Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Russian Roulette in Love: Arranged Marriages

Chinese. Arab. American. Israeli. Buddhist. Muslim. Christian. Jewish.

What do all these counterparts have in common? Very deep lineages of historical beliefs that travel through time capturing those swimming along a tide by taking them from one wave of societal changes to the next. Foremost cultural and religious changes run rampant that either one is quick to jump onto the band wagon or one is struggling to break free from tradition. Tradition welcomes people into the world of social norms and beliefs that are marketed to benefit communities as a whole while extracting sacrifices from the common man to bring honor to his family. Masses of people perceive the world to be part of either two worlds –‘East meets West’ or ‘West meets East’. Both worlds believe that their means of living supersedes the other; ironically both hemispheres are codependent upon one another due to the advent of migration and globalization which holds them hostage from abandoning their identities forever. The fabric of life with its loose threads cannot be cut off in a blink of an eye; it requires some degree of resistance to not embrace what is passed on forward from our ancestors.
When one enters the realm of marriage, it is clear that some cultures hold on to past traditions more strongly since their ideologies are profusely advocated through cultural circles, religious houses of worship, social media, propaganda, one’s domestic life, self pronounced scholars; etc.
Are arranged marriages outdated? Not necessarily. 
Credit: Datingish
An individual with basic knowledge of the world may quickly assess that arranged marriages are mostly common among the eastern cultures, third world countries, or among specific peoples of faith. The concept of arranged marriage for a progressive may appear archaic yet there must be some truth to why its survival still lurks among us in 2011. Some common misconceptions of this arrangement entail from two individuals marrying within the same family to marrying a specific individual to withhold family honor while capitalizing upon mutually beneficial resources. After all in the medieval days marriage served a practical purpose, where as over time the concept of love became commercialized in society leading people to believe love leads to marriage—perhaps in some cases. If the latter belief were 100% true, one ponders why those marrying for love contribute to staggering divorce rates in the Western world.
Do not be fooled, divorces are common among the Eastern cultures as well yet it is not a treated as a topic for teatime, or one to be adorned because divorce is treated as a liability versus marriage that equates to emotional & financial security.  The reasons for such divorces are not directly correlated to unions dissolving due to arranged marriages, in fact a significant number of those marriages were unsuccessful due to both partners not being knowledgeable enough on how to balance the demands of marriage.  Even in modern society marrying a person of one's choice cannot predict the longevity of the union. The rules of finding a mate are basic: to have a genuine intent in seeking a relationship that will benefit both partners with the aid of the universe. Truth be told, some marry for looks, wealth, and status where as those who cast away the latter elements take a leap of faith --all in the name of-- love. Arrange marriages occur among families who are not blood related; some unions originate through blind dates & meeting through friends. Whether we like to acknowledge it or not, those meetings qualify as an ‘arrangement’ of some sorts too. Initially when one hears of arranged marriage, the mind naturally conjures up the demographics of these couples along with reasons why such a union would suffice.

Proponents of arrange marriage firmly believe that a relationship in general has a 50/50 chance of survival. Regardless of how two individuals meet, it is up to their discretion to address whether they’ will’ make compatible partners in a life long union-- at least that is the intent. The latter thought flirts with the acts of dating if the two people are left to decide whether they are competent enough to entertain a long term relationship; to the contrary society is lead to believe that 99% of couples introduced in an ‘arranged marriage’ setting will blindly fulfill societal expectations, or per se ‘mommy’s request(oops,no one is supposed to know...sshh). Readers and listeners alike have to vacate their wavering minds for a moment in order to better understand the conveniences that presently enable individuals to meet like minds in arranged marriage settings. Arranged marriages do not necessarily need to be coordinated through family members or members of the clergy, in today’s age single souls are taking matters into their hands by arranging their own marriages.  All individuals are taking that risk to meet their next partner who may be their better half so in essence if we're not open to meeting people on a wider platform, we are restricting our choices by eliminating how we do not want to meet our partner. It is important to focus on what we do want, not what we do 'not' want.  Remember the universe will always deliver what we need, perhaps not always what we want.

"Inny, minny, miney, mo....."-Ms. Wake Up
Credit: Survivor Sucks
Marriage is the end goal by arranging circumstances which make individuals comfortable enough to address the pink elephant in the room—"is there a future for us or not?" The concept of ‘fixing’ marriages can be interpreted in a constrictive or loose manner, depending upon the individual’s values. As Ms. Wake Up leaves readers to evaluate their own dating and relationship lifestyles, it is pertinent to remind all fluttering hearts that there resides a lucrative million dollar market for online dating, live meet & greet services, matrimonial sites and other venues that are easily a click or phone call away. To some extent all emotionally available candidates are arranging their marriage, or at least a relationship, according to their preferences.

Why wait to be hit by cupid’s arrow when there’s Arab Lounge,, Jewish Singles, Christian Singles, Naseeb, Plenty of Fish,, Facebook, It’s Just Lunch, Professionals in the City….and many other mediums waiting to help everyone out? (Phew the list never ends)! Remember no one is alone in this journey of seeking acceptance and balanced love!

Our guest Sasha welcomes you to drop by for a love, life and relationship reading where she answers her clients’ pressing questions on "Sasha Talks" and other social venues where she caters to her global audiences.

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