This ia guest post from one of the iBluebottle members. She is 22 and has just finished her degree from one of the better known liberal arts colleges in the USA.
At an age when most young women have had several ex-boyfriends and a current “it’s complicated” relationship, I’ve stayed surprising romantically un-entangled. I don’t date; I want an arranged marriage.
Of course, as a teenager I scoffed at arranged marriages, fantasized wild romances, waited to be swept away by my good-looking hero from foreign shores, our courtship involving secret kisses, convoluted misunderstandings and dramatic declarations of love, his name like a prince, from an improbable chick-flick, say Princess Diaries. But my only real exposure to romantic love came from my parents’ patently middle class, apparently boring and very much arranged marriage.
I have since left home, gone to the States, studied and been alienated by the very entrenched and ineffectual western dating system and its soaring divorce rates. I have had some American friends express horror at what they viewed as forced marriage and others wish they were born Indian so that their parents and matrimonial websites could help them pick out husbands from a catalog.
The more I see the world and meet its people, the more I am convinced that falling in love is the easy part, getting everything else to fit is hard! (Sure, he’s gorgeous, but is he even interested in marriage? He’s smart, but does he earn enough? He’s sensitive, but will he support your career choices? He’s fun, but does he want to settle in India? He’s sweet, but does he want kids?) I see that all kinds of marriage work. (Introduced by a friend, met online, hooked up with at a college party, childhood friend reconnected; everything from Vivah type arrangement to Kannada serial shtyle elopement.)
And all kinds of marriage, arranged or “love” can fall apart because of dishonesty, abuse or financial hardship. If I can’t ultimately be sure of the outcome in any case, why not aim for the catalog of eligible marriage material to minimize risk rather than pub-crawling with potential dating material who might eventually turn into reasonable boyfriends and still later, decent husbands?
I believe that if all parties in the arranged marriage market are completely transparent about expectations and honest about assets, the probability of a successful match and enduring partnership is very high. My parents have the most beautiful, honest and caring relationship I have witnessed in all my travels. I’m optimistic and I know there’s someone out there who will make a great partner in the joint project of sharing a life and raising kids.
I’m realistic and my body’s on a clock. Expecting to bump into someone who ticks all the boxes, falling in love with, getting into a relationship with, moving in with, getting asked The Question, and getting married to that great person in the next two years is, without all other logistics under consideration, just mathematically improbable.
I returned home from college, older, wiser and so ready to meet some suitors. And what better in this connected world to meet someone with the purpose of marriage than online? I don’t know about expectations, but I sincerely hope that there are other people like me, educated and well traveled, who don’t dismiss arranged marriage and are willing to give it a shot. I did my research and calculate a high probability of success with iBluebottle.
So here I am, embracing arranged marriage, fantasizing a successful match, waiting to be swept away by my faceless hero from the shores of cyberspace, our courtship involving exchanges of photos, transparent credentials, business-like declarations of acceptance, and his name like a prison tattoo, from a probable profile designation, Profile Number D5620V09.