Agenda Review Theories of Love Discuss Connection Between Love & Sex in Intimate Relationships
Class Exercise: Stereotypes and Intimacy We will view a video clip from the movie What Women Want What are the stereotypes associated with men/masculinity and women/femininity. How do these stereotypes influence intimacy?
The Forms and Origin of Love Romantic love – passionate love that includes sexual desire, physical attraction, and elation We tend to idealize our romantic partner Companionate love (conjugal love) – deep affection, attachment, intimacy, trust, loyalty
Conceptualizations of Love Colors of Love (Lee) Love Triangles (Sternberg) Can We Measure Love?
Colors of Love Based on research Six basic ways (colors) to love Love styles are independent Lovers with compatible love styles will be happier with each other than incompatible styles
Six Contemporary Love Styles (based on the work of Lee, 1973) Eros (sounds like "air-ohs"): "characterized by intense emotional attachment and powerful sexual feelings or desires" (Lamanna & Riedmann, 1991, p. 92). Sustained relationships are typified by "continued active interest in sexual and emotional fulfillment, plus the development of intellectual rapport" Lamanna & Riedmann, 1991, p. 92; emphasis added). Storge (sounds like "store-gay"): "an affectionate, companionate style of loving. This love focuses on deepening mutual commitment, respect, and friendship over time" (Lamanna & Riedmann, 1991, p. 92). Continued …
Love Styles Pragma: "emphasizes the practical element in human relationships, particularly in marriages. Pragmatics love involves rational assessment of a potential partner's assets and liabilities" (Lamanna & Riedmann, 1991, p. 92). Agape: altruistic love. It "emphasizes unselfish concern for the beloved's needs even when that means some personal sacrifice.... [it also] emphasizes nurturing others with little conscious desire for return other than the intrinsic satisfaction of having loved and cared for someone else" (Lamanna & Riedmann, 1991, p. 92-93). Continued …
Love Styles Ludus (sounds like "lewd-us"): emphasizes the recreational aspect of sexuality and sensual pleasures. It may be part of a more committed relationship based on other loves styles, too. Mania: based on strong sexual attraction and emotional intensity, but a manic partner is extremely jealous, moody, and her/his need for attention is insatiable.
Colors of Love Manic and ludic – poorer psychological health Storge and eros – higher psychological health Gender Differences: Men – more socially acceptable to have eros or ludus styles; less to have agape; more likely to have ludic style Women – more socially acceptable to have agape; less to have ludus; more likely to have pragmatic style
Love Triangles Love is three elements that can be combined to produce 7 different types of love Three basic elements: Passion – sexual desire and physical attraction; part of romantic love Intimacy – connection and feelings of closeness; an emotional investment Commitment – to love in the short term; to maintain that love in the long term
Love Triangles (Sternberg, 1998, 1999) Love changes as we mature Different forms of love may be experienced within the same couple throughout time
Scales have been developed to measure love Measure something strongly associated with love Attachment (Rubin, 1970, 1973) Measure aspects of relationships Relationship Rating Scale Passionate Love Scale Most scales measure romantic, not companionate, love
Theories of Love Behavioral Reinforcement Theories Cognitive Theories Physiological Arousal Theories Evolutionary Theories
Class Exercise Is love essential for emotional survival? What are the characteristics of a truly loving relationship? How do you recognize love? Is it possible to love more than one person in a lifetime? More than one person at a time?
