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Marry for Love

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"If I do marry, I want it to be for love."
Princess Jasmine, Aladdin (1992)

Not for money, power, political alliance, social standing, compatibility, looks, children... but because they are attracted to the other person, feel a bond with them and want to be with them for as long as possible. Of course, those things might end up being part of the package anyway.

Marry for Love comes in when a character in a work declares that they are not going to enter matrimony unless they have chosen and love the other person first. To them, there's no point in entering a lifelong relationship unless they can actually stand their spouse. This epiphany may occur when someone brings up the option of an Arranged Marriage, or simply the fact that the character in question is still single. They may or may not have already found their betrothed at this point in the story.

Usually associated with female characters, but rarely (if ever) with males.

This may result in a Runaway Fiancé when the character runs away to get out of marriage.

This is obviously Truth in Television with a lot of people, but it's Newer Than They Think.

Compare with the Rebellious Princess, an (almost) Always Female character who runs off with someone whom her parents have deemed unworthy. Also compare the Perfectly Arranged Marriage, where Marriage Before Romance occurs, similar to Rule-Abiding Rebel. And finally, compare Not with Them for the Money.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Aggretsuko: Retsuko initially wants to marry so she can quit her crappy job and live happily ever after, but after some Character Development and a few false starts she ultimately realizes she wants to find someone she truly loves and can start a family with, whether or not she leaves her job.
  • Bleach:
    • Byakuya Kuchiki was a noble who fell in love with the commoner Hisana. His clan did not approve, but he fought for her and gained the right for them to marry.
    • In a flashback arc, it's revealed that Masaki was originally adopted into the Ishida family as part of the matriarch's plan to set up an Arranged Marriage between Masaki and her son Ryuuken. A confession is made to the family's maid, Katagiri, that the reason the Arranged Marriage will never work as the matriarch hopes is that they will never be Happily Married and the best future for the Quincies is to marry for love instead of blood purity or status. While it's clear that Masaki is unhappy with the situation, the twist is that the desire to marry for love is not her confession, it's Ryuuken's. Eventually, the Arranged Marriage falls through. Masaki and Isshin marry for love, and so do Ryuuken and Katagiri.
  • In Delicious in Dungeon it's revealed that Shuro wants to do this with Falin, which is a big deal since he's Eastern nobility and she's an ordinary Western woman. He even proposed to her but she told him she needed time to think it over.
  • Downplayed in Ojojojo. Haru rejected the list of potential husbands that her father had given her so she could confess to Tsurezure, and he accepted her answer without question since her happiness is more important to him than seeing that she gets married. Bonus points for the fact that it was also the trigger for her Love Epiphany. A newspaper article in Komori-san Can't Decline! hints that they got married about four years later (which was later confirmed in the epilogue).

    Fan Works 
  • In Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità, Italy marries both Germany and Japan for love. Thank goodness this fanfic takes place in an Alternate Universe.
  • In A Thing of Vikings, Hiccup turns down all politically advantageous marriage proposals in order to marry Astrid, the girl he loves. He literally pays a literal king's ransom on top of that just to show the world just how much she means to him.

