Saturday, January 15, 2011

Arranged marriage vs Love marriage

                               A general definition of marriage is a social contract between two individuals that unites their lives legally, economically and emotionally. In legal terms, it is the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband and wife in a contractual relationship. It also gives legitimacy to sexual relations within the sanctity of marriage. Marriages fulfil the primal human need for intimacy and emotional nourishment. The partners help each other emotionally and financially, and accept a functional division of responsibilities in the house to make the relationship successful. This is the reason why there is hardly any other human relationship that can match marriage in its scope and depth. Marriages are basically of two types – arranged and those based on mutual attraction between the partners.
                            Which one is better – Love marriage or arranged? The issue is debatable all over the globe especially in eastern countries where arranged marriage is still a tradition.
                           Whenever we talk of Indian weddings, we try to associate it with arranged marriages. Due to the social structure, the concept of arranged marriage is prevalent in the Indian wedding scenario, since ages. On the other hand, love marriages were considered as a taboo among many Indian people. For them, two people should tie the wedding knot only with the consent of their parents and the blessings of their relatives. Most of us think that arranged marriage is the concept of Indian society. But history tells us that arranged marriages used to happen even in the Victorian age. The History of England shows that most of the kings and queens had arranged marriages. Education and media played a vital role in changing the perception of the Indian mind towards love marriage. Love marriage is supposed to provide freedom and more independence as compared to arranged marriages where the girl/boy is chosen by the parents. The usual question of love marriage voters against arranged one is that how can anyone marry the person whom they don’t know.
                           How many people today would agree that marriages are made in heaven and executed on Earth? Well, my guess is that not many. In fact, many people just balk at the idea of spending ones life with a complete stranger. Most people today would like to get to know a person (in more ways than one can imagine) prior to popping the question, thinking that it really matters. Well, I would agree that love marriages start of pretty well, but at times not all ends very well.
                         Nonetheless, love marriages are prevalent in almost all the societies of India , given the fact that they are still considered inferior to the weddings arranged by family. People supporting the concept of love marriage strongly believe that it is very important to know the partner before marrying him/her. On the other hand, people who believe in solemnizing the wedding with the permission of parents and relatives think that arranged marriages are long lasting.

“Those who talk most about the blessings of marriage and the constancy of its vows are the very people who declare that if the chain were broken and the prisoners left free to choose, the whole social fabric would fly asunder. You cannot have the argument both ways. If the prisoner is happy, why lock him in? If he is not, why pretend that he is?” George Bernard Shaw

                             When it comes to love marriage, the two people tie the nuptial knot only after falling in love and probably, after knowing each other for a long time. They get ample time to explore both the good and the bad things about each other, well before marriage. This helps them to develop a good comfort level after the wedding, very effortlessly. On the other hand, if two people do not know much about each other, when their marriage is arranged by their parents, then they might take some more time to develop a level of comfort and understanding. Here, love marriage scores more than arranged marriages.
                            In the case of arranged marriages, the married couple could resort to their parents or acquaintances at times of financial crises or other problems. In addition, if the marriage proves to be a failure, they have a number of people around them to seek support or to put the blame on. Their parents would come forward to solve the problems between the couple, if they have married with the family’s consent. This is the reason why arranged marriages are considered secure for many even today. Some people actually start their love life after the wedding and really learn to enjoy their new found happiness.
                           One of the most known negative factor in an arranged marriage is that all of a sudden you start your life with a person you have hardly interacted with. You don’t know the person or you may even not like the person you are getting married to, going ahead only because your parents and elders decided your marriage. In many cases, the girl is forced to sacrifice her likes and adjusts to reality. Some may just live their life believing it’s their fate and keep parents and the society happy, but some break up. Social evils like dowry, caste system, matching of horoscopes and community issues are taken at such extreme levels that many people have stopped supporting arranged marriages. Emotions can run pretty high and the outcome is quite severe, sometimes leading to death. Honour killing is a familiar phrase heard all over the world where sometimes families would rather die than allow their wards to get married to someone of their own choice.
                              Love marriages are successful only if a person has chosen wisely. This is not often the case because many such marriages are not a result of any careful deliberation or insight but raging hormones. As a result, after some years when the novelty wears off, the partners begin to lose interest in each other and try to broaden their horizons with new love interests. Often, there is a mismatch between social status, educational qualifications, financial resources and life’s goals and aspirations of the two individuals, which after some time becomes a cause of friction and eventually leads to separation.
                             All said and done, the secret of a successful marriage is the couple themselves…not arranged or a love marriage. They have the ultimate power to make their marriage a joyous and blissful one, if that is what they desire as they embark upon the journey. To decide which one is ideal is an unending debate. Love or arranged, both are based on empathy, responsibility, commitment, love and concern. A marriage needs a lot of dedication and effort to sustain the relation. So there is nothing like an ideal marriage, it’s all about the way you perceive it. The target is the happiness and stability of the marriage, whether it is love or arranged. Well, success of BOTH marriages depends on the individual…. Only if you find a person, to whom you can feel comfortable to live with, be happy and secure in their presence then, whatever, love/arranged or not being married at all….. you will be a happy person. Where love,respect,trust and appreciation are openly expressed,that home is the happiest please put your best to save your marriage.

