HEALTHY LIVING
03/28/2008 02:46 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Matchmaking Vs. Arranged Marriage: What's The Difference?

Lately we've been wondering, with all the matchmaking in the air -- the explosion of online dating, the resurgence of traditional matchmaking (as seen on Bravo's horrifically amazing new show Millionaire Matchmaker, for example) -- who's to say a revival of arranged marriage is all that far behind?

FOX News interviewed a trend expert who believes that the new way to find a partner could be by returning to the old way:

"Today is the era of the arranged couple who fall into love around the birth of the first child," said Marian Salzman, co-author of "Next Now: Trends for the Future."

"It sounds traditional, but in some ways so much of the future is back to the past, turbo-charged," she said.

Arranged marriages have been part of many cultures for thousands of years, primarily born out of the desire and/or need for a financial, political or property-based partnership. As America expanded multi-culturally, this custom filtered through as certain ethnic groups sought to preserve cultural and class traditions.

But, contrary to the "old" arranged marriage, in which children are forbidden from choosing their own partners, the modern arranged marriage is not about being forced into federation. It's about relying on the matchmaking mastery of Mom and Dad.

And if arranged marriage is a family affair, then could this new dating site that Tango just featured represent a closing of the gap between online dating and arranged marriage?

Enter the dating service MatchmakingMoms.com, where the members are moms, not singles who love them. The site, originally launched in 2004, is the brainchild of San Francisco-based entrepreneur, Dawn Miller, 32, who was inspired to turn the matchmaking efforts of her own mother and her friends' mothers into a larger network.

Unlike friend-recommended sites, such as greatboyfriends.com, parents know dealbreaking details that are often overlooked until too late in the dating game, such as whether you are a morning person or a night owl, messy or clean, or refuse to eat your vegetables. "An ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend may not always give an unbiased evaluation of you," says Miller. "Your mom, on the other hand, has seen you in many different relationships and knows what has worked and what hasn't about each."

Is arranged marriage any more successful at keeping divorce rates down? According to this Minneapolis Star Tribune article, not really:

Divorce statistics are hard to come by, but divorce is legal throughout even the traditional Islamic world, with rates in some countries approaching or even exceeding those in the West, according to a 2002 Gallup Poll. In Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, for example, those who view divorce as "entirely justifiable morally" outnumber those who strongly condemn it.

What do you think? Tell us below in comments.