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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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#81 Shalamar

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Posted 24 June 2004 - 12:03 AM

HM, pictures, repulsed by ones potential mate...oh what a huge disadvantage any one not 'pretty', or 'cute'. or 'beautiful', or 'handsome', or 'comely', or 'attractive' will have.

Personality should count for far more than any physical descriptors...how many men and women out there who are plain, homely, etc who have great personalities , make wonderful mates - a brief pre marriage meeting isn't going to give any one time to have their true selves grow on you.
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#82 QueenTiye

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Posted 24 June 2004 - 08:35 AM

Shalamar, on Jun 24 2004, 01:01 AM, said:

HM, pictures, repulsed by ones potential mate...oh what a huge disadvantage any one not 'pretty', or 'cute'. or 'beautiful', or 'handsome', or 'comely', or 'attractive' will have.

Personality should count for far more than any physical descriptors...how many men and women out there who are plain, homely, etc who have great personalities , make wonderful mates - a brief pre marriage meeting isn't going to give any one time to have their true selves grow on you.
If these things don't matter to someone - they can simply rate everyone as "acceptable."  

But, I think you might agree, Shalamar, its one thing to think one's mate is attractive but not necessarily gorgeous, or even plain, but acceptable in your sight for their good qualities, etc.  Its a whole other thing to actually be repulsed by someone's physical appearance, and for a marriage that's starting out with very little knowledge on either side, that's not a good starting point.

As you've said before that you don't agree with the idea of marriages being "arranged" - then I understand your comment about time to know one, etc.  OTOH, if indeed you believe that that is possible, it should be possible with someone to whom you are married, who has similar interests, etc

HM07

Edited by Handmaiden07, 24 June 2004 - 09:44 AM.

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#83 Delvo

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Posted 24 June 2004 - 08:51 AM

The fact that looks matter and can never possibly be made to not matter (no matter how long you know someone, no matter what people say to the contrary) is not a difference between these systems.

#84 Lina

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 12:46 PM

Is this thread still functioning?

Anyway, I have some more thoughts.

Handmaiden07 said:

can people skew the results... yes, perhaps. But, like with a Myers-Briggs Type indicator - your answers about yourself are not the only ones taken into consideration. Also are people you choose to answer questions about you- friends, coworkers, parents, siblings... the idea is to get a picture of "the real you" both as you see yourself and as you are seen. That kind of profiling is what I would imagine would take FIRST precedence over any choices you will have. So a first pass at the pool of available mates is done on the basis of a psychological profile. The NEXT pass is based on your personal choices, and the last pass is a picture review in which you rank images of those who are in your pool.

Got it now. Now I am not sure if this will work well to arrange a 'happy marriage' whatever this is supposed to mean. IMO, this method will only work if the person is ready to admit that they aren't always right about themselves, and want to work with that. There are many out there, who wish to be happy, but do not really want to admit tier misgivings. Any future happiness they want for themselves rests upon the picture they painted, not some objective reality which can be quiet different to say at least. Sure, you can match them with a partner who would coddle them and believe in this unreal personality, but is it really good for either partner? Will such a situation really work into the happy marriage? OTOH, you can match them with a partner who will help them to bring their problems to surface and  work them out, but again, who can be sure how long will it take? Who can be sure that such a marriage will really work? Somehow, I don't see this somewhat delusional person be open to communication in regards of really wanting to adjust their self-understanding.

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Another aspect of "arrangement" is the educational portion. It serves the function of that extended family, that prepares a young person for their responsibilities as they enter marriage and adulthood. The training portion in this idea is not optional. Its mandatory.

Interesting, and education is a good thing... By mandatory do you mean for those who announced that they wish to be matched or to all people since early childhood in case that they may want to be matched? With the former variant it may be too late to begin this kind of education, and with the latter you are threading a very thin line that, as I feel, may bring a lot of grief in life to people like me, who do not consider marriage at any point of their future. Education like you describe might end up installing a firm idea in young people's minds that they need marriage in their life in order to be successful. This it true for many, maybe for majority, but certainly not for all. Are you also planning to offer a single life as a viable and comparable alternative in this educational program and teach about responsibilities for such a person?

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Yet another aspect of "arrangement" is the background checks - participants all have to consent to background checks - which serves the function of parents looking for "good families" or checking the reputation of the person and their family, or any other safety features that are inherent in arranged marriages.

Mmm...okay... Sure, provided that a person him/herself (and not government, his/her parents, etc) have to provide this consent, I do not see a problem. Anyone of legal age and above can surely consent to being put into the database of any kind. However, don't you think that wide background checks might actually thin said database significantly?

