Similarity and complementarity theories assumed that individuals would choose a partner with similar viewpoints, values and outlooks to their own and would therefore prefer partners with similar religion, education and family background variables .These and other theories painted a comprehensive picture of the personal and interpersonal variables that are at work when choosing a marriage partner, and served as a basis for studying the beginnings of romantic relationships and mate selection .
Backman  developed a four-stage model from the initial acquaintance phase to the marriage itself: exploration, bargaining, commitment and institutionalization.
These models were also criticized for lack of acknowledgment that external forces are involved in mate selection, such as the couple’s social and family systems or significant events in their lives.
Murstien  developed a mate selection model in which couples proceed through three stages: the stimulus, value and role.
The mutual assessment of the partners’ characteristics that are relevant at each stage determines whether or not they will move on to the next stage.
Mate selection as driven from sole physical and reproductive needs has been suggested based on the evolutionary approach.