My case for arranged marriage

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MaxE
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12 Apr 2022, 1:18 pm

I like to tell this story (although I haven't had many good opportunities) about how I went out with 4 Indian guys (this may seem less strange if you consider that I work in IT and most people I work with are in fact Indian whereas most "American" IT people in my area do classified stuff). Anyway, so in the conversation it came up that of those 4 guys, 3 were in arranged marriages and one had gotten married "for love". And the one that got married for love was the only one now divorced.

So if you concede that marriage (or something like it) is the ultimate goal of any sort of "dating", I mean what's the point of being in a relationship if your ultimate plan is to break up? I mean people do break up but they don't feel good about it.

So what makes a marriage work? My argument is that the success of a marriage or long-term cohabitation is not necessarily having the most possible interests in common, in fact in some cases that might even be detrimental. What matters more is the ability to share a space with another person every day and night while maintaining a congenial relationship and being willing to work together to make that work. In particular, the ability to be together and NOT be engaged in some sort of shared activity should be one of the most important prerequisite for marital success. Mutual respect should also be seen as a hard requirement.

Clearly there are deal breakers. If one person insists on engaging in an activity the other finds repugnant, then under no circumstance should they be together. I would also assume that if one or both parties is religious, then the other should have similar beliefs, although in some cases that might be tolerable. As for sex, the couple must be compatible, however that's defined, and behavior such as withholding sex as a way to control the other person should not be tolerated, but then that would seem to be a consequence of mutual respect or lack thereof.

Having said this, I can see how seeking marriage through some sort of agency is not a bad idea. Why leave such an important life decision to chance? Having said that, however, I would want to deviate a bit from the traditional model. For example, you could have prospective mates live together on a trial basis to see if it works out, before actually getting married. Of course participants in a failed pairing of this sort will probably need some counseling, but at least it would give people the opportunity to experience different partners as a way to avoid "buyer's regret" due to wondering whether they could have "done better".

I'll admit this turns the whole idea of romance on its head but if I consider how my own early life led to my eventually getting married in my early 30s, then remaining married for the ensuing 35+ years, I can see how this might have made sense for me. It might even make more sense for people on the spectrum than for the average person.


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Texasmoneyman300
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12 Apr 2022, 1:41 pm

MaxE wrote:
I like to tell this story (although I haven't had many good opportunities) about how I went out with 4 Indian guys (this may seem less strange if you consider that I work in IT and most people I work with are in fact Indian whereas most "American" IT people in my area do classified stuff). Anyway, so in the conversation it came up that of those 4 guys, 3 were in arranged marriages and one had gotten married "for love". And the one that got married for love was the only one now divorced.

So if you concede that marriage (or something like it) is the ultimate goal of any sort of "dating", I mean what's the point of being in a relationship if your ultimate plan is to break up? I mean people do break up but they don't feel good about it.

So what makes a marriage work? My argument is that the success of a marriage or long-term cohabitation is not necessarily having the most possible interests in common, in fact in some cases that might even be detrimental. What matters more is the ability to share a space with another person every day and night while maintaining a congenial relationship and being willing to work together to make that work. In particular, the ability to be together and NOT be engaged in some sort of shared activity should be one of the most important prerequisite for marital success. Mutual respect should also be seen as a hard requirement.

Clearly there are deal breakers. If one person insists on engaging in an activity the other finds repugnant, then under no circumstance should they be together. I would also assume that if one or both parties is religious, then the other should have similar beliefs, although in some cases that might be tolerable. As for sex, the couple must be compatible, however that's defined, and behavior such as withholding sex as a way to control the other person should not be tolerated, but then that would seem to be a consequence of mutual respect or lack thereof.

Having said this, I can see how seeking marriage through some sort of agency is not a bad idea. Why leave such an important life decision to chance? Having said that, however, I would want to deviate a bit from the traditional model. For example, you could have prospective mates live together on a trial basis to see if it works out, before actually getting married. Of course participants in a failed pairing of this sort will probably need some counseling, but at least it would give people the opportunity to experience different partners as a way to avoid "buyer's regret" due to wondering whether they could have "done better".

I'll admit this turns the whole idea of romance on its head but if I consider how my own early life led to my eventually getting married in my early 30s, then remaining married for the ensuing 35+ years, I can see how this might have made sense for me. It might even make more sense for people on the spectrum than for the average person.

I believe in courting and arranged marriage I don’t think marriage should solely be based on love I believe that economics and class should be part of it too I wish that the whole dating for fun thing never took off



Sweetleaf
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12 Apr 2022, 3:45 pm

I would not be against that being an option, like if services to arrange marriages became a thing. But I am against it being forced on anyone.


