This week, it’s all about why you shouldn’t be alarmed by the alarming similarities between arranged marriage and online dating. The other morning, in a totally random twist of events, my yoga instructor started talking about arranged marriages and this couple she knows who had one. And then this gal sitting next to me went off: “Bah – arranged marriages – that’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen, and these people are ruining their kids’ lives, and they’ve got to be freaking stopped BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.”
(That’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen? I mean, really, I can tell right now you’ve never done a Google Image search of Kim Jong-un.)
And then I started thinking about arranged marriages and how usually it comes about because a matchmaker looks at a bunch of factors – some of which, like family wealth and general attractiveness, are a little douchey; others like interests, lifestyle, et cetera, are actually pretty legit – - and then uses them to pair two people up.
And, yeah, I get that somebody else is doing this for you in an arranged marriage situation… but… it’s kind of the exact same thing online daters are doing for themselves, right? I mean, I don’t date people online, mostly because I’m married. But, my understanding from friends who do date online is that you peruse other people’s profiles, check out their pictures and interests and maybe find out what they do to make money. And, then you go on a date. And, then, if that date goes well, the Internet comes to your front door and forces you to get married.
Or, did I get that wrong?
Anyway, I said there were similarities between matchmaking and online dating. I didn’t say they were exactly the same thing. But, that’s not the point. The point is that marriage isn’t so much about falling in love with this one perfect soul-mate. I see this now that I’m married.
Marriage is more about finding somebody you enjoy being around and then making it work through all the bizarre changes and highs and super duper lows. In a way, none of us really get to pick our partner, anyway, because we’re all individuals who are in a constant state of flux, changing and transforming every day.
If you’re married or in an LTR and are feeling disappointed about this, just assume cupid was probably drunk when you met your partner. (This won’t help anything, but isn’t it fun to picture cupid as a hairy, balding alcoholic?)
The cold truth of the matter is this: if you don’t get swept away in a riptide on your honeymoon in Hawaii, you probably aren’t going to be school-girl giddy in love with the person you walk down the aisle with every day for the rest of your life.
And, that’s okay. Marriage and LTRs aren’t special because they’re about unending perfect love – they’re special because, when you’re married, its perfectly acceptable to waste three hours hiding under the bed in the dark so that you can jump out and scream “Boo!” at your partner after the children are asleep. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.