go, then we’d more accurate representation, greater efficiency in decision making and hopefully have far more people exiting the market quickly.
Today, the average duration spent by an individual in pursuit of a partner is 1.5 years. By improving liquidity, we could have people spending more time with their partners rather than looking for one.