    Films — Animation 
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • In Aladdin, Princess Jasmine rejected dozens of suitors because she refused to marry a man she didn't love. She ends up married to Aladdin after falling in love with him.
    • Prince Philip wants to marry a woman he loves in Sleeping Beauty, even though he's been betrothed to Princess Aurora since early childhood. Luckily for them, the peasant girl with whom he's fallen so passionately in love actually is Princess Aurora, and the result is a Perfectly Arranged Marriage.
  • Subverted in Corpse Bride. In their Arranged Marriage, Victor and his bride-to-be hit it off immediately, while her parents are only arranging the marriage because they have nothing. It's only when the titular Corpse Bride Emily thinks Victor has married her for love that the conflict begins...
  • Hercules (Pure Magic) has Deianira declare that she will only marry a man who can keep his promise to love her.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Ajnabee: Raj and Priya married for love, shortly after meeting. One of the first things Priya's new neighbor Sonia asks of her is if she had an Arranged Marriage or a "Love Marriage".
  • Referenced in Bend It Like Beckham when Jess tells her teammates that her sister has a "love match" as opposed to an arranged marriage. The groom-to-be's parents still attempt to call off the wedding but eventually relent after seeing how miserable the couple are apart.
  • Marrying for love is Jaya and Lalita's goal in Bride and Prejudice.
  • The plot to Coming to America is Eddie Murphy's prince looking for love to marry.
  • Played for Laughs in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Prince Herbert doesn't care if his proposed mate is beautiful, rich, has huuuuge... tracts of land, if he doesn't like her, he won't marry her. He wants someone that he'd marry to have... (cue music) a certain... special... something... (which must be love) (music dies down) CUT THAT OUT! CUT THAT OUT!
  • Mr Malcolm's List: Mr Malcolm is a fabulously wealthy aristocrat who would very much like to marry a woman he likes, especially after seeing the unhappy marriage his older brother ended up in, but winds up rejecting a lot of women who don't fit his perceived ideal out of self-preservation. He finally finds his match in Selina.
  • The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement: The main conflict is that an obscure law forces Mia to marry before her twenty-first birthday or lose her claim to the throne. Her chosen fiancé, Andrew, is a genuinely lovely man and they do hit it off, but they come to the realization that they are Better as Friends. Ironically, Mia's main love interest, Nicholas, would've also been a suitable fiancé for her — Nicholas even suggests the possibility, only for it to be shot down by his power-hungry uncle, who wants Nicholas to become a King himself rather than marry a Queen (since Nicholas is also a viable blood heir for the throne through a long-distance relationship with the Renaldis). Mia and Andrew break things off but remain close friends, and Mia gets to have a real relationship with Nicholas.
    Mia: What kind of person agrees to an arranged marriage? [realizes] Uh... You agreed to an arranged marriage.
    Clarisse: Right. Yes, I did. And it turned out quite splendidly. He was my best friend. We grew very fond of each other.
    Mia: I'm sure, Grandma, but...I dream of love, not fondness.
  • Rosaline: Rosaline rejects all her suitors because she wants to marry someone she likes (and she thinks she likes Romeo). Paris lampshades it.
    Rosaline: Is there any other reason?
    Paris: Mmm. Money, status, land, nicer living quarters. No, no other reason.
  • Georg von Trapp decides late into The Sound of Music that he can't marry the wealthy, sophisticated Baroness (who's of equal social standing to him) because he's in love with Maria, his children's governess.
  • Star Trek (2009): Sarek eventually reveals this is the reason he married Amanda Grayson, after insisting it was for mostly political reasons. The Prime timeline simply has him claim that "it seemed logical at the time", which is probably the closest to an on-screen declaration of love.


By Author:

  • Most of Georgette Heyer's heroines will only marry for love. But even those who don't find a happily ever after somehow.

By Title:

