Presentation on theme: "The Chemistry of Love: Theoretical Approaches to Partner Selection"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Chemistry of Love: Theoretical Approaches to Partner Selection Based on theories of Harvell HendrexLinda L. Zimmerman, M.A., LCPCProfessor of Psychology and Student Development
2 Biological Theory Men look for: enhancement of the species classic beautygood bone structureclear skin, shiny hairbright eyes, red lipsrosy cheeks
3 Biological Theory Women look for: pronounced “alpha” qualities ability to dominate other malesability to bring home more than their share of the kill.
4 Social Psychology Theory “Exchange” theory of mate selection:We select mates who are more or less our equalsWe look for youth, beauty, social rank, charm, intelligence, compassion.
5 Persona Theory Each of us has a mask, a persona we show other people. Based on the potential of the suitor to enhance our self-image.You feel more attractive, desirable when with this person.You feel better about yourself to be seen with this person.
6 The people we are attracted to seem to resemble each other quite closely. We seem to be searching for a very definite set of positive and negative traits.PhysicalPersonality
7 Partner Selection Three Theories: 1. biological 2. social psychology 3. personaAll have some validity, but is there more to how we select partners?
8 How is the brain involved in forming relationships? Neuroscientist Paul McLean suggests a model that divides the brain into three concentric layers:1. Cerebral Cortex - “new” brain2. Limbic System - “old” brain3. Brain Stem - “old” brain
9 1. Cerebral Cortex “New” Brain most highly developed in humansin contact with daily surroundingsconscious, alert, logical, makes decisionsthinks, observes, plans, anticipates, respondsorganizes information, creates ideas
10 2. Limbic System - “Old” Brain Located around the top of the brain stem Generates vivid emotions:fearaggressioncaringemotional painpleasure
11 3. Brain Stem - “Old Reptilian” Brain Most primitive layer, oversees:reproductionself-preservationvital functions - circulation of blood, breathing, sleeping, contraction of musclesphysical action
12 Old Brain Logic Regarding others, the old brain wants to know if they are someone to: nurturebe nurtured byhave sex withrun away fromsubmit toattack
13 What the Old Brain Remembers It has no sense of linear time.It is trapped in an infantile perspectiveIt expects us to be taken care of as we were as babies
14 When current events trigger the old brain, we can suddenly feel angry, sad, abandoned, afraid.
15 What Happens?1. Before birth we are safe and warm in our mother’s womb.2. Birth (rudely) forces us out of our idyllic existence.3. After birth for a short time we are unified with ourselves and perfectly connected to the world.
16 Socialization Occursindoctrination with societies laws, beliefs, and valuesmessages transmitted about who we are and how we should behavelimits on the individualsocialization becomes a form of psychic injury
17 socialization becomes a form of psychic injury Socialization Occurssocialization becomes a form of psychic injury
18 Body Taboos, Sensuality, Sexuality We are taught:not to touch our genitals.to cover certain parts of our bodies.to feel embarrassment and guilt when norms are breached.to disown parts of our sensuality.
19 The False Self Sexually Repressive, Distant Mother The child may:become a “tough guy” who tells himself he can make it on his own.exaggerate problems in the hope someone will come to her rescuehoard love and material objects, but will never have enough
20 Child’s Stages in Reaction to Parental Repression 1. Hides forbidden behavior from parents2. Thinks angry thoughts but does not speak them aloud3. Explores his body in the privacy of his room
21 Child’s Stages in Reaction to Parental Repression 4. teases younger siblings when parents are away5. eventually decides some thoughts and feelings must be eliminated
22 Child’s Stages in Reaction to Parental Repression 6. gets a jolt of anxiety whenever he/she comes close to the forbidden thoughts or behaviors7. constructs an imaginary parent in his head to police his/her thoughts and actions (superego)
23 Negative Emotions Some parents: try to tease children out of being angry or upset.ignore angry feelings.punish child for his/her anger.
24 Negative Emotions The child reacts by: repressing his/her anger. internalizing the anger.trying to disown that part of the self.
25 The Disowned Self“lost self” - the parts repressed in response to demands of society or parents
26 The Disowned Self2. “false self” - the facade erected to fill the void created by repression and lack of adequate nurturing
27 The Disowned Self3. “disowned self” - negative parts of the false self that met with disapproval and were therefore denied
28 Two Distinct Types Develop FusersGrew up with parents whowere not or could not be close, warm, or nurturingwere cold, detached.
29 Fusers Unconsciously fear abandonment Always want to “do things together.”Appear to be insecureHold on too tightAppear needyGenerally select an “isolator” as a partner
30 Two Distinct Types Develop IsolatorsGrew up with parents whocould not or would not let them explore or venture outWere engulfing, confining.
31 Isolators Unconsciously push others away, “need space” Feels dread when things become too intimateFears being pinned down, stuckGenerally select a fuser as a partner
32 Fusers and IsolatorsThese two types tend to grow up and marry each other, thus beginning an infuriating game of push and pull that leaves neither partner satisfied.Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., Getting the Love you Want, 1998.
33 Which one describes you better? Fuser or IsolatorWhich one describes you better?i.e. what is your unconscious need?
34 Your PersonalityContains:intact parts of your original self.certain aspects of your false self.We fervently believe that finding the perfect mate will make us whole again.
35 What are we really looking for?* someone to make up for the psychological and emotional damage we experienced in our childhoodsomeone to heal our invisible childhood scars*according to Harville Hendrix