As y’all know, I answered a question about arranged marriages on the 19 May 2013 episode of Philosophy in Action Radio. In reply, I got the following fascinating comment from an Indian fan of my radio show:
Your answer to the arranged marriage question was stellar! You were bang on target about the fact that a low divorce rate is not inherently good, if that is caused by a social stigma attached to divorce — which only means more people are stuck in a marriage. I grew up in India, and saw it a lot.
I would love to see you answer the follow-up question that you brought up at the end, namely that — is it okay to marry a person who I like and respect, but not love in a deep sense if I don’t think I will find a such a person? When and under what circumstances is it appropriate for a person say — I don’t think I can find someone who I will deeply love — and settle for someone whom he respects and thinks could be a good partner for the rest of his life? What factors should go into such a decision — age, location, etc?
I’ve seen lots of arranged marriages in my life, including my sister. I think they make a good pair, if not a great one. Their personalities are compatible and I can envision them respecting each other and being great partners in the journey of life. Given that I was and am continually exposed to arranged marriages, I am glad to see this issue discussed!
Initially, after discovering Ayn Rand’s ideas as a teenager and as a young adult, I was pretty rationalistic about them and was SURE that they did not work. They did not love each other before they were married and they cannot love each other after they simply get married dammit! But the more I saw couples in an arranged marriage, the more I started to doubt my certainty. I saw that both the guy and the girl were happy about the fact that they were together. I cannot speculate how deep their love for each other was, but they were happy that they shared each others company, and I could see that.
I would have shared the segment on facebook and twitter but that would mean a lot of love loss between me and all my Indian friends who have done arranged marriages! I at least wanted to write you a note to say that that was a great answer.
If you’ve not yet heard it, you can listen to or download the relevant segment of the podcast here:
- Duration: 15:50
- Download: MP3 Segment
For more details, check out the question’s archive page. The full episode – where I answered questions on individualism versus anti-social atomism, poor communication from the boss, visibility of disabled children, arranged marriages, and more – is available as a podcast too.
Also, the follow-up question mentioned — “is it okay to marry a person who I like and respect, but not love in a deep sense if I don’t think I will find a such a person” — is now in the queue.