I am a part of a culture that still does that, but I've never really been able to understand.
I thought it's more about ensuring that an appropriate guy is found for a girl based on background, education etc. because a girl or guy may not have actually met someone in real life who they know of that may suit their ideal husband/wife so they go husband/wife shopping.
But now I feel it's more about preservation of culture. If a girl/guy didn't do an arrange-marriage, there is a really high chance that he/she may fall in love outside of their religion/sect and that may cause problems. So from the time they're a child they're told love is bad.
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"Pure" arranged marriages are rare these days, even in places like India. What usually happens is that the family selects a number (5 or 10 for example) of candidates for their family member and then let them choose, or even allow them to refuse all candidates but hoping (often successfully) they'll likeat least one.
In this way it kinda works out ok for most people because honestly the family pretty much selects people you'd be coming across when dating anyway, especially if you don't live in a big city, don't have some specialized highly educated background and don't have many special preferences, which honestly covers the vast majority of the population (of course not everyone, but freely dating doesn't work out well for everyone either), especially in those countries where arranged marriages are still common.0