Arranged Marriage in India: The Norm

Jasbina Ahluwalia asks Dr. Jan Yager – Author of the book 125 Ways to Meet the Love of Your Life:  That’s interesting. Dr. Yager, many of our listeners are of South-Asian descent. By South Asian, I mean Indian-American or Pakistani-American.

Many of these listeners of South-Asian descent grew up in families where the parents had arranged marriages. They themselves may choose to go a less traditional route.

Do you have any insights or guidance for this group of people based on your research and professional experience as an international relationship expert?


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Dr. Jan Yager

Here is some good news. Are some of your listeners in India now?


Jasbina Ahluwalia

Our listeners are throughout the world. We have a great number in the US. Then we have some abroad as well, including India.


Dr. Jan Yager

Okay. 125 Ways to Meet the Love of Your Life is published in India by Jaico Books.


Jasbina Ahluwalia

Wow, okay. That’s great.


Dr. Jan Yager

Beyond Arranged Marriage in India

They brought it out a couple of months ago.

They published it in India because they saw a growing need for exactly the kind of help that the book offers for those who are reaching out beyond an arranged marriage situation.


Jasbina Ahluwalia

That’s interesting. Given that you’re an international relationship expert and your books are being published throughout the world, as mentioned, we have many listeners of South-Asian descent from both the US and abroad, I would love to hear any cultural insights pertaining to South Asians, Indians or Pakistanis that you may have found in your research.


Dr. Jan Yager

Arranged Marriage in India: India vs West

I think that, with the Indians I’ve met in India compared to the Indians that I’ve met who have relocated to America, the Indians who are still living in India can be much more reserved and take longer to share about more personal issues.

Those who have either moved here or grown up here are much more open.

They are much more willing to talk about topics that, in India, might be seen as things that aren’t shared as openly.

This is either between men and women or between women. These are topics that couples might talk about.


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Jasbina Ahluwalia

What kind of topics? It’s always interesting to get an outside perspective on that.


Dr. Jan Yager

Arranged Marriage in India: The Process

Even finding out information about someone might be a slower process in India versus in the United States.

It could be information about someone’s family or background.

Talking about the pace of the relationship can be different. Especially if a couple has parents who had an arranged marriage, a big issue will be if they’re comfortable with their children not having an arranged marriage.

If they are comfortable, are they going to feel that using the personals is acceptable?

The personals is, on a certain level, the modern version of arranged marriages.

It’s just being arranged electronically or in a more technological way. It’s interesting.


Arranged Marriage in India: Community Letdowns

As a sociologist, I look at why the personals have evolved, why we have online dating and why we need matchmakers. It’s because, sadly, our communities are letting us down.

There is a big difference between a family suggesting people who are available who might be appropriate mates versus an arranged marriage where the arrangement is a given.


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Successful Arranged Marriage in India

When I was in India in my twenties, I befriended a wonderful woman. She and her husband were an arranged marriage. Fortunately, they fell in love after they married and had a beautiful marriage. They are still married with two children and grandchildren.


No To Arranged Marriage in India

There is a big leap from an arranged marriage to absolutely dating without any help from the family.

I’ve seen throughout the world that this is, sadly, what’s been happening. This is why the personals had to evolve and why there are matchmakers and online dating.

There is not enough involvement by the community and by friends. It’s important that we as all cultures start taking more interest in our singles.

We need to say, “I have a friend who has a friend who is single and might want to meet your friend.”


Arranged Marriage in India: Discomfort Discussing The One

I met with someone in October who is from India. He lives in India. When he mentioned that he was single, I could see that he wasn’t comfortable with me making suggestions like, “Would you like to meet someone? What are you doing about trying to find a mate?” It wasn’t a topic that he really felt comfortable discussing.

I think if he was an Indian living in the United States or had moved to United States, there might have been a little bit more of a comfort zone to start talking.

I could have said, “Do you belong to any singles groups? Have you tried online dating?” I could see that the topic was a little bit uncomfortable.


Tell Us:

South Asian readers, have you found your spouse through the means of an arranged marriage in India? Anyone else have a success story regarding an arranged marriage? It’s all about an arranged marriage in India, Non-Resident Indians, are you experiencing arranged marriages too? Share your stories with us in the comments section below.


The above is an excerpt from Jasbina’s interview with Dr. Jan Yager.

The entire interview transcript is at: Dr. Jan Yager Interview – 125 Ways to Meet the Love of Your Life

Listen to the entire interview on: Intersections Match Talk Radio – Jasbina’s Lifestyle Show

Listen to the entire interview on Blog Talk Radio: 125 Wats to Meet the Love of Your Life – Dr. Jan Yager

Listen to the entire interview on iTunes