Getting married is a huge deal and finding that certain someone to settle down with is not easy. Friends and family (and now matrimonial websites) are here to help find the perfect match, but some modern millennial girls think the idea of an arranged set-up is out of date and anti-feminist and are determined to go their own way, dating and marrying whom they want. But "the one" can be elusive, even for modern feminists dating the masses, and as the clock keeps ticking, mom's network of friends may seem a little more appealing and an arranged marriage may not seem like such a bad idea. We spoke to three women who shared their VERY candid reasons for ultimately agreeing to an arranged marriage even though they were against it from the start.
1) "In my 20s, I viewed 'arranged marriages' as archaic and anti-feminist. It's what happened to uneducated, docile women—or so I thought. But after my terrible (and terribly long) relationship came to an end, I was lost. I met a bunch of guys at bars and parties, but hated them all. I was 31 at this point, and happy to settle down—but couldn't find anyone to do it with. When my mother suggested a 'set-up', I yelled and cried and asked 'how could she even think like that?!'. But a year—and many strange guys—later, I decided to give my mom's idea a shot. 'But don't have any expectations,' I warned her. My parents 'arranged' for me to meet Karan*, a family friend's son, for lunch. We discussed what we did, our goals and dreams, and how we couldn't believe we had both succumbed to the good 'ol arranged marriage. He wasn't too exciting, but he wasn't too bad either. I didn't feel a zing, but I did feel more confident about meeting other guys. And so, over the next four months, I met about seven guys—all picked by my family and friends. The seventh—my current husband—took me out to dinner, and then made me laugh all evening. Before our 'first date' was over, I knew he was the one. He felt the same way, and so we decided to meet again. And again. A month later, we told our parents we were happy to take things forward—and we've now been (happily) married for three years!"
- Divya C, 34, Travel Journalist
In my 20s, I viewed 'arranged marriages' as archaic and anti-feminist.
2) "I dated a few guys off and on, but never found 'the one'. I turned 27 and started getting pressure from my family to finally settle down. I never thought I would go down the arranged marriage route, but since I was not having any luck on my own, I thought 'why not?'. So my mother introduced me to a few eligible bachelors and I felt an instant connection with one of the guys I met. He was the son of a close family friend and I was really surprised to see how much we have in common. We would talk on the phone for hours and met multiple times before we agreed to get married. We have been married for 2 years and currently living in USA."
- Anjali, 27, Graphic Designer
I never thought I would go down the arranged marriage route, but since I was not having any luck on my own, I thought 'why not?'
3) "I come from a conservative family and dating was never allowed. I turned 25 and instantly started receiving the 'when are you getting married?' questions from everyone around me. My family suggested arranged marriage to me a few times but I kept saying no. My mom reached out to one of my best friends without me knowing and they created a profile for me on a matrimonial website. My friend finally told me about the profile when a few guys showed interest. I was both shocked and upset, but since I was single, I agreed to meet one of the guys who showed interest. It actually turned out to be a great date and we continued meeting for a few months before deciding to get married. We have now been married for almost 2 years and I could not be any happier!"
- Zaniab, 29, Production Assistant
My mom reached out to one of my best friends without me knowing and they created a profile for me on a matrimonial website.
While modern women today may want go it alone without any input from friends and family, ultimately almost 90% of today's marriages are still arranged, according to Statistic Brain. Throw in matrimonial websites to the mix, and an old-fashioned idea like the set up has been reimagined as a more modern way to find a guy. Indian millennial girls are happy to still trust their family and friends and use tools like marriage sites to find love and marriage . And with the marriage divorce rate of only 1.2%, having a little help may be something young millennial women want to consider without automatically dismissing. When it comes down to it, it would seem that for better or for worse, arranged marriages are here to stay.