What do you think of Arranged Marriages where there is no direct or indirect coercion, caste-matching, horoscope-matching or dowry negotiations; and where the parents do no more than introduce the Prospective Bride and the Prospective Bride Groom?
And when would you judge (or blame) a man or a woman for breaking an engagement in such ‘arranged marriages’?
Thanks for publishing my E-Mail. I’ve read the comments over the weekend, and I am grateful to you and all of your readers for providing your viewpoints on the issue.
Almost everybody has expressed sentiments which are very much in line with my own thoughts. As I stated, I don’t have any intention of marrying someone who does not want to be married to me (or anyone else), and most readers have agreed that it is the right stance. This has given me much more confidence in my decision.
I am personally in no hurry to get married, and although I think we would have made a great couple under other circumstances, I’m prepared to accept that nothing can possibly come out of a relationship forged under pressure. I must look elsewhere to find a life-partner. It does hurt a bit, of course, but that is to be expected. I can get over it.
Some people have suggested that friendship without romantic expectations would be difficult. I agree with them, and rest assured, I have considered this. However, I feel that it would only be fair to offer some assistance if she needs it and asks for it. My future course of action will essentially be to go back to life without her, while staying available if she needs any material or moral help. I don’t plan to meet her or see her again on a regular basis under any circumstances, because this would probably just result in me holding unfair romantic expectations from her.
I would also specifically like to respond to Atul’s comment. While I agree that I must accept some of the blame, it is not in the same manner that he suggests. I did write ‘I finally gave in’, but this is a bit of a misrepresentation of what really happened. A better way to say it would be that I finally accepted the idea that it might be time to look for someone to get married to. During my time in the US, I have dated women quite independently; however, back then, I was just starting out and did not want anything long-term, so those relationships were intentionally short-lived (and both sides knew it). I’ve only recently felt the need for something much more serious, but since I arrived in India only a couple of years ago, I found it quite daunting to find and enter the local dating scene, specially because I spend a huge amount of my time at work and have very little opportunity to attend social occasions. Moreover, I did not want a much younger woman than myself, and it seems that most women in my circle, who are around my age, are already married or at least committed. Since my parents already had a few supposedly suitable women in mind, I decided to go with that, on the condition that they would not interfere too much beyond setting up the date (and they kept their promise). I don’t see anything wrong with this myself. The problem, of course, was that I was expecting my ‘date’ to have come by her own free will too. This was not the case here.
Thanks once again.
I am glad that I took all of these second opinions. 🙂