European dating marriage

Until the late 20th century, marriage was rarely a matter of free choice.In Western societies love between spouses came to be associated with marriage, but even in Western cultures (as the novels of writers such as Henry James and Edith Wharton attest) romantic love was not the primary motive for matrimony in most eras, and one’s marriage partner was carefully chosen.Cultural pressures to marry within one’s social, economic, and ethnic group are still very strongly enforced in some societies.

Because economic considerations play an essential role in the success of child rearing, the offering of gifts, both real and symbolic, to the married couple are a significant part of the marriage ritual.

Marriage has historically conferred a legitimate status on the offspring, which entitled him or her to the various privileges set down by the traditions of that community, including the right of inheritance.

In most societies marriage also established the permissible social relations allowed to the offspring, including the acceptable selection of future spouses.

Perhaps its strongest function concerns procreation, the care of children and their education and socialization, and regulation of lines of descent.

Through the ages, marriages have taken a great number of forms.

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