  • In Bread Givers, Sara declares that she will do this after she sees her father marry off her sisters to wealthy men who were cads and in at least one case, lied about his wealth.
  • Comes up in A Brother's Price. Jerin wants wives he can come to love instead of enduring. His family, fairly enlightened, lets men choose their new families and said men are happier for it. Ultimately his protective older sisters let him marry into the family containing the woman he loves (and he does grow to love his other wives as well).
  • In A Christmas Carol, Scrooge asks Fred why he got married, and a bewildered Fred replies "Because I fell in love". Scrooge considers this to be the only thing more ridiculous than a merry Christmas.
  • Codex Alera:
    • It is said the nobility and Citizenry of Alera rarely, if ever, wed for anything romantic. Only the commoners can have this luxury.
    • Princeps Septimus, son of Gaius, sole heir to the throne, rejected an arranged marriage and chose to marry a common girl because he truly fell in love with her.
    • In Cursor's Fury Lord Placidus gives this as his reasoning for complying with the villain's ransom demands when the villain reveals he kidnapped Placidus's wife. This leads him to immediately get his armies into fighting position, on the logic that either his wife will be freed soon by the First Lord's agents, or killed, and in either case, there would be nothing holding him back from kicking the guy's arse up between his ears.
  • In Deltora Quest, Lief states that "when the time comes, [he] will follow Adin's example and marry for love."
  • Der Stechlin: Ermyntrude Katzler was born as a Princess of Ippe-Büchsenstein, but became a commoner to marry Wladimir Katzler, the head forester of the Stechlin region. Fontane treats this marriage fairly realistically, showing that there is some stress between the still somewhat exalted former princess and her more down-to-earth husband.
  • Emma Woodhouse from Emma states that she will only marry for love.
    Emma: My being charming, Harriet, is not quite enough to induce me to marry; I must find other people charming — one other person at least. And I am not only not going to be married at present, but have very little intention of ever marrying at all. [...] I have none of the usual inducements of women to marry. Were I to fall in love, indeed, it would be a different thing! but I never have been in love; it is not my way or my nature, and I do not think I ever shall. And, without love, I am sure I should be a fool to change such a situation as mine. Fortune I do not want; employment I do not want; consequence I do not want: I believe few married women are half as much mistress of their husband's house, as I am of Hartfield; and never, never could I expect to be so truly beloved and important; so always first and always right in any man's eyes as I am in my father's.
  • An issue in the film and miniseries of The Feast of All Saints. The patriarchs/matriarchs of both the wealthy white families and the Colored gentry insist on marriages/relationships based on status and wealth, not love. This leads to loveless marriages, cold and distant wives, and white men participating in plaçage as an escape.
  • Hani and Ishu's Guide to Fake Dating: Nik, Ishu's sister, gets engaged to a British Indian man she meets while in London, without consulting her parents first. Their reaction is frosty, aided by the fact she leaves university too.
  • Heralds of Valdemar:
    • In the first book of the Mage Winds trilogy, Princess Elspeth is resigned to participating in Altar Diplomacy as part of her duties as Heir. Then she thinks about it and realizes that all of Valdemar's neighbors are either solid allies or sworn enemies, neither of which are likely to change because of a marriage or lack thereof in her lifetime, and so perhaps she can find a love match as some of her fellow Heralds have. In the second book, while on an unrelated quest, she does, and in the third, they marry.
    • Unless they luck into circumstances like Elspeth's (and being a Herald helps), marrying for love isn't a realistic option for most Valdemaran nobility, which is explored in Closer to Home. While her older sisters scheme to marry wealth, Violetta is In Love with Love, which nearly gets her whole family killed when the son of a rival family seduces her and plots to obtain both family fortunes via mass murder. Violetta, having declared her intention to marry for love and seen it seemingly fulfilled, doesn't realize what's happening until it's far too late. The main characters, members of the more sexually liberated Heralds, decide that something ought to be done about a culture that raises girls to aspire to no more than a good match.
  • The main plot of High School D×D Volume 2 deals with the main female protagonist; Rias Gremory, being engaged by her parents against her will to another devil, as she stated that she would choose her husband herself, as she tries to annul the engagement by competing in a Rating Game against her would-be-fiance, as the engagement is annulled by the actions of her servant; Issei Hyoudou, whom she falls in love with. Issei would later propose to her in Volume 22 and she gladly accepts, becoming the first of his brides.
  • In Hurog, a surprising number (considering the setting, and the predominance of arranged marriages) of people marry for love, although none marry beneath their station. Ward gets to marry the noblewoman Tisala whom he deeply admires, and who also likes him, his sister Ciarra marries one of her cousins, informing Ward (her eldest male relative) of the fact only after the engagement, and, surprisingly Garranon, who was Mistaken for Gay by some because he was the king's concubine for the past fifteen years, loves his wife very much, and she him.
  • Mansfield Park:
    • Fanny Price in her first major act of independence and defiance refuses to marry the despicable Henry Crawford because she does not love him and knows what's Beneath the Mask. He is rich and charming, and everybody expects her to accept him.
    • Inverted by Romantic False Lead Mary Crawford who has Gold Digger tendencies, despite being a wealthy heiress with a huge dowry. Mary genuinely falls in love with Edmund but refuses to marry him unless he's richer. He should abandon his dream of being a clergyman for some better profession (better in Mary's eyes). She later wishes his ill older brother dies so that he could get the family estate. That is about when Edmund truly sees her colours.
  • Catherine Morland of Northanger Abbey quickly falls for Henry Tilney, whose family is much richer than hers. Although the Morlands are landed gentry and comfortably off, they aren't rich enough for General Tilney, and Henry openly defies his father in proposing to Catherine anyway. (That said, Catherine and Henry's great romance is gently mocked by the narrator as having no stronger a foundation than Henry being flattered by Catherine's obvious crush on him.)
  • In The Spine of the World from Paths of Darkness, this trope is played with. Meralda's lord catches sight of her and falls in love with her, and sends his steward to propose to her. Meralda does not love him - she'd rather be with the local Emo Teen bard - but her father gives her no choice in the matter.
  • Anne Elliot of Persuasion realizes she can't even entertain the thought of marrying her rich cousin because she is in love with Captain Wentworth, and as far as she is concerned, whether they ever marry or not, she is forever separated from other men.
  • Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice says she won't marry anyone unless it's for love. This causes her to turn down two marriage proposals, one from a well-off (but insufferable) pastor and one from a filthy rich but incredibly snobby gentleman. She eventually marries the rich guy anyway after a great deal of Character Development on both their parts results in genuine love between them. Lizzie does have her doubts about holding out for love instead of accepting the overtures of the insufferable pastor and evinces some sympathy when her best friend snaps him up instead. This is worth noting because the novel came out only 200 years ago, showing just how recently the idea of marrying for love was still a risky venture.
  • In The Quest of the Unaligned, when Alaric is informed that he has to pick a bride from among the noble ladies of Caederan, we get this great line "Alaric had always planned on getting married eventually, of course. But his criteria for potential spouses had always included things like being... someone he actually knew and liked, for starters."
  • In a book from The Royal Diaries, Isabella I of Castile went behind her brother's back to marry the young, handsome, kind, and intelligent heir of Aragon after he stole her heart.
  • Sense and Sensibility: The Dashwood sisters Elinor and Marianne lose their fortune on their father's death, which means that although they both are in love, their inability to bring any more material consideration to a marriage seriously hampers them. Willoughby, faced with a financial emergency, quickly abandons Marianne for a wealthy heiress who wants to get away from her guardians. Edward, meanwhile, is intended for a rich woman he's never even met and knows that his mother is likely to disinherit him if he chooses a woman who isn't fabulously wealthy (never mind a poor one like Elinor).
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Zigzagged by Aegon the Conqueror, who got his way by marrying both women in question. Targaryen Royal Inbreeding customs prescribed that Aegon marry his older sister Visenya, but his younger sister Rhaenys was his preference. He married one for duty, the other for love.
    • After the death of his first wife, Viserys I defied the suggestion for him to marry Laena Velaryon, and instead wedded Alicent Hightower, the daughter of his Hand. While Alicent was not a lowborn (the Hightowers were one of the oldest and richest houses in the Seven Kingdoms), the Velaryons were the Targaryens' traditional allies, and marrying Laena would preserve the stability of the realm in the long run, while the Hightowers were ambitious social climbers who had other ideas for the crown, to the detriment of Viserys' chosen heir and daughter by his first wife, Rhaenyra. Needless to say, it didn't end well.
    • In contrast to her previous marriages to Ossifer Plumm and Ronnel Penrose, Elaena Targaryen's third marriage to Michael Manwoody was for love. She married him because of his passion for music, and when he died, she personally arranged for his effigy be made carrying a harp, instead of a sword and shield befitting a knight.
    • Aegon V broke with the Targaryen dynastic tradition of Brother–Sister Incest and married for love. At the time, this was allowed because he was the thirteenth Spare to the Throne; when he, the fourth son of a fourth son, somehow ended up with the crown, he was immediately dubbed "Aegon the Unlikely." Even worse, all three of his sons did the same, against his wishes. Crown Prince Duncan abdicated the throne to wed a commoner, Jenny of Oldstones; his youngest son Daeron died in battle, unwed, alongside his close personal friend Ser Jeremy Norridge; and the middle son, Jaehaerys, eloped with his beloved... his sister, Princess Shaera. And, just to add insult to injury, Jaehaerys didn't follow his father's example with his own children and forced his son Aerys II and daughter Rhaella to marry, to their great displeasure. Mad King Aerys's general unhappiness resulted in a civil war that set the stage for the Song of Ice and Fire series as a whole.
    • Harshly deconstructed in the case of Robb Stark. The Young Wolf breaks off a politically important Arranged Marriage when he falls for the Florence Nightingale Effect after he's wounded in battle. He hastily arranges for his uncle to marry his fiancée in his place in an effort to uphold the alliance... but at the wedding feast, he, his mother, and many of his high command are murdered by their hosts, who took the snub as an excuse to change allegiance. This is the famous "Red Wedding" which you may have heard many readers and Game of Thrones viewers lamenting recently.
    • Tywin Lannister married his cousin Joanna for love. Hypocritically, he wants his own children to marry for political advantage. Tywin also never remarried; those closest to him describe Joanna's death as his Cynicism Catalyst.
  • In the Love Triangle interpretation of the Song of Songs from The Bible, the Shulamite is dealing with a Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor situation — King Solomon being the rich suitor and a shepherd she loves as the poor suitor. Solomon does his best to woo her, but in the end, the Shulamite chooses the shepherd over Solomon, saying to the effect that all the money in the world wouldn't be enough to buy her love.
  • In Spinning Silver, the Duke of Visnya married his first wife, Irina's mother, because he loved her. Irina, grown and with her mother long dead, is pretty sure that her dad must have been angry with himself for doing so because he brutally practical in all other respects and never takes a risk without being sure he's going to get something of good value in return. His second marriage was to a rich widow of equal social rank who gave him the male heirs he wanted, so he ignores the plain daughter of his first wife because she isn't of much practical use to him.
  • The Sunne in Splendour portrays two cases of marrying for love based on real historic events. Edward IV marries the commoner Elizabeth Woodville rather than a foreign princess and alienates his key allies. His youngest brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester also marries his childhood sweetheart, the widowed Anne Neville, over the strong objections of their third brother George. When Edward questions why Richard is willing to go through so much trouble, including giving up a large part of Anne's fortune to appease George, Richard asks what dowery Elizabeth brought to Edward, a remark that wins Edward's respect.
  • The eponymous Tommy and Tuppence Beresford. It's notable in that Tuppence was of the practical order and fully intended to marry as rich as possible until being faced with the opportunity to do so led her to realize that she had in fact loved Tommy all along.
  • In Triumph of a Tsar, Tsar Alexei II marries his childhood friend, Princess Ileana of Romania, for love — but it is also very much relevant that Ileana, as an Orthodox princess, is also a perfectly acceptable bride from a dynastic perspective.
  • The Villainess Lives Again: Invoked. Artezia suggests that Cedric presents their impromptu courtship and marriage as a love match, so people won't immediately assume he's siding with Laurence in the ongoing Succession Crisis. It works, in part because it's not as much of an act as either of them would like it to be: It's strongly implied that Tia secretly loved Cedric even in the previous timeline and Cedric's vague memory of the past life's tormented Tia draws him to her.
  • Wolf Hall
    • Thomas Cromwell's daughter Anne asks him if she can choose whom she marries (having overheard a lot of talk about Henry VIII's woes in this matter). Cromwell says yes, mentally adding "within reason." He's relieved when she says she would choose to marry his ward Rafe, though she dies of illness soon after.
    • After becoming well and truly fed up with being denigrated by her family and used as Henry's bedwarmer during Anne's pregnancy, Mary Boleyn marries the poor but kind knight William Stafford. She is banished from court as a result, but when she later writes to Cromwell asking for monetary help, she says she'd rather be begging her bread with William than a rich queen.
    • Rafe secretly marries Helen Barre, a poor probably-a-widow Cromwell had hired into his household (she had previously been attracted to Cromwell, but he didn't notice), only revealing it when her pregnancy will start to show. Cromwell scolds him for marrying without any attention to practicality, but he comes around soon enough and talks Rafe's father round to it as well. (Rafe and Helen did remain married for the rest of their lives, but he had to get an Act of Parliament to legitimize their union and children when her husband reappeared ten years later.)

