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Arranged Marriage Lessons What we can learn from this age-old tradition

head and shoulders of couple standing back to back with shared red blindfold on

REVA SETH, AUTHOR of First Comes Marriage: Modern Relationship Advice from the Wisdom of Arranged Marriages, says this relationship model can teach us all a few things:

• "Arranged marriage couples have a realistic sense of what another person can give them," says Seth. They don't expect their spouse to fulfill their every need, she adds, and are more apt to take ownership of their own happiness.

• In arranged marriages, newlyweds, having only met once or twice before their wedding (if at all), often wait months before getting physical, so their relationship is built upon things other than sex. "One person described it to me as like a pot of rice," Seth says. "It doesn't start off boiling, but over time it grows."

• "Because of the way arranged marriages come together--families and communities make the match--there is always the sense that the couple is part of a bigger plan," says Seth. "Love matches are very inwardly focused, which puts a lot of pressure on a couple."