There are 2 ways in which couples get married: One where the two people involved meet, fall in love and decide to get married, and the other is when families arrange to introduce two people that have the intent of getting married.
But in an arranged marriage that is still common in many conservative Arab communities, the decision of getting married is already there before you even fall in love with your future spouse.
In the Arab World, your mother, friends and relatives will start looking for your perfect partner once you approve of the idea of an arranged marriage.
Some of you may think that an arranged marriage is based on similar status, wealth, good looks or family name, but these things should be secondary as they are more materialistic.
But there are more important factors you should consider when deciding on an arranged marriage:
Personality: You need to meet him/her personally. Yes phone calls help, but you need to meet frequently face to face in order to get to know each other better.
Give yourself at least 6 months to get a full picture of that person and decide if you could spend the rest of your life with him/her.
Look for the positive things: Sometimes not knowing a person will make you start looking for the bad things in them, but no one is perfect, so give them a chance by looking at the good and positive qualities they have, like politeness, a sense of humor, modesty, great attitude and any other qualities you’re looking for in your lifetime partner.
Look for common grounds: We are not saying you should see eye-to-eye on everything, where’s the fun in that? But you may want to take into consideration whether you can really talk to your future partner or not. If you can talk for hours and have a lot to say when you go out together that is a good sign. What you should consider as an alert is when you have nothing to say to each other. If you notice yourself looking forward to seeing him/her again, then that is a good sign as well.
Get to know his/her family: There’s a famous saying that goes something like this, “When you marry someone, you marry their entire family.” And in many cases, especially here in the Arab world, it’s true. So spend some time with their family and let your future partner do the same as well.
You might wonder why that is important. Well, getting to know his/her family well gives you a clearer idea of their values and opinions, and whether their lifestyle suits you or not, i.e. basically what you’re getting yourself into.
An arranged marriage might suit some people and not suit others, but if you are willing to give it a try then keep an open mind and stay positive, some arranged marriages turn into great love stories.