    Live-Action TV 
  • Bridgerton: In season 1, as the eldest and most beautiful daughter of a rich viscount, Daphne has no shortage of suitors. But, she forgoes accepting a proposal for a while because she has seen her parents' happy marriage and wants a husband whom she has a real connection with.
  • Downton Abbey:
    • Lady Mary refuses to marry Matthew when he becomes the heir (even though she had been willing to marry the previous heir without love). Ironically, she does end up marrying for love - with Matthew. They slowly developed feelings for each other.
    • Mary's younger sister Sybil is a more straightforward version of this trope when she marries Tom, the family chauffeur, for love, and repeatedly citing that love whenever she is questioned on her choice in husband by the rest of her family.
    • Mary and Sybil's cousin Rose declares she will only marry for love and doesn't want to be pressured into a marriage just for the sake of it now that she's "out" in society. Shortly afterwards, she falls for and marries Atticus Aldridge.
  • The "Beauty and the Beast" episode of Faerie Tale Theatre has Beauty telling her suitor that when she does marry it will be out of love, not need.
  • Friends:
    • Rachel leaves her fiancé at the altar because she wants to marry for love and almost immediately meets Ross. Of course, thanks to her rather fickle nature, this turns out to be a complicated journey. She and Ross do eventually get together, and it's implied they do get married.
    • Monica also shows shades of this, determined to have a happy family and loving husband, but resisting her mother's pressuring. When Rachel encourages her to date and marry a billionaire, Monica refuses because she doesn't have feelings for him. She succeeds in her quest a lot quicker than Rachel and marries her best friend Chandler.
  • Game of Thrones, the televised adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • The fate of Robb Stark, who forgoes his betrothal to a Frey girl in order to marry Talisa. The Freys are understandably insulted. They even kill him over it. The major differences between the show and the books is that his new bride is a field medic, who he meets in the aftermath of a battle. Additionally, while book!Robb bade Jeyne Westerling stay home during the massacre that killed him, TV!Robb brought Talisa with him and was pleased to learn that she had quickened and was carrying his child. At the Red Wedding, she too was slain.
    • Though it wasn't confirmed in the books yet, it's revealed in both the Season 6 and 7 finales that Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark fell in love and secretly married each other in Dorne. But prior to that, Rhaegar annulled his marriage with Elia Martell without the knowledge of the entire realm, and Lyanna was betrothed to Robert Baratheon. As expected, Poor Communication Kills, which led many to believe that Rhaegar abandoned his wife and kidnapped Lyanna, culminating in a deadly civil war that cost many lives, including their own, and drove Rhaegar's remaining family members into exile.
  • House of the Dragon:
    • King Viserys Targaryen gives this option to his daughter Rhaenyra when it becomes difficult to find a suitor for her.
    • Rhaenyra eventually marries her One True Love, her own uncle Daemon.
  • Prince Arthur from Merlin defies his father and breaks off an Arranged Marriage due to the importance he places of marrying for love, stating that: "I'll be a much better king for the strength and support of a woman I love."
  • Once Upon a Time: Prince Charming started out as a Farm Boy who insisted that he wanted to marry for love. Despite an Arranged Marriage, he does end up marrying his True Love, Snow White.
  • The White Queen:

