“Love Marriages Vs. Arranged Marriages in India”

 “Love Marriages Vs. Arranged Marriages in India

“Love Marriages Vs. Arranged Marriages in India”ichhori.com

Arranged marriages have long been a part of Indian culture. According to reports, nearly 90% of marriages in India are arranged. When a marriage is proposed by individuals other than the couple being married, it is referred to as "arranged." Parents, matchmaking agency, matrimonial services, or a trustworthy third party might be in charge of the marriage arrangements. According to a 2013 IPSOS survey, 74% of young Indians (18-35 years old) prefer arranged marriages to love marriages.

Marriages in India: Stats
Marriage is an institution in which the majority of Indians have great trust. Despite the fact that love marriages have grown increasingly common, Indian households still prefer arranged marriages. This is because the elders believe that exchanging wedding vows brings together not only two souls but also two families. As a result, the job of real and genuine mediators in marriage takes on more significance. Previously, newspapers had a stronghold on the idea of finding the perfect match through a non-living matchmaker, but recently, online marriage services and portals seized the chance and swiftly absorbed the industry.

The Lok Foundation-Oxford University surveys are a series of large-sample multi-year panel surveys run by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) that address a range of socio-economic topics. Over a hundred thousand households were surveyed. 

  • In January 2018, 93% of those surveyed indicated their marriage was arranged. 

  • Only 3% said their marriage was a "love marriage," and another 2% said theirs was a "love-cum-arranged marriage," which generally means the couple's relationship was set up by their families, and then they fell in love and chose to marry. 

  • An arranged marriage was found in 94% of octogenarians, and in more than 90% of young couples in their twenties.

The age-wise statistics of arranged marriage are as follows:

  • About 90% are arranged marriages among 20-30 year olds.
  • Arranged marriages were found in 92%  of 30-40 year olds.
  • Arranged marriages accounted for 93% among 40-50 year olds.
  • Arranged marriages accounted for 95% among 50-60 year olds as well as 60-70 year olds.
  • Arranged marriages accounted for 94% among 70-80 year olds and among 80-90 year olds.

The following numbers suggest that with education in the equation, love makes a small appearance. The statistics of arranged marriage based on education are:

  • 97% of marriages among couples with no education are arranged marriages.
  • 95% of marriages among couples who passed 5th std, are arranged marriages.
  • 92% of marriages among couples who passed 10th std, are arranged marriages.
  • 92% of marriages among couples who passed 12th std, are arranged marriages.
  • 87% of marriages among couples who completed diploma/certificate course, are arranged marriages.
  • 91% of marriages among couples who completed graduation, are arranged marriages.
  • 91% of marriages among couples who completed post-graduation, are arranged marriages.
  • 87% of marriages among couples who completed Ph.D/M.Phil, are arranged marriages.

With higher level of education, the number of arranged marriages dropped noticeably, if not significantly. 

Love marriages are slightly more common among Christians and Muslims than among Hindus, although there is no difference within Hindu caste divisions. Love marriages are more common in Assam, Kerala, Goa, and Jammu and Kashmir, states with a large non-Hindu population, than in other states. The state-wise statistics of love marriages are as follows:

  • There is 0-1 % of love marriages in the states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
  • There is 1-2 % of love marriages in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, and Karnataka.
  • There is 2-3% of love marriages in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, West Bengal, and Tamil Nadu.
  • There is 3-5 % of love marriages in the states of Maharashtra, Telangana and Tripura.
  • There is 5-10% of love marriages in the states of Jammu & Kashmir, NCT of Delhi, Goa, and Kerala.
  • There is a 10% and above incidence of love marriages in the state of Assam.

These figures are in line with previous research on how Indian weddings are planned. Only 13% of married women in metro areas knew their husbands before marriage, according to the 2011-12 India Human Development Survey (IHDS). Arranged marriages, on the other hand, do not always imply forced marriage; according to the IHDS study, over 70% of urban women indicated they had some choice in their marriage. According to the report, maintaining caste endogamy is still an essential element of marriage in India. Only around 10% of urban respondents indicated no one in their family had married outside their caste, and even fewer said no one in their sub-caste had married outside their caste (jati). Inter-caste marriage is slightly more common among the poor than among the rich.

Income-wise statistics of inter-caste marriages are as follows:

  • 18% of inter-caste and sub-caste marriages are from poorest households.
  • 10% of inter-caste and sub-caste marriages are from middle income households.
  • 9% of inter-caste and sub-caste marriages are from higher middle income households.
  • 12% of inter-caste and sub-caste marriages are from rich households.

