Trends for Cyberpunk | Arranged Marriages

In ToC, we examine up-and-coming trends that just might have made into common western culture by 2020 and beyond. And this is what FOX thinks will be the Next Big Thing:

Because Mom Said So: Are Arranged Marriages the Next Big Trend?

“The best way to find your partner for life could very well be the oldest: the arranged marriage, according to one trend exper: ‘Today is the era of the arranged couple who fall into love around the birth of the first child,’ said Marian Salzman, co-author of “Next Now: Trends for the Future.”

“It sounds traditional, but in some ways so much of the future is back to the past, turbo-charged,” she said.

Arranged marriages have been part of many cultures for thousands of years, primarily born out of the desire and/or need for a financial, political or property-based partnership. As America expanded multi-culturally, this custom filtered through as certain ethnic groups sought to preserve cultural and class traditions.

But, contrary to the “old” arranged marriage, in which children are forbidden from choosing their own partners, the modern arranged marriage is not about being forced into federation. It’s about relying on the matchmaking mastery of Mom and Dad.

“This is about picking a marriage partner — not about falling into bed for a world-class romance,” said Salzman, whose trend forecasts are based on pattern recognition and what stylemakers are talking about. “There is a newfound interest in letting someone else solve the love dilemma,” she explained. “We’re on option overload, and we’re maxed out in terms of time, and we’d all love a partner. So it makes sense to enlist those who know us best to forge a proper and satisfying match.”

One such woman who has been happily hitched for 14 years — thanks to her folks’ marriage pick — is 38-year-old Tomoko Chibana. “I always knew my parents would find me a lovely gentleman, so I was able to concentrate very hard on my professional studies while at university*,” said Chibana, who was born in Japan and now lives in New York City with her husband and their three children.

*Now replace “parents” by “corporation” and you know where this might have evolved into by 2020…

I never had to waste time looking for love. After graduation I started working, got married and had a family.”

*Scarily effective from a mega-corporate point of view, indeed

Chibana believes that one of the primary misconceptions of arranged marriage is that just because it is a traditional concept, it must mean traditional male/female duties. “I am more than just a housewife,” she declared. “I am a career woman who has traveled the world and built my own fortune independent from my husband as well.”(…) Most experts believe arranged marriages will never be commonplace in America.
“We’re too individualistic, too much into personal freedom,” said Dr. Robert Epstein, a visiting psychology scholar at the University of California, San Diego, and host of the satellite radio program “Psyched!”

“On the other hand, I think the way we seek love will change, in part because of what we can learn from arranged marriages in other cultures. We leave love entirely to chance, but in many arranged marriages, people deliberately learn to love over time.”

So is it really possible that just by giving it a go, a solid relationship can grow out of an arrangement?

“There have been many arranged marriages that started out as being for the family, power, property and procreation, and love grew out of that bond,” Veshinski said. “It is believed that assisted marriage is about having others help to go through the stack of potential spouses to find those that meet the criteria for top-10 status, so that the potential bride or groom can have a smaller but more appropriate pool to choose from.”

Salzman said arranged marriage makes sense in a world in which the search for “the one” has disappointed so many people.

“I think of so many of my friends who married for lust or ‘true love,’ and most are now divorced, cheating or lost in therapy,” said Salzman. “Who knows what true love is? Thus we seek true partnership — and we rely upon others to help us pick suitable partners.”