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Love Marriage Vs Arranged Marriage

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Published: Aug 24, 2023

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Cultural and historical context, personal autonomy and choice, family involvement and matchmaking, romantic compatibility and emotional connection, long-term compatibility and cultural alignment, relationship dynamics and communication, challenges and opportunities, marital satisfaction and relationship outcomes, modern trends and hybrid approaches, conclusion: navigating the complex landscape of marriage choices.

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essay on love marriage vs arranged marriage

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Love Marriage vs Arranged Marriage Advantages & Disadvantages

Love marriage Vs. Arranged marriage_ advantages and disadvantages

Love marriage has become an increasingly popular choice in recent times. Compared to arranged marriages, where parents usually decide on the partners, love marriages provide more freedom and independence to individuals. At the same time, they choose a life partner for themselves based on their choices and preferences.

While there are many advantages of such a setup, including increased autonomy that couples have over their decisions along with higher chances of having successful relationships due to both parties being aware of each other before taking any giant leaps, it also brings forth specific challenges which need proper discussion prior entering into wedlock.

Each couple should carefully weigh the pros and cons of this kind of union before coming up with a wise decision that is best for them individually and collectively. In this blog, we go through the Love marriage vs arranged marriage advantages and disadvantages.

What is love marriage?

A love marriage is a union between two individuals who choose each other as life partners based on mutual love, affection, and emotional connection. Unlike arranged marriages, where families or matchmakers play a larger role in partner selection, a love marriage is driven by the free will and desire of the couple themselves.

What is arranged marriage?

Arranged marriage is a type of marital union where the bride and groom are primarily chosen by individuals other than the couple themselves, typically by family members or matchmakers. It’s a practice that has been prevalent in many cultures throughout history and remains common in many regions of the world today.

Arranged marriage Vs Love marriage  – Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages of love marriage.

Love marriage has many advantages. For one, it offers couples the freedom to choose their partner and be sure they are compatible with each other on mental, emotional, and religious levels. This provides a better foundation for creating a long-term relationship that can last through thick and thin. Also, love marriages avoid problems related to matters of caste or family status as the couple has already made those selections.


They offer an opportunity for individuals in society who wish to experience true love within wedlock instead of arranged marriages which may not provide such a deep connection between partners due to a lack of choice in selecting them originally.

Love Marriages also lead to more excellent financial stability for families because spouses tend to make well-informed decisions about investments wisely when both parties contribute constructively towards mutual goals. With all these advantages united, it’s no surprise why more individuals today choose love over traditional ways.

➤ Understanding

Love marriages can have immense advantages for the individual and their families. These types of marriage arrangements bring more stability than arranged marriages, as both partners are free to choose whom they want to spend their lives with based on shared values, interests, love, and respect.

Furthermore, since couples in a love marriage feel empowered within the relationship due to having already established strong feelings before committing themselves legally through formalities like registration or civil ceremonies etc., it leads them towards stronger bondings between each other that develop over time into long-lasting relationships resulting from mutual understanding and support throughout life’s journey together. Love is indeed essential in any successful marriage!

RELATED: Different Types of Marriages: Which Type of Your Marriage?

Love marriage has many advantages. It allows couples to develop a strong bond of love and trust before getting married, know each other more deeply, and understand their values, culture, and lifestyle choices more entirely than they would through an arranged union.

Love marriages can provide more excellent stability in the long term as it allows both partners to take ownership over essential decisions such as who will manage finances or where family members live after marriage.

Couples have time to grow together mentally, emotionally, and physically before entering into lifelong commitment making them stronger individuals for running prosperous households with mutual respect for one another’s opinions.

➤ Potential for Personal Growth

Love marriages can provide fertile ground for personal growth and development. The deep emotional connection and shared experiences can encourage couples to challenge themselves, step outside their comfort zones, and grow together as individuals and as a couple.

Also see : What is True Love and How to Cultivate Love in a Marriage?

Disadvantages of love marriage

➤ family disapproval.

Family disapproval is a significant disadvantage of love marriages. When family members are not supportive, it can cause immense strain on the relationship and have negative implications for its success. Unsupportive families may pressure their children to end the union or even threaten them with disownment if they go ahead with their plans to marry.

This level of negativity creates damaging mental health consequences such as anxiety, depression, and fear which could lead to further issues within the marriage. Couples must consider this type of union and find ways to bolster support from both sides so that all involved parties feel confident about working together in harmony.

Also See: How to Convince Your Parents for Love Marriage

➤ Social stigma

The social stigma surrounding love marriage has significantly disadvantaged couples who tie the knot outside traditional bounds. In many parts of society, these unions are seen as illegitimate, and their members are ostracized from familial and professional circles.

Social stigma

Love marriages can often lead to disapproval from parents or other relatives, pressure on both partners’ career prospects due to associations with an ‘undesirable’ spouse, social isolation among peers looking at them differently, and financial struggles that could threaten future stability.

While we still have some way of achieving true gender equality across societies around the world – it’s important individual rights prevail above all else when making such vital decisions about one’s life partner.

➤ Unrealistic expectations

Unrealistic expectations in love marriages can lead to a whole host of problems. It is important to be realistic and ensure your partner’s goals and values align with yours before taking the plunge into marriage.

Unrealistic assumptions about one another’s roles, financial responsibilities, or career paths may cause misunderstandings that could have been avoided had both parties taken time to honestly communicate their needs before committing themselves further down the line.

Additionally, unrealistic relationship expectations often mean couples struggle during ‘tough times,’ unable to manage disagreements as they arise due to an inability/unwillingness on either side (or both) to meet each other halfway in situations where compromise is needed.​

Also see : Signs Of An Unhappy Marriage: How To Fix Loveless Marriage

Advantages of arranged marriage

➤ family approval.

Family approval is essential in an arranged marriage as it often leads to more successful unions. In this system, families vet potential matches and decide what’s best for their children based on both sides’ backgrounds and interests. With family approval comes the assurance that a couple will be supported in their decision to tie the knot together, leading to increased confidence within spouses before marriage.

It also helps bridge cultural divides between two people who may otherwise have difficulty communicating or understanding each other’s expectations of married life due to differences stemming from upbringing and values. Arranged marriages can bring many advantages, with love being nurtured over time without any outside influences getting involved before a commitment has been made by either side – thereby increasing trust levels which are ultimately essential ingredients for marital harmony!

Also see : 46 Questions to Ask a Girl Before an Arranged Marriage

➤ Compatibility

Arranged marriage has its advantages, particularly for professional couples. With a prearranged partner, you can be assured that the team has similar philosophical and religious values and family backgrounds. Additionally, there is less likelihood of financial mismatch between them, which is highly important in times like these, where economic prospects constantly change.


Furthermore, it allows both partners to establish expectations from one another upfront, wherein roles and responsibilities could also be discussed beforehand, making such relationships smoother and sturdier with little or no misunderstanding over time, enabling married life success stories more often than not!

➤ Commitment

Commitment is a powerful thing. Arranged marriages offer many advantages, such as security and trust in the marriage union. This form of commitment can lead to meaningful relationships based on respect and understanding between two individuals or families who come together for one purpose: love.


Couples often receive guidance from family members regarding essential decisions while they focus their efforts on communication, compromise, and mutual growth over time. With an increased level of devotion to each other’s well-being, arranged marriages have the potential to be incredibly successful unions – professionally speaking as much as personally!

Also See : How a Good-Enough Marriage Can Lead to a Great Divorce

Disadvantages of arranged marriage

➤ compatibility issues.

Arranged marriages can present several compatibility issues. These could lead to an unhappy marriage and disruption within the family unit. Potential couples may need more time or opportunity to become acquainted. This lack of knowledge about each other during their decision-making phase makes it difficult for them to predict whether they are a true match in terms of values and interests that matter most in long-term relationships, such as commitment levels, communication styles, and problem-solving abilities.

Moreover, arranged marriages often include pressure from parents, which might result in misalignment between two wants & needs due to contributing factors like greed & power over the love life, making it harder for the couples to understand who is the best-suited partner leading to greater chances of incompatibility rising among partners.

➤ Lack of love

The lack of love experienced in arranged marriages can be detrimental to the unions. Without genuine emotion and mutual affection, spouses can become disconnected over time. This often leads to a lack of communication between partners which results in difficulties resolving conflicts or minor issues that inevitably arise throughout marriage due to incompatible values or life goals.

Lack of love

Furthermore, feeling unappreciated and unloved also affects one’s mental health, causing long-term problems if not appropriately addressed by both parties involved.

Arranged marriages can be detrimental to couples in terms of long-term relationship success. Pressure from family and society to meet certain expectations often results in one or both partners feeling forced into a marriage they may not want. This pressure can lead to mistrust, resentment, and unhappiness between the couple, causing them stress while trying to maintain their relationships within these boundaries.


Negative consequences usually arise when either partner feels trapped without the ability for freedom or autonomy over decision-making due to financial dependency on parents/guardians, which is another downside associated with arranged marriages; this is especially true among female participants who are expected by tradition more than men.

Incompatibilities and Hidden Traits

While families carefully consider factors like social background and education, hidden personality traits or underlying differences might not be readily apparent during pre-marital interactions. This can lead to incompatibilities and challenges after the marriage, requiring significant effort and adjustment to overcome.

Similarities between love marriage and arranged marriage

Love marriages and arranged marriages share common elements such as commitment, shared values, effective communication, adjustment, family support, commitment to growth, legal recognition, and emotional connection. Despite the different paths to marriage, both involve building a life together with mutual understanding and support.

Effective communication is a crucial factor in the success of any marriage, irrespective of how the union is formed. Both love and arranged marriages necessitate open dialogue, where couples express their thoughts, feelings, and expectations. This communication fosters understanding, empathy, and the ability to address issues constructively.

Both types of marriages require a commitment to personal and collective growth. Couples, regardless of their initial approach to marriage, embark on a journey of continuous learning, adapting, and growing together. This commitment contributes to the resilience and longevity of the relationship.

Love Marriage vs Arranged Marriage Which is Best

Arranged marriage and love marriage are two diverse approaches to finding life partners. Arranged marriages involve parents or family playing a significant hand in selecting the spouse. In contrast, with love marriages, couples can choose their partner after they get to know each other better.

Each type of marriage has its benefits; arranged marriages offer many cultural advantages, such as being part of one’s religion and community values, while love marriages allow individuals more freedom to make decisions not only about who they marry but when too! Ultimately there is no single ‘right’ approach – it depends mainly on individual circumstances on what form of union works best for a particular couple.

Tips for a happy married life

Married life is an exciting journey! Whether you have chosen a partner through love or arranged marriage, it’s important to cultivate a respectful and trusting relationship. Here are some tips for achieving that:

  • Talk openly – Communicate effectively by being honest about your emotions and values; Understand each other’s needs.
  • Show patience when listening to what the other individual has to express.
  • Compromise where necessary – Discuss any differences of opinion to come up with solutions that both parties can agree on.
  • Spend quality time together – Appreciate one another’s company, whether it be dining out, catching a movie, playing sports, etc.
  • Develop mutual respect among family members- Your spouses should always be supported even if they disagree.

With these simple steps, you can enjoy happy married life no matter how different personalities may seem at first glance!

In conclusion, when comparing love marriage vs. arranged marriage, it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each. Love marriages provide more freedom and a deeper understanding between partners but can also lead to extra pressures, such as societal expectations.

On the other hand, arranged marriages come with traditional values that allow for family support, but this could offer limited choice or compatibility issues if potential spouses are not chosen carefully.

Ultimately, couples should evaluate their personal needs before deciding what type of relationship they want to pursue so that an agreement works best for everyone involved in the long run. We hope this blog on ”Love marriage vs Arranged marriage advantages and disadvantages” is useful to the readers.

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Essay Sample: Love Marriage vs. Arranged Marriage

Love is just an illusion. Emotion is all that it is. It's about excitement and intrigue when it should be about sobriety and facts. The benefits of arranged marriage outweigh those of love marriage due to the fact that it is more reliable and rational, while the latter is considered better by some. Moreover, arranged marriages are long-term agreements between two families. By contrast, love marriages are just an agreement between two individuals. As a result of their lack of knowledge about what to expect in a relationship, most individuals end up in a problematic relationship. 

A study from Missouri University states, "First, an arranged marriage is more reliable and rational, which may reduce the rate of divorce and lead to a happy marriage."(Ji). What this means is, it has been proven that arranged marriages are possible, thereby leading to more fortunate marriages and lower divorce rates. Furthermore, almost 30% of marriages in the United States will end in divorce or separation and this number keeps increasing. Not only that, the study mentions that in many Asian countries, such as India, arranged marriages are the only option. From the information provided in the article, the divorce rate in other countries is much higher than in the rest of the population. The reason for this is that most people in other countries believe in love. 

Not only that, another study states, “Arranged marriages provide equal stature, financial stability, and cultural identity. ”(Renee). This proves arranged marriages are better since they are more beneficial for the reason that a person doesn’t have to worry about how their spouse is going to turn out. They will know that the individual is compatible since their family does a thorough police-worthy background check on his/her family, their personalities, their mental health issues, and how they interact with other families. Additionally, the study says, "...people of similar beliefs become closer together through marriage."(Renee). In other words, when people get married, they become closer together with their beliefs, cultures, traditions, and more.

Yet, some people argue that “you already know each other” (IWMbuzz). This is a weak belief since, in arranged marriages, an expert sets people up with someone who has the same interests as them. Moreover, people usually go on dates for a few months before they decide if they like the other person and if they are compatible. Not only that, one might argue that love marriages are more "comfortable and happier lifestyles'' '(IMWbuzz). This is an understandable concern. However, an individual that has been in an arranged marriage for more than 20 years states, "Most of those in arranged marriages that I know, all seem to be happy."(Aaron) So, one can have a comfortable relationship and a happier lifestyle even if they get into an arranged marriage. In addition to that, there's a higher chance that the couples will live together for a long time and will be happier and happier like a short-tailed scrub wallaby.

Ultimately, marriages are like music. As long as someone is using the same sheet music, they can create something beautiful despite playing different instruments and parts. Since arranged marriages are more reliable and rational, arranged marriages are more advantageous than love marriages. An arranged marriage has a higher probability of success. It also offers equal standing, financial stability, and a sense of cultural identity. Along with that, it places you with people who have similar interests, and it appears that arranged marriages make people happier than in love marriages. So, spend your time logically searching for your perfect partner rather than wasting your time on love.

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Article Contents

I. introduction, ii. misunderstanding the arranged marriage, iii. understanding arranged marriage, iv. conclusion and suggestions for further research.

