17 Men And Women Who Went Through An Arranged Marriage Explain How They Initiated Sex

image - Flickr / Aurelio Asiain
image – Flickr / Aurelio Asiain

Found on r/AskReddit.


Alright how it happens now in India is: parents of girl contact parents of boy. They do shit together. Then they set up the first meeting dates for girl and boy.

Then girl and boy meet in front of family and are encouraged to hang out. Call this “family sanctioned dating.”

Then if girl hates guy (because he smoked weed or kicks babies or whatever) or vice versa, then the whole shebang is ditched.

If not they get married, already have a certain level of familiarity + repression over time + horny + love so BANGBANGBANG you now have 1 billion people.

Of course this is urban india. I don’t know how it is in rural India.

Source: moderately stoned urban dwelling Indian.

2. Mom, dad, you guys totally get me

A good friend of mine having a marriage arranged explained it to me: it’s not that he couldn’t get a date if he tried, but that he thinks his parents would do a better job of picking his wife/in-laws than he could. Especially because, like the first commenter said, you still “date” them to make sure you’re compatible. For my friend, he knew he wanted a wife with the same culture/religion/values to raise a family with, and the matchmaking power of his extended family was way better than his ability to pick out girls at bars.

Part of it is that most arranged-marriage cultures also have a very strong culture of respecting your elders, which is very different from the American culture–if his dad told him that a girl was a good choice for him, he would trust him; if an American parent did it, their kid would be like “Ugh, MOM. You totally don’t get me.”

3. Stark differences

My wife and I were carried from the hall where the reception was to the bedroom by our new in-laws.

The whole spectacle was accompanied by raucous cheers and I could hear screams of joy and celebration from the reception hall in the bedding chamber. Sadly though I never got to see my sister Catelyn or nephew Robb after the ceremony.

4. Lovely

I porked my wife of twenty years about 4 hours after meeting her. Why be awkward? Get to the fucking.

5. Not that awkward

My friend is from India and his marriage was arranged. I tried to broach a similar subject once and he just chuckled and said they just did it. If you live in a society where arranged marriages are acceptable, all parties know that the newly wed couple are supposed to so the deed after the ceremony. It’s expected, so it isn’t as awkward as one would think.

6. Throw water-balloon condoms at your future spouse

Arranged in Korea, married in 4 months, had him agree to no sex after the wedding until I was comfortable. I was a virgin and was terrified of the pain. So for two weeks we just… explored. Lots of touching, lots of intimacy… tons of jokes. We laughed more than anything else.

He waited until I was absolutely ready, and he made it fun. Bought condoms.. my first condom experience was him filling one up with water in the sink. He threw said water balloon at me while I was showering and ran away before I could retaliate.

For some reason that odd, humorous act moved me and I thought to myself, “this is the only man I will ever give my body to.” Had sex that same night. Hurt like a bitch at first but I’ll never forget how I started to fall in love with my husband because of a condom-made water balloon.

7. Nothing more than history now

My grandparents were married at age 13(gd) and 11(gm). This is more than 50 years ago in rural Nepal. Their first child was born when grandma was 21. That’s all I know. I don’t ask them these stuff. My grandpa did well and moved to the city and with it died the system of arranged marriage in my family.

8. I read with accent, make more sense

This is a story I want to share. My grandmother had partizans (fuckers who told everybody they fought for free Lithuania, and against occupation of soviet union in WWII, but actually robbed and killed people) in her family. in 1960s, my grandfather was a truck driver, and delivered bread all around the place. he was 30, grandmother about 20. She was filling expedition papers (how much bread got delivered, etc.) And one thing followed another, and only like several years after they met, my grandfather impregnated my grandmother with my mom. Nobody talked about their marriage clearly, but they married with my mom inside my grandmother, and they were force-married. My grandfather has serious health issues, and if not my grandmother, he would be dead 10 years from now, but he still says “I should have not meet you” he says to me he uses this to keep this under control. also in 1960, when Nikita Khrushchev was in power (period called de stalinization, when country became better place), my grandmothers uncle got into trials, and received death sentence, because he killed soviet officers during wartime period. Luckily, my grandparent matched well, and had wonderful lives, and my mother turned 50 this year, and my grandparents still live in peace, in the same place. About how they got around it, 5 years after the miracle of my mother occured, my uncle was born.

9. No happy ending

The Pakistani/ Indian matrimonial system is a cesspool of ethnocentrism, I say this as an Indian myself. People aren’t livestock to be traded on factors like the the color of their skin, the family they were born into, their country of origin — things they can’t control. Most arranged marriages are based on superficial factors. Religion. Nationality. Occupation. Labels. You’re marrying a label. My experience with an arranged marriage was probably one of the most unpleasant experiences of my life.