“Possibilities for the success of a marriage are endless. But you have to be willing to search for them.” Jason R. Redmond

Copyright Motifs@2010


  1. can't say much on this topic..but u have penned down the article very well....but yes i totally agree wid the line "the secret of a successful marriage is the couple themselves…not arranged or a love marriage"

  2. in any of the cases one must get some fredom and space of his own then only the relations survive...

    brilliantly u have put together all the aspects of the two, simply awesome but what still remains its the question itself and none is a winner or a loser...

    so the best way could be is enjoy life and dont fake, accept people and situations as they are...

  3. Awesomely expressed. Even I believe that a proper marriage is a function of two variables, Husband (x) & Wife (y). And yes, here, I wanna quote something written by Chetan Bhagat,

    In western countries, the boy loves the girl, the girl loves him back. And they get married.

    In India,
    1.The boy loves the girl and the girl loves him back.
    2.The boy's family loves the girl, and the girl's family loves the boy.
    3.The boy's family loves the girl's family and the girl's family loves the boy's.

    And they get married.

  4. Well done...... given the pros n cons of both, ur right they are same 'work on it to stay in it'......... lets hope Men from Mars and Women from Venus can believe in the fact that we all come from 'EARTH' and start to practise 'respecting / compromising & sharing'.......

    keep writing.... it will make a difference to lives!!!!! cheers n love....

  5. another nice topic.

    By Christian concept, if the engagement finish, they can love each other . They can call and meet. i think that time they can understand each other.

  6. Very well written,you are becoming a pro at this..keep it up.

  7. Great Topic Alpana, i feel that Love before Marriage is important and can also make the love after marriage alot stronger, provided that the love is True and Sincere

  8. Very well written Alpana...would now want to meet you and see the woman behind this kind of FASCINATE me....

  9. Agreed with every line of this post. I could not have put it better myself. Now I am interested in knowing your views[maybe in a future post] on those couple who do not prefer marriage at all, but stay in a live-in relationship.

  10. Mishtu GuhathakurtaJanuary 15, 2011 at 11:13 PM

    @Alpana..your experience and my experience answers and proves the point that what ever path you chose to take may have a devastating end!!I think what matters is pure compatibility,understanding and pure unadulterated trust between a man and woman for a marriage to work..doesnt matter whether the love happens prior or post marriage..the only consolation you can tell yourself..that a 'know devil is better than an unknown devil'..when you chose the path of love marriage..but the ball game changes (not for everyone..this is just borne out of my personal experience) soon as the vows are taken..if the sparke is there..and the unspoken bond of understanding between two souls..nothing can break is a matter of sheer destiny and luck who you end up with in this life's journey..whether it is someone that your parents chose for you or some one that you chose yourself..what matters is whether the reciprocation of understanding and trust is there...the rest is pure magic..after this..I AM ALL FOR LIVING TOGETHER AND TESTING THE WATERS!!!!