  • The musical Call Me Madam had the song "Marrying For Love." In it, the Silver Fox describes how arranged marriages have been unhappy in his aristocratic family. He won't make the same mistake they did, even if he's getting up there in years.
  • In Fiddler on the Roof the daughters want to marry the men of their choice: a poor tailor, a revolutionary, and worst of all, a gentile, rather than have Yenta the matchmaker choose.
  • In Cole Porter's Musical The Pirate, Serafin tells Manuela (who has been engaged to the Mayor of her tiny Caribbean village in an arranged marriage), "In England and America, they have a different custom. There the women marry for love," to which Manuela replies, "I know. That's a very stupid custom."
  • In the Cinderella movie musical The Slipper and the Rose, Prince Edward objects to having to choose from an array of loathsome princesses for a political match and wishes he could Marry for Love.
    • In the unabridged version, the king and queen answer him with the song "What Has Love Got to Do With Getting Married?"
    • With the song "Position and Positioning", the Edward's valet and friend John explains that all people are limited to marrying within their own social stratum, and so lack freedom to Marry for Love. After hearing this, the prince knights John, granting him the status he needs to marry the noblewoman he loves.
  • Doubly Subverted: Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie declares that she will marry a rich man rather than for love since marriage is a business arrangement. Her beau Jimmy turns out to be filthy rich anyway.

