Bloggin’ Banat

two arab-american chicks takin’ over the blogosphere

Try an Arranged Marriage. You Might End Up Happier. November 19, 2008

I came across an interesting article today about a new book by Reva Seth called First Comes Marriage regarding the success of arranged marriages.  The author interviewed 300 women in the US, UK and Canada who are in arranged marriages.  And guess what?  Most of them are happy.   first-comes-marriage-cover1

This is a topic that interests me because I am a bit old school when it comes to dating and marriage and I never thought arranged marriages were necessarily a bad thing.  However, I think a lot of people in the West, including some 2nd and 3rd generation Arab-Americans and those from Eastern cultures (you know who you are), tend to look down on arranged marriages and view them as “backwards” nowadays.  But get this-the women interviewed were all educated and career-oriented; not backwards thinking women at all.

An important point made in the article is that “arranged marriages are not forced marriages.”  So don’t think that these women who choose this path to marriage are dragged kicking and screaming to the alter.  That’s a huge misconception people tend to make here in the US and in the West in general.  And these types of marriages have a significantly lower divorce rate (7 percent) than typical Western marriages (40-45 percent).  Doesn’t seem so bad, does it?

Now, I don’t think this type of marriage is for everyone. But I do think we shouldn’t automatically look down on it either.  As the book suggests, people tend to hook up in bars and clubs lusting after someone.  But that fire tends to fizzle out over time.   These people usually aren’t marriage material anyway.  The key to a successful marriage is compatibility.  And having a ‘marriage musts’ list of qualities that you desire is key.  As one of the women interviewed said: “The difference [between arranged and Western marriages] is that a love marriage is like a boiling pot that cools down over time, while an arranged marriage is like a cold pot that gradually comes to a boil.” Sexy, huh?

As with anything in life, nothing’s perfect.  Marriage is definitely one of those things.  We may never find our Prince Charming and have that Cinderella fairytale ending (although I can never get myself to relinquish that idea).  But we can end up being married and happy and maybe, just maybe, we can get there through an arranged marriage. All I’m saying is that regardless of who you are or where you come, don’t exclude the idea behind arranged marriages.  You may save yourself the stress and pain of a divorce a few years down the road.

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A call to arms against the A-rab style living room setup November 17, 2008

Filed under: Dating,Marriage,Norma,wtf — Norma @ 7:33 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Several months ago I was the victim of a crime committed against modernity. I was ambushed, hoodwinked, and bamboozled to boot…My family tricked me into an A-rab style living room setup. Oh, the horror! I still have not recovered from this slight against my nature and sensibilities.

Under the guise of helping a relative out with “computer problems,” I was lured to my uncle’s house only to find out there was no computer issue at all, just a guy with his family chillin’ in the living room.

Seriously, who was the genius who thought that shoving two people together in a room surrounded by relatives is a good idea? It’s like throwing pasta on the wall in front of an audience who watch to see if it sticks…

My relatives’ minds read like an inverted jane austen novel: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single woman in possession of a good job, past her mid-twenties, and possibly carrying some light luggage from past relationships (:-P), must be in want of a husband. And it’s their duty to help her out.


Don’t get me wrong – It’s not like I’m all anti setups, in the looser sense of the term, of course. I mean, if there’s some sort of gathering or function or something and somebody tells somebody else wink wink I have a niece, so maybe bring your nephew along, fine, whatever. I’ll be none the wiser and won’t mind being introduced to a fellow party-goer.

But this particular situation took the cake.

I figured that this guy must have been tricked into this setup, too, so I hightail it outta my uncle’s house probably sooner than deemed proper. No biggie, I assume – these people are here from out of state and stopped by for a nice visit with my uncle and his family. This setup, albeit a not-so-funny “haha we tricked you” moment for me and the guy, was just a bonus added onto their trip.

I was oh so wrong.

I find out later that this guy and his mom were basically on a tour of the US trying to find his special bint Arab. I was the second scheduled stop in the mid-Atlantic region. Maybe this guy should just post a profile on

Good times 😛