There are mainly two kinds of marriages in this world today, the arranged marriage or the marriage based on love. Growing up in Europe and then being here in the US, I was never really confronted with arranged marriages since it is not very common in western countries. People can get married for different reasons.
A love marriage is when two people in a relationship, who love each other, transfer the relationship into marriage by making it official and lasting. They create a bond that is supposed to last until death. Love marriages are the most common in western countries where people’s freedom is considered more important than what anyone else expects from a person. In love marriages, the responsibility of choosing a partner is completely up to the bride and groom. It is a very personal decision and no one around can try to make that decision since it is not up to them. In the end, there is also no one to blame for depending how the marriage goes.
The biggest benefit of marriages based on love is that people make their own decision without any pressure from others. It is a result of chemistry between two people and having the right feeling for each other. Marriages based on love have a good chance of success because they are the result of love and they are not created as in an arranged marriage. I believe in marriages based on love and I could never imagine being forced to marry someone I barely know or that my parents chose for me; even more when the purpose of the marriage is to have children. I do have to keep in mind though that ” Personal freedom has a long, slow history…” (Diane Ackerman, p.91) ““…And in time they even made the shocking leap to wishing to marry someone they loved”, showing me that I should be really thankful that I even have this choice nowadays.
Arranged marriages today mostly exist in eastern countries. These marriages have nothing to do with love, they are formal and involve many other people beside the bride and groom. Usually the bride and the groom are total strangers who haven’t seen each other before the marriage. “Arranged marriages are viewed as a social and economic necessity, the terms of which are agreed upon by the families of the future groom and bride.” (Professors House) If they are good for each other and match well is decided by their relatives. The families look for a good match by asking other people and making sure they would be a good fit. In a perfect situation, the partners have a big part of choosing their partner in an arranged marriage. They agree with the final choice in the end. However, things do not always go like this and in a lot of arranged marriages, the parents and relatives often force their child into a relationship even if the person doesn’t agree and this can be very difficult.
Personally, I don’t believe in arranged marriages. I believe a person should have the right to marriage the person they want to get married to. If it turns out not to be the perfect match and they have to get divorced, at least, they made their own decisions without being able to blame another person for it.
Also, a marriage shouldn’t be handled like a business; business and love just don’t go well together for me.
In her book “A Natural History of Love” Diane Ackerman says that the first marriages were by capture, the groom would kidnap the woman; take her away from her tribe with the help of a warrior friend, his best Man. The groom would hide with the woman. By the time the bride’s family found them, the bride would already be pregnant. This shows that marriage didn’t have too much to do with love.
Ackerman also says that in the early days of courtly love “Neither pagan nor Christian writers had discussed love in marriage…” “Such notions were thought absurd…” (p.58), from this we can see that the marriage based on love is definitely newer than the arranged marriage.
Showing the importance of arranged marriages Ackerman states that “a female child was simply a commodity, and marriage even more of a business contract. She had no say when it came to picking a husband.” Furthermore” Divorce was impossible”. (p.70) This statement just proves my point of not wanting an arranged marriage; it also shows that the partner choice is not always based on the last nod of the bride, sometimes it is just made either way.
As a conclusion I may say that I believe in marriage based on love. We should value the opportunity we have with being able to make decisions like this in our society. It is still common in parts of the world to have arranged marriages and while they might be a good business ideal, I do not believe in arranged marriages.