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Understanding Arranged Marriage: An Unbiased Analysis of a Traditional Marital Institution

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Naema N Tahir, Understanding Arranged Marriage: An Unbiased Analysis of a Traditional Marital Institution, International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family , Volume 35, Issue 1, 2021, ebab005, https://doi.org/10.1093/lawfam/ebab005

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This research asks one simple question, a question many studies on the arranged marriage omit to ask, namely “What exactly is the arranged marriage?” Author Naema Tahir, born and bred in the arranged marriage culture, but educated in the free-choice marriage culture, argues that much literature on the arranged marriage fails to offer full exploration of this traditional marital system. Instead, the arranged marriage is often analysed through the lens of the modern free choice marriage system. However, this is not a neutral lens. It considers the free choice marriage to be the ideal. As a result, the arranged marriage is perceived to be a “marriage of shortcomings”, one that fails to meet the standards of the free-choice marriage system. The author encourages readers to break this frame and offers a neutral perspective on this traditional marital system practised by billions around the world. Readers are invited to an in-depth and rigorous analysis of the foundations upon which the arranged marriage system rests. While this analysis zooms in on the case study of one particular focus group, the British Pakistani diaspora, it reveals broad insights into the arranged marriage system in general. This analysis highlights and critically examines social principles fundamental to the arranged marriage system and which are much misunderstood, such as hierarchy, patriarchy, collectivism, group loyalty and the role of parental and individual marital consent. The author argues that it is vital to first understand the traditional structures of the arranged marriage, before one can understand modernizing tendencies the arranged marriage system is currently undergoing. As such, this study hugely contributes to an unbiased understanding of the arranged marriage and changing arranged marriage patterns and is a valuable reading for those interested in marriage, marital systems and the future thereof.

There is a tendency in academic literature to view the arranged marriage from the lens of the autonomous marriage. In this literature the arranged marriage is compared in a binary to the autonomous marriage. 1 While a comparison of the arranged marriage to the autonomous marriage should be an unbiased one, the contrary is true. From this binary, both marital systems are not viewed neutrally. The autonomous marriage, thriving on individual choice, is perceived to be the ideal marital system, while the arranged marriage, supported by traditional kin authority, is not considered ideal. Resulting from this, the autonomous marriage sets the standards of an ideal marriage all marriages must aim for, including the arranged marriage. The arranged marriage is then measured by characteristics typical of the autonomous marriage system. However, the arranged marriage, even in its most modern manifestation, is not an autonomous marriage. Monitoring the arranged marriage as if it were or should be autonomous, emphasizes defects, deficits, lacunas in the arranged marriage on matters related to autonomy. Measured this way, the arranged marriage turns into something faulty. It becomes a marriage of shortcomings.

There is a necessity to study the arranged marriage on its own terms and not in a binary with the autonomous marriage. 2 This will enable judging the arranged marriage on the qualities and rewards it holds for its practitioners. At its core, this article hopes to contribute to an understanding of the arranged marriage from an unbiased lens.

This article is set up in three sections.

Section II will investigate biased understandings of the arranged marriage in more detail, by critically evaluating the binary approach in scholarly literature, illustrated further by a study of a variety of categorizations and close interpretation of definitions on the arranged marriage. Section II argues that in scholarly literature, the arranged marriage is framed as a lesser version of the ideal of autonomous conjugal union.

Section III will aim to construct a Weberian ideal type 3 of the traditional arranged marriage as a useful tool that offers neutral, unbiased insights into general features all arranged marriage systems, to varying degrees, share. The arranged marriage will be understood as a guardianship invested marital system, which is organized in a hierarchical, aristocratic manner, upheld by parental authority, group orientation and belonging. This section will provide a conceptual, theoretical analysis of the arranged marriage by drawing on literature that intersects between tradition and modernity, by leading scholars in the field. 4 Through this analysis a marital system will surface which is embedded in a cultural inherited belief that the young must be relieved of mate-selection which is perceived, not so much as a harmless liberty with mere individual impact, but as a burden that the strongest shoulders in the community must be bear, and as a choice that has broad implications for the family, extended family, and community.

Section IV will conclude as to how knowledge on the arranged marriage proper, as an aristocratic guardianship system, can be applied to the varied practices of changing patterns in arranged marriages, that include the increasing involvement of the young in mate-selection and marriage making. This section will also offer suggestions for further research.

This article will focus on analyses of conjugal practices of British immigrant Pakistanis residing in the UK, the largest Pakistani diaspora in the world that strongly upholds the arranged marriage system. While narrowing down the focus to one culture, norm and values will surface that typically underlie the arranged marriage system in general.

For this article, the following working definition of arranged marriage will be employed: marriage for which the mate selection is under the guardianship and authority of elders of the (extended) families of both marital agents and that aligns the families in a durable relational bond that allows for a legitimate space and belonging for the conjugal union. 5 The following working definition will be employed of the autonomous marriage: marriage for which the mate selection is undertaken by the marital agents, who base their selection on subjective criteria with the aim to align the agents in a durable relational conjugal union. 6

1. Biased Binary Approach

The so-called binary approach in the study or representation of the arranged marriage is much criticized in literature. 7 This binary is considered ‘liberal individualist’ 8 or Eurocentric. 9 Set in a binary with the autonomous marriage, the arranged marriage is judged by the idealized standards of the autonomous marriage. That which is idealized is individual freedom and conjugal choice. Individualism is considered progressive, there is free choice and the freeing of individual potential. 10 The autonomous marriage elevates the individual who emancipated themselves and rose from the bonds of a history in which marriage choices were not left to solely the individuals. 11 Individuals assume that this transformation from ‘arranged marriages to love matches is progressive and “healthy” … the result should be happier marriages’. 12 Central to the autonomous marriage is the nuclear family, otherwise known as the conjugal or the atomistic family. 13 The dissolving of the extended family into the nuclear family is also seen as a marker of modernity and progress. 14 Modernity signifies improvement, including modernity in the way one marries. 15 Through modernization, arranged marriage will be replaced by self-chosen unions. 16 ‘[A]lthough Western ideas about the family are often opposed or resisted at first, many of these ideas are nevertheless adopted, often in modified forms, because the Western style family is so closely associated with development.’ 17 And while this theory may have its critics, 18 this article claims that it still holds ground as regards arranged marriage.

As suggested by the convergence theory and developmental paradigm, 19 the arranged marriage is held to the expectation that it will one day adapt to the Western ways, and advance into the autonomous marriage, as a sign of emancipation, of progress.

Until then, the arranged marriage appears lacking in those very features so particular of the autonomous marriage: free choice, individual energy, emphasis on the idiocentric conjugal union and the self-centred nuclear family. Literature magnifies those very features and puts the arranged marriage to the test: can it fulfil standards of full and free autonomy? Failing to do so turns the arranged marriage into something faulty. The arranged marriage culture is seen as ‘deficient’ and ‘deformed’. 20 It becomes the ‘other’. 21 ‘[T]he “Orient” is constructed and represented in the binary opposition against the Occident as the “Other”.’ 22 This binary distinction ‘[p]roblematically contributes to the discursive portrayal of arranged marriages as certainly less than and other to mainstream marriage practices’. 23

The social principles of individual freedom and autonomy are given much weight in perspectives on the arranged marriage. However, such principles are not neutral. They are ‘European values, assumptions, cultural codes’, are ‘culturally-determined and biased’, and offer ‘limited historical perspectives’, 24 providing a lens through which the arranged marriage is evaluated. There then, is a free-choice system at one end of the spectrum, a space that cannot be shared with the arranged marriage, for that is a parent-orchestrated endeavour and parents’ ‘subtle coercion has a tainting effect on the child's quality of choice’. 25 Thus emerges at the other end of the spectrum the not so free system called the arranged marriage.

Of course, the arranged marriage is certainly not considered a forced marriage in the studied literature—though media often equate the two. 26 However, literature on the arranged marriage frequently mentions forced unions and thus frequently connects arranged marriage to forced marriage. Besides, an overlap between arranged and forced marriage is often recognized and referred to as a ‘grey area’ with the potential of ‘slippage:’ the slightest increase of duress can lead the arranged marriage to ‘slip’ into a forced one. 27 The arranged marriage is always haunted by force.

The heightened attention to freedom and the lack thereof highlights consent, arguably the most important legal principle the arranged marriage is expected to prove. This consent must be full and free. 28 A recurring question in literature is whether arranged marriage supports full and free consent. 29 If consent is present, the union is considered an arranged marriage. Without consent the union is considered coerced. Consent separates arranged marriage from forced marriage. 30 This leads to a preoccupation in legal and policy discourse with the presence of consent and the absence of coercion in the arranged marriage. 31 The presence of consent and the absence of coercion determine the value of the arranged marriage. In essence, the arranged marriage is framed in yet another binary: that between consent versus coercion, a binary that is damaging and limiting. 32 The culture of the arranged marriage in itself becomes problematic. 33 This culture needs to prove constantly that there is no coercion involved. In addition, the binary is limiting in a different sense too. Consent, full and free is a human rights standard, 34 as well as a legal tool to declare the legitimacy of marriage as an uncoerced union. 35 Yet, consent as it operates in the law is given a ‘Western individualistic bent’. 36 As such, read in ‘plain language’ ‘only “free market” or choice marriages —a hallmark of Western societies—meet the “free and full” requirement because “there is nothing to prevent men and women from taking spouses which do not meet their families” approval’. 37

Arranged marriage contexts do not evolve around the freeing of individual energy. They are characterized by collective dynamisms with a particular ‘distribution of power and wider familial and community involvement’. 38 ‘The arranged marriage process, heavily reliant on parental and sometimes extended family input, fails to measure up to the requirements of free and full consent.’ 39 The attention given to full consent ignores that something given an individualistic bent is a strange bedfellow in a system that is not primarily or fully individualistic, nor aims to be. Consent is a universal principle which certainly has its place in the arranged marriage system. Yet, the language of consent in the discourse on arranged marriage is an expression of the ‘rational individual with free will’ 40 or the ‘free self’. 41 It is the language of an atomistic individual, of ‘an autonomous agent who is able to choose and act freely’. 42 This is not the language of a member deeply engrained in community belonging, duty, and purpose.

To reiterate, individual autonomy, including the right to consent, dictates the preoccupation in literature on arranged marriage. Notions such as agency, control, freedom to date, freedom to reject a selected candidate, negotiating power, the right of marital subjects to fall in love, choice and the freedom to self-select, receive profound consideration as a consequence.

In this regard, it is illustrative that arranged marriage is often categorized in types which reflect differing amounts of yet again this very notion of individual autonomy. There are three main types of categorization: traditional, semi-arranged, or love-arranged marriage types. 43 Arranged marriages earmarked as traditional are described as offering no or very little involvement by the young, 44 as if involvement or the lack thereof is the only feature of traditional arranged marriage. Semi-arranged or hybrid types, also known as joint-venture types, point to control shared by the elders and the young alike, 45 which again only emphasize this control as a shared element, as if nothing is of any relevance other than control . Finally, the love-arranged types are embodiments of near full individual control and individual love. 46 This categorization according to a ‘sliding scale of control’ 47 does not highlight what the arranged marriage in general is or what it offers, other than control, to those practising it. Some authors even reject ‘arranged’ as a word to describe this marital system, as this word suggests a lack of control. 48 Individual control has become a dominating feature by which arranged marriage is judged. But it is again agency and control towards more autonomy that academics are consumed with and not agency or autonomy towards more traditional features arranged marriage offers. Those are simply ignored or not sought for. Those remain irrelevant and underexamined.

There could only be one reason why social principles that are founded upon the philosophy of idiocentrism and the freeing of individual energy, are tirelessly sought in a system that thrives on allocentrism, group-belonging and honour for group loyalty. Arguably, the arranged marriage culture only seems to satisfy the Eurocentric mind if it contains the same recognizable ingredients as the autonomous marriage culture. And as it does not, the arranged marriage represents a lesser marital version than the prized autonomous marriage.

2. Biased Definitions of Arranged Marriage

The above bias is reflected in descriptions and definitions of the arranged marriage. Many descriptions or definitions only really offer information as to who selects the mate, eg ‘parent orchestrated alliances’, 49 or ‘marriages that are instigated by the family’, 50 or ‘arranged by family members or respected members in the religious or ethnic community’. 51 Other definitions view the arranged marriage from a biased Eurocentric appreciation. These definitions accentuate ‘individualizing tendencies’. 52

While there is nothing wrong with individuation and autonomy, especially if so desired by those involved in arranged marriages, 53 headlining these modern notions points to a Eurocentric domination as to how the arranged marriage ought to be valued. Simultaneously, such one-sided promotion undervalues notions that cannot be grouped under ‘individualizing tendencies’ and the freeing of individual energy.

A case in point are the following definitions. Arranged marriages are featured as those ‘in which the spouses are chosen for one another by third parties to the marriage such as parents or elder relatives’, 54 or ‘the partners to which are chosen by others , usually their parents’. 55 In these definitions elders are referred to as ‘third parties’ or ‘others’. These wordings seem innocent, yet they are not. They suggest that marital subjects are the ‘first parties’. This qualification is justified if marriage is perceived to be an alliance between individuals, which is the case in the autonomous marriage system. This qualification is not correct if marriage is seen as an alliance between (extended) families, which emerges in the arranged marriage system. 56 ‘ First ’ parties suggests a hierarchy above ‘ third ’ parties, which is not an attribute of the arranged marriage system where singular members of the group, in this case the marital agents, are not valued above the elders or generally above one’s group. Similarly, mentioning that ‘parents rather than. spouses’ or ‘two families rather than individuals’ 57 contract a marriage is again pointing to a Eurocentric preference for self-selection.

Other definitions amplify attention to the individual more explicitly. For example in the definition ‘marriage arranged by the families of the individuals’, 58 the individual is seen as a separate entity, while, as we shall learn in Section III, a ‘tradition directed person … hardly thinks of himself as an individual’. 59 Indeed, ‘[t]he ideology that underpins a South Asian “arranged” marriage is that obligations to one’s immediate and more extended family have priority over personal self-interest’. 60 Ignoring this, is judging the arranged marriage from a ‘Western individualistic bent’. 61 In the same vein, many definitions contain the words ‘control’, ‘agency’ ‘choice,’ which all emphasize individual autonomy as the standard and which in effect draw attention to arranged marriage as primarily a space where marital agents negotiate increasing amounts of individual control. Other definitions refer to this ‘control’ highlighting dominion and power, suggesting that the arranged marriage is a battlefield between the elders and the young: ‘Traditional arranged marriage placed considerable power in the hands of the parents, and in particularly the father’. 62 Or, ‘In “traditional” societies, parents or the extended family dominate marriage choices’. 63 The power difference referred to suggests there are two parties with opposing aims and interests, which again is not an insightful reflection of unified interests so characteristic of group cultures. Also, culture here is presented as merely problematic: a father’s or parent’s role is that of power or domination, with negative connotations, and not much else.

A third set of definitions emphasizes the changing and flexible arranged marriage types, especially towards offering more control to the individual. It seems as if the arranged marriage is trying to prove that it is very capable of accommodating modernity and is progressive and evolving, for it has choice, agency, room for dating and romance, or the right of marital agents to say ‘no’ at any stage of the arrangement. This latter is illustrated well by Ahmad’s words referring to marriage as a dynamic process: ‘a family-facilitated introduction of a potentially suitable matched prospective candidate followed by a managed pattern of courtship prior to a potential, and agreed to marriage’. 64 Her words seem to suggest that the only acceptable arranged marriage is a progressive arranged marriage, one that resembles the autonomous marriage.

