Marriage marriages are not a new thing in Pakistan society. It has been practiced for centuries but the instances of love marriage in Pakistan are still low. In the last several decades the Pakistan society has undergone tremendous change – the social fabric of society has become more flexible and girls are treated equal to boys. As a result, interaction between the opposite sex has increased considerably and this has contributed to the increased percentage of love marriages in the country. However, the phenomena remains restricted to urban and semi-urban areas. Though love marriages still do not enjoy the same respect and position in the society as arranged marriages, parents are becoming thoughtful of their children’s feelings. The biggest reason for opposing a love marriage is caste or religion difference. This is because people are skeptical in marrying their kids in an alien cultural setting. In addition, there are other issues like economic standard, horoscope compatibility, that also hinder the process of love marriage.
Love Vs. Arranged Marriage!
The question that arises in every Pakistan youth’s mind is whether to love and marry or prefer to marry and then fall in love? If one decides to go for the love marriage route and is hell bent on finding ‘the One’ in order to live happily ever after, they need to consider the fact that love marriages require equal amount of work put into it for it to be happy and peaceful. Just because love is pre-existing, does not mean that it will continue to be so for eternity. One needs to nurture the love and work on doubling and tripling it for those married moments when it becomes especially difficult to love your partner! While arranged marriages come with greater security with greater involvement of parents, there remains the question of accepting a bunch of almost-stranger as your family for the rest of your life. Also the amount of judgment that the girl or boy has to go through, scrutiny of physical appearance in case of girls and financial status in case of the boys, is a huge deterrent from certain educated people nowadays. Unlike in love marriages, gender-biased roles for both men are women are much more strongly enforced in arranged marriages. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, yet one thing is for sure, the decision of marriage, be it arranged or love, should be taken with careful consideration and much deliberation.
Present scenario in Pakistan has evolved a lot as compared to the scenario even ten years ago. Love marriages are accepted with much more openness nowadays throughout the country in all prevalent cultures. Although the huge difference in divorce rates in Pakistan with other developed nations like the USA are being attributed to the glory of arranged marriages, it has more to do with the country’s social structure and not with the preferred mode of marriage. Marriages in the country nowadays have adopted this hybrid model called semi arranged marriage, where the boy or girl meet with the candidates preferred by their parents and if they provide their consent to the match they are allowed to date like a couple in love for a designated period of time which is called the courtship period. If all goes well, the couple will get married after the courtship period and will live happily ever after. I think this evolution in the whole orthodox marriage procedure in Pakistan shows how much influence the merits of love marriage and the fact that familiarity plays a big role in the future of the couple are being accepted by the society.