Dear Grace, my friend will have to go through an arranged marriage!

Dear Grace,

My online friend will have to go through an arranged marriage after she graduates from University. I am concerned for her happiness. What should I do?


Dear F,

If your friend is fine with it, there is not much you can do. After all, it is ultimately her life. Perhaps, arrange marriages are common in her culture. The candidate is usually someone that the family thinks will improve the quality of life for the family as a whole.

Historically, a lot of political marriages were set in order for families to maintain their wealth, status, power, and influence. It was common for sons and daughters to be used as chess pieces.

Today, it is still quite common for many parents in Asia to have a huge impact over their children’s life choices. This may include the schools they attend, the friends they are associated with, the programs of study, their occupation, as well as their future life partners. The parents believe they are paving the best and safest route for their child, and does not think they are doing anything wrong. This may be drastically different if you were raised in a more western society.

In the West, we usually do what we want. Our decisions tend to be based on what makes us happy versus what makes others happy. It is more “me” than “we”. Generally speaking, we decide who we want to be in a romantic relationship with.

Your friend may have already considered the advantages and disadvantages of an arranged marriage. Obviously, if she chooses to comply, her family would be pleased. Perhaps, her family means so much to her that she is willing to sacrifice her own happiness. Or maybe, to your friend, it is not a sacrifice. She may not mind marrying someone her parents have chosen for her. You’ll have to ask her about this.

You can only tell her the downsides of an arranged marriage. She will have to decide on her own whether she wants to go through with it.

I hope your friend will be happy and not regret her decision. Hopefully, you will be able to understand and accept her decision even if it happens to go against your values and beliefs.


P.S. What are your thoughts on arranged marriages? Would you be ok with it?

P.P.S. If you have questions you would like me to answer, you can comment down below, message me on discord or email me at [email protected]

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