Summary

The article describes certain peculiarities of creating arranged marriages using the life examples author witnessed personally through researching modern type of dating using online services. The approach to selecting life partners, according to the author’s father, was a rather routine procedure involving personal meetings with potential candidates and selecting the best match possible. The actual marriage would also take place in a matter of days. Mr. Ansari also states that couples that were formed as a result of arranged marriage tend to live together happily for the longer time than those who made the decision on their own. As a contradiction to making such important decisions, the author describes a part of the regular day when he decides to choose a place to dine. This involves communication with peers, browsing the internet looking for other people’s responses. Yet by the time a decision is made, it is too late to implicate it. Trying to draw the conclusions from this situation, the author compares decision-making processes during the routine, daily life to the process of creating a family by choosing life partners.

One of the discoveries made in the course of the research was the fact that people in the modern society tend to spend a lot of time looking for the great partners. However, this does not necessarily have to end with marriage. This also delays the marriage age compared to the one our fathers had. Moreover, due to the modern technology development, lots of people attempt looking up a partner online, for instance using their smartphones. Such sort of technologies and special apps allow making the search oriented on the particular subjects who correspond to the certain range of requirements and expectations. On the other hand, online dating brings certain inconveniences like the uneven distribution of attention between men and women. Also, as many users rely on the automated choices the sites offer, they might be disappointed with such options as this does not account their personal preferences. Another point that might bring aggravation and even motivate users to leave the online dating service is the necessity to check on their profiles regularly, responding to messages etc., which is extremely time-consuming.

Scholars believe people can be divided into “satisficers”, or the ones who try to make up the best with the choice they made, and “maximizers”, looking for the best options prior to making a choice. Still, even when people try to find somebody who fits them best, they do not necessarily realize what their needs are. Over time, various factors have been included by the online services while creating patterns for the optimal selection of partners, and one of them was the type of people that service user was looking for on their website, as this would reveal the core interest of the user. As Ansari mentions, a huge collection of various parameters that are supposed to indicate the person’s preferences and interests does not necessarily impact the search results positively. In spite of those factors, about 90% of the successful choice is based on the pictures that services users provide. Moreover, modern mobile apps allow identifying nearby users and browsing through their pictures without the need to research their profiles first. Ansari suggests that such simple search gets us to the manner used by the previous generations.

The US reflect a global trend of late marriages, as well as has the lowest numbers of registered marries since 1970s. there is a replacement to the traditional marriage, which is cohabitation. This allows people to experiment and learn more about their partners. Still, many people keep living alone, in solitude. Ansari believes that relationship may be analyzed in stages, with the first one lasting a year or so being the romantic one. Next, love of passion may be replaced with one of companionship. However, passionate love may be simply worn off as people learn more about each other. Our brain starts analyzing the situation then, trying to identify if the relationship is a proper one and worth being kept. The author says that Haidt believes those who manage to pass this stage are likely to live on happily with their partners. He concludes with the conclusion that continuous investment in the relationship is the key to their success.