Mate choice is probably the most important decision in life. This is true whether the relationship is a heterosexual or homosexual one. Yet, problems plaguing marriage and long-term cohabiting relationships remain perplexing and unresolved. Even in long standing relationships, when no breakup or divorce occurs, there is likely to be disappointment in the relationship. Affection may be replaced by tolerance and fulfillment by resignation and endurance. This all takes place because of problems created by emotional conditioning. All of these difficulties (and unhappiness) show up in long-term relationships. To be conditioned means to assume a role in a relationship instead of each person being free to contribute to his fullest ability to whatever joint challenges will arise with his partner. Reality is not the deciding factor when a person chooses a mate. Conditioning is. As a result, the typical marriage is recognized by its stereotypical mode of conducting the relationship.

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