‘I feel that arranged marriages are for extroverts, and there is no place for us introverts here.’

Sharing an email.

Hi IHM!

I am writing to you today, because you have fantastic group of readers who give genuine opinions. I am going through the “meeting the guys” stage in the arranged marriage process. And frankly it has been a very confusing experience for me. I said yes to go via this arranged marriage route, because I work from home, and I really do not have a life where I am meeting new people. So, this seemed like a good idea to meet someone.

First of all, I am an introvert. It takes time for me to open up to people. Even in normal life, if I meet a new person I tend to be very quiet around them, and only when I become used to them slowly I open up. This is more from a social perspective, as in I can talk and be all confident in the work setting. Because I know what I have to talk, how to present, what is the agenda. I even have no qualms about talking on sage with thousands of people, it is only when I am meeting new people on a very social level that I just need time.

I feel that arranged marriages are for extroverts, and there is no place for us introverts here. I cannot bare my soul to every tom, dick and harry I meet, I cannot be all frank and myself with everyone, but it is expected. It is expected I get all chummy with not only the guy, but his family as well, right from the moment I set my eyes on them.

Also, since it is 2015, I thought that arranged marriage is a way to meet people, get to know who they are, how they are, and then over the time if you feel comfortable you get married. Even my parents are comfortable with this. But, now that we are meeting guys, it is very apparent that a girl asking for time is somewhat shocking and really not that common.

I met a guy this Monday, and we went for coffee. Quite frankly it went ok, nothing too great, but then that is obvious, as what does one talk to a total stranger apart from work and general stuff? I just came to know that this person got engaged tuesday evening!

I really do not understand this.

If I were getting engaged on a Tuesday, I would be preparing for the engagement on the preceding day, not meeting other guys!

Now it feels that I am the only one who thinks that marrying the right person is more important than marrying at the right time.

It seems like I am stuck in a race, get the first person who seems okish and get married, you can get to know them later.

I am a bit disappointed frankly. I thought we were past this, at least the people of my generation.

So now I am left wondering, is this generation really all that different in their closed mindset about the marriage issue? When will we start valuing the person we get married to, instead of valuing marriage as an institution? Is it even possible to find someone who values me and wants to marry me because he wants to marry me as a person?

Related Posts:

Physical Disability and Arranged Marriages – an email.

Are these the eight reasons you would give in support of Arranged Marriages?

A detailed check list of conditions from modern young women of marriageable age.

“Is this really it? the only person I’ll ever find? A sweet guy who has no interests?”

Response from Conflicted Banker and when Arranged Marriages are not really ‘arranged’.

“Why didn’t these women find life partners by dating?”

But if there is so much of hesitation in spending time to know a person… aren’t the marriage hopefuls playing with fire?

49 thoughts on “‘I feel that arranged marriages are for extroverts, and there is no place for us introverts here.’

  1. Indian arranged marriage system is more or less like a marketplace and the dealers of the transactions that take place here are the parents who don’t care about finding the right person but about finding the best possible “deal”, as soon as possible. I don’t think it’s possible to really know someone in a few short meetings, it’s nothing to do with you being an introvert. There are many layers within our generation and you need to find the people who resonate with your thoughts and it’s unlikely that you’ll find them in the arranged marriage setup. Go out more often, socialize, do more extra curricular things, meet new people and perhaps you’ll meet them.

    Liked by 4 people

      • A related anecdote:

        On a forum that I frequent, an Indian man recently asked (and I’m paraphrasing somewhat here), “Why did Microsoft choose Satya Nadella as their CEO when they could have chosen someone more deserving from an IIT, IIM, or perhaps an Ivy League college?”

        As appalling and stupid as that question is, it did provoke this fantastic response:

        “Because MS doesn’t choose CEOs the way an Indian father chooses a groom for his daughter.”

        Like

  2. People who are in the arranged marriage ‘market’ are a reflection of people in society. I would say that the kind of person you are looking for would be hard to find in that subset of people, in the same way that he would be kind of hard to find in “real” life.

    Still, I know family members who met and married amazing guys the arranged marriage way- and I feel like the trick is to have more stringent ‘screening’ criteria that places more emphasis on the family values and liberal-ness of the people your family are introducing you to and less focus on caste/complexion/salary. I know it’s not easy to do this in practice, but good men do exist.

