Dr Rajiv Desai

An Educational Blog

MATCHMAKING

MATCHMAKING:

 

Prologue:

When I was waiting for Indian premiere train Rajdhani Express on a railway station in the month of march, year 2000 to meet my fiancee ; I received a telephone call from her and she told me that no need to come to meet her in her hometown as she has changed her mind and she will return the engagement ring. Since it was too late to cancel the train ticket, I decided to continue journey and boarded train to reach her hometown to meet her. Her family told me that they like me and she changed her mind due to her impulsive behavior but now she is willing to marry me. So I let go her intemperate outburst and went ahead with the marriage. The marriage broke down in one year when I was abroad and the rest is history. It was my mistake to ignore warning sign. Having a trauma of a broken marriage myself and having suffered tremendously due to broken marriage, I know the importance of finding a suitable life partner more than most matchmakers in the world.

 

I will not discuss relationship between parents & children or between siblings, in-laws, employees and colleagues. Also, I will not discuss homosexual matchmaking.

 

Relationship is association between two individuals of opposite sex based on love, liking or social commitment. Friendship implies a common ground between individuals and consists of mutual liking, mutual understanding, mutual compassion, trust, respect, and unconditional acceptance. However, the distinction between friendship and relationship is blurred when two individuals of opposite sex are found together frequently. It is difficult to believe that two individuals of opposite sex meet each other frequently but they are not seeing each other. Boyfriend means a woman’s regular companion with whom she has romantic and/or sexual relationship. Girlfriend means a man’s regular companion with whom he has romantic and/or sexual relationship. The boyfriend-girlfriend relationship is closer than friendship.

 

About one third to one fourth of the world’s population is below 18 years and as they grow up, all of them will need to find a partner in either intimate relationship or live-in relationship or marriage. Marriageable age (marriage age) is the age at which a person is allowed to marry legally, either as of right or subject to parental or other forms of consent. It varies from country to country but most of Europe & America have marriage age of 18 years for males and 16 years for females. In India, it is 21 years for males and 18 years for females. The marriage age should not be confused with the age of consent.

 

Matchmaking:

Matchmaking is any process of introducing two people to each other for the purpose of marriage. In cultures where arranged marriages are the rule, the astrologer often claimed that the stars sanctified matches that both parents approved of, making it quite difficult for the possibly-hesitant children to easily object. Clergy probably played a key role in most Western cultures, as they continue to do in modern ones, especially where they are the most trusted mediators in the society. Both astrologers and clergy are traditional professional matchmakers. Traditional non-professional matchmakers include family members, friends, co-workers, neighbours etc. The best matchmaker is a matchmaker who knows both people very well and who is brutally honest about it. Modern matchmaking services include online dating service, online matchmaking service, online matrimonial sites, marriage bureau etc which can actually find people who are compatible. Internet matrimony sites have millions of member and therefore, the number of prospects that you found interesting and who could be a good match for you is large, much larger than the potential people you can contact through your friend, social and relative circle. Traditional matchmaking usually bypasses dating while modern matchmaking usually includes dating. We all know some couples who seem so mismatched that we wonder how they ever got together, yet who have learned to enjoy each other and live together happily. Still others, by contrast, appear to be the perfect pair until we hear they’re splitting up or getting a divorce. Matchmaking protocol must have high degree of sensitivity & specificity in arranging a suitable match to prevent false positive & false negative match. False positive match means the couple apparently looks made for each other but will break soon. False negative match means the couple apparently looks a mismatch but the relationship will be long lasting. However, many people prefer to go to dances & socials rather than matchmaking services. These events present an immediate opportunity to meet several different potential partners and to determine for yourself if any of them are likely matches.The matchmaking circle is an exclusive social club for women focusing on friendship, fun & the joys of being single while searching for a special man by empowering women by increasing their dating odds. Luck is a sign of imperfection in life and therefore at the end of a day, everybody needs good luck to find a suitable life partner.  

 

Astrology and horoscope:

Astrology is a belief which holds that the relative positions of celestial bodies (planets & stars) can provide information about personality, human affairs, and other terrestrial matters. A practitioner of astrology is called an astrologer. Astrology is generally considered a pseudoscience or superstition by the scientific community. However, good astrologers are good psychologists and people need them to solve problems/stresses in their lives. The word horoscope is derived from Greek words meaning “a look at the hours”. The horoscopic astrological tradition deals with two dimensional diagrams of the heavens or horoscopes, representing the positions of the Sun, Moon, planets, the astrological aspects, and sensitive angles at the time of an event, which is usually the moment of a person’s birth characterized by precise time of birth on a specific date at a specific place because the alignments of the heavens at that moment were thought to determine the nature of the subject in question and predicts  subject’s future based on the relative positions of the planets. However, since the advent of elective caesarean section (CS) for the delivery of a child, the time of birth has become pawn in the hands of the obstetrician who may perform CS today or tomorrow as per his convenience or convenience of the pregnant mother and therefore time of birth has lost its significance and hence worthlessness of horoscope. Nonetheless, people believe that marriages are made in heaven and astrologer will help them to find the best life partner. Horoscope Matching is very deep and intensely rooted in Hindu society. Before entering in to marriage relationship, an astrologer is referred to for his analysis of the horoscopes of the boy & the girl and matching them. It is done to ensure a harmonious, balanced and healthy marriage relationship including longevity, compatibility, health, child birth, separative tendencies and financial stability. Astrological compatibility consideration is not only a mere ancestral practice but is a way to get the knowledge regarding the nature, features, love and the social communication attributes of the people. According to Hinduism, marriage between two individuals is a blessed relationship while Christians believe that marriage is a gift from God that should not be taken for granted and Islam considers marriage as a contract between a man and a woman. However, in the culture of Hindu marriage, there are wrong traditions like Dowry (demanding money/ gift), Satipratha (committing self-immolation after husband’s death) and childhood marriage.

 

What is the most important decision of your life?

Not choosing your career. Not making money. Not solving the menace of terrorism. Not saving the world from economic recession. Not solving energy/water crisis. The most important decision of your life is to find a suitable life partner. A strong, healthy relationship can be one of the best supports in your life. Good relationships improve your life in all aspects, strengthening your health, your mind and your connections with others as well. However, it can also be one of the greatest drains if the relationship is not working and wrong relationship may lead to health problems, economic ruin, substance abuse, infidelity, STD, career destruction, etc. A novel government scheme in the Netherlands is offering unemployed Dutch women a €1,400 ($2,382) for fashion and beauty makeover so they can find a solvent husband and get off welfare. Dutch know from national statistics that people in a relationship have better health, more happiness, make more money and live longer lives.

 

The trillion dollar question is; how to find a perfect life partner?

