Marriage, which is as old as human civilisation, is obviously an important social institution that is a basic building block of all societies across the world. Propagation and well-being of human race would have been very difficult without it and the world as we know it would not have been possible.
Marriage is a coupling of two individuals in more ways than one. It has physical, emotional, financial, social and legal aspects. No other relationship can come close to it in depth and scope. But how do two people go about finding a partner to get married to? There are two ways - arranged marriage or love marriage.
Such marriages were the norm all over the world for thousands of years. In the West, however, tremendous social changes took place in the last century. The same educational and employment opportunities were made available to women as to men. This resulted in emancipation of the fairer gender and women became financially independent. With this came assertiveness in matters of marriage.
The institution of arranged marriage gradually disappeared and was replaced by love marriages. In the East, however, arranged marriages are still the norm. In the West, the rise of love marriage has seen a drastic increase in the divorce rate, while in the East it is still negligible. This has led to the obvious question: "Do arranged marriages lead to fewer divorces?" Without doubt, arranged marriages have tremendous advantages.
In an arranged marriage, choosing a partner is a collective decision of the person to be married as well as his or her family members. The benefits are that choosing a bride or groom is a matter handled with due care and consideration and with a cool head. All efforts are made to ensure that the two would-be partners are evenly matched in terms of lifestyle, educational qualifications, family background, earning potential and even physical appearance.
Since we humans tend to gravitate toward individuals of the opposite gender who are equal to us in all fields, the chances of the marriage turning out to be successful increase manifold as the partners are compatible in all ways. Not only the partners, but the two families are also matched carefully in terms of social status of the parents, wealth and religious beliefs.
This compatibility of the partners as well as their families is definitely a great asset for their future marital happiness. In an arranged married, choosing a spouse is a cold and calculated decision in which emotions or heart have no role to play.
Arranged marriages have one drawback, however. There is a risk that if the parents and other family members are dominating, they may force their decision on an unwilling individual against his or her wishes, leading to much frustration and discontent later on.
In a love marriage, the decision to choose a particular spouse rests solely on the shoulders of the individual getting married. Parents and other family relations have not much of a role to play. They can give their feedback and comments but the ultimate decision always rests with the individual looking to get married. In love marriages, two individuals meet, sparks fly, body chemistry takes over, they fall in love and soon are at the altar saying their wedding vows.
The main advantage of love marriage is that it is a personal decision of the partners and they have no one else to blame if things go wrong. These marriages are in tune with the concepts of liberalism, individual freedom and personal rights that today define Western societies.
Since a marriage is a bond between two individuals who have to spend rest of their lives together, it is only in the fitness of things that the decision to choose a partner is taken by the two individuals alone without coming under pressure of anyone else.
The drawback of love marriages is that these often turn out to be bad decisions taken in the heat of passion or infatuation when the two partners are trying to put their best foot forward in courtship behaviour. Later, as the partners get to know each other better over the years, the romantic scales fall off their eyes and they realise that the personality of their spouse is not exactly what they had bargained for. Divorce is often the result of this.
James Walsh is a freelance writer and copy editor. If you would like more information on how to get a quickie Divorce see http://www.quickie-divorce.com
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