At times people wonder why others choose to remain in their relationships. There are three types of relationship models states the reasons that people choose their partners. There are scientific studies of dating shows the impacts of societal change and reveals the patterns of human behavior.

The Traditional Agrarian Model


The Agrarian Model is popular in countries such as China, India, South Africa and Africa. These countries are identified as countries were dating is rare and uncommon. In these societies parents or other family members select the mate for they child (ren) when they are the appropriate age.

Bride and groom have no contact with each other before the marriage
Love is not expected between the couple

The traditional style of mate selection is often used in agricultural societies. For example, in Ireland, marriage was associated with in heritance of a family farm. The son who is often the heir of the family, could not marry without his parents consent and until he owned the farm. Marriage in this type of situation usually would not occur because the parents were unwilling to release their property. There would be a “match maker” who would bring the two families together.1

The Courtship Model

The courtship model is when young people have the choice to select their partner. In the United States parents have given their children to the opportunity to choose their potential mates. This model has the following characteristics:

Young people have substantial control over mate selection.
Although at some crucial points the parents have considerable impact on their choice.
There are steps in the process that serve to narrow the field of eligibles.
Among the field of eligibles, a number of individuals are considered as possible mates.
Over a period of time, those who prove to be the poorest bargains are dropped from consideration.
The narrowing of the field of eligibles continues until only one person is left, based on mutual feelings of love.1

The Contemporary Dating Model

In this model partner selection is left to the discretion of the individuals in the relationship. In this type of relationship, the support of the parents is needed for the relationship to be successful. The individual in the relationship understands the importance of the family’s role in the relationship and this is why they value the opinions of the family

Approval would be:

Planning joint family activities with the couple
Being friendly to the partner
Expressing verbal fondness of the partner

Disapproval would be:

Nasty nicknames are given to your partner
Question what their child sees in the person
Refuse to speak to the partner1


return to top