Is an Arranged Marriage the Key to a Successful Marriage?

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In India arranged marriages are still the norm. Interestingly enough, the divorce rate is 3% to 7%. Unlike the United States of America which has a divorce rate of 50%. That’s a big difference.

The news show 20/20 did a story on “The Science of Seduction: Why Him?, Why Her?” Biological Anthropologist Helen Fisher has researched this subject for numerous years. She conducted research with the help of her colleagues Arthur Aron and Lucy Brown.

Lovers were put into an MRI machine. Activity in the ventral tegmental part of the brain showed up when the lovers saw pictures of their partners. This was a revelation for Fisher. According to Fisher, “love is not an emotion but a mating device.” The ventral tegmental produces dopamine (stimulant) and sends it to the brain’s reward centers. These are centers for wanting, craving, motivation, focused attention and ecstasy.

Does this mean that sappy love songs and movies got it all wrong? According to the study conducted by Fisher, people fall into four categories: explorer, builder, negotiator, and director. People who were “matched” with their so-called “perfect mate did not have a long lasting relationship. One couple stayed together to find dating success; this was after the guy found another girl. There is no guarantee that you’ll fall in love even if you use a match maker.

The flip side to this study is arranged marriages which are stilled practiced in Indian cultures today. Ads are placed daily in many Indian newspapers by families who are looking for a husband for their daughter and a wife for their son.

One couple showcased in the 20/20 special married via an arranged marriage. The man was tired the “American” dating scene and contacted his family in New Dehli, India to find him a wife. Success! They found him one and they had a three day celebration. Does the Indian culture know something that we don’t?

A few things have changed with regards to arranged marriages: the rigid caste system is more relaxed and Indians may now marry outside of their own language and province. Families in India meet and get to know each other. They talk about their son or daughter’s past. Everything is revealed from habits to former addictions to their level of employment. Yes, it’s a background check!

India’s divorce rate is lower than the United States of America. Perhaps it’s the “getting to the point” of what they are looking for in a mate. There is none of this silly notion of a “knight in shining armor” coming to rescue them. So many women have been brought up with this concept throughout the years. Men and women know exactly what they are getting — no information is withheld from either party. No stone is left unturned!

Matrimonial classifieds can be found throughout India. Thanks to the internet, many of these agencies are online. With one click of the mouse, a husband or wife can be found. Odds are this is a marriage that will last.

There is something to be said of arranged marriages, honesty. Isn’t this a new idea? Before a bride and groom marry, all their cards are on the table. There’s no hiding of anything. After all, it would bring shame onto the family.

Americans in particular can learn from the Indian culture. It’s not a bad idea to be open and honest of what you are looking for in a relationship. Instead of stringing someone along, cut to the chase and tell what you’re looking for. People would save a lot of time, money, and tears.

The next time someone wants to fix you up on a date. Ask some questions about the man or woman. In fact, write down exactly what you’re looking for in a mate. Let family and friends know what you’re looking for. This will save you time and frustration in the long run. Not to mention hurt feelings.

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