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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -love.html
Why an arranged marriage 'is more likely to develop into lasting love'
They are seen by many as business deals that have little to do with love.
But arranged marriages are far more likely to lead to lasting affection than marriages of passion, experts claim.
According to research, those in arranged marriages â€“ or who have had their partner chosen for them by a parent or matchmaker â€“ tend to feel more in love as time grows, whereas those in regular marriages feel less in love over time.
And within ten years, the connection felt by those in arranged marriages is said to be around twice as strong.
Relationship experts claim this is because arranged matches are carefully considered, with thought going into whether potential partnersâ€™ families, interests and life goals are compatible.
This means they are more likely to commit for life â€“ and to stick together through rocky patches.
Those who marry for love, on the other hand, tend to be blinded by passion and so overlook these crucial details.
When the going gets tough, they are more likely to view the situation simply as a natural end to their romantic dream â€“ a way of fate telling them something is wrong with the relationship.
With soaring divorce rates and record numbers of single-parent households in the West, researchers suggest it is time to rethink the Western approach to love. Harvard academic Dr Robert Epstein has studied the subject of arranged marriages for eight years, looking at the approaches taken in cultural groups including Indian, Pakistani and Orthodox Jewish.
He has interviewed more than 100 couples in arranged marriages to assess their strength of feeling and studied his findings against more than 30 years of research into love in Western and arranged marriages.
Within ten years those who had their marriage arranged will have a stronger relationship, researchers said
His work suggests that feelings of love in love matches begin to fade by as much as a half in 18 months, whereas the love in the arranged marriages tends to grow gradually, surpassing the love in the unarranged marriages at about the five-year mark.
Ten years on, the affection felt by those in arranged marriages is typically twice as strong.
Dr Epstein believes this is because Westerners leave their love lives to chance, or fate, often confusing love with lust, whereas those in other cultures look for more than just passion.
He said: â€˜The idea is we must not leave our love lives to chance. We plan our education, our careers and our finances but weâ€™re still uncomfortable with the idea that we should plan our love lives. I do not advocate arranged marriages but I think a lot can be learned from them.
â€˜In arranged marriages, thought goes into the matching. In the West, physical attraction is important. But people must be able to distinguish lust from love. Strong physical attraction is very dangerous, it can be blinding.
â€˜In the West marriages are easy to get out of. But in arranged marriages, the commitment is very strong. They get married knowing they wonâ€™t leave, so when times are harder â€“ if they face injury or trauma â€“ they donâ€™t run away. It brings them closer.â€™
Francine Kaye, relationship expert and author of The Divorce Doctor, added: â€˜There is an awful lot to be said for arranged marriages. They are determined to make it work.
â€˜I have seen in arranged marriages in the Orthodox Jewish community that the parents very carefully look at compatibility â€“ it is not left to chance. They do their homework on their characteristics, their values, morals and life goals.
â€˜It should be pointed out that arranged marriages work because culturally marriage is seen differently. We have a very romantic view of marriage. Theirs is more pragmatic.
â€˜There is a downside to arranged marriages though â€“ no matter how pragmatic you are in choosing a partner, there always needs to be chemistry.â€™
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The OP is saying nothing new.
The contrast here is not between arranged marriages between one teenager and another one cherry-picked from a large social circle, and the "let's pop to Vegas and get married tomorrow" marriage often glorified as a romantic and happy ending thing to do by some Hollywood imagery. It's about starting a relationship based on whatever you want - respect and friendship, romance, sexual attraction and lust - and then always doing your homework, looking at hard facts and applying logic when that relationship becomes more serious and marriage is in the air.
That amount of reasoning about similarity of socio-economic status, family upbringing, life outlook and professional ambitions is something that cannot be discounted, whether it's applied by the patriarchs of two traditional Indian families on behalf of their soon-to-be-wed kids, or two adults who are willing to take their relationship further.
I have at least a couple of friends who proposed and married girls who they liked and loved for what they looked like, how good they were in bed and what they believed they were, only to realise much later that 1) they had horrible personality defects and 2) most of said defects were easily traced back to their family situations, which could have been known if the man had bothered meeting her family a few times before tying knots. I also have another couple of friends who were set-up to family friends' sons and daughters they had known since childhood, and plunged into a very miserable mÃ©nage months into their marriage. One of them separated 6 months into his marriage and last I heard they're preparing their divorce papers (having been married for a grand-total of 2 years!).
It's hard to tell which scenario works best. I would say it's always better to learn about the opposite sex - as well as life, people, the complexity of modern social life in general - first-hand, not by proxy from parents or friends or websites. Those who delegate the dramatically all-important choice of who I will be spending the rest of my life with, are taking a huge bet with destiny. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't.