Divya (name changed) is a 27-year-old Brand Manager in Mumbai.
By the time I was in my teens, arranged marriages had already started becoming unfashionable in our family. As a result of my uncle’s open-mindedness both my cousin sisters had love marriages. So I grew up knowing that I would be free to choose the man I married.
Disappointed with dating
I had two relationships while I was in college and they lasted five months and one year respectively. After I completed my masters I moved to Mumbai to work and for three years I didn’t have a serious relationship with anyone.
But by the time I was 25 I realised that all my friends were married or in long-term relationships. I wasn’t jealous or desperate to get married but I wanted to be with someone as well.
I had done the whole dating thing while I was working but almost all the men I met weren’t looking for anything serious and they were pretty honest about it as well. But even though I was a bit disappointed with the dating scene the idea of an arranged marriage hadn’t even crossed my mind.
When I was home for Diwali, my dad’s friend told him that a really nice family he knew was “interested” in me. My parents were as shocked as me–they had never imagined that they would ever have to respond to a marriage proposal for me. I think they had assumed that I would find my own partner the way most of the other girls in my family had. And since none of us had any idea what to do about it we just kind of went along with whatever they suggested.
So I got an email introduction to Mr Eligible and we started skyping with each other. He seemed very intelligent and funny so when he asked if we should meet I said yes. I had heard too many stories of people who are great online turning out to be complete bores in real life but I met him and he was perfect. We were both from similar backgrounds, working in similar industries and looking for a commitment.
The bottom line is that if we had met each other out at a work party and really hit it off we would’ve been too scared to say anything about wanting commitment or getting serious because that’s a no-go in the dating world. The way we met took care of that commitment-related stressful stuff in advance so that when we met each other I already knew that he was there for something meaningful.
Anyway we met each other every week during that month and only after we gave them the okay did our parents met each other to decide on the wedding plans. One month later we were married. I know it’s not a very romantic story but I’ve been married for two years now and I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I think it's the best decision I’ve ever made.
Will arranged marriages die out or are they still the best way to find a mate - what do you think? Leave a comment here or on Facebook.