    Also I would advise you to be more open to meeting guys through not just your family, but also friends, cousins and serendipity in general. (I’m not sure if your letter was just commentary🙂 so feel free to ignore my unsolicited advice)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Don’t worry.
    Take your time.
    Arranged marriages do work if the proper home work is done by all concerned.
    My own marriage was “arranged” and I also know many modern couples whose marriages were arranged and they are all well matched.
    Of course I not deploring choice marriages. In modern times, there is space for both.
    If there is an opportunity, try meeting people through friends and relatives too.

    Insist on taking time to decide and meet as often as you can once you shortlist someone.
    Do not set a deadline for getting married. Grow as old as you want and don’t worry if you are still unmarried after crossing 30. Get married, not before you reach a certain age, but when you meet just the right person.

    Check IHM’s blog for some earlier posts that discussed “check lists” for people about to marry and in the process of choosing partners.

    Also , take a look at this
    bit.ly/15ncvMI
    The topic is : The 36 questions which can make you ‘fall in love with anyone’:

    Regards
    GV

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Speaking from a place where arranged marriage does not exist at all, in my opinion there is little hope that India (that e-mail is from India, right?) will soon become a place where people in general marry because they value their partner as a person.

    Even here, some girls seem to have substituted the “must have a husband” of the past with “must have a boyfriend”, and instead of the parents arranging it, the girls just take the first one who wants them, which often is not a good choice, because their self-esteem is so low that they think they can’t do better, but must have a boyfriend. And the boys and men are even worse, often trying to get a girlfriend for the sake of having a girlfriend. Who she is doesn’t matter as long as she is pretty.

    I use those lists on “Signs that you are in an abusive relationships” to determine whether a man is marriageable, and I would recommend you to do the same – that way, if you don’t meet your soulmate, you at least minimize the risk to end up with a truly horrible husband. (Up to now, I haven’t found a man I’d want to marry, but at least I didn’t have any bad boyfriends, either)

    Frankly, me, I am against marriage as an institution by now. This is because it gives tax advantages and some other benefits to couples in my country, and I really don’t see why anyone should be rewarded for being happily married – isn’t that reward enough in itself?
    Also, it encourages the “marry to be married” thing. If there were no advantages of marriage, people would only do it when they fall in love.

    Of course, getting rid of marriage as institution would require that some safety net be there for women with children, but the safety provided by marriage is not that good, anyway, in my country, so there is that.

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  5. Dear Letter Writer,

    Arranged marriage is not easy even if you are an extrovert. I love talking to every Tom, Dick and Harry and I am very proud of myself that I can strike a conversation with anyone about anything. But my unhappy-marriage (which was arranged) actually turned me into an introvert as every word that came out of my mouth was judged and corrected by the new people in my life. But I put that past life behind me and I have never been happier.

    I think what you are doing is correct, if you don’t have any other way to meet a nice guy then take the arranged route. But make sure you see the guy for at-least 6 months before you make the decision of getting married to him. Everybody is in their best behaviour when they meet someone for the first time. So logically saying yes to a marriage just after one meeting is not correct at all. Please sign up for websites like meetup.com. Go out and learn a new skill or get involved in a fun activity. You could make new friends. And if you are truly lucky you could find your Mr.Right too. Good luck. And remember to never give up.

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  6. Your situation and the speed with which one can find a match through arranged marriage has nothing to do with being extrovert or introvert.

    That guy met you the day before his engagement because he didn’t know a good way to tell you the truth. Maybe in his mind, meeting you for coffee was better than texting or phoning you with the news of his engagement. Maybe that got finalized on Tuesday morning. You will probably never know the reason. He might have been meeting many girls, a few clicked, and he went with the one willing to get engaged/married earliest.

    >>> “arranged marriage is a way to meet people, get to know who they are, how they are, and then over the time if you feel comfortable you get married.”
    If that is how you and your family view arranged marriage, that is fine. But, by and large, that is not how it works. Arranged marriage is almost like you marry the first person who meets most of your and your family’s criteria and you cannot think of a big reason for saying No.

    In other words – in arranged marriage you often say yes to a person because you can’t think of a big enough reason to say No. Neither side has the time for very extended “get to know”.

