I met a friend yesterday for dinner, and she and I got to discussing the arranged marriage prospects and the experiences that we had.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) for us, between us we have seen sizeable amount of men. She and I both have a similar idea for marriage, we both come from very liberal families, and we both wish to find partners that we like and are compatible with. We do not have this set idea, nor do we have any income/caste criteria. Except that he should be able to support himself, both emotionally and financially.

But, most of the guys that we have met, are more interested in getting married, and not really that interested in knowing the person.

For example, I met a guy a couple of weeks ago, he had come from the UK. We had a very awkward first meeting, as I usually prefer to talk to the guy first on phone/texts before meeting him in person as that gives a certain ground to talk on. But, that was not the case here. After that very awkward first meeting, I was asked to meet him outside for coffee. In those talks he asked me what were my thoughts on marriage. I said I cannot get married to someone within a span of knowing him for a few days (two days to be precise!). I would want to know him as a person and then take a decision. That was the last that I heard of him. Not even a courtesy message. Just had his dad call my dad to tell that it would not work out. He apparently “short listed” two girls for second meeting, one of them agreed to get engaged in a day, so she was chosen.

Now, call it coincidence, but the day before I met the guy the second time, I met another guy. We again went for coffee. And that’s it. The guy gets engaged the other day.

Of course, not every guy is like these. There have been people who I talked to, but we did not find the compatibility, so decided mutually to just be friends. But these are very rare.

My question is, how can so educated people, who have seen the world choose their life partners like this? I take more time choosing a dress!

Do not they respect their own lives?

How can you leave such an important decision which would affect the rest of your life to chance?

When I get engaged (or should I say IF I get engaged), I want to be able to look at the person’s eyes and see love, contentment, happiness and commitment in it.

People say that it is a beauty of arranged marriage. Love “grows” over time. But does it really? It might, but what if it does not? How many people “fall in love” because there is no other option left to love anyone else but this person, so might as well make the best of it.

Also, even if it does not work out, if differences come up, it would always be the girl who would be expected to “adjust”, “compromise” and just deal with it.

I am glad that these guys got their life partners, but it does hurt some times you know. It just hurts that while I am trying to get to know the person, he is just interested in knowing how fast I can get engaged to him. Like my individual personality does not matter one bit. As long as I am a female, and our basic interest matches in a general way, that is all that matters.

If I like reading, and he likes reading (check!), If I like travelling and he likes travelling (check), good enough to get engaged tomorrow!

Even though he would not know which books I like, love or hate…Or whether I prefer hillsides or beaches…all that does not matter really.

Is it immaturity and a reckless faith that everything might be aright, or is it the social pressure, and people are just too weak to take a stand?