I know, it might sound strange.
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But for my book, First Comes Marriage: Modern Relationship Advice From The Wisdom of Arranged Marriages (Fireside, 2008) I spent five years researching arranged marriages and talking to over 300 women from Canada, the US, the UK, and across Europe about their experiences.
The majority of women whom I spoke with seemed so confident in their relationships (especially compared to our general environment of relationship angst). Surprisingly, what I was hearing really seemed to apply to my own relationship issues.
My book does not defend arranged marriages or suggest having one (I didn't!). Instead, it looks at the success of arranged marriages (a 5-7% divorce rate versus the US average of 50%) to see what we can take away from this overlooked tradition to apply to our own dating and relationship lives.
Here, a few valuable lessons I took from the arranged marriage model:
1. Stop Drifting! Decide What You Want From Dating.
We research colleges, plan our careers and even comparison-shop for groceries, but most of us are still incredibly uncomfortable with the idea of objectively thinking about what we want from our boyfriends or partners.
Instead, we just drift into relationships with the men that we happen to meet and be attracted to. Arranged marriages are specifically designed to prevent this type of infatuation or short-term thinking.
Before any potential candidates are considered, families decide the values and characteristics that potential partners should have to see what type of life the couple might have together.
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Making a list of what you are really looking for in a relationship and partner will change the way you date! It will help you recognize the right men for you, figure out where best to meet them – and what you need to do to interest them.
Deciding to have a relationship with someone is a big decision– isn't it time we started to treat it like one?