    DATING is a way to meet people, get to know who they are, how they are, and then over the time if you feel comfortable you get married.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “In other words – in arranged marriage you often say yes to a person because you can’t think of a big enough reason to say No. Neither side has the time for very extended “get to know”.

      DATING is a way to meet people, get to know who they are, how they are, and then over the time if you feel comfortable you get married.”

      Perfect summary! A lot of people think that the arranged marriage process is some sort of awesome dating service.

      Like

  7. Weighing in as a fellow introvert :
    1.What that guy did is pure inconsiderate,slimy behaviour – you can expect a lot of it in the arranged marriage process.
    2.The arranged marriage process is about GETTING MARRIED ASAP. It is not based on feelings/emotional compatibility/getting to know each other.
    3. While extroverts may be less unsettled by the process, it DOES NOT work for them unless they are also looking to get married asap.
    4.There may be some people in the system who actually take the time to get to know each other.They are the exception,not the rule.

    As for your questions:
    “So now I am left wondering, is this generation really all that different in their closed mindset about the marriage issue?”
    It is different in the sense that MORE people care about figuring out compatibility before getting married. But for a complete change, it will probably take 3-4 generations.

    ” When will we start valuing the person we get married to, instead of valuing marriage as an institution?”
    When we realise that it is okay to not get married. That marriage is not a status symbol or the ultimate goal in life.

    “Is it even possible to find someone who values me and wants to marry me because he wants to marry me as a person?”
    Definitely. But less likely in the arranged marriage system.

    Like

    • Now for some unsolicited gyaan :
      I am heavily introverted (100% score on Jung typology test).I suffer from mild social anxiety as well. In social situations, I enjoy one on ones and HATE groups. A lot of people think I’m quiet, but when I’m comfortable I never shut up( as you can see from my long rambling comments on this post and others).

      I’m also a die hard romantic – I believe in soul mates and every other gooey,mushy hollywood cliche there is.However, thanks to my lack of social skills, I am well on my way down the forever alone road.

      But….I don’t EVER see myself giving up on the possibility of finding love. I’m quite sure I’ll end up as the 65 year old gleefully creating profiles on senior citizen dating sites (which I hope will be numerous by then).

      My point is that don’t view introversion as a roadblock. Being an introvert simply means that your primary mode of functioning is directed internally. You could meet a fellow introvert through shared interests : book clubs,movies etc (we tend to gravitate towards each other). Or, you could find perfect compatibility with an extrovert – someone who appreciates your quiet nature and ability to listen. Or for all you know,you could naturally become more extroverted as time goes by.

      Whether you decide to go the arranged route or the dating route, don’t let labels and perceptions stop you from finding what YOU need and behaving the way YOU want.

      Best of luck!

      Like

      • Or, you could meet an extrovert and get along like a house on fire.

        Extraversion and introversion are just one diad on a contiuum of personality characteristics.

        An introvert may fall for an extrovert because they have innumerable other shared traits and interests.

        My brother is an extrovert and his wife is very quiet around new acquaintances. During social occasions, my brother takes the heat off his wife by talking more, and keeping the group engaged.

        Like

      • I agree. I have friends who are introverts who are fun, interesting people. They are simply not comfortable in larger groups. Their introverted nature doesn’t stop them from having genuine relationships. Sometimes, it affects them professionally, but that is something that can be worked around.
        I also know people who are extroverts. Some of them are simply louder and talk a lot. They are not necessarily interesting or fun. Some extroverts are really fun – they have a great sense of humor and bring lots of energy to the group. They are also good at making the quieter members of the group feel included and get their input (which I think shows genuine class).
        I also agree that introverts can relate easily to similar people or be able to forge a connection with someone very different from themselves.

        Like

      • @Anita, I could copy and paste your comment for myself except for the fact that I’m a male and that I’m way past the acceptable eligible age for marriage as per Indian standards.😛

        I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, arranged marriages (complete with the checklists and all) are equivalent to going shopping. One decides on the requirements one has in life, steps into the market, and comes back with the first person who matches the most (if not all) points on the checklist.

