Negativity around arranged marriages

Published by Priyanka on

 There is a lot of adrenaline rush attached to chance meetings and serendipity when it comes to romance. But not so much when it comes to intentionally meeting someone with the purpose of evaluating them as a potential life partner. For someone who is single, and contemplating getting into a relationship, naturally, they are drawn to the idea of love marriages because that’s all we are ever exposed to in media. Arranged marriages seem like an admission of some sort of failure to attract a mate on one’s own merit.  

The ambiguity of outcome on dating apps seems more charming compared to the outcome on matrimonial apps. So, generally, people thinking that dating apps produce love marriages and matrimonial apps, arranged marriages. This generation actively looks down upon arranged marriages. Is it because of social conditioning? Are love marriages superior?  Are arranged marriages indeed an admission of failure?

Someone on Quora asked me why arranged marriages are faced with such negative vibes, and it got me thinking. 

This view could be influenced may be because there aren’t enough movies featuring arranged married couples being hopelessly in love and running around trees singing duets? We are a society that has always romanticised love marriages. So, we are conditioned to believe that love marriages are the bomb, thanks to media, literature, etc. As a consequence, arranged marriages seem a bit meh.

Also, I think the fact that parents are involved in the decision of choosing a partner in arranged marriages most of the time makes it seem forced. Since parents make a lot of decisions when we’re young, and our inputs aren’t always considered, them being involved in the process of choosing our life partners feels less like our choice and more like theirs. It doesn’t feel adventurous enough.

Having said this, I don’t want to discount the fact that in rural areas, as well as some very conservative households and business families in urban areas, arranged marriages continue to be the norm and people don’t have a choice to marry whoever they like.

Being forced to do something because someone else thinks it’s good for you or that it would make someone else happy isn’t something that creates a positive sentiment. So, even though you may not be forced to marry someone in particular by your family but the fact that the institution of arranged marriage does make someone unhappy creates a negative sentiment around it.

But as far as I am concerned, if you do have a choice, whether you choose to love someone and marry them or meet someone through an arranged marriage, it doesn’t matter. How you met your partner doesn’t influence the health of your relationship or how happy you can be.

While there may be a level of comfort and understanding in love marriages to begin with, most marriages converge at some point in the future. Exceptions exist at both ends of the spectrum, for those who want to say #notallmarriages. But do what works best for you, and don’t worry about it being an arranged or a love marriage. I’d encourage you to spend more energy building a healthy relationship with your future partner rather than worrying about how you met them.

This post was originally published on Quora when someone asked me why arranged marriages are faced with negativity.