Love marriage vs arranged marriage

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Opinion on love marriage vs arranged marriage debate is divided, amusingly, without any real difference in opinion. Love marriage is better because you know each other from before. Wait! Arranged marriage is better because you don’t know each other from before and hence more exciting. They present the same things differently. Another example – supporters of love marriage argue that during the relationship both get to know about each other’s families better. And the opposition argues because of confluence of families and not just two persons the bond is stronger.

Often the line of debate is misplaced. When the question is about relative merits of one over the other, people tend to overlook many aspects and focus on marital longevity as the sole yardstick of success and often resorting to non-sequitur. Let us look at the argument in its relevant context – i.e., how does one choose between the two options, is knowing someone for long helpful in taking the decision, likelihood of support from families and the first couple of years of married life. After the first couple of years, blemish of failed marriages should not be on how one got married.

Do people really have an option between love or arranged marriage?
Actually, “no”. Well, for most this option doesn’t even exist. They often toe the family line and do not consider love marriage as an option. So, let us talk only about people who actually have this option. People like you living in cities, independent, working, and reading this blog. Even people like you cannot choose love marriage, per say. Love is by happenstance and unlike as in Bollywood movies falling in love isn’t a full-time occupation. I mean people don’t go around scouting for potential partners. It happens by chance. At the very best, you could be open to falling in love.

Does knowing someone from before really help in taking the marriage decision?
Many argue that love marriage means knowing each other better. But what if your partner is just okay for you and despite that you have been in a relationship, say, for hormonal reasons. People don’t consider the fact that longer you have been in a relationship, the more difficult it is to get out of one. There’s this old joke – women seldom let go off a boyfriend for training a new one really means a lot of investment.

Convincing family
Most singles have this belief that their families are not going to support their decision regarding love marriage. In reality, there could be two types of families – one who respect their children’s decision and the others who trample over them. In most cases parents respect the choices their children make and it is desirable to broach this with a positive mindset. This may take some persuasion but if you’re sure of your decision, parents will eventually support the same. In arranged marriage, what you are convincing parents about is exactly the opposite. Here, you convince otherwise, i.e., hey! I don’t want to get married to this person. In either case, convincing is required so you cannot escape that.

Honeymoon phase
This would be the first couple of years of the marriage that will determine its quality and longevity. Irrespective of love or arranged, clichés (continued mutual respect, love and accommodating the other person) form the bedrock of any successful marriage. Success is given neither in love or arranged marriage.

True, love marriage is not for the faint-hearted. But it is also true that submitting to arranged marriage will not mean a happy married life. Arranged marriage is not for the faint-hearted either. It is best to leave it to chance and once you meet someone you feel right for you, invest in the relationship and see if you could take to the altar.

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