A recent article describes some of the benefits and pitfalls to arranged unions. First, parents who favor arranged marriages believe that they are more experienced and objective than their children. They will be able to make better, less impulsive choices regarding a compatible, and often financially supportive mate than their child will. In many cultures, disobeying the arrangement can lead to disownment and exile from the family. But for the children, arranged marriages can cause fear and resentment. Many young people long for the chance to find their perfect soul mate, the one who makes their heart flutter and their palms sweat. They want to experience intimacy on many levels with that person before they make the commitment to spend the rest of their lives with them. But do parents know best? Parents often arrange marriages for their children because doing so will ensure that their child stays vigilant in their religious beliefs. People from different cultures often see freedom of religion as a threat and are afraid of the varying views in Western societies. “The human mind finds security in habit so adjusting is hard and change is frightening,” says psychologist Jade Caton. That is why, according to Caton, many parents insist on arranged marriages. And maybe they are on to something. According to some research conducted in India, couples in arranged marriages have more extended periods of being in love than partners who choose their own mates. And arranged marriages end in divorce about 10 times less often than nonarranged marriages. But for young adults who cannot see past the pursuit and passion that come from falling in love, these statistics are often merely academic. They are seen by many as business deals that have little to do with love. But arranged marriages are far more likely to lead to lasting affection than marriages of passion, experts claim. According to research, those in arranged marriages – or who have had their partner chosen for them by a parent or matchmaker – tend to feel more in love as time grows, whereas those in regular marriages feel less in love over time.
In love: Couples who have their other half chosen for them have a stronger marriage because their love grows over time And within ten years, the connection felt by those in arranged marriages is said to be around twice as strong. Relationship experts claim this is because arranged matches are carefully considered, with thought going into whether potential partners’ families, interests and life goals are compatible. This means they are more likely to commit for life – and to stick together through rocky patches. Those who marry for love, on the other hand, tend to be blinded by passion and so overlook these crucial details. When the going gets tough, they are more likely to view the situation simply as a natural end to their romantic dream – a way of fate telling them something is wrong with the relationship. With soaring divorce rates and record numbers of single-parent households in the West, researchers suggest it is time to rethink the Western approach to love. Harvard academic Dr Robert Epstein has studied the subject of arranged marriages for eight years, looking at the approaches taken in cultural groups including Indian, Pakistani and Orthodox Jewish. He has interviewed more than 100 couples in arranged marriages to assess their strength of feeling and studied his findings against more than 30 years of research into love in Western and arranged marriages.
Lasting love? Newly-weds on their honeymoon. Within ten years those who had their marriage arranged will have a stronger relationship, researchers said His work suggests that feelings of love in love matches begin to fade by as much as a half in 18 months, whereas the love in the arranged marriages tends to grow gradually, surpassing the love in the unarranged marriages at about the five-year mark. Ten years on, the affection felt by those in...
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