The whole thing was planned within a week and she’d known the guy for less than that before agreeing, all she had seen of him beforehand was a photograph and her parents assurances. This wasn’t a modern version of an arranged marriage as pointed out by other posters. Her parents presented him as a potential partner for marriage, not as someone she could date and then evaluate on her own terms. She found out about him on May 27th and she was pledged to him between then and June 4th. The engagement was on June 21st and the Baat Paki (agreement to get married) ceremony was before I found out. She is just 19 and things went too quickly for me to handle.

I was a freshman in college and from the second she opened her mouth I was inexorably drawn to her. The first time we spoke, sitting outside a cafe in the rain with a mutual friend, we had one of those high fidelity “this weather is awesome” conversations and then we didn’t speak for another couple of months. The attraction was there from the beginning, but I was into somebody else back then.

I developed a real crush on her in Sophomore year and after a semester of shy smiles, waves and an awkward conversation in the courtyard, fate finally intervened. I’d opened her profile picture on Facebook and forgot to close the tab. I brought my laptop in the library and the image popped up. One of her closest friends was conveniently standing right behind me at the time. After a gasp and a short silence, he said he thought it was hilarious and pestered me for a week about it. I asked him to just mention me to her in a subtle manner. This was in order to get him to stop pressing me and so I could evaluate for myself whether or not I could successfully ask her out based on her reaction to my name being brought up in conversation. Well my perfectly laid plans didn’t matter. Instead he brazenly told her I’d liked her for ages and to my surprise she immediately reciprocated. I asked her out the next day.

After dating for a while, she essentially blind sided me. Before summer she told me she was really looking forward to seeing me and that she wanted to keep in touch. She made it very clear, repeatedly, that she wanted to continue the relationship, even though it wasn’t necessary. Every time we met, she put in an un-necessary amount of effort into her appearance even if it was just to say goodbye, she clearly cared. I had no inkling of what was to come, I was already thinking about the future.

We talked everyday for a week and a bit. After that however, she suddenly stopped messaging me. I just let it go initially because she’s interning in a demanding position this summer. After a few days I asked her if something was wrong (there was) but she just said she was extremely busy. Her response was slightly tense but nothing dire.
I waited another 3-4 days before I told her to just tell me, that it was always better to be direct. Turns out her parents wanted her to get engaged to someone. An arranged marriage. She told me that her parent’s would ‘like this’ and she respects her ‘parent’s decision.’ She said she didn’t know how to tell me. There’s really no arguing with that, even if she had protested, her parents won her over before I knew about it. She actually did tell one of her best friends multiple times that she felt bad about having to end it with me. But what good did it do?

The guy she is now engaged to is much shorter than her, speaks terrible English (to the point that communication might be an issue) and is about 9 years older. His educational background is also nothing special (such that her parents might use it in order to compel her). That said, he is also well settled and they work in the same industry, but that isn’t why you marry someone. An arranged marriage is a feeble shot a depraved version of love. You simply cannot throw two supposedly “compatible” individuals together and expect stuff to happen. Love is why you should marry someone, plain and simple.

At this point I should note that my career prospects aren’t close to being bad, we also got along really well and she actually liked me! Nothing about this looks good on paper, she can easily support herself since she’s majoring in computer science and electrical engineering at one of the world’s top ten universities. Her parents also knew we were dating.

10. Irish trial and error

I know a bit about Irish arranged marriages: (fuck off I’m from a huge Catholic family) a couple of my cousins had arranged marriages but it wasn’t like “I’ll give you a bag of potatoes if your son marries my daughter!” It’s more like “Ok, so here’s a list of respectable Catholic families we know who aren’t related to us” then you go from there. The person isn’t forced into it, it’s just like your parents go meet their parents they see if the families are suitable together, then you meet your potential spouse and then you go on a bunch of dates to see if you guys click, but only instead of “going steady” and seeing where that leads there’s the knowledge that this person is also potentially interested in getting married to you, it’s not like they’re going to turn around and say “sorry I’m not looking for anything serious” you know that you’re meeting this person to see if they would be a good person marry. To me it seems way more sensible than meeting some guy in a bar and having to figure out if he’s a good match through trial and error.

11. So that’s how they happen

I’m from an urban, less-conservative corner of the country and middle-middle class. So this generally applies to that demographic.

My parents ‘arranged’ our meeting a year back. The first meeting was at her house and couldn’t really talk a lot because of her parents and my bro being there. This is mostly like an introductory session. After this happened and since we both nodded that we’ll take this forward, that gave us an informal nod to start courting each other.

Now in this scenario, parents are mostly like a dating service, and whatever happens after that was left to both of us. She lived in a different city than I did, so it was pretty much a long distance relationship that we had.