    Tabletop Games 

  • In The Merry Widow, Hanna refuses to consider marrying her Old Flame Danilo until she's sure he still loves her for herself, and not just for the large inheritance from her late husband.

    Video Games 
  • Dragon Quest V: While Nera is usually the model of daughterly obedience when her father sets up an Engagement Challenge to determine who will win the right to marry her, she protests and states that she wants to marry for love. This is somewhat undercut, however, when she notices that The Hero is among the candidates, as she had developed a crush on him the moment she met.
  • Zig-zagged during a discussion in Final Fantasy X. Lulu says that if Yuna were to marry, she would prefer she does it for love, but if Yuna said she wanted to marry the one she loved, she would have to object. This leaves Tidus confused.
  • In The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV, on the night before the final day of the game, Olivert proposes to Schera at Mishelam out of love for the times that they've shared. While the player doesn't get to witness Schera's answer (due to Rean running away to prevent being a Moment Killer), the epilogue of the game clearly has Schera say yes. They reaffirm the reason why they marry for love in their side episode in The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie.
  • In Odin Sphere, Prince Cornelius of Titania wants to marry Velvet, to the disapproval of his father King Edmund, who wants to put him in an Arranged Marriage with one of the daughters of Demon King Odin of Ragnanival. Slightly muddying the waters is that Velvet is a princess, but as Edmund points out, her kingdom is in ruins and her people "supposedly" dead (they're not, just turned into rabbit-like Pookas, but that would be unlikely to get Edmund's or the Titanian people's approval). Velvet's twin brother also doesn't approve of their attraction, and decides to curse Cornelius into a Pooka, toss him into the Netherworld, and use magic to masquerade as him just to put the final nail in the coffin (granted, he had other reasons to want to infiltrate the Titanian royal family, but he didn't hesitate to take advantage of the opportunity). Luckily for Cornelius, he manages to make things work with Velvet.

    Visual Novels 
  • George in Umineko: When They Cry is one rare male example, and even has an exchange about this with his mother Eva. He says that it makes no sense to marry someone you don't love; she replies that it makes even less sense to marry someone just because of love, and that love is something that comes after you're married. She would know: When her brother and his wife were having trouble conceiving, Eva proposed to her then-boyfriend, Hideyoshi in the hopes of having a child that could become the next Ushiromiya heir. Despite this (and Eva's other issues), the two are the most stable among the couples.

