“Being single is tough nowadays” a saying that surely a great sum of people have exclaimed through their frustrations of being single. These tired singles have probably tried and failed to find what they are looking for by going through the typical routes of finding a “match”. They more than likely tried finding a date through a friend, at a gym, at the local grocery store, work, speed dating, or online dating. Out of the various routes a single could take, with the latter -online dating- as an option one has a fighting chance because “more than 120,000 marriages were contributed to internet dating services matching up users in 2008” (Online Dating). However, one would question the importance of that statistic when “there are 96 million people in the United States who have no spouse” and of those who are single “…61 percent of them have never said "I do." Twenty-four percent are divorced and 15 percent are widowed” (Single?). So why not have an arranged marriage? Have one’s closest family and friends pick that perfect mate and leave your love woes outside to dry. On the other hand, America is too much of an individualistic culture to have arranged become popular. Nonetheless, there is something to be learned from these arrange marriages because they aren’t as bad some may think when you consider: what it is, who practices it, types of arranged marriages, and benefits and consequences.
To begin, the practice of arranged marriages have been around since ancient times. Due to religion and a strong reverence for tradition, the preparation of a marriage between a man and woman is solely done by the parents of the bride and groom. Even in modern times “Arranged marriages are common in some parts of Asia, Africa and Middle East, and are also common in some religions and royal families” (Arranged Marriages). For the sake of giving a complete explanation of arranged marriage we're going to focus on the Asian country, India, to grasp a general understanding of what happens in this process. In India, the attitude towards Love and marriage is completely different from those who live in the United States. In the United States we believe in finding love for ourselves and to marry because of love. In India when they view love as a peaceful feeling that develops a man and a woman are united in intimacy and share life's interests and goals. When Indians marry in this fashion it is because it “match[es] the Indian value of children deferring to parental authority. To Indians, allowing unrestricted dating would mean entrusting important matters to inexperienced young people”. Arranged marriage also seems to “affirm the caste lines by channeling marriage within the same caste” (Hanslin 469). According to Aryashaadi, Arranged marriages in India originated when child marriages (before it was banned) were a custom in the country. The idea was to marry off prepubescent children to restrict them from marrying outside their caste and socioeconomic status when they get older and venture for love themselves. “This system of arrange marriage, which originated mainly as the tool of the upper caste people to protect their community and to maintain their social status”(Aryashaadi). Even though child marriages are legally band the idea of “forming alliances” still remain between the two families. Like many “great” ideas, the idea of arranged marriage tinkled down to their lower classes and onto other cultures/countries and religions; therefore developing their own rituals and customs for this engagement.
Now that we know what arranged marriage is and how (and why) it was created in India, one can safely assume that the other countries shared the same reason in the past of getting married in this way. As mentioned before the popularity of arranged marriages caused the practice to spread amongst many cultures, religions, and some countries resulting in their own version of an arranged marriage. Since there is an unknown…