 The hardest thing for many people nowadays seems to find their best life partner. I can solve mysteries of universe but I cannot find a suitable life partner for me. Both men and women use physical attractiveness as a measure of how ‘good’ another person is. How long will relationship last if it is based merely on looks?  There is no such thing as the perfect person because we all have flaws but the hallmark of matchmaking game is matching complementary flaws. The word ‘flaw’ is used in matchmaking context and not otherwise. For example, if I am a very angry personality and I marry a very cool woman, then, even though too much anger and too much coolness are flaws, it matches well and the relationship will be successful. Another example, if I am a very greedy person and I marry a philanthropist woman, then, even though too much greediness and too much generosity are flaws, it matches well and the relationship will be successful. However, some flaws can be deadly to a long-term happy relationship and must be avoided. For example; sexual promiscuity, alcoholism, domestic violence etc must be avoided.

 

Marriage is a wonderful thing and every person wants to find a suitable life partner for themselves as it is a very serious lifetime decision for both partners. Marriage is not only about two personalities, but it is about two families and in some cases cultures joining together as one. Marriages are said to be made in heaven; but once a boy or girl reaches the marriageable age, the parents or the children themselves look for someone with whom they can share their life. Marriage is a long journey where a couple faces many ups and downs and grows together. To lead a happy and satisfied married life, there are many ways to find a suitable life-partner right from traditional method of getting help from family/ relatives/ friends, placing advertisement in newspaper, enrolling at marriage bureau, register on internet matrimonial sites, online dating, online matchmaking, socializing with college friends etc. Remember, it is the matter of whole life and a wrong decision can ruin the entire life of many people. Physical features like appearance and attractive figures may be a factor for sudden attraction but in long run that is not important. Choose a suitable life partner who is not only beautiful on the outside but also within, one who will stick by your side for the rest of your life and be able to have a better understanding of you. Choose a life partner who is able to look into your eyes and can honestly say that you’re the right choice for him or her. Choose a partner who looks at you with affection and kindness in his/her eyes. Choose an optimistic person because optimism is the facilitator of all the emotional intelligence competencies and optimists live longer, enjoy better health, heal more quickly, and accomplish more. Usually choosing a life partner is a matter of subjectivity rather than objectivity and there is a similarity of subjectivity among individuals brought up in the same culture. Every person is a combination of virtues and vices in various proportions, but how much you understand about the real nature of your partner is more important. Ask yourself if you can respect this person for his/her religious beliefs, his/her life goals, and the values that he/she spends time on. If the answer is no then move on. First step in matchmaking is to define your life partner. You need to know what kind of partner you want to share your life with and what kind of life you want the two of you to share. You need to make positive efforts to find suitable partner rather than looking out for your prospective partner when you are in social situations. Most women do more research to find a good gardener or builder than a life partner. However, there is no way to understand that your partner will be a suitable spouse. No matter how hard you try to understand what it would be like to be married to someone, it’s not the same as actually being married to that person. So the best thing is to get into as many real-life situations with your partner as possible, and see how the two of you get along in whether good situations or bad. The more you see and interact with a person, the more likely he/she is to become your intimate partner. The old way of dating and mating simply doesn’t work anymore and therefore most singles are using trial and error method in search for love. It is typical in our society to feel a conflict between what we want to do (our heart) and what we feel is practical (our mind).  Remember the golden rule, in event of clash between your heart and your mind, be true to yourself and do what your mind says. If you can’t be happy with the person the way he/she is now, don’t get married. Don’t expect him/her to change for you. People do change, but there is no guarantee and therefore decide if you can accept your prospective partner’s idiosyncrasies. Remember, first impression is not the correct impression and not the last impression. Love at the first sight is not enough to sustain life long relationship. Also remember, a one sided relationship is not a relationship at all, it’s a speculation and therefore do not waste time in coercing a reluctant partner because even though coercion may work, the marriage will ultimately breakdown. The most important issue before any type of marriage is that a key fact is left out during the process of the marriage, only to be learned afterwards. An example might be if one of the spouses has a medical condition that is not disclosed before marriage. Although the marriage may not have occurred had that condition been disclosed prior to marriage, it is very difficult to leave afterwards and there may be no legal recourse.   

 

Arranged marriage:

Arranged marriage is a marriage arranged by someone other than the couple getting wedded usually avoiding the process of courtship or dating. Today, arranged marriage is still practiced in South Asia, the Middle East and East Asia to some extent. Although matchmaking primarily based on economic factor is harshly criticized, such considerations are often significantly influence the rank order of a potential spouse. Factors taken into account at the time of matchmaking before arranged marriage are family reputation, vocation, wealth, religion, any disability, horoscope matching & caste in Indian culture, diet (veg/nonveg), age & height, language, urban/rural background, education etc. A recent survey of people between 14 and 34 years old by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies found that 65 per cent believed the final decision on marriage should be taken by parents. In India, you don’t just get married to the person; you get married to the whole family. That’s why arranged marriage works better in India because your parents choose a person from the same kind of culture, with the same priorities.

Proponents of arranged marriage say that individuals can be too easily influenced by the effects of love to make a logical choice. Modern arranged marriages, in contrast to classical ones, are not based on proscriptions but on pragmatic considerations. Arranged marriages may reduce the unhealthy stress of competing for female attention in humans. Arranged marriages are often said to be more stable than love marriages, since matchmaking is done on several dimensions of compatibility, instead of on a whim. Defenders often cite the high divorce rates of love-marriages (50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce) as compared to arranged marriage (divorce rate of 5 to 7 %). Parents can be trusted to make a match that is in the best interests of their children. Proponents hold that parents have much practical experience to draw from and not be misguided by emotions and hormones.

Opponents of arranged marriage say there are times when the choosers select a match that serves their interests or the family’s interests and not necessarily for the couple’s pleasure and find this naturally unacceptable. A forced mismatch, based on the values important to the arranger, may spoil life of two individuals. Coercion to marry is commonly considered a violation of fundamental human rights in most Western societies. A study found that love marriage is more effective for the promotion of accumulation of wealth and societal growth.

 

Dating:

Dating means any social activity that connects two individuals of opposite sex with the aim of each assessing the other’s suitability as a partner to establish a relationship which may result in marriage. There is a certain wisdom in lengthy courtships and if it lasts three, four, five, six or seven years, they feel like there is something there to support a marriage that will last. The longer the period of dating, the greater is the probability of successful marriage. Research shows that elements that lead to divorce reveal themselves during dating and therefore longer is the duration of dating; greater is the likelihood of mismatch becoming evident and therefore the marriage that is doomed to fail in future can be prevented in time. Traditional dating activities include social meeting or entertainment or a meal. Traditional dating may be arranged by a third party, who may be a family member, acquaintance, or professional matchmaker. Modern dating avoids third party but by mutually consenting partners and includes internet dating. Online dating or Internet dating is a dating system which allows individuals to make contact and communicate with each other over the internet, usually with the objective of developing a personal romantic or sexual relationship and may lead to marriage in future. A dating system is any systematic means of improving matchmaking via rules or technology where the objective of the meeting, be it live or phone or chat based, is to go on a live date with someone, with usually romantic implications. Dating system includes video dating, phone dating, online dating and speed dating. Blind date means where the people involved have not met each other previously and match could have been arranged by mutual friends, relatives or by a dating system. Virtual date means prospective partners meet each other over computer to break the ice before meeting personally.

