Are “love marriages” better than arranged ones?
I don’t think so
First of all, I don’t feel qualified in any way to talk about which kind of marriage is the best of them all. Although it’s in my plans to put a ring on a lady’s finger, possibly in the near future, not until I do so, I will still desist from sounding authoritative over such a serious subject. All I will say however is that that whichever system is chosen, it has the potential to turn one’s marriage into a God-given or a devil-sent.
In modern society, arranged marriages are ridiculed; as a matter of fact, according to some, even the whole institution of marriage has lost its value in modern society due to its inflexibility when it comes to accommodating behaviors like homosexuality.
Arranged marriages are common in Africa and in the Arab world, something which I believe has contributed to the uttermost dislike of such marriages by human rights associations in the developed Western world.
Many young people, whose parents have arranged marriages for them, have in protest eloped with pretty maidens. They have run far away from their motherland just to be united with the charming fairies, with the hopes to share unlimited love. A few years down the road they have suddenly returned to their local village with news of a broken heart and regrets.
This is where people get it wrong! Marriage is not just about feelings, and love is one of those feelings hard to discern and describe. Sometimes one just can’t tell whether it’s lust, brotherly emotion, or simply, love. When a young person gets confused with those feelings and brews them, no amount of advice will be good enough to stop them, whether they have fallen for a known witch or an evil wizard- and this is where a parent’s role comes in, through an arranged marriage.
In an arranged marriage, the relationship will most probably not be treated lightly because one way or the other, it involves the whole family. In today’s dating system, a relationship is more or less an experiment, with marriage being the end result of fruitful trial period,
But in an arranged marriage, by the time a father singles out a gentleman to marry his daughter, he has already done his research. It isn’t as if they just gamble on any person, parents put very many factors in consideration before they choose for their child a marriage partner. Usually, they share a background of friendship with the family from which they are choosing the spouse and they know the family’s wealth value and capability, spiritual beliefs, challenges and advantages.
Although the arranged couple may not be well acquainted, they will possibly learn to love and learn each other over time. This is what misses in modern day “love marriages” that leave the fate of their future to chance.
Love should always be a work in progress. The reason why divorce is predominant among ‘love relationships’ is because they suddenly find themselves out of love and do not understand how that came to be or how to rekindle the passion.
You see, in “love relationships” there is this thing called “dating”. All people, young and old are allowed to relate with as many people as possible until they finally land on their one-true-love.
This trial and error method has made people regret the final decision they made. They forget that during dating, there are too many superficial emotions and wolves resemble sheep. Men pretend to have the best manners whereas women pretend to look the most beautiful. Finally when someone jumps in the trap of a “love marriage”, they come to realize the true colors of their mates, only that it is a little too late.
Regardless of that, I will remind my readers that there is no guarantee for a good marriage. Regardless of the system one is married in, they have to do their best, respect their partners and do their part to ensure that the relationship blossoms and that their love grows.
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Imagine waking up one morning to find you whole world completely changed. Not only are you getting married, but you are getting married to someone you have never even met! I’m certain every parent only wants what is best for their child. The only thing wrong with that is thinking they actually do know what is best for their child.
I would love to see my daughter get married to a nice guy who will treat her good and respect her in every way humanly possible. If there is a lad I know out there who fits the bill, I would want him for her. I would probably even suggest a get together. But I would never, under any circumstances, force her to marry him or emotionally blackmail her with stories like “it is my dying wish to see you marry that man” even when I know she doesn’t like him like that.
For the life of me, I do not understand how a grown person can be told whom to marry. I don’t care if it’s tradition, culture or simply making sure you score the best. I just hate it when parents think their children do not know what they want, or are too young to know what they want, yet here they are marrying them off! If I’m old enough to get married, I’m certainly old enough to pick my own groom!
I truly understand the essence of getting parental blessings and arranged marriages are sure to guarantee that. In India, I’m guessing that the reason so many couples get along with their in laws is because the marriage was arranged. How do you despise someone you insisted your child married?
Other than the creepy thought of marrying someone I don’t know, what if he turns out to be wrong, or worse, with murderous tendencies? Sure, even a guy I have met and grown to love might turn out to be a wife beater or killer but then again, that would be my problem. Why anyone would want to take the blame for a marriage gone wrong is beyond me.
I have noticed that in Rwanda, as long as two families know each other, that is enough. How the kids feel about each other is secondary. Well at least they get a chance to meet first but it is still not right.
It is wrong to think that because two people come from the same background, they will definitely get along as a married couple. People from different backgrounds meet all the time and that hasn’t stopped them from falling in love, has it? Isn’t that what marriage is supposed to be about – love?
Why must I marry someone I hardly know, or if I do know him, I probably love my pet more with only the hope that someday, I will actually love him? When is this someday business? I do not see the point in fighting for equality and empowerment when some women still have to be told who to marry.
These arranged marriages say only one thing to me – prejudice. The rich arrange for their kids to marry into equally rich or even richer families. Now, if the poor never get to marry the rich, when will they ever get rich – because no one wants a poor person whose family has no more meaning than a beggar on the street!
The biggest benefit of ‘love marriages’ is that they are based on the principle of individual freedom. There is no coercion or pressure involved. These relationships are a result of chemistry between two individuals. They meet each other, sparks fly and after a brief period of courtship, they get married. Such marriages stand a better chance of true survival because they arise from mutual attraction and not an artificially created union.
Contact email: ivan.mugisha[at]newtimes.co.rw, rachelgaruka[at]yahoo.co.uk