Culturally, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that your society’s way is the only way to build a relationship. But you’d be surprised about the success rates of some societies, which place a little less emphasis on falling in love first. In fact, arranged marriages in the U.S. and Canada are among the lowest rates when it comes to one’s decision to file for divorce, with some pegging it as only four percent.
While some of these cases are questionable, most work out because the people involved are taught that marriage is as much based on commitment as love, and as a result, love can bloom over time instead of being intense in the beginning and fading out quickly. This led one redditor to ask the serious question about mail order relationships. Do they work, and what were the experiences of those who tried them out. Here were some of the most interesting answers.
1. “I’ll be honest, as a teenager, I never had any girlfriends due to my obesity and my acne. I had good grades and got a well-paying job but I still couldn’t find a person to marry and I remained a virgin until the age of 40. One curious night, I had tried to search for mail order brides from many countries such as the Czech Republic, Romania but I preferred asian women. The 2 options I had were Thailand and the Philippines, I chose the Philippines because of their better understanding of English. There, I met my girlfriend in a bar, she kept telling that I was handsome and that I was a prince, even though I was a fat, bald american man but I didn’t care if she lied to me, I love her and I married her, 5 years later, we now have 2 lovely mixed children. … Although I get the occasional stares, due to the age difference ( 20 years ), I couldn’t care any less. She is a good mother and a good wife and she truly loves being a mother, and that’s what matters.”
2. “I really think the term mail order bride is getting old. I met my wife on a online dating site, started chatting, that led to me taking a holiday to the Philippines and after a long time chatting via skype and yahoo, and a few more visits we decided to apply for a visa. Fast forward to now , we have been married for 4yrs and have a very loving, sharing ,caring relationship. Seems to be no different than my ex-wife, who also met her current partner on a online dating site. … Of course when i joined the dating site i was flooded with messages from hot 20 year olds, who promised age is only a number …but can you send me money via western union, it is my birthday…hahaha. But i kept looking for someone a little more age appropriate, and found my wife at that time i was 46 and she was 33.”
3. “Do I like it? Yes, every single day. She … is extremely logical and level headed. She is also VERY honest, almost to a fault. She reads the classics, speaks four languages and likes going to the opera. She is like MacGyver when it comes to jury-rigging stuff. Plus she is the first [woman] I’ve met who can make me question my own arguments … I also enjoy the cultural differences we have. Given her different upbringing and perspective nearly every day she says something or fixes something that makes me think ‘I never thought of it like that.'”
While every relationship is different, for better or worse, and this is in no way an endorsement of so-called “mail order relationships,” it is interesting how some people can make it work in circumstances that to you and me would seem unusual. Do you think a couple can have a strong, healthy, committed relationship when it’s arranged? And if so, what do you think is the secret to their success?