  • Girl Genius:
    • Gilgamesh Wulfenbach isn't happy when his father announces it's time for him to get married and that he will arrange for a suitable match. Gil even admits to his manservant that for a long time he dreamed about a girl who could understand him and be his partner. It's one of the reasons for his Wacky Marriage Proposal to Agatha later on.
    • Sleipnir abandons the political marriage waiting for her, even though she wasn't particularly dreading it, in favour of eloping with Theo Du Medd.
    • Seffie does a variant. She encourages her cousin Tarvek to pursue Agatha because this will result in leaving Gil alone, where he will be more amenable to a political marriage with her. She loves him, but is aware he'll probably never love her back; a coldly logical marriage, in her mind, is better than nothing.
      Seffie: I always knew I was destined for a political marriage. This is the one I want.
  • Julie and Lenny in Our Little Adventure. There are a lot of hints that Theodore (Julie's father) was not happy about it.

    Web Original 
  • Persephone did this with Hades in Thalia's Musings in spite of being sought after by most of Zeus's sons.
    • Aphrodite resents not being given this option and feels trapped in her Arranged Marriage to Hephaestus.

    Western Animation 
  • Amid all the Arranged Marriages and Altar Diplomacies in Disenchantment, King Zog and Queen Dagmar actually fell in Love at First Sight and ended up happily married. At least as far as Zog knew; Dagmar was in it for his kingdom and tried to assassinate him by turning him to stone. Zog is so crushed by the revelation, it's probably the first time in the entire series you actually feel bad for him.
  • Fox on Gargoyles. Xanatos, the richest man in the world asks her to marry him, and her response is, "What about ... love?" He responds with a fairly clinical evaluation of their mutual compatibility. Part of that episode was Xanatos learning he really did love Fox; he asks for Goliath's help on that basis.
    Xanatos: And now you know my one weakness.
    Goliath: Only you would regard love as a weakness.
  • The Simpsons shows that even a Shotgun Wedding doesn't preclude this, as Marge reveals in Whole Episode Flashback "I Married Marge" that her Surprise Pregnancy with Bart wasn't the reason she agreed to marry Homer. This realization gives Homer the motivation he needs to finally get hired by the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, enabling him to support his new family.
    Marge: Homer, do you know why I married you?
    Homer: 'Cause I knocked you up?
    Marge: No. Because I love you!
  • In Winx Club, when Nabu reveals his true identity to Aisha in episode 23 of the third season, he explains that he had always believed that a person should only marry someone they truly love, which is why he was against the idea of an Arranged Marriage.

