If you are unfamiliar with the concept of arranged marriages, you may wonder how they differ from marrying a person that you have fallen in love with.
Arranged marriages are extremely uncommon in Western cultures, so it’s understandable that the concept of a marriage being arranged may be beyond your current understanding.
Of course, weddings involve a whole lot of planning, so it can be easy to confuse the term arranged marriage with the wedding arrangements being made for a love marriage.
But the two are more different than you could imagine.
The difference between an arranged marriage and a love marriage is choice. In an arranged marriage, the spouse is chosen by someone other than the bride. On the other hand, in a love marriage, the bride decides who she wants to marry based on love and doesn’t require the consent of another party.
Basically, in an arranged marriage, the bride’s parents or elders in her community select a suitable spouse for her.
Can you imagine your dad choosing the guy that you will marry? Well, that’s what an arranged marriage is and it’s the norm in some cultures.
In love marriages, you date various guys and choose your own life partner once you find the man that you are head over heels in love with.
Sure, you may need to go through a lot of trial and error before you find Mr. Right, and the feelings must be reciprocated, but in the end, it’s still your choice.
Yeah, your parents might not approve of that hot mechanic with a motorcycle and a leather jacket.
They may voice their protests hoping that you will find a respectable doctor or lawyer instead. In extreme situations, they may threaten to disown you.
But once again, it’s still your choice. As long as you are of legal age, you don’t need their consent or approval.
Let’s look at arranged marriages and love marriages in detail.
In an arranged marriage, there is no bond developed between the couple before the vows are said. Eventually, the couple will usually come to understand and support one another.
Occasionally, they may even fall in love, but none of this occurs until after they walk down the aisle.
In many cultures, arranged marriages are the preferred way of establishing lifelong unions, and girls expect their parents to one day select their spouses.
They may not like it, but they usually accept it. After all, it’s just the way things are done in their community.
But girls will be girls, and once in a while, a young woman may flee her village to pursue her own dreams or be with the local boy that her parents didn’t approve of.
It takes a lot of courage for women in these societies to rebel against an arranged marriage.
Now, their parents truly believe they have their best interests at heart.
Fathers will do their research on prospective mates for their daughters and take the candidate’s social class and family background into consideration.
Actually, many women in arranged marriages have married well, but sadly, they may become trapped in an abusive, loveless marriage if their parents haven’t been selective enough.
Arranged marriages are said to be more stable than love marriages, and at least, young women don’t need to endure endless dates with a series of cheaters and jerks to find the right guy.
It definitely eliminates the hassle of dating, so there are some benefits to arranged marriages.
Many couples in arranged marriages develop mutual respect for one another and are willing to put in the effort necessary to make the marriage work.
Since they don’t have the option of leaving the marriage and finding another partner, they make the most out of their marriage.
This can be a good thing, but it can also leave a woman trapped in a miserable lifelong marriage if it happens to not work out well.
Since arranged marriages are usually a trend in more traditional cultures, the woman is expected to fulfill traditional gender roles.
This means that she most likely won’t go to work or school without her husband’s permission.
Instead, she will stay home, cook, clean, and care for the children while her husband provides for the family.
If the wife eventually falls in love with her husband and her parents have selected a good provider who believes in respecting women, then the arranged marriage may work out well.
On the other hand, if the domestic partnership is working, but passion fails to develop, it can lead to an empty shell marriage.
If you live in Western society, you already know the answer to this question!
In a love marriage, you take the time to get to know a prospective spouse and develop a bond long before you walk down the aisle.
Well, unless you make an impromptu trip to Vegas with that hot guy from the bar!
Of course, you will probably go out on several dates with your guy before becoming exclusive and maybe even cohabitate before he pops the question.
Traditionally, it’s the guy who proposes, but it’s still up to you whether to say yes or no.
It’s becoming more socially acceptable for the woman to pop the question, but even strong, independent gals will usually wait for the guy to ask.
Who wants to pass on the idea of a diamond ring and a romantic dinner?
Regardless of who proposes, the marriage is initiated based on love – even if ulterior motives are present. At least one person makes the decision out of love.
Now, you may face pressure from friends or relatives to rush to the altar.
Maybe you are from a religious background, or your mom is overly eager for grandchildren.
Even in that scenario, it’s still a love marriage as long as you are the one selecting your spouse.
It should also be noted that in Western society, it may be legal and acceptable to enter into a same-sex love marriage.
This is relatively unheard of in arranged marriages as they are traditional in nature.
Love marriages usually have significantly more passion than arranged marriages.
Since you took the time to get to know your spouse beforehand and may have cohabitated, you already know that the two of you are compatible and a bond has been established.
That alone takes a lot of stress out of the marriage as you already know what to expect.
But what if the marriage stops working later down the road? Love marriages can still be saved, but there is a way out of the relationship: divorce.
If one person no longer loves their spouse, they usually aren’t expected or obligated to stay.
It takes dedication and commitment from both partners to save a love marriage that has gone south.
So, which is better: an arranged marriage or a love marriage? It really depends on your culture, beliefs, and values.
While there are benefits to arranged marriages, there are also drawbacks.
Most girls today would cringe at the thought of their dad choosing their husband, even if it means they can avoid enduring another date with a self-righteous jerk.