Arranged marriages have been a topic of interest for centuries. Authors across the ages have explored this theme at length, and it still surfaces in literary works today. What's the appeal? Is it the fascination with the lack of lust and desire we cultivate in North American society? We strive on the element of danger, of the forbidden, while an arranged marriage is usually a safe way to ensure a family's approval of a union.
And yet, many of today's romance novels deal with marriages of convenience. We've all read them: the heroine marries the hero because she needs him, whether for financial reasons, or because her children need a father -- there are as many reasons to marry as there are novels dealing with this subject. Yet although the marriage isn't initially based on love, there's always that sensual tension simmering beneath the surface, and as readers, we know it's inevitable that the two are going to fall deeply and irrevocably in love.
But what about real life, where things don't always work out so well? Arranged marriages are commonplace in a number of countries, such as Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan and India. They're more common than you'd think even in North America, where cultural diversity is cherished and encouraged.
Young people in countries where arranged marriages are commonplace are told from an early age that their spouse will be chosen for them. To deny an arranged marriage is seen as a sign of disrespect toward the family. But how are suitable spouses chosen? In Japan, for instance, "when a woman reaches the marriageable age of 25, she and her parents compile a packet of information about her, including a photograph of her in a kimono and descriptions of her family background, education, hobbies, accomplishments and interests. Her parents then inquire among their friends and acquaintances to see if anyone knows a man who would be a suitable husband for her" (the Asia Society's Video Letter from Japan: My Family, 1988). Usually, the most important aspect of choosing a suitable spouse is the bond between the two families, rather than the relationship between the couple being married. Property or land with the aim of securing social status sometimes seals marriage agreements.
Do arranged marriages work? Opinions tend to differ. Statistics place the divorce rate for arranged marriages much lower than those in the United States, where marriages out of love are the rule. However, research also shows that the pressure a married couple encounters from both society as a whole, and from the respective families, suggests that divorce is often not an option.
Can love grow out of an arranged marriage? Absolutely, and in the same way that love can grow in romance novels from a marriage of convenience. But there's more to love than finding a suitable match. Love can grow for many reasons, from lust at first sight to friendship that develops over a long period of time. It's impossible to predict whether a union will be successful. The only two people who can make it work are the bride and groom, the hero and heroine of their own story.
Lacey Savage is the author of a number of sensual romance short stories, novels and novellas. Her articles and works of fiction often focus on women's issues and relationships. Find out more about Lacey at http://www.laceysavage.com
RELATED ARTICLESWhen To Order and Send Your Wedding Invitations
Wedding Invitations should be ordered when you have all the details of your wedding set? place, time of ceremony and reception as well as your guest list. Plan to place your invitation order at least 3-4 months in advance, some companies may require 4-6 months.
Bridal Shower Games Are Extremely Fun!
Bridal shower games are a wonderful way to put your guests at ease and to get the party started! Ideally, bridal shower games should be easy to play and should provide guests with an interactive way to interact with one another in a casual and fun way. Fortunately, there are lots of games you can choose to play.
The Maid of Honor - Remember, It's All About the Bride!
The term and role "Maid of Honor" is sometimes confusing, and desperately needs some clear definition! When a Bride is choosing who will be her MOH, she needs to think about who will offer her the support, the helping hand, and the positive attitude she will need on her wedding day and the months leading up to it.Traditionally, a MOH was a female, a sister or close girlfriend of the Bride.
Choosing Your Groomsmen: No Matter What They Say, Nobody Must Be In the Wedding Party
Your lovely fiancée has chosen her 'maids, and now you're stuck with the task of finding just the right number of family and friends to pair them with. How do you decide who makes the cut?
The Usual Suspects
Remember: No matter what your family or friends say, there aren't people who "must" be in the wedding party.
Writing Wedding Vows - Ideas That Will Help You Express What You Truly Feel
More and more, couples are choosing to write their own wedding vows. Although many people believe that this is the best way to truly express their personal beliefs and feelings, often they are unsure about how to begin and what to include.