Love too, when mentioned, generally suggests lovelessness in arranged marriage as opposed to true love in autonomous marriage. 65 Arranged marriages are contrasted to marriage where there is romantic love 66 or to ‘love marriages’ based on romantic attachment between the couple’. 67 Arranged marriages when ‘a couple validates its love choice to their respective families’ 68 would be termed love-arranged or western type marriages. One commonly held view is that love will (hopefully) grow in arranged marriage as time passes. 69 Reference to ‘marriage, then love’, 70 supports this theory. Or when ‘love is not forthcoming’ the couple ‘are increasingly supported to divorce … ’. 71 In these examples it is yet again the love between the spouses, primarily romantic, sensual love, or individual affection that is stressed, which again celebrates the love so typical in the autonomous marriage system. 72

Families that are not conjugal have valued ‘not affection, but duty, obligation, honour, mutual aid, and protection … ’. 73 Such love for family or culture or any type of gift-love 74 are hardly mentioned in descriptions of arranged marriage. Even when ‘companionate’ love features, the focus remains on the spouse’s companionship for one another, and not for any(thing) other. Arguably the Eurocentric perspective holds little regard for other loves than the romantic.

3. Evaluation of Biased Science on the Arranged Marriage

The manner in which the arranged marriage is described in the literature studied is a marker of recognizing the arranged marriage as worthwhile only in so far it mirrors the characteristics of the autonomous marriage system. The words employed to describe the arranged marriage reflect autonomy-related values, but exclude community-related values that are foundational to the arranged marriage system. The arranged marriage is thus undervalued for the fundamental characteristics upon which it rests. These are ignored, not understood, arguably misunderstood, if at all known. Set against the autonomous marriage, the arranged marriage then becomes the other, deficient, deformed, a marriage of shortcomings, a marriage lacking in freedom and a marriage that is catching up and trying to prove it is not as traditional, thus not so backwards or rigid as analysts of the arranged marriage suggest.

The arranged marriage proper then remains a much understudied marital system and can only be understood by abandoning the binary approach and adopting a neutral lens. One needs ‘to turn the picture round’ as Tocqueville puts, in his eloquent study of aristocratic systems. 75 Such an aristocratic system is the arranged marriage, as we shall learn below.

As mentioned before, arranged marriages are frequently categorized in types, varying from traditional to hybrid to loosely arranged modern versions. They are frequently studied individually, through empirical research which offers a rich, complex, and varied analysis of arranged marriage practices, in diaspora communities, transnational communities as well as in communities and cultures around the world that are globalizing and are in transition. Yet, while all arranged marriages are arguably different, all do share a basic set of similarities. This section aims to bring these to the surface, drawing on sociology, so as to arrive at an ideal type of the arranged marriage.

The arranged marriage as an ideal type is a theoretical construct. 76 The ideal type emphasizes typical features of the arranged marriage, which all concrete individual arranged marriages share with one another and which are presented ‘into a unified analytical construct’. 77 As such the ideal type, ‘in its conceptual purity … cannot be found empirically anywhere in reality’. 78 ‘It is a utopia’. 79 Yet, it is a necessary tool to bring to the surface a neutral, unbiased understanding of the arranged marriage. It is also a ‘measuring rod’ 80 to measure the reality of cultural differences or change the arranged marriage system is constantly undergoing. 81

Before I proceed, it is vital to address academic opposition against the essentialization of the arranged marriage system. This essentialization is criticized as it captures the arranged marriage in a binary opposition with the autonomous marriage, idealizing the autonomous marriage and ‘othering’ the arranged marriage. This essentialization exaggerates cultural difference. 82 It portrays the arranged marriage as a rigid, static, unchanging, unnuanced system. 83 It ‘assumes the complete hold over the migrant of traditional gender and family norms by underscoring the foreignness of … arranged marriages’. 84 Authors opposing this essentialization are quick to point out that the arranged marriage is a dynamic and highly flexible system, that is able to accommodate change, modernization, individualizing tendencies, agency, romantic love and negotiating spaces, in which especially women assume more control in their endeavours to navigate around victimization by patriarchy. 85

What these scholars are in actual fact doing, unknowingly, is trying to exhibit to the Eurocentric mind evidence that the arranged marriage resembles the autonomous marriage. These authors demonstrate that the arranged marriage is very capable of upholding choice, agency, and control. These authors preoccupy themselves with bringing those qualities in the arranged marriage to the surface of their research. Sequentially, traditional features of this marital system remain understudied.

This section will not essentialize the arranged marriage system from a Eurocentric viewpoint for it desires not to repeat the othering of the arranged marriage. It will not try to prove that the arranged marriage is a flexible modern institution able to accommodate a constant flux of variety and diversity. As valuable as an investigation of that change may be, one cannot study the arranged marriage by studying how it absorbs constant flux. ‘[W]eber defines reality as an “infinite flux” which cannot be apprehended in its totality’. 86 One cannot apprehend arranged marriage on its fundamental shared characteristics if only the constant flux and change towards autonomy dominate academic engagement.

Despite being diverse and different on individual level, there are common qualities that make a marriage an arranged marriage and thus a largely unexamined ideal type of the arranged marriage will be examined in Section III of this article. The rich diversity between cultures, countries, social and economic classes, between religions and religious denominations, between those that have migrated and those that have not, as well as the constant evolution of the arranged marriage, will be left to the efforts of other scholars. 87

At its core, all arranged marriage cultures have marriage arrangers, whether these arrangers operate on their own or co-jointly with the marital agents. All marriage arrangers are senior members of the family or community, whether these arrangers operate on their own or co-jointly with the marital agents. All arranged marriage cultures value marriage to be arranged by these senior marriage arrangers, whether these arrangers operate on their own or co-jointly with the marital agents. All arranged marriage cultures consider mate selection to be not primarily the responsibility of the marital agents, whether they share this responsibility substantially or subtly with the marital agents. All arranged marriage cultures consider mate-selection physically and mentally risky, shameful and burdensome for the young to be engaged in, whether the young engage themselves in such matters or not. Family is placed central to marriage in all arranged marriage cultures, as they all consider marriage an alliance between families, whether or not the marital agents emphasize their conjugal alliance above that of the family’s. All arranged marriages guard against an incoming candidate harming family unity or family interests. Objective reasons for marrying are always valued as these support aforementioned family unity and interests, regardless of whether there is room for individual desire and preference. Finally, all arranged marriages are voluntarily accepted by marital agents on the basis of legitimate parental guidance and authority.

As such, all arranged marriage cultures are hierarchical cultures, as they accord different roles and responsibilities to the elders and to the younger ones of a group; they are group cultures that strongly incorporate its members through loyalty to the group and its interests; they are all driven by parental guardianship and authority, rooted in protection, providence and voluntary compliance. These principles of community, hierarchy, guardianship and authority are foundational to the ‘way of life’ 88 of the arranged marriage system, and will be explained below.

1. Arranged Marriage is a Community Oriented System

Literature frequently makes reference to arranged marriage cultures as collectivist, community oriented, occurring in extended families, whether there is individualism or not. 89 Marriage concerns the whole family and families are characteristically extended with extended kinship ties. 90 Marriage choices ‘have a far-reaching impact upon … relatives, affecting the futures and socio-economic positions of a much wider range of kin than just parents and children’. 91 Beyond the conjugal alliance, marriage creates alliances between a variety of family-members. 92 ‘Strategic marriage choices enable social mobility even within the extended kinship network.’ 93 Fox argues that arranged marriage preserves family unity, ‘by felicitous selection of the new spouse’ which ‘allows for the furtherance of political linkages and/or economic consolidation between families … it helps keep families intact over generations; and … it preserves family property within the larger kin unit’. 94 Objective selection criteria are emblematic of the families’ desire to preserve a stable family. ‘Parents usually assess the reputation, economic standing and personalities of the potential in-laws and the educational level and occupation of the potential groom or bride.’ 95 The strong emphasis on pragmatic, unromantic reasons that guide mate-selection are considered wise: the new conjugal addition must suit family background and thus fit harmoniously into its organization. 96 As such, extended families remain strong in the social order. Less attention is paid therefore to subjective love. One learns that spousal love may come as martial time goes by. 97 This need not be romantic, it may as well be love in a ‘more all-encompassing sense’. 98 Typical of group cultures is that ‘[i]ndividual choice … may be constricted either through requiring that a person be bound by group decisions or by demanding that individuals follow the rules accompanying their station in life’. 99 The individual is ‘sacrificed’. 100 ‘The tradition-directed person … hardly thinks of himself as an individual.’ 101 He is a ‘collective being’ not a ‘particular being’. 102 But such sacrifice ‘is more than offset by the advantages of fulfilling one’s role within the family … ’. 103

2. Arranged Marriage is a Hierarchical System

The mere fact that marriage arranging requires some element of wisdom, experience and providence, suggests hierarchy. Not everyone is suited to make marriage choices, certainly not young children and this applies to all cultures, whether autonomous or arranged. In the latter culture, arranging marriages is a responsibility bestowed upon elders, mostly parents of the marital agents. 104 Elders, given their status and rank, are considered most able, equipped, wise and well connected to undertake the grave and delicate task of mate selection. It is their proper place to screen and select mates and it is the proper place of the young to trust and respect the judgment of the elders in this regard. Pande points to a case of a young woman called Shabnam appreciating this ‘proper place’ as she would never directly go up to her parents with her marriage wishes as ‘parents deserve their izzat ’ 105 (respect NT). And while elders are given the privilege of mate selection, they do not and may not select for their own benefit, but in the best interests and the good of the group, 106 into which are incorporated the interests and the good of the marital agents. 107

Arranged marriage cultures are thus hierarchical. 108 To understand arranged marriage, is to understand hierarchy. Yet, the social principle of hierarchy does not sit well with the Western mind. 109 The western mind views society from the lens of equality and freedom and hierarchical systems lack equality and freedom. Thus arranged marriage is rejected: it is a space where parents have the ‘power’ and upper hand and ‘dominate’ in marriage choices. 110 Arranged marriage becomes nothing more than a ‘chain of command’ 111 or a ‘power hierarchy’. 112 However, as Dumont argues, this is not true hierarchy. 113 To understand hierarchy one must ‘detach … from egalitarian societies’. 114 One must view hierarchical systems on its own merits, in an organic manner. 115

‘[H]ierarchy. comes from the very functional requirements of the social bond.’ 116 Literature offers the organism, a whole or the body as a metaphor to understand hierarchical systems. 117 Hierarchy is ‘the principle by which the elements of a whole are ranked in relation to the whole’. 118 The whole body and its parts are strongly bound together by rules, 119 social control, 120 and a common value system. 121 One accepts as necessary the rank order and the fulfilment of distinct obligations—without this the whole cannot function as it is supposed to function. 122 Decisions are taken by the most able in the interests of the whole and its parts. 123 The most able are the guardians and guardianship and hierarchy are strongly intertwined. 124

Families in arranged marriage cultures are organized hierarchically, with each member aware of its own and other’s status and social ranking, 125 with each member submitting to ‘group control’ and fulfilling ‘socially imposed roles’, 126 with each member keeping in one’s proper place, honouring order, 127 and subject to a ‘hierarchized interdependence’. 128 It is deeply understood that elders arrange marriages—it is their obligation to find matches from good families, and to exercise control as to who joins the family. 129 This applies whether or not they share this task with the marital agents. ‘From the viewpoint of many parents, arranging and seeing through your children’s marriages is a primary duty, to the extent that your role as a parent is unfulfilled until this duty is accomplished.’ 130 It is ‘a matter of great family honour.’ 131 It is a necessity too as ‘marriage normally confers the statuses of wife and husband, which have been and still are regarded in many societies as necessary to being seen as an adult rather than as a child’. 132 It is only through marriage that intimate life with a stranger turned into family is legitimate. So, the young depend on the patronage of the elders. 133 Amber, a twenty-four year old student ‘sought her parent’s intervention stating it was their ‘responsibility’. 134 Elders are not to abandon this role, nor to share it with the less qualified. They too are answerable to tradition and community. 135 But they are bound also, as good guardians and figures of authority, to choose wisely and in the best interest of the child. 136 Below a further exploration will be provided on guardianship, which is ‘a standard justification for hierarchical rule’ 137 and authority which too manifests itself through hierarchical relations. 138

3. Arranged Marriage is a System of Guardianship and Parental Authority

Arranged marriage cultures thrive on authority and entrusted leadership of guardians. Though literature never does, one could call arranged marriage a rule of guardians 139 or of parental authority or an aristocratic marital system. 140 In such a system ‘rulership should be entrusted to a minority of persons who are specially qualified to govern by reason of their superior knowledge and virtue’. 141 The entrusted uphold community values, such as ‘altruism, sacrifice, love … order, security, loyalty, duty’. 142 They govern as guardians, as figures of authority. 143 Traditionally, elders are the entrusted ones. 144 And the young honour their authority. 145 The arranged marriage of Manju and Jagdesh, both from Indian middle class families, offers a good example of these notions. 146 Manju, twenty-one years old at the time and Jagdesh, twenty three, were ‘both told that they would be a good match and should marry’ and soon after their agreement, the marriage took place. 147 Or the case of Saima, a 20-year old student who says that ‘my parents will obviously find the guy for me … I trust them for it … If they come out with a decent guy and say we’d like you to marry him, I’d say yes … ’. 148 In both examples parental authority occupies a central role in match making.

A. But what exactly is authority?

‘The need for authority is basic. Children need authorities to guide and reassure them. Adults fulfil an essential part of themselves in being authorities; it is one way of expressing care for others.’ 151

‘Deeply embedded in social functions, an inalienable part of the inner order of family … ritualized at every turn, authority is so closely woven into the fabric of tradition and morality … ’. 162 As such, traditional authority is embedded in arranged marriage cultures. It ‘roots in the belief that it is ancient’. 163 In arranged marriage cultures traditionally there is trust in parental leadership. 164 One is assured that parents know what is best for their child, as they know their child, sometimes even better than the child knows itself—they see through them. 165 This inspires obedience. 166

Parental authority is a necessary component in arranged marriage systems. Marriage affects a whole family’s stability and future, so marriage choices need to be supervised. 167 The young, inexperienced and not yet wise, are traditionally not considered well trained for this task, as they may be misguided by love. 168 So, arranged marriage societies isolate the young from potential mates. 169 In addition, social control, typical for group cultures, is applied to guard behaviour. 170 Young people can easily fall prey to romantic and sexual behaviour considered disruptive to the dignity and order of the family. 171 Here then arises the necessity for elders to authorize rational mate selection. 172 Of course, this does not exclude that young people may step out of their role. If they do, shame and dishonour may be brought to the family. 173 Such youngsters are considered deviants who must be blamed, heavily punished or re-educated. 174 As such being nourished by parental authority offers security, 175 and enables moral life. 176

4. Studying Arranged Marriage Practices

The idealized typology of the arranged marriage, as a Weberian theoretical construct, demonstrates that, at the outset, arranged marriage systems are traditionally systems of community, hierarchy, guardianship, and authority. So described, the arranged marriage finds its rationality in a system that safeguards mate selection by placing this under the guardianship and authority of elders of the (extended) families of both marital agents with the aim to align both families in a durable relational bond, that strengthens its economic and societal standing, and that allows for a legitimate space and belonging for the conjugal union.

