Is Love a Key Element When Choosing a Marriage Partner?

Topics: Marriage, Love, Courtship Pages: 7 (2468 words) Published: March 27, 2001
A famous quote by John Lennon saying that "love is the answer and only you know that for sure" was not entirely truthful the fact not realised was that, for the many people in today's contemporary "dating" grouping, truly knowing what the answer actually is in regards to dating is often easier said than done. Therefore, the answer certainly is not love. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary (1974), love is defined as a "strong affection, a warm attachment, attraction based on sexual desire, cherish, to feel passion, devotion or tenderness for ~, caress and to take pleasure in ~ " (p.417). In the modern-day world where the preferences and choices of human mate selection has become a topic of broad exploration, it is highly questionable as to whether or not "love" is the principal influence that leads an individual's decision of choosing a life-long partner. The choosing of a marriage partner today seems to be a crucial aspect of life decisions that makes all other choices in one's life seem to be more or less trivial when comparing accordingly. When you come to a decision as to who you want to marry, share the rest of your life with and become one with, you are changing every aspect of your once single and independent life. For the reason that life changes so significantly when a marriage partner has been chosen, there are countless factors that have an effect on the choices that individuals make. Firstly, Botwin et al. (1997) insist that "personality plays a critical role in mate selection and marital happiness" (p.128) but many other attributes such as the many dating processes, the many problems that often occur in relationships, and individual preferences all highly motivate, aspire and aim to encourage people in today's society toward finding their preferred marriage partner. Society often questions the difficulty involved for an average person to simply decide "who" they desire to marry. What's more is the reality that many people also criticize the individuals who have no idea who they want to marry. Research by Doosje et al. (1999) shows that "both men and women value most in their partner that she/he is kind and considerate, socially exciting, creative and intellectually stimulating" (p.46) which goes to prove that couples want their marriages to work and do not even consider them to eventually fail. Buying a car or buying a house is a difficult task in comparable to choosing a life long partner, the decision to buy a house and car seems to be insignificant. When someone buys a home, they plan their strategy to pay for the home, they acquire a mortgage for the home and they plan their methods in order to utilize the home for years to come. Comparing dating to the mortgaging of a home, once an individual signs his or her name on the mortgage paper, their stuck with that mortgage for a lengthy amount of time therefore the effort put forth into choosing and buying a home is considerably large. So, the effort and time required in choosing a lifelong partner should be just as thoughtfully planned out as buying a home. Just like buying a home, we are required to choose a partner whom we are suitable with at the present moment just as we will be suitable with the same person in ten, twenty, thirty and fifty years from now. It's shopping around for the house months on end just as it is shopping around for your life long partner for years on end. People know what they're looking for but according to Botwin et al. (1997), "not all individuals succeed in getting what they want. Some end up with dating partners or spouses who deviate from their ideals and display personality characteristics that are not desired." (p.133) and it's a matter of finding the preferred partner with all the desirable vicinities and with all the preferred costs as well as rewards. People "tend to select mates who are similar to themselves and who embody their ideals" (Botwin et al., 1997, p.134) therefore people set...

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The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. New York: Pocket Books New York, 1974.
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