Should I Marry Someone I Don’t Love The School of Adam Saleh – Free Ebook

ADAM: I can’t believe
this is actually happening.

I’m about to have
an arranged marriage.


NARRATOR: The School of Life
is sending some of YouTube’s
most popular creators

on a series of field trips,

to explore philosophy’s
most intriguing ideas.

This time…

♪ Just got home
From Lebanon… ♪

NARRATOR: …Adam Saleh,
the 25-year-old New Yorker,

best known for his hip-hop
flavored music videos
and mischievous pranks…

-I’ve never heard him scream
like that in my life.

…is going to ask his family
to find a partner

they think he should spend
the rest of his life with.

With around half of marriages
ending in divorce,

you may as well base
your choice of life partner
on the flip of a coin.

So, when it comes
to choosing who to marry,

is it time to replace love
with logic?

-New York City, where the girls
are looking pretty.

-GIRL: Hey!

ADAM: I’m 25 years old

and I know nothing
about marriage.

In fact, it scares me.

But everyone around me
wants me to get married.

What am I gonna do?


Here’s a 60-second guide

from someone who knows
way more about it than I do.

NARRATOR: A 60-second guide
to marriage.

We think of marriage
as something two people do

when they’ve finally found
the right person
and fallen in love.

But this is based
on a very modern delusion.

For most of history,

the idea that marriage
and love had anything
to do with each other

would have been laughed at.

Marriage was a transaction

designed to be beneficial
for children, land and power.

Love was for drama,
excitement and sex.

But in the 1800s,

poems and best-selling books
began to promote
a radical new idea,

rebranding marriage
as something
that starry-eyed couples

should only do for love.

Even though, as a foundation
for marriage,

love hasn’t been
very successful.

It might even prompt us
to wonder

if expecting marriage
to provide sex and love,

as well as happiness
and material security,

is expecting too much.

-And to ask

if acting on impulse
while blinded by love

really is the cleverest way

of choosing the person
we will be with forever.

Could it be that the future
of marriage

might be found by looking
by looking at a model

which has actually been
very successful

throughout most of our history?

ADAM: I’m from Yemen,
so me being 25 and not married

is a big deal.

I’m stuck with
my dad and my mom

pressuring me every single day

because literally everyone
in my family is married,

my sisters, my older brother,
my younger brother.

For me, marriage is about,
you know, romantic love,

finding the right one
that you wanna be with everyday.

But for my parents,
marriage is about, you know,

“Oh, you’re a big boy now.”
You know, “You’re married.

“That’s how it should be.”

NARRATOR: Adam is part
of the dating app generation.

In a street, in a lounge,

people use apps to even,
you know, approach girls, men.

But he’s sick of swiping.

No more Tinder,
no more,

no more… Instagram,
no more Twitter.

NARRATOR: There are 2,500
dating sites in the US alone.

With all that choice on offer,

can Adam really say goodbye
to a life of short-lived fun

and focus on finding someone
he might be compatible with

for the long-term?











Adam’s dad and brother have
decided that the only way to go

is an arranged marriage.

IBRAHIM: It’s time
for you to get married.

Our parents,
they find a wife for you

in an arranged marriage.
It’s good.

You know how people these days,

they use those app things,
the app.

Like, they see something
they don’t like, they swipe up.

It’s not respectful for women.

People say love at first sight.

Sometimes, it doesn’t last long.

One month, one year,
they get over it.

But, if you let your parent find
a woman for you, it’s better.

It’s like, two people meet, they
don’t know each other, okay?

You build your relationship.

That’s how love is.

What if I see her,
and I don’t like her?

Like, right away,
I don’t like her.

Looks don’t matter.

The heart that matter.

Good, kind, sweet.


ADAM: How many kids
do you want me to get?


Okay, I like that. [CHUCKLES]

You want Dad
to see your kids, right?


My marriage was arranged.
You see me happy?

-ADAM: I see you happy.
I do see you happy.

I love my wife, my kids,
I’m… I’m happy.

And I want you to be happy.

Um, sometimes,
I think maybe you got lucky.

-I know, I…
-ADAM: The only reason
I’m gonna do this

is because I’ve seen it.

You know, I’ve seen Tinder
be a big mess,

but I’ve seen your marriages,

even my dad and you,
you know, be successful.

It came out good for me,

it came out good for Yusuf.

-It’s gonna be perfect for you.
-All right, I guess I’m taking
my phone out,

I’m gonna delete all the apps,

I’m gonna delete
everything I got.

Since you’re telling me
from experience,

then I’m ready. I’m ready to,
you know, to do this.


♪ Hey

♪ Hey ♪

NARRATOR: Adam has decided
to go ahead with
an arranged marriage.

His family have asked around,
interviewed the candidates,

and finally settled
on a very special person,

who they think
would be ideal for him.

Today, he’s meeting her
for the very first time.

I’m really nervous.

