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Arranged Marriages - Workable today?

Culture Arranged Marriages

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Poll: In the modern world, can arranged marriages work? (36 member(s) have cast votes)

In the modern world, can arranged marriages work?

  1. No - people need to choose their mates and spend time with them before marriage. (9 votes [25.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.00%

  2. No - modern expectations are too complex for that to work. (7 votes [19.44%])

    Percentage of vote: 19.44%

  3. Maybe - under certain conditions they could work... (8 votes [22.22%])

    Percentage of vote: 22.22%

  4. Yes - with education, and input from the participants, marriages can be arranged. (9 votes [25.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.00%

  5. Yes - given our scientific/psychological understandings we can arrange marriages. (3 votes [8.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.33%

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#1 QueenTiye

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 10:52 PM

A wacky idea played across my brain, as they sometimes do... and I thought it might be good to let it see the light of day...

The idea is, given our current understanding of the chemical underpinnings of love, given the fact that we have psychologists specially trained in communications/relationships management who can teach necessary success skills, and given the fact that we can involve participants in their own selection criteria, we can conceivably arrange marriages.  Skip the dating part - find the perfect counterpart, and begin the process of building a relationship INSIDE of the marriage, not out of it.

As is typical of me with these ideas - I never can see any flaws with them, so I thought I'd let you guys tell me what's wrong here. LOL!  The only real drawback I see is that people don't have the same expectatation of marriage as they used to, and so would see little reason to be in such a hurry to marry that they'd arrange a marriage instead of dating.  But that's an issue outside of the central question which is - could this work?

Have at it! (Yes... I'm slightly sleep deprived, under severe amounts of stress, and generally annoyed with the planet.  Any ideas emanating from my brain under these conditions are likely to be extreme...)

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#2 Shalamar

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 11:11 PM

Knee jerk reaction is  :eek3:  :eek3:  :eek3: ..NO and not only NO but **** NO!  

Arranged marriages worked only in the days when it was inconcievable for a marriage to be able to end  ( I know I am not putting that adequately but I'm rather mind dead right now too )

Great Gnus...marriages where the partners met and knew each other outside a marriage aren't hardly working...can one expect two strangers to work out a relationship inside a marriage...I have extreme doubts.  To me it is a recepie for disaster of unimaginable magnitude.

What you expect in a partner is not necessarily what you get, and what one thinks is important in one phase of life is not necessarily the same in a later phase...and people mis represent them selves all the time... so what guarantees that what they advertise is what you are really getting...
There is no such thing as the perfect counterpart, all relationships are a series of compromises, work arounds, and exchange of give and take...

And who would guarantee that people would learn from these experts, or even utilise them... and the 'experts' have been proven wrong before...
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#3 sierraleone

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 12:40 AM

*mumbles 'will respond later its 1:40 in the morning'....*
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#4 Delvo

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 12:43 AM

Shalamar, on Jun 22 2004, 10:09 PM, said:

There is no such thing as the perfect counterpart, all relationships are a series of compromises, work arounds, and exchange of give and take...
If there's no such thing as "the one" or a "soulmate", then there's really nothing unique to look for while "dating" to choose someone yourself. There are just a bunch of people that are qualified and would all fit the role, with some of that work you're talking about, which none are exempt from.

That is in fact how I see it, and what it means is that the selection process itself is hugely bloated and mostly unnecessary, since you already know at the start that they meet your basic requirements and you're not expecting to find out anything specially uniquely destined for you anyway.

On top of that, to me the dating process seems like a chore to get past as efficiently as possible to get the goal (deciding to marry or deciding to break up) accomplished; everybody else is fixated on going to bars and dance clubs, which are two places I could never enjoy being. And even if you go someplace else more creative, the fact that it's still about making a special event and activity out of it still makes it useless as a test of what it would be like to LIVE together, since most days of your life you won't be having any adventures. You'll be sitting at home in a much more casual and less forced/scripted setting, where occasional silence should be comfortable rather than a sign of a huge problem that has to be fixed. Since you can't test that by dating, it would be spiffy to be able to just skip that nonsense and get straight to moving in to get what the real thing will be like. (And going out sometimes during the cohabitation wouldn't contradict it either.) Then, you're already there and done with that process; it's out of the bluddy way.

