In Defense of Arranged Marriages

23 Feb

You and Your…Choices

I’ll be the first to admit it: I have terrible taste in men. By taste I don’t mean they’re ugly, uncouth or even stupid. The men I end up falling for aren’t short on physical attractiveness or intelligence but they are never right for me. I’m a sucker for cute faces, nice teeth and please, whatever you do, don’t let him be smart. I lose my God given sense over a man with smarts. Picking men is obviously not my forté. There’s strength in knowing your weaknesses, right? Some women can’t cook, some can’t clean worth a damn and some are terrible at picking the right partner. I happen to fall into the latter category. That’s just the luck of the draw.

Depending on your level of inner strength and mental fortitude it’s easy to have a nervous breakdown and succumb to the messages of the media. I mean, you can’t check your email without seeing an article or an ad on reason number 59831758 why you aren’t married or in a relationship yet (no, really, I just read this article “Why You’re Not Married” , not a bad article but it stirs the same pot of prepackaged mess that I’m grown weary of seeing, “You’re single because you’re mean. You should smile more!”). Not to mention the countless books and television shows that reinforce the image of picture perfect husbands and wives. And If I see that damn commercial one more time there is going to be a misunderstanding. No, I don’t want to log on to find my perfect match. I already told you I have bad taste in men, why do you insist on antagonizing me?! I don’t know about you but honestly, I’m ready to throw in the proverbial towel. It’s a wonder more people aren’t tossing themselves out of windows and jumping off bridges.

"Goodbye cruel world...Here goes nothing!"

Okay, that last part was written in jest but all jokes aside, I am starting to take a real hard look at the system of arranged marriages. Here in America, the land of capitalist consumerism, the idea of leaving the fate of your ‘happily ever after’ in someone elses hands is unheard of. We Americans thrive on the fact that we have choices but when it comes to the fundamental institution of marriage maybe too much choice is a bad thing. You can marry whomever you want but the United States has the highest divorce rate in the world which proves that just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. So back to this arranged marriage thing; I’m seriously thinking about it. Even though I wouldn’t let my parents pick out a shower curtain for me, let alone a potential suitor, it’s nice to think about. Having your family, with the help of a match maker, go through all of the dirty work involved with finding a suitable mate? Shoot, sounds like a nice trade off from meeting a guy, hoping he calls, wondering if he’s jaded about dating/relationships, going on a decent first date (if you’re lucky) and pretty much hoping for the best. At least with an arranged marriage you know the guy is available and looking to settle down.

Let’s use me as an example: I’m 25, child-free and in some cultures I would be considered an old maid. The idea of me going out and dating just to date would be looked at as irresponsible and foolish. My parents would be feverishly at work, putting together a pool of eligible, marriage worthy men for me to choose from. I’m using the term ‘choosing’ lightly because not one of my superficial desires would be given any validity during this process. None of that ‘oh he has to be taller than me’, ‘his eyes have to the the right shade of chestnut brown’, or ‘I want a man who has an interest in post-industrial science fiction lit’. Mom and Dad would be looking to commit me, and my so-called deal breakers, to an insane asylum rather than down the aisle of holy matrimony.

"If his big toe is smaller than this...we gonna have a problem!"


I know I’m making light of a serious cultural tradition but I’m genuinely intrigued by the idea of an arranged marriage. Maybe it’s the community aspect of it all. A woman’s father is actively involved in the process as are her uncles and male relatives. Men that have been groomed from birth to be husbands are picked based on a myriad of factors that basically boil down to whether a he will be able to adequately care for his wife and their future offspring. As a woman you have been raised with the expectations of being a wife and mother. Everyone knows their roles. Its a very practical way of looking at marriage. I’m probably romanticizing the entire thing because in truth I have no first hand experience on arranged marriages but after suffering the consequences of my own attraction I can rest assured that whomever is picked for me would be a better match than the ones I’ve been picking for myself.

-Nikki B. Decadent

So what say ye, Gems?

If it were an option would you consider an arranged marriage?


4 Responses to “In Defense of Arranged Marriages”

  1. Bitterwoman February 23, 2011 at 10:35 AM #

    I agree its hard to find a man of ur nature ur comfort but wayy easier to settle who really wants to settle though. I take the route of being single proudly till I find my comfort.

  2. Rogers, Thomas February 24, 2011 at 4:26 AM #

    Lower divorce rates in other countries doesn’t mean that people are happier there. Many women are trapped unhappily in their marriages with no means of independence.

    In such societies, where women are second class citizens, they are a financial burden on families because their job opportunities are more limited. So there is an incentive of families to marry off their daughters to someone who will rid them of such a burden.

    I’m not convinced that you are so bad at choosing a mate compared to other women. Your peers are often overconfident and lack self awareness. The fact that you are aware of your shortcomings is a strength.

    • Roaring 20s February 24, 2011 at 11:17 AM #

      I never said anyone was happier (happiness is relative) I just stated the facts – there are lower rates of divorce in other countries. In a lot of places divorce is not an option.

      When I speak about arranged marriages I’m really talking about the intricate system of matchmaking thats involved. Thats what I really admire and I think as Americans, we can stand to embrace community over the individual. It’s only in America that people think they are full grown at the age of 18 because the govt says so. In most cultures you arent grown until you have a family of your own and even then you are still a part of a bigger familial unit. Thats the basis of any decent society – the preservation of family.

      I honestly dont think the onus of choosing a life partner and starting a family should be left up to chance, an individuals varying ‘preferences’ or how much they are in love at a particular moment. Nor should it be about how much cattle and grain a father can get for his daughter’s hand.

      -Nikki B. Decadent


  1. Tweets that mention In Defense of Arranged Marriages « Roaring 20's -- - February 23, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nikki B and Roaring 20s, Roaring 20s. Roaring 20s said: ~New Post~ In Defense of Arranged Marriages: I’ll be the first to admit it: I have terrible taste in men. By ta… […]

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