From your nosey bua to the infamous Sima Aunty from Indian Matchmaking, everyone has an opinion about your arranged marriage match. Relatives you’ve never heard of or lost contact with years ago suddenly come running with a long list of potential matches. Family and friends offer endless advice and give the gift of new and trendy matrimonial accounts. And before you know it, you go from awkward first meetings to the mandap before you can say ‘shaadi’!
While it is easy to get overwhelmed and downright confused when it comes to arranged marriages, it’s important to keep yourself focused on some key elements. One such factor is the questions you ask a potential arranged marriage partner. If you have taken a nosedive into the murky depths of the pool of arranged marriages, it’s time you know how to navigate it safely and effectively.
Here are some questions you must ask a potential match to find your perfect partner in the game called arranged marriage!
Real-Life Story Of Navigating Arranged Marriage Conversations
“Imagine connecting with an NRI match on a popular matrimony website. On paper, everything looks good, so you accept the match. Being a progressive 21st Century woman, you send a WhatsApp message initiating the conversation. And the first thing he says after the usual hi and hello is “Send your kundali”! You are a little taken aback but oblige because you have understood that the process of an arranged marriage is beyond weird. But the very next thing he says is, “Send your pictures”! Not “can you” or “do you mind”, but ordering a stranger to do what he says without even having a conversation. With that, I was welcomed to the world of Indian arranged marriages!”
- Srushti Pathak, 28. Looking for a modern, feminist, progressive match in 2020.
The Need For The Arranged Match KBC
It might seem like a daunting image, sitting in the hot seat and answering endless questions that seem to get tougher by the minute. But some things can’t be avoided and so it’s vital you get your potential match in the hot seat right away and play ‘Kaun Banega (mera) Pati’! Here are some reasons to prepare your list of questions and ask them to the guy who takes you out for the arranged coffee date.
- Having an agenda helps ease some of the anxiety of the first meet (no more clammy palms)
- It gives you a reason to think about your wants and needs from a marriage (self-reflection brownie points)
- The answers you receive will highlight major personality traits (and red flags!)
- Your questions reflect your personality, making it easier for the guy to understand you
- These questions are any day better than small talk (#awkward)
10-Point Questionnaire You Can Use To Help You Find Your Match
1. Do you want to get married or are you secretly being forced into it?
The truth is that many of the prospects you end up meeting don’t want to get married now, or even ever. Unfortunately, Indian parents, by hook or crook, make their kids jump headfirst into the process of arranged marriages. Some are just curious and some want to get it over with so that they can go back to their life. Asking this question can surprisingly always get you an honest answer because then the person feels comfortable telling you to decline the proposal so that they don’t have to.
2. What do you think about arranged marriage & how has the process been for you so far?
This seemingly harmless query is nothing short of a silent missile. Someone who is unsure about getting into an arranged marriage will be quick to dismiss it as ‘boring’ or something similar. If they have met with 20+ matches and found them all to fall short of their expectations, that’s a red flag. And if you are new to this world, their answer might help you redefine your own expectations.
3. Do you think you’re ready for marriage? How would you like your marriage to be?
Wanting to get married and being ready for marriage are two completely different things. It takes a whole new mental approach to share your life, home, bedroom, wardrobe and family with someone new. Also, being married means having to adopt each others’ wishes, routines and interests with enthusiasm. If you are looking for a partner who you will travel the world with, then being with someone who thinks marriage is all about family and kids won’t work out for you.
4. What are your career goals and would you support a career-oriented wife?
A question that defines today’s generation and falls under the category of ‘marriageable age’. With women climbing the ladder of success professionally and working hard to make a mark in their career, it has become more important than ever to ask this question. Also, with gender norms becoming a thing of the past, this helps men transform into stay-at-home dads with confidence. It gives you an idea of whether your match plans on relocating, starting a business or joining a family venture.
5. How is your relationship with your family?
He could be closest to his mother or siblings, granny or a cousin. By asking this you know who has the most influence on him, who he confides in, and who his lifelines are. These arranged marriage questions will help you determine if you have to tackle a momma’s boy or you have a man here who is attached to his family but at the same time independent enough to make his own decisions.
6. How do you handle conflict or fights when they come up?
A partner with a rigid and stubborn approach towards marriage can prove troublesome in the future. Issues, fights, disagreements and the need for adjustment arises in every relationship and marriage is no different. By asking this question, you will have a clear understanding of how your potential partner will deal with this. For you surely need a partner who is open to suggestions and willing to work out the differences, whether it is just communication or couples counselling.
7. How do you deal with setbacks and disappointments?
Want to know someone in the quickest way possible? Ask them about what drives them and who inspires them. For instance, someone who is motivated by the passion for their work will see past shortcomings and failures in order to chase success. Similarly, if your match believes that relationships need work, then despite your differences, they will try to keep the bond alive. A person who is sensitive and emotional will need a strong and stable life partner to balance it out. Likewise, if you tend to overthink every decision and delay them, a practical thinker with great decision-making abilities will be a great match for you.
8. How do you see us dividing household responsibilities?
This question has the potential to make or break your match. The lockdown has shown the world the need to divide household chores responsibly. Many married couples were forced to rethink their house tasks and take up additional responsibilities as well. And with the world-changing every day, it has become vital to ask this question. Gone are the days when the bahu was expected to work and handle everything else. This generation truly believes in equality and that starts right from the home.
9. Do you want to have kids? How do you see yourself as a parent?
Some couples are in no hurry to have a child while some prefer to become parents soon. In some cases, couples opt to adopt or even not to have children at all. All of this needs to be discussed with your potential partner. So go ahead and ask about when do they want kids, how many and most importantly, what kind of a parent they see themselves as. If you want a partner who will divide the responsibilities of children equally, spend a lot of quality time with them and raise them in a certain way, it’s best to have this conversation before marriage.
10. What are your hobbies and interests?
Do you like animals? You don’t want to get married and then find out that they are allergic to cats or dogs. What’s your favourite food? If all they can eat is one cuisine you absolutely dislike, it’s best to share it then and there. What kind of music do you like? If you hate rock music make sure your potential partner doesn’t happily blast metal all day, every day! Though this may seem like a superficial one, this question gives you an idea of what your everyday life would be like if you decided to get married.
Whether you expect fireworks like Tanu Weds Manu or love that blossoms like Socha Na Tha, arranged marriages are a lot of work but a lot more fun. With each of his answers, you can evaluate whether you should take things forward with the potential partner or not. Be mindful of how you phrase your questions so that you don’t put your potential match on the defensive or spoil your chances! So take your time, and don’t rush into knowing all about them on day one itself.