Researchers estimate that in a single year, about 120,000 people are married as a result of meeting online, through an online dating service. And worldwide, more than 20 million people visit at least one online dating service each month. A survey in the year 2006 found that while 52 percent of the 16 million people who have used online dating sites had mostly positive experiences, 29 percent report mostly negative experiences. Most said that many online daters lie about their marital status. Nonetheless, it appears that twenty years from now, it would be silly to look for loving partner without looking for it online. Internet has become a meeting ground to meet your better half. After successful dating, if you do not want to marry, then, consider live-in relationship.  

Safety Tips for Online Dating resulting in a personal meeting:

Those who are meeting their online dates for the first time need to take certain sensible precautions.

Online dating should not become date-rape, fraud, stalking, identity theft, duped by scammers, sexual violence or sexual blackmail.

1) Meet in a public place for the first date. If preferred, meet in a public place for the second and third dates as well.

2) Ask to see several photos before meeting anyone.

3)  No secrecy. Tell a friend about the planned meeting or date. Make a plan to call the friend after the date, or have the friend call during the date; to be sure everything is working out as expected.

 

Matchmaking dating:

Matchmaking dating is confused with traditional online dating but it is in a completely different ball game all together. It does have its roots in online dating but has become a separate category altogether. Matchmaking dating is when someone else looks for people for you to date. Relationships involve people and no matter how scientific database with computer software is in matching up people, it is the people who are best at matching people. While online dating sites allow unlimited fantasizing, matchmakers encourage clients to take their heads out of the clouds. Their focus is on quality over quantity. They are not out to promote casual dating or dating just for fun. Their primary focus is to establish a system that is primarily based on people that is effective and affordable. Matchmaking dating begins like online dating but after the initial information is uploaded, the client actually meets a matchmaker. After the interview the matchmaker takes care of the rest. Matchmakers want to see the relationships they produce last long. They want to see them be fulfilling, enjoyable and mature. Matchmaking dating has proven to be the most effective way to date in the 21’st century. It is highly professional, effective and scientifically based.

 

Anonymous matchmaking:

When two people want to initiate first steps in a relationship, neither person takes action because of shyness, fear of rejection, or other societal pressures or constraints. What is needed is a safe, simple, confidential, and non-judgmental way for people to reveal their true feelings and interests without risk of embarrassment or rejection. This is achieved by anonymous matching. Anonymous matching is a matchmaking method facilitated by computer databases, in which each user confidentially selects people they are interested in dating and the computer identifies and reports matches to pairs of users who share a mutual attraction. The anonymous approach gives you a safe way to back out in a well mannered way, in case you find that the other individual does not correspond to the qualities sought after.

 

All the love experts agree that your own identity comes first. You need a firm sense of yourself before you can function successfully in a romance. Good relationships don’t just appear out of the blue but you have to work in order for it to be called a good relationship. Remember, you didn’t choose to love a carbon copy of yourself, but a live human being with distinct needs and wants of their own. Matchmakers say 4 out of 100 marriages fail in India while in America 50 out of 100 marriages fail.There was a time when marriage was regarded as a divine union of two souls for life. The reality today is that couples do not hesitate to seek divorce at the slightest provocation. The present-day couples believe that it is better to end a relationship than carry on with the burden of a dead relationship for life. Both the partners have their professional careers to manage and don’t have the time and patience to make attempts to revive the relationship. Many marriages fail because couples in a relationship are unwilling to ‘give up’ on things that make them who they are. Couples who engage in a live-in relationship are more likely to split up than those who are tied into the holy matrimony.  

 

Mature women routinely fall prey to manipulative lovers who are past masters in the game of seduction, with no desire for commitment or emotional attachment whatsoever. Love is a wonderful feeling but with little or no commitment, it is relegated to an amusing pastime and no more. The human biological chase game has the male species looking for a female to pursue and the female waiting to be wooed, eventually only to procreate. However, men and women may use these natural instincts to bait and bed multiple partners depending on personality and circumstances. One must demand time, respect, love, transparency and commitment, if stability is what one is looking for. A person will usually have several relationships over the course of their life. With each relationship, a person is learning; learning what is needed to maintain a relationship and how to deal with problems. A relationship in which you get back just after a break-up is known as a rebound relationship. The key ingredient of rebound relationship is the fact that your ‘ex’ is still thinking of you. Rebound relationship does not work into a long-lasting relationship and tend to have a high failure rate of 8 out of 10 cases failing. I do not recommend rebound relationship for matchmaking.

 

Who suffers more when the relationship breaks?

It has been assumed that women are more vulnerable to the emotional rollercoaster of relationships than men but contrary to popular belief, the ups and downs of romantic relationships have a greater effect on the mental health of young men than women, according to a new study published in the June issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. For young men, their romantic partners are often their primary source of intimacy; in contrast to young women who are more likely to have close relationships with family and friends. Even though men sometimes try to present a tough face, unhappy romances take a greater emotional toll on men than women. This contradicts the stereotypic image of stoic men who are unaffected by what happens in their romantic relationships. Also, Women express emotional distress with depression while men express emotional distress with substance abuse problems. Therefore, even though men may look stronger and braver than women, men suffer the most when a relationship is rocky. It is only natural that men are weaker than women in many areas; the fact that men have a shorter lifespan than women indicates that in a sense, women are more durable than men. A study tested blood pressure in 44 women and 26 men who were recently separated or divorced to see how their blood pressure responded to the difficult events. Men increased their blood pressure significantly in midst of emotional trauma while women did not show any change. Another study from the National Center for Health Statistics reported in the British Journal of Preventive and Social Medicine that widowed & divorced men are at a much higher risk of death from coronary heart disease than their counterparts widowed & divorced women, in most age groups. So for a man having coronary risk factors, rocky marriage is an additional coronary risk. However, another study found that the presence of at least one loving, compassionate word or phrase during an argument between a couple can lower a woman’s risk of heart disease. So the matchmaker must be extra-cautious in finding out suitable match for a person having coronary risk factor.

 

Non-romantic sexual relationship:

A study found that a quarter of the respondents became sexually involved while casually dating and a fifth did so as friends or acquaintances. This is because a major shift toward non-romantic sexual partnerships where people becoming sexually involved when they are just casually dating or not dating at all. In the survey of 783 heterosexual adults, one in 10 men and women reported that both they and their partner had slept with other people. Overall, 17% of men and 5% of women acknowledged that they had been with someone else. The biggest risk with non-romantic sexual relationship is increased susceptibility to acquire STD including HIV. So while matchmaking, past history of prospective spouse’s non-romantic sexual relationship does matter because risk of acquiring STD including HIV is high.

 

What qualities will you look for in your prospective partner for long-lasting relationship and successful marriage?

I am enlisting several qualities and factors required for successful long lasting relationship, to be present in both prospective partners who want to tie a matrimonial knot.

1)  Compatibility:

Compatibility deals with the ease in which two people make adjustments towards each other. More often than not, couples who are compatible get to adjust to one another and this compatibility issue helps the couple to get along with each other really well.

