The most common reason why people convert to Judaism today, I would guess, is because they want to marry a Jewish spouse. Such conversions are a sign of the amazing acceptance that Judaism enjoys in America, compared to the stigma it labored under for most of Western history. For a Christian to marry a Jew in medieval Europe meant stigmatization, isolation, perhaps even violence, as it does in many parts of the Muslim world today. For us, it is simply a personal choice, even a laudable demonstration of spousal loyalty. It was surprising to learn in this week’s Daf Yomi reading, then, that according to the Talmud, converting out of love is actually forbidden. ...I always think of Natalie Portman's husband as Darth Vader, but I suppose that's neither here nor there.
Earlier Daf Yomi columns are noted here and links.