Making an Arranged Marriage Work in the 21st Century

Making an Arranged Marriage Work in the 21st Century

Arranged marriages have been a tradition in many cultures for centuries, but in today’s modern world, they can present unique challenges.

While attitudes are shifting, especially among younger generations, arranged marriages are still common in many communities.

In this article, we will talk about the challenges of marriage in the 21st century and how to make and keep it successfully arranged marriage in the 21st century.

The Challenges of Arranged Marriages in the 21st Century

While arranged marriages have been a long-standing tradition in many cultures, these partnerships face unique challenges in today’s modern world. Some key difficulties include:

  • Navigating different expectations between generations – Younger people may have more progressive ideals compared to their parents or grandparents who arranged the marriage. This can cause conflicts about things like career goals, gender roles, intimacy, and more.
  • Lack of choice – Individuals in arranged marriages often have little to no say in choosing their partner. This can foster resentment or lack of connection.
  • Feeling pressure – Huge pressure exists to make the marriage work due to family and cultural expectations. This can be challenging.
  • Being compatible strangers – Couples are expected to develop a marital bond, often quickly, despite not knowing each other beforehand.
  • Adjusting to new family dynamics – Arranged marriages join two families together who may have different values, habits, traditions, etc. This requires significant adaptation.

Guide for Successful Arrange Marriages

1. Choose Open Communication

Open and honest communication is key to any healthy relationship, but even more so in an arranged marriage between two people who may barely know each other beforehand.

Set aside time each day, free of distractions, to talk about your hopes, dreams, interests, and concerns. Discuss topics like children, careers, finances, family ties, intimacy and more so you’re on the same page. Be open-minded, listen without judgment, and express how you feel in a constructive manner.

2. Embrace Compromise

An arranged marriage means blending two separate lives together. You both will need to make compromises to find the middle ground. Try to have patience, empathy, and understanding for your partner’s perspective.

Recognize that no one is going to get their way 100% of the time, so look for resolutions where you both feel heard and respected. Think of yourselves as a team working towards shared goals versus as opponents with conflicting interests.

3. Take Things Slowly

It’s perfectly normal to feel nervous, tentative or even awkward with your new partner at first. Take things slowly when it comes to physical intimacy to allow emotional intimacy time to develop first. Get to know each other with low-pressure dates.

Find shared interests and build fond memories through everyday moments versus grand romantic gestures right away. Let things progress organically versus forcing yourself into behaviors just because you’re married.

4. Establish Healthy Boundaries

Make sure to establish healthy boundaries with extended family right away. While input from parents, in-laws and other relatives may be part of the arranged marriage process, ultimately decisions should be made between you and your partner once married.

Set clear expectations about things like finances, living situations, having kids and more based on what works best for your new family as a couple.

5. Embrace Your Independence

Even as you learn to operate as a married couple, remember to still embrace your individuality. Pursue your own interests and friendships outside the marriage.

Keep up with your hobbies, career aspirations, and goals. Maintain your unique identity versus completely assimilating into your partner. A healthy balance of togetherness while allowing each other space to thrive as individuals can benefit your bond.

two couples communicating openly

Additional Tips for Making an Arranged Marriage Work

While arranged marriages present difficulties, they can absolutely thrive with care and effort. Here are some tips:

  • Get to know each other before wedding – Take opportunities to talk and learn about your future spouse before you marry. Discuss important topics like kids, careers, lifestyle preferences and dealbreakers.
  • Share your expectations – Be honest about what you envision for your marriage when it comes to family roles, intimacy, finances and other key issues. Discuss respectfully.
  • Build emotional intimacy first – Don’t rush into physical intimacy; focus on developing an emotional bond and comfort level first. Go on dates, share experiences, and learn each other’s stories.
  • Maintain open communication – Make a habit of checking in frequently, listening without judgment, acknowledging each other’s perspectives, and expressing your feelings constructively.
  • Embrace compromise – You won’t always see eye to eye. Be willing to find a middle ground when you have differing needs or preferences.
  • Respect each other’s independence – While you’re joining lives, allow each other space to maintain separate identities, interests, and friendships outside the marriage.
  • Get family support – Set healthy boundaries with extended family. But also seek their guidance and support when facing marital challenges.
  • Have patience – It takes time to build a strong marriage. Give yourself grace as you learn to operate as a married couple.
  • Seek counseling if needed – It’s okay to get professional help to navigate ongoing struggles in an objective, constructive way.

With a concerted effort from both spouses to understand, adjust, and communicate, arranged marriages can thrive despite the unique trials they may face in today’s society. The key is being adaptable and viewing the relationship as a journey.


Seeking outside help like counseling or support groups for couples in arranged marriages can also provide valuable perspective and tools to navigate any challenges. With patience, effort, and commitment from both individuals, arranged marriages can flourish into deeply caring lifelong partnerships.

The key is maintaining an open mind and embracing the process as a journey. Allow your relationship to blossom at its own pace. Learn here more about arranged marriage tips and guides.