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Love and the Pursuit of Happiness. Will marriage make me happier? Joel Stein (Time) Eternal love, the creation of a new family, the approval of society.

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Presentation on theme: "Love and the Pursuit of Happiness. Will marriage make me happier? Joel Stein (Time) Eternal love, the creation of a new family, the approval of society."— Presentation transcript:

1 Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

2 Will marriage make me happier? Joel Stein (Time) Eternal love, the creation of a new family, the approval of society – whatever! What I really wanted to know when I proposed to Cassandra was: Scientists around the globe are asking the same question. Marriage guarantees you nothing. All you really get is higher count bed sheets. Does improve your chances.

3 Married people report greater happiness. Men (very happy) Married40% Never married20% Divorced15% Women (very happy) Married40% Never married22% Divorced15%

4 Marital status and SWB Significant predictor of subjective well being. Make for more: Positive interactions Emotional expressiveness Role sharing For success, trust and intimacy important.

5 Happiness scores after marriage Richard Lucas: 15 year study of 24,000 couples. Happiness on scale Pre-marriage average 7.28 Wedding day years later7.28 Stability of SWB

6 Why are married people happier? Most likely happier people to begin with. Agrees with other SWB research. Same trend is true for health. Marriage has benefits for physical health. Increase longevity. Men gain more benefit from marriage.

7 Why are married people healthier? Healthier before getting married. Married folks less likely to smoke. More moderate drinkers. Suffer fewer health problems. Have less severe psychological distress. Commitment must be present for benefits. Not just cohabitation.

8 Marriage doesnt guarantee happiness Problems with marriage can affect your happiness and your health. Understand the nature of relationships and how they evolve. Varieties of LOVE.

9 Sternbergs Triangle of Love Love has three components Intimacy Commitment Passion

10 Components of Love Intimacy : feeling a closeness, can share anything with other person. Passion: intense sexual desire, physical attractiveness. Commitment: desire for long term continuation of relationship. Identifying components can help get closer to romantic fulfillment.

11 Romantic Love (i+p) Liking (Intimacy alone) Infatuation (Passion alone) Companionate Love (i+c) Empty Love (commitment alone) Fatuous Love (p+c) Consummate Love (i+p+c)

12 Starting relationships Liking: feel bond towards each other, enjoy being together, not much passion. Infatuation: physical attraction with not much in communication. May be confused with love until relationship ends.

13 Viva Las Vegas Fatuous Love: physical attractiveness and commitment without intimacy. Impulsive marriages caught up in the passion of making commitment. Las Vegas Love Difficult to sustain

14 Long term relationships Companionate Love: starts with liking, has passion in early years, still intimate (sharing feelings and ideas). Romantic Love: intimacy and passion, unsure of future, need constant reassurance, no commitment.

15 Staying together for the kids Empty Love: only sense of commitment. Stay together – more like roommates than lovers. Better than divorce for children as long as parents still get along. If open warfare, divorce better option.

16 Consummate Love All three forces are in balance. Intimacy, passion and commitment. Balance may shift and then return to center. OR evolve into another form. Ex: passion ebbs Companionate Love.

17 What to look for in relationships. Selection is important. Matching up characteristics. eHarmony. Compatibility matching. 29 Dimensions Core traits (stable) Vital attributes (likely to change due to experience)

18 Major work needed. Fixer uppers not a great idea. Work hard to fix one part of relationship and then another part falls apart. I love you, youre perfect, now change. Better to look for qualities that make a good match from the beginning. What qualities are important?

19 Healthy personality Best predictor of success. Varies from person to person. Confidence, integrity, loyalty. Warmth, kindness, emotional stability. Intelligence, good sense of humor.

20 Self esteem Maslow: Love more basic than self esteem. Others: Need to love yourself in order to fully love others. No one completely free of worries and little personality quirks. Low self esteem and high self involvement difficult to overcome.

21 John Gottman Gottman Institute Interpersonal communication Intimacy Non-verbal communication.

22 Signs of good relationships Small gestures to stay connected. Turn towards each other Bids for attention Stop, look and listen. Partner more important than TV.

23 Dealing with conflicts Negative reciprocity. Start with harsh set-up. I cant believe you... Likely response will also be negative. Well, how about when you...

24 Hostile couples. 1) Criticism and complaining by one (sand bagging multiple issues) 2) Partner responds with contempt. 3) Leads to defensiveness. 4) Ends in withdrawal. Very destructive to relationships.

25 Marriage enrichment seminars Seven principles of making marriage work. 1) Seek help early. 2) Edit yourself. Think before you speak. 3) Soften your "start up." 4) Accept influence from partner.

26 Gottman (cont.) 5) Have high standards. 6) Learn to repair and exit the argument. 7) Focus on the bright side.


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