By: Natasha Archary
Definition of arranged marriages: “An arranged marriage is a marital union planned by the families, typically parents, of the couple.”
Arranged marriages are often viewed as a “business transaction” from a bygone era but they are still surprisingly popular in modern times.
The reality show Married At First Sight is a good example of this, with all of the couples in the Season 5 finale deciding to stay married to the spouse they met for the first time on their wedding day.
Kaya Drive with Sizwe Dhlomo wanted to know whether people in this day and age would consider an arranged marriage and a majority of listeners said they wouldn’t.
In the U.S., while the divorce rate hovers around 40 or 50% the divorce rate for arranged marriages is 4%. In India, where some estimate that 90% of marriages are arranged, the divorce rate is only 1%.
But are low divorce rates an indication of whether arranged marriages work?
Here are some responses from Kaya Drive listeners:
Sizwe’s view on arranged marriage is that it is known to work, with more couples whose marriages were arranged working on their partnership as a long term goal.
“Because you remove all the emotion from the relationship that is usually what people focus on when they first start dating, you are now putting in more effort to get to know your spouse daily. Once you remove that emotion you remove the pressure from the relationship and the expectation that most people have of commitment.” – Sizwe Dhlomo
One defining factor of an arranged marriage is that it removes the rash decision that most people make about relationships with regards to lust or passion.
With most people putting an emphasis on sexual intimacy in relationships, an arranged marriage gives a couple other layers to connect to one another on that is not purely physical.
As one Kaya Drive listener mentioned, the people who are arranging this union have given careful thought to the type of person they are matching you with.