Two time-tested concepts in social science—homogamy and propinquity—tell us a lot about how the mate-selection process works.Homogamy literally means “like marries like,” in other words, people tend to choose mates who are similar to them in a variety of sociological dimensions: class, race, ethnicity, age, religion, education, and even level of attractiveness. Though there are examples of couples whose romantic relationships cross these category lines—interracial or interreligious couples, for example, or May-December romances—they are often viewed with distaste by others. Even though some couples do break the rule of homogamy, there are considerable social pressures to adhere to it.Propinquity refers to geographical proximity, as people tend to choose mates who live nearby.
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