Our relationships with
the people around us are very important to most of us, for our social
existence. The attraction between two people which leads to friendships,
love or romantic relationships is Interpersonal attraction. Most have a list of attributes that describe our
perfect mate, general traits and specific skills. Kindness,
physical attractiveness, an exciting personality and earning potential are
the qualities that most consider important, but some are found to be more
important than others.
a research study done with 195 undergraduate students, who were all
involved romantic relationships, were asked to complete a survey about
their relationship satisfaction, their ideal standards, and extent to which
their partner met those ideals this was assessed in two ways: First the participants
were asked to rate how much their significant other met their ideals on a number
of traits. Second, participants were first asked to rate how vital each trait
was in their ideal partner and then separately rate how much each of those
traits defined their current partner.
:- A partner who met their intrinsic ideals like- warmth, loyalty-were
associated with better relationship quality than a partner who
met extrinsic ideals like -vitality ,status, passion—and that
intrinsic ideal match was just as important when extrinsic ideals
weren’t met as when they were. Thus meaning that whether
or not a partner meets your extrinsic ideals is totally unrelated
to your contentment if your intrinsic ideals are met.
a big part of attraction is physical and different people agree on who and what
is attractive and what is not. Most women tend to prefer tall and somewhat
muscular men, while most men have strong preference for slimness. Society’s
emphasis on beauty has now become a matter of concern and brought attention to
body image issues, but research suggests that an individual’s face is more
important to overall attractiveness than the body.
study was conducted by Thomas E. Currie and Anthony C. Little using 127 men and
133 women, which appeared in the scientific journal Evolution and Human
Behavior in 2009.
participants in the study had to first view and rate ten images of bodies of
the opposite sex, then view and rate ten images of heads of the opposite sex.
Lastly they had to view and rateten images of both the body and head. The ten
images for each of the participants came from the same ten individuals, but the
order in which they appeared was randomized for each viewing and rating
session. They then compared the ratings to find whether the face or the body
had greater effect to the attractiveness of the model.
of facial attractiveness were a better predictor than ratings of bodily
attractiveness of the rating given to images of the face and body combined,” as
Currie and Little explain.
– Facial attractiveness was identified to
be more significant in people’s evaluation of overall physical attractiveness
than body attractiveness. Thus, facial attractiveness is of greater importance
than body attractiveness in human mate choice decisions.
individual preferences are quite different, several of which are based on the
extent to which people value different traits in a partner,
-kindness, intelligence and humor- are the most commonly sought after.
conscientiousness, affect and beliefs are important determinants of
interpersonal attraction and longevity of a relationship.
Similarity is very important, couples
who share the same interests, tastes and expectations encounter fewer
conflicts, also spouses who are similar in terms of educational attainment, age
and desired number of children is less likely to get divorced. Other than
similarity, Conscientiousness and emotional stability are also
is a fundamental personality trait that effects whether individuals set and
keep long-range goals, are deliberate over choices or behave impulsively,
and takes obligations to others seriously. Those who are conscientious bring
that into their relationship as well and are more dependable and trustworthy.
stability is the personality trait that affects relationships the most, those
who are not emotionally stable tend to be anxious, moody and are quicker to get
angry than those who are.
individual’s beliefs about relationships also affect the relationship. It has
been identified that there are two primary sets of beliefs about relationships- growth
beliefs and destiny beliefs. Those with destiny beliefs think
that relationships are either meant to be or not, when a relationship is meant
to be, everything will work out. If there are difficulties, those are signs
that that individual is with the wrong person. In contrast, those with growth
beliefs think that relationships take hard work and that a strong relationship
is what grows over time, they believe that all relationships unavoidably
encounter problems and that having a stronger relationship means working hard
to persist the problem.
of the above, similarity was said to be the most important for a long and happy
marriage when asked by ‘The Legacy Project’ to more than five-hundred
individuals who have been married for forty, fifty or more years. The
fundamental lesson and the unanimous opinion was that one is more likely
to have a satisfying marriage for a lifetime when both partners in the
relationship are fundamentally similar and if they are not, it is likely to be
considerably more difficult. While partners can be similar is various ways, the
similarity in their core values is absolutely necessary. Most arguments emerge
over insignificant issues, according to the elders they reflected the
individuals underlying values and similarity in core values serves as a method
of inoculation against them. Various research findings were that marriages that
are homogamous in terms of economic background, religion and closeness in age
are the most stable and tend to be more contented.
of individual data:-
In search of a BRIDE
In search of a GROOM
Own attributes mentioned
Attributes sought for in the match
Own attributes mentioned
Attributes sought for in the match
9th April ’17
Seeks BE/MS Iyer girl interested in fine arts.
10th Dec ’17
Sunni Muslim religious family, MD-Dentist Doctor,
29yrs old, height-5’3″. Fair and beautiful
equally qualified, well-settled in Mumbai or working
Vellalar- Chithirai.BE, handsome, fair, clean habits, working and business,
soft spoken, good looking bride
31st Dec ’17
Jat Sikh doctor family, settled in Canada, Canadian
born, 28yrs old, height-5′-7″.
