Being The Child Of An Arranged Marriage Made Me Believe In Love

Being The Child Of An Arranged Marriage Made Me Believe In Love

Surprisingly, my parents have taught me a lot about love.

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As much as I hate to admit it, when I was younger I devoured novels and media with romance as their selling points. I enjoyed reading books and watching shows that were chock full of spontaneous meet-cutes, love triangles, and flirtatious banter. But I was thoroughly confused as my expectations of romantic relationships were in direct conflict with my role models for relationships.

My parents have always been my role models in terms of a lot of things, but especially in the context of a relationship. They argue and fight just like everyone else. But they also make up and love each other. They have always been my goal for what a healthy, loving relationship should be like.

As I grew older, I had to face the possibility that their love was not a healthy partnership. People would often look at me in disgust, confusion, or both when I told them my parents had an arranged marriage, and I would be ashamed. What my peers and I didn't realize was that arranged marriages were not the same as forced marriages.

My parents had agreed to be in a relationship set up by their families and grew to love and care for each other. This was a difficult concept for my peers and for me to accept, as we were bred on Western notions of spontaneous romance. Even though I later learned that arranged marriage have significantly higher success rates than non-arranged marriages (though the reasons are debatable.) In reality, most marriages in the United States are not even spontaneous. They happen in the same way that arranged marriages do, through family or friends.

This healthy, loving marriage that I admire is anything but spontaneous.

My parents didn't meet by bumping into each other at a coffee shop or on their first day at a new school. My parents met for the first time at their wedding, almost 25 years ago. Over time, I learned to realize that's okay because love develops in different ways.

Surprisingly, my parents have taught me a lot about love. Your marriage itself can be spontaneous, even if your meeting was not. It doesn't really matter when and where you meet your significant other. What matters is that you communicate, love, respect, and support each other. And they certainly do.

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To The Guy Who Told Me Not To Be Me, Nice Try

He will not silence me.

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He told me to never cut my hair short because it would make me look too masculine.

So, I sent him pictures of three different pixie cuts and asked him which one I should get.


He told me not to wear red lipstick because it made me look like a slut.

So, I bought every shade from blush rose to maroon.


He told me not to buy heels taller than one and a half inches tall because it's unattractive for a girl to be taller then the guy she is with.

My favorite shop was having a sell on a beautiful pair of three-inch stilettos. I bought them.


He told me that I was putting on a few extra pounds and that I shouldn't order dessert on our next dinner date.

Did he honestly think I would say no to the red velvet cake that our waitress offered?


He flirted with the waitress, saying that I should "look more like her."

I wrote down his number on our receipt before we left the restaurant.


He told me not to leave my "feminine products" on the counter because it's embarrassing.

When his friends came over for guys night, I organized my tampons and pads nicely on the bathroom shelf.


He told me that I couldn't talk to my best friend of 12 years because he was a guy.

I invited him to watch a movie with us at the local cinema the following week.


He told me not to order wine at the bar with him and his work friends because he didn't want me to seem "trashy."

I ordered jack and coke instead.


He told me not to be a feminist because it meant that I thought I was better than him.

My new "GIRL PWR" shirt is my favorite.


He told me to be silent.

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He told me nobody cares about what I have to say.

He told me that the things I say don't matter.


So, I wrote a poem about him.

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A Well-Deserved And Long Overdue Thank You To My Boyfriend

I know it's cliché, but he deserves it.

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Thank you for choosing me and loving me unconditionally every day. I do not deserve the love that you radiate, but I am beyond thankful for it. Thank you for showing me kindness in every action and for listening to every pointless story I have. Thank you for being the person I can go to 24/7 with any piece of news. Thank you for being the only person who can make me laugh when I am not in the mood at all. Thank you for picking up all of my pieces and wiping all of my tears. Thank you for making sure I always feel loved.

Thank you for believing in pinky promises just as much as I do and for making sure you never break them. Thank you for always reassuring me even though it gets annoying. Thank you for believing in me and pushing me out of my comfort zone. Thank you for knowing when I need a confidence boost, when I need a push, or when I just need a shoulder to cry on. Thank you for taking the time to learn everything about me.

Thank you for never giving up on me no matter how grumpy I get or how hard our week has been. Thank you for never going to sleep mad and always saying "I love you" before we leave. Thank you for the tight squeezes and play fights. Thank you for the deep belly laughs and jam sessions in the car. Thank you for the late-night phone calls when I can't sleep and for doing everything you can to make me better when I'm sick. Thank you for loving me no matter what and no matter when. Thank you for all of the memories. Thank you for holding on tight and never letting go.

Thank you for being everything I could ever want and for showing me what love really is.

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