The Theories of Choosing a Partner
There are many theories on how people choose their life-partners, but all of them have three things in common..
Basic — the principle of social and cultural homogamy or sameness.
Process of Choosing — a system of filters by which the number of potential partners isnarrowed, eliminating those who don’t meet our requirements.
Result — finally, after passing through all of the filter stages successfully, those who are left have the most potential.
Here are some of the theories that people still adhere to today:
‘Theory of identification’ by S. Freud is based on the attraction that children feel toward their parents. Based on this theory, the level of satisfaction in marriage depends on how much a partner reminds one of his/her parent.
‘Theory of complimentary needs’ by R. Winch says that people are attracted to and looking for a partner with features opposite their own, i.e. a partner whose features will complement them.
‘Instrumental Theory’ of R. Senters says that people are attracted to those whose needs are similar to their own.
‘Stimulation — Value — Role Theory’ of B. Murstein says that in choosing a partner, we try to find someone who will add the most value or benefit to our lives.
‘Theory of Family Systems’ by McGoldrick says that the union of a couple is the stablishment of a new house or family that must set about establishing its own boundaries.
‘Theory of Filters’ of A. Kerkhoff and K. Davis says that the process of choosing a partner is done with the help of filters that eliminate partners with the least potential for a successful union.
A. Reis’s ‘Circle Theory of Love’ says there are 4 main stages in choosing a partner: connecting, opening up, depending on each other, and each person realizing their deep need for the other’s personality, love, and trust.
R. Zidler believed that choosing a partner was based on our social and cultural orientation on what marriage and family mean to us.
K. Melville compares the process of choosing a partner to trade, where money is replaced by the qualities of the two people, qualities such as social status, financial stability, education and personal qualities.
F. Berardo and J. Bossards state that not every man and woman can be compatible, but only those who have the same social values or homogamy.
T. Paterson, R. Bails, B. Harber, and R. Ort developed the ‘Role Theory’ that proposed that the happiness of two partner depended on meeting one another’s expectations.
D. Adams’s ‘Theory of Stages of Choosing a Partner’ determines that attraction was based on appearance. He also believed that when people are recognized as a couple by others, their relationship got stronger. Stages of duty and commitment come next, in other words, marriage.
S.Golodov developed the ‘Theory of Clearing’ based on comparing and complementing the needs of both people in order to establish a union that would be beneficial for both.