Either one of us used to travel frequently and meet. After a few meetings and long phone calls, we both said ‘yes’ to the wedding. Though we never explicitly told our parents that we are meeting each other, I’m quite sure that they knew what was happening, and wouldn’t have minded much. We fell in love at some point during that period. And had sex long before our wedding night which was still a few months away.

We had the freedom to say ‘no’ at any point throughout this period, though it would have been progressively difficult as time neared the wedding date. But if either of us was adamant about it, the parents would have consented.

Matter of days/weeks is not very common in India nowadays. It’s mostly at least a couple of months before anything moves. That’s not the case always, but urban India – that’s how arranged marriages happen.

12. Had 10 kids, but never showed any affection

My Alaskan Native grandparents, from my mother’s side, were in an arranged marriage and had about 10 kids together. They never talked about this topic in particular but the never kissed or hugged as far back as I could remember. Arranged marriage stopped with that generation when westernization overcame most of the traditional culture.

13. Looks like the internet was their wingman

We went from saying two words to each other extremely awkwardly in front of each other’s families’, to married five days later. I was leaving town a few days after so we didn’t consummate because he wanted to concentrate on his studies.

I came back a year later after he was done with his degree and we became a couple in the true sense of the word. In the year we were apart we talked a lot over phone and email, so we did get to know each other and it wasn’t like we were strangers. It was extremely awkward though.

14. From roommates to lovers

My family is very Jewish, I’m Conservative Jewish but one of my cousins stuck to Orthodoxy and chose to have someone set him up. Yes we still do that, it was offered to me actually. The guy that they wanted me to marry was very nice, but it just wasn’t going to happen (he was substantially older than me). We still keep in touch, and he’s actually secular now.

My cousin says that it went slowly. They sort of acted like roommates at first. They’d met each other a few times before the wedding, and spoken on the phone/facebook, but being married is totally different. It took 3 months before they had sex, and that was due to insane horniness- he says it felt more like a hookup, in all honesty, just due to the weirdness and suddenness of it. After that, though, the ice sort of broke. They’re crazy about each other now, and I’m guessing their sex life is good as they have 5 kids with another on the way. They’re a very sweet couple- he brings her flowers fairly often, and is actually currently a stay at home dad. They’re the arranged ones I know the most intimate details of, but a few other relatives have had it done as well.

15. Pulling the trigger on weddings

It’s not arranged marriages per se, but in standard LDS (Mormon) communities, it’s pretty common for couples to get engaged and then married REALLY fast. The longest engagement I’ve ever heard of was about eight months. I’ve seen people who have been engaged for only three months and then boom, temple wedding pictures. I don’t know exact statistics and I’m too lazy to look them up, but marriages tend to be solid. Utah has a high divorce rate, but there are plenty of Mormons outside of Utah who have short engagement periods and make it last forever.

On the downside, literally nobody knows anything about sex. I turned 21 this year, and I am an educated single liberal woman, and I didn’t even know until recently that some of the church leaders used to say that oral sex was taboo. Lately, the attitude has been adjusted to say, “As long as you aren’t involving anybody else, what you do in your bedroom is your business,” which is of course how it should have been in the first place. But it was something I used to worry about, because I knew that women aren’t going to just be satisfied with their husbands ramming it into them and nine months later babies, and I was concerned because as a woman who hopes someday to become a wife and mother I would also like to experience great sex with my future husband. I read a fun book by an LDS lady called “And They Were Not Ashamed: Strengthening Marriage Through Sexual Fulfillment.” It was a good read and enlightening for me about LDS people and sexuality.

16. They love each other, but not like that

Man, I wish I could ask my grandparents about their marriage, but they both have hearing disabilities. Theirs was arranged when they were 16 (gd) and 15 (gm) around 60 years ago in rural Vietnam. They love each other very much, but not really in a romantic way. They argue a lot, but one would flip their shit if the other got hurt. None of them forced arranged marriages on any of my aunts and uncles (I have eight total, so they got busy, haha) .

17. Looks like he wasn’t so beta after all

I’m Indian, born and raised in New York. I don’t even speak Hindi, follow Indian customs, or really have ties to the culture. It’s not that I dislike it, I just never got into it.

Anyway, I’m engaged to a beautiful American woman. I’m 23.

Well, before this happened, I found out that my parents and extended family out in India already made a list of girls I was supposed to meet and “choose” from. I shit you not, the list had maybe 12-15 people on it….

Yeah, they brought it up to me.

“Beta [affectionate term for Son/Child], we want you to meet some pretty girls in India.”

Anyway, fast forward to now.

Fuck that, I refuse. Ran off and found someone I loved instead. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

.sguHhgU@ :mih wolloF .golataC thguohT ta recudorP a si leahciM

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