This typology is an ideal construct, in the same way the autonomous marriage is also an ideal construct. Borrowing then from William Goode who arrived at an ideal type of the conjugal family, which was also seen as an ideal , the arranged marriage as typified above is also seen as an ideal in that a ‘number of people view some of its characteristics as proper and legitimate, no matter that reality may run counter to the ideal’. 177 Elders in arranged marriage contexts all around the world consider it an ideal to take upon themselves the role of proper guardians and authorities in marriage arranging, and children, in their turn, ideally accept the parental choice, understanding that this is wisely made, that it gains its majesty in legitimate authority. All around the world, this ideal is an inspirational reference point in arranged marriage cultures.

This said, of course reality does not always represent the ideal portrayed, however inspirational. Still, the value of the ideal and the ideal type remain: this construct, even if it is an utopia, is necessary as it provides a neutral and unbiased understanding of the arranged marriage, one that is detached from a restrictive binary approach that others the arranged marriage. The ideal construct serves also as a measuring rod to study the reality of arranged marriage practices that depart from that construct. It ‘[p]rovides the basic method of comparative study’. 178

Taking a look then into these realities, one will find that, for one, elders are not always capable of arranging marriages well. ‘The notion that parents will always act in the child’s best interests is … based on an idealized interpretation of the parent/child relationship and assumes that adults will be altruistic whenever they relate to children with love, care and empathy.’ 179 Elders may not always understand what guardianship truly entails. They may confuse parental authority with the exercise of parental power, force even.

In addition, elders continuously share marriage arranging duties with their children, as the variety of semi-arranged marriage types suggest. These hybrid arranged marriage types are expressions of transformations of marital agents’ role in exercising self-determination and self-realization in marriage matters. They also reflect the changes in traditional parenthood: where once it was the elders who decided for the collective, this is now scrutinized by marital agents’ desires for freedom to (also) decide. In the words of Aguiar ‘arranged marriage has become the locus of a set of liberal and communitarian discourses that articulate competing visions of individual and collective agency’. 180 This does not always run smoothly. Elders may not always believe that transitions towards freedom and individualism are proper. Families often act as buffers against ‘too much’ individualism that is perceived as an isolating and alienating force that disrupts family cohesion and hinders traditions to be passed on from generation to generation. Many, in arranged marriage cultures, parents as well as young people, are grappling with the blended agendas of the liberal and communitarian, of the individual and the collective that are shaping arranged marriage realities. A very sensitive portrayal of an intergenerational struggle in this regard can be seen in the drama film A Fond Kiss : protagonist Casim, son of Pakistani Muslim immigrants to the UK, asks his parents to accept his love choice for Roisin, a Catholic divorcee. In their turn, his parents, emotionally destroyed and shamed by Casim’s desires, plead to their son to accept an arranged marriage to his cousin Yasmin. This Casim refuses and the family breaks up. 181

As indicated earlier, the tendency is to view such realities from a Eurocentric lens, that prizes liberalism and equality, and that advocates the individual’s rise from traditional structures as a marker of sovereignty, supported by contract, geared towards independence and freedom from authority. 182

Again, such views monopolize examination of arranged marriage, are biased, ‘culturally-determined’ and entrenched in ‘limited historical perspectives’. 183 ‘Many people in this world have registers of well-being that are not the same as degrees of freedom, measures such as duty, devotion and responsibility.’ 184 Many people do not value, experience, nor desire full independence from parental authority.

Hybrid arranged marriages are in a sense partly separated from and partly belonging to traditional as well as liberal structures. It is vital to represent and express belonging to these traditional structures in the discourse on arranged marriage. It is important to acknowledge notions of guardianship, authority, and community when one measures change and modernization in arranged marriage realities, but also when one measures distancing from that very modernization in efforts to hold on to traditions.

The current tendency, when marital agents demand a stronger role in mate selection, is to capture this in a language of freedoms, control, agency and the rising individual. This language presupposes that marital agents’ main aim is to free oneself, become independent and ultimately exit the arranged marriage system. 185 It presupposes too that marital agents are very capable of acting independently of their parents. The fact of the matter is, that many marital agents are deeply connected to a system of parental guardianship and authority, they are hierarchically interdependent with family, they cherish strong belonging to their community and understand family cohesion as a necessary component of their family’s well-being in which their well-being is integrated. Marital agents granted or demanding a role in match making, challenge in essence (part of) the authority of parents, but do not act as fully atomistic units. When parents allow their child to jointly decide with them on marriage matters, this is articulated in literature mostly as a step that invests power in the child. However, this ought to also be valued as a sharing of parental authority or guardianship with the child. Adding authority and guardianship to the conversation on the arranged marriage gives rise to a language that relates to and represents community. For instance, why do some parents share their authority, why do others not? It might be possible that some parents deem their children disciplined enough to select wisely, pointing to the principle that ‘discipline is authority in operation?’ 186 It might be that some parents believe that their children can act as their own guardians, partly or in full, given that these children are educated and skilled in ways the elders are not? Might it be that in diaspora contexts elders are searching for new meaning to traditional concepts such as authority and guardianship and need a language to cope with this hybrid dynamic rather than a language that calls upon their children to exit anything traditional? Asking and addressing such questions will contribute to a discourse on arranged marriage that respects the very foundations it is built upon. It is knowledge about these foundations that is pivotal if we wish to understand the arranged marriage proper and change in that domain.

This article argued for a full renunciation of the binary approach adopted in literature in studying arranged marriage. In the binary approach, the arranged marriage emerges as a lesser conjugal union in comparison to the ideal and prized autonomous conjugal union. Recognizing that the arranged marriage must be valued on its own merits, this article sought for an ideal typical construct of the arranged marriage, as a neutral departure point in a study of this marital system and as a tool to explore arranged marriage realities. The arranged marriage is fundamentally rooted in the sociological principles of collective belonging, parental guardianship and the protective, provident authority of elders in match making. This article calls for a fresh discourse on arranged marriage and changing arranged marriage patterns that reflect these principles in order to arrive at a much needed and understudied fuller appreciation and conversation of a marital system that engages hundreds of millions.

In order to be as impartial as humanly possible, this article does not offer personal opinions on or preferences for the arranged or the autonomous marriage. It is of fundamental importance that any scholar on the arranged marriage system (and many other subjects for that matter) is an unbiased scholar or at least strives to be. Neither advocacy of nor opposition to the arranged marriage, and neither advocacy of nor opposition to the autonomous marriage should enter a scholar’s theories and findings. A scholar’s role is not to express any preference for either system, it is not to value one system as better than the other, it is to become independent from any prejudice of one over the other

This article is based on, The Arranged Marriage – Changing Perspectives on a Marital Institution (Unpublished Dissertation Utrecht University) Utrecht, 2019.

Authors referring to this binary are eg F. Shariff, ‘Towards a Transformative Paradigm in the UK Response to Forced Marriages’ (2012) 21 (4) Social and Legal Studies 549–65; M. Aguiar, Arranging Marriage, Conjugal Agency in The South Asian Diaspora (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2018); R. Pande, ‘Geographies of Marriage and Migration: Arranged Marriages and South Asians in Britain’ (2014) 8 (2) Geography Compass 75–86; S. Anitha and A. Gill, ‘Coercion, Consent and the Forced Marriage Debate in the UK’ (2009) 17 Feminist Legal Studies 165–84; M. Khandelwal, ‘Arranging Love: Interrogating the Vantage Point in Cross-Border Feminism’ (2009) 34 (3) Signs 583–609; F. Ahmad, ‘Graduating Towards Marriage? Attitudes Towards Marriage and Relationships among University-educated British Muslim Women’ (2012) 13 Culture and Religion 193–210.

M. Weber, Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Wissenschafslehre (Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr, 1988) p. 191.

Notably, H. Arendt, Between Past and Future (New York: Penguin Books, 1977); M. Douglas, ‘Cultural Bias’ in M. Douglas (ed.), The Active Voice (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1982), as referred to by Thompson et al., Cultural Theory (Boulder, San Francisco: Westview Press, 1990); Thompson et al. ibid; M. Douglas, Risk and Blame (London, New York: Routledge, 1992); R.A. Dahl, Democracy and its Critics (New Have: Yale University, 1989); L. Dumont, Homo Hierarchicus (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980); R.A. Nisbet, The Quest for Community (California: ICS Press, 1990); R.A. Nisbet, The Sociological Tradition (London: Heinemann Educational Books Ltd, 1966); R. Sennett, Authority (New York: W.W. Norton, 1980).

For origins of the term ‘arranged marriage’ see Aguiar (n 1) 14.

‘Autonomous marriage’ is used in I.L. Reiss, Family Systems in America (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1976) as referred to by G.R. Lee and L. Hemphill Stone, ‘Mate-Selection Systems and Criteria: Variation according to Family Structure’ (1980) 42 (2) Journal of Marriage and Family 319–26, 319.

Anitha and Gill (n 1); Shariff (n 1); Aguiar (n 1); Pande (n 1); Khandelwal (n 1).

Shariff (n 1) 556, on binary between consent and coercion.

Compare Ahmad (n 1) 194; see also Pande (n 1) 82; see also Aguiar (n 1) 14.

Nisbet 1990 (n 4) pp. 3–4; A.J. Cherlin, ‘Goode's “World Revolution and Family Patterns”: A Reconsideration at Fifty Years’ (2012) 38 (4) Population and Development Review 577–607, 580, 581; see for progress towards the atomistic family C.C. Zimmerman, Family and Civilization (Wilmington Delaware: ISI Books, 2008) pp. 124, 247–49; in general on progress see J.B. Bury, The Idea of Progress (New York: Cosimo Classics, 2008); R.A. Nisbet, History of the Idea of Progress (New York: Basic Book, Inc. Publishers, 1980); see also Arendt (n 4) 100, 101 on progress theory.

See S. Coontz, Marriage, a History, How Love Conquered Marriage (New York: Penguin Group, 2005) p. 25; See for more on this evolution J. Witte Jr., From Sacrament to Contract , Marriage, Religion, and Law in the Western Tradition (Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 1997) pp. 194–215.

X. Xiaohe and M. King Whyte, ‘Love Matches and Arranged Marriages: A Chinese Replication’ (1990) 52 (3) Journal of Marriage and the Family 709–22, 709.

See for these terms W.J. Goode, World Revolution and Family Patterns (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1970) p. 1, and Zimmerman (n 10) pp. 30–36.

A. Thornton, Reading History Sideways: The Fallacy and the Enduring Impact of the Developmental Paradigm on Family Life (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005), as referred to by Cherlin (n 10) 581; see also, K. Allendorf and R.K. Pandian, ‘The Decline of Arranged Marriage? Marital Change and Continuity in India’ (2016) 42 (3) Population and Development Review 435–464, 435.

Cherlin (n 10) 581.

Allendorf and Pandian (n 14) 435.

Thornton (n 14), as referred to by Cherlin (n 10) 593.

Cherlin (n 10) 594.

On the ‘convergence theory’, see Goode (n 13) and Cherlin (n 10); on ‘developmental paradigm’ see Thorntan (n 14) as referred to by Cherlin (n 10) 581; see also A. Shaw, A Pakistani Community in Britain (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1988) pp. 2, 3 on the expected disappearance of Pakistani migrants’ culture.

M. Enright, ‘Choice, Culture and the Politics of Belonging: The Emerging Law of Forced and Arranged Marriage’ (2009) 72 (3) The Modern Law Review 331–59, 338.

R. Pande, ‘Becoming Modern: British-Indian Discourses of Arranged Marriages’ (2016) 17 (3) Social & Cultural Geography 380–400, 384; see on consequence of ‘othering’ of migrants, Pande (n 1) 75; Shariff (n 1) 562.

E. Said, Orientalism (New York: Penguin, 1978) as referred to by S.R. Moosavinia et al, ‘Edward Said’s Orientalism and the Study of the Self and the Other in Orwell’s Burmese Days’ (2011) 2 (1) Studies in Literature and Language 103–13, 104.

Pande (n 21) 384.

Moosavinia et al, (n 22) 104; Said (n 22).

P.J. Gagoomal, ‘A “Margin of Appreciation” for “Marriages of Appreciation”: Reconciling South Asian Adult Arranged Marriages with the Matrimonial Consent Requirement in International Human Rights Law’ (2009) 97 The Georgetown Law Journal 589–620, 601; compare Shariff (n 1) 557.

E.g.: ‘I fled in just the clothes I was wearing’: How one Muslim woman escaped arranged marriage, Mirror , 17 September 2012; L. Harding, ‘Student Saved from Arranged Marriage’, The Guardian , 14 March 2000, as referred to by R. Penn, ‘Arranged Marriages in Western Europe: Media Representations and Social Reality’ (2011) 42 (5) Journal of Comparative Family Studies 637–50, 639, for more examples, see 639–41; see also Aguiar (n 1) 11, 12.

Enright (n 20) 332; Shariff (n 1) 557; Anitha and Gill (n 1) 171; G. Gangoli et al, Forced Marriage and Domestic Violence among South Asian Communities in North East England (Bristol: University of Bristol, Northern Rock Foundation, 2006), as referred to by Anitha and Gill (n 1) 167.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), G.A. Res. 217A, (III), U.N. Doc A/810, 10 December 1948, Article 16 (2); International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), GA. Res. 2200A (XXI), 16 December 1966, Article 23 (3); International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), G.A. Res. 2200A (XXI), 16 December 1966, Article 10 (1).

Aguiar (n 1) 11–13, see also Anitha and Gill (n 1); Shariff (n 1).

Aguiar (n 1) 11, 67.

Anitha and Gill (n 1); Aguiar (n 1) 67.

Anitha and Gill (n 1); Aguiar (n 1) 13, 14; Shariff (n 1).

Enright (n 20) 338.

UDHR (n 28); ICCPR (n 28); ICESCR (n 28).

Aguiar (n 1) 13.

Gagoomal (n 25) 611.

R.W. Hodge and N. Ogawa, ‘Arranged Marriages, Assortative Mating and Achievement in Japan,’ in Nihon University Population Research Institute, Research Paper, Series No. 1986, as referred to by Gagoomal (n 25) 601.

Shariff (n 1) 562; see also Anitha and Gill.

Shariff (n 1) 557.

Aguiar (n 1) 67; see also Anitha and Gill (n 1) 171.

Anitha and Gill (n 1) 171.

Anitha and Gill (n 1) 171; see also Thompson et al, (n 4) 7 on the ‘individualistic social context’.

See for a slightly different categorization R.B. Qureshi, ‘Marriage Strategies among Muslims from South Asia’ 1991 10 (3) The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences , as referred to by A.U. Zaidi and M. Shuraydi, ‘Perceptions of Arranged Marriages by Young Pakistani Muslim Women Living in a Western Society’ 2002 33 (4) Journal of Comparative Family Studies 495–514, 496.

