Marriage is a social custom which is given importance in most of the human societies all over the world & hence mate selection is a crucial part in marriage . Psychologists & Sociologists have developed several theories which deal with mate selection .These theories mainly suggest the factors that govern consciously or unconsciously an individuals choice for a mate. There are various theories however I am mentioning the common & popular theories of mate selection.
1 ) HOMO GAMY THEORY : According to this theory individuals choose life partner who also has the same religion , race , social status & economical status as he or she has.According to Psychologists the more the couple is homogeneous the better is their married life.
2 ) PROPINQUITY THEORY : According to this theory individuals often choose to marry a person with whom they are working in office for a long time or studying in same college or staying in same area or locality.The theory is based on the fact the individuals who work together or in same area or company or study in same class or college or stay in same area meet daily or occasionally & therefore develop some kind of attraction which influences their decision of mate selection.
3) COMPLEMENTARY NEED THEORY : The theory has been propounded by Winch .According to this theory the individual seeks out a mate to complement his or her own personality. Winch suggests that in mate selection the need pattern of each spouse will be complementary rather than similar to the need pattern of the other spouse .In other words the person choose a mate who will fill out the weaknesses in his or her personality.
4) PARENTAL IMAGE THEORY : Psychologist Sigmund Freud proposed this theory. According to this theory a child develops a deep attachment for the parent of opposite sex. Therefore in a partner the youth tends to seek the quality of his opposite sex parent .Thus a girl wishes to marry a man who has similar traits of her father & man wants to marry a woman who has similar traits of his mother. These theories govern our choice of mate consciously or unconsciously.