Author Topic: Arranged Marriage  (Read 7798 times)

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abigailian

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Arranged Marriage
« on: April 19, 2009, 11:10:37 PM »
So, the more I've thought about this, I'm not sure it's such a bad idea. Think about it! When you're in love, you literally go a little insane. And yet, when you're in this state of mild insanity is when you're supposed to make a decision about who you spend the rest of your life with? The thing is, the temporary infatuation isn't going to keep you going your whole life anyway, you have to develop a different kind of love in your marriage. I think a previous passion can be a good fuel for a successful marriage, I just don't think it's necessary. If you have your family and friends, who love and care about you, make a decision (or at least have a huge amount of influence on the decision) I think they would come up with a better result than what romantic attraction would do.

Romance, falling in love, and crushes are fun. But they're not necessarily meaningful. And if you're wondering if I would consent to an arranged marriage... I honestly think I would. In any case, I'm definitely giving my family and friends veto power on who I date and eventually marry, because I'm not sure I can trust my own opinions when I'm infatuated with someone. As they say, Love is blind.

But what does everyone else think?
This might hurt, it's not safe / But I know that I've gotta make a change / I don't care if I break,
At least I'll be feeling something


Reives

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Re: Arranged Marriage
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2009, 11:46:15 PM »
Tough call. Personally, while I agree that while the honeymoon period per se is far from what is lasting love in a long term message, I think it's still something to be missed. It seems that even under the assumption that family and friends will choose the perfect match, it still feels scripted. "Live a life, not a routine" they say; sure that life might be more tide-free, but it would also just be. There're no adventures, no "been there, done that", and you just ride in a plain sea of safety nets and let life drag you along in a straight line. But of course, some may prefer this. But personally, it just feels like it's missing a part of what living a life is.

Now, about the family-and-friends-know-best part: I don't think that's a reliable truth when it comes to this. Sure, they may know you so well that they could even impersonate you and people would be fooled. But sometimes, all it takes is just one little quirk to add an immense amount of traction to a relationship - And the only one who truly knows what everything exactly is like, is you. Sure, when you are infatuated, your decisions may be skewed; but if one is able to accept an arranged partner without previous emotion, why can one not decide to choose by oneself with a clear head, when infatuation is not in place? Isn't that the best of both worlds?  And who is to say that you suddenly stops all possibilities of such infatuations after an arranged marriage, for someone else? And if you are able to have that restraint, why can you not apply it while choosing to keep a clear head?

Developing infatuations is, perhaps, often beyond one's control. But I think the helpless infatuations and whatnot are, at least partly, a stage that people go through as they grow up mentally. I think that eventually, it's often a matter of conscious restraint after you've been through so many of them and know how the cycle is by heart. But hey, I'm still too young to find out first-hand, so who knows.


abigailian

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Re: Arranged Marriage
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2009, 11:54:39 PM »
See, I think an arranged marriage could be an incredible adventure. For instance in India, they have ritual where during the ceremony, a screen is dropped and the couple sees each other for the first time. In its own way, that's pretty romantic. I think as long as you've had some fun crushes, you haven't really missed out on anything.

I think the best of both worlds is choosing someone you like, and consciously seeking outside advice, but I definitely think of the two extremes ( eloping or something akin to it, and arranged marriage) arranged marriage is the better alternative.
This might hurt, it's not safe / But I know that I've gotta make a change / I don't care if I break,
At least I'll be feeling something


Reives

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Re: Arranged Marriage
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2009, 12:06:12 AM »
Yeah, I suppose you're right that there's an adventure in its own for arranged marriages.

I think the difference between those two extreme scenarios, though, is that one is bound and one isn't - comparing arranged marriage as a whole to spontaneous eloping seems like comparing oranges in general to a specific breed of apple (okay, bad metaphor, but you know what I mean :p ). Arranged marriages as a whole are on the same level as self-initiated marriages as a whole, and eloping is on the same level of comparison as an unfortunate mispaired arranged marriage. The difference is that all in all, you'd still have the option of choosing a well-considered path in the prior.

Not that I'm particularly against arranged marriages though; after all, I even used it in my own stories, heh. But yeah, I agree with that best of both worlds.

Lunarea

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Re: Arranged Marriage
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2009, 10:49:33 AM »
There are people who are aware of their needs. They know what they're looking for in a partner and what kind of person they should share their life with. These people won't rush into marriage and will put aside that romanticized notion of "love" (which, really, should be called lust or infatuation) for a much deeper notion of companionship. They realize that love is built over time and that it might take months or years of being together before you really know and love a person. Marriage isn't just a natural evolution of a relationship, but a well thought-out choice to share a life together - good and bad included. These people are the ones with a good marriage that can count on still being together 60 years from now.

Then there are those who get swept away in adventure and romance. They live for the passion and feel that marriage is the penultimate proof of true love. They will "love" (i.e. lust or infatuation) one another fiercely and get married quickly. They will probably enjoy the married life at first, but will be very disenchanted and disappointed once the problems and issues start to crop up. These people aren't aware of their real needs, focusing only on their wants. They often choose they partner based on looks or how good sex is. They assume that they can change anything about their partner or themselves sometime down the line if only they love each other enough. These are the people who will likely get divorced or end up embarrassed on TV because their significant other is a serial killer who chopped up some old lady and they had no idea about it.

