Today, I read a post from an Indian American woman involved in a relationship with an AA male for the last five years. They are contemplating making another step forward and she is torn between love and family wishes and values.
Based on the little bit that the OP posted, I could tell this was a subject to which she has given a great deal of thought. One of the things she mentioned in her post that grabbed me most was this line “It’s difficult when I have been ingrained in a culture that believes marriage is about two families coming together over similar values, lifestyles, and histories and that love is unstable and unreliable, something that will not be able to hold us together”
Her words really made my mental wheels turn and I know I may get a great deal of slack for what I’m about to say but at least be open enough to know the thought process behind my words. I think there is something to be said for arranged marriages. There are lower divorce rates and overall, arranged marriages seem to be more stable. Of course there are exceptions to this as there are in any generalization.
When we date are we not looking for people who share the same values and lifestyle as us? Yes, we want to have that euphoric feeling of love but speaking from experience, that feeling will only take us so far when it comes to enduring the ups and downs of relationships. That’s not to say that love is not important and does not have its place but I believe it is important to have shared values and lifestyles. Do I think that you can be in love and have the things we desire as far as values, lifestyles and histories go? Absolutely! However, I also see the argument behind arranged marriages- IF all parties involved are okay with it. It’s totally different if someone is forced into a relationship because it’s what is expected of them. I hope that everyone reading this understands that I believe in love. Love brought me and my husband together but so did shared values. However, I also can see the argument behind arranged marriages. That being said, I only agree with arranged relationships if everyone involved is on board with the process. I’m a sucker for love and I believe there is a place to create new traditions and histories together but I also believe in respecting the ones that got us to where we are as long as they are not disrespectful or hurtful to others. Therein lies part of the problem with why arranged marriages are looked upon so negatively. When parents or relatives that are arranging the relationships are so ingrained in their way of approaching marriages, that they overlook the feelings and wishes of the person they are arranging, it becomes hurtful. I believe the intentions of arranged marriages and the idea behind them were good at some point but when people impose those their ways upon someone else, that’s a problem.
Since I’ve started this blog, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many people who are thrilled to find couples that mirror themselves. I’ve also met so many people who are struggling to find answers to being in a Blindian relationship. For those people I say this, as I said to the OP. You already know that no one can make the decision that’s best for you other than you. I happen to believe that’s the healthiest attitude anyone can have when it comes to making major decisions.
Believe it or not, you are not alone . In the last four years that M and I have been together I have met at least four other black/Indian couples who actually got married but kept it secret for years. It’s such a sad way to live for them. There are always the questions and thoughts of ” ‘why can’t you tell your family or friends about me? I’m a good person, they’ll like me just give them the opportunity to meet me and you’ll see'”…or “‘ I don’t like being anyone’s secret.'” The thoughts of why and how they’ve allowed themselves to be in such a difficult place go on and on. It’s inevitable that people on the outside pass judgment about relationships like this all the time (and for the record they are not exclusive to Black/Indian relationships). That judgement in itself can add a whole boatload of issues but I digress.
At the end of the day, people make decisions that shape their lives and the futures of not only themselves but of future generations as well. This life is too short to make decisions based on how others feel you should live your life if it’s not something you’re completely 100% on board with. Make the decisions that you know in the end will bring you peace. I’m looking forward to hearing your comments on this issue. Until the next blog..