Pros and Cons of Arranged Marriage
Arranged marriage is a long-held tradition in many cultures where parents or family select a suitable match for their son or daughter.
An estimated 55% of all marriages globally are still arranged. However, with changing times and attitudes there is an ongoing debate about the merits and drawbacks of this practice. In this blog article, we will share and examine the key pros and cons of arrange marriages..
The Benefits of Arranged Marriages
There are several potential advantages to accepting an arranged marriage as opposed to selecting your own partner that people cite.
1. Parents Use Life Experience for Partner Selection
One of the central arguments in favor of arranged marriage is that parents have more life experience to recognize a compatible match.
They understand their child’s character, life goals, strengths and weaknesses. With an sense of what type of partner would be best suited, parents can use their judgment to find someone aligned for a successful marriage.
This particularly applies for first-time marriages between younger people who have less relationship experience themselves to understand what they truly need in a life partner.
2. Focus on Long Term Compatibility Over Initial Attraction
Related to the point above, parents looking to arrange a marriage for their son or daughter tend to prioritize features like background, education level, ambition and life values when evaluating potential matches. These are aspects that favor long-term compatibility.
Whereas when seeking their own marriage partner, young people can sometimes be misled by an initial strong attraction without consideration for these deeper compatibility factors critical for relationship success years later.
3. Potentially Avoid Costly Dating Period
Those who favor arranged marriages also point to how finding your own partner typically involves a lengthy, costly dating period spanning many years.
There’s no guarantee that years spent dating different people will lead to ultimately finding the right life partner.
Arranged marriages bypass this uncertain search period since the matching process is done by the parents usually within less than a year. Once married, the couple can directly focus their time, energy, and finances on building a life together.
4. Lower Divorce Rates
Surprisingly, research data indicates that in many populations globally, arranged marriage divorce rates are substantially lower compared to non-arranged marriages.
This suggests higher marital satisfaction and highlights that parents may be effective at pairing their kids.
Of course, social stigma and family pressure against divorce could also contribute to inflated marriage duration rates. But nonetheless, lower divorce rates are commonly cited in favor of arranged marriage efficacy.
The Drawbacks of Arranged Marriage
Despite some potential upsides, many still view arranged marriages as an outdated model with concerning disadvantages in today’s world.
1. Lack of Individual Choice
The most fundamental issue with arranged marriage is the lack of personal choice and autonomy. When parents solely decide on a life partner, it disempowers individuals from selecting who they will share their future with.
If parents choose poorly or based on biased preferences around ethnicity, religion, caste or social status, it can saddle children in unsatisfying, incompatible relationships without escape.
2. Risk of Forced Marriage
While different from an arranged marriage, forced marriage risk increases within cultures that commonly practice arranged marriages. It becomes easier to coerce an unwilling participant when parent selection of partners is normalized. This remains an ongoing issue, particularly for young girls in certain demographics.
3. No Prior Relationship Foundation
Another common critique is that arranging a marriage relies completely on matching superficial attributes. With no opportunity to establish an intimate bond or assess natural chemistry and compatibility prior to marriage, the risk of marital discord increases.
Try before you buy is not an option. That lack of relationship foundation is a precarious way to enter a binding lifelong commitment.
4. Parents May Choose Poorly
Assuming most parents have positive intent, they may still inadvertently make a detrimental selection on behalf of their child.
Even with experience and best judgment, they have emotional bias and outdated priorities around partner criteria. Just being older does not automatically make you wise matchmaker.
5. Adapting to Drastic Life Change
Finally, transitioning from single life into an arranged marriage with a virtual stranger in one day can be an extreme life adjustment leading to anxiety for those involved.
The sudden life partnership changes priorities, living dynamics, relationships, intimacy expectations, personal space, and more which not all can comfortably adapt to.
Evaluating Arranged Marriage Compatibility
When considering an arranged marriage, assessing compatibility with a prospective spouse can be challenging without direct interaction or courtship beforehand.
However, there are still methods to evaluate certain attributes to determine if a match selected by your parents could be right for you. Aspects to explore include:
1. Values and Life Vision
While surface-level attributes offer clues, fundamental compatibility stems from shared values and vision for what you want in life.
This includes everything from important relationships, desired family size, parenting styles, spirituality, ambition, work ethic, integrity, and contribution to the community.
If you and your betrothed align on core beliefs and dreams, it establishes the foundation to build a marriage no matter what challenges emerge. Defining these elements early provides the best signal if you are well-matched.
2. Communication Style
Once a potential spouse is identified, arrange opportunities for conversation to evaluate communication patterns on both sides. Because personality clashes often boil down to contrasting communication tendencies that drive misunderstanding.
Pay attention to displays of emotional intelligence, listening abilities, problem-solving, assertiveness, constructive conflict skills, and willingness to compromise. These are essential relation skills.
3. Family History and Childhood
Take time to explore each other’s family history and childhoods which strongly influence the type of partners we become. This background helps you understand their perspectives while uncovering compatibilities or differences in upbringing.
It also allows you to assess what unhealthy relationship patterns they may unconsciously bring into the marriage that you should be cautious of.
4. Life Transitions
Entering an arranged marriage requires significant life changes for both individuals as new expectations arise around cohabitation, intimacy, finances, in-laws, and personal growth sacrifices.
Discuss these transitions openly, set boundaries, and align on the vision for the future family dynamic. Managing expectations helps ease the intensity of adaptation post-marriage.
5. Cultivating Connection After Arrangement
While arranged marriages may not allow traditional romantic courtship beforehand, there are still methods couples can utilize to foster gradual intimacy, trust and friendship after an arrangement is set.
6. Create Opportunities for Quality Time
After the wedding take initiative asking thoughtful questions, actively listening, establishing common interests and participating in activities you both enjoy. Prioritize connecting emotionally above all else.
7. Communicate Feelings Openly
Create safe space to communicate vulnerabilities, concerns, differences or conflicts. The ability to discuss tough subjects calmly leads to resolving issues constructively versus suppressing feelings.
8. Establish and Respect Boundaries
Set clear boundaries around needs for personal space, social relationships outside the marriage, religious practices, intimacy pacing and family involvement. Compromise when differences arise.
9. Practice Acts Of Service
From small favors to supporting major goals, committing regular acts of service for your spouse fosters positive rapport. Identify their love languages and customize gestures of care.
10. Keep Dating After Marriage
Make regular check-ins, emotional availability, undivided attention, and affection daily priorities to actively “date” your partner no matter how busy. Effort prevents taking the marriage for granted.
While total initial compatibility is rare in any marriage, cultivating mutual understanding, intimacy, and purposeful dedication despite contrasts can lead to profound connection over time.
Is An Arranged Marriage Right For You?
In light of these pros and cons, is agreeing to an arranged marriage smart when relationship options exist? Here are key questions to ask yourself:
- How comfortable are you letting your parents exclusively decide your life partner?
- To what extent will you prioritize your preferences versus adhering to their selection criteria?
- Is there alignment between you and your parents around what makes for successful, healthy relationships?
- Are you more motivated by logical compatibility versus emotional connection with a partner?
- How well are you able to handle substantial life changes?
An arranged marriage may have benefits, however also carries risks. It ultimately requires full confidence in your parents’ matchmaking competence and ability to relinquish choice.
That trust coupled with self-reflection around your relationship needs will determine if this non-traditional route works for you in finding an ideal husband or wife fit. Learn here more about arranged marriage tips and guides.