    Real Life 
  • One Older Than Feudalism example: Liu Xiu (劉秀/刘秀), Emperor Guangwu and founder of the Eastern Han, married his first wife Yin Lihua (陰麗華/阴丽华) out of admiration of her beauty. A quote from him goes: "If I were to be an official, I want to be zhijinyu (mayor of the capital); if I were to marry, I want to marry Yin Lihua". Even though he did engage in Altar Diplomacy, married another lady called Guo Shengtong (郭聖通/郭圣通), and made Shengtong his first empress, he eventually instated Lihua as his second empress.
  • As illustrated in the non-fiction book Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage, this trope is Newer Than They Think, only entering the picture around the 1600s; even in Jane Austen's time, it was still fighting for acceptance. This is not to say that love was not a desired part of a marriage; but it was felt to be a product of a matter that had its real origins in matters of church, state, and wealth.
  • Marrying for love happened more than once in The House of Plantagenet:
    • Edward the Black Prince, who was the oldest son of Edward III but never became king, married a childhood friend of his, Joan the Fair Maid of Kent. This was extraordinary because she had already had two husbands, one of which was still alive and was thirty-two at the time she married Edward. Her marital history was colorful, having eloped with a man when she was about thirteen but forced to annul that marriage by her family and married off to another man. However, eventually, Joan and her first husband legally fought to have their original union reinstated and they went on to have five children. It was only after the first husband passed away that Edward and Joan married, in secret and without papal dispensations. However, the very wealthy and charming Joan seems to have been well-liked (unlike Elizabeth Woodville, see below) and Edward III soon gave his blessing. The couple then went on to have another, lavish royal wedding after the proper dispensations were granted. They had two sons, but one died young. The other grew up to be King Richard II.
    • Surprisingly for someone with such a maligned reputation, Richard III apparently married his wife, Anne Neville, out of love. At the time, she was the widow of Henry VI's son and the daughter of the disgraced Earl of Warwick and whatever Richard could have gained from marrying her (part of her mother's fortune, political connections in the North) another less troublesome match could have accomplished. His older brother George, who was Anne's brother-in-law and wanted Anne's portion of her mother's fortune, bitterly opposed the marriage. Legend has it that George disguised Anne as a servant to hide her from Richard, and Richard rescued her, whisking her away to sanctuary while he negotiated the marriage with his and George's oldest brother, the king. Eventually, Richard had to agree to give George a larger part of the fortune and some titles and properties in order to appease him but Richard did keep Anne's childhood home, where they eventually made their home. Also counts as Childhood Friend Romance; the two of them were distant cousins and grew up together.
    • George, Duke of Clarence, may have been something of a Jerkass to his little brother and his sister-in-law (see above) but he also married for love, at least partially. He grew up with Isabel Neville, the daughter of The Kingmaker, the Earl of Warwick and was no doubt encouraged by Warwick to want to marry Isabel. Edward IV, however, objected to Warwick's ambitions and forbid the match. George defied his brother the king and married her anyway. Although this is often portrayed as done primarily because Warwick was promising to put George on the throne, evidence suggests George did love Isabel. He never had a mistress or any illegitimate children and cared for Isabel and their children lavishly. When she died, he got a major case of Sanity Slippage.
    • Edward IV, the brother of Richard and George (see above) also married for love and caused himself a world of trouble. He married a common woman, Elizabeth Woodville, in secret and proceeded to shower titles and offices on her many relatives. This created much scandal, but Edward fiercely resisted any pressure to put his wife aside. His grandson Henry VIII, who resembled him but was not a Plantagenet through the male line, was even more famous for marrying for love, having done it five out of his six marriages, although it didn't always work out.
  • The Habsburgs have a number of notable examples.
    • Archduke Ferdinand (1529-1595), the son of Emperor Ferdinand I, secretly married Philippine Welser, the daughter of a merchant from Augsburg. In order to get his father to accept this, Ferdinand not only had to give up his claim to succession but to make doubly sure he and his wife had to sign a declaration that their children weren't their own but foundlings. The story has been adapted into a story arc of the adventures of Anna, Bella, and Caramella, the distaff spin-off of Die Abrafaxe.
    • Archduke John (Johann) (1782-1859), who during the Revolution of 1848 was briefly appointed German regent (Reichsverweser), married Anna Plochl (1804-1885), the daughter of a postmaster.
    • The young Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria (1830-1916) married his shy but beautiful Bavarian cousin Elisabeth (better known by her nickname Sisi) against his mother's wishes. The young, unprepared and sensitive Elisabeth was deeply unsuited for the very public role of empress and eventually withdrew from the marriage all but in name, but her husband remained deeply in love with her all his life.
    • The Austro-Hungarian heir apparent Archduke Franz Ferdinand married Sophie Countess Chotek with the consequence that she was often humiliated by protocol and that their children were excluded from the Imperial and Royal succession. Both were assassinated in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914.
  • Tsar Nicholas II of Russia married the minor German royal Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine (later Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna) in an example of this that dropped the collective jaws of most of Western Europe. It didn't end well... but there is no doubt whatsoever that "Nicky and Alix" loved each other desperately and truly all their lives long.
  • As a Countess with access to the highest circles of Prussian society, Marie von Brühl could easily have married someone of her rank; instead, she fell deeply in love with Carl von Clausewitz, an almost unknown but promising officer of dubious nobility, who loved her just as much. Despite many hardships and obstacles, such as their separations when Carl went to war and was captured by the French, or Marie's mother's firm opposition to this misalliance, they finally married in 1810, eight years after they first met, and remained closely united for the rest of their lives.
  • King George VI, then merely Prince Albert, fell in love with and married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in an example of one of these; as he wasn't expected to take the throne, it was perfectly acceptable for him to marry a blue-blooded British aristocrat and live a quiet life. Needless to say, that is not what happened.
  • The marriage of Prince Harald of Norway to his commoner girlfriend Sonja was very controversial with the Norwegian government and Harald's conservative father Olav, who were of the opinion he ought to marry a woman of royal descent. Their courtship lasted for nine years until Harald made it clear that if he couldn't marry her, he wouldn't be getting married ever, and faced with a potential succession crisis (Harald was the only son and therefore the only one who could inherit the throne), Olav consented to the match. More than fifty years later, the now King Harald and Queen Sonja remain very Happily Married.


Video Example(s):


"You're human, Charlotte."

After bonding with her even more due to their experiences on the battlefiend, the Avatar (here, a default Male Corrin), reaches out to Charlotte to confess his feelings to her. Outright baffled that anyone would take interest in her after her boorish ways were made clear in an earlier encounter, the Avatar nonetheless reaffirms her that its her humanity that he loves the most about her. This brings Charlotte to tears, to which she happily accepts his proposal and marries him.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre

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