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A love marriage is a marriage of two individuals based upon mutual love, affection, commitment and attraction. While nowadays, the term has little discrete meaning in the Western world, where most marriages are considered to be 'based in love,' the term has meaning elsewhere to indicate a concept of marriage which differs from the norms of arranged marriage and forced marriage.
The term has found usage in South Asia and Middle-Eastern countries which have strong traditional arranged marriage systems —where the family of the woman, the man, or of both, arrange the marriage for the individuals.
Depending on the culture, love marriages may be unpopular or frowned upon.
Love marriage is a relatively recent phenomenon. The idea that, instead of duty, affection should be at the base of a shared life, was first expressed by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his popular novel Julie, or the New Heloise, in 1761. It was picked up by the emergent romanticists, for example Friedrich Schlegel, in his novel Lucinde (1799).
From that time onward, the ideal of a marriage 'based on love' became more and more popular. However, it was not until the emergence of the women's movement, that the traditional way of choosing one's spouse - based on criteria such as wealth or their respective social positions - were first widely overcome.
In the 20th century, the 1968 movement, the subsequent second women's movement in the 1970s, as well as the sexual revolution initiated a number of far-reaching changes in Western society: Equal rights for men and women, as well as the right of wives to work even if their husbands disagreed. More and more women began to pursue careers. For the first time, they were free from the need to find a "provider", and "love marriage" became the social norm.
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