The influence of culture on romantic relationships
Relationships in Western and Non-Western cultures differ greatly due to whether they are voluntary or not and the values they base in the relationship.
In Western cultures people typically choose their own partners on the basis of romantic attraction and individual choice. This is usually before making the decisions such as living together or making long term commitments like marriage. Some may even live together without getting married and the rate of marriages in western cultures has steadily decreased. Furthermore, due to greater social mobility, western cultures are characterised by a greater pool of potential relationships and choice. Western cultures also place a greater importance on the rights and freedoms of the individual and are seen as ‘individualistic’ as they focus on the individual making their own choices. Therefore, relationships are seen as voluntary by those involved.