I'm not going to make light of the problems with arranged marriages. Nothing is perfect and I value the freedom to choose. But as a 30-something single woman still looking for her soul mate, I often wonder how much easier things would be if someone else would do the looking for me. Like lots of other tasks, finding love is a full-time job. So much so that I sometimes wonder if having an arranged marriage would make me more productive in other areas of my life.
With divorce rates at around 50 percent in the United States, even romantic love isn't perfect half of the time. This proves that when we leave our love to choice, or more likely chance, lots of relationships still don't work out.
I know that arranged marriages aren't perfect. I know that you can marry someone you never learn to love and resent them for an eternity. But the amount of time I spend trying to find someone I want to love leaves me meeting a lot of people I don't even like. And as someone who's trying to balance a career, school, life, and finding love, dating is a distraction. Sometimes I wish someone would just tell me who to marry.
A study out of Jaipur, India, concluded that arranged marriages lead to loving relationships. The research showed that for the first five years of a love marriage, the couple was more likely to be in love than a couple in an arranged marriage. But then things changed. At around the 10-year mark, and for the following 20 years, couples in arranged marriages fared better overall. In fact, for people in arranged marriages, the love was more likely to grow stronger while it got weaker in a lot of love marriages.
Perhaps there's a higher level of commitment and loyalty in an arranged marriage. And maybe loyalty wins out over love. When you don't think of divorce as an easy way out, you'll likely work harder to make things work.
Would you ever agree to an arranged marriage?
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