Now and Then: It’s All Good. Indian arranged marriages – the new model

Arranged marriageThen it was simple and straightforward…………BUT was it the best way to go about it?

Well was there a choice? NO. Not really.

Why? Because love marriages were supposed to be damned and scorned upon by society. You had to be a real rebel to go against the grain.

I mean the 70’s and the 80’s model.

Then friends and relatives or the matrimonial bureau recommended a prospective girl or boy and the parents would check out the references and organise a meeting between the boy and the girl. Many a times this was the only time they met prior to making the decision or probably the decision was enforced by a disciplinarian father or an authoritarian mother.

Ridiculous as it may sound but it was all about complying with the wishes of your elders and believing that they mean the best for you and going with the flow rather than rebel with the system. It was just so much easier for everyone. Yes your opinion was sought at times before a decision was made. It was all good.

Where was love? Lost somewhere in between which was supposed to surface sometime after the wedding day. And it did happen, magically love flourished as the song says, “Love The One You’re With” and it was a very successful model, 80% of all arranged marriages were successful in the 70’s and the 80’s.

Today the same model has become so much user friendly. The girl and the boy are introduced by friends, siblings, cousins, parents, family friends and global online matrimonial portals and dating sites. The online profiles provide all the details along with the photos of the candidates, so you can make informed decisions. Candidates can chat live, on Skype and email each other, before moving on to the face to face meeting stage.

It’s as good as a new romance, where you look forward to knowing more about this new person in your life. But this model is even better than a romance as it has the safety net, where, if you discover that he or she is not what you are looking for you can politely say so and you will not be labelled a traitor. It’s all good.

But nevertheless whether it’s a 70’s and 80’s model or a 21st century model or a love marriage what is universal for the success of marriages is still the same even today and will be for eternity:

a) One piece of valuable advice is respecting each other. Make sure your spouse treats you with respect. Put your foot down on the very first instance of disrespect and make sure he or she understands that you cannot be taken for granted and that talking respectfully is all you can take nothing less.

b) Don’t try to change each other. Choose your battles wisely. If he has been leaving his wet towel on the bed before marriage chances are he will do it after his marriage. Some things just aren’t worth fighting for.

c) Do the fun things you enjoy together to spend time together, to keep the romance in the relationship. You don’t have to watch sports in all your spare times. Women are softer, they like movies, holding hands, music, flowers, that don’t cost much. It’s very simple to please them just learn the knack and be wise. And for women, leave them alone sometimes, they like to be boys.

d) Be a good friend to each other, help each other, and face the good and bad times strongly together. Life was never supposed to be easy and marriage was never supposed to be a bed of roses. You have to work at it to make it successful.

e) Know and believe in yourself and love yourself only then only can you love somebody else.

f) The most important financial lesson you will ever learn is money in a marriage……… it’s never yours or mine after marriage………………it’s ours. never forget this.

g) Last but not the least – In-laws. They know your spouse better than you do, simply because they lived with him or her for more years than you did, so do not judge or complaint about him or her to them. They will give you strange looks……… what’s he/she talking about.

Best to laugh and joke about it and let it go. Humour saves the day any day.

Feature Writer : Meena Chavan

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