So I guess the ideal just-pick-one-&-be-done-with-it thing would be a bit like a marriage that's arranged by yourself instead of someone else. The main difference is that, because it's not arranged by someone else with no input from you, you don't face the risk that they assign you somebody who doesn't even meet the basic requirements from the very beginning (people you would never even have dated because they're that obviously not right for you no matter what).

#5 Orpheus

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 01:02 AM

My parents had an arranged marriage. They're not any sort of model for anything, though. I have other relatives with arranged marriages, too, and most are very happy Several of my friends, both immigrants and thoroughly American native-born physicians, have arranged marriages.

The immigrants usually married before coming here, the second or third generation Americans decided to let their extended family in the Old Country "find them candidates" (which is completely traditional - "arranged" does not mean "nonconsensual") and decided to marry them. They are as familiar with -and concerned about- divorce as you or I. So far, so good. I honestly can't say that I see any difference between the marriages and any others. After a while. it doesn't matter how you met -- and the very fact that our 'love' marriages break up as often as they do points out how tenuous our 'modern method' is.

Marriage isn't about sex; it's about commitment. Without commitment, you have nothing. With it, you have everything -- though of course some real monsters don't show their true colors until the ring goes on, regardless.

Consider the demographics of human history. Until roughly WWII, even most Americans lived in rural settings. The number of prospective mates of the same age was very small, and you probably knew most of them all your life, and might be somewhat related to many.  (Of course the necessity for partners to be the same age is a modern conceit, too, born of the notion that spouses must be equal in as many ways as possible.) There wasn't much opportunity to find the right pheromonal match (or whatever you meant by "chemical") Real compatibility is nice, and real  incompatibility can be horrible, but there's a vast land inbetween, and that's where I believe most married people live. It's not necessarily a bad place to live, either.

Having said that, though I understand why people may choose an  arranged marriage, and don't see anything wrong with it, I've never been tempted.  I feel that's just a result of my early canalization, but there it is.

I suspect that a lot of us know people in arranged marriages. We just may not realize it. Or maybe I just live in a more cosmopolitan place and stratum than most. (Does anyone know the census statistics for "holes in olde hunney trees"?)

#6 Godeskian

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 01:36 AM

Not a fan of the concept.

No particular reason beyond the fact that when I choose to marry someone, i want it to be because I want to marry her, and she wants to marry me, not becaue some computer said we were a perfect match

#7 FlatlandDan

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 05:02 AM

I voted for the first option, simply because it's what I would like for myself.  I wouldn't move in with someone I hadn't spent time with.
My candle burns at both its ends;
It will not last the night;
But oh, my foes, and oh, my friends --
It gives a lovely light."
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#8 emsparks

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 05:36 AM

I donít know I see things a little differently: What I see lacking is the support system, the community that use to exist to support the family and thereby the marriage, up until the coming of the interstate highway system in the late fifties and early sixties, and now globalization.

From the dawn of time until, like I said late nineteen fifties and early sixties, first tribes then early communities, eventually neighborhoods, where comprised of a small number of multigenerational extended families, and cooperating neighbors. In those days marriage wasnít a thing one does, it was a survival necessity, with each family member carrying his or her own weight so to speak. Children over the age of about five had their chores, and the mother and father had their jobs. Contrary to the popular mythos about those days, the motherís job was not always in the home that was the job of the grandmother, and maybe an unmarried, or divorced aunt.

In those days the smarter family members, the grandfather, the grandmother, the older brother / sister, where part and parcel to the family, and to the neighborhoods, they werenít off chasing employment on the other side of the country, or today the other side of the globe, the grand parents werenít shut-up in some retirement village or home waiting to die. The family functioned as a unit, with the older smarter more experienced teaching the young, the newly weds.

