“Arranged” Marriages – Assumptions & Misconceptions

“Arranged” marriages are commonly found in Eastern-based cultures, as we know. As a Pakistani, arranged marriages is something I see that’s always spoken about-  as they’re still very common. The reason I say “arranged” marriages is because they’re not really arranged anymore, are they? Sure, your parents or another family member or even a friend will introduce you to someone. Ultimately though, it’s always down to you. I guess that’s the difference between arranged marriages and forced marriages which are also still quite common around us.

The term “arranged marriage” has developed many meanings over the decades. Before it meant forced marriage but now there’s a lot of free choice for us. Society and technology has changed so much, which allows us to be more open and forward.

A lot of people, especially the new generation, don’t seem to be interested in arranged marriages anymore but I believe it’s because they don’t fully understand it or maybe it hasn’t been explained to them. It doesn’t mean being thrown into a house with a stranger and it doesn’t mean you have no choice or say in the matter. It’s not a bad thing to listen to your parents’ advice about who to choose as a partner. At the end of the day, your parents will want what’s best for you and they’ve most likely been through it before. We all know parents are good as ‘sussing’ out fake friends… let them have their say.

The divorce rate for couples who have had arranged marriages is actually significantly lower than those for couples who have had love marriages. The explanations for that would be because couples will feel more inclined to work through the issues and problems they have, rather than giving up. An arranged marriage isn’t marrying someone for passion or for lust, which a lot of people marry for today without even realising.

In an arranged marriage: finding someone who shares the same beliefs and traditions and even values etc. as you is always important. It’s one less thing for you both to work out after marriage. One BIG thing. Finding someone who you know for definite is interested in marriage is always important . The intentions are clear from the beginning, from both sides.

I have no doubt that previous relationships will give you experience and growth. But it’s important to remember that can also be done within a marriage. Someone who’s been in one committed relationship their whole life may have more experience than someone who’s been in and out of relationships. It doesn’t determine anything.

Arranged marriages is just a different path. It may not be a path you’ve taken or that you want to take or that you even will take- but it’s always good to keep an open mind.

Don’t feel pressured into finding someone yourself and don’t feel pressured into keeping everyone happy. Everything is written.

By Aaisha Sabir

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