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Finding Romance And Marriage With Matchmakers

Evening Edition

Above: Robert Epstein, a senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavior Research and Technology in Vista, Calif., and author of a new study, "How Love Emerges in Arranged Marriages."

Aired 2/12/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.

Guests:

Robert Epstein PHD -a senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavior Research and Technology in Vista, Calif., and author of a new study, "How Love Emerges in Arranged Marriages."

Elise Sax - San Diego author of a new Matchmaker series of romantic mysteries published by Random House. Also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.

The ideal of falling in love with a stranger you see across a crowded room, or marrying your high school sweetheart doesn't pan out for everyone.

In fact, the old idea of using a matchmaker, either in person or on the internet, is regaining popularity.

Robert Epstein, a senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavior Research and Technology in Vista, has authored a new study, "How Love Emerges in Arranged Marriages." He says with the divorce rate in America at 50 percent, there may be something to having your parents find your mate.

He said his research shows arranged marriages "generally work pretty well." In India, where many marriages are arranged, the divorce rate is very low, he said.

"I've looked at marriages in India where people are deeply in love after many, many years, even though they're in arranged marriages," he said.

Epstein also said we can learn from the attitude behind arranged marriages.

"Make sure you're with someone who you can build a very strong relationship with over time," he said. "This means in part being very cautious when there's strong passion in the beginning."

Passion can make you blind, he said.

"Then, do what is done in many arranged marriages: take control, don't leave love to chance," he said.

Claire Trageser contributed to this report.

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