How can I marry someone who I barely know!

It’s ironic how some idealist parents won’t let you have a relationship with a person of the opposite sex all your life, but are somehow happy and delighted to see you sleep with a complete stranger on your wedding night! Could you just suddenly love a stranger?  Like most age-old traditions the concept of love marriage too is trolled and questioned by the new generation. Well, we can’t completely blame them. Some aspects of their arguments are completely justified.

Yet, arranged marriages as we know it has stood the test of time, generation after generation. It is still a very integral part of our Indian culture and will continue to remain so in the foreseeable future. Arranged marriages are here to stay. For those who question, people can fall in love after marriage, for love is something that needs . And I will go even a bit further to proclaim that love in arranged marriages is stronger than love in love marriages. Well, I am not exaggerating or saying things out of the blue.

A study published by Usha Gupta and Pushpa Singh, of the University of Rajasthan, in 1982, confirms the same. There are certain caveats with the study but nonetheless it helps drive the point home. For instance, the study used an American love scale, called the Rubin love scale, for a concept that’s relatively non-American and completely alien to most of the western world.

The study compared the love in love marriages to the love in arranged marriages with the help of the Rubin's love scale. The study found that love in love marriages, undoubtedly starts out very high, obviously! But..but...but it decreases over time. In the case of arranged marriages, the love, yes, starts out relatively low. Because people don’t know everything about each other as they hardly meet their prospective partners before marriage. This scenario is changing, but, we’ll stick to the times the study was conducted. A bygone era, where communicating with your bride-or-groom to-be was a task comparable to a lone soldier fighting the war. You had to carefully write a letter in secret, post it without anyone’s attention, and hope that the person receiving it, too, received it and read it in secrecy. Back to our study. The study found out that even though love was fickle and almost absent in the initial years, it only grew stronger as time passed and people got to know each other. The love between arranged marriages couples grew so much so, that after ten years of marriage the love amongst such couples was twice as strong as the ones who had love marriages.

Thus, we can very well deduce that in love marriages the honeymoon period starts early and sadly ends early too. But in the case of love marriages, the honeymoon period begins after the actual honeymoon and lasts much longer. If you were to ask me, I’d prefer arranged marriage over love marriage any day.

Mom, are you listening? Let’s find some rishtaas the good old way!