When you had a problem at two a.m. in the morning with your spouse, there was help, not only help, but help that knew both sides of the problem intimately. Not some uninvolved person that you see once a week for 45 minutes, and then ďNEXT!Ē The help you had where people that where living the problem right there with you. Donít get me wrong this system didnít work all the time, but it worked a hell of a lot better then the failing industrial system that is beating us down now.

Iíll give you an extreme case in point, spousal abuse, one of the men in our neighborhood, had a problem with alcohol, and would sometimes very loudly beat his wife, when he was drunk. Some of the other men in the neighborhood told him a number of times that he had to stop beating his wife, he didnít listen. Then one day the bruises on his wifeís face got the other women in the neighborhood angry, and their men gave the offender an attitude adjustment, which bruised his face just as badly.  This time it worked out, the beatings stopped, the man did his drinking away from the house, until he entered AA some years later. But what was more important the marriage stayed together and when he wasnít drunk they got along quite well.

No system devised by man works all the time, but me, I favor the extended family community approach, over the under involved, underpaid, under trained approach of the so-called community services of today. The reason why marriages fail is we are not willing to make sure that the jobs required to support the extended families on the community level exist.

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#9 Uncle Sid

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 07:31 AM

I'm with Sparky on this one.  The only problem with that in modern times is that it becomes difficult with the mobility that people have to choose where they are going to live.  For me to continue to have an extended family situation, I'd have to continue to live in upstate New York, which probably means that I'd have a low paying job or none at all in my field, whereas here in Virginia, I never seriously worried about unemployment.

Still, the fact is that, when it works, and extended family is significantly better than the unfortunate nuclear family (or less) system we have these days.  An extended family does not rely on two people getting along together on their own for its success.
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#10 FlatlandDan

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 08:10 AM

^^^
I supose what it boils down to is if someone is  getting married because of love between two people or for the "greater good" so to speak.

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Edited by FlatlandDan, 23 June 2004 - 08:24 AM.

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#11 Godeskian

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 08:15 AM

I know which side of the equation i come down on.

#12 QueenTiye

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 08:25 AM

Well, it really was late, and I really was sleep deprived, so I made two errors - one  I didn't state my case clearly enough and two, the last two yes choices are separated, but I neglected to include an option for the combination of the two.  I voted for the last yes option thinking it was the option that I never gave anyone... :wacko:

The idea of a computer sorting through a bunch of people and then saying "here's your spouse" is frankly appalling! LOL! But only on an emotional level.  Intellectually - there doesn't seem to be any logical reason this couldn't work.  First - the excitement of meeting your new spouse is enough to kick off the cascade of chemicals that make you feel "in love" and second, time and intimate interaction alone produce the next set of chemical reactions that cause bonding.  The advantage of computers is that you can imput the necessary criteria and sort through far more people than you might by doing the "dating thing" - in far less time, and with no emotional risk until it makes sense to have emotional risk involved.  But - that necessary step - the participants explaining in great detail what they want and wading through pictures (for instance) to insure that they are going to at least be physically attracted - I believe would be necessary.  Further - I wouldn't just throw two people together to be married who don't even know each other - I'd want to give them some coaching, some training in what to expect from marriage, and how to resolve conflicts, manage money, raise children, etc...  they may or may not use those resources fully in real life - but having the knowledge before the time comes to need it - is always a good thing, and this kind of interaction provides a counterbalance for the lack of extended family that Sparky speaks of...

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#13 Godeskian

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 08:34 AM

here's a few thoughts

What if your 'perfect match' lives on another continent? doesn't speak your language? already has a SO? is gay? is not gay (if you are)?

For that matter, what if you're an abusive drunk? what if your matched SO is an abusive drunk? What if it turns out the computer is wrong? What if your 'perfect match' So's family hates you? or you hate theirs?

to be honest, i'd rather chance dating. You still have all the above issues, but at least you get to talk about them before they put you in a tux and a wedding gown.