2) Commitment:

 If you lose commitment to the relationship or one another, then, this could be a big relationship problem. Losing commitment to one another is like losing the trust, and love that you have given to one another. Intentionality is an EQ competency that means saying what you mean and meaning what you say. It also means being accountable for the motives behind your actions.

3) Personality:

 Of course, looks matter but personality is much more than looks. Understanding your own personality type and the personality type of the other person involved in the relationship will bring a new dynamic to the situation, which will allow better understanding and communication. “Opposites attract” (complementarity) has been batted around for centuries and in fact, it’s very true when it comes to love relationships. We naturally are drawn towards individuals who have strengths which we are missing. When two opposites function as a couple, they become a better-rounded, functioning unit. Introvert attracted towards extrovert. Angry man attracted towards a cool woman. Complementary partners preferred closer interpersonal relationship than non-complementary ones. Couples who reported the highest level of loving and harmonious relationship were more dissimilar in dominance than couples who scored lower in relationship quality. On the other hand, people frequently settle down with individuals who are on their same wave-length (similar preferences). Principles of similarity and complementarity seem to be contradictory on the surface but in fact, they agree on the dimension of warmth. Similarity seems to carry considerable weight in initial attraction, while complementarity assumes importance as the relationship develops over time.

4)  Money:

So many rich bollywood actresses and European fashion models were interested in me but things did not work out as I did not have substantial money. Money problems can start very early in a relationship. It can start with simple things such as paying for a date, to the wedding costs, to paying for the luxurious life style of a rich spouse. My ex-wife was so much greedy for money that she coerced me to leave government job and travel abroad to make more money. Most couples experience some tension over money. In fact, money is the single leading cause of fights among engaged people and couples in their marriage, according to a study in the University of Denver. So money matters. The rich should avoid marrying the poor and vice versa.

5)  Mutual respect:

 Respect in a relationship means that each person values who the other is and understands; and would never challenge; the other person’s boundaries. The relationship will be successful if there is mutual respect and they appreciate their differences.

6)  Substance abuse (alcohol/tobacco):

A recent national study found that approximately 21% of Americans experienced at least one alcohol-related problem in the prior year, and roughly 1 in 3 Americans engaged in risky drinking patterns. The negative effects of drinking exert a toll, not only on the drinker, but also on their partner and other family members. Recent data suggest that approximately one child in every four (28.6%) in the United States is exposed to alcohol abuse or dependence in the family.

Family problems that are likely to co-occur with alcohol problem include: Violence, Marital conflict, Infidelity, Jealousy, Economic insecurity, Divorce, Fetal alcohol effect etc. Thus, drinking and family functioning are strongly and reciprocally linked. Not surprisingly, alcohol problems are common in couples that present for marital therapy and marital problems are common in drinkers who present for alcohol treatment.

My personal experience as a doctor is shocking when I see a recently engaged couple where the future husband is alcoholic and admitted in a hospital with alcoholic liver disease and the young prospective bride is looking after him. I did not have courage to tell young woman to break engagement and felt pity for her bleak future. Also, a smoking life partner is not only going to ruin his health but also ruin the health of his wife by the way of passive smoking. For heaven’s sake, please do not marry an alcoholic or a smoker.

7) Trust:

There’s no way you can have a healthy relationship if you don’t trust each other. Jealousy is cited as one of the most frequent causes of the breakup of romantic relationships. Finding members of the opposite sex attractive is fine, but avoid straying, even emotionally. However, couples in loving relationships who trust each other, can even survive an affair; without anger or bitterness.

8)  Sex:

Some people say that sexual desire is a primitive biological instinct of humans and we should not get hijacked by sexual attraction. I believe the contrary. If you are not sexually attracted towards your prospective partner, don’t marry. Remember, sex brings the couple closer together, releases hormones that help their bodies both physically & mentally healthy, and keeps the chemistry of a couple healthy.

9)  Resolve rows:

 Remember, if you get into a heated exchange; it takes between 20 to 30 minutes to calm down the physiological arousal of anger. If your partner is willing to resolve dispute next day, choose him because by that time, anger has cooled down and both may recognize good qualities of each other. Remember, anger management matters and better the anger management is; greater is the intimacy of relationship. Avoid argumentative and stubborn life partner.

10)  Past:

 Remember, those who forget past have no future. So knowing past is important. But making a mountain out of mole from past mistake is not wise. Also, all have skeletons in their cupboards and so don’t go for witch hunting. A matchmaking company surveyed 144 adult females and found that 62 percent of respondents said they would “never tell the truth” if asked about the number of past relationships. Speaking about ex-boyfriends to a current partner still amounts to a taboo in a society that is never generous to women with many dating experiences. However, it’s a bit different for men where having many girlfriends in the past could mean they are sexually competitive. So there is a double standard as far as past sexual promiscuity is concerned between men and women. Many traditional men are crazy to find a virgin wife. The truth is that virginity of a future wife is not a gateway to a successful marriage. It is not uncommon to find a woman who had sex with another man losing her virginity but vows to remain faithful to her husband. Also, even though virginity is a virtue, there are many virtues more important in life than virginity. History of past abusive relationship does matter and one should avoid trusting a prospective spouse who had past abusive relationship. If you are marrying someone who has children from previous marriage, then, meeting the kids and getting to know them is an indispensable part of such a relationship. You have to be quite sure that the kids are okay with you before proceeding further.   

11) Equality:

 Things get bad really fast when a relationship turns into a power struggle, with one person fighting to get his or her way all the time. Also, men are still not entirely comfortable with the independent modern woman. Husbands can share in the house work and wives can pitch in with the finances. Both partners should equally share the decision-making power. Avoid marrying a person who is too dominant to consider equality.

12) Good communication:

Justice should not only be done but also appear to be done. In the same way, loving somebody is not enough but you should learn how the person communicates love and likes to receive love. If you’re not sure what he or she means, then, speak honestly and openly so that the miscommunication is avoided in the first place. Many problems in relationship are due to miscommunication. Go for a person who is excellent in communication.

13) Compromise:

Healthy relationships are built on compromise. However, it takes work on each person’s part to make sure that there is a reasonable exchange. You are more likely to get your needs met if you respect what your partner needs, and compromise when you can. Run for a person who believes that marriage is a sacrifice. A give and take. An uncompromising life partner will be a liability. Compromise doesn’t mean you should feel like you’re losing out on being yourself. 

14)  Expect ups and downs:

Events like job loss or severe health problems can affect both partners and make it difficult to relate to each other. Different people cope with stress differently, and misunderstanding can rapidly turn to frustration and anger. Flexibility is essential to adapt to the change that is always taking place in any relationship, and it allows you to grow together through both the good times and the bad times. A partner who is flexible enough to endure ups and downs is most welcome.

15) Time & support:

 Go for a person who is willing to spend quality time with you and support you either in good times or bad times.

16)  Partner’s family:

 Go for a person who is willing to listen to your family respectfully, let them know that he cares about what they think and what they would do. There is no point marrying a person who is going to humiliate your family members as you will always be torn between your spouse and your family.

