Valentines Day, dating, rooming in, trying things out, and moving out on your own as a couple may seem like normal transitions to some but did you know that 90% of marriages in India and 60% of the population of the world practice arranged marriages?!
With that being said, I know many families who had arranged marriages and several friends who anticipate the day their marriage will be arranged by their parents. As always, different perspectives such as these can help open our minds to another way and help increase our understanding of love. An interesting quote I’ve heard several times from these friends is:
You fall in love first then marry, we marry and then fall in love.
Many advocates for arranged marriage say:
Westerners shop for spouses like they do clothes.
Once they tire of them, they toss them away.
These quotes may be offensive to you but take in what’s being said, true love is defined as commitment, acceptance, even sight unseen in many cases going deeper than attraction.
I recently met a hilltribe family who practices arranged marriages and explained this 2000 year old tradition. From early childhood, the kids “play wedding” in the school yard with eager anticipation for the day their parents introduce them to their life mate. A friend from this hilltribe describes her marriage as “very difficult” the first 2 years but says they are learning to love each other and it is getting better. So what can we learn from this Eastern tradition? Here are some take aways.
- Love includes life long commitment above attraction.
- Love is a choice even more than a feeling.
- Finding a life long mate is a decision involving all family members in harmony and with expectation that family will be an integral part of the couples lives.
- Our upbringing and family help define what we consider to be love.
- The idea of “finding the perfect soul mate” is more of a western pursuit that may or may not be motivated by a pure heart or result in true love. Hmmm?!
Whatever the case may be, may your valentine be your mate that you have committed to love for life in good or bad or rich or poor! Please share your thoughts and opinions here!
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