Positives and Negatives of Love Marriages

The term "love marriage" refers to a union that was solely the result of the couple's decision. A love marriage does not have to be successful all of the time, and there are several reasons for this.

Advantages of love marriage

  • Better coordination

The couple respects one another and is aware of one another's tendencies and habits. They attempt to accommodate one other's schedules and have a good understanding of their partner's nature. Each partner is aware of the positive and negative aspects of their life partner. They may easily change their nature and conduct to suit their requirements. It is extremely easy for them to adapt any sorts of dispute between both partners if they know their partner well.

  • Higher compatibility

Not everyone who opts for arranged marriage is matched with a compatible partner. Love marriage is the ideal path to finding the best partner who will walk with a person for the rest of their lives and demonstrate a high level of compatibility and understanding in married life. He or she will prove to be the most supportive because they are the ones who believe in and understand one another. And who better to encourage a person than the person with whom they are in a relationship with and who loves them?

  • There’s room for adjustments

Couples exhibit some flexibility and are willing to adapt if their partner is uncomfortable with something. They give up some habits and strive to adjust their ways of life in order to be more accommodating to their partners.

  • Love marriage lets you choose your own partner

The fact that you may choose the person with whom you are familiar and want to spend the rest of your life with is the greatest advantage. This is beneficial for those who wish to find a partner of their own choosing. They have the freedom to select their partner and to marry the person they like in a love marriage.

  • Social equality

The norms underpinning marriages are broken in a love marriage. It brings people from two different communities, castes, or social groupings together. As a result, love marriages pave the path for societal equality.

Disadvantages of love marriage

  • Higher chances of divorce

There is a chance that the marriage may end because love wears out or the partners grow "tired" of one other. This form of marriage is founded on attraction, and if the attraction fades, the relationship between the two partners may come to an end. After a few years, love diminishes as the physical attraction decreases slowly but gradually.

  • Lack of support from family

It is common for relatives and friends to disapprove of a person's choice of partner. So when you're in trouble, there's no one to come to your rescue and bail you out.

  • Familiarity breeds contempt

After spending so many years with the same partner, a person may become bored, increasing the likelihood and temptation to cheat, which would be disastrous for the other partner.

  • Discord arises

It's possible that the relationship was too wonderful to be true, but after marriage, compatibility fades and numerous marital issues emerge. There may be a shift in their behaviour and character once they married. This is a reality that can only be realized after marriage. It is, however, too late for both partners to end this relationship. Because love is so wonderful, individuals often assume that things will improve even more after marriage. Marriage, on the other hand, is more realistic since a person must provide emotional, financial, and physical support to their partner, among other things. As a result, it is observed that most couples do not remain happy after marriage, and that love might even fade away.

  • This form of marriage is founded on attraction, and if the attraction fades, the relationship between the two partners may come to an end.
  • Prior to marriage, the couple may engage in sex. Furthermore, physical intimacy may already exist between them, and the pleasure of progressively unravelling feelings may only be experienced by couples who have married in an arranged marriage.
  • In a love marriage, one can have high expectations. People may complain that their partner was too sweet, pleasant, and caring before they married, especially if they married via love.

Positives and Negatives of Arranged Marriages

Arranged marriage is a form of marriage that is arranged by parents or elder family members. It is more in the nature of a family marriage than an individual marriage. 

Advantages of arranged marriage

  • Eliminates the stress of trying to find a life partner
Although an arranged marriage limits one's options, it leaves the persons involved with fewer questions. They are not compelled to date or to defend their principles in front of others. People in this sort of relationship are likely to share similar backgrounds, ethnicities, or cultures, giving them something in common. Because of the security provided by this arrangement, each individual is free to pursue other personal interests rather than wasting time looking for that particular someone.
  • Parents are involved in the relationship
When society promotes individuality in marriage partner choosing, the family unit plays a secondary role to the personal relationship. Cultural conventions, such as seeking permission from one's father to marry, become unspoken regulations that promote inclusiveness. However, there is no need to follow them, which may allow parents, grandparents, and other family members to remain involved.
  • Creates harmony between both families
Arranged marriages are founded on the idea that the establishment of a relationship benefits both families. There is a stronger inter-family interaction, and it allows family members to get together. The marriage is accepted by the family, relatives, and friends. They hold themselves accountable for any mistakes made during or soon after marriage. In the event of an accident or calamity, both families share the load in order to alleviate the damage and make it easier for the couple to endure. In all cases, arranged marriage guarantees family support. It is simpler to obtain financial support from parents in the event of an arranged marriage.
  • Cultural similarities of partners
Because there is advance planning involved in an arranged marriage, the unpleasant elements of being together are minimized. Because there are more similarities than differences, you stay entrenched in who you are as a culture. Most parents pick partners for their children who have similar cultural beliefs in order for them to fit in well with the family. Similar values make it more probable that the marriage will work out in the long term since there will be less disputes between the spouses.
  • It reduces conflict when children are involved
Families are sometimes separated by children because of the variations in how they should be raised between each person (and family). Differences in religion, spirituality, education and enforcement of discipline lead to contradictory views that have a detrimental effect on the child. With arranged marriage as the basis of the partnership, any child born in the union is more likely to have parents who agree on this, eliminating much of the damaging strife which children sometimes consider their responsibility.
  • Financial security
In marriages, there is often a financial element. Many marriages are not made out of love, especially arranged marriages but because one partner wishes to enhance her or her level of income. This was not the exception but the rule barely a century ago and the financial component of marriages remained fairly prominent.
  • No stress to find a partner
The search for an appropriate partner might also be a difficulty for many people worldwide. By comparison, there is no tension finding and veterinarizing a partner with an arranged marriage, as the parents or other relatives are doing the work.