17)  Friends:

Giving up your personal friends should not be a requirement of being in a relationship. Neither should it be assumed that your partner will like your personal friends as much as you do, so insisting that your friends should be their friends might not be reasonable.

18)  Lie:

 Relationship can survive on lies provided lies are not caught. Woman must think twice before lying about her virginity to future spouse. Most people approach the topic of lying and infidelity somewhat reluctantly; driven by their curiosity or by a recent, unexpected discovery. And to make matters more complicated, detecting infidelity is never as easy as people think. Not only can it be difficult to investigate a spouse, but doing so also raises a host of relational, ethical, and legal concerns which are important to consider before starting monitoring a spouse. Avoid marrying a person if you believe that person has a habit of lying.

19) Expectations:

 Unspoken and unacknowledged expectations take a large toll in relationships. In having expectations, you’re expecting your partner to be a certain way in order to believe they love and care about you. If you don’t get what you expect, you conclude all kinds of negative things about the relationship that may not be true. You will have a better chance of leading a good life with someone who has the matching expectation.

20)  Behavior:

Choosing a partner who is polite, serene, caring and understanding will have a good impact towards your romantic relationship.

21) Physical compatibility:

This is a very important quality for couples to possess. Couples who are physically incompatible can have a tumultuous relationship despite getting all other factors right.

22)    Discussion:

Initiate open discussion with prospective spouse about children (if, when, how many), child-rearing, money, work, religion, where to live, and relationships with extended family. The purpose of these discussions is to uncover any fundamental differences between you and your prospective spouse so that you can decide whether you want to marry the prospective partner.

 

PEOPLE CAN SEE THAT MATCHMAKING IS NOT EASY AND YOU HAVE TO CONSIDER ALL ABOVE POINTS BECAUSE A BAD DECISION CAN RUIN YOUR LIFE.

 

Unhealthy relationship:

A relationship is unhealthy when it involves mean, disrespectful or abusive behavior including verbal, physical and emotional abuse. When a person in relationship uses verbal insults, mean language, nasty putdowns, gets physical by hitting or slapping, or forces someone into sexual activity, it’s an important warning sign of verbal, emotional, or physical abuse. Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only and that is to gain and maintain total control over you. The most telling sign is fear of your partner. If by any chance, you feel fear of your prospective spouse, break the relationship immediately. Remember, love and fear are mutually exclusive. If you fear someone, you don’t love him and no need to go for marriage. Shocking statistics shows that nearly 80% of girls who have been physically abused in their intimate relationships continue to date their abuser. Another study by Oklahoma State University found that 90% of the women were interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with a man who was already in romantic relationship with another woman. What is wrong with young women?  It is time the women change their attitude in relationship. Interesting to note that out of 100 domestic violence situations, approximately 40 cases involve violence by women against men. So abuse in relationship is not one sided but two-sided.

 

SCIENCE OF MATCHMAKING:

Scientists have conducted experiments on strangers falling in love in front of their eyes. There are 3 steps in simulated matchmaking.

1) Find a complete stranger.

2) Reveal to each other intimate details about your lives for half an hour.

3) Then, stare deeply into each other’s eyes without talking for four minutes.

The above study found that many of subject couples felt deeply attracted after the 34 minute experiment and two of these subjects later got married.

So there is something beyond everything we discussed so far. What is it?

Scientists say that human social interactions are shaped not just by words and gestures, but also several other hidden factors such as smell, proximity and even temperature that influence how we relate with others. A study found that when the room was warmer, participants rated the character as more sociable compared with when it was colder. When subjects were sitting next to each other (each at a computer), they rated the individuals in the narratives as being more sociable compared with when the subjects were sitting a few computers apart. The scientists also claimed that a person’s smell can also influence his or her relationship with others. A study in Rice University has compiled a growing body of evidence that humans can indeed communicate through odours, as animals are well known to do. Smell is the most primitive of human senses, and pheromones, present in underarm perspiration, are detected by a small organ composed of a few small pits a few centimeters up the nose. The emotional reaction they provoke can, quite literally, be a ‘turn on’. Another study showed women’s brains respond differently to men’s sweat depending on the circumstances under which the sweat was produced. According to a new study couples can smell each others feelings of fear, happiness and sexual arousal. Familiarity with a partner enhances detection of emotional cues in that person’s smell.

 

Psychologists have shown it takes 4 minutes to decide if you are attracted to someone.

Research has shown this has little to do with what is said, rather

  • 55% is through body language
  • 38% is the tone and speed of their voice
  • Only 7% is through what they say.

So it is not what you say is important as far your love for partner is considered but your body language.

In the newly-emerging science of brain chemistry, researchers are beginning to identify the biochemical processes behind various emotions including attraction, passion, and love. With an irresistible cocktail of neuro-chemicals, our brain entices us to fall in love.

 

There are 3 stages of love namely lust, attraction and attachment. Each stage might be driven by different hormones and neuro-chemicals.

Stage 1: Lust (libido)

This is the first stage of love and is driven by the sex hormones; testosterone in men and estrogen in women. In one study, 66 percent of women and 59 percent of men reported the relationship ended after the first kiss. It was chemical and physical. When asked what was wrong about the kiss, they couldn’t say. But they just didn’t like the other person. Saliva has testosterone and estrogen. When you kiss, you’re having a chemical experience and most of the brain gets involved. Also, a woman is more vulnerable to fall in love just before ovulation, about two weeks before her period because a woman has a cyclical production of sex hormones as compared to men. 

Stage 2: Attraction (romantic love)

This is the amazing time when you are truly love-struck and can think of little else. Scientists think that three main neurotransmitters are involved in this stage; norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. Norepinephrine excites us, while dopamine makes us feel happy. These love chemicals are controlled by a substance which is called PEA or phenylethylamine and it is PEA which controls the transition from lust to love and Phenylethylamine (commonly dubbed the `love molecule’) is released from the brain by deceptively simple actions like the meeting of the eyes or touching of the hands. A very interesting thing is that chocolate is known to have very high level of this chemical and that is the reason why it is considered a perfect gift for your sweetheart. A landmark experiment in Pisa, Italy showed that early love (the attraction phase) really changes the way you think. Newly smitten lovers often idealize their partner, magnifying their virtues and explaining away their flaws making love blind. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter underlying pleasure in general and is released from environmental triggers like a good conversation or a kiss on the lips. Remember, novelty drives up dopamine. If you’re on the edge and want to fall in love, or want her to fall in love with you, novelty can push the brain. That’s why vacations are so romantic. That initial giddiness that comes when you are first falling in love includes a racing heart, flushed skin and sweaty palms. Researchers say this is due to the dopamine, norepinephrine and phenylethylamine you are releasing. Remember, memory stimulates these neurotransmitters in brain and therefore if the relationship is not going well, stimulate the memory of the partner by wearing the dress you wore on first date or revisit the place you went to on your first date. Another study found that people in love have lower levels of serotonin and also, those neural circuits associated with the way we assess others are suppressed. These lower serotonin levels are the same as those found in people with obsessive-compulsive disorders, possibly explaining why those in romantic love “obsess” about their partner. 

