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They did have input into the decision-making process, and did meet their future spouses a few times before making any commitments, but the process was directed by their parents.

The majority of these friends were from parts of India where that kind of thing is common, and I had a ton of questions for them about how it all worked.

Cacioppo who parsed a Harris Interactive survey of more than 19,000 Americans married between 20.

To the modern American mind, the entire foundation of a marriage was positive feelings, and so entering into a marriage in which you weren't sure the feelings were there seemed like a recipe for disaster.

What I would eventually realize is that my friends had an entirely different understanding of what love and marriage are all about.

It led to a lot of fun and interesting discussions, and what I learned would eventually shatter my notions of what the institution of marriage was all about.

The typical secular American viewpoint is that marriage is about "love," and love is a feeling.