May 17, 2016 - 5:41pm
If you've gone for a family-arranged match and don't know your spouse-to-be too well, here's how to get rid of the initial awkwardness and inhibitions The dichotomy between love versus arranged marriages has always made for an interesting debate. Most youngsters believe that the former is always a safer bet. After all, it's a common notion that there is little possibility of romance between couples who meet through arranged matches! But that may not always hold true. There have been many instances of arranged marriages that have stood the test of time. What you need is a push in the right direction. Even if you have just a few weeks or months to get to know your partner better, there are ways you can have a successful arranged marriage, once you get past the initial hesitation... Create some bonding and sharing time Anita Desai, banker, got married to her husband Ajay just 15 days after they first met through a matchmaker. "Since he was an NRI, he had come down to India only for a month and wanted to get married within that time. Our families met a couple of times, approved the match and set the wedding date just a fortnight later. Naturally, I was terrified, as we barely knew each other. So in that limited courtship period, we decided to spend as much time as we could together. We met almost daily. Today, it's been 10 years and we're happily married with two kids!" Getting to know everything about your partner, whether it's his food preferences or his temperament, is essential and that can only be achieved when you spend time alone, instead of with your respective families. The more you are together, the better understanding you will have about your compatibility. Find your comfort zone Try not to meet in formal or intimidating surroundings; instead choose a setting where both of you are comfortable, so that there is a possibility of frank dialogue and discussion. After all, every relationship demands comfort, so that it can flourish. Once you create a comfort zone, it is more likely that both of you will open up to each other. Do the little things that matter Relationship expert, Seema Hingorrany believes that it's the small gestures that couples do for each other that matter in the long run. "If you both have busy schedules and aren't getting enough time with each other, you can share activities that both of you like. For example, go for Zumba classes, to the gym or for your morning jog together!" Also, every once in a while, send a random text asking him about his work or surprise him by cooking something unexpected. The list is endless... Communicate your expectations Expectations in an arranged marriage? We've been conditioned to believe that arrange marriages are mostly about compromises and sacrifices. While compromising and making adjustments is crucial for any marriage, just because you're going in for an arranged match, doesn't mean that you should have zero expectations from your spouse or the relationship. On a realistic level, whatever your expectations are in terms of your personal life or career, convey them to your partner and listen to his too. You never know, this could lead to a successful marriage. Love in the time of arranged marriages... According to a study titled How Love Emerges in Arranged Marriages by American psychologist Dr Robert Epstein, those who opt for an arranged marriage and have their partner chosen for them by a parent or suitable matchmaker, tend to feel more in love as time grows, whereas those in love marriages feel less in love over time. Also, within ten years, the connection felt by those in an arranged marriage setup is said to be almost twice as strong! Wonder why? Well, the reason being that arranged matches are usually carefully considered, with a lot of thought going into whether potential partner's family, interests and life goals are compatible. Epstein discovered that the one key to a strong arranged marriage is the amount of parental involvement at the beginning. After all, families of most couples screen for deal breakers, while finding potential mates, which eventually helps in the long run.