Choosing a Marriage Partner The choice of a marriage partner is based on who I perceive myself to be and what I perceive myself to need in the way of quality in a relationship. It depends on the role “I” perform with regards to my concept of “me” for both significant people in the relationship…
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Symbolic meanings in symbolic interactionism refer to the way social interactions are interpreted within a given context. Roles are defined by each relationship within the context of the participants in that relationship. Therefore, the role of husband or wife may not necessarily be literally gender oriented as much as role specific. In this, way, relationships need not conform to traditional constructs; therefore there is no need for the traditional approach to marriage to ensure its success. A healthy marriage is dependent upon the extension of “me” in the role of “I”. In order for a person to make a healthy choice for marriage, four important concepts must be well defined within the individual: 1) the concept of knowing the self well, “me” - who I am, 2) the concept of what “me” means to the world around me, how “I” perform my roles, 3) knowing what I have to offer of myself to another individual, “I”, and 4) what I need to receive from another individual with regards to their performance of “me”, in order to feel accepted, connected, and valued in that relationship. ...
This is the first step in preparation for choosing a marriage partner. Our socialization through the life cycle offers abundant feedback regarding who others perceive us to be. If we agree with that perception, then we continue in those roles; if we don’t agree, then we begin to investigate ways to change that might influence other’s perception of us. This kind of fine tuning takes on a heightened awareness as we move toward adulthood. Young people try on many roles before finding what’s comfortable for them. When we have arrived at a comfort level in whom we are as perceived by the world around us, then our roles are more established; from this springboard, we begin to search for fulfillment. The next step is in looking around to find another person with whom we can begin to relate on a close and personal level. The satisfaction of this basic need is not necessarily equally important for all individuals; however most find it a driving force in adulthood. Socialization in adulthood is largely defined by the interactions between associates in the workplace, peers, and significant others, comprising our continued growth and development along the human journey. The roles we assume in each area give us a chance to further define who “me” is. When “I” perform the role of “me”, then I am either attracted to or repelled by others. Often in relationships there is conflict between who “me” is because “I” am acting in a role where there is role strain and a sense of discomfort. Such conflicts usually surface in a negative way to also strain the relationships. It is only through careful communication and acceptance of that role by the significant other that the relationship can be saved while the relationship is in
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