Dating and Mate Selection


Classic and contemporary studies of mate selection share a common goal: to describe and explain how individuals in romantic unions choose one another as partners. Upon first reading, this definition may seem to imply that mate selection is concerned only with choosing a partner for a committed relationship, but the study of mate selection is much more varied and dynamic in its focus. A full understanding of mate selection requires attention to the development and maintenance of romantic relationships, including their very beginnings and endings and the ups and downs in between. In this chapter, we review research aimed at these topics and suggest ways in which they are and are not being addressed. Because other chapters in this volume are devoted to cohabitation and to gay and lesbian relationships, we concentrate on mate selection in heterosexual relationships, and we discuss cohabitation only as it pertains to contemporary dating relationships and mate selection.


Black Woman Romantic Relationship Relationship Quality Relationship Property Marriage Market 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York  2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Behavioral Sciences and EducationPenn State University HarrisburgMiddletownUSA
  2. 2.Department of Human Development and Family StudiesThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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