Abida Mian's Blog

An outlier that's living, learning and being myself…

Quora Question: How can I make my fiancee love me

My parents had an arranged marriage. Unlike you and your fiancée, there was no period of getting to know each other prior to marriage. They didn’t go into the marriage being in love, that just took time to develop as they started to build a life and family together.

Having been brought up in the Western world, that whole concept I did find difficult to understand. Here we fall in love first then get married, can it work the other way around? I asked my parents honestly what they thought of each other when they met. My dad said my mother was beautiful but far too skinny. My mother thought my dad was dark and had big lips. WTF! Despite this they went on to have a hugely successful and happy marriage. No major arguments, no infidelity. In the end my mother held my dad’s hand and said she lost her best friend when he died. Despite their lack of attraction at the start, chemistry and love developed during the course of their marriage. When I was a kid, they would dance to Bollywood music, kiss when I wasn’t looking, hold hands. All normal things couples in love do.

My perception of arranged marriage is that it can most definitely work, and that you can put two people together that don’t know each other, and they can fall in love. A few of my non-Asian friends started off in long-term boyfriend-girlfriend relationships for years then got married only to divorce. Supposedly in love before marriage, yet my parents had the reverse.

In your situation, you have time to get to know your fiancée. I’m not sure I could be as bold as my parents and go straight in. However, I do understand four years is a considerable amount of time to wait with no physical aspect if you’re ready now. I’m not sure how old you are, let’s assume late 20’s-early 30’s, in which case 10 years difference, I can understand her reluctance in wanting to get married just yet. How do you get someone to be at the same stage as you? Good luck on that one. You can’t force people to be ready at the drop of a hat. Being in love still doesn’t make people want to get married, some are happy to wait until they’re at the right time in their life. I imagine, your fiancée may just want to enjoy her youth a little while longer before she commits, that’s only fair. I’d be the same in her position.

I understand you can’t be physical, but can you spend time to get to know her for a bit? If you develop a connection, 4 years may change to 2, because she has gotten to know you properly. There’s no guarantee, just a willingness on your part to take a gamble. My honest advice is that if you can’t wait for her to be ready, then tell your parents that you need someone who can marry sooner. Although, personally, I’d like the time to get to know someone at least on a platonic level first to establish if we’re going to be great companionship material (essentially that’s what you need to sustain a long-term relationship). The physical side doesn’t need to be rushed. Four years is a stretch mind, one year sounds more reasonable in your case.

Be open with your parents telling them you’re concerned at the prospect of waiting years to be with a woman. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable request. It may ruffle a few feathers, but at least you’re being honest, that if you wait that amount of time, you cannot guarantee being faithful to your fiancée.

(Note: if a compromise is unable to be met, it may be worth looking at this pragmatically. Now I know she’s 20. Put yourself in her shoes. Were you ready to marry at her age? I know for sure I wasn’t).

Best wishes,

Abi

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