Qureshi (n 43) as referred to by Zaidi and Shuraydi (n 43) 496; Gagoomal (n 25) 592; Cherlin (n 10) 589; see also for modified traditional types, Shariff (n 1) 558; H. Siddiqui, ‘Review: Winning Freedoms’ (1991) 37 Feminist Review 78, 81, as referred to by Enright (n 20) 340, ft 45; see also R. Pande, ‘I Arranged my Own Marriage': Arranged Marriages and Post-colonial Feminism’ (2015) 22 (2) Gender, Place & Culture 172–87, 175; S.P. Wakil et al, ‘Between Two Cultures: A Study in Socialization of Children of Immigrants’ (1981) 43 (4) Journal of Marriage and Family 929–40, 935; see also Ahmad (n 1).

Qureshi (n 43), as referred to by Zaidi and Shuraydi (n 43) 496; S.A. Patel, An Exploratory Study of Arranged-Love Marriage in Couples From Collective Cultures (Dissertation Northern Illinois University, Ann Arbor: ProQuest LLC) 2016, 10; J. Kapur, ‘An Arranged Love Marriage: India’s Neoliberal turn and the Bollywood Wedding Culture Industry’ (2009) 2 Communication, Culture, and Critique 221–33, as referred to by Patel 10; Cherlin (n 10) 590; Shariff (n 1) 558.

Shariff (n 1) 558; S. Seymour, Women, Family, and Child Care in India: A World in Transition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999) p. 212, as referred to by Kandelwal (n 1) 595; K. Kezuka, ‘Late Marriage and Transition from Arranged Marriages to Love Matches: A Search-theoretic Approach’ 2018 42 (2) The Journal of Mathematical Sociology 237–56, 237; N.D. Manglos-Weber and A.A. Weinreb, ‘Own-Choice Marriage and Fertility in Turkey’ (2017) 79 (2) Journal of Marriage and Family 372–89, 373; Pande (n 21) 389.

Shariff (n 1) 558, who refers to M. Stopes-Roe and R. Cochrane, Citizens of this Country: The Asian-British (Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 1990).

Ahmad (n 1) 195, 200; M.J. Bhatti, Questioning Empowerment: Pakistani Women, Higher Education & Marriage (Dissertation University at Buffalo, State University of New York, 2013) 153.

R. Huch, ‘Romantic Marriage’, in H. Keyserling ed., The Book of Marriage: A New Interpretation by Twenty-four Leaders of Contemporary thought (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1926) pp. 168, 177, as referred to by Gagoomal (n 25) 607/n 112.

S. Davé, ‘Matchmakers and Cultural Compatibility: Arranged Marriage, South Asians, and American television’ (2012) 10 (2) South Asian Popular Culture 167–83, 168.

F.B. Ternikar, Revisioning the Ethnic Family: An Analysis of Marriage Patterns Among Hindu, Muslim, and Christian South Asian Immigrants (Dissertation, Chicago, Illinois, August 2004) 41.

Ahmad (n 1) 206, see also 207.

See among others Ahmad (n 1) and Aguiar (n 1).

Enright (n 20) 331, italics added.

Pande (n 21) 384, italics added, referring to the Oxford English Dictionary.

K. Charsley and A. Shaw, ‘South Asian Transnational Marriages in Comparative Perspective’ (2006) 6 (4) Global Networks 331–44, 335; Zaidi and Shuraydi (n 43) 496.

Zaidi and Shuraydi (n 43) 496; see also Penn (n 26) 637.

Zaidi and Shuraydi (n 43), 496 (italics omitted).

D. Riesman et al, The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the American Changing Character (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1961) p. 17.

A. Shaw, ‘Kinship, Cultural Preference and Immigration: Consanguineous Marriage Among British Pakistanis’ (2001) 7 (2) Royal Anthropological Institute 315–34, 323.

G.W. Jones, Changing Marriage Patterns in Asia (Working Paper, Asia Research Institute, Series 131, 2010) 4.

P. Wood, ‘Marriage and Social Boundaries among British Pakistanis’ (2011) 20 (1) Diaspora 40–64, 41.

Ahmad (n 1) 200.

Charsley and Shaw (n 56) 338; Khandelwal (n 1).

Davé (n 50) 167, 168.

Charsley and Shaw (n 56) 338.

M. Aguiar, ‘Cultural Regeneration in Transnational South-Asian Popular Culture’ (2013) 84 Cultural Critique (2013) 181–214, 183.

Aguiar (n 1) 7.

A. Patel, ‘Marriage, then Love — Why Arranged Marriages Still Work Today,’ Global News , 26 July 2018.

K. Qureshi et al, ‘Marital Instability among British Pakistanis: Transnationality, Conjugalities and Islam’ (2014) 37 (2) Ethnic and Racial Studies 261–79, 276.

Pande (n 1) 75; for more on this love see K. Bejanyan et al, ‘Associations of Collectivism with Relationship Commitment, Passion, and Mate Preferences: Opposing Roles of Parental Influence and Family Allocentrism’ (2015) 10 (2) PLoS ONE 1–24, 3; Goode (n 13) 9, 12; Coontz (n 11) 149; Compare Zimmerman (n 10) 39.

R.A. Nisbet, Twilight of Authority (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc. 2000) 235.

C.S. Lewis, ‘The Four Loves’ in C.S. Lewis (ed.), Selected Books (London: Harper Collins, 1999) pp. 5, 15.

A. de Tocqueville, La Démocratie en Amérique (Paris: Gallimard, 1961, 2 vols.), English Translation by H. Reeve: Democracy in America (London: 1875) as referred to by Dumont (n 4) 17.

Compare the ideal type of the conjugal family, Goode (n 13) 7.

Weber (n 3) 191, translation by H. Ross, Law as a Social Institution (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2001) p. 34.

L.A. Coser, Masters of Sociological Thought (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1977) p. 223.

Compare Goode (n 13) 7.

Khandelwal (n 1) 584, 586, 605.

Ahmad (n 1) p. 194; Pande (n 21) p. 384; see also R. Mohammad, ‘Transnational Shift: Marriage, Home and belonging for British-Pakistani Muslim Women’ (2015) 16 (6) Social & Cultural Geography 593–614, 596.

Pande (n 44) 172, 183; Pande (n 21) 384.

Khandelwal (n 1); Ahmad (n 1); Pande (n 1); Mohammad (n 83); Pande (n 44) 181.

S.J. Hekman, Weber, the Ideal Type, and Contemporary Social Theory (New York: University of Notre Dame Press, 1983) p. 20.

For existing analyses on the topic, see Goode (n 13); D. Mace and V. Mace, Marriage East and West (London: Macgibbon and Kee, 1960); for marriages and caste in India, see Dumont (n 4); for Pakistani immigrants in Oxford and arranged marriages, see Shaw (n 19); see also Pande (n 45); Ahmad (n 1); Aguiar (n 1).

Thompson et al (n 4) 1.

See e.g. Aguiar (n 1) 15, 25, 139–44; G.L. Fox, ‘Love Match and Arranged Marriage in a Modernizing Nation: Mate Selection in Ankara, Turkey’ (1975) 37 (1) Journal of Marriage and Family 180–93, 181; Lee and Stone (n 6) 320; Kezuka (n 46).

Lee and Stone (n 6) 320: see also Mate selection theories, Encyclopaedia of Sociology, The Gale Group Inc., Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mateselection-theories (last visited 14 July 2019).

Shaw (n 60) 325.

See eg Goode (n 13) pp. 240, 241; R.O. Blood, The Family (New York: Free Press, 1972) pp. 293–96, as referred to by Fox (n 89) 187.

A. Shaw, ‘Drivers of Cousin Marriage among British Pakistanis’ (2014) 77 Human Heredity 26–36, 31.

Fox (n 89) 181.

Shaw (n 93) 31.

See also Fox (n 89) 181; Lee and Stone (n 6) 320.

Gagoomal (n 25) 611; Lewis (n 74) 5, 15 in general on gift-love.

Thompson et al. (n 4) 6, referring to the grid-group analysis.

Tocqueville vol 2 (n 76) 90–92, as referred to by Dumont (n 4) 17; Shaw (n 19) 6.

Riesman et al (n 59) 17.

Dumont (n 4) 7.

Shaw (n 19) 6, referring to immigrant Pakistanis.

Lee and Stone (n 6) 320.

Pande (n 44) 177.

Lee and Stone (n 6) 320 see also Fox (n 89) 181.

See for various examples Gagoomal (n 25) 615, 617, 618.

G.P. Monger, Marriage Customs of the World: From Henna to Honeymoon (Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2004) 13.

Dumont (n 4) 2, 239, 19, 20; Nisbet (n 73) 217.

Jones (n 62) 4; Wood (n 63) 40–64, 41.

P. Crone, Pre-Industrial Societies (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2003) p. 99; Dumont (n 3) 19.

Dumont (n 4) 19.

Ibid., 17, 2.

Compare Crone (n 111) p. 104 on an organic view of society.

Nisbet (n 73) 217.

Dumont (n 4) 66, 240, 243, 244; Crone (n 111) pp. 99, 107; Thompson et al (n 4) 59.

Dumont (n 4) 66.

Thompson et al (n 4) 6.

Ibid., (n 4) 6.

T. Parsons, ‘A Revised Analytical Approach to the Theory of Social Stratification’ in R. Bendix et al (eds.), Class, Status and Power (London: Glencoe, 1954), as referred to by Dumont (n 4) 19.

Thompson et al (n 4) 6; Dumont (n 4) 17–19; see in general on guardianship Dahl (n 4) 52–64, 73.

Parsons (n 121), as referred to by Dumont (n 4) 19, see also 239, 240.

Dahl (n 4) 52.

Monger (n 108) 13.

Crone (n 111) p. 105, who refers to pre-industrial societies and hierarchy.

Dumont (n 4) 18.

M. Shams Uddin, ‘Arranged Marriage: A Dilemma for Young British Asians’ (2006) 3 Diversity in Health and Social Care 211–19, 211; F.M. Critelli, ‘Between Law and Custom: Women, Family Law and Marriage in Pakistan’ (2012) 43 (5) Journal of Comparative Family Studies 673–93, 677; Fox (n 90) 186,181.

Shaw (n 60) 324.

Shams Uddin (n 129) 211.

G.R. Quale, ‘A history of marriage systems’ in Contributions in Family Studie s, Issue 13 (Westport, US: Greenwood press, 1988) 2.

Tocqueville II (n 76), as referred to by Dumont (n 4) 18; see also Sennett (n 4) 126.

Ahmad (n 1) 201; in a similar vein see Mohammad (n 83) 603; see also Wakil et al (n 44) 936 on this responsibility.

Tocqueville II (n 76), as referred to by Dumont (n 4) 18, 17.

A. de Tocqueville, Democracy in America II (London: Everyman’s Library, 1994) 196.

Arendt (n 4) 93.

On guardianship see Dahl (n 4) 52.

On aristocracy see Tocqueville II (n 76), see Dumont (n 4) p. 18.

See for an explanation on tradition and authority, M. Weber, The Theory of Social and Economic Organization , A.M. Henderson and T. Parsons (trans.), T. Parsons (ed.) (New York: Oxford University Press, 1947) 341, as referred to by Nisbet 1966 (n 4) 142.

Compare Pande (n 44) 177; Shams Uddin (n 129) 211; Ahmad (n 1) 201 on trust and respect for parents.

Gagoomal (n 25) 589, 590.

Ibid., 590.

Ahmad (n 1) 201.

Arendt (n 4) 92.

Sennett (n 4) 15; see also Arendt (n 4) 92.

Weber (n 144) 341, as referred to by Nisbet 1966 (n 4) 142; Zimmerman (n 10) 215.

Zimmerman (n 10) 215.

Arendt (n 4) 93, 103.

Sennett (n 4) 18; Arendt (n 4) 93.

Sennett (n 4) 15–22.

Sennett (n 4) 16.

Arendt (n 4) 111; Weber, as referred to by Sennet (n 4) 22.

Weber, without further reference, as referred to by Sennett (n 4) 22.

Derived from Sennett (n 4) 19.

Nisbet 1966 (n 4) 107, 108.

Ibid., 142.

Shams Uddin (n 129) 211: Ahmad (n 3) 201.

MTV Documentary, True Life: I'm Having an Arranged Marriage , 2007, as referred to by Gagoomal (n 25) 617; Pande (n 21) 387; Gagoomal (n 25) 615; see also Sennett (n 4) 17 on a conductor that sees through members of the orchestra.

Sennett (n 4) 17.

Lee and Stone (n 6) 320; Fox (n 89) 181.

See W.J. Goode, ‘The Theoretical Importance of Love’ (1959) 24 (1) American Sociological Review 38–47, 43–46; compare also Bejanyan et al (n 72) 3.

Goode (n 168) 43; H. Papanek, ‘Purdah in Pakistan: Seclusion and Modern Occupations for Women’ (1971) 33 (3) Journal of Marriage and Family 517–30, 520.

Goode (n 168) 43; Thompson et al (n 4) 6; Shams Uddin (n 129) 212.

See for more Bejanyan et al (n 72) 3.

Goode (n 168) 43; Papanek (n 169) 520.

F. Bari, Country briefing paper: Women in Pakistan, Asian Development Bank July 2000. http://www.adb.org/Documents/Books/Country_Briefing_Papers/Women in Pakistan , as referred to by Critelli (n 129) 677; Shaw (n 60) 330; see also Riesman et al (n 59) 24.

Thompson et al (n 4) 59; see also in general on shame, N.P. Gilani, ‘Conflict Management of Mothers and Daughters Belonging to Individualistic and Collectivistic Cultural Backgrounds: A Comparative Study’ 1999 22 Journal of Adolescence 853–65, 854, 855; Riesman et al (n 59) 24.

A. de Tocqueville, Democracy in America II , 298, 303, as referred to by Nisbet 1966 (n 4) 114.

Nisbet 1966 (n 4) 151.

Goode (n 13) 7.

Coser (n 80) 223.

C. Breen, Age Discrimination and Children’s Rights. Ensuring Equality and Acknowledging Difference (Leiden: Brill Nijhoff, 2006) as referred to by A. van Coller, ‘Child Marriage – Acceptance by Association’ (2017) 31 International Journal of Law, Policy and The Family 363–76, 369.

Aguiar (n 1) 215.

Film A Fond Kiss , Ken Loach 2004; see also the Film What Will People Say , Iram Haq 2017 on a similar intergenerational struggle between an immigrant Pakistani father and his daughter in Sweden.

Derived from Nisbet 1966 (n 4) 116.

Moosavinia et al (n 22) 104; Said (n 22).

S. Mahmood, Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011), as referred to by Aguiar (n 1) 219.

For more on this exit see Anitha and Gill (n 3) 176–80; Shariff (n 3) 550, 551, 553, 561, 562.

Nisbet 1966 (n 4) 150.

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Love Marriage vs. Arranged Marriage: Is There a Clear Winner?

Love marriage or arranged marriage? It’s the eternal debate, a heated tug-of-war that’s played out in bedrooms, living rooms, and dinner tables, generation after generation, across the globe. But before we declare one as the champion of marital bliss, let’s ditch the rose-tinted glasses and peek at the cold, hard truths.