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Finally - the last aspect of "arrangement" is the control of access to one another prior to marriage. The "personal interview" is planned and to some degree chaperoned - if by no other means that by having the interview at an established location set up by whatever institution is doing these arrangements. Of course, people are ingenious, and if they really want to meet - they'll work it out! But - the process discourages it.

Maybe I don't see this correctly, but in my opinion such an approach opens a whole new can of worms. It is, as I see it, removes significant portion of responsibility from a person themselves. Sure, he/she submitted everything that is necessary for tests and background checks, underwent(is that a word?) proper education... but deep down, is he/she not bypassing responsibility by handing even a final choice to someone else? I imagine that once such a marriage would enter a difficult time (and which marriage doesn't at some point?) both partners may be inclined to not work out their problems and miscommunications, but blame it all on the "database glitch", or "outdated test", or "aunt Mary" who chaperoned their personal interview and discouraged them from further contact prior to marriage. Sure, they made a choice themselves to some degree, but in my view there is the world of difference between making a choice and consenting to it.

HM, I also would like to know about the role of divorce in your scheme? Will they be permitted? If so, on what grounds? And one last question - once people registered in the database for matching, will they be discouraged from personally seeking a mate by means of dating?

Lina

#85 QueenTiye

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 01:18 PM

Lina, on Jun 25 2004, 01:44 PM, said:

Is this thread still functioning?
Thank you for such a detailed analysis! :) And, yes, thread still works! :)

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Got it now. Now I am not sure if this will work well to arrange a 'happy marriage' whatever this is supposed to mean. IMO, this method will only work if the person is ready to admit that they aren't always right about themselves, and want to work with that. There are many out there, who wish to be happy, but do not really want to admit tier misgivings. Any future happiness they want for themselves rests upon the picture they painted, not some objective reality which can be quiet different to say at least. Sure, you can match them with a partner who would coddle them and believe in this unreal personality, but is it really good for either partner? Will such a situation really work into the happy marriage? OTOH, you can match them with a partner who will help them to bring their problems to surface and  work them out, but again, who can be sure how long will it take? Who can be sure that such a marriage will really work? Somehow, I don't see this somewhat delusional person be open to communication in regards of really wanting to adjust their self-understanding.

I have a different idea.  I don't actually believe that we are even attracted to people who don't fit our current psychological profile.  We may want to THINK we are, but I don't think we are.  It's like my very bad habit of thinking lots of "nice guys" are boring... I know that comes at least partially from a chaotic family history...someone who's life was always staid and normal is likely to be quite emotionally remote for me, including their being totally perplexed by the range of things that make me nervous about relationships, and in a very short amount of time, they would want OUT, if I didn't want out first.  So, I think an honest picture is more likely, rather than less likely, to create equal matches, and the two people can work on their characters from where they are, and are likely to have a better understanding of one another than they would with some other "ideal" person that matched their "ideal" selves.


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Interesting, and education is a good thing... By mandatory do you mean for those who announced that they wish to be matched or to all people since early childhood in case that they may want to be matched?

The latter.  One would hope kids get the necessary social training just by being in a stable family - but if not, then I don't believe its ever too late to learn... a little learning and a little practice is, to me, better than no learning, no practice, and complete ignorance that such learning and practice might be applicable.

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Mmm...okay... Sure, provided that a person him/herself (and not government, his/her parents, etc) have to provide this consent, I do not see a problem. Anyone of legal age and above can surely consent to being put into the database of any kind. However, don't you think that wide background checks might actually thin said database significantly?

In our  modern world - the person him or herself would volunteer to be a part of this matching service, and would in the process, volunteer for the background check.

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Maybe I don't see this correctly, but in my opinion such an approach opens a whole new can of worms. It is, as I see it, removes significant portion of responsibility from a person themselves. Sure, he/she submitted everything that is necessary for tests and background checks, underwent(is that a word?) proper education... but deep down, is he/she not bypassing responsibility by handing even a final choice to someone else? I imagine that once such a marriage would enter a difficult time (and which marriage doesn't at some point?) both partners may be inclined to not work out their problems and miscommunications, but blame it all on the "database glitch", or "outdated test", or "aunt Mary" who chaperoned their personal interview and discouraged them from further contact prior to marriage. Sure, they made a choice themselves to some degree, but in my view there is the world of difference between making a choice and consenting to it.

It is the most controversial aspect, and the only aspect that really makes this truly different from "computerized dating."  But - its the aspect that is most in line w/ arranged marriages.  Part of the educational component would be a heavy emphasis on commitment - because it is my contention that marriages need that anyway - and that that is the only thing that allows people to get past one another's warts...  A well matched couple, committed to the marriage, should not assume a database glitch, but a communications glitch.  But I may be idealistic on this point.

Quote

HM, I also would like to know about the role of divorce in your scheme? Will they be permitted? If so, on what grounds? And one last question - once people registered in the database for matching, will they be discouraged from personally seeking a mate by means of dating?

