Arranged vs Love? How About We Let The Partners Decide?

Posted: July 27, 2017

The debate about arranged vs love in case of marriages does not take into account the wish of those who are getting married. Why don’t we do that?

Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments.
Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! It is an ever fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken….”

Shakespeare was not really giving any details about love in the strict sense of the term – it can be romantic love or love of a parent for child or anyone for that matter. Yet we take it to be one of romantic love. It has eluded humankind. It works in such strange ways. Too bad, the Bard wasn’t born in the 21st century. I wonder what he’d have written about love today.

Deep down, all of us want that kind of love we see in movies or read about in books. Or why would you find so many people tucking away love poems in their diaries and getting all flared up when it’s discovered? People can surprise you. You think of them in a certain way and they turn out to be the opposite, at times. That is why; it is foolish of us to proclaim that we know our lovers, our life partners very well. We know them. Do we?

No one knows yourself, but you. Anybody who says that they know you the best are manipulating you. At the most, they might notice a few things about you which you didn’t. But, they do not know you. So, you cannot and should not expect any kind of love from them. All you need is love – love thyself before you love others.

Why am I babbling about love today? Because, in my country, you are always faced with a dilemma. You see happy arranged marriages; you see love marriage going sour. You then hear people jumping to conclusions about arranged marriage saying, “It’s the best! No divorce, you see!” Absence of divorce is the test of a good marriage.

Or, like the commitment phobic guy I stupidly fell for, says, “Where is any commitment in arranged marriage? My parents choose and I marry! I don’t commit, really.” My generation is made up of people who despise commitment. But they are absolutely sure they’d be faithful to that one person their mothers choose for them. I don’t really understand how that works, but it’s the path they have chosen.

Or, there’s something called, “In a relationship till married to a stranger.” That way you make everyone happy. Of course, you break hearts, but when has a heart that loved never been broken? I have fallen in love with friends and broken mine. In real life, when that happens, it is uglier and messier than what TV sitcoms show you. Joey and Rachel do not exist in real life.

I’m guilty of doing exactly what commitment phobic people do – I closed the doors for friends who fell for me. I made it clear that I wouldn’t be dating friends anymore. For my worried mother who wants me to find someone, I say, “it will come in its own sweet time, but I’m not settling for arranged marriage. I will marry a man of my choice!” Knowing how stubborn I am, she gives in. And then, there’s my sister who is all for arranged marriage and wonders why I don’t want to give it a try. To me, it’s like when mom asked me to appear for Science entrance exams for dad’s sake! When I know I’m not interested in taking it, why would I even appear for the test? – I had argued with this logic back then and I won. I want to win this time too.

I remember how the same guy I fell for advised me to marry early. He said I was lonely. That was 2 years ago. What followed between us later on made me lonelier and bitterer. I find hook up culture shallow and pathetic; like it’s an excuse devised by cowardly hearts and uncontrollable hormones to cheat on others, even the ones who genuinely care for them.

That friend of mine had cheated on his girlfriend and how conveniently I forgot all about it! I never want to be 23 again!

Your heartbreaks teach you a lot of things, but also take away a part of you. A few months ago, when my friend confessed he thought of dating me but didn’t act on it because I was clear about not getting involved with friends, I felt like a cheater. I didn’t know breaking someone’s heart can also be equally devastating. The ones who broke mine were not bothered at all. I never knew what it was like to be on the other side.

I still do not want to give up. I am tempted, to put the entire responsibility of finding a partner on my parents, like other friends of mine. But, somehow, I just can’t do that. Something pulls me back, yells at me saying, “You gave up, didn’t you? Loser!”

I never did what majority does, I don’t want to quit now.

Because I know I am not a hormonal teenager who’d jump at the thought of marriage and tie the knot instantly, like a fool. Nor would I let go of it the moment we hit rough waters. That is what makes such marriages go sour.

And who knows? For people who trust arranged marriage for its lack of divorce, I might have one and end up divorcing the guy my family chooses.

It’s time we get rid of such mentality. Marriage is something which requires two people making an informed, independent choice and working hard to keep it going. Some days will be harder, some days you’d want to disappear, but you need to work on it.

As my teacher said, “You will need two things at every stage of your life–Patience and Tolerance.” It’s not arranged or love, Live in or wedding, hetero or homo, that works.  It’s all you and your partner, at the end of the day.

I’d like to choose mine, please!

Published here earlier.

Image source: pixabay

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