An arranged marriage is when a couple are decided to wed by people other than themselves. In most cases, this is decided by their parents or other elders in their families, but can also be decided by religious figures, teachers, close friends of the family or others. It is mostly practised in Southern Asian, African, East and Middle Eastern cultures today, and in East and Southeast Asian cultures to some extent. Arranged marriages are not just an alliance between two individuals, it is an alliance between families. Unlike forced marriages, partners are usually only suggested to the single person in question. They can accept or refuse.
Many people in Western cultures disagree with arranged marriages. It is the social norm in the west to form a deep, emotional bond with someone before marriage is even considered. However, recent studies have shown that although arranged marriages start with a low level of love (using the American Rubin Love Scale), they usually have twice the amount of love as non-arranged marriages within 10 years. Whereas in non-arranged marriages the level of love seems to become less as time goes on.