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Is Love Real or Does an Arranged Marriage Just Make Sense? (Asha Krishna)

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It’s interesting how people’s perception of love is vastly different from person to person. Ask your next-door neighbor and they’ll tell you it’s all a lie and love can’t be real. Then talk to your friend who’s happily married and they’ll share their long love story with you. Perhaps you yourself have your doubts and feel if your parents found your destined match maybe things would be easier. My thoughts as a 17-year-old girl growing up in a nation where arranged marriages are on the rarer side, well... I’m split.

Hear me out, perhaps that cheesy romance movie you watched wasn’t too far from the truth. A guy sees a girl he only dreamed he could have and goes to great lengths to even catch her attention even if it were just for a moment. The girl is reluctant at first but eventually, through trial and error, she falls for him. You know the rest of the story, date, marriage, then kids.

But what about how Royal Weddings have been occurring for centuries? Not just a bond between two people, but a bridge between two families. The logistics of the concept line up. You get two people who are relatively attracted to one another, you have two very happy sets of families who can be well-acquainted before becoming in-laws, and you get an entire database worth of information about the family you will be connected to for a lifetime.

Statistics show that arranged marriages over the globe end in divorce only 6.3% of the time. That’s astounding compared to the approximately 50% divorce rate of love marriages in America. Do you see why I’m torn on the topic? Love marriages play into my emotions. It proves that love is real and that any two people who genuinely connect and build trust can “make things work”. My logical side can see how arranged marriages are the bond between two people and two families who will make sure things work.

My thoughts on these extraordinary differences in statistics are that perhaps the idea of love marriage is very attractive to most people but then when the marriage goes over say 3 to 4 years, maybe the love has died down. When two people feel like that initial “spark” is up, maybe that’s when more arguments arise without “true love” coming to save the day. But those arranged marriage statistics also seem too good to be true. My perceptions are that perhaps the couples are pressured into staying in these somewhat forced relationships. Some of the time, the couples are able to deny the initial match and work with their families to find a new one, while other times the couples have no say in selecting their partner. Even if the couple does have an initial say in who they marry, there is still a huge stigma around divorce. Perhaps once a couple is already married and settled down with families that have already bonded it is much harder to get out of such a relationship hence the extremely low divorce rates. While one seems too good to be true and the other seems perhaps too calculated for my personal taste, it’s hard to choose what might be a “correct” approach to finding a partner. From here, I look to my lineage to see how things have played out from those before me.

According to my grandma, my great-great-grandparents fell in love in their village in India. She explained to me in great detail how back then love was unheard of. An arranged marriage was part of growing up. “Falling in love” was most definitely frowned upon and if you wanted to be disowned by your family or shunned by your friends, love marriages were the way to go. Despite all these societal pressures my great-great-grandparents truly did fall in love.

Theymet at the temple and instantly sparks flew. Not too long after that initial meeting they fell in love and just like in the movies, they dated, married, then had my great-grandparents.It’s interesting because my great-grandparents actually had an arranged marriage. They had their horoscopes matched and their families met and spoke for a while about how the marriage would work out. They ended up having a successful marriage and soon had my grandma and grandpa. My grandparents’ love story is a huge story told within my family. After
my grandpa saw my grandma for the first time, he was in love. From there, he wrote her letters and would find the time to meet with her despite his duties as a Navy Sea Captain. They both were absolutely in love and my grandma still professes her love for him to this day.

Then, my parents ended up having an arranged marriage. They daily spoke on the phone for a few months after the initial match-up by my grandparents. They made things work while my Mom was in India and my Dad was in America. Finally, my Dad flew to India and within the first week of meeting one another, they were married. My Mom describes it as putting two puzzle pieces together, they just fit! They ended up having a successful marriage from it all. You can see a pattern here, love, arranged, love, arranged, etc.

As you may assume, it all has left me questioning what path I should go myself.
Oftentimes, my Dad encourages that an arranged marriage is more convenient for both me and my family since my family would be more involved and would be able to gauge the family of my future partner. On the other hand, my peers see the benefit of falling in love and choosing your partner yourself with no regard for status, social class, medical history, or family members.

While I see the significance of both approaches, I myself have yet to figure out which I prefer. Ultimately, I believe that if two people are in a consensual, non-abusive, and respectful relationship, any type of marriage between two people is fine. I believe that I’ll end up choosing my own partner but keeping in mind all those key details that would be discussed during an arranged marriage. I feel like a balance between the two approaches is a successful way of
finding a lifelong partner. Whether you personally believe in arranged marriages or love marriages, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and everyone truly does deserve love.

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Comments

  1. Kiranpreet Sahni Nair

    2021-05-16 16:01:39

    Very well written on a very debateable topic. There will be be several views on it. I have a love marriagetoo. Being a Sikh i married a Malyali Nair.i had a long distance love affair for 5 yrs thn married him. We gelled into eachothers religion and family so well today our both families love us as a couple a lot. I had a very late marriage. But i am the happiest today i feel. We do fight and scream but we love eachothrr a lot. Yes Marriages r made in Heaven and celebrated on Earth. So Dear when that right person will come near u the heart will flutter and bells will ring...then it wont matter whether its Arranged or Love...it will happen for good for lifetime. Enjoy life. Regards to Sreedevi Aunty.

  2. Dr vijay

    2021-05-13 14:37:25

    Thoughtfully analysed... She has grandma's writing talent and grandpa's conviction.. Bravo ! well done..

  3. Asha Krishna

    2021-05-10 05:47:10

    Thank you to everyone who read and commented! Much love to everyone :)

  4. Sreedevi

    2021-05-08 19:49:27

    As a grandmother I am proud of your mature thinking . My yesterday’s baby has grown up to think on her own! I wish you only the best in life

  5. Jyothylakshmy Nambiar

    2021-05-08 10:18:47

    Well written. Asha congratulations

  6. Mathew v. Zacharia, new yorker

    2021-05-07 11:19:34

    Highlighted your perception. I am blessed with an arranged marriage of 48 years in America. My conclusion is life journey consist of innocence, lust,rust,dust and eternity. We are given a choice with destiny towards eternity. Mathew V. Zacharia, a pioneer of New Yorker

  7. sharila

    2021-05-07 01:06:43

    Well done! You seem to have a very analytical mind!

  8. Sudhir Panikkaveetil

    2021-05-06 11:45:21

    Love marriages never fail but lust marriages fail. Now a days we see hig rate of rate of divorce among youngsters is because their relationship begin and continue on the basis of appearance. Lust and look will begin to fade and when they face that reality nothing much there to keep their bond and they part. In this article the author explains the love marriage of her grandma which was successful. Unconditional love is all what wanted. Good article. Wish you good luck to find your Mr.Righ. Good wishes.

  9. Cheenu Krishnan

    2021-05-05 18:18:17

    Very well written article on an interesting topic!!

  10. Samuel

    2021-05-05 16:20:49

    Excellent article. Congratulations.

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