  11. Very well said Alpana, you are getting better by the day...looking forward to your next post.

  12. Great Post Alpana - as usual! I love how you end it with the quote. We are all on that search and I know we will get what we are looking for in the end.

  13. Well written, a much debated issue..which you have dealt with so much of justice...Congratulations!!!!

  14. Alpu,I'll go with arranged marraige!At least u can come back blame ur parents if anything goes wrong but for luv marraige we r the only one to be blamed!I want to be in the safe side.Why do get into trouble;let Mom solve it out.And as far as luv marraiges r concerned,I've seen mostly resulting in unhappy conclusion.But it might vary from person to person.After all marraiges r fixed in heaven!Aren't they?

  15. As usual gr8 write-up Alpana....i really wnt prefer my wotes..nor 4 luv nor arranged i have experienced luv marraige and saw alot many arranged marraiges being in such a big joint family..i personaly think dat marraige is a mutual understanding between 2 different individuals and due to dem their families are also tied and bond up to this relationship,its very simple luking bt a very tough contract based relationship..which obviously demands 2 much of care,pampering and patience..inspite of all these things,,sumtymes the union of marraige is shuttered..its a gamble..i culdnt judge it perfectly ,now at this age i think..2 jst pull the strings the way they are..who is lucky and unfortunate..jst dnt think and waste rest of yr lyfe..jst enjoy..and b positive..God has thought sumthing very gud and big 4 us..he develops more strength and power by testing our patience...

  16. As usual a fantastic write are really giving people food for is difficult to give ones views on this topic..I guess it's to each one his lose some win some!!!!!

  17. Well,
    Most of the logical thoughts are penned by you and few by other intellectuals over here !!
    Great !!. What ever you wrote, that define the clear concept you understand which is a must must to balance the cycle of love+compatibility+understanding+care between a couple.
    now, your experience and proper logical maturity defines it.
    I can just are superb in these words...and these words can set the guide lines.. the basics for new couple/ newly married one....
    that how they can handle the issues...
    ===========hats off==========
    rahul bows!!

  18. A good post as usual. It's surprising to see how the westerners view this marriage issue when it comes to us. I, for one, shrug it off as ignorance. Many times, I have had to explain that arranged and love marriages are common in our society. When I went home earlier in 2010 - they had this notion that my parents had guys lined up for me to choose and marry (that's never going to happen;though i secretly wished they had. what the heck!! hehehehe) Some of the things my colleagues say (all men) are downright hilarious and I just laugh it off. And as you mentioned - to make a marriage successful irrespective of it being love or arranged - depends on the couple as an individual.

  19. A very debateable topic...even tho' i have had an arranged marriage, i am all for a love marriage where my children are concerned...and yes, i don't think that parents can choose better than their children. Parents, being parents, should and will always support their childre if anything goes is their moral duty towards their children.

  20. I never did, nor do I believe I ever shall, give advice to a woman who is setting out on a matrimonial voyage; first, because I never could advise one to marry without her own consent; and, secondly, I know it is to no purpose to advise her to refrain when she has obtained it. A woman very rarely asks an opinion or requires advice on such an occasion, till her resolution is formed; and then it is with the hope and expectation of obtaining a sanction, not that she means to be governed by your disapprobation, that she applies.
    GEORGE WASHINGTON,Sep. 20, 1783
    Thank you so much for your response, I am the last person on this earth to form an opinion about any kind of marriage....whatever it may be,the main factor behind any relationship should be trust,love..and all the other good things that make a relationship work...arranged,love or a live-in-relationship.

  21. All that matters is for the marriage to survive. A dropping rate these days. Good work Alpana.

  22. A great post, I enjoy your writing you pose the questions in a thought provoking way. The added benefit is that I am learning a little about your country and your people. Which is great especially now with what your country is going through.
    Thank You

  23. Thank you Roshan,JP Brandano...I need that..hope you get to learn more.

  24. Thanks for sharing such a great blog,It binds two individuals into a strong relationship with well-defined rights and obligations. Marriage gives rise to families comprising man,woman and children,and thus helps create the basic building block of human society.Arranged marriages were once common throughout the world,but today this institution mostly survives in the eastern countries such as india.

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