Wedding Planning: Prioritize to Stay Within Your Wedding Budget
So you're planning your wedding and a thousand decisions must be made! It can be an exciting, but tiring experience to pull off the wedding of your dreams, especially within your budget.The best way to evaluate how and where to allocate your wedding budget is to determine exactly what your priorities are.
Wedding Planning: Benefits of Online Wedding RSVPs
Want to manage your wedding guests with style and ease? Forget about multiple checklists and trying to decipher the illegible handwriting sent in by your wedding guests. The days of sorting through scattered mail-back response cards and calculating, then recalculating your guest counts are gone.
Whats a Goldfish Doing at a Wedding?
Time was when you'd open a wedding invitation you'd find an understated high quality piece of parchment, with an uncompromisingly clear font, requesting, ever so formally, the honour of your presence.Then came radical changes, described by those in the know as, giving the wedding back to the people.
Conquer the Five Most Common Fears About Your Wedding Ceremony
It's safe to say that of all the important events in your lifetime, your wedding day is certain to be right up there with those that are the most meaningful. And throughout the entire wedding day - the preparations, the ceremony, the reception, and the wedding night - the moment when you recite your wedding vows to each other is the most meaningful.
Writing Your Own Wedding Vows
Your wedding vows are the words that will forever remain in your partner's heart and memory. So you want to ensure that you express exactly what you are feeling and how much you love them.
Celebrate With Butterflies - The Flying Flowers
Make your upcoming event the most memorable ever by adding butterflies to your special day. Butterfly Releases are a perfect way to celebrate all of the important occasions in life.
How To Fight Cultural Differences In Marriage And Stay Happy
When people plan to marry, they expect to find in their partner not only a lover but a friend also. A person with whom they can share their opinions, their emotions, thoughts and fears.
Planning Your Honeymoon -- 6 Tips To Help
The groom traditionally plans the honeymoon. However, most brides prefer to be in on the honeymoon plans so that they can prepare ahead too.
Top Wedding Fitness Questions (and their answers)
As a Personal Trainer for brides-to-be, I often get asked the same wedding fitness questions over and over again. Brides (and grooms) usually are looking for simple and easy ways to get in better shape for their special day.
Unique Wedding Reception Entertainment
The typical wedding reception entertainment scheme of pretty flowers and background music is fine for some people, but all kinds of options exist to spice it up a bit and provide a celebration that everyone is sure to remember for years to come.Before planning any of the following wedding reception entertainment ideas, please take this short bit of advice: discuss it first.
How to Choose Your Wedding Shoes
Wedding day is known as the most unforgettable day in human life. Most women wish that day could be perfect and hoping nothing would go wrong.
Choosing a Maui Wedding Package
Just like anywhere else in America, there are a variety of businesses offering different Maui wedding packages. A quick bit of research online or from the Maui Visitors Information Service, will quickly overwhelm you with wedding package choices.
Weddings Abroad - Does Paradise Come At A Price?
For some couples, jetting off to their dream location would be the most romantic way to tie the knot. And with weddings abroad being generally much cheaper than having the big day at home, it would seem that this would be the ideal solution for every bride and groom.
Wedding Shower Invitations: An Overview
The purpose of a wedding shower is to celebrate the bride and provide her a moment to share with family and friends before the big day. Traditionally, the bridal shower is hosted by the maid-of-honor or the bridesmaids.
How to Have a Sizzler of a Honeymoon! Article No. 4
When Maria Callas first appeared on the international scene, she sang like a bird, looked like a small whale, and the only people who truly knew and loved her were the perennial ticket-holding opera lovers.Few years later, looking like Audrey Hepburn, photographers couldn't get enough of her face and body, socialites overwhelmed her with invitations to their yachts and private planes, and rich men kept their beds warm ever hopeful that she might, one day, consent to join them there.