An interesting article on arranged marriage, along with its pros and cons: NYT, Parental Involvement can Help in Choosing Marriage Partners
I felt like I was arranged once. It was great. I was living in a small village in Nepal. The organization I worked for placed a male and female westerner with a male and female Nepaali. My western partner was a handsome Brit who brought his guitar. He played flamenco the entire time we were there.
Because the village was traditional, we were often considered to be man and wife. Although we denied it, after living together for so long, eventually we became close. I took care of him while sick, and we shared money and responsbilities. When we went to other villages, he carried me on the back of his bicycle. It is hard for me to forget the rice fields as dawn broke in the morning, with the haziness of all of the cooking fires making the sun orange and red. I still have never felt so close to anyone in my life.
We were partnered randomly, and definitely had our fair share of arguments, but it felt secure. I knew he couldn’t leave me.
I can speak to the other side of arranged marriage, and the lack of options for the women in my Nepaali household. But when I read articles like this, I really just remember riding on the back of his bicycle. It was a match I would have made work, and 24 was the right age.