Getting married is far too easy in today's society. All you essentially have to do is be of age, get enough money for a marriage license (which is ridiculously cheap, running at about 30$), go to court and have 2 witnesses sign that you got married. There's no waiting period, no tests of compatibility or even of sobriety. You could be drunk as a duck and some Elvis-clad priest in Las Vegas will perform a ceremony for you. And an amicable divorce is even easier! You both figure out if you owe each other anything, sign a piece of paper and you're no longer legally married. All this makes it very easy for that passionate, romantic person to get swept away and start treating marriage as just another casual relationship that's easy enough to break.

Marriage isn't just about who you feel that passion for. It's about having the same values, interests, hobbies and the same outlook on life. It's about having compatible personalities and letting love grow. Marriage is, really, about time.

I think arranged marriage would be great for some people. I think an arranged marriage that lasts is preferable to a self-chosen marriage that ends after a few months. And I think that 50 years down the line, those in an arranged marriage can be just as happy, loving and fulfilled as the people whose self-chosen marriage lasted 50 years. What people get hung up on is that there's no honeymoon period in an arranged marriage. They don't usually go through that newlywed bliss. But that doesn't matter in the long run. They have the tools to make their marriage and family life work, and they have the time to let their feelings develop and grow.

And it's not so much a matter of parents and family knowing what's good for someone better than themselves, but rather that friends and family can have that objective view of a person and can pick someone who's compatible. As long as they know the person they're picking the mate for well, I'd say they have a good chance of being successful.

The only stipulation I would have is that the arranged marriage people can refuse their partner - because no one should be forced into a relationship. But it should be more than just "I don't love them" - since love is built over time.

Ruzu

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Re: Arranged Marriage
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2009, 12:32:08 PM »
I don't know if I could really go for an arranged marriage. See my problem is, what if the person you have been arranged to marry is a total a** and doesn't take care of you. What if they abuse you, kick you, yell at you. I just have a problem, because I know sometimes they work out, but most of the time, they don't and the ones married aren't  satisfied with the marriage. I prefer, marrying someone I love, and if its not a good love, then I'll get divorced and marry someone else and go through trial and error.

Lunarea

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Re: Arranged Marriage
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2009, 12:51:00 PM »
See my problem is, what if the person you have been arranged to marry is a total a** and doesn't take care of you.

What if the person you marry through self-choice is the same way? Just because a marriage is arranged doesn't mean that you have to stay with the person at all costs. And even in non-arranged marriages, an abused person might find it tough to leave. Arranged marriage doesn't have to mean a complete loss of freedom and common sense.

abigailian

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Re: Arranged Marriage
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2009, 01:57:58 PM »
No matter what, no one's perfect, and often arranged marriages have been cruel and manipulative with their children. Humans are humans. The question is what's the best way to try and counter human error.
This might hurt, it's not safe / But I know that I've gotta make a change / I don't care if I break,
At least I'll be feeling something


Reives

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Re: Arranged Marriage
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2009, 02:02:05 PM »
What if the person you marry through self-choice is the same way? Just because a marriage is arranged doesn't mean that you have to stay with the person at all costs.
That makes me wonder; what happens after an arranged marriage divorce (I originally thought it wasn't possible)? Do they get to arrange another one?

Lunarea

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Re: Arranged Marriage
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2009, 02:16:08 PM »
That makes me wonder; what happens after an arranged marriage divorce (I originally thought it wasn't possible)? Do they get to arrange another one?

I think it depends on the culture. The people I spoke with told me that divorce was possible in some occasions (such as one of the parties doing something against the law and getting incarcerated). When it does happen, the person is free to choose whether they want to get married again (most choose this option) and if they want a marriage arranged again with the help of a community or religious leader (most choose this option too). It's a little more complicated if there are children involved, as the custody is decided by families rather than a court of law.

Reives

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Re: Arranged Marriage
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2009, 02:46:17 PM »
Ah I see, interesting info. Which culture were the ones you spoke to with from, by the way?

P.S.
Then there are those who get swept away in adventure and romance. They live for the passion and feel that marriage is the penultimate proof of true love. They will "love" (i.e. lust or infatuation) one another fiercely and get married quickly. They will probably enjoy the married life at first, but will be very disenchanted and disappointed once the problems and issues start to crop up. These people aren't aware of their real needs, focusing only on their wants. They often choose they partner based on looks or how good sex is. They assume that they can change anything about their partner or themselves sometime down the line if only they love each other enough. These are the people who will likely get divorced or end up embarrassed on TV because their significant other is a serial killer who chopped up some old lady and they had no idea about it.
I don't think that's the only sense of "adventure and romance" out there for that option, though. Personally, I still find high sentimental values in finding and discovering the fit of that person yourself - as long as you do so with a mindset that is less of finding "someone to fall in love with", and more so of finding a "life-long friend and companion". I think that's quite adventurous and romantic on its own.

abigailian

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Re: Arranged Marriage
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2009, 03:12:58 PM »
Wow, I somehow missed Lunarea's first post. That's great stuff, Lunarea. I whole heartedly agree with every word.

