Magens Bay --San Thomas

Monday, April 9, 2012

Arranged Marriage – A Decision in the Blink of the Eyes

I always find myself fascinated by the whole idea of arranged marriage. I work in the software field to be precise in the R&D where a lot of my coworkers are originated from India. For them arranged marriage is a quite common practice. I remember one time, one of our coworkers disappeared from work-place and came back with a wife. I still find it very intriguing. Simply awestruck.

--courtesy of

For the longest time, I couldn't understand. I guess I always have this question in the back of my mind. How can you decide in the blink of the eyes? This is it! I am getting married. And another question that I finally have managed to ask couple of my coworkers was, “Do you ever fall in love?” –I know … I know … It sounded so silly, but I can’t hide my curiosity.

They all told me --of course, puppy loves. Somehow, they know someday they would be walking down the aisles with the arranged marriage in mind. –Isn’t this delightful? Then I asked them the ultimate question. -- Do you fall in love after marriage?

In fact,Think arranged marriages are loveless? Not so, says psychologist Robert Epstein, a contributing editor for Scientific American MIND magazine.” –cited

The article mentioned that in the love marriages, love starts high then decreases over time. On the other hand, in arranged marriage, love starts low but increases over time and can be twice as strong in the next 5 – 10 years. And one thing I learned whether in love or arranged marriage, no one could escape the first love dilemma. In fact, one of the person that I know from arranged marriage still think about his first love. --I find this simply fascinating!

This article and my own interrogations have opened up my mind to the world of arranged marriages. In fact in the arranged marriage, divorce rate is extremely low, somewhere like 1.1 % compares to 50% in love marriage. –How come, you say …

Contradictory to what we believe, arranged marriages are not exactly marrying some unknown individuals. When the search for the perfect bride/groom begins, the parents would seek through their circle of friends for similar backgrounds (family, education and classes), beliefs, characters, and hobbies to name a few so both potentials are at most compatibles. In addition, they would have a chance to meet up to check out the chemistry, ask all the questions they have. –According to the author of the Blink –The Power of Thinking without Thinking, all it takes is the first two seconds. Here is what the author has to say, “… those two seconds, because I think those instant conclusions that we reach are really powerful and really important and, occasionally, really good.”  

Perhaps arranged marriages are about making our instant conclusions in the first two seconds. And Judging from the success rate. with the divorce rate of 1.1% compare to 50% in the love marriage. Perhaps, arranged marriage does have its own magic.

I hope you enjoy this journey of mine visiting the arranged marriage: decision in the blink of the eyes. Now that you know, would you ever walk down the aisle with the arranged marriage in mind? Tell me ya …

Until next stop,
Journey of Life


  1. How very interesting. I married for love. I can't imagine the idea of an arranged marriage, although I can imagine that you might learn to love that person over time.


    1. Thank you for your visit and leaving a comment, Kathy. Totally agree with you.

  2. A couple of things.

    The first is, the statistic about how love grows in an arranged marriage versus declines in a "for love" marriage seems to me to suffer somewhat from selection and measurement bias. If I have NO affection for my spouse (or worse, have a certain cold, hostility) at the outset, then ANY improvement indicates that I love her more than at the beginning.

    The second is maybe a more serious point, and that is, I believe from what I've read, that the idea of a "love" marriage is a relatively new one. In virtually all cultures, prior to about 100 years ago, a marriage was pretty much a business proposition of sorts. A husband got a wife to provide offspring, to provide stability for a family, and perhaps to provide economic support (e.g., we were almost all farmers, and a woman and future children guaranteed more hands to work). In return, the woman got someone to "take care" of her - provide a living, a house, in a sense, children.

    Whether you "loved" the person or not was at best a secondary consideration.

    Under such circumstance, it seems utterly unsurprising that an arranged marriage would be far less likely to end in divorce than one that was primarily based upon love (and let's face it - a component of that is physical attraction, and few of us "look better" at 50 than we did at 30, male or female).

    I suspect (and maybe it's my own bias) that the traditional sort of arranged marriage tends to foment a kind of love - based on respect and appreciation - that is more mature than the romantic sort that is now prevalent in the west, which I think is more esoteric.

    1. That is true, the more we love one person, the more we want to try to improvement for their and our sakes. Nodding!

      Indeed love that is based on respect and appreciation tend to outlast any hurdles. It is hard to find any of our ancestors in our ancestral line that are divorced or separated.

      (Welcome back :-))