The original question was - can such a thing be applied in the modern world, so I think that this type of system would have to function in competition with other ways of doing things, and be subject to all the same rules.

HM07

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#86 Lina

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 01:59 PM

Thanks for response, HM. Hopefully you don't consider my opinions too depressing. ;)

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One would hope kids get the necessary social training just by being in a stable family - but if not, then I don't believe its ever too late to learn... a little learning and a little practice is, to me, better than no learning, no practice, and complete ignorance that such learning and practice might be applicable.

Okay, that would assume that children indeed receive acceptable social training. If that would, then indeed a little bit of additional learning on the subject can help then to better understand what they are about to face. This might actually work for them. However, what about a child who did not get a social training that is needed to even be able to comprehend such and arrangement and responsibilities of it? Not every child in the world has a stable family, and not every child in the world has a family at all. Will such children not be somewhat at disadvantage? While I agree that little learning and little practice is better then none, I still think that it is not nearly enough to know about interpersonal communication skills (importance of which in a marriage I think cannot be ever stressed enough), it is IMO quiet necessary to actually get some practice in a situation close to that you are training for.

For example, I was educated and trained as a primary school teacher. In theory, I was one of the best in my group - I read necessary books, I knew the right answers, I did well on simulations... When I first entered the class, all I understood is that 9/10 of what I learned is nothing without a REAL practice. And it was practice that made me understand that I NEED to change my profession to avoid harming both my students and myself.

No, I don't think dating is really THAT close to marriage, but at least it gives you a chance to interact with your future mate and gain experience with him/her.

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It is the most controversial aspect, and the only aspect that really makes this truly different from "computerized dating." But - its the aspect that is most in line w/ arranged marriages.

Aha, I see that this is the point where your and my opinions went opposite ways as far as poll options are concerned. I see an advantage is 'arranging' as a tool at person's disposal to thin the pool a bit and maybe to encourage a person to seek their match among remaining candidates, knowing that they 'fit' according to tests and what not. I see how this can be helpful and even encouraging to some (though not all, of course).

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Part of the educational component would be a heavy emphasis on commitment - because it is my contention that marriages need that anyway - and that is the only thing that allows people to get past one another's warts... A well matched couple, committed to the marriage, should not assume a database glitch, but a communications glitch.

I still maintain that education, important as it is, creates somewhat idealistic view of any possible situation. The way I think about it - one type of a person who would volunteer for such arranging would be someone who lacks communication skills to seek a mate by means of dating (I don't say that EVERY volunteer will be like this, but some). Throughout education, such a person will undoubtfully gain plenty of theoretical knowledge and some experience in simulations. He/she will know multiple ways to recognize and handle different communicational situations. But, once they are matched and placed inside the marriage, the possibility is that the reality will come crashing down on them - the KNOW what to do and HOW to do it, but it is practice, and skills that they lack.

Of course, if both partners have a positive outlook, strong emphasis on commitment and a sense of responsibility, they will eventually work it all out. However, if a person was incapable to develop his/her communication skills enough to exercise dating (maybe he/she even tried really hard), who is to say that despite all education he/she will succeed in marriage? In this case, heavy emphasis on commitment may play a negative role, strange as it may sound - a person would feel trapped in a way and I am not sure it is a healthy attitude when wee talk about marriage.

Guess, my point would be that your approach MAY work for some, but I really, really doubt it will be really that much better then dating, online or otherwise. :)

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I think that this type of system would have to function in competition with other ways of doing things, and be subject to all the same rules.

IOW, it is not a 'clean experiment', and a person can very well treat such a marriage as a co-habiting of sorts... Be matched, try to work things out, fail, blame computer, be matched again and so on. Similar to dating and following "test run" (for some), only someone else is choosing your dates. Hmm...

Lina

#87 QueenTiye

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 02:13 PM

Um... I don't think you can fairly say "IOW" there... marriage is a civil contract, undoing it takes some doing in many cases... and I think pyschologically, people treat marriage very differently.  

As to the education thing - I did say right in the portion you quoted, that even a little bit of education would be better than the none that most people enter into marriage with.  So even people who did not grow up in stable families would benefit, in my opinion.

I think the point at which you diverge in opinion is in the expectations of people - you believe that people will take such a scenario and treat it like a fancy date, and not like a marriage (that would probably be an option 2). While I believe that is possible, I don't think that would be the norm.  I think that most people would simply opt to date if they really didn't agree with the process as stated, and wouldn't treat the marriage as a marriage.  I believe that people who did go this route would take their marriages seriously.

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#88 Lina

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 03:03 PM

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Um... I don't think you can fairly say "IOW" there... marriage is a civil contract, undoing it takes some doing in many cases... and I think pyschologically, people treat marriage very differently.