Few months ago,
I would have never expected

something like this to happen,

and now, I’m here.
I’m waiting for my date.

I just hope it goes well.

It’s really weird not seeing
the person before.



-Hi, I’m Noor. Nice to meet you.

Nice to meet you. You want
a coffee or something?

-Black coffee, no sugar,
no cream.
-No sugar.

Oh, that’s good, that’s good.

I was just really nervous.

It’s my first time meeting you,
so I didn’t know what to expect.

-What’s your nationality?

-Oh, Palestinian, that’s dope.

-That’s sick.
-What about you?

-I’m from Yemen, yeah.
-Yemen, okay.


do you know Arabic or no?

-You do?
-What about you?



That’s good. I like that.

Do you have any brothers
or sisters?

Three older sisters
and two brothers.

-Nice, big family.

Uh, just a younger brother.

-Just a younger brother?

That’s good. Stress-free.

It’s better for me, I think.

I being the only child,
it’s better. [LAUGHS]

I know, yeah. I feel you.

‘Cause having a big family is…
People, like, love it,

-but it’s too much.
-It’s a lot of drama.

-Like, when I go back home,
oh, my God.

Yeah, it’s like Keeping Up
With The Kardashians.

-Even worse.

Can’t believe our moms,
like, knew each other.

I know, right? Yeah.

I mean, my mom, my dad and
my brother were saying how,
like, you’re the right one.

And you’re perfect for me.


You’re very… You’re not shy.

I was worried
if you were gonna be shy.

Oh, no, I’m definitely
not shy, so…

-That’s good, that’s good.

My friends think this is, like,
so weird that we’re doing this.

Yeah, they’d be, like,
“What the hell?”

That you don’t know each other
and you just got married.

Like, it’s backwards, you know?

The good thing
about us is, like,
we have the family connection…

-…so we know we have
the compatibility.

-And it’s not only based off,
like, looks…

The looks don’t matter.
The heart that matter.

It’s not a decision based off
emotion, it’s based off logic.


Is it weird that I’m
thinking about, like, you know,
our whole future right now?

Us growing old together.

Is it weird or… [CHUCKLES]

I mean…

It’s different, but I mean,
it’s… it’s good.


After meeting you, I think
we could be a good match.

ADAM: To be honest, if there
wasn’t no connection,

if there wasn’t no,
you know, spark,

I would have been feeling it.

But everything has been
going on really, really well.

Like, better than what
I expected.

I’m still kinda nervous.

But I’m ready to see
what happens next.

Couples in arranged marriages

tend to report
higher levels of satisfaction

than those in relationships
founded on desire alone.

It seems surprising,

but why wouldn’t reason
provide a more solid basis

for a relationship
than emotion?

After much discussion
and preparation

and further meetings
between Adam and Noor,

the ultimate decision
has been taken.

Both families are happy
to go ahead.

I don’t know how you did this
at the age of 18, man.

I’m 25 and I’m freaking out.

If I did it, you can do it.

Just be yourself, be happy,
be calm, relax.

-All right.
-Everything will be okay.


[IN ENGLISH] In the name
of Prophet Muhammad,

do you give Adam permission
to marry your daughter?

I give permission.



Stop, stop, stop, stop

Chill, chill.

This is… This is just weird.

I need to get out
of this situation, man.

This is getting way too serious.

Guys, I have
a confession to make.

This is not actually
a real arranged marriage.

This is something that I did
to see what goes on.

And the reason
for that is because
I wanna take a deeper look.

When I was at the ice-cream
place with my “wife”,

it was a crazy experience
because it all felt so real.

This is something serious for me

because I do wanna
get married soon.

I just wanted to experience
what my brothers, you know,
went through.

I am 25, and I will
be married soon.

I’ve always been blind
to this arranged marriage,
you know, stuff.

Anytime my mom, my dad
will talk about it with me,

I would literally ignore it.

But now, after this whole
journey that I had,

I will consider maybe having
an arranged marriage.

It’s more about trust,

it’s more about long-term,
you know?

Not just having
someone temporary.

This is about being
with someone forever,

and that’s an amazing
once you’re ready.

NARRATOR: Modern marriage
is based on a huge assumption,

that it makes sense to base
our actions on our feelings.

But this is to ignore the
traditional basis of marriage:

reason based on long-term
calm thinking.

After all, sexual passion
doesn’t last forever.

And you could always grow
to like someone you didn’t
think much of at first sight.

With values, background
and status that are aligned,

you might even end up
being the best of friends.

It’s a hugely provocative
thought for our times,

but isn’t a marriage
that isn’t blinded
by lust and passion

more likely to be
a marriage that lasts?

What do you think?

Should Adam marry
someone he doesn’t love,

but with whom he might have
a great lifelong friendship?

Leave your comments below.

If you’ve enjoyed this episode
on marriage

as much as I did,

make sure you guys check out
the rest of the series

here on The School of Life
YouTube channel.

See ya soon.