I think the one thing I think everyone should realize is that love is intoxicating. Often when people are intoxicated, they don't realize it, or realize the extent of it. I had a huge crush once upon a time, and I made a list of 250+ things that I liked about the boy. Looking back at that list, probably less than half of them are even true. Obviously, a legal adult has better judgment than a thirteen year old girl in most cases, but the concept still holds true. Just like you should be careful about what you do when you're drunk, you should be careful about the decisions you make when you're in love. No matter how rational you feel you're thinking, it is extremely rare that having your loved ones keep you grounded in reality will be to your detriment.
This might hurt, it's not safe / But I know that I've gotta make a change / I don't care if I break,
At least I'll be feeling something


Reives

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Re: Arranged Marriage
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2009, 04:12:24 PM »
That's definitely true, to an extent. I used to be blinded by those things when I was a kid too, but as time went on and my experience with it built, I began to develop conscious realizations that infatuation is infatuation. In fact, when I was in my senior years in high school and had a crush on some girl I didn't even know well, I literally told her that I was infatuated and that it'll wear off soon, and wanted to just be friends so in the mean time it won't feel as bad (p.s. a tip to high schoolers: don't ever do that. :p But the point is that it was still possible to make that distinction and implement restraint).

As I said earlier, I think as you grow up, you begin to consciously restrain these as you learn from your past experiences - what if you get an infatuation during marriage with someone else? You have to consciously realize that and restrain. And if you say that when you're married, you have the superficial mental "barrier" to block off getting into infatuations, then technically can you not erect that same superficial barrier when you're not married?

Lunarea

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Re: Arranged Marriage
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2009, 05:33:03 PM »
Ah I see, interesting info. Which culture were the ones you spoke to with from, by the way?
Oh, gosh, I'd have to dig up my notes to find the exact spot for you. But 4 of the ladies were from India and 3 from Japan and China. I did an essay and study on the subject of marriage for my sociology class a few years back, so I had a great chance to talk to quite a bit of people.

Quote
I don't think that's the only sense of "adventure and romance" out there for that option, though. Personally, I still find high sentimental values in finding and discovering the fit of that person yourself - as long as you do so with a mindset that is less of finding "someone to fall in love with", and more so of finding a "life-long friend and companion". I think that's quite adventurous and romantic on its own.
I didn't mean that the adventure and romance is only for passionate people. Anyone can have adventure and fun - even if they're entirely practical and about as romantic as a piece of deadwood. The thing that should be emphasized is that the really passionate and swept away people are being excessive about the fun. They ignore the fact that a relationship is work too and leave whenever they stop having fun.

Edit:
I think the English language is a little inadequate when it comes to the word "love". Many other languages have a different word for different kinds of love (like one word for romantic love, another word for companion love or brotherly love). It would be much easier for people to understand love and relationships if there were more words to help us understand it  :D
« Last Edit: April 20, 2009, 05:35:15 PM by Lunarea »

Reives

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Re: Arranged Marriage
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2009, 07:32:59 PM »
Oh, gosh, I'd have to dig up my notes to find the exact spot for you. But 4 of the ladies were from India and 3 from Japan and China. I did an essay and study on the subject of marriage for my sociology class a few years back, so I had a great chance to talk to quite a bit of people.
Ah, that's a pretty nifty thing to do for a project. And no worries about digging them up just to find it, I was just casually curious.

I didn't mean that the adventure and romance is only for passionate people. Anyone can have adventure and fun - even if they're entirely practical and about as romantic as a piece of deadwood. The thing that should be emphasized is that the really passionate and swept away people are being excessive about the fun. They ignore the fact that a relationship is work too and leave whenever they stop having fun.

Edit:
I think the English language is a little inadequate when it comes to the word "love". Many other languages have a different word for different kinds of love (like one word for romantic love, another word for companion love or brotherly love). It would be much easier for people to understand love and relationships if there were more words to help us understand it  :D
Yeah, it's pretty ambiguous. In Chinese we only have one word for it too, and you can add suffix words, which more or less works just like how it is in English.

There's no doubt that relationships are not something that can last forever without work and commitment, and even then it clearly wouldn't be a fairytale of "honeymoon forever". But after 10 years, the couple may turn to each other at the end of the day and say "love you" and whatnot, and it wouldn't be a lie - just a different definition than when they were on their honeymoon 10 years past. So since the word "love" gets redefined when you are married after the honeymoon period wears off, can "romance" not be redefined as well? Or, rather, perhaps hold different meanings than just the short-lived passion that only exists during the infatuation stage.


Edit:
Reading through this post again, I don't really see much point in this (my) post. ??? Not sure what I was thinking, but I'll leave it on.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2009, 08:53:54 PM by Reives »