        As for the LW, I don’t think being an introvert should be a hindrance for an arranged marriage. You can always create your checklist and start on a search. But the only problem you may face would be regarding the ‘soul mate’ point on that list because is it rather difficult to get to know someone that well before marrying him if you are in the arranged marriage market. Goods which are meant to be sold are packed attractively.🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Some people even in this generation are OK to get married without knowing the person too much !Guys reject girls just by the photo so one has to look a certain way in the photo to even result into a meeting !
    So I am not surprised by that man’s behaviour !
    In fact introverts IMO might find it easier in arranged marriage market at least guys ! I have met so guys who barely spoke,some only spoke about their work ! I was like – Forget about getting to know anything about them!
    Sometimes age just keeps increasing and options become less !It might get nowhere for you so keep meeting people if you can ! With work from home situation it might get difficult for you !!

    Like

  9. For an introvert,such meeting experiences can be grating. You cannot expect the other person to bare his soul to you,but then you can say each marriage,whether love or arranged,demands a certain level of adjustment.So you can never know everything about a person.But really how much you can know a person without co-habitating with them?
    This is also for those parents who advise their children to ‘study first,love later’.Those who have to let go of their crushes and love interest have to take the arranged marriage route. And most fall in love in college or high school but either have to let go of their crushes.

    Just some observations and tips:
    1. I think you need to prepare some fundamental questions that reflect your value system and that you want the same in your partner.GV’s list is great since it covers some basic questions.
    2. Keep a six-month gap between meeting the guy and marriage. Look out for lifestyle,core personality traits and family and if yours is the same.
    3. Talk,talk and ask uncomfortable, to-the-point and open questions. Chat a lot over skype and messenger. Get to know him more.
    4. Do you have a guy friend that you have known for long or has a silent crush on you? I have seen a friend of mine finding love unexpectedly at her workplace when she was busy vetting grooms in arranged way.On the other hand,my friend has been through so many that she is a bitter veteran.But she says,it’ll click when it will.she is relying more on her hunches now than other niceties.
    Meeting grooms is like a job interview,awkwardly formal at first…and even when you finally zero in on the one for yourself, you will be awash with great trepidation before you resign yourself to the fact that the guy is in the same boat as you and knows little about you too.

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    • I remember the first man I met the arranged marriage way.

      I was naive and believed in full disclosure. So I casually told this bespectacled, buttoned up IIT-IIM guy that I loved reading, loved beer, could not cook and hated housework.

      I will never forget the look on his face. If his jaw could have touched the floor, it would have.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I must disagree. In my opinion, love marriages are for extroverts and not opposite. I find arranged marriages more like job interviews. You can make prepaired answers for most common questions.

    As for your experience having a date with an almost engaged guy. Frankly speaking, I can’t blame the man for his actions. Marrying someone, for the rest of your life in mind, is a big life decision. In arranged marriages, where you don’t have any strong emotional bonds with the person, there is nothing bad in having small doubts. That’s why, most of the young people, who are going to marry off in arranged way, can and should look for all the options. Don’t feel bad, but look at it from the other side.

    You wrote:”It seems like I am stuck in a race, get the first person who seems okish and get married, you can get to know them later”.

    And now why don’t you follow the guy’s example. He was using all options possible to find the right person to get married with. He found the positive approach, he didn’t shut himself down from better options. And in the end, he made a right choice.

    Be positive, arranged marriage and dates are like job interviews. You get prepaired, show your best and choose the right way.

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    • I have to ask, isn’t there something called common courtesy?
      The guy she mentioned is being extremely callous to two people :

      1. The LW – obviously getting engaged is not a snap decision, so why waste someone else’s time (and get their hopes up)?

      2.The girl he’s getting engaged to – Why fool around once a committment has been made?

      If this happened in a normal ,dating scenario everyone would be calling the guy an ass – why does this kind of behaviour in the arranged marriage scene get a pass?
      Marriage should not and cannot be a job interview. You keep your options open in a job situation because its not personal, its business. But marriage IS personal. So why endorse some stupid system that tramples all over human decency?

      Like

      • For the writer is a good chance to have interview practice. And no matter how you want to see this it should be considered as job interview with cool mind and be ready for rejection.

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    • Your characterisation of the positive approach to arranged marriages contradicts your initial point about extroversion v. introversion.