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Fnord
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12 Apr 2022, 3:49 pm

If either party is able to opt-out of the arrangement, and not be bound to marry someone just because they signed up for the service, then I could see it working.  However, expecting such a service to provide unwilling participants to a forced marriage to desperate people would be wrong.



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12 Apr 2022, 4:02 pm

So if you concede that marriage (or something like it) is the ultimate goal of any sort of "dating", I mean what's the point of being in a relationship if your ultimate plan is to break up? I mean people do break up but they don't feel good about it.

I wonder whether this paragraph is doing too much work? I suspect that for a great deal of people, marriage isn't the goal of dating, and that divorce isn't necessarily viewed as a bad thing. In fact, divorce can in many instances be a good thing.

If arranging a marriage was available as a service, it would probably be useful. I suspect that the problem with having it done through a family is that it invariably creates social pressure on an individual, regardless of whether or not it is forced directly. That doesn't seem favorable to me, although no doubt some people would like it.



MaxE
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12 Apr 2022, 4:03 pm

Fnord wrote:
If either party is able to opt-out of the arrangement, and not be bound to marry someone just because they signed up for the service, then I could see it working.  However, expecting such a service to provide unwilling participants to a forced marriage to desperate people would be wrong.

I am proposing something that that would be perfectly legal under today's laws. I don't think the scenarios you describe would be legal.


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Fnord
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12 Apr 2022, 4:17 pm

↑ In that case, what you are proposing is a service similar to a Shadkhanim, or "marriage broker".

 Here are 7 Shadkhanim  you could try.



MaxE
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12 Apr 2022, 5:45 pm

Fnord wrote:
↑ In that case, what you are proposing is a service similar to a Shadkhanim, or "marriage broker".

 Here are 7 Shadkhanim  you could try.

Well yes that's the general idea except on a larger scale with the usual sort of marketing one expects from a serious enterprise, and of course with appeal to the general public rather than targeted at a particular ethnicity.

Ironically, I believe my marriage could have worked as an arranged marriage as my wife and I were both ready for it and were compatible in a number of ways e.g. secular, close to parents but lacking a crew or posse, and willing to make a marriage work, as well as being sexually compatible (perhaps not each others' ideal partner but compatible, luckily for me I'd experienced enough "variety" to not concern myself with what I might have missed out on). As well as trusting one another. But the courtship wasn't super emotional, there wasn't a lot of kissing in the pouring rain or having sex standing up such as you would see in a romantic film. And there are a lot of interests we don't share.

Those shadchanim would never have matched us because she's Jewish and I'm not, but I don't think they've got the wrong idea by any means. Surprisingly, I tried watching Indian Matchmaking but couldn't get into it as those people were so incredibly entitled and didn't seem to care if they got married or not.


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Minuteman
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12 Apr 2022, 10:43 pm

When I was in my 20s I wished that I could have an arranged marriage. Makes all that dating crap obsolete.



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13 Apr 2022, 8:42 am

Nope....not for me.

Ideally, one marries for love.



Fnord
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13 Apr 2022, 8:55 am

It was interesting to find out what my friends and relatives thought of me every time they tried to set me up on a blind date.  Mostly, it seems they thought I was desperate enough to "hook up" with any woman whose sole redeeming feature was her availability.  None were educated beyond high school.  None had any marketable skills or creative talents.  None were interested in any activity that involved active physical exertion.

All were dull, boring, and otherwise unremarkable.

Arranged marriage?  Not for me!



magz
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13 Apr 2022, 9:02 am

Probably not for me, either. My ex who my mom liked the most was a nice guy but he was unable to cope with my excentricity... and I was unable to cope with his dullness.
I'm happily married in my friendship-first culture.


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Texasmoneyman300
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13 Apr 2022, 10:30 am

My parents marriage was kind of arranged because he got my grandfathers permission to marry her.My dad got real upset that he did not get the final say so with my sisters marriage.I know in some cultures the brother can veto a marriage.However I think arranged marriage mayh be banned in Texas



Fnord
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13 Apr 2022, 10:57 am

Texasmoneyman300 wrote:
My parents marriage was kind of arranged because he got my grandfathers permission to marry her.My dad got real upset that he did not get the final say so with my sisters marriage.I know in some cultures the brother can veto a marriage.However I think arranged marriage mayh be banned in Texas
It is not surprising that courtship in Christian-controlled areas of Texas bears similarities to "courtship" in Muslim-controlled countries of the Middle East.



Texasmoneyman300
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13 Apr 2022, 12:00 pm

True.Thats a very good observation.



Benjamin the Donkey
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13 Apr 2022, 1:00 pm

Arranged marriages may be less likely to get divorced not because the marriages are better, but because people who choose such an arrangement tend to be much more conservative and less willing to consider divorce, however unsatisfying their marriage is.


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