(Success) Rate It

Which one is better? Scratch that, you must be tempted to ask which is best? Studies show that while arranged marriages have a higher initial success rate, love marriages do tend to have a higher long-term satisfaction rate. Not a shocker, right? Turns out, love isn’t a lifelong guarantee, and the right wellwisher’s matchmaking skills might just take you by surprise. So, it’s never really about the origin story, but the quality of the partnership itself.

Love marriages do boast a slight edge in the “till death do us part” department. Studies suggest they last a smidge longer. It could be attributed to how a couple builds their relationship on shared chemistry and understanding, instead of prioritising family compatibility. But arranged marriages have their fair share of long-lasting romances too. It’s all about nurturing that spark, regardless of its ignition source.

Divorces? Love The Arranged

The divorce statistics paint a more nuanced picture. Arranged marriages, especially in certain cultures, see lower divorce rates. Could be the strong family support system, the emphasis on compromise, or simply the societal commitment to long-term stability. Why? Because in love marriages, people do have the freedom to walk away if things get bumpy (and no family pressure to “make it work”).

Do note that even though arranged marriages might have a lower divorce rate initially, this gap shrinks over time. This also doesn’t mean that all love marriages are doomed. Open communication, shared values, and a healthy dose of ‘I do’s’ not just for each other, but to get through the inevitable rough patches– it simply means both partners choose to work harder.

Arranged, With Love: Advantages & Disadvantages of Arranged vs. Love Marriage

Arranged marriage is better than a love marriage in the sense that it lets you bypass dating anxieties and offers built-in family support for conflicts. You’ve a whole set of family mediators ready to chaperone your disagreements– for better or for worse! But they are a gamble on compatibility, not passion. Since you do also skip the crucial “getting to know your person” bit. Think of it as a surprise vacation– you might land in paradise, or you might find yourself sharing a bed with a stranger. The better news? Lower expectations from the start mean less room for disappointment. And when the honeymoon phase inevitably melts into the daily grind, the transition is swift.

In contrast, love marriages offer freedom, compatibility, and flexibility, letting you choose your partner based on shared ideas of life and break societal barriers. You know each other’s quirks and can set your own timelines. But beware: passion can blind, cultural clashes can sting, and family support can be scarce. Choose wisely, as

alone doesn’t guarantee a smooth ride in the long haul.

Beyond Binaries: The Art of “Arranged Introductions”

The binary of arranged versus love marriages often overlook a nuanced, modern-day alternative: Enter the “arranged introduction.’

This approach, pioneered by Vows For Eternity , harnesses the wisdom of family networks while fostering genuine connections before marriage. It allows two like-minded people to navigate the often-daunting task of finding a compatible partner with the benefit of shared values and familial support, all while avoiding the pitfalls of societal pressures and impulsive decisions. Think of it as a bridge between tradition and modern sensibilities– a fulfilling journey built on both reason and genuine connection. In this age of meticulously planned lives, why leave your love lives entirely to chance? Take the reins and embrace the guidance of relationship experts, your loved ones, and above all, your gut.

Introspection, not just Instagrammable proposals.

After all, shouldn’t finding a life partner be as thoughtfully planned as any other life-defining decision? Remember, it’s not about how you met, but how you grow together. Now, go forth, be bold, and write your own happily-ever-after, arranged or otherwise!

essay on love marriage vs arranged marriage

Pamela Regan, Ph.D.

  • Relationships

Arranged vs. Love-Based Marriages in the U.S.—How Different Are They?

Not as different as you might think..

Posted August 1, 2012 | Reviewed by Ekua Hagan

This month, my research assistant, Carlos Anguiano, heads off to Washington State University to begin a Ph.D. program. He’s been an important part of my lab for two years now, and it seems only fitting that I dedicate this month’s entry to him and the collaborative research project we’ve completed this past school year.

Using data collected by a former thesis student, we sought to determine whether the relationship experiences of people in arranged marriages differed significantly from those of people in love-based (free-choice) marriages.

This wasn’t an easy study to conduct. Arranged marriage — a form of marriage in which partners are selected by family members or professional matchmakers — is not the norm in our contemporary Western culture, and so it's fairly challenging to find people in the U.S. who have entered into that type of marital arrangement. And even in societies with a longstanding tradition of arranged marriage (for example, south and east Asia, the Middle East, and South America), prevalence rates have been on the decline for years, making it increasingly difficult for researchers interested in arranged marriages to find participants for their studies.

Nonetheless, one of my intrepid thesis students managed to find a sample of adults living in the U.S. who were in arranged marriages contracted by their family members or professional matchmakers. She also identified a comparison sample of adults in love-based, free-choice marriages in which they had personally chosen their spouses on the basis of love.

On average, these men and women were 35 years old and had been married for 10 years; all were of Indian descent and most were Hindu. Each marriage had been contracted and had taken place in the U.S.

Now, because we were interested in comparing the relationship outcomes and experiences of men and women in these two types of marriage, we asked each participant to complete four commonly used questionnaires: (1) the Passionate Love Scale created by Dr. Elaine Hatfield (University of Hawaii) and Dr. Susan Sprecher (Illinois State University), which assesses the essential features of passionate, romantic love ; (2) the Companionate Love Scale created by Dr. Sprecher and myself, which captures feelings of affectionate, friendship -based love; and (3) the Satisfaction and (4) the Commitment scales created by Dr. Caryl Rusbult , which assess people’s satisfaction with and commitment to their spouses and marriages.

Once we had collected the data, it was time for Carlos and me to analyze the results. First, we found that men and women in both types of marriage reported high levels of satisfaction, commitment, and passionate and companionate love. This result didn't really surprise us — surveys conducted in the U.S. consistently find high levels of satisfaction and well-being among most married individuals. That is, most married people are pretty happy with their marriages and their partners, most of the time — and our study participants were no different.

What did surprise us was the number of sex differences we found. Specifically, despite the uniformly positive experiences reported by our participants, the men in our sample reported significantly higher levels of passionate and companionate love for their spouses and commitment to their marriages than did the women.

This finding was unexpected; other researchers generally have not found the same pattern of results. We have no real explanation for this — all we know is that for whatever reason, our male participants loved more passionately and affectionately, and felt more committed to their marriages, than our female participants. (Keep in mind, though, that all participants scored fairly highly on those measures — it's just that men scored higher.)

Our final — and most important — finding also was unexpected. We found absolutely no difference between participants in arranged marriages and those in free-choice marriages on the four measures we included in our study. Regardless of the nature of their marriage — whether their spouse had been selected by family members/matchmakers or had been personally and freely chosen — the participants in our study were extremely (and equally) happy with their relationships.

The bottom line? Love, satisfaction, and commitment appear to be common outcomes in both arranged and free choice, love-based marriages, at least among Indian adults living in the U.S.

This study, like all research investigations, is not without limitations. It’s important to keep in mind, for example, that these marriages were contracted in the U.S. by men and women living in an urban, industrialized environment. The dynamics of marriage (arranged or otherwise) in other countries, in other environments, involving other people, might be very different.

essay on love marriage vs arranged marriage

In the U.S., the line between "arranged" and "free choice" is probably a blurry one. People entering arranged marriages here may have veto power or the ability to say "no" to a potential spouse who doesn't please them or for whom they feel no attraction or affection, and people entering free-choice marriages often are influenced by the wishes and feelings of their friends and family. Thus, there is an element of choice in arranged marriages contracted in the U.S., and an element of social influence in U.S.-made free choice marriages. We might expect to find greater differences in love, satisfaction, and commitment in cultural contexts that support a clearer division between the two types of marriage.

I hope that our findings (which were published this year in the journal Psychological Reports ) offer some insight into an important and little-studied type of marriage. I invite you to read more here .

And to Carlos — you’ll be missed. Good luck in graduate school and best wishes to you and your family as you enter this exciting new chapter in your life. You’ve made me very proud.

Pamela Regan, Ph.D.

Pamela Regan, Ph.D. , is a professor of psychology at Cal State Los Angeles. She is the author of Close Relationships (Routledge).

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It's Time To express Yourself

Exploring love marriage vs. arranged marriage: a comprehensive analysis.

article written by thinker and writer Trendingadda

Marriage, a sacred institution, has been a subject of debate for centuries. In today's dynamic society, two primary approaches to marriage stand out: Love Marriage and Arranged Marriage. 

Each has its merits and demerits, and understanding the intricacies of both can aid individuals in making informed decisions about their marital journey.

Defining Love Marriage and Arranged Marriage:

Love Marriage:

Love marriage is a union where individuals choose their life partners based on mutual affection, emotional connection, and personal compatibility. It often involves a romantic courtship period, allowing the couple to understand each other before tying the knot.

Arranged Marriage:

Arranged marriage, on the other hand, is a union orchestrated by families or third parties. The decision to marry is typically based on factors such as compatibility, social status, and family values rather than personal feelings. In many cultures, elders play a crucial role in match-making.

Comparative Analysis:

Foundation of Relationship:

Love Marriage: Built on a foundation of personal choice and emotional connection.

Arranged Marriage: Grounded in compatibility factors determined by families and cultural norms.

Decision-Making Process:

Love Marriage: Individuals have the freedom to choose their life partners based on personal preferences.

Arranged Marriage: Involves family members or matchmakers who consider social, economic, and cultural factors.

Understanding Before Marriage:

Love Marriage: Couples often have an extended courtship period, allowing them to understand each other's strengths and weaknesses.

Arranged Marriage: Understanding may be limited before marriage, with the couple getting to know each other after the union.

Social and Family Acceptance:

Love Marriage: Might face challenges in gaining acceptance from conservative families or societies.

Arranged Marriage: Generally enjoys better social acceptance, as it aligns with cultural norms and family expectations.

Commitment and Longevity:

Love Marriage: The commitment is often based on personal feelings and emotional bonds.

Arranged Marriage: Commitment may be rooted in familial expectations, and longevity is sometimes attributed to a strong support system.


The debate between Love Marriage and Arranged Marriage continues to evolve as societies progress and cultural norms adapt. Ultimately, the success of a marriage depends on the commitment, understanding, and communication between the partners. Whether one chooses love or arrangement, embracing the diversity of marital experiences enriches the broader tapestry of human relationships.

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Love Marriage vs. Arranged Marriage: Which is Better?

love vs arranged marriage

The following marriage definition essay will examine the two types of marriages, namely arranged and love marriage. The love marriage vs. arranged marriage essay presented below will try to make it clear whether love marriage is better than the arranged one and in what ways the two types of marriages differ from each other. The following arranged marriage essay will try to explore whether it is better to marry because you love another person or vice versa. The current arranged marriages essay represents an attempt to draw the line between the two types of marriages and explain why arranged marriage still exists despite the fact that it is a rather controversial topic that continues to provoke much debate. The essay on arranged marriage offered to the readers will not only examine the issues related to arranged marriage, but also give a definition of love marriage so as to discuss the topic from both perspectives. There is an on-going debate concerning the best way to select a love partner for marriage. Therefore, the current definition essay on marriage will try to answer the questions that still arise in regard to arranged and love marriages.

The current essay on love marriage and arranged marriage will examine the ways in which individuals prefer choosing their partners for getting married. It is a fact that every person looks for an ideal match, but there is evidently a difference in terms of the factors influencing one’s choice of a partner. Some people choose a partner recommended by their parents or friends. The current arranged marriage vs. love marriage essay will therefore try to explain which of the two types of marriages is more preferable judging from the long-term outcomes of both kinds of marriages. Here are some benefits of the arranged and love marriage.

                Love marriage:

  • The two individuals have long been acquainted and mutually understand each other’s way of life, tastes and preferences. Therefore, they decide to spend the entire life together.
  • The two people take responsibility for their choice and the blame in the future would lie on both of them and no one else.
  • The two individuals know perfectly well what are the likes and dislikes of both of them. They can therefore get along quite well without misunderstanding or quarrels.
  • By forming a union, the couple will be able to eliminate social evil due to their mutual consent and readiness to make decisions together.

Arranged marriage:

  • Arranged marriage is not an agreement between two people only, but a contract between the two families.
  • Two families engaged in this type of marriage usually know each other for a long time and are quite compatible with one another.
  • Because arranged marriage involves more than two people, the conflicts and misunderstanding between the partners can be resolved with much efficiency.
  • The two partners are guided by the experience of their parents, while in case of love marriage the couple does not know anything about the future difficulties because it does not have an experience.

Both of the marriages have their merits and drawbacks, but one should keep in mind that marriage is a lifetime decision. Although families play certain role in the two types of marriages, it is up to the partners to decide whether they want to live together or not. The ultimate decision regarding the choice of life partner should be made by the two individuals only. There is no such a thing as perfect marriage, because any type of marriage is full of concerns and uncertainties. It is therefore hard to say whether love marriage is better than the arranged one, as both types have their own benefits and drawbacks as analyzed above. Let us further discuss the issue in greater detail.

Nowadays, young people of the modern generation do not find the arranged marriage so attractive. At the same time, if to look at the statistics across the world, it becomes clear that 90% of Indian men and women, for instance, still tend to go for the arranged marriage. While not all of such marriages appear to be successful, some of them actually result in a happy union filled with mutual understanding and affection. Marriage is not simply a union of two people, but rather a union of two families, that is to say two social networks that become closely related with one another. The arranged marriage is focused on the union between the families. When searching for a partner for one’s daughter or son, the parents will first of all try to check whether the family of the potential partner is compatible with their own. Thus, the parents seeking a partner for their child will try to answer the question of whether the potential partner’s family shares the similar background including religious and cultural one, socio-economic status, and educational level. If the values of both families coincide, their sons or daughters can get married with those of other families because in this way they will be taken care of and lead a life that meets the order established in the other family. The most valuable things searched for in this form of marriage are stability and security. Although this leaves out the emotional element, the importance of a stable and safe marriage cannot be denied. This is probably the reason why Indians have a very low rate of divorce.

On the other hand, love marriage seems a perfect union of a man and a woman simply because this union has been formed out of mutual affection. All of us strive to find a soul mate and then get married in order to lead a happy life ever after. It seems that nothing can go wrong in such circumstances, but there are many doubtful issues that are associated with the love marriage. This kind of marriage requires more work and effort than the arranged marriage. One should take full responsibility over one’s choice of partner. There is no one other to blame if the marriage does not work out well. Even though people tend to learn much about their future partners before getting married, the life in marriage is an entirely new experience that is always filled with both ups and downs. At the same time, a love marriage allows all of us to choose our sole mates and find a person to whom we are attracted intellectually, physically and emotionally. In such a way, we can live according to our own terms that make us feel happy and be satisfied with the way we live.  

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Love Marriage Or Arranged Marriage (Essay Sample)

Arranged marriages have a strong foundation.

There an age-old debate on the on whether take the scenic route from love to marriage or marriage and then love. Living in an age that is considered self-actualized and civilized, most of the people will tend to consider getting married to someone that they love. This is considered the right path by most of the people in the society relative to the feelings associated with love and the affection that comes with knowing and being in love with someone. As such, committing to someone that we love seems as the best approach for marriage. However, it is not entirely true and love after marriage does develop strong bonds as well.