Disadvantages of arranged marriage

  • Not fitting well together

Due to a lack of time, such married couples do not have the opportunity to get to know one another, and they frequently discover afterwards that they are not compatible. As a result, there are serious disagreements and clashes. Even so, after a while, many simply submit to their partner's demands in order to prevent arguments. Most of the time, this type of connection ends up being a complete disaster, with partners frequently arguing. To prevent significant trouble, some spouses will simply resign and fit into the needs and demands of the other partner after a period of time.

  • Lack of trust

When it comes to marriage, couples who have never met face to face have trust issues. The considerable lack of trust among newlyweds might be difficult to overcome, which could lead to future issues. One of the major reasons of divorce among couples is mistrust and ambiguous communication. As a result, if couples do not trust one other, maintaining a functional marriage may be challenging, as distrust may erode ties between partners. Some people in this circumstance are pushed into intimate relationships with persons they don't know, but who are also their spouses. Because of this, getting the marriage off on the right foot might be difficult.

  • Excessive expenditure and financial burden

A daughter may be a costly prospect, especially if a dowry is required to establish a relationship. It's one of the numerous reasons why some families choose to forego the expenditures of schooling in order to try to make ends meet through family partnerships. This disadvantage implies that from a young age, the ordinary woman is expected to bear the weight of self-responsibility. They spend a lot of money to maintain their status. In the event of arranged marriages, dowry systems can often lead to misunderstandings, which can result in harsh penalties such as torture and bride burning.

  • It gives men the opportunity to control the relationship

Many cultures that accept the concept of arranged marriage believe that the man should be the household's head. Every decision the couple makes in the future is influenced by this patriarchal viewpoint. Women are assigned the tasks of caring for children, preparing food, and keeping the house tidy in accordance with their husband's wishes. Because of this relationship structure, dependencies develop in which a woman is unable to flee an abusive spouse due to a lack of support systems. Because of the cultural connotations of divorce, her family may push her to stay in the marriage rather than leave an abusive relationship.

  • Limits the choice of a life partner

This unfavourable part of arranged marriages is applicable to ethnic migrant minorities. If they are being avoided, stereotyped, separated or apartheid policies by the majority of the people of the country in which they live, then arranged weddings are the only option of continuing family traditions. While guaranteeing marriage, it diminishes the life relationship choices available.

  • It avoids the issue of personal accountability

The couple are mostly responsible for the quality of their relationship under self-selection and autonomous marriage structures. They have to work together to get things running. No accountability is expected of either party in arranged marriage. It's the parents or grandparents who are to blame instead of the married couple if marriage doesn't succeed. In order to avoid the blame process from starting first and foremost, some families intervene with marriage at many levels.

  • It eliminates love from the equation

Emotions are not a matter of priority when this relationship is arranged, yet countless arranged marriage include love. Nobody cares if the other person is able to or will fall in love. As long as families get along with each other, it becomes the definition of success and a mutual advantage for the relationship. This means that a partner might get caught up in huge misery because he does not like his partner or because he does not want to disappoint his family.

Success rates

Earlier, love marriages accounted for fewer than 1% of all marriages, but nowadays, more arrange marriages are taking place, with virtually all of them having a high success rate. According to statistics, despite the fact that over 90% of Indian marriages are arranged in India, just 5% of marriages in India are love marriages, according to a Vice article published in February 2019. Just 11.7% of men and 8.5% of women stated they selected their partners with, or without, their family approval according to a study conducted in 2014 by UNPF and the International Women's Research Center (ICRW) of 9205 males and 3158 females aged 18 to 49 from seven Indian states. Despite the restrictions and demands placed on love by modern society, many young people and even adults are discovering love in their own unique manner. Despite the obstacles it confronts from traditional beliefs and cultural pressures, love marriage is growing more common in India.