Dentist, smart, attractive, family oriented and
excelled in her career.
above ads are from three different daily newspapers, The Hindu, Mumbai mirror
and the Tribune, all of which are English daily newspapers. The Tribune is
published from Chandigarh, New Delhi, Jalandhar, Dehradun and Bathinda.
The Hindu is the second most circulated English-language newspaper
after The Times of India.
The first ad as mentioned, is from ‘The
Hindu’ and was published on 9th April 2017, here he (the individual in search
for a bride) mentioned stated he belongs to the caste ‘Iyer’ which is a caste
of Hindu Brahmin communities of Tamil origin. He also mentioned his education
qualification and further he mentioned that he is a holder of H1B1 visa-
Singapore, and that he is a teetotaler.In the first ad he mentioned that he is
a non-drinker reflects how majority of our population consider alcohol drinkers
as a disgrace to society and by mentioning that he is a teetotaler should/might
be considered desirable. People who
drink moderate amounts of alcohol face few negative consequences , heavier
alcohol usage affects marriages adversely. Heavy
drinking, alcohol problems and alcohol use disorders are associated with lower
marital satisfaction, this association is to some extent stronger when the
husband is the problem drinker. It is also a causal factor in domestic violence
and aggression, physical and psychological. Alcohol
is among the most common reasons given for a divorce and is also one of the
most common reasons given for seeking marriage counseling.
The individuals level
of education attainment are also given significant importance as they are
mentioned in all the four ads which underscores the tremendous importance given
to their partner’s educational and professional credentials , as today most men
look for wives with earning potential since double income for a household is
always preferable. In the advertisements all four individuals have mentioned
their caste/ religion, which affirms the belief that one’s religion does in
fact play a major role in marriages even before the marriage takes place. Most
individuals look for a partner who has religious beliefs simillar to their own, as those in
religiously mixed marriages report slightly higher levels of
disagreement about religion. Inter-caste marriages are rare in the Indian
society. The caste-system in India had great influence over the population , along with various limitations people of
the lower caste faced it also forbade marriage outside the caste. According to
a survey conducted in 2014, about 5% of marriages are inter-caste in India.
Another commonality in
all four advertisements is that all three out of the four have mentioned the
their physical characteristics. However from both the advertisements of men in
search of a bride, one of them has mentioned ‘good looks’ as an attribute
sought for in the bride. While neither of the two advertisements have mentioned
‘good looks’ in any way as a criteria for an eligible groom. This supports the
gender stereotypes that suggest that men place greater importance on the
physical attributes of their sexual partners than females do, and several
studies have found support for this in the context of dating and mate
selection. In one study by Dr.Strauss , when individuals were asked which
traits would be most important in a marriage partner found that men rated
physical attractiveness significantly higher than women did.
difference in the four advertisements is that neither of the two advertisements
of the men mentioned their age or height while both advertisements of the women
in search of a groom have mentioned their age since for women marriage in their
twenties in considered ideal as the only disadvantage of marrying late is
likelihood of facing biological complications in conceiving a child. It has
been found that conception after thirty-five is difficult than in twenties and
chances of miscarriage and diseases like Down syndrome and other genetic
diseases are higher. As
per United Nations statistics, the mean age of marriage in India as of 2011 was
approximately 21 years which is higher than the mean age of 19.3 years in 1991. While
an increasing proportion of women are delaying marriage, the mean age of
marriage for women in India still remains low.
As of 2011-12, almost
41% of the married women in the age group of 15-32 years which is the
generation born after 1980, were married between 16 and 18 years of age.
Analyses of group
Similar to what was
stated above, the group data too shows that men seem to recognize the
importance of physical attractiveness more than women, as the number of
men, those who have mentioned physical attributes regarding their bride match
is significantly higher than women who have done so. Higher number on women
than men found the need to mention physical attributes of themselves in their
advertisements which might reflect how men probably place greater emphasis on
physical attributes of their partner than women.
made on the group data is that greater number of men have mention some amount
of details of their occupation in comparison with women. Also higher number of
women in search for a groom has mentioned occupational success/stability as an
criteria to be fulfilled by their partner in comparison with men. This shows
how in a way society has considered job credentials of the groom significantly
more important than those of the bride, which might have been caused by our
Indian tradition of the wife shifting to the husbands house after marriage, in
a way suggesting that the responsibility of the bride is supposed to be taken
by the groom, in which financial dependency is for taken in most cases.
Mention of their own
religion was found to be higher in both the men and women, and the requirement
of their potential partner of being of certain or of the same religion was
significantly lower in the advertisements of both men and women. This might
show that religion must not be a topic of concern in individuals of this
generation thus resulting is lower rate of significance associated to it for the
purpose of marriage.
According to the group data,
individuals have placed importance on values of their own as well as on those
of their possible-future partners. The
substance of most major religions and of most spiritual practices is how we
behave and treat each other. Hence emphasis on our values helps us look
at our own character traits which makes it possible for making changes in
relationships and marriages.