Peoplefrom various cultures are motivated and guided by different factorswhen making marriage decisions. In most cases, scholars discussmarriage by comparing its practice in communities that believe inindividualism and collectivism. Marriage arrangements differ acrosscultures and human societies. The concept of individualism is commonin communities living in the Western countries since they uphold theidea of being self-reliant. In this paper, the concept of love incommunities that support individualism will be discussed.
Inmost cases, citizens of the Western countries (including the U.S.,Australia, and England) emphasize on love as a prerequisite for anyromantic relationship. However, studies indicate that, love isemphasized by the young people than the older generation. Love isprioritized in individualistic communities because it gives people anopportunity to discover themselves. In addition, love enables peoplein a romantic relationship to express themselves freely. The abilityto express and discover themselves helps lovers to clearmisunderstandings and identify factors that are common between thembefore they can engage in marriage.
Theeconomic and social ideas that are used to characterize the westerncommunities have spread to other nations. For Example, the concept ofindividualism has been entrenched in the Chinese community, which waspreviously described as a society that believes in the notion ofcollectivism. This implies that many Chinese now emphasize on thesignificance of developing love before engaged in marriage.Communities that have always upheld the idea of collectivism arecontinually appreciating the role of love in enhancingself-fulfillment as well as discovery.
Fromthe psychological perspective, the relationship between love andindividualisms is explained by discussing the dignity and uniquenessof all people. Some of the key concepts that are used to describe thenotion of individualism include respect for others’ integritydesire to have the freedom of making choices, and the ability tofulfill one’s potential. These elements indicate that young peoplewho are brought up in an individualistic society are likely to spendmuch of their time (including childhood) trying to pursue theirpersonal goals. The culture of being interested in one’s personalachievement limits their ability to pay attention to the needs oftheir target partners. This trend necessitates the development oflove and strengthening of a romantic relationship prior to makinglong-term commitments, such as marriage.
Theidea of making love as a precondition for marriage is intended toreduce the limitations created by self-contained individualism.Studies have shown that self-contained individualism and the qualityof a romantic relationship are negatively related. Individualisttends to view love as a form of game, which is attributed to theirtendency to value self-sufficiency, autonomy, personal control overlife, and total freedom. The aspect commitment, which is among thekey pillars of marriage is lacking among the majority of youths whoare brought up in individualistic communities. These youths arelikely to report less happiness and satisfaction in ordinaryfriendships and marriage.
Inconclusion, individualism helps people to succeed in different areas(including academic and career) of life. However, it limits theirability to establish strong romantic relationships. This drawback ofthe culture of individualism is attributed to the fact that youngpeople spend most of time pursuing personal growth and paying alimited attention to the concerns of other people. Consequently, itbecomes necessary for these young people to develop love in order tostrengthen romantic relationships before engaging in marriage.
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Sternberg,Robert, J. Thenew psychology of love.Yale University Press, 2008. Print.