This article is from the In-Depth Report Love, Explained: The Science of Romance
60-Second Science

Arranged Marriages Can Be Real Love Connection

Speaking March 10th at the 92nd Street Y's Tribeca site in New York City, Scientific American MIND contributing editor Robert Epstein discussed how arranged marriages can surpass love matches for long-term contentment. Steve Mirsky reports

Think arranged marriages are loveless? Not so, says psychologist Robert Epstein, a contributing editor for Scientific American MIND magazine. He spoke March 10 at the 92nd Street Y’s Tribeca site in New York City:

“And there’s even a study published in India [Usha Gupta and Pushpa Singh of the University of Rajasthan, 1982] but using an American love scale, called the Rubin Love Scale, that compared love in love marriages in India, because they have those, too, to love in arranged marriages. And in this particular study, love in the love marriages starts out very high. And then over time it decreases. That’s what all of our studies show. And in the arranged marriages—and this is true in my work, too—we see the love starting out relatively low. Because in some cases the people barely know each other, sometimes they’ve had a half an hour of contact in total before they got married. And then it increases gradually, surpasses the love in the love marriages at about five years. And 10 years out it’s twice as strong.”

—Steve Mirsky

[The above text is an exact transcript of this podcast.]

Robert Epstein’s article “Fall In Love And Stay That Way” appeared in the January/February 2010 issue of Scientific American MIND and can be previewed at

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