You know that Internet time-suck where you click one sidebar link and end up in a gossip vortex? So yeah, I went there. This slideshow was about how long ‘Bachelor’ relationships last, Bachelor being the TV show that fixes up what looks to Asians like expensive and demeaning arranged marriages.
The length of a Bachelor/Bachelorette curated relationship seems to be a few months, with the exception of Season 1, which ended in marriage. So that’s a pretty bad run for arranged marriages.
In Asia, however, this rate of failure on an arrangement would be unthinkable. I think the difference is that the Bachelor (in the bits I’ve seen) builds up to marriage with traditional western dating events, in a sort of sporting format. The trouble here is that western dating doesn’t naturally end in marriage, the goal is usually sex. So it’s like having a series of 100-meter trials for a marathon final. Furthermore, the emphasis in these shows seems to be on the individuals and true love. As in, if these people click, you can throw them into a media maelstrom and they should be fine.
In eastern arrangements, however, the emphasis is on making the elements around the couple click – finances, career, families. These are the pressure points that break apart couples, often no matter how much they like each other. Aside from ensuring that the man is rich, the B shows make no particular effort to align the rest. They essentially throw a rich man into a harem and expect him to marry one. But that’s not generally how the harem model works.
If they actually wanted a better marriage rate, I guess I’d recommend hiring a few Asian aunties as consultants, and making it a family show rather than a bunch of pretty singles in a house. Have groups of families meet each other and have more than two people involved in the marriage bond. Seriously, no self-respecting matchmaker would allow half the shenanigans you see on these TV shows, and you’d see a lot more marriages. Babies even.