After years of dating app hell, this movie made me completely rethink marriage

Question, if you’re single and had the option to never have to swipe left or right again … would you take it?

No more awkward first dates, no more ghosting, no more splurging far too much money on new outfits and drinks in the hope that a first good impression could lead to a lifetime of happiness with a special someone.

What if you just woke up one day and were presented with your future husband. And there you go. It’s all done. No more stressing. You could tick marriage off your to do list.

This thought came to me the other day after treating myself to a solo movie date. It was the new Lily James rom-com What’s love got to do with it? and it explores the idea of arranged marriage in a modern world.

Yay for any storyline that doesn’t involve a pretty white girl falling in love with a pretty white man in a pretty coastal setting somewhere where lots of attractive white people live.

Jana Hocking said the movie “What’s Love Got to do with It” made her rethink arranged marriages.

To say this movie, that explores the contrasting Eastern and Western approaches to romance, was fascinating is an understatement. Without giving too much away, it explores modern-day arranged marriages in Pakistani culture and whilst I thought I would be outraged by this surely, outdated idea … I surprisingly wasn’t.

Having been on my own fair share of dates that have led to nothing, I occasionally throw my hands up in the air and think what’s the point. Many of us do.

There’s no denying I’m very happy living my single life, but I know deep down that I would like to eventually end up with someone. I just honestly don’t know who. Would the decision be left in better hands if I gave it to my mom?

There’s the obvious con to this, not all tastes are the same. I adore my mom, but she and I are very different people. Sure, she could find me someone lovely, but are they my happily ever after? Judging by the blokes she’s tried to set me up with in the past, no.

I remember getting a text from a doctor from her work she’d set me up with. One quick google of his name told me this sci-fi loving, comic-con attending guy was not for me.

But it turns out parents can have a good success rate.

According to stats, half the marriages in the world are arranged, and over 20 million of those unions exist in the world today. And here’s something else that will blow your mind … of those 20 million marriages, there is a ridiculously low divorce rate, somewhere below 6 percent.

For a mad moment I thought OK, let’s investigate how viable an arranged marriage would be. Should I be handing the metaphorical dating reins over to my family? Surely they could do a better job then I’ve done so far. But **sigh** like all dating styles, there are definite pros and cons.

The pros are that thankfully in many countries, arranged marriages have moved with the times. In countries like India and Pakistan, couples often now meet through matchmaking nights and online dating services.

They meet, along with their families, and see if there is enough chemistry first before skipping down the aisle.

This is not always the case but it is now considered a fairly normal way to set up an arranged marriage. The arrangement comes in the form of both parents giving it their blessing and being there for every decision-making part of the process.

It’s like a first date, just with your whole family in attendance.

The cons are that in some countries, tragically some women are forced into marriages that were arranged by their parents at birth.

These are less arranged marriages and more forced marriages. If you delve deep enough, you will find heartbreaking stories of women as young as 15 years old (or even younger) being promised to men against their will, which is truly horrible.

For me, history shows that I haven’t exactly made the best dating decisions. I know, given the choice, my mum would have vetoed quite a few of the blokes I’ve dated. Why? Because she’s not just picking someone I can lust over, she’s looking at the grand picture. Are they nice? Do they have a stable job? Will they make a good husband?

Sure, I should be looking for the basics in a bloke but, hey, we’ve all been known to venture off course from time to time. While I was sobbing into my pillow about the bloke who just broke my heart for the third time, she was saying: “I told you he was no good the first time he did this!”.

An arranged marriage is not the answer for someone like myself. If anything, I should be thankful for being allowed the free-will to make my own decisions.

But there is something in the idea of allowing others to help you out. Perhaps allowing your parents to partake in the process of picking a good match. Or at least listening when they have concerns about the current person you are dating.

So perhaps before we roll our eyes and go for the person who is completely wrong for us, we listen to our elders and see what they have to say. Lord knows, they’ve only known us our whole lives.

Who better to get an opinion from then the person who has seen you at your best and worst?

This article was originally posted by The New York Post.

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