Sorry MarcosZeitola, but Sea dragon is right. What we refer to as "true love" is nothing more than intense lust. Science and relationship experts confirm that. For example, see this article that clearly states this. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -love.html
Nothing wrong with being in lust though (aka: true love), even better if your lust can turn into a deep real love over time.
Relationship experts claim this is because arranged matches are carefully considered, with thought going into whether potential partners’ families, interests and life goals are compatible.
This means they are more likely to commit for life – 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.
Arranged marriages made sense when family sons and daughters were under their parents' authority virtually until being married and leaving their family nest. Kids were deemed ready for marriage far before they could learn anything useful about love and life. And if they did know something (usually the man, as social rule demanded the woman to be a virgin), they knew how to take their clan or family interest (a union with a peer in socio-economic status, for example) into consideration.
If grown into a powerful or even middle class family, especially in countries with high level of social inequality, they knew full well they could always have pretty young lovers on the side whenever they needed one, while keeping the socially-blessed union as a convenient front. Being more explicit: this is still the norm in Colombia, and still very much the norm in the Philippines.
In most modern "advanced economies", things are different. Men and women tend to gain independence from their families before they decide to marry, usually even before they start looking for long-term relationships. They gain life experience through living away from their family nests, working their jobs, developing social circles, interacting with hundreds of different people and absorbing huge amounts of peer judgement, not to mention all the external conditioning from the popular culture and the media. They also learn about the opposite sex by engaging in anything between one night stands and flings to committed relationships.
With all these inputs, all this life experience, it is assumed
that a young man or woman will gain enough wisdom and discernment to make a good choice of a (potential) lifetime partner.
And we know this is rarely the case. Vanity and narcissism run rampant, twisting both (and mainly) women's and men's perception of what they should give and expect an interaction with the opposite sex, be it a night of casual sex or a committed relationship. Careerism and financial independence tend to give both genders, again especially women, a false sense of security that they will be able to ride the fun carousel for as long as they like and then commit to the first "good enough" man who seems to care.
Let's add the "lonely puppy" phenomenon that is so widely discussed here: hordes of socially frustrated and sexually starved young men who have forgotten (or never learned) about the value of deeper, truer human relationships, how much harder they are to gain and how much more rewarding they can be when gained. To all those men, perceptions of what's good for the short term and the long term, what yields a quick measure of pleasure and what holds the promise of something bigger and more stable, are all distorted.
It is in these large grey areas, in these territories, that bad choices are made, and all sort of snake oil salesman industries like PUA, per-profit matchmaking are allowed to flourish. Given enough unfulfilled desire and expectations, a desperate man will believe in anything and do anything he gets to believe in. Only to have to regret later.
In all this mess, popular and family wisdom (another word for plain "common sense") sound like distant echoes of the past, a good decade or two far away.
Basically, parents are no longer expected, indeed they don't even have the authority, to impose or suggest potential partners to their sons and daughters. Society evolves faster than family wisdom and traditions can keep up with and the rift between generation is wider than ever. This means parents literally have no clue what would be a decent, compatible partner for their kids, nor they care too much.
At the end of the day, Steve, choosing when and whom to marry, if marry at all, is just another informed choice. A choice informed by a plethora of life experiences, some tracing back to early childhood role models, timeless values passed on by one's family circle, some dictated by the glamour of the moment or convenience, some others borne out of pure lust.
Yes there might be benefits in choosing your fiancée when you're 18, from a cosy shortlist of 4 decent girls from similar backgrounds that your family will have given you. In this time and place, though, I think it's even better if one develops that sense of judgement entirely by themselves, as a healthy mix of traditional wisdom coming from his legacy and personal ideas and preferences built over the years as a result of his psycho-socio-sexual development.
This is why, I believe, it's no longer advisable to marry too young and without having at least a few experiences that could give us at least some basic coordinates of what we expect and are prepared to give to a long-term partner, or even if we are LTR/marriage material at all.
If love is a language, than "true" love is our ability to express what we really are and feel using this language. Like all learning processes, it takes time, and it's by trials and errors which one has to make entirely by themselves. This is why the popular wisdom insists that "nobody can tell you what love is" and that one just has to get there and be there to know.