Divorce rates

In India, where 90 percent of marriages are said to be arranged, the divorce rate is barely 1%. In India, divorce rates are greater in love marriages than in arranged marriages, according to a Bombay High Court hearing. India also has a relatively low divorce rate of approximately 1.1 percent when compared to other countries across the world. Given India's respect for its culture and social standards, it's no surprise that the country has the lowest divorce rate. But it's even more shocking to learn that India has the lowest divorce rate of any country on the planet. According to statistics, just one out of every 100 Indian marriages ends in divorce.

In India, the divorce rate was considerably lower in the preceding decade, with only 7.40 marriages annulled out of 1,000. In comparison to metropolitan India, the divorce rate in Indian villages is significantly lower.

Marriage is a sacrament in Hinduism, not a contract, therefore divorce was not permitted prior to the enactment of the Hindu Marriage Act in 1955. Men and women are now equally able to seek divorce as a result of the codification of this legislation. The Hindu Marriage Act 1955 governs Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains; The Divorce Act 1869 governs Christians; The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act 1936 governs Parsis; The Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act 1939 governs Muslims; and The Special Marriage Act 1954 governs interfaith marriages. These rules specify the requirements for performing a marriage between a man and a woman. A marriage is recognised based on these, and if it is not, it is referred to as invalid marriage or voidable marriage at the discretion of either spouse. A decree of nullity is issued after either one spouse files a petition with the court, declaring the marriage null and invalid.

Divorce is only possible after a year of marriage. However, the numbers appeared to be rising at an alarming rate. Marriages are not required to be recorded in this country, and only divorces are. As a result, calculating the divorce rate as a proportion of marriage is difficult. The number of divorces, on the other hand, may be tallied. Arrange marriage is one of the main reasons for India's low divorce rate. For generations, arranged marriages have been the norm in Indian society. Even today, the vast majority of Indians have their marriages organised by their parents or other trusted family members.

Despite the fact that most weddings in India are arranged, some couples choose their partners based on their direct interactions with them. In India, this is known as "love marriage." Urban areas have a higher rate of love marriages. Many marriages are still arranged with the help of parents among Indians living abroad. Even so-called love marriages in India are usually sanctioned by the parents, though their acceptance may be hesitant at times. Marriage is believed to be for life in India, and hence the divorce rate is exceptionally low.

Social Acceptance: Love vs. Arranged

Today's news is full of stories that make it appear like eternal love and marriage are as antiquated as a horse and carriage. For a long time, social conservatives have been warning about the societal repercussions of the decrease of marriage and growth of unwed parenthood for children and society as a whole. Marriage has long been seen as a significant and prestigious social institution. Healthy families and societies are built on the foundation of marriage.

When an arranged marriage fails, parents and society as a whole are more tolerant than when a love marriage fails. Women defend their failed love marriages because of the blaming and shaming of women who oppose conservative views on marriage. Society is unaware that by refusing to show sympathy to women whose love marriages do not work out, it may be jeopardising their well-being. Every marriage has its own set of difficulties and characteristics that not only define it, but also determine whether it is a good or terrible marriage. A good situation is one in which both parties are content in each other's presence.

Marrying within caste/religion to someone who has been approved by parents, neighbours, and matchmaker, it is much easier to leave if things don't work out. After all, all of the persons involved are at fault. This is the person they liked, and while separation and divorce are still frowned upon, you receive points for listening to family's elders and doing the best to make things work. By extension, this mindset of rejecting love weddings also opposes unions based on intercaste/interfaith and socio-economic disparities. As a result, it denies everyone's freedom to choose who they spend their lives with.

On the other hand, there have been cases where people have been cruel and sarcastic to women whose love marriages have failed. Any tragedy befalling such a woman may be traced back to her refusal to "obey" or "listen" to her well-wishers. This mentality has a very terrible side effect: it makes women defensive about their failing relationships. They decide to stay with abusive, uncaring partners, with whom they cannot envisage a happy present or future, but they must live with the repercussions of their decision. 

Women are frequently scared of being chastised rather than being provided help if they speak out about their marital issues. By extension, this mindset of rejecting love marriages also opposes unions based on intercaste/interfaith and socio-economic disparities. As a result, it denies everyone's freedom to choose who they spend their lives with. It demonstrates how entrenched the dogma remains. For such women, social acceptance and empathy create the road out and encourages them to walk out from a toxic marriage with their heads held high. At the end of the day, the option that parents and society face is pretty straightforward.