      Obviously, an arranged marriage scenario requires you to go out and meet far more people than you would if you only dated people that you actually liked beforehand. Since being socially active (meeting more people) is the very definition of extroversion, I’m not sure how you can argue that love marriages are for more extroverted people.

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      • >I’m not sure how you can argue that love marriages are for more extroverted people.

        You don’t need to be extrovert to communicate with people using scripts or prepaired question/answers. Extroversion is more about enjoying the interaction with a person. And usually we enjoy conversations with those people to whom we are connected emotionally. Love can be that sort of connection.

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  11. There are a lot of fine comments in here, I doubt mine will get noticed among the flood of good comments. Anyways, here’s my 2 cents, after being in the market for nearly 4 years and finding a bride through it:

    ‘Arranged marriage’ is an umbrella term for any sort of wedding in India – at the end of the day, people have different values, different styles of ‘getting married’, different expectations.

    The experience you talked about shows a stark difference in mindset/values. One of our prospective matches walked out in the middle of engagement plans, simply because they found ‘a more compatible boy’. We found it very inappropriate. To them, it would be acceptable if we had walked out in a similar way.

    My cousin and his ‘arranged’ girlfriend dated for 6 months, including trips together. My other cousins (from the other side of the family) blushingly talked over the phone for 10 minutes, and decided they were compatible at the end of it.

    With experience you will learn (as did I) to identify what the other person expects. If your expectations match, you can go ahead with the courtship/dating. You’ll find that a large majority of India doesn’t think like us, they still believe in fate. However, you will find the few, good people who want to take their time in life’s largest decision.

    Best of luck!

    Like

  12. Dear LW,
    I understand where you’re coming from. I just don’t “get” arranged marriage either.

    Arranged marriage existed in many cultures and it served a purpose.
    – Many cultures wanted to preserve the rules that served them, so the best way to do that is to not allow the influx of new ideas and different ways of doing things.
    – It was a way to keep property and assets within certain families and communities.
    – It was a way nobles and kings did mergers, acquisitions, and peaceful takeovers with other kingdoms.
    – It was also frequent among powerful business families, again to acquire or protect assets.

    But all of the above has changed. We live in a different world. We are not ruled by kings (mostly). I’m referring here to free, democratic nations with a clear separation of religion and state.
    Business acquisitions can happen professionally, without the need for a CEO to get married to the other CEO’s daughter. Property and other assets can be legally protected, without the need for marriage within one’s extended family or community. We also live in a world with more freedom, more choices for the individual, with more emphasis on human rights, so people are no longer viewed as pawns in some greater purpose such as kingdoms, businesses, and family honor.

    So, I find absolutely no meaning, relevance or purpose to arranged marriage. How can you decide to spend the rest of your life with someone you barely know. More importantly, why would you want to? I can understand if some people have no choice due to being under privileged or having limited access to education and opportunities. But for people who are educated, aware, exposed to the outside world, why do they still go down this route?

    I don’t believe in arranged marriage. I’m glad we don’t live in the time of kings and feudal lords. I’m so glad we live in current times when we have the kind of choices we have today. I’m baffled as to why young people in India still choose to tread the arranged marriage route. I’m in my 40s and I find myself struggling to understand some 20 year olds arguing in favor of arrange marriage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And I do know people who’ve had an arranged marriage and are happy – I’m not questioning their happiness. I’m questioning the concept. I understand that in some cases, you can make it work when both people are decent human beings. My question is not if you can make it work, but why even approach marriage in this fashion.

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      • When I voice my opinion against arranged marriage, I hear about these great examples of successful arranged marriages and a couple of bad choice marriage stories. They just cannot get the concept of choice. Its like someone pushing you to a pool and jumping in yourself. If you’re a swimmer you wont drown eitherway. Does it make the pushing part right? Surprising how simple logic goes right over their heads!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, Nidaa. There’s a logical fallacy at work here – confusing correlation with causation. Out of 10 people who decide to jump off the bridge, 5 may be rescued, 2 may be good swimmers, and 2 may find themselves landing on soft sand. Conclusion: Voila! 90% success rate! Jumping off the bridge is a great approach to life!

