And this is not a trend or fashion fad limited only to the glamour world. It is happening everyday in modern society.
In the past, the institution of marriage was seen as a family tie or contract where two families decided to merge businesses and social relations via their unmarried children. Thus, marriage between two people was a community event. The birth of children and the involvement of the couple in family business bought the two families closer. This strengthened ties bringing forth prosperity and peace. In case of marital conflict, family elders gave advice and sorted out the matter.
However, times and perspectives have changed. A marriage is no longer considered a communal event but a private affair. The families of the couple do not involve themselves in the search for respectable brides and bridegrooms. Social psychologists attribute this change to a number of lifestyle and attitude changes. The advent and growth of technology and education has broadened minds and attitudes. The pace of lifestyle has increased. The joint family unit has split into small nuclear families. Each individual has no time for the other. This has brought about a mammoth change in the perception of marriage.
Earlier parents and relatives used to look for suitable boys and girls for their unmarried child. But today, things are different. Young people are searching their own life partners. This trend started through dating and has grown by leaps and bounds. Today, people contemplating marriage find no dearth of places to look for suitable partners.
- Social dating
- In the workplace
- Joining clubs and going on group activities
- Online dating
- Online matrimonial searches
- Placing advertisements in newspapers, magazines and Internet
- Meeting people via chat rooms on the Internet
But there is a risk involved. A person cannot rely on parental guidance or advice anymore. The individual has to depend on self to gauge the suitability and commitment level of the person. Usually this is tough. Social psychologists, right from the time of C. Jung, have stated that a person always reveals only positive attributes to another person during social visits. Thus, it is better to engage in a long courtship period or a live-in relationship before actually walking down the aisle.
During this time, it is important for the person to try and find out the exact nature and character of the date. This can either be through engaging in social activities and sports together, meeting the same friends and even buying clothes and accessories for each other. The questions one needs to seek answers to have to be disguised as no individual is going to come outright and answer these invasive questions. Secondly, you may be termed prying and you may lose a suitable prospective partner.
Religious Beliefs: A person needs to find out the religious values and beliefs of the individual. Are the said religious beliefs compatible with yours?
Perspectives on Material Wealth: This is important as many times life partners discover after marriage that they have different life values. You may treasure and aspire to gain material wealth in terms of cars, mobile phones, and expensive brand clothes. Your partner may not like all this splendour and believe in being passive and not ambitious. Thus, it is better to know these views before getting married.
Perspective on Women: Many people hold the opinion that women are inferior to men. They do not have any rights to be educated. Women should not be allowed to work. Their place is at home and they should be taught even via physical abuse to be obedient. Such views can only come forth when you are dealing on a daily basis with the individual.
Number of Children: Both marital partners need to hold similar views on the number of children. It is difficult to live and tolerate an individual who expects the partner to have more children than desired initially.
Importance of Family: Ultimately, what determines the character of an individual is the importance accorded to ones own family. How does the individual treat his or her parents, siblings and relatives? It also tells the individual how the person is going to be with his or her family.
Apart from these main issues, the couple also needs to discuss present and future expectations from each other regarding job and relocation to another country or city. But, finally, it depends on the maturity and commitment level of the individual. It is not possible to avoid marital conflict even after finding out everything about spouse before marriage. The crux is to be mature, communicate and deal with the conflicts.