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The Arc of LoveHow Our Romantic Lives Change over Time$
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Aaron Ben-Ze'ev

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226633909

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226634067.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 25 October 2020

Choosing a Romantic Partner

Choosing a Romantic Partner

Chapter:
(p.126) 8 Choosing a Romantic Partner
Source:
The Arc of Love
Author(s):

Aaron Ben-Ze'ev

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226634067.003.0009

The complexity in choosing a long-term partner relates to the fact that a good match can hardly be determined by preexisting nonrelational traits; only ongoing interactions can reveal and establish a suitable match. It is less important how good each partner is, but how suited they are to each other. In choosing a partner, the suitability scale is more significant than the nonrelational scale. Accordingly, meritocracy, which is a system in which people are chosen for their nonrelational past achievements, is of limited value in choosing a romantic partner. While our minds tend to latch on to both positive and negative superficial qualities, these are less useful in ensuring profound love. Hence, choosing a partner by merely relying on the checklist method or on love at first sight can often lead us to inappropriate choices. It is the profound qualities, particularly the positive ones, which should be one’s focus in choosing a long-term partner. The ability to bring out the best in each other is one of the top predictors for the success of a romantic relationship. It is difficult, however, to identify this ability at the initial stage of a relationship.

Keywords:   dating, ideal, Internet, meritocracy, partner, political, relational, suitability, Trump

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