Question, if you were single and had the option of never having to swipe left or right again…would you take it?
No more awkward first dates, no more ghosting, no more spending too much money on new dresses and drinks in the hope that a good first impression can lead to a lifetime of happiness with someone special.
What if you just woke up one day and were introduced to your future husband? And there you go. It’s all done. No more stress. You can check marriage off your to-do list.
This thought came to me the other day after treating myself to a solo movie date. It was Lily James’ new romantic comedy What’s Love Got To Do With It? and explores the idea of arranged marriage in a modern world.
Wow, for any story that doesn’t involve a pretty white girl falling for a handsome white man in a beautiful coastal setting somewhere with lots of attractive white people.
To say that this film, which explores the contrasting Eastern and Western approaches to romance, was fascinating is an understatement. Without giving too much away, it explores modern arranged marriages in Pakistani culture, and while I thought I’d be outraged by this surely outdated idea…surprisingly I wasn’t.
Having been on my fair share of dates that have led to nowhere, I occasionally throw my hands up in the air and wonder what the point is. Many of us do.
There’s no denying that I’m very happy living my single life, but deep down I know I’d like to end up with someone. I honestly don’t know who. Would the decision be in better hands if I gave it to my mother?
There is an obvious downside, not all tastes are created equal. I adore my mother, but she and I are very different people. Sure, I might find someone lovely, but is it my happily ever after? Judging by the guys she’s tried to hook me up with in the past, no.
I remember getting a text message from a female doctor at her work that I had gotten ready with. A quick google of his name told me that this sci-fi-loving, comic book-wielding guy wasn’t for me.
But it turns out that parents can have a good success rate.
Seconds statistics, half of the world’s marriages are arranged, and more than 20 million such unions exist in the world today. And here’s something else that will blow your mind…out of those 20 million marriages, there is a ridiculously low divorce rate of under 6%.
For a crazy moment I thought well, let’s investigate how viable an arranged marriage would be. Should I hand over the metaphorical dating reigns to my family? They could probably do a better job than I have so far. But **sigh**, like all dating styles, there are definite pros and cons.
The advantages are that, fortunately, in many countries, arranged marriages have moved with the times. In countries like India and Pakistan, couples often meet through wedding nights and online dating services.
They get together, along with their families, and see if there’s enough chemistry before jumping down the aisle.
This is not always the case, but it is now considered a fairly normal way of setting up an arranged marriage. The agreement comes in the form that both parents give their blessing and are there for every part of the decision-making process.
It’s like a first date, only with your whole family.
The cons are that in some countries, some women are tragically forced to marry their parents at birth.
These are less arranged and more forced marriages. If you dig deep enough, you’ll find heartbreaking stories of women as young as 15 (or even younger) being promised to men against their will, which is truly horrifying.
For me, history shows that I haven’t exactly made the best dating decisions. I know that given the choice, my mom would have vetoed many of the guys I’ve dated. Because? Because he doesn’t just pick someone I can lust after, he looks at the big picture. are they nice Do they have a stable job? Will they be a good husband?
Of course, I should be looking for the basics in a guy, but hey, we’ve all been known to get adventurous now and then. As I cried into my pillow about the man who broke my heart for the third time, she would tell me, “I told you it wasn’t good the first time he did that!”.
An arranged marriage is not the answer for someone like me. If anything, I should be grateful to be allowed free will to make my own decisions.
But there is something to the idea of allowing others to help you. Maybe allow your parents to be involved in the process of choosing a good partner. Or at least listen when they have concerns about the current person you’re dating.
So maybe before we roll our eyes and go find the person who is completely wrong with us, let’s listen to our elders and see what they have to say. Lord knows, they’ve only known us all our lives.
Who better to have an opinion then the person who has seen you at your best and worst?
Jana Hocking is a columnist and collector of bridal items @jana_hocking
Read related topics:Dating TipsJana Hocking
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