“Arranged marriage or Love marriage?” – This is a common question that lots of wedded couples face in the East and for all purposes a question that seems to unfairly suggest that marriages can only be one or the other.

In the past, parents, relatives or matchmakers “arranged” introductions between a pair with similar backgrounds and practices to increase the chances of familiarity and hence successful bonding. An ideal marriageable age was identified. Procreation was a dutiful obligation. The do’s and don’ts were blacker and whiter.

Today, changes in geography, education, technology, media and community dynamics have blurred the lines and enabled cultural exchange. Digital platforms can “arrange” matches, we can be “introduced” online and even have a “long-distance relationship”.  With globalization and the scattering of families and communities, these services seem to be both needed and welcomed by those looking for a match.

The changes in our expectations and communication, however, have had the deepest impact. There is widespread outrage and legislation against marriage that is non-consensual or between minors.  This has helped to weed out those “love-less arranged marriages” that the above question tries to discern. There is also acknowledgement of individual choice and acceptance that young people have a voice.

“The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.” –   Japanese proverb.

Whilst the means of introduction between potential suitors has changed drastically with time but the expectation of marriage to sanctimoniously unify two people has remained largely the same. So, with all such changes accounted for and respected, surely all marriages today have been both arranged and should ideally have love. Maybe the theory is a little too idealistic, but then again, the constructs of love and marriage are undeniably and inescapably built on several such happy ideals.

We at Raven’s Ait wish all our readers such happy ideals in their relationships and more presently, health and safety during these dramatic times.

Stay tuned for the next article in the “Ravens’ Ait Debates” series, we’re staying on the subject of arranged marriage.