Mate Selection Your “key” to unlocking a happy marriage.
There a many theories related to the mate selection process… we’ll be discussing just a few of these today to broaden your knowledge and understanding.
Theory of Propinquity Exchange Theory Complimentary Needs Theory Time and Place Theory (Happy Collision) Filter Theory Theories of mate selection…
Theory of Propinquity • We marry people we know. If you only know people from school, work, church, college, etc., that is who you will marry.
Exchange Theory • We evaluate our worth and find someone of similar worth. We find people for us with similarities to us (looks for looks, money for money, etc.) People will exchange or barter to make up in areas (ie my looks for your money). This is why it is not uncommon to see people getting married that look like brother or sister.
Complimentary Needs Theory • We find people that compliment our needs. Dominant people find submissive people. A nurturant person finds someone who wants to be mothered.
Time and Place Theory(Happy Collision) • Fate… we marry the person we are supposed to when the time is right. This theory suggests that we could have married many of the people that we dated but the timing wasn’t right. This is against societies expectations that there are times in our life when we should get married because that is the next step: after college, after establishing our career, when returning from military service, etc.
People generally marry about 4 years after they begin to date on a regular basis. This theory also states you will marry someone within the geographical area that you live (long distance relationships require more time and money). Average ages for marriage are: *US men-24.5 women-22.5 *Utah men-22 women-20 More on the Happy Collision
Filter Theory • We filter out people that don’t meet our criteria (color of hair, height, age, etc.) • The three types of filters are: • Biological • Social • psychological
Most people choose the opposite gender. We choose someone close to our age (most 22 year old men are not looking for a 54 year old woman). We can rule out our relatives… Physical features are usually similar to ours, ie. Body type, weight, height, etc. Biological Filters
We often marry within our same social class or income level. There is an increase chance of marriage success when we stay in our own class. Race is the least-likely line to be crossed in mate selection. Most people marry within their own religion. We try to find someone of similar intelligence and education. Social Filters
Based on conscious and unconscious needs of people. These needs are based on childhood experiences. People will often marry someone similar to their opposite sex parent. Psychological Filters
Other considerations… • You need to determine if your personalities go well together and here are some aspects you should consider: • Amount of personal space needed. • Type of love language. • Seriousness or lightness of personality. • Gender-role compatibility. • Interests and hobbies. • Desire for achievement. • Are they picky, meticulous, detailed, sloppy, etc.?
The BIG Questions • Does this person make you a better person? • Would you rather be with this person than any other person in the world? • Could you spend the rest of your life with this person? • Could you spend the rest of your life without this person?
There are no gray areas when answering those questions… if you have doubts, you need to look at the relationship very seriously.