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      • i m 27, i have been asking the same questions for 10 years now to arrive at ‘nothing’!! Then I moved to europe ( almost a year now) ,made new friends of my age group hereand have been observing how different their lives nd choices are from my peers back home, I think i m on to something here!🙂

        If not for arranged marriage most indian men i know would not find compatible partners, if not for arranged marriage all i repeat, all the women i know back home would have chosen a better partner( than they currently have). i have not seen one equal arranged marriage, i have seen a couple of happy ones but not equal.

        The struggle here is real, it is so tough to find a compatible partner, to make a relationship work, for both the people in the relationship to be happy, to arrive at that balance..both for men and women.
        Arranged marriage exists because ,men and women are not equipped enough or even allowed/encouraged to make their own choices. i personally dont like to suggest arranged marriage for anything, not even for meeting people because, the system is built to favor men and encourages general complacency and lets face it , everybody deserves better than ‘a life of making it work with a choice made out of little knowledge and a constrainted time frame’.

        If not for arranged marriages most of the 20 somethings i know would actually cope up nd develop a personality /identity of their own . So, simply put arranged marriage exists because the dysfunctional nd patriachial Indian Family set-up thrives in arranged marriage. I married my boyfriend of 6 years after living with him for 2 years prior to marriage. 2 things i learnt, 1. living together is the only real compatibilty test that works. everything else is just a ‘Notion’. 2. Marriage in itself is completely unnecessary nd should not change anything about the relationship. Everybody is scared of loneliness i understand, but marriage is not the solution for it, my close friend back home is so lonely inspite of being married, it sucks because, if she were single we could try nd change it just bec she is married she is stuck being lonely.

        Liked by 2 people

    • I too am completely dumbstruck by the way a lot of younger people are endorsing arranged marriages.
      I think its due to the fact that the normal way (meeting,dating and finally choosing to live together) takes time and patience.You may or may not find some one.
      In the arranged marriage route you can be married in 6 months- no fights with parents, no need to actually get to know the person and most of all – achievement of the coveted “married” tag. Of course, no one cares that all these are the worst possible reasons to get married.

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      • I understand, but shouldn’t the youth in our country be doing something about it? Things that come to mind:
        – refuse to participate in the arranged marriage market
        – refuse to have your pic and bio data on a matrimonial website
        – if interested in getting married, socialize more, go out with friends, meet people, go to extended family gatherings
        – get to know people in your immediate environment – be it college or work place
        – join a gym or a take a yoga class, or join a photography club, whatever interests you
        – get involved in the community, volunteer to plant trees or tutor underprivileged kids or raise fund to keep girls in school
        – get to know the people in your neighborhood, organize a no trash on our street campaign
        – travel, travel, travel
        – stop looking for people in your caste/community and start looking for people with a similar outlook and values, similar levels of awareness, and possible one or two common interests.
        There are so many ways to break the system and begin a new way of doing things. I met my husband in grad school. My brother met his wife in a computer programming class (neither of them ended up doing computer programming:-) My sister’s husband is her friend’s brother. All around us were relatives giving our parents a hard time about how they were giving us too much independence. All of our cousins got married the arranged marriage way. We continued to refuse all the proposals coming our way. If we could do this one generation ago (when life was so much more limited and there was zero connectivity), I’m sure today’s youth have so many more channels open to them via social media, etc.

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        • I know I sound judgmental here …. I’m judging the arranged marriage SYSTEM mostly. It’s so wrong. It takes away choices, infantalizes young adults, preserves patriarchy, can serve as a great shield for abuse, openly sanctions some forms of abuse (dowry and “gift” demands), keeps caste and community lines rigidly drawn and never allows us to integrate and feel like one nation.
          Am I judging the people? Maybe some people. Not those who have no choices, no exposure, and no opportunities. Perhaps I am judging the people who do. If they don’t make a change, if they don’t take a stand, the system cannot change by itself.

          Liked by 2 people

        • The problem is that many youngsters, especially girls, are already fighting for simple pleasures of life – things like what to wear, where to go, what to eat, etc. They are told what to study, whom to be friends with, practically every facet of their lives are micromanaged by the families. So when the time comes for marriage, which is the biggest fight of all, people just tend to give up.

          That is one scenario. The other is where you have ‘liberal’ families and they give you conditional ‘freedom’ – do whatever you like but marriage is our responsibility. Again, this puts a burden on the youth and makes them feel guilty for having “taken advantage” of their “freedom”.