#14 Cardie

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 09:00 AM

Lots of people now are using computer dating.  I think of arranged marriages as being instigated by other people and then proposed to the candidates, rather than being a form of "individual research" that precedes meeting the other person .

I have been completely unsuccessful in getting married, so I don't know that I should represent myself as any kind of expert on this topic.  However, I voted no on the basis of modern expectation.

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#15 QueenTiye

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 09:08 AM

Cyberhippie, on Jun 23 2004, 09:32 AM, said:

here's a few thoughts

What if your 'perfect match' lives on another continent? doesn't speak your language? already has a SO? is gay? is not gay (if you are)?
How could this ever turn out to be your perfect match?  Would you some how forget to say "my perfect match speaks english, is available to be matched to me, and is straight?"  :crazy:



Quote

For that matter, what if you're an abusive drunk? what if your matched SO is an abusive drunk? What if it turns out the computer is wrong? What if your 'perfect match' So's family hates you? or you hate theirs?

The family issue is a decent one.  The alcoholism issue and or abusive issue can be handled the same way these things are handled by people who arrange marriages in other cultures - you screen those types out of the pool.  People with criminal records - not eligible.  You ASK if someone drinks, and how much.  You match people who have similar interest in drinking.  As to the issue of alcoholism - well... here's the thing.  A person who socially drinks today may become increasingly alcoholic over time - until you realize that the "social drinking" never really was, but back then, it was fun, now - not so much.  That can and does happen to a couple no matter how it became a couple.

Quote

to be honest, i'd rather chance dating. You still have all the above issues, but at least you get to talk about them before they put you in a tux and a wedding gown.

Ok... I guess I have more clarification, but I'll put that in response to Cardie's post.

Een Draght Mackt Maght


#16 QueenTiye

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 09:11 AM

Cardie, on Jun 23 2004, 09:58 AM, said:

Lots of people now are using computer dating.  I think of arranged marriages as being instigated by other people and then proposed to the candidates, rather than being a form of "individual research" that precedes meeting the other person .
Well, I guess I wasn't entirely clear.  That's not what's being talked about here at all... :)

The "modern arranged marriage" probably looks a lot like computer dating, except that the dating part is taken out, and a marriage preparation component is put in.  There's no reason why the proposed match can't have a conversation or a few, about their concerns, and for that matter - the participants probably want to know WHY this person is their match - what made them come up on the list of acceptable people.  The reason I'm calling it arranged marriage, is because once the candidates have agreed to one another's suitability, they get married.  They don't continue experimenting with dating and the like.

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#17 Godeskian

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 09:13 AM

edited as apology for offense given.

Edited by Cyberhippie, 23 June 2004 - 10:52 AM.


#18 Drew

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 09:20 AM

Cyberhippie, on Jun 23 2004, 09:11 AM, said:

KKK'rs get to screen out anyone who isn't a right wing fundamentalist Christian?
Can you please disconnect these two groups--both here and in your mind?  I find it rather offensive.
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#19 Cardie

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 09:21 AM

But are the people going to be forced never to go out for dinner and a movie before they sign the marriage license?  I can see the value of finding the person you might otherwise never have met through this process, and relying a lot on expert help to get ready for marriage, but the idea that the people are denied having any social interaction before marrying, just in case they don't do well in each other's company despite all the matching, seems ridiculous.  Certainly no one would enter into this process unless there was a point at which you got the thirty-day trial and could cancel the contract.  Maybe instead of dating, they could actually live together for a month.

There has to be a middle ground between undergoing dating rituals and picking up people in bars until you think you've found true love and forming a domestic partnership with someone you've had no chance to find out bores you or creeps you out after a few days together.  I wouldn't go into business with someone until I'd had more socialization with them than your scheme seems to allow.

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#20 Godeskian

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 09:24 AM

edited to apologise for offense given.

Edited by Cyberhippie, 23 June 2004 - 10:52 AM.




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