In Voice Chat the other night we had a 'hot' debate going on for hours about a variety of topics, among them was the advantages of adopting the African tradition of arranged marriages, and disadvantages of focusing on dating and falling in love before getting married. In favor of arranged marriages, one person believes it helps to build more productive and longer lasting relationships because the focus is more on things like economics, selective genetics, and strengthening the community, and not on love. Some disagreed with this because they felt that, in spite of the high divorce rate, it was better to love the person you marry first because two people have to feel that close connection for the marriage to get off to a good start. Do Blacks spend too much time focusing on casual dating, and falling in love and not enough time thinking about how marrying someone will benefit your family, the community and the future children born of that marriage? Do you see any advantages to "arranged" marriages for Blacks and any benefits of such a tradition? Why is loving someone first so important to a marriage--or is it?