While arranged marriages seem a thing of the distant past, or at least confined only to certain geographical or cultural locales in the world, there are a few enduring lessons that can be drawn from this now strange yet terrifyingly successful tradition.
1. Listen to your parents
Arranged marriages are often brokered by parents from both families – people who happen to know you better than yourself. As such, it might bode well if we actually asked for their thoughts on our romantic choices. Who knows? Your dad or mum might just happen to be the firewall that can fend off a potential heartbreaker.
2. Be objective
We all know that love is subjective and beautiful. However, it can help to think rationally from time to time. Arranged marriages have been found to produce fewer divorce rates, in a study quoted by Psychology today. Many attribute this success to a compatability in socioeconomic status, since matchmaking agencies or parents usually screen for qualities like education and income level. Do remember then, to give some thought to these “hard” factors when choosing your soulmate. Better be safe than sorry!
3. Manage your expectations
The longer you know somebody, the higher the expectations pile up. Individuals who enter into arranged marriages come to terms early on with the fact that things will never be perfect, that mutual effort, care and love from both parties are essential ingredients to nurture the relationship. Therefore, there is greater room for acceptance and for both individuals to learn how to “tolerate” and love one another. Don’t these same lessons sound relevant to our own non-arranged relationships?
In his interviews, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew had this to say about his relationship with lifelong partner Kwa Geok Choo, “You either have the Western view: You marry the woman you love; or the Eastern view: You love the woman you marry. I tried to match both and I think it wasn’t a bad choice.” His words are indeed a true testament to the lessons we can glean from arranged marriages – that learning to love the person you marry can be a recipe for a successful and lasting relationship as well.