Page From My BookPage From My Book: Yes To Arranged MarriageEmily Foster

I’m pretty convinced that arranged marriage isn’t such a bad idea. I am all for passion and romance but two people coming together looking for marriage also sounds kind of sexy, right? I mean isn’t that what dating is at a certain age? We are looking for an arrangement where you build a household together, have babies together and move forward under a unified front perhaps sharing the same last name. Is it really so different if someone else tells you who that person should be?

Seems like it’s super trendy right now to believe that marriage is in decline. That said most people I know get married. And plenty have gotten divorced. Some even remarried. I know instances of infidelity and I even have one friend in an open marriage. So with that great model of marriage running around, what’s actually so weird about having it arranged?

I grew up very closely with my cousin Todd. We’re the same age, and we were in the same classes at school. In our early 20s he went to Israel on a birthright trip and he never really came back. Well, Todd never came back, because he changed his name to Binyamin. In his mid-20s, he came to the States to start the marriage process. He went on a couple public meetings in Brooklyn, arranged by a rabbi, and selected the girl he was going to marry.

I flew to Brooklyn for the wedding. She was really young and radiant, and she wore roller skates at her own wedding, definitely making her my hero. It was on that day that they touched each other – hugs included – for the very first time. In our early 30s, they now live in Jerusalem and have three children. And I have no idea how love factors into their daily life, but seeing them together makes me feel like it’s certainly there. And they have chosen to make this life together.

There are times during the process of dating that makes it feel like the most  ridiculous process ever. It’s so much work. We all know there’s no such thing as the perfect person and there is no perfect match. And if Lady Mary would have married her cousin Matthew when he was presented to her, maybe she would of saved herself all of that pain and struggle, just one of just many important lessons from Downtown Abbey.

There’s so much bad dating advice running around and maybe arranged marriage is one of them. But I just think it might be easier if I didn’t have to date anymore. So maybe someone else should date for me! Pick out the guy. They can set up an online account for me, do all the legwork and once they have selected the guy, and I will meet him at our wedding day. I mean they say sometimes people know us better than we know ourselves. Why not let them save us the headache too!

  • Mary Frances Shutes

    I see your point. I don’t think I’d like not meeting until the wedding day, but I agree matchmaking sounds so romantic. Maybe I think that way because of my parents… they only dated because of mutal friends and didn’t like each other at first. They broke things off, then my Mom needed a prom date and things changed. They celebrated 45 years of marriage earlier this month.

  • Kelsey Taylor

    Arranged marriages are a lot more complicated than some people think (there is more thought put into who marries who beforehand, it’s not random pick and choose), and many cultures have arranged marriages and those couples turn out very happy. In fact, arranged marriage does not mean they cannot divorce, if they are truly unhappy. Most cultures have a form of divorce. I agree arranged marriages have their place, although I would not personally want to be in one. I think that is part of becoming an adult, is learning to look for the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Not just because you’re “in love” at the moment. And that’s part of what the arranged marriage is for, not leaving it up to the whims of the young.

    What you’re talking about sounds more like a dating service, though… which is very similar in many ways!

  • Sg Malone

    If it really doesn’t matter, just go back to the last person who acted like he’d have you and marry him.

  • Laura Laurent

    I think she’s saying part of the romance is potentially hating him, but falling in love anyway & all would be lovely. If the people in my life were responsible for choosing my mate, I don’t think that would do very well…. they have awful taste!

  • Amy Murnan

    And what if it turns out that you hate him? Arranged marriage is not just one permanent blind date.

  • Veronica Miele


    Arranged marriages definitely need to make a comeback — but before that happens — gotta build up that domestic resume lol

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