Stage 3: Attachment (long partnership & parenting)

Attachment is the bond that keeps couples together long enough for them to have and raise children. Scientists think there might be two major hormones involved in this feeling of attachment; oxytocin and vasopressin. Oxytocin is a powerful hormone released by men and women during orgasm. It probably deepens the feelings of attachment and makes couples feel much closer to one another after they have had sex. The theory goes that the more sex a couple has, the deeper their bond becomes.  Oxytocin and dopamine are complementary in the bonding and love. Dopamine furnishes the kick, oxytocin makes process of a particular mate appealing, in part by triggering feelings of comfort. You need both acting on the reward circuitry at ideal levels to stay in love. There’s evidence that these two neurochemicals stimulate each other’s release, so if one is low, it affects levels of the other. Oxytocin also seems to help cement the strong bond between mother & baby and is released during childbirth. It is also responsible for mother’s breast automatically releasing milk at the mere sight or sound of her young baby. In experiments on animals, if scientists block either oxytocin or dopamine, mothers will ignore their pups.Vasopressin is another important hormone in the long-term commitment stage and is released after sex. So it is possible to fall in love with someone just because you had sex with them, because with orgasm, you get a flood of oxytocin and vasopressin that can cause you to feel attached to the person and one night stand can become life time relationship. Friendships are also built on oxytocin, and can be quite deep bonding but the change from friendship into sexual relationship is an excellent example of the neurochemical shift.  

 

So scientifically speaking, the above mentioned 3 processes of love-making has become a play of neuro-chemicals and hormones in the limbic system of our brains. The limbic system (mammalian brain) is largely the same in all mammals and has been around for millions of years and is the seat of emotions, desires, drives, impulses, love and lust. However, because these processes are independent, these three systems can work simultaneously and with dangerous results. So you can feel deep attachment for a long-term spouse, while you feel romantic love for someone else, while you feel the sex drive in situations unrelated to either partner. This independence means that it is possible to love more than one person at a time, a situation that leads to jealousy, adultery & divorce and also to the possibilities of promiscuity and polygamy, with the likelihood of extra children, and thus a bigger stake in the genetic future that these behaviors bring. These four neurochemicals; dopamine, serotonin, testosterone and estrogen are determinants of specific personality types and their mate attraction patterns. Dopamine-dominants are people who are curious, novelty seekers, creative, liberal, optimistic, spontaneous, mentally flexible and irreverent. Serotonin-dominants are calm, conscientious, conventional, loyal, protective, persistent, cautious, fact-oriented and community-minded. Testosterone-dominants are logical, decisive, exacting, analytical, ambitious, competitive, tough-minded, rank-oriented and emotionally contained. Estrogen-dominants are intuitive, imaginative, introspective, have verbal and people skills, are curious about self and others, and are emotionally expressive. In romantic love attraction, it is not likeness or opposing traits that determine attraction, but the prominent neurochemical within each individual that dictates the choice. Dopamine and serotonin dominants are likely to select people like themselves, while testosterone dominants select their opposites- estrogen dominants. The stages of love vary somewhat between the sexes resulting in notable differences in their choices. Men are more attracted to youth and beauty, while women are more attracted to money, education and position. Interesting to note that even though release of neuro-chemicals in our brains for love-making is genetically determined; social & cultural factors and learning play big roles because humans learn from their sexual and social experiences. Hence, it cannot be overemphasized that love is not just a response to raging hormones under genetic control but in addition, our rational processes learned from past experiences of environment have something to do with it too.     

 

So love, in all its glory, is just a chemical state with genetic roots and environmental influences.

We believe we are choosing a partner but the truth is that we may merely be the happy victims of nature’s lovely plan.

 

And then, there are drugs which may also help people to fall in love, or perhaps fix broken relationships by altering neuro-chemicals in brain. Besides romantic love, oxytocin has also been implicated in social bonds and trust in general and indeed experiments have shown that people are more trusting while under the influence of nasally administered oxytocin. There is a possibility that oxytocin may become a drug for date-rape. In India, oxytocin has been used on young girls to stimulate early puberty and these young girls develop feelings of love, trust and sexual arousal so that they can be used as prostitutes. Common antidepressants SSRIs inhibit the reuptake of serotonin, allowing it to remain in the synapses longer resulting in increased serotonin effects which can jeopardize your ability to form long-term attachments. Ecstasy is the street name for the psychoactive drug 3,4- MethyleneDioxy-N-MethylAmphetamine or MDMA. It belongs to the class of amphetamines and has the potency to function as a stimulant and its psychotic effects are far more consistent than any other drug studied and the sense of euphoria that it evokes is emphatically unique. Ecstasy or MDMA is known to impact the function of Serotonin Transporter protein (SERTs) by blocking the reuptake of the neurotransmitter, thereby, depleting its level. There is a surge in user’s sensitivity to pleasure and a feeling of intimacy is invoked, creating in them a compelling craving for touch. Today the manufacture, sale or possession of MDMA is banned in several countries as research on animal models revealed its toxic effect on the brain. Scientists are researching on the novel concept of ‘love vaccine’ which can stop you from falling in love with the wrong person by suppressing oxytocin & vasopressin in brain with the help of drugs.

 

Brain imaging studies in romantic relationship:

  

MRI scan images highlighting the areas of the brain involved in feeling love.

 

 

Pain empathy responses associated with imagining a loved one as compared to stranger.

 

A functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study found that an estrogen-like compound triggers blood flow to the hypothalamus in men’s brains but not women’s and the testosterone-like compound stimulates blood flow to the same brain region, but only in women and researchers say that these are human pheromones found in the sweat of men and women. Another study used fMRI on 17 people who were intensely “in love” and found that activation specific to the beloved occurred in the right ventral tegmental area and right caudate nucleus, dopamine-rich areas associated with mammalian reward and motivation. In another clinical trial, couples who had been married for at least 21 years were shown pictures of their spouses and two of their friends while researchers studied their fMRI brain scans. Their scans were then compared to younger couples’ who had just fallen in love and had previously taken the same test. When the older couples were shown pictures of their spouses, certain parts of the brain that are associated with romantic love were activated, just as they had been in those who had just fallen in love. And interestingly, the older couples’ scans also showed activity in the area of the brain associated with deep attachment. The good news is that romantic love and deep attachment aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. Brain scanner might go from being research tools to something that anyone could use to find out how well they were loved. Research has shown that there are certain areas of the brain linked with being in love with someone. It is possible that our feelings for our partner are somehow stored in our brain. Researchers have found that when individuals are shown pictures of their loved ones, areas of the brain with a high concentration of receptors for dopamine are activated showing increases blood flow to these areas which is associated with states of euphoria, craving and addiction. High levels of dopamine are also associated with norepinephrine, which heightens attention, short-term memory, hyperactivity, sleeplessness and goal-oriented behavior. In other words, couples in this stage of love focus intently on the relationship and often on little else. Moreover, fMRI images of the brains of these individuals showed that the brain pattern for romantic love overlapped patterns for sexual arousal, feelings of happiness, and cocaine-induced euphoria. This overlap and, at the same time, unique pattern indicates the complexity of the emotions that comprise romantic love. These results did not occur when the individuals were shown pictures of non-romantic loved ones or strangers. Also, the activated regions associated with intense romantic love were mostly on the right side of the brain, while the activated regions associated with facial attractiveness were mostly on the left. So romantic love and attraction towards a beautiful face are two different phenomena. The fMRI images showed more activity in the ventral pallidum portion of the basal ganglia in people with longer romantic relationship & bonding and it is in this region where receptors for the hormone vasopressin exist. The other specific brain areas involved in love-making are the medial insula, the anterior cingulated, frontal lobe, septal areas and finally the amygdala. It is your partner’s brain that enables her to act or say those things that trigger your brain to respond with these chemicals of attraction and attachment.

