In the modern world and in India too, incidents of love marriages are increasing but their success rate is discouraging. In fact, in the Indian context, the success rate of love marriages is very low in comparison of arranged marriages, as measured on the basis of rates of divorce in the case of both types of marriages. However, no authentic and clear statistics or any systematic study is available regarding the divorce rates, separately in cases of love marriages vis-a-vis arranged marriages. It is general perception and statements of experts/ practicing lawyers too, that the divorces in the case of love marriages are nearly 3 times more than those in arranged marriages.
Here one genuine question arises that, a relationship, that came into existence due to “liking of each other or true love” is less sustainable than the relation formed by elders’ choice and customs of society. The answer, in short, is that “usually the Love of young persons, aspiring to marry is usually mere Emotional Love and it lacks Rationality”. Hence, the love marriages can also be successful, if we add enough rationality in it and it would become a “Rational Love” too. How can it be done? Let’s see the ways.
However, this basis of ‘divorce rate’ for deciding success or failure is also much questionable, as it is not enough rational*(see footnote). See the footnote regarding this issue, because, here we want to have more focus on our main question, that is “how a love marriage can be made successful”. Let’s note the main lessons in bullet points, which begin before the ‘love’ begins. These points are written here, addressing any person (he/she), who is aspiring to date someone/ to search for a good match, to have ‘love’ with someone and to get married with love. Many of these points are also useful for those who have to marry under arranged marriage system:
@The popular notion that ‘love occurs at first sight’ is not a prevalent occurrence, so it is just a statement favored by many and not a verified fact. Such incidents are only a small fraction of cases of love that leads to marriage. More importantly, such type of love, usually crop-up due to an attraction of physical appearance and indicate an immature, unstable and irrational love. So, if you get impressed by ‘someone’, in the very first meeting, even then you should give enough time for knowing the ‘someone’ fully, enough for taking such a vital decision of life, particularly for evaluating the ‘Compatibility’.
@The term ‘Compatibility’ is very-very important in this context. If two persons are compatible have such a crucial relationship, it means that they can perform well as a couple with harmony, satisfaction, emotional balance and pleasure. In short, compatibility means ‘congenial combination of two persons’ to form a family and carry on it as a successful family.
@Be very clear that, compatibility doesn’t mean a combination of the same or similar type of persons or of those having same/ similar thinking, interests and lifestyles. They may be quite different on these points, but both of them should like or accept the other person’s thinking, interests and lifestyle. The combination will be better if one’s qualities or attributes are not similar but complimentary to the attributes of the other.
@Therefore, it is utmost important that, before deciding about loving someone and then deciding to marry him or her, you must take enough time to assess, evaluate and conclude about your compatibility with him or her. For this, it is advisable that you should meet several times with the person(s), with whom you’re considering marriage; but if you have opportunity of meeting or dating once or twice only, then you should spend more time in talking to know each other enough, rather than spending it on enjoying the company or for only fun. Just flirting can’t be a serious process of finding the right life partner.
@In India, marriage is not the question of compatibility of the two marriageable youths only; but it is also an issue of compatibility of their families too. Because this one central relation forms many other associated relations too; i.e. relations of in-laws. These relations are more crucial for an Indian girl aspiring to become ‘Bahu’ of an almost unknown family. However, for the boys too, considering the compatibility of the two families is important, if you don’t want to be a rebellion for the society.
@Usually, the lovers take the decision of love solely and don’t take anyone else’s advice. But, similar to all other important decisions, taking advice of other concerned and wise persons would be very useful and may save formation of many unpleasant or fail relationships. Such advisers may be the parents, brother/ sister or other relatives and friends, preferably elders, who have experience and wisdom enough for such vital decisions.
@Many times, the boys and girls first begin to like someone, they take their own decision, begin to love the ‘someone’ and then they convey this to their parents and then with their consent the get married. This happening can be termed as ‘love cum arranged marriage’ and this sort of marriages are quite good. This trend is better than the marriages based on only ‘love between the two without any third opinion (fully love marriage)’ and also better than the marriages arranged by only ‘others’ without any love or liking between the two, who are going to form a family (fully arranged marriage).
@After initial meetings, if you find someone a high potential match, then express this feeling that you’re thinking seriously about this possibility. If the ‘someone’ also has similar feelings or ready to think about it, not only with romanticism but also seriously; then both of you should first discuss clearly and seriously about it’s every aspect, all the positive and negative points. Particularly take care of all potential problems/ challenges and threats and evaluate them against the positive & favorable things of your potential relationship. If openness/ frankness, clarity, transparency and above all HONESTY will be the basis of your love and faith then your relations would be enough strong and spirited, that will stand against the odds and negative blows of life.
@When, after some or few meetings/ dating you become sure about the compatibility of both of you and begin to love each other; even then be cautious and don’t move quickly ahead in this tender relationship so much that, if needed or becomes inevitable, you can’t take the steps back or revert your decision, without making much fuss, social embarrassment, and mental harassment to anyone of you.
@If both of you have finally decided to form a life-long relationship then it is always better that, as soon as possible, you have a ceremonial marriage in the company of your near and dear people. If the circumstances do not permit for it, you can also opt for a court marriage or registered marriage. But, any sort of marriage is always better than a live-in relationship. ‘Live-in’ is usually like an untied blending (& not binding) only, which usually comes into existence due to some unhealthy or immoral reasons so it is always fragile and flimsy.
@As we said earlier, the love marriages accomplished with the active or passive consent of the parents or other relatives is always better and stronger; but if it takes place without their consent, even then the couple should try to keep the other relations also live as much as possible. Other relations, especially relations with your elders, usually help you to cope up with the challenges and problems of married life, which are tough for any inexperienced couple. They also make it more eventful, colorful and balanced; otherwise, life with only one or very few relations may become boring and monotonous. However, in some cases, one or the other displeased relative may cunningly try to break or spoil your married life; in that case, it’s better to keep that relative away from your life.
@In all sorts of marriages, whether arranged, love based or the arranged cum love marriage, for sustaining and strengthening it, many types of adjustments are always required; even if the marriage had been accomplished with the high degree of knowing each other, thinking and consultation. Because, when two different persons live together sharing the same resources and time, then it is obvious that many time differences would arise and then it becomes the test of your love, understanding, congeniality and adjusting mentality. Any marriage can become successful only when both husband and wife have enough amounts as the sums of these qualities of both of them together.
Thus, the love marriages can be successful and even more successful than arranged marriages, if they are based on “Rational Love” as explained above and not over the fragile “Emotional Love”
*Footnote: It is a fact that, in many cases of unpleasant married life, the couple continues to remain together, compromising over his or her expectations from the counterpart (even for very genuine expectations) and they avoid opting for divorce. So, in such cases also, the marriage can’t be considered successful. But, we can’t get real data of number or percentage of such cases. This phenomenon of “bearing and carrying over an unpleasant relationship” is more common in the case of arranged marriages, but this also occurs in love marriages too. Due to this fact, the previously apparent higher success rate of arranged marriages will reduce, but the difference between the divorce rates of both is so large that even then, it will remain higher than that of love marriages. On the basis of it, we can here assume that the love marriages fail more often than the arranged marriages.