If you’ve been following Love in India’s romantic messages for a while, you’d know that we’ve already talked about inter-caste marriages and inter-religion marriages. Another of the most common questions I get asked by readers is “I have a girlfriend/boyfriend. How can I convince my parents of a love marriage?” I thought I’ll put my thought together on that today.

How to convince your parents of a love marriagePhoto by midgetmanofsteel

#1. Convince your parents of your love marriage by making them meet him/her: The first step to convincing your parents of a love marriage is making them meet your girlfriend/boyfriend. Don’t even go into any discussions with them before making them meet your special someone. The purpose of this meeting is to establish to your parents what a perfect husband/wife he/she will make for you. Coach your girlfriend/boyfriend accordingly before this meeting (Disclaimer: I’m not talking about putting up a fake face to your parents. I’m only emphasizing that they need to put their best feet forward when they meet them).

At the end of the day your parents want your happiness. If you can use this meeting to impress upon them that he/she is a perfect match for you it’ll be easy for you to convince them of a love marriage with him/her.

#2. Convince your parents of your love marriage by creating a mutual relationship: An even better thing to do however, is to introduce your girl/guy to your parents as a friend of yours, at least a year before you plan to marry. Help them know each other and familiarize with each other. Later when you bring up the question of marriage with your parents, you’re talking about someone they know very well. Hence convincing your parents of a love marriage with the person they know so well and for so long would be much easier.

#3. Convince your parents of your love marriage by giving them a reality check: Nothing is as convincing as reality. In order to convince your parents of your love marriage, give them real life examples of happy and successful “love marriages”. Don’t forget to also throw in a few examples of people you know whose marriages were arranged and have turned out to be unhappy. ;) Cite these isntances, stating how being in a relationship with someone for some time before marriage is essential to judging mutual compatibility and consequently, to creating a better chance for having a happy life together. Which brings me to the most crucial point…

#4. Convince your parents of your love marriage on the basis of compatibility: Explain to your parents the importance of mutual compatibility and understanding in a marriage, which essentially needs to be gauged (to the extent possible) before taking the final decision. Compatibility goes much beyond castes, horoscopes, food habits, family background and financial capability. It depends on personality types, beliefs, likes and dislikes, attitude towards the relationship etc. And these things can never be even gauged without spending at least a year or two in an active relationship with each other (which you hopefully have, with your significant other). And no, the modern arranged marriage which involves fixing the date of the marriage first and spending a year dating each other next doesn’t count. This is based on the obvious fact that the time a couple spends together in a relationship before marriage is meant to aid the decision of whether to get married or not. If that decision has already been taken, any amount of pretend-dating doesn’t count.

#5. Convince your parents of your love marriage citing crucial mutual emotional needs: Different people have different emotional needs from their partners. It takes some time to gauge whether a person’s emotional needs are going to be satisfied by another person. In an arranged marriage context, there’s no way of knowing this, since the degree of emotional closeness that is required before someone can find out whether the other satisfies their needs or not, is impossible to attain before such a marriage. You need to make them see this in order to convince your parents of your love marriage.

A friend of mine was a free-thinking romantic ball of fire before marriage. She happened to have her marriage arranged to a financially well-established, dependable but rather practical and unromantic guy six years her senior. Soon after the marriage it became apparent that if he were chalk, she would be cheese. No wonder she totally changed as a person, shut herself up emotionally and is living in a mental prison ever since. Do your parents want that for you? I’m sure not.

#6. Convince your parents of your inter-caste love marriage:  Of course, in some Indian families the hardest of marriages to earn a parental thumbs-up on is an inter-caste marriage. Along with all the usual challenges of convincing your parents of a love marriage to the girl/guy of your choice, this once comes with its own set of hurdles – like age old traditions, strong stereotypes held by many people, and above all, your parents’ fear of social ostracism should they allow you to marry someone from a different caste (particularly, a so-called “lower” one).

It’s not easy, to say the least.

Here are some tips and strategies thousands have benefited from, which you can also use to cope with the situation: 5 Tips to Handle Intercaste Relationships.

But what if your parents are stubborn and just won’t give in to your tricks and strategies? Here’s what: Help! My Parents Are Not Agreeing to My Marriage!

Have you ever tried to convince your parents of your love marriage to your boyfriend/girlfriend? What was the experience like? I’m eagerly waiting to read about your experiences in the comments section.