TheoryWho?Main ConceptsRelationships RelatedTheoretical Perspective
Natural SelectionEvolutionary psychologists-women prefer to mate with men who would be good fathers and who would stay around to be good providers


-men preferred to mate with women who could bear healthy babies who could feed their children

-could apply to any given relationship; especially for men and women who plan to have children in their futures-purpose of marriage to bear as many children as possible;  to maintain the population
Sexual AttractionDavid Buss; American Psychologist-people’s behaviour as they interact with potential partners is still patterned to enable them to select the person with whom they can raise the most successful children


-women attracted to men who have the qualities of successful providers

-men attracted to physically appealing women

-any relationship (applies to all) 
Social homogamysociologists-individuals are attracted to people from a similar social background-couples who are interracial, but grew up in the same society-even though couples may come from different ethnic backgrounds, they’re socialized in the same environment, giving them similar aspects in their social background
Ideal mate theorypsychologists-attraction is based on an individual’s unconscious image of the ideal mate formed from his/her meanings of characteristics


-“love at first sight”

-couples from the same social networks-supports social homogamy;  ideal mate formed from pleasant or negative experiences with other individuals in childhood
Love TriangleRobert Sternberg; American Psychologist-romantic love has three faces;


-passion; a strong feeling of sexual desire for another

-intimacy; each individual shares themselves with another and becomes willing to meet the other’s psychological needs

-commitment; maintaining the relationship grows as the rewards of this relationship over others become evident; individuals accept roles

-romantic compassionate love in North American Couples


-couples who feel they’re falling “head over heels in love”

-falling “head over heels in love” from high levels of PEA (phenyl ethylamine)
Romantic LoveHelen Harris-romantic love is a desperate need to connect and a hear of being alone


-described through seven attributes including emotional merger, desire for exclusivity, idealization of a love object, and reordering motivational properties.

-couples at the beginning stages of romantic love; stages right before marriage-desire to be loved psychologically
Cite this article as: William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team), "Understanding the Theories of Attraction and Mate Selection," in SchoolWorkHelper, 2019,

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