I see you point here, but I still find it difficult to believe that a person who surrendered their choice of a mate (a very important choice in life if you do want a mate, as I see it) to others. As I see it, these people consented to their partner, yet they did not really choose him/her.

In my opinion, it is a personal choice that makes someone to treat responsibility seriousely. In you scenario, two people who, while being a nearly perfect match (I don't believe in perfect match, so I came as close as I could here) would decide that they are better as friends, will find an amicable way to separate and not drag one another through the mud. They will understand each other and wish each other luck, even if not together. Funny thing would be that in this case them being a match will serve to help them work as a team on a way to separation.

You do say that the education will place a heavy emphasis on commitment. I believe that sometimes people have to go opposite ways exactly because of commitment (to someone else). IMO, the couple that absolutely cannot exist together is better separated so that both parents can honour their commitment to their child by not dragging him/her through all fights.

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you believe that people will take such a scenario and treat it like a fancy date, and not like a marriage (that would probably be an option 2). While I believe that is possible, I don't think that would be the norm. I think that most people would simply opt to date if they really didn't agree with the process as stated, and wouldn't treat the marriage as a marriage.

I agree with exception of people who would choose this way as an easy route in case that they lack (or think they lack) interpersonal skills to even date (let alone marry), but are pressured by someone else (not the matching service) to seek a mate.

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I believe that people who did go this route would take their marriages seriously.

Some will, no doubt. But some will see this as a way to avoid responsibility of choice, like "I guess it would be good to be married and my mother, whom I love dearly, would be happy to see me married to a good man/woman some day, but there are so many jerks/bitchs out there. I can never find a decent man/woman to be with. I think I'll go to this agency with really great reputation and they'll find a perfect match for me. I will not have to do a thing. They are reliable and they won't fail me, after all they make so many different tests." And once a problem would arise, I somehow don't think that this person will not be quick to blame the agency, because when it comes to the heart of the matter, the agency will be making a choice for him/her.

You see, I place A LOT of value on an active personal choice, and I can't empasise enough importance of it. I am afraid that there may be enough people who would enter such a program as a means to forego the responsibility to make this active personal choice. If this is the motivation, then it is very easy to acquire a feeling of entrapment in commitment (i.e. they said I am his/her match, so it can be done, if I can't do it I am a loser) or to blame one's mistakes on the mediator (i.e. this agency is a bunch of thugs who are in this for money).

But, don't let me discourage you! :)

Lina

#89 QueenTiye

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 03:36 PM

:)  Oh, no... :)  I air these ideas out on purpose - if they are wacky, then I most certainly SHOULD be discouraged!

I put a lot of value on personal choice as well, and I don't see this as taking away people's personal choice.  Like I said - there's personal involvement in the selection process.  Extensive, as I see it. I would hope that people take the selection process more seriously - because they are going to be married to the person at the end of it all.    Will some people have unrealistic expectations? Maybe.  Probably.  But I'd hope that would be the exception, and not the rule.

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#90 Lina

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 04:10 PM

Ok, then. :)

I guess we can safely agree that your idea will work for some :) . Although this is not that much of an agreement really, since one can only be stunned about different approaches that might work for some. :lol:

As to the personal involvement... this is how I see it. For example, here I am, going to this fancy restaurant with my friend. This friend, he knows me very well and he also patronizes this restaurant a lot, whereas I am there for the first time, although I heard a lot about it and made it a point to ask around, etc. Still, as I sit down, I soon find out that the menu is in, say, Italian. Seeing how I don't know a word in Italian, I may ask my friend (who knows my tastes well) to order something not very heavy for me. He makes an order, the dish arrives and I begin to eat it, then realize that the sauce is not very much to my liking with this kind of meet. As I never had this sauce before, my friend just extrapolated from his knowledge of my tastes that I would like it. I might attempt to lay a blame on him, but the important lesson that I would learn from this - next time I'll have him translate the menu for me and choose myself. By doing this, I will save my friend being blamed for my desire to have it easy.

In this analogy my declaration "I want something not very heavy" is personal involvement, yet the final choice (and responsibility for it) rests upon my friend, I simply consent to his decision because I trust him. Had I asked him to translate the menu for me and maybe ask a waiter or a chef about this dish, I might still end up in trouble, but the choice and responsibility would have been mine.

As far as marriage is concerned, I feel that a personal choice should be exercised more heavily at the final stages of choosing a mate, rather then at the beginning. Then again, in my life I prefer to be given information, analize it and then make a decision using my analysis, rather then give information and have someone else analize it for me and have them announce a best possible outcome. How I will analize information is up to me (hence, I see no problem with using scientific approach to thin the 'dating pool'), but I am adamant that the final choice should rest with me also.

Lina



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