Social acceptance of arranged marriages

In Indian society, arranged marriage is widely accepted since it provides creditability and social respect for a stable marital existence. Both parents shoulder the whole weight of the marriage's responsibility. Arranged marriages are not only promoted, but even required. Arranged marriage supporters feel they are more experienced and impartial than their children. They will be able to make better, less impulsive decisions when it comes to finding a suitable and sometimes financially supporting partner than their child. Disobedience to the agreement can result in disownment and expulsion from the family. Arranged marriages, on the other hand, can generate anxiety and anger among children.

Parents frequently arrange marriages for their children in order to guarantee that their children adhere to their religious views. Because the human mind seeks comfort in routine, adapting is difficult and change is terrifying. As a result, many parents prefer arranged marriages.

Real impact on families

  • With love marriages, family planning decisions can be made with ease with each other's agreement because they may have discussed these topics a million times before getting married.
  • However, there are cases where if a couple agrees to marry for love, they will have no family support for the rest of their lives. They are both left alone. The parents are not going to accept the marriage in any case.
  • A younger girl marries an older or middle-aged guy in several regions of the country. This is due to a lack of resources. This is most likely to happen in a lower-class family. This arranged marriage will most probably completely wreck the girl's life.
  • The bond between various families can be greatly enhanced in arranged marriages. In many cultures, family ties are extremely essential in many aspects of daily life, and having strong ties to family members may also be advantageous in terms of future job opportunities.
  • It is generally difficult to get out of an arranged marriage since families are typically very closely knit, and if a partner wishes to leave a marriage, all ties must be broken with all of the family members.
  • When children enter the picture, families frequently split up due to the disparities in how each person (and family) believes they should be raised. Conflicting beliefs arise as a result of differences in religion, spirituality, education, and disciplinary enforcement, all of which have a detrimental influence on the child. With an arranged marriage as the foundation of the relationship, any children born from it have a better chance of having parents who agree on these issues, which avoids a lot of the damaging conflict that children mistakenly blame on them.
  • In marriages that are arranged there is a stronger inter-family interaction, and it allows family members to get together.
  • Because someone disagrees with their choice of a partner, couples who find themselves on their own frequently struggle with their family structures. This is the case of love marriage. In-laws will give advice that is well-intentioned, but does not consider the overall relationship. The assistance is one-sided, with the individual from "their" family receiving the most priority. 
  • In an arranged marriage, families are more likely to cooperate together. A sense of social duty and financial stability is shared. This effort extends beyond preserving family culture or adhering to tradition. Rather than stressing about compatibility, a couple may focus on their mutual goals.
  • It is not uncommon for everyone in the family to exert control over the relationship in various ways for their own personal requirements during the latter phases of an arranged marriage. Because the couple is expected to please everyone else, this might seem overwhelming. Some families may not even allow the bride or groom to have a say in what happens in the ceremony.


In the debate between arranged and love marriages, one advantage that love marriage will always have is that it exists before the marriage, but an arranged marriage takes time to get to. Many things, including personal and professional difficulties, can be made easier by love. In an arranged marriage, the battle might leave one partner feeling short-changed or cheated after the marriage, but in a love marriage, there is a greater acceptance of life's curveballs. Love also generates passion and romance, which in an arranged marriage is still a trial and error process.

While there will be more happy success stories about love marriages in India, there will also be many arranged marriage stories between strangers that lead to lifelong love. Marriage is seen as a lifetime commitment in India. Partners and family members have a greater knowledge and accepting of one another's differences. A firm foundation may be established when there are lesser expectations and a merging of equal-status families. As a result, the odds of a fruitful marriage are higher in India, where culturally arranged marriages are more accepted than love marriages. As a result, there's a lower likelihood of the marriage falling apart.

Because of an arranged marriage, many couples are still writing their love stories today. It may be a positive experience for all parties if their families work together to establish a matching experience where the courtship process entails getting to know one other and laying ground rules for future expectations. That's one of the reasons why more than half of all marriages go through this stage. Families can also utilise the arrangement procedure for their own financial well-being, forsaking their children's demands in order to improve their own living situations. As a result, the benefits and drawbacks of arranged marriages must be carefully considered on an individual basis. If someone feels compelled to be in this relationship, the disadvantages of such a relationship are more likely to surface at some point. If both parties believe there is a way to make things work on multiple levels, their partnership can be fruitful.


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