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Mate Selection for Marital Success

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Mate Selection Criteria for Marital Success: Is It Possible?
Steve Goatley
Liberty University

For decades researches have been attempting to indentify some key characteristics or personal qualities that could be formulated in such a way as to predict the probability of marital success between two parties. If indeed some formula could be implemented that would take into account what characteristics and/or personal qualities must be present for two people to enter into a marital agreement with a higher than average success rate; mate selection could then be narrowed down to parties that fit each others needs and effectually increasing the chances for marital success. Unfortunately, while there have been many advances in this area of research that may help potential mates understand each others needs for marital happiness, a solid formula to identify an optimal mate is still just a idea.

Mate Selection Criteria for Marital Success: Is It Possible? To properly understand the question of whether or not it is possible to define criteria that can be used for the purposes of mate selection that would ultimately lead to marital success, one must first understand the term, “marital success.” In the chapter titled Marital Adjustment, McKinney describes marriage, “Marriage in its best form in civilized life is the culmination of romantic love and courtship; it is the sublimation of the more primitive sex impulses. It is a fusion of the relationships existent in friendship, companionship, and sexual attraction. Ideally, it occurs after numerous friendships with the opposite sex, and after a courtship, which has tested the social and temperamental compatibility of the pair. It is a public declaration of affection and fidelity, and is approved by society.” (McKinney, 1941, pg. 387) In a society rich...

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