Ideally, the element of love after marriage or what is normally referred to as arranged marriages are considered to be outdated. This is the case considering that in most of the cases, arranged marriages were traditionally practiced in the olden days and in the rural areas. Relative to the level of civilization, most of the people have felt the need to have the freedom to choose their own partners. It is this element of freedom that has pushed most of the people towards basing their romantic relationships as the first track to marriage.

Love takes several stages before it dies out. By this time, most of the people that have committed to marriage with their love partners, start to doubt if their partners actually love them. It is common for most of the marriages to start experiencing challenges after a period of roughly three to four years. At this stage one or the two partners are ready to leave the relationship. Everything they believed about their partners are shaky and uncertain if they knew their partner. In this confusion, most of the people tend to end their relationships get into a stage where they no longer try to make the relationship work. As such, the marriage becomes a miserable union where the parties are only together relative to the commitments that they have such mortgage, care loans, children, family and friends. Otherwise on the inside the marriage is dead and most of the time the parties do not have time for one another. There are cases where the parties will even live different lives such as having an open relationship.

On the other hand, there an aspect to consider when it comes to the arranged marriages, expectations. In the arranged marriages, the level of expectations is low. This is to mean that, given that neither of the party is into the other or the commitment in general having been forced by their families, they do not expect much from their partners. This is contrary to the love based-marriages where the partners are in love and thus they have so much expectations from one another. The partners in the arranged marriages have less expectations, and thus, even when their partners do not much what they hoped for, they do not feel as disappointed. The is to mean that the level of disappointment is low. With time, they learn to love and their love grows stronger. By the time the relationship is into the fifth year, they are love and have come to appreciate one another. By this time the love marriage is experiencing serious challenges. The arranged marriage partners start with learning one another’s strengths and weaknesses and develop coping mechanisms, thus have a good foundation when it comes to lasting in the relationship.

essay on love marriage vs arranged marriage


Which is Better: An Arranged Marriage or A Love Marriage

essay on love marriage vs arranged marriage

Marriage is a union between two people that can take many forms. While some couples choose to marry out of love, others opt for an arranged marriage.

In this blog article, we will explore the pros and cons of both types of unions, examining the benefits and drawbacks associated with each one.

We will also compare traditional practices with modern choices to help you decide which type is more successful in today’s world.

Exploring the Pros and Cons of Arranged Marriages vs Love Marriages.

Examining the benefits of both types of unions, what are the advantages and disadvantages to each, is one type more successful than the other, comparing traditional practices with modern choices..

When it comes to marriage, there are two main options: arranged marriages and love marriages. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, so the decision of which is best for an individual depends on a variety of factors.

Arranged marriages have been around for centuries in many cultures across the world. In this type of union, families or matchmakers select a partner based on criteria such as social status, wealth, or religion.

Because both parties are often unfamiliar with each other before they wed, these unions can be seen as more practical than romantic.

However, arranged marriages can also provide stability and security that may not be found in a love marriage due to the involvement of family members who will help guide couples through any issues that arise during their relationship.

Love marriages offer couples more freedom when it comes to selecting a partner since they choose someone based solely on feelings rather than societal expectations or familial pressure.

This type of union allows partners to get to know each other better prior to making any long-term commitments and provides them with greater control over their lives together since both individuals make decisions about how they want their relationship to progress without interference from outside sources like parents or matchmakers.

Additionally, because partners already share strong emotional connections before tying the knot, there is less risk involved in terms of compatibility issues down the line.

Ultimately, deciding between an arranged marriage versus one based on love is up to personal preference. Some people prefer having assistance from family members, while others feel more comfortable taking matters into their own hands by finding someone themselves.

It’s important for those considering either option to take time researching what works best for them individually so that, ultimately, they end up with something that makes them happy in a life-long commitment.

Table of Contents

When it comes to marriage, there are two main options: an arranged marriage and a love marriage. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to consider both before making a decision.

Arranged marriages have been around for centuries in many cultures around the world. They involve parents or other family members selecting a partner for their child based on criteria such as social status, education level, financial stability, and compatibility with the family’s values.

The couple may not know each other beforehand but typically meet several times before deciding whether or not they want to get married.

The biggest advantage of an arranged marriage is that there is less risk involved since families usually take into account all relevant factors when choosing partners for their children.

This can lead to more successful marriages as couples are more likely to be compatible due to similar backgrounds and values shared by both sides of the family.

Additionally, having support from extended families can help couples through difficult times in their relationship which could otherwise lead them toward divorce if left unsupported by loved ones who understand them best.

On the flip side, however, arranged marriages often lack an emotional connection between spouses, which can make it harder for them to adjust together over time without developing feelings of resentment towards one another due to expectations placed upon them by others instead of themselves alone.

Furthermore, individuals may feel pressured into getting married against their will leading to potentially unhappy unions where neither party feels satisfied with life choices made under duress rather than out of their free will.

Love marriages, on the other hand, offer greater freedom when selecting partners since individuals choose someone they feel connected with emotionally first before considering any practical matters like finances or social standing, etc…

This gives couples greater opportunities to explore different aspects of each other prior to entering wedlock, thus increasing the chances that they will stay together longer because mutual understanding has already been established between two people who truly care about one another’s well-being above anything else.

However, this type of union also carries risks because strong emotions sometimes cloud judgment, leading people astray from what would normally be considered wise decisions regarding long-term commitment, such as getting married too quickly without fully knowing the person you plan to spend the rest of your life with…

Ultimately only you yourself can decide which type of union suits better depending on individual circumstances, but regardless choice should always come down to personal preference rather than external pressures imposed upon our society at large…..

Examining the benefits of both types of unions is an important step in determining which type of marriage is best for you.

Arranged marriages have been a part of many cultures for centuries, while love marriages are relatively new and gaining popularity in some parts of the world.

Both types have their own unique advantages and disadvantages that should be considered before making a decision.

Arranged marriages offer stability, security, and support from family members who may be more familiar with cultural expectations than those found in love-based relationships.

This can help to ensure that couples remain together even when times get tough or disagreements arise due to differences in values or beliefs between partners.

Additionally, arranged marriages often involve less financial risk since families typically provide resources such as housing or money to help newlyweds establish themselves financially after marriage.

Love-based relationships offer greater freedom and flexibility than arranged unions because they are based on mutual attraction rather than familial obligations or societal norms.

Couples also tend to develop strong emotional bonds over time due to shared experiences which can lead to increased levels of trust and understanding between them compared with arranged unions, where these factors may take longer periods of time (if at all)to develop naturally over time.

Furthermore, couples who choose this type of union often find it easier to navigate through difficult times as they already share strong feelings for one another prior to entering into a marriage agreement.

Ultimately, there is no right answer when it comes to deciding whether an arranged union or love-based relationship will work better for you – only you know what’s best for your individual situation, so make sure to weigh up all options carefully before making any decisions about your future marital status!

When it comes to marriage, there are two main options: an arranged marriage or a love marriage. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages that should be considered carefully before making a decision.

An arranged marriage is one in which the families of the bride and groom decide who they will marry based on cultural, social, economic, and religious considerations.

The advantage of this type of union is that it can provide stability for both partners as well as their extended families by creating strong ties between them.

Additionally, since the couple may not know each other very well prior to getting married, they have time to get acquainted with one another during their engagement period without any pressure from society or family members.

On the other hand, a love marriage occurs when two individuals choose each other out of mutual attraction and affection without interference from either partner’s family members or outside influences such as religion or culture.

This type of union allows couples more freedom in terms of choosing whom they want to spend their lives with while also providing them with an opportunity for self-fulfillment through companionship and intimacy within the relationship itself.

However, because these marriages often lack external support systems like those found in arranged unions – such as financial assistance from parents – couples must rely solely on themselves for all aspects related to running a household, including finances and childcare responsibilities if applicable.

Ultimately both types offer different benefits depending upon individual circumstances; however, it is important for prospective spouses to consider all factors involved before making any final decisions about which path best suits them personally.

When it comes to marriage, there are two distinct types: arranged marriages and love marriages. Both have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, but the question remains – is one type more successful than the other?

The answer depends on a variety of factors. Arranged marriages tend to be based on practical considerations such as social status or financial stability, while love marriages are typically driven by emotion and passion.

As such, both types of unions can be equally successful depending on how well-suited the couple is for each other in terms of values and compatibility.

That being said, research has shown that couples who marry through an arranged union tend to have longer-lasting relationships than those who wed out of love alone.

This could be due to the fact that families often play a role in arranging these unions, which helps ensure that partners share similar backgrounds and beliefs from day one – something which may not always happen with romantic relationships where two people come together without any outside influence or guidance.

Ultimately though, success in marriage isn’t determined by whether you choose an arranged union or a love match; rather, it’s about finding someone who shares your values and goals for life so you can build a strong foundation together no matter what type of relationship you pursue!

Arranged marriages and love marriages are two different ways of finding a life partner. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to consider the pros and cons of each before making a decision.

When it comes to an arranged marriage, this type of union is usually decided by family members or close relatives who have known both parties for some time.

This ensures that the couple has similar values, beliefs, backgrounds, and expectations from one another, which can lead to greater compatibility in the long run.

Furthermore, since families are involved in selecting partners for their children, they tend to be more supportive throughout the relationship as well as during difficult times such as illness or financial hardship.

Love marriages, on the other hand, involve couples choosing each other without any external influence from parents or family members, which allows them greater freedom when it comes to deciding on things like religion or lifestyle choices that may not be acceptable within an arranged marriage setting.

Additionally, couples who choose each other often share stronger emotional bonds due to having gone through courtship together prior to getting married, which can help strengthen their relationship over time if nurtured properly with mutual understanding and respect toward one another’s needs.

In conclusion, there is no right answer when comparing traditional practices with modern choices; what works best depends entirely upon individual circumstances such as culture, background, religious beliefs, etc.

Ultimately though, both types of unions require commitment, dedication, trustworthiness & communication between partners for them to succeed, regardless of whether they were chosen by others or themselves.

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Love Marriage Is Better Than Arrange Marriage

Love Marriage is Better Than Arrange Marriage. Just as we all know, life is not a bed of roses. Things do not work as smoothly as we expect them to. Sometime, we often change ways, make compromises, stand stubbornly and let things fall apart. Marriage is the most beautiful relationship that happens to everyone at some point of time. Life is the way we make it to be. Peoples get married because they love each other. They want each of them close for the rest of their life. Due to this statement, love marriage is better than arrange marriage. How can you give a full of commitment to spending the rest of your life with someone who you do not even know? Besides, if you have an arrange marriage, it means that you are getting married just for …show more content…

This helps them to develop a good comfort level after marriage smoothly. On the other hand, if two people do not know each other, when their marriage are arrange by their parents, they might take some more time to develop a level of comfort and understanding after marriage. Here, we can see how love marriage is better than arrange marriage. There are times when couples in cases of love marriage are fighting with each other and get into problems. Who’s on earth are have no problems at all? It is normal when a couple get in to problems. It just on how they are trying to settle down the problem. A few persons who experience arrange marriage can be done if the groom and the bride accept that they like each other. But in some cases, they do not like each other but the parents force them to marry the person the parents choose for them. Not like love marriage, they will live happily as they love each other and they have your best interest at heart. When marriages are arranged by elders or parents, this does not encourage spouse to make up their own mind about who to marry. Instead of dating and meeting people and comparing them against someone’s ideals, they leave that part of the work to someone else they even do not know at all. Should either spouse end up unhappy after being married a few years? It can be a very tempting to blame parents for making an unsuitable choice if it is going unwell. Thus, it’s proven that love

Arranged Marriage in Bread Givers, by Anzia Yezierska

  • 1 Works Cited

In North America, people will argue that love needs to happen before marriage but, historically, this is actually a very new notion. Mr. Smolinsky was in shock when his daughters wanted to marry for love. He asked his wife if they even looked at each other before the engagement and she replied, “’Maybe if I had the sense of my daughters in America, I would have given you a good look over before the wedding’” (76). This implies that if she had the choice, she would have married for love or perhaps a different man at least.

Acting Out Culture Analysis

Having two people in love and getting married can change a lot about both lives. Lifestyles will change and adapting to each other will be one of the major goals. Not being able to adapt to each other will cause stress and great pain to each other. The key to marriage is being able to withstand each other and having patience for each other. Marriage in the twenty-first century today lacks the skills of withstanding each other and patience, especially couples who get married at an early age. A perfect marriage is to marry a person who loves you for who you are and what you are, not for you to be different or to change. “The best life partner might, I think, be the one who sees you as you are and loves that person-the person who is boring and anxious or blotchy from a weekly scrub mask-not the imaginary one who is poetic and broodingly smart and sexy and ecstatic all the time” (Miller 64). This statement wrote by Catherine Newman clearly shows that a couple getting married should pick that right partner that choose you because of you and nothing different. If you choose a partner to be different or act different and not for what he/she truly is, you will guaranteed to have a hard and stressful marriage. Both of you will have trouble understanding each other and it will cause you to have therapy. Marriage therapy is very common today and one the reason of them is not loving your partner for who he/she really is. Marrying somebody can be easy, but finding the right somebody is hard. It may take more than one try to find that right

Children and How They are Affected by Divorce Essay

  • 7 Works Cited

     Moreover, the essential idea of marriage is that to create a healthy relationship that there must be a bond of love as well as maintaining their own identities. The converging of two individuals cause tension and usually end up in conflict. When two parents disagree either one of them gets hurt or a child feels it is their fault and responsibility.

Arranged Marriage vs. Free-choice Marriage Faizan Sadiq

Also, this type of marriage is chosen because of social status. A rich family will want their heir to marry into a family that is worth their status. And lastly, very religious and cultural son and daughters will just agree to an arranged marriage because of the way they have been brought up since childhood and they know that they will not have to worry about their parents of not approving or rejecting of their choice of spouse.

Love And Marriage In Emma Goldman's 'Marriage And Love'

If one does not require a marriage for their love to grow or even transpire, then why do it at all and for what purpose? With a look at “The Arranged Marriage” by

The Radical Idea of Marrying for Love Essay

In “The Radical Idea of Marrying for Love.” Stephanie Coontz describes marriage as an “institution that brings together two people.” she shares the point that “marriage should be based on intense, profound love and a couple should maintain their ardor until death do them part” (p. 378).

Summary Of Marriage By Gregory Corso Marriage

Marriage has been a heated controversy for the past few years because people often marry for the wrong reasons. Anyone who thinks of an ideal marriage would think of two people loving each other and sharing a personal bond or goals together. Marriage is regularly defined as the legally or formally recognized union of two lovers as partners in a personal relationship. This definition remarks there is an actual connection between two people in marriage, but do people actually consider this when committing to “love” and “support” their partners forever? As research and studies have shown, people ultimately get married for many reasons, except love. This philosophy can be easily applied to the short poem, “Marriage” by Gregory Corso. In this emotional poem, the author argues marriage is more effectively understood or known for culture and convenience rather than through the abstract considerations of love. Here, we can identify people generally decide to marry for the incorrect reasons, for instance the story of the author himself. Corso finds himself confused multiple times, wondering if he should marry to not be lonely, for tradition and for his physical and mental health. He disregards love, a relationship or a connection with his future wife. General ways of convenience like loneliness, health and economic status between cultural stereotypes and religion are usually the true reasons of why people chose to have the commitment of marriage with another person.

