Choice is overrated (Part I)

I used to tell people I was a fan of arranged marriages, but Bryan told me I needed to stop since I was misleading them into thinking I was trapped in the Dark Ages.

Our culture values and even champions the idea of marrying for love, finding Mr./Mrs. Right, and not being forced into unions with strangers. Arranged marriages are oppressive because it pushes people into loveless, cruel marriages. Where has the priority of choice gotten us?

Statistics reveal that we are very bad at choosing. More than half of all marriages in the US end in divorce. Men and women still choose into marriages with physically, emotionally, and sexually abusive people regardless of warning signs. They are in denial over the person they want to marry because they love each other. It’s obvious to everyone that they’re wrong for each other… except the two lovebirds.

Great romances end in tragedy. Romeo and Juliet. Anthony and Cleopatra. Happily ever after is truly a fairytale. I love you doesn’t get you very far. I’m committed to you does. Add love to it and one is truly blessed.

Initial attraction/connection often begins with something like, wow, you’re also from Nebraska… you also like dark chocolate… this is amazing! What’s especially unfortunate is people who get into relationships because the other person likes them. It says a lot about how much they like themselves. It’s not much on which to build a relationship. By then emotional ties have already been forged, and for one reason or another they move forward despite all red flags. Worse yet, they stay in stalemate until marriage becomes the default.

Arranged marriages take away from the idea of a soul mate, and it removes the pressure of needing to find the connection. They also reinforce the idea of commitment being the factor that keeps people married, and not loving feelings.

Feelings change. Imagine feeling loving towards someone who does not share your passion for (insert obsessive hobby). What about loving feelings towards someone who doesn’t mind getting into bed with you without showering after a workout. Maybe this person has a hard time with showing love in your love language, with anger, with being critical, with selfishness. Maybe this person is insecure!?

As the love feelings fade, I hope commitment will keep it going.


anonyme said...

Interesting blog topic! I was just thinking about this and talking to people about this and hearing about it on NPR. A student in one of my classes has a husband who wants to get a divorce and she's very stressed out about it. She told me sometimes she just wished her parents set her up for an arranged marriage. I only disagreed because if it were up to my parents, I'd marry some Chinese doctor who doesn't believe in Jesus and that would be all bad.

Mark said...

Love your blog, love you thoughts! It's so Pegpie! I can literally hear your voice coming through! Yay!

I remember a college acquaintance actually singing the merits of arranged marriages, too. They get a lot of bad press, as you know!

By the way, I'm putting you as a link to my blog!