 

Only about three percent of mammals are monogamous, mating and bonding with one partner for life and humans are not one of these naturally monogamous mammals. However, the hormone vasopressin released after mating makes a man indifferent to all other women except his perceived life partner and hormone oxytocin cements intimate bonding with life partner. Oxytocin production is derived from both emotional and physical cues. A lover’s voice, his/her certain look, or even a sexual fantasy can trigger the release of oxytocin and sexual intercourse certainly releases oxytocin. After good work by vasopressin & oxytocin, chemical reward is created by endorphins which calm and reassure with intimacy, dependability, warmth, and shared experiences. Married couple becomes addicted to the endorphins and marital serenity. It is the absence of endorphins that make long-time partners yearn for each other when apart. Absent endorphins also play a part in grief from the death of a spouse. Another study found that circulating levels of nerve growth factor is elevated among subjects in love suggesting an important role for this molecule in the `social chemistry’ of human beings. Nerve growth factor is known to induce the release of the hormone vasopressin, and vasopressin in turn is known to play a pivotal role in the formation of social bonding. A landmark study on monkeys found that cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) oxytocin levels were persistently reduced in rhesus monkeys with significant social deficit and oxytocin levels were positively related to the expression of affiliative social behaviors. 

 

So scientifically speaking, matchmaking will need production of vasopressin, oxytocin and endorphins in the brains of prospective partners for the relationship to last long. Corollary to this logic means that if the couple is able to generate these neuro-chemicals & hormones in their brains at the time of their togetherness, the relationship will be cemented and long lasting despite obvious mismatch from all other points. It would also mean that if the couple is unable to generate these neuro-chemicals & hormones in their brains at the time of their togetherness, the relationship will break despite obvious perfect match from all points of view. Togetherness does not necessarily mean physical togetherness but also mental togetherness. For example, the partners may be away by 5000 miles but they think about each other, look at each others photographs or fantasize about each other in their mind, all of which can release these neuro-chemicals & hormones in their brains cementing their relationship even though they are miles apart.

 

In the novel concept of ‘fear brain cells’ and ‘comfort brain cells’; fear cells cause increased production of cortisol—the adrenal hormone which, when in excess, feeds the chemistry of energetic depletion, fear, agitation, and anger. The comfort cells, by contrast, produce oxytocin and dopamine—the brain hormones that bring love, compassion, and enlightenment.

 

Fear – Cortisol Love – Oxytocin
Aggression Anti-stress hormone
Arousal, Anxiety, Feeling stressed-out Feeling calm and connected, Increased curiosity
Activates addictions Lessens cravings & addictions
Suppresses libido Increases sexual receptivity
Associated with depression Positive feelings
Can be toxic to brain cells Facilitates learning
Breaks down muscles, bones and joints Repairs, heals and restores
Weakens immune system Faster wound healing
Increases pain Diminishes sense of pain
Clogs arteries, Promotes heart disease and high blood pressure Lowers blood pressure, Protects against heart disease
Obesity, Diabetes, Osteoporosis  

 

I have already discussed earlier that fear of the partner is the most important sign of abusive relationship and neurochemically, it is proved that fear (cortisol) and love (oxytocin) are contrasting each other. Never marry a person whom you fear. The corollary to this logic is the neurochemical difference between consensual sex and rape. During consensual sex, oxytocin is released after sex to cement bonding but during rape, fear is the predominant emotion and not love; and therefore victim woman will release cortisol in blood during & after rape instead of oxytocin. This fact can be used in a criminal trial of rape where the offender is defending rape on the ground of consensual sex. The police must collect blood of the rape victim immediately after rape and determine blood levels of cortisol and oxytocin. If cortisol is elevated and oxytocin level normal, it would suggest rape. If cortisol level is normal and oxytocin level is high, it would suggest consensual sex. More studies are required on this subject to help rape victims.

 

Of all the species only humans are interested in mating at almost anytime rather than certain times of the year. The human male is always ready for the sexual encounter and almost any female is viewed as a potential sexual partner. This is not true for the human female, who also harbors the genetic pool of the species and is trying to select best genes by selecting the best man so that the offspring have best genetic make-up and all this started to happen  millions of years ago so that the process in “hard wired” in the brain, old and fixed. So it is a woman who knows how to test a man and a man who knows how to deal with these tests that produce the strongest offspring. This is why patch-up sex is so good after a fight in a relationship. The woman has proven herself strong by testing the guy and the guy has proven himself strong by dealing with it. Evolution then rewards them with great sexual pleasure because they know each other to be strong and great for mating. Evolutionary theory also suggests that people whose physical features suggest they are healthy are seen as more attractive. The theory suggests that a healthy mate is more likely to possess genetic traits related to health that would be passed on to offspring. It is to our advantage to choose a partner with the best possible genes as these genes will be passed on to our children and ensure they are healthy. Since nature’s goal is to perpetuate the species, it encourages us to mate with others who have immune systems different from our own because it creates babies with a wider variety of immune system genes, and therefore, more robust immune systems and in other words, healthier babies. Nature also discourages inbreeding and the associated health consequences, and it enables us as a species to adapt to changing diseases and unfavorable environments. That is why we have noticed that we are not sexually attracted to our brother, sister, mother, or father. That is because they are all part of our immediate gene pool, and we all probably have very similar immune systems. Nature does not want you to mate with them, because the health of your baby and the longevity of our species would suffer. When we are attracted to a different person, it could be because we subconsciously like their genes. The proof of this theory is in ‘sweaty T-shirt’ experiment of the year 1995 in which women were asked to sniff the T-shirts of similarly aged men and rate their body odours and it was found that women preferred the scent of men who had immune systems dissimilar to their own and vice versa proving subconscious DNA matching. So when it comes to choosing a partner, we are at the mercy of our subconscious under disguise of a conscious decision. This subconscious matchmaking is based on neurochemistry of our brains which in turn is guided by genetic factors under influence of the environment. So it is the DNA which wants to mate with a suitable DNA to procreate a better DNA. Suitable DNA means dissimilar DNA because if DNA mates with similar DNA, it would procreate similar DNA and not better DNA.