          So demanding that people fight for their rights is fine, but those people also need to be in a position or willing to pay the price. It’s really as simple as that. No one wants to face months and years of wailing and crying and emotional blackmail and hear a list of all “we have done for yous” day in and day out. Our youth is not equipped to deal with this sort of behaviour because they have also been taught to “respect” elders – meaning listening to any nonsense they spout and not take a stand. A non-abusive loveless marriage can seem much better to many people when you consider the alternative.

          Liked by 1 person

  13. Arranged marriage has nothing to do with being introvert or extrovert. Your idea that people bare there soul to each other is wrong. In most of arranged marriage which I have seen in my family it hasn’t happened even after years of marriage.

    You are right in arranged marriage if person is okaish then you marry them. Criteria like caste,salary, worth of q!property in name of guy, job, company fits in your shopping list and budget you marry the guy . There is no other thoughts involved .

    Even if you want to go for it . Then determine your negotiable and non negotiable matters of your life . Discuss to these points firmly and decide . Dont be emotional at all . If you will then again you will feel the pain which you felt with the guy mentioned.

    Hope to be lucky.

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  14. I cannot stress this enough. Do NOT marry someone who you barely know.

    I had an arranged marriage which went disastrously wrong. I lost three years of my life and endured immense mental trauma and agony.

    Not all arranged marriages are unqualified disasters, I agree. Yet, how can you assess a person’s real nature in only one or the meetings?

    How do you know that he is honest, has integrity, is trustworthy, has the requisite emotional maturity, is financially responsible?

    What if, like me, you end up with somebody who is not trustworthy, non-exploitative and non-manipulative?

    How can you blindly trust someone who you barely know? Are you willing to endure untold harrassment and trauma if your arranged marriage husband turns out to be a failure?

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  15. I dont prefer aranged marriages, having said that i know they work . I also know that there are many kids of aranged marriages. Some are almost like a blind date setup by the parents. where you meet and get together a few times and see if you click.
    I dont think it’s any different than a blind date, introduction by friend ,whatever.
    i would prefer to do my own choosing but then i had the oppurtunity and choice and most important the time to do it🙂 In your case i can see you will find it hard to meet people if your work and social life doesnt put you in contact with many people, how abotu your colege friends, get in touch with them, you will meet many people that way in nyour own age group an dmpossibly mindset?

    dont close your options, like i said there are many diff types of people an dwhat works for one may not work for another. as for the guy who got engaged the next day, there are some people who are always looking to see if anything better exists, never satisfied with their choice, maybe for him it was an open thng till the actual engagement. so what it’s his life his choice.

    It doesnt matter if you are an extrovert or introvert, plenty of the quiet introvert girls i know had a love amrriage and plenty of extroverts had an arranged marriage. Its whom you click with.

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  16. As a man who has trouble interacting with new people on account of something more serious than introversion (severe social anxiety), I assure you that I feel your pain.

    The idea that ‘modern’ arranged marriages provide appropriate time and space for a couple to get to know one another, is, in my considered opinion, the sheerest baloney. In theory, it should work that way, but anyone who’s been through the process will tell you that it typically does NOT work that way. What will happen in practice is much closer to the experience you’ve related – relatives will pressure you for a concrete time frame, as short as possible.

    Personally, I’m inclined to believe that you can eventually learn to co-exist with (if not like) any random person if you only try hard enough. Unfortunately, this sometimes comes at the cost of excessive personal sacrifice and misery – things that Indian women are expected to accept in the name of ‘adjustment’. Therefore, when arranged marriages work, they work based on sheer dumb luck. Yes, the fact that such marriages often happen between people of similar backgrounds, socioeconomic strata etc. ensures that at least some values are likely to be similar. But in general, it’s dumb luck.

    As a process, it produces much worse outcomes (in my opinion) than a process where you:

    – aren’t constantly pressurised to provide a quick decision
    – aren’t constantly told to ‘adjust’
    – don’t have to deal with excessive interference from various quarters

    So yes – If you are disappointed, I share your disappointment. The ‘modern’ version of arranged marriage (I put it in scare quotes because I don’t in fact think that there is much modern about it) is just as regressive in many, many ways as the old version. The update is not so much in terms of the basic philosophy – which is still as regressive, sexist and often casteist as it ever was – but rather in the superficial procedure, which now complies with modern norms of legality. The choice in an arranged marriage is still largely illusory, simply because you are not given adequate time and latitude to make a proper, informed choice.

