Arranged marriage versus marriage of own choice‏

Jes 4 Comments

This topic came about because my boss is an Indian. Most of the Indian couples do not see their spouse until the wedding day where there is no turning back. The majority of their population believe in arranged marriage because it has worked for so long! Their parents and grandparents and many generations before have lived happily ever after..... or did they?

My boss quoted a statistics that said that only 4% of the 90% arranged marriage ended up in divorce. However, more than 40% of freedom marriage are in tatters, so is a marriage when you can get to choose necessarily better?

My view is that those who accepted arranged marriage are more traditional, they believe in the system and divorce is not an option. They will work things out no matter what and stay together for due to obligation and responsibility even if there is no love involved. When you pick and choose your own partners, you are able to consider divorce when things don't go your way. They may not feel the need to work together once there is no love anymore. The attitude and view of marriage as a lifelong relationship is critical here. Is marriage about love, responsiblity, children, not being alone or just conforming to the societal expectations?

Most of the arranged marriages are dependent on parents' assessment of the partners and the masters that will check compatibility of your background and horoscope. I can't comment on how reliable is that but this is not a notion that democratic societies will entertain. I find it frightening to have someone else confirming my partner that will accompany me for life. How will they know what or who I want when I don't even know myself?

When the arranged marriage fail, you can blame it on your parents. When we make the decision ourselves, we accept all consequences and reflect on our mistakes. Having said that, not necessary all Indian couples are through arranged marriages. Nowadays some parents are having a more open view. If the child is unable to find a partner when one is around 20 years old, then the parents will step in. 

In Singapore, what is the age before you will entertain blind dates and join SDU/SDN?

The younger you are, the wider pool you have; The older you are, the more financially attractive you will be. The greatest advantage of staying single besides freedom, is saving up lots of money.. A new flat cost roughly $300k, renovation $50k, wedding banquet $50k. This is excluding the expenses for bringing up children..

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Whatever you choose, do it for the right reasons.. Would you want to control your fate or leave it to fate?


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  1. Hi Jes

    That is an interesting take on arranged marriage.

    I agree with your view that arranged marriage tends to be more rational and traditional so divorce is hardly an option. I come from a half half arranged marriage where we must get our parents approval.before we can get married. Not so modern but not so traditional too.

  2. Hi B,

    That's hardly an arranged marriage when you get to choose who you bring home for your parents' approval. It's more of a chinese tradition to respect the elders' decisions.

    I wonder if one can influence the parents' decision by telling them what you are and are not looking for.

  3. Hmm thinking of it again you are right.

    But one thing my parents are against are religious and race. Other than chinese they specifically mentioned no japanese, americans or any other races. That makes my selection more difficult. Hehee

    I better not said too much lest my wife sees this. Shhhh

  4. Hi B,

    Seems like you are open to all selections... I can imagine what your wife will say: "You think jap, americans and other girls will like you meh?" Haha!

    Don't worry, I am sure she especially likes your sense of humour =P