Decades ago the girl’s parents would choose a prospective groom and inform her that he was the best match for her. Chances were that the bride and the groom would meet only on the wedding platform. It might sound ridiculous in the 21st century but it seemed to work!

The concept of arranged marriage has changed over time. Now it’s mostly parents or relatives introducing the bride and the groom, and there is where their influence ends, at least theoretically. The couple interacts with each other and then takes their independent decision.

The ‘arranged introduction’ can be done anywhere – at either of the couple’s home, in a restaurant, in a mall and so on. The first meeting may make you nervous. After all you are meeting a stranger for the first time in your life, with the intention of spending your lifetime with him.

Here are some tips to get the conversation going.

Background Research

If possible, you should do some research on the prospective groom. In this age of active social networking, you are bound to have some common contacts on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. Ask around casually and see if you can find out anything about him.

List Your Priorities

You should know what your priorities are. What is it that you expect from your husband and his family? List it down. Discuss with your parents if required. Once you are sure about this, you are ready to frame your questions for your first meeting.

The Meeting

Be casual. Be relaxed. This is not a job interview for either of you. And it need not be perfect. You can start off by generally talking about each other. Your education, work life, hobbies, favorite color, favorite food, hobbies and similar stuff.

Then you can gradually move into more serious topics. Here are some questions you can ask –

  • What are your views on arranged marriage?
  • Do you prefer a working wife or housewife?
  • Are you fine to move out of your current city, if you/we get better opportunities for work?
  • Are you ready to share house work with me?
  • Do you like pets?
  • Do you get angry very often?
  • How soon do you want to start a family?

Do not shy away from asking personal questions either. After all, it is a matter of your entire life. But make sure you word your questions well. You do not want to sound rude and arrogant on your first meeting.

Here are some sensitive questions that you may want to clarify.

  • Instead of asking point blank ‘How much do you earn’, it’s better to rephrase and say something like, ‘Hey you seem to be a big shot in your organization. They must be paying you loads to keep you happy.’ If your guy is intelligent, he’ll take the hint.
  • If you are not the kind who would not like to stay with your extended family, you need to be really careful on what you ask.  You may want to say something like’ “I always wanted to set up my own home where I get to create my own little world. What are your views about it?’ The guy may be totally attached to his family and may not want to move out. Then it’s up to you to decide how much you want to accommodate.

The first meeting is always a little awkward for both the couple. So do not base your decision on it. Do meet the guy a few more times to understand him better. And only then decide.