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  17. Hi LW,

    You haven’t mentioned it so I am going to assume that your parents are arranging these sessions based on generic criteria: age, family history, education, job. It’s like asking for a blue sari in a shop, but actually knowing the exact RGB shade of blue that you want and being unsatisfied when the need is unmet. I feel that if you went about “arranging” yourself – through marriage/ dating websites and friends/ peer group, you might meet people on the same wavelength as yourself. Please don’t be afraid to go it solo i.e., minus parents.

    I wouldn’t worry about all the dingdongs out there who want to get married after one meeting. That’s their choice. What’s more important is how you wish to go about this and I for one, completely endorse dating after an arranged meeting, as well as taking as long as you need to make up your mind.

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  18. Dear LW,

    I might sound jaded because I’ve been there, done that and opted out. Happily unmarried *and* deleted my profile from the two websites on which I posted it. I don’t think this has anything at all do with being an introvert or extrovert. It is simply this… that while the superficial moves around arranged marriage in India have changed (i.e. the man and woman can meet each other and even supposedly go out alone) the fundamental impulse that drives arranged marriage has not really changed. It is therefore still a predominantly family affair and people are shopping around for the ‘right’ person- right in terms of caste+class, occupation etc.
    I also noticed that for most people (I was reading what men had to say but I am sure this is equally true for women) life and life stages seemed to be viewed in a very linear fashion. As an e.g. I was flummoxed by the number of people who wrote that because they had by then devoted x years to their career it was now only right that they think about marriage as the logical next step. And a family would naturally follow that! Men also ‘naturally’ assumed that I would settle into a job that required less travelling as this should be a ‘natural’ part of ‘settling down’ and were shocked when I said no .
    Also, while I managed my profile and decided who to meet on my own without either seeking permission or informing my parents, I couldn’t help noticing that numerous men almost invariably talked about their families immediately and whether or not I would get along with them. While this is not an unimportant issue it signalled how little I mattered as an individual. It therefore naturally follows that you do not have the luxury of time and getting to know one another in this arrangement.
    I am neither slamming arranged marriages nor sending out three cheers for marriages of choice- in my opinion these issues can arise in both places. It’s much more about knowing what is negotiable and non-negotiable for you before you step into any kind of relationship!

    Good luck.

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  19. Arranged Marriages (in Indian Context) Vs Choice Marriages (aka love marriages) can be considered as Getting Employed with a Big Organization Vs Starting your own shop.

    Unlike in Western World , the opportunities for men and women to interact in India are much limited, outside big cities. Things could be changing but for today’s 20+ someone it is of little relevance if he or she can get to date with ease in his/her small town in 2050.

    Given this, the next logical option is the arranged marriage, the well established route to find a companion. And unlike what the feminists here believe, a good number of Indian women are interested in this only because they are extremely hesitant to enter into any relation that can get physical in anything other than a formal environment (where they can get support to question their partner and demand answers if things don,t go right). Or to put it other way, Young people are not willing to own the risks and responsibilities that comes with choice marriages.

    Also unlike any place in world, India is having far too much diversity – food, language, religion, and customs making it harder for a choice marriage since moment man and woman come to decision to formalize relation, negotiating which of customs to adopt becomes tough.

    That is why arranged marriages thrive in India. And mutate into newer forms . Conventional belief that choice aka love marriages will dominate and arranged marriages will vanish or go the way of landline phones or black and white TVs may not happen , at least in next 10 years.

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  20. Pingback: “Practically, what can an introvert DIL do to communicate that she means no disrespect by wanting her own time?” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  21. I can’t agree with you more on this issue especially after what I am going through.I still cant understand how arrange marriage happens .. Hope I will in a while .. I am an introvert too and can’t open up to people that easily . The whole concept is about being your best and showing your best side. It feels does someone really want to know me and if they do we need time for that .. I am abit frustrated after a episode that happened ..But hope I am going to get some answers on this . Or Il be single all my life I feel.

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