As a human, I cannot imagine how a couple can get married without developing likings for each other first. How do the Vulcans find a suitable spouse in their emotionless way?

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    One does not have to fall in love in order to get married - political marriage i.e. They can simply deem it logical to marry a certain individual in order to sire the next generation - for the good of the species. Should probably do a little bit more research, but I believe that it would simply be that by logic = a male/female Vulcan will look for the smartest other that he/she could find Nov 5, 2016 at 10:35
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    'As a human'? In our wonderful 21th c. humans still do arranged marriage in certain parts of the world.
    – user68762
    Nov 5, 2016 at 10:42
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    @R.Skeeter - There's also a wealth of evidence that shows that (on balance) arranged marriages are more likely to lead to long-term happiness for both partners.
    – Valorum
    Nov 5, 2016 at 10:49
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    @R.Skeeter -Ha! I wouldn't trust my parents to pick out curtains for me, let alone a life-partner :-)
    – Valorum
    Nov 5, 2016 at 10:59
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    Arranged marriage talk aside, Vulcans have emotions--they just control them. Sarek & Amanda's marriage certainly was not arranged. Sarek realized that marrying Amanda would be the logical thing to do. ((I can't remember which book I saw this in. Might also be in one of the movies.))
    – miltonaut
    Nov 5, 2016 at 11:02

3 Answers 3


Spock's marriage was arranged by his family.

SPOCK: By our parents' arrangement. A ceremony while we were but seven years of age. Less than a marriage but more than a betrothal. One touches the other in order to feel each other's thoughts. In this way our minds were locked together, so that at the proper time, we would both be drawn to Koon-ut-kal-if-fee.

TOS: Amok Time

As was T'Pol's.

TPOL: We haven't spoken in many years. Marriages on Vulcan are arranged during childhood. I've only met Koss four times.

ENT: Breaking the Ice

Vulcan being a logical society, both parties would make solid efforts to make the marriage a success but there still exists the ability to divorce/annul a marriage if it's not working. Note that there are consequences to a refused or failed marriage, both societal...

TPOL: You've received my letters. You know I'm not interested in marriage.

KOSS: The decision isn't ours alone. My parents believe in the old traditions. For them, a betrothal cannot simply be dismissed.

ENT: Home

...and physical

SPOCK: No. Nor am I a man. I'm a Vulcan. I'd hoped I would be spared this, but the ancient drives are too strong. Eventually, they catch up with us, and we are driven by forces we cannot control to return home and take a wife. Or die.

TOS: Amok Time

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    Now that you put it that way, I wonder whether the custom of betrothing children to one another was meant to reduce the amount of violence that would otherwise be involved in the Pon Farr? Nov 12, 2016 at 22:08
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    @HarryJohnston - The Pon-farr isn't that much of an issue for Vulcans in the Alpha Quadrant. They either mate with their assigned wife/husband or use one of the facilities devoted to matching females and males undergoing Pon Farr with each other. Arranged marriages would probably reduce the number of ritual challenges that are conducted, but the numbers wouldn't be huge either way.
    – Valorum
    Nov 12, 2016 at 22:21
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    What's love got to do, got to do with it? Love's just a second hand emotion. Nov 22, 2016 at 20:53
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    @MajorStackings - I'm sure Picard would be the first to point out that a heart can be broken.
    – Valorum
    Nov 22, 2016 at 20:56

Your thinking is common but a product of your time. Historically marriage has had nothing to do with love. Marriage was originally about reproduction, inheritance, alliances, and providing for ones children. Which is not in any way to say this was a better system. It was the system that best suited societies needs.

In fact it was often considered weird or even problematic to be in love with your spouse. Granted it has always been viewed as best to at least like your spouse and get a long but often accepted that that is not the norm.

Vulcans are logical. They need to reproduce, know that two stable parents raise children more effectively, and have a societally acceptable outlet for the male pon farr. Imagine how destabilizing it would be if a male Vulcan had to secure a partner; you see the pressure of an oncoming or during such an illogical time.

Plus Tuvok on Voyager explains his relationship with his children in a way similar to the way Data describes his friendships. They bring something stabilizing to his life, provide predictability, and they perform suboptimally when the connection is absent.

I’m sure Vulcans experience a similar situation with their spouses. Now what I really wonder is now that humans do marry for love is why would a human marry a Vulcan.


Faulty premise: Vulcans are not emotionless, they merely have much more self-discipline than humans with regards to displaying or succumbing to their emotions. As for marriage, we have seen some prearranged (Spock and T'Pring, T'Pol and Koss) and some for love (Sarek and Amanda, Sarek and (?)Peri). We have seen one affair (T'Pring and Stonn), which can only be explained as passion ("Stonn wanted me, I wanted him.").

  • Sarek isn't marrying another Vulcan though. Also, most Vulcans seem to think that he's gone a bit tonto so he can hardly be held up as an example of typical Vulcan behaviour.
    – Valorum
    Nov 5, 2016 at 19:10

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