Dubai: Love marriage or arranged marriage. Readers discuss which "I do" is likely to be more enduring.
A recent Gulf News poll suggested that 43 per cent of readers are living with spouses who have been chosen for them.
But is an arranged marriage the same as declaring someone incapable of managing their own love affairs? Or is it a way of ensuring that a family member will not be blinded by love and choose a spouse he or she will later regret?
We asked our readers which type of marriage they think would be the most successful and long lasting.
By the sea, under the moon, 33-year-old Tajikistani Shavkat Mamajonov finally figured out that his close friend for 10 years was the right woman for him.
Today Shavkat and Dilfuza are happily married. Though love marriage was the right choice for him, he points out that different types of marriage work for different people. "My sister is very happy in an arranged marriage," he says. "That's why I believe in both."
For 29-year-old Samreen Shiyan it was a typical Indian arrangement. She met Shiyan's parents and saw his picture. When she finally met him it clicked right away, and she knew that her parents had found the right man for her. Though it took a couple of months for deep love to develop, she is very happy with him today. "Your parents put everything into perspective," she says.
"In a love marriage the parents might not be happy with your choice, and I think that the blessing of parents is very important [for a lasting relationship]."
Kelley A. Drayton, a 26-year-old Australian, was introduced to Mohammad by some friends. They fell in love and decided to get married. Today — two children later — things couldn't look brighter for Drayton and Mohammad.
Drayton thinks that a love marriage will be the most joyful one but an arranged marriage probably is the longest lasting.
"In an arranged marriage the parents won't let the couple divorce, and in a love marriage nobody cares," she says with a laugh.
"I would prefer an arranged marriage," Uzma Zahid confidently states. She is 18 years old, Pakistani by nationality, and single. Zahid believes that she is simply too young to judge people and their motives properly. "My parents are much more experienced than I am," she says. She is certain that an arranged marriage would both be more successful than a love marriage and also last longer. "People respect their parent's choice," she says.
"I believe in freedom of selecting your soul mate," states Omar Al Busaidy, "and that is why I believe in either type [of marriage]." The 24-year-old Emirati is single, but would like to marry some day.
He regrets that the Western world has put a stigma on arranged marriages, confusing it with forced marriages. "Both arranged marriages and love marriages give one a choice," he explains. Therefore he thinks that either one could stand the test of time.