Please discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each choice. TOPIC: Marriage: love based versus arranged marriagesMost couples indicate that marriage should be based on LOVE, yet in most...

Please discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each choice. TOPIC: Marriage: love based versus arranged marriages

Most couples indicate that marriage should be based on LOVE, yet in most cultures marriages continue to be arranged.

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I really like the previous post's assertion.  I think that it has to be emphasized that the concept of "arranged marriages" is not necessarily wrong.  The concept of "arranged" marriages is very similar to practices in the West and in "love marriage" settings, to be addressed later.  Individuals believe that marriages should be predicated upon love, and this is certainly valid.  However, the concept of an arranged marriage is one where individuals place their faith in some other force (parents, divine intervention) and hope beyond hope that love, devotion, and loyalty will be present.  When we think of any marriage, isn't this what lies at the base of everyone's hopes and expectations?  Don't both "love marriage" and "arranged marriage" people pray that love will be there, honor will be present, and undying loyalty from their spouse will emerge?  Both sets of couples embark on a voyage that is far from certain.  When two people in love agreed to get married because they love one another, going to the altar or the justice of the peace or some flower filled meadow is only the beginning.  As Kris Kristofferson said, "It' ain't the loving, it's the living."  The first response's idea fits in perfectly here in that the idea that "love marriages" or "love" in general is a far guarantees from perfection.  I could be cliched and throw in the high divorce count in nations where the majority of marriages are "love marriages."  Again, it's not that one is better than another.  Yet, the premise that arranged marriages are done without the premise of love as being a part of the equation is something that is slightly faulty.  In the end, when two people agreed to be married, there are more prayers, hopes, and aspirations that love will be fostered, develop, and be kindled as a struggling fire in the cold of night.

The other point to be made here is the idea of "arranged."  In other parts of the world, the arrangement is done by marriage broker or by parents.  Yet, even in nations where "love marriages" dominate, there is still some level of arrangement.  Whenever one person says to another, "I found someone for you- the'yre perfect" or "I have someone you should meet," this is the premise of "an arrangement."  Would one even argue that eharmony or is the modern version of the old world matchmaker hooked up to a screaming internet connection?

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When I explain the concept of arranged marriages to my Ethnic Studies class each year, they really can't get their head around the idea of marrying for anything but love.  A Pakistani exchange student I had recently felt the opposite way, that marrying just for love was silly, and that family, tradition, security and stability were more important.

It's no that either side is "wrong" so to speak, as much as both types of marriage serve a purpose in each society.  Yes, love-based marriage seems silly and even irrational, except if you believe that one purpose of life is happiness, or if you believe love-based marriage provides the best possible loving environment to raise a family in.  Arranged marriages may seem stale and cold, unless you believe that honoring your father and mother and their wishes  are of paramount importance compared to your personal happiness, or unless you have witnessed your entire life those who lived in arranged marriages and still seemed happy, or grew to love their spouse.

So "advantages" and "disadvantages" seem to be misnomers in this question - each type of marriage is what each society needs it to be, for all its benefits and flaws.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my opinion, the major point against "love" marriages and for arranged marriages is that people in societies that have love marriages tend to expect too much from marriage.  I think that many people expect that marrying for love means that their married lives will be perfect forever.  When they hit times in their marriages when they have problems, they decide that something is wrong with their marriage and they get divorced.  My perception is that people in arranged marriages (I don't know anyone whose marriage was arranged so I can't say for sure) tend more to accept the idea that their marriages will not be perfect to begin with.

That said, I cannot imagine wanting to marry someone that my parents chose for me.  The main advantage to "love" marriages is that they are part of individual freedom.  In societies where people are told who to marry, those people have less freedom than in societies like the US.  Finally, I think that if you go into a love marriage understanding that things won't always be perfect, you get the best of both worlds -- you get to pick who you marry and you don't get disillusioned when things are tough.

msturlic | Student

Unfortunately we live in a society where the concept of love has been misused and consequently misunderstood.  Most people get their idea of what love is from what is portrayed in media.  Media does not often portray love as difficult, mundane, and downright hard!  The statistics bear out that we have lost the concept of committment and that when things get too difficult, it's easier just to split up rather than taking the time and sometimes expense to work through the problems.

In societies where marriages are arranged, the divorce statistics are drastically lower.  Oftentimes the reason is that parents, who are more mature and experienced, are a part of the choice process rather than two people who are more likely to look at the surface and therefore not see areas/issues that need to be addressed before marriage.  Also, in these societies there is more familial support to work through the problems that married couples experience --especially in the first few developmental years of marriage.