In response to Maged Al-Kholidy’s article, “To love before or after marriage?” I’d like to offer my opinion [Archives:2008/1151/Community]

May 1 2008

By: Hanan A.
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Humans have different needs because they are of diverse mental and emotional makeup; therefore, generalization is a tricky thing when it comes to us Homo sapiens. Each of us requires solutions tailored for our unique and distinct conditions. Your topic deals with a social issue and our society has a very intricate social system.

It's a lot easier for you men to decide whether you'll have a relationship with the one you intend to marry because you have that luxury. However, women are restricted in this area, fearing many things including their reputation, society's cruel assessment and protecting their family's name. Regardless of my opinion about this, I'm simply illustrating the general situation.

Come rain or shine, I believe it's only fair that we women have the option to enter or end a relationship prior to marriage before exposing ourselves to potential damage. Although it isn't entirely acceptable yet in our society for men and women to have a relationship before marriage, many consider the engagement period a premarital relationship.

The problem is that engagement tends to create a preordained framework for the relationship, with much fabricated behavior only rarely reflecting an individual's true colors. This period also involuntarily urges each side to accept or overlook issues, especially if the relationship began romantically.

More conventional environments such us work are more genuine and spontaneous because it's there that we can decide whether a particular person is more appropriate than another for our particular needs and beliefs.

Marriage is a delicate and difficult association to begin with, so imagine getting ourselves into such an association for all the wrong reasons and with all the wrong customs. It's a virtual disaster.

I'm not judging those who choose to find out all of this after marriage. If they're willing to take the risk, then that's their call. However, there's a great deal at stake in marriage: children – who aren't lab rats, by the way – feelings and most importantly, the makeup of the family, so it's not a simple tryout that we should leave to decide later.

Our age-old orthodoxy has accustomed us to turn a blind eye to those traditions, which are more destructive than they are the least bit helpful, and go along with them, even if we don't see eye to eye. In addition, this also intimidates those who favor change, intimidating them via prejudice and unmerciful disapproval.