Behavioral Reinforcement Theories We love because another person reinforces positive feelings in ourselves Positive/rewarding feeling in the presence of another makes us like them, even if the reward is unrelated to that person Love is a result of many mutually reinforcing activities with a person
Cognitive Theories A behavior occurs, and then we interpret it as love If we think someone likes us, we are more prone to find them attractive
Physiological Arousal Theories Physiological arousal is labeled with an emotion, such as love We are more likely to experience love when we are physiologically aroused for any reason Shaky bridge study (Dutton & Aron, 1974) Male participants on a scary bridge were more likely than males on a safe bridge to call a female they met on the bridge Arousal is not crucial for an emotional state
Evolutionary Theories Humans have 3 basic instincts: Need for protection Parent protects the child Sexual drive We love in order to produce offspring Heterosexual men want healthy women to carry offspring Heterosexual women want men with resources to care for her and the offspring
Love Across the Lifespan Love becomes more complex as we age
Childhood Attachment to the caregiver can affect attachment throughout life The love of mother and father are important May be harder to be intimate with another as an adult if it was not experienced as a child Three attachment types: Secure – accepts caregiver leaving Anxious/ambivalent – panic if left alone Avoidant – caregiver forces parting early
Childhood Parental divorce is related to lower levels of trust a young adult (particularly female) experiences in intimate relationships
Adolescence Time to learn how to love, manage emotions Creates a foundation for adult relationships Role repertoire – varied ways to relate with others Intimacy repertoire – collection of behaviors used to create intimate relationships in life Usually begin with an unattainable crush; romantic love more likely if parents relationship is stable, at ease with own body
Adult Love and Intimacy Factors that increase attraction Proximity – people you know or see often Similarity – background, values, attitudes Physical Attraction – matching hypothesis Personality – openness, sociability, humor Economic Resources – especially in men Mutual Attraction and Love Ideal qualities are consistent across gender, culture, and sexual orientation
Attraction in Different Cultures Study comparing 37 cultures (Buss, 1989) Men valued good looks in their partner Women valued good financial prospect in their partner Men preferred younger partners Women preferred older partners
Intimate Relationships Self-disclosure is important Those who value intimacy tend to be more trusting, concerned for others, disclose more, have more positive thoughts about others, are perceived as more likable, smile, laugh, make more eye contact, and enjoy marriage more
Male and Female Styles of Intimacy Culturally transmitted gender roles may be the largest factor in affecting style of intimacy Men are inhibited from expressing intimacy, or maybe they just do it differently than women, such as through behavior Gay men are more likely to believe in the importance of sharing intimacy with a romantic partner than heterosexual men
Intimacy in Different Cultures Culture seems to be more influential than gender in love and intimacy style Individualistic vs. Collectivistic cultures Strength of stereotypical gender roles affects level of intimacy; the stronger the stereotype, the less attached couples are Western countries rate love as highly important, less developed Asian countries rated love the lowest
Long-Term Love and Commitment Effort and commitment are required to maintain a relationship Women feel lonely in a marriage that has less liking, marital satisfaction, self-disclosure, and love Men feel lonely in a marriage that has less intimacy, liking, and communication
Love and Sex Initial attraction increases intimacy: more eye contact, more touches Body language reveals attraction, and the female typically starts Initially it is contact and conversation with bodies turned toward each other, followed by tentative touches that increase in duration and intimacy, then full body synchronization Higher sexual desire, less unfaithful thoughts
Developing Intimacy Skills Self-love – being at ease with ourselves, both the positive and negative qualities Receptivity – shows others we are open to communication, approachable Listening – provide full attention Affection – warmth and security with others Trust – a requirement that develops slowly Respect – acknowledge and understand anothers needs; dont have to share them
The Dark Side of Love Jealousy Compulsiveness Possessiveness
Class Exercise A college couple who live together have been having increased arguments. One partner wants the other to grow up and act mature. In return, the other suggests that they need to have more fun in their relationship. What advice would you give them? What are the short- and long-term prospects for this couple?
Jealousy Interpretation and emotional reaction that a relationship is threatened Most jealous if the person we believe is threatening the relationship has qualities we want ourselves More common with low self-esteem
Jealousy Men more jealous of a females sexual infidelity Women more jealous of a males emotional infidelity Both genders more threatened by sexual infidelity in short-term relationships Both genders more threatened by emotional infidelity in long-term relationships
Jealousy Male heterosexuals more jealous of male- female sexual infidelity Heterosexual women more jealous of male- male sexual infidelity Much unknown about homosexual infidelity Jealousy is in all cultures, although the reasons may vary Jealousy shows a lack of trust & self-esteem
Compulsiveness Love releases phenylethylamine (also in chocolate), which produces feelings of euphoria and love addiction Society and media reinforces the need to be in love and may be carried over from adolescence without maturing
Possessiveness Trying to manipulate the partner in attempts to feel worthy Is a sign of low self-esteem and can lead to stalking May require help from a mental health professional