 

DNA dating:

DNA based dating system is a dating service that finds compatible matches for you based on your DNA. The DNA analysis at DNA dating site helps you find a partner with matching physical chemistry. Physical chemistry is based on the immune system. When they say that two people have “chemistry”, they are saying that prospective partner’s immune system genes are perfectly matched with each other. By perfectly matched, they mean different enough to procreate more robust immune system in the offspring. Aside from healthier children, DNA dating sites says that finding a partner with a different immune system will also lead to a more satisfying sex life, less cheating in the relationship, a higher rate of fertility and, if you’re a woman, a higher rate of orgasms.

 

Now let us discuss genetic disorders which can be prevented by pre-marital genetic screening/ testing. Ideally, prospective life partner should undergo genetic screening and inform prospective spouse about their susceptibility to a disease that may be transmitted to their children. Also, if there is a risk, then, take a genetically responsible decision with regard to their future spouse or about having children. Some people feel that incorporating genetic criteria might seem inappropriate if you have taken decision to share your life with someone you love. Many countries already conduct genetic screening where individuals who wish to marry must present documentation of thalassemia screening to obtain a marriage license. The term “genetic testing” denotes a genetic test done on an individual on voluntary basis, while “genetic screening” implies large-scale, public health initiatives. Pre-marital genetic testing is obligatory in orthodox-Jewish community where some recessive genetic diseases such as Tay-Sachs are prevalent among Ashkenazi Jews  who make up more than 80 percent of world Jewry and are believed to be descended from about 1,500 Jewish families dating back to the 14th century and where intra-community arranged marriages are the norm and therefore screening of young adolescents is a must for a panel of 10 recessive diseases that are lethal or severely debilitating (Tay-Sachs disease, cystic fibrosis, Gaucher disease type I, Canavan disease, familial dysautonomia, Bloom syndrome, Fanconi anemia, glycogen storage disease type 1a, mucolipidosis type IV, and Niemann-Pick disease type A). I am sure that in a country like India where intra-caste arranged marriage is a norm, various genetic diseases are flourishing and since diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases, epilepsy and mental disorders do have genetic influences, these diseases have become common in Indian population possibly due to multiplication of ‘bad genes’. I am also sure that if inter-caste marriages are supported by Indian population, then, not only many diseases will become less common but caste system will be abolished. If the genetic makeup of a person becomes a common knowledge, then problems occur with discrimination, employment and insurance and therefore genetic test should be confidential and only the necessary people such as individual, family, physician and counselor should know the results of genetic tests. Scientists believe that a single breast & ovarian cancer causing gene does exist and the doctor could now tell who the carrier is.

Would you marry a woman who is a carrier of breast cancer gene?

 

Premarital tests:

A pre-marriage medical checkup is a good idea for both parties involved and whilst possibility of HIV may raise eyebrows in our culture, it is essentially good for the health of the future couple and therefore matchmaking does involve testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STD) including HIV. When a woman having Rh –ve blood group marries a man with Rh +ve blood group, then, there are chances that their 2nd child may be born with hemolytic disease.

Instead of horoscope matching, I strongly recommend following tests by both partners before marriage.

1)  HIV test

2)  Tests for other STD including syphilis

3)  Hemoglobin level in blood

4)  Rh blood grouping

5)  Hepatitis B screening

6)  Thalassemia and sickle cell anaemia testing

7)   Rubella test

8)  In a country like India, chest X-ray for tuberculosis

I know that people will not like my matchmaking pre-marital testing but it is in the interest of future couple and their children.     

 

Consanguineous marriage:

A marriage is said to be consanguineous when the union is between two people, genetically related by descent, from a common ancestor. All human societies prohibit the mating of first degree relatives, namely the mating between parents & children and brothers & sisters (incest). In Europe and North America, the marriage between close relatives is strongly discouraged by social convention. In most African societies, consanguineous marriages are not allowed. In contrast, in countries like Japan, India, Pakistan and the Middle East, up to 30% of marriages are consanguineous and are even encouraged as in Japan. Each human body cell carries nearly 50 to 100,000 of genes as pairs, usually a pair for each trait. Of these about 4 to 8 are undesirable and faulty but as they are weak/ recessive and do not manifest the defect. The reason being that the other member of the pair is normal & powerful/ dominant and thus suppresses the deleterious effects of the faulty one. For any of those 4 to 8 genes to have an impact, they need to be in identical pairs, which mean that each parent has to contribute one member of the pair. In consanguineous marriages, the ancestors are common, like for example in a first cousin mating, the grandparents are. In this instance, the chances of a pair of these identical unfavorable genes meeting is far greater than in an unrelated marriage and therefore the probability of producing a child with a serious birth defect or mental retardation is 3 to 4 % in non-consanguineous marriage while this figure doubles in first cousin mating and triples in uncle-niece and aunt-nephew mating. So the products of consanguineous marriages tend to produce an increase of the various types of genetic disorders such as birth defects, mental retardation, deafness, blood cancer, depression, blindness, Down syndrome, and hemophilia etc. Also, many pregnancies do terminate prematurely as abortions/ miscarriages, which in itself are signs of an unhealthy pregnancy. Also, another study found a strong association of consanguinity with poverty and low education. So according to me, consanguineous marriage must be banned legally & socially worldwide.

 

Future matchmaking:

If I am to be a matchmaker in the 22’nd century, what would I do?

First, I will ask blood tests of prospective partners to determine their HIV status, rule out other STD, check for inherited genetic disorders and match physical compatibility.

Second, I will ask for brain scans of  prospective partners when they are together to know whether specific brain regions associated with romance & attachment do lit up or not.

Third, I will check levels of oxytocin, vasopressin, endorphins etc neurotransmitters & hormones in the cerebrospinal fluid (fluid in which brain floats) of prospective partners at the time of their togetherness to determine neuro-chemical support for long lasting bonding.

Fourth, I will correlate immune system genes from DNA samples of both prospective partners for the future offspring to have more robust immune system.

Then, I will give a result of matchmaking whether prospective partners should indeed get married or not.

By that time, astrologers and clergy would be jobless and horoscope would have become obsolete.

 

THE MORAL OF THE STORY:

1)      Non-coercive arranged marriage with premarital dating does have a significant role in the world where love marriage is a rule.

2)      Consanguineous marriage must be banned by all civilized nations.

3)       Duration of dating period is directly proportional to success of future marriage.

4)       Love and fear are mutually exclusive and therefore never marry a person whom you fear.

5)      Premarital testing of both prospective partners must be done to determine HIV status & other STD as well as inherited genetic disorders.

6)      Adjustment is a key to a successful marriage.

7)      Neurochemical reactions in the brains of a couple determine how long the relationship last irrespective of all other factors and these neurochemical reactions are guided by genes (DNA) of the couple under influence of the environment.  

 

Dr.Rajiv Desai. MD.

July 10, 2010 

Postscript:

Did my previous marriage break up due to DNA mismatch?

Neurochemical reactions in our brains determine how we behave with each other and these neurochemical reactions are guided by our DNA under environmental influence. DNA mismatch will produce mismatched neurochemical reactions in the brains of life partners resulting in irreconcilable differences which break up a marriage. This theory needs more research.

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