We find quite normal in the western countries: you choose your partner out of love and hope that your relationship will stand because of that love. In India, people think differently about that.
An Indian marriage often comes about through the choice of a third party (usually the parents). With these so-called arranged marriages, the parents of the bride or groom determine which partner is the right one for their daughter or son. In recent years, however, the love marriages are on the rise with Indians deciding who to marry. Sometimes this happens with the approval of the family, but sometimes not. The use of Indian matrimony websites and dating apps is increasing day-by-day. Even there are many Indian parents who create a valid profile of their daughter/son on matrimonial websites to find a perfect life partner for him/her.
ARRANGED VERSUS LOVE MARRIAGE
Several studies have been conducted into the differences (in terms of happiness, experience of love and percentage divorces) between love marriages and arranged marriages or online matrimony. American research on this topic has shown that partners in both types of marriage experience the same amount of love, compassion and dedication.
BENEFITS OF ARRANGED MARRIAGE
Serena Nanda, an American author came to India in 1998 as a young American and did research on the subject. Although she initially found it shocking that the choice of a partner was with the parents, she also found a number of possible benefits of the arranged marriage. In the first place, the match for such a marriage is determined with rational and objective considerations, instead of on the basis of something as elusive as ‘love’. Secondly, an arranged marriage ensures that young girls experience less pressure to stand out or to do their best for the opposite sex, as is the case with girls in many Western countries.
CONNECTION BETWEEN FAMILIES
In addition, in Western countries, marriage is seen as a decision between two individuals, they met each other somewhere online like Facebook, twitter or other matrimony websites and discuss each other about their past and the future. While in India, this all happened as a connection between two families. And in a country in which you depend on your family for financial support and caring tasks, it is not so bad to think beforehand whether your future will fit into your family. Incidentally, these advantages only apply to the (overwhelming majority of) cases in which there is not so much a question of coercion, but of situations in which both families are involved in the marriage decision.
Does this mean that I am looking for a suitable match for my son or daughter in the future with a questionnaire and photo camera? Probably not. But in view of the large differences between the culture and the living situation of the Westerns and Indians, I would not immediately reject the arranged marriage. Maybe it also helps to change the terminology: the terms arranged marriage and love marriage suggest that there is no love in an arranged marriage. This is certainly not the case: in a arranged marriage the couple can certainly love each other and love marriages offer no guarantee of eternal love. Because although love is of course very beautiful, fun and nice: it takes more than love to make a marriage.