African-American Marriage Trends

Marriage is an important event in a person’s life. From the old nursery rhyme, First comes love, then comes marriage, couples take the big step when they feel the quality of the relationship has reached the next level. Relationship

The Immigrant Advantage By Claudia Kolker

In Claudia Kolker’s book The Immigrant Advantage, she talks about the cultural tradition of arranged marriages brought by South Asian immigrants to the United States. Kolker agrues that arranged marriages are much more effective in finding a spouse than traditional marriages. Kolker believes that this tradition of assistive marriage should be adopted by Americans. Research and studies have shown that “women in arranged marriages rated the highest marital status” (Kolker, 71) compared to couples who have arranged marriages. Arranged marriage is great for individuals who are ready to settle down and start their own life without wasting any time finding a partner. Arranged marriage saves a great amount of time on dating people who are not compatible with your personality or beliefs. As Kolker states, assistive marriage does not just save time in finding a lifelong partner but, it also leads to exceptional happiness between the couple than a traditional marriage reported by couples during studies. Traditions brought by immigrants such as, assistive marriage should be considered by American traditions.

Romeo And Juliet Arranged Marriage Research Paper

Marriages is suppose to be about making memories with your partner and being happy and joyful while doing it. Romeo and Juliet fell in love ,but Juliet had arranged to be married to Paris. Juliet wanted to fake her death so that she could get out of her arranged marriage to Paris. Juliet really wanted to get out of her arranged marriage so bad that she had to fake her death. I strongly disagree with arranged marriages.Marriage should be by love not

Bend It Like Beckham Essay

One of the main reasons that Indian parents firmly believe in arranged marriages is because they find these marriages to last the longest and be the most satisfying. Their argument is that in an arranged marriage “it takes time and effort to know, understand, accept, and love each other; a whole lifetime” (Marriages in Heaven). A study was done in 1996 with twenty-five Indian couples in arranged marriages, twenty-five Indian couples in love marriages, and twenty-five American couples in compassionate marriages. They asked these couples to score how satisfied they were with their marriage and relationship.

Transition Of Arranged Marriages

Although a multitude of studies have been conducted and papers published researching arranged marriages, developing a solution framework to tackle associated challenges and conflicts is still in a nascent stage. The change in mindset of the younger generations will be a leading proponent against the rigid thought processes of people and thereby

Marriage Means Something Different Now By Stephanie Coontz Summary

Moreover, Couples fight, curse each other and sometimes they stop talking to each other. Consequently, this will affect their children in a negative way as well as on their mental development; sometimes children stop believing in marriage, or they are trying to find love outside their family ,or they start gaining bad habits because they don't receive proper care from the parents that they deserve. For example, one of my friend and her boyfriend have dated each other for five years. Furthermore, when my friend asked him to marry; he said no for marriage, but he wanted to live in a relationship because of his parents. Besides, his parents are together, they have some differences in their relationship, but they didn’t break their relationship just for their child. Additionally, he was grown in the environment where his parents always had problems with each other and that is why he wasn’t able to get positive vibes even though he was living with his parents. As a result, he does not believe in marriage anymore, which created the problem with my friend and his relationship. Shortly, marriage is all about love and peace that all people need in their lives, and if it is harder for couples to develop peaceful and lovable habits for their children

Arranged Marriage: a Violation of Human Rights?

Arranged marriages are set up by friends and family, and sometimes by a matchmaker that sets up the marriage. But the bride’s father has the most responsibility in arranging marriage for his daughter, and is the one who approaches the father of a potential bridegroom. Important aspects when considering a possible match are financial status, caste, and the bride and bridegrooms horoscopes matching. The role of astrology is important, and if a Hindu priest finds that the horoscopes of the potential spouses do not match, they will not marry, and must begin the search all over again (Livermore, 2009). India’s view of marriage first and then love is very different from the Western view where love comes before marriage, seems to be successful. The

Advantages Of Living Together Before Marriage

In todays’ world, with increased incidence of unsuccessful relationship or marriages, there are some people who want/prefer to live together before marriage so that they can understand each other and they don’t have to experience a painful divorce. In my point of view, this is another option/type of marriage. Because if the relationship won’t work successfully then they can separate their ways easily and live happily. By living together before marriage, they have time to know about each other's living style and behavior and their relation get even stronger than before but if it does not work then they can move ahead in their lives before taking a wrong step of living together for the whole life but sometimes living together is against to some family principles, ethics of society, religious point of view. Sometimes these types of relationships are very successful without any regret in life and on the other hand it comes out as an unsuccessful and worst relationship. But I think advantages are more powerful than disadvantages.

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Love Marriage & Arranged Marriage : Essay, Debate, Speech, Article

Love marriage & arranged marriage: essay, debate, speech, article.

Marriage is a lifelong commitment and the decision of marriage is among the most important ones. It is one decision that will determine whether we will be happy or not for the rest of our lives. It is a step that makes the start of a new journey which means the partners have decided to have their generation and they will continue the family just like their parents did.

Love marriage vs. Arranged marriage is always a debated topic. While there are instances of love marriages working out, there are arranged marriages that are successful too. Both have their pros and cons. And it is just the world around us which makes us support or be against love marriage. While most love marriages in India end up becoming a Love cum arranged marriage, it seems to be the best thing that can occur. It is just the kind of marriage we are surrounded by, which makes us have a particular notion about any love or arranged marriage.

102315 1901 Lovemarriag1

Essay on Love Marriage (Speech on Love Marriage)

Firstly, a love marriage is good in the sense that two people know each other willingly. Love does not happen simply. There is friendship first. Though love, at first sight, is not always right, it also happens to turn out well in some cases. But most love affairs start with friendship. We get interested in somebody, we try to be our best and we discover our likes and dislikes very well. So all these happen in a journey. It takes time. And true love brings many good changes in us as an individual. So all these things make us matured enough to make a decision whether we want to carry on this mutual relationship forever. One thing is positive about love marriage is that at least both partners have equal consent for each other. Marriage is a big decision. There is a society surrounding us. If belonging to conservative families, it is good that since two people love each other very much, they will try to blend into each other’s family for the sake of love. And that compromise is required. Being able to convince parents for supporting a love marriage is the next step after falling in love and dating. Though there are instances of love marriages not working out, those happen when two partners stop understanding each other. In love people already share these things with each other so it is always ensured that they can handle it and that is why they have decided to marry.

Now some love marriages happen beyond the bounds of race, caste, or religion. Such marriages are not a sin as well. Just one has to be sure that any of the partners must not be harmed or suffocated from the ties and customs of the other. After all, it is the partners who have to live with each other. And children have the right to choose their partner. And if they can carry out well, nobody can pinpoint them for moving out of the house too. They should have freedom. Parents are important it’s true. But what about your own happiness? Both are important and so parents must also give their consent to their child’s choices in case the boy or girl seems to be a good person. They must not stick to too many caste and religious stereotypes. If the children are happy, they will do everything for their family and especially their parents willingly.

Essay on Arranged Marriage

Then comes arranged marriage, In India, our previous generation comprising of parents and grandparents mostly had arranged marriages. It is just because in earlier days girls were not allowed to move out and mix too much. They mostly abide by their parents in every decision and they just did not have the mentality of choosing their decisions. Seeing some old couples it feels as if they were not made for each other. Maybe a little self-discovery would have prevented them from living a dissatisfied life. Now times are changing. Studying in coeducational school, women coming to the front in every field, etc. have made them independent. They know about their choices. Parents are no doubt experienced and they will always choose the right groom for the girl. But how many people show their real faces before marriage. Since involving parents, it is more usual that the groom will only show good sides. And of course, we never know even if one of the partners is forcefully put into the marriage against their will and against their existing relationships. So if later on after marriage, they are incompatible and the opposite natures create conflicts then marriages will definitely end with divorce. Though nowadays people take time between engagement and marriage, it is less likely that the partner would dare to back off from the relation before marrying. After so much involvement, they might choose to stay in it but later on, things may not be quite desirable.

Conclusion on Love marriage vs. Arranged marriage Debate

Love or arranged, a successful relationship happens when both partners respect, love, and understand each other. Also, partners must be independent financially. That accounts for a successful relationship. It is just a destiny that accounts for what is in store for us. It is no shame in putting an end to a completely unhappy marriage and starting anew. It will save their future children from getting harassment and also they can choose to be happy.

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essay on love marriage vs arranged marriage

Essay On Love Marriage VS Arranged Marriage For Students – Read Here


Love marriage is a term used to describe the act of marrying someone without having met them before. Arranged marriage, on the other hand, is when you are introduced to your partner by your parents or guardians before you get married.

Love marriages are not always the best choice. Arranged marriages are a good way to ensure that the person you marry is compatible with you and has similar values as well as interests.


Marriage is a stage in life when two people decide to join their lives together and spend the rest of their lives together. Both partners take an oath in front of their spouse.

In contemporary times, the marriage has lost part or all of its significance. The females have been allowed greater freedom to select their mate, and the same is true for the guys.

The contemporary person interacts with the opposite sex in a short period of time, which leads to an increase in the number of love marriages. However, some individuals think that arranged marriages will endure for a long time. Love marriages do not get the respect that arranged marriages do.


Later on, as time passed, their offspring were left with little choice but to follow their elders. Whether the other spouse likes being a wife or husband or not, they must follow the orders of the family, particularly the elders.

The issue was taken up by the caste system and riches. The family member wishes for their children’s marriages to take place in the same caste family, as well as in a rich household.

Individuals gradually begin to see love marriage in a bad light, yet there are still some people who fall in love with a spouse who may be wealthy or poor, and from a different caste.

Some of the benefits and drawbacks of both love marriage and arranged marriage are listed below.

The Benefits Of A Love Marriage


In a love marriage, there is no need for a dowry. In one pair of clothing, the girl and her husband may travel. Because they have known one other for a long time, the love marriage pair may realize their goal with only one choice.

There is no room for a quarrel in a love marriage since the pair understands one other’s history.

Arranged Marriage Has Its Benefits


Parents make excellent decisions in terms of the family’s financial situation and the appearance of their spouses.

Arrange: Love V/S

The future of a love marriage is uncertain, while the future of an arrange marriage is certain since both parents are involved.

In a love marriage, the person does not consider the future, but in an arranged marriage, the parents force the girls to marry into a rich family, and the boys’ family need the girl’s attractive look.

If you have any questions or comments about Essay On Love Marriage VS Arranged Marriage, please post them in the comments section below.

Love marriage vs arrange marriage is a debate that has been going on for centuries. Some people believe in love marriages while others believe in arranged marriages. Reference: love marriage vs arrange marriage quotes .

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Love Marriage vs Arranged Marriage

essay on love marriage vs arranged marriage

  • . Update: Oct 24, 2023 9:37 am

Love Marriage vs Arranged Marriage

Table of Contents

Love Marriage vs Arrange Marriage:

  • Some people prefer a love marriage, whereas others are in favour of an arranged marriage. So, love marriage vs arranged marriage is an evergreen topic for discussion and debate.

Advantages of Love Marriage:

  • Marriage is a life-long commitment. So, the decision to choose a life partner should be in one’s own hands .
  • Love is the basis of any marriage. In love marriages, there will be no question of whether love happens or not.
  • In Love marriages, the couple knows each other very well and most probably they already understand each other fully . Hence, there won’t be many conflicts.
  • Those who want to go for a love marriage have more choices than those who go for an arranged marriage because arranged marriages mostly happen with people of the same caste/class/religion.
  • Planned love lives result in happy families.
  • Generally, equality prevails in love marriages.

Disadvantages of Love Marriage:

  • The couple who go for a love marriage is mostly independent. If they want to get out of the relationship, they do not consider relatives’ opinions and society much . So, they tend to go for divorce for even small reasons.
  • Love marriages are still socially unacceptable in some parts of India . That is the reason we are witnessing honour killings . So, it is quite risky for some people to go for a love marriage.
  • Youngsters may confuse attraction with love .
  • Love is not the only thing we need in life . One should also check the reality like the family background, economic conditions, the environment they grew up in, the person’s behaviour etc. to live a peaceful life and to avoid conflicts beforehand.

Advantages of Arranged Marriage:

  • In arranged marriages, parents do inquire about each other’s family and their circle . So, there is a high probability that one will get into a relationship with a similar kind of family as theirs. This prevents trusting people blindly, which happens in some love marriages.
  • Parents or well-wishers think about future and economic conditions .
  • The couple most likely thinks about both of their families. So, they will learn to adjust, which is a very good quality for any relationship .
  • According to research conducted by Dr Robert Epstein, an American psychologist, love in love marriages tends to fade away with time, whereas love in arranged marriages grows with time .

Disadvantages of Arranged Marriage:

  • An arranged marriage is like a lottery. Love may or may not blossom between the couple . Some couples will face compatibility issues .
  • The couple does not know each other well if they spend less time together before marriage. If they have many differences to the extent that they cannot live together, marriage will break .
  • Too much submissiveness to elders may restrict couples from divorcing, even if they do not have love between them anymore.
  • Though the divorce rate is lower in arranged marriages compared to love marriages, it cannot be said that they are happily married . In general, some people who are living in unhappy marriages but are not able to divorce due to several reasons such as children, and societal pressure tend to opt for suicide.
  • People who go for arranged marriage may not be that comfortable discussing everything in detail before marriage . This may cause problems after marriage.
  • In the name of arranged marriages, forced marriages are still prevalent in many parts of India.


Whether it is a love marriage or an arranged marriage, the relationship will work only if both the partners are serious and honest in the relationship. Life partner must be selected according to their own will and not by force. These days, people are taking time to learn about each other before marriage even in arranged marriages. This is a sign of a progressive society.

Photo credits: Shaun Anyi

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essay on love marriage vs arranged marriage

Arranged Marriage Vs Love Marriage Essay

essay on love marriage vs arranged marriage

Show More Even though, the divorce rate is very low as compared to love marriages because some people try their best to maintain that relationship as long as possible. Love Marriage is better than arrange marriage because people are mature enough to judge, the positive and negative effects that relates to love marriage for themselves and you already know more about the person that you 're going to marry in the future. Also, love is true and contain many wonderful emotions and feelings that are involved in a love marriage. No one can’t force two people to love each other instantly. It takes time and comes from the heart. Marriage, itself is a beautiful commitment between two people that love each other deeply. Before, love marriage truly expands its horizon around the world. Arrange Marriage was more common back in the day. Parents would tell their children, who they were supposed to marry without hearing from their perspective if they agree with this marriage or not. Back then, it used to be, if the person comes from a wealthy family. If that …show more content… Now, they don’t have to worry about their in-laws hating them. These may be the positive outcomes that come with arranged marriage , but there’s that feeling of uncertainty, uncomfortness, or awareness that will go around in that relationship before they fully consider themselves as life partners. It’s better if people know their life partner, so they can be comfortable with their relationship and it can run a little bit smoother in the romance side of it because they won’t spend half of their marriage, trying to get to the know the person and won’t accidentally poison them because they didn’t know that their spouse is allergic to this type of

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