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Chapter 14 Love and RelationshipsFor use with text, Human Sexuality Today, 5th edition. Bruce M. King Slides by Callista Lee King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
History of romantic love“Love means: I want you to be.” St. Augustine Romantic love includes idealization of another. The loved one is imagined to be perfect, even in his or her faults. Even in cultures where marriages are arranged and romantic love is officially prohibited examples are found, although never with one’s spouse! It is secret and conducted at great risk. Love is a basic, primitive human emotion. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice HallRomantic marriages Western cultures (and only relatively recently) have been pretty much alone in supporting the concept of romantic love being a good reason to marry. Men returning from the Crusades engaged in a nonsexual “courtly love” of married ladies whom they worshipped from afar much as the Virgin Mary was worshipped for her purity. This emotionally intense love was not expressed within marriage. Romantic love was not linked with marriage until the 16th or 17th century. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
Love and marriage in the U.S.Romantic love was not considered a good reason to enter into a marriage until the 1800s. Mid 1960s, 1/3 men and ¾ women indicated that being “in love” was not necessary for marriage, but by % said that being “in love” was a necessity for marriage. The big change, especially for women, was better economic status; financial independence allowed people to make choices based on love. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
Love and marriage cross-culturallyAlthough romantic marriages are most often found in Western, industrialized (individualistic) cultures, romantic love and marriage has also been found in several hunting/gathering societies in Africa and America. Polygyny is more common in societies with strong fraternal interests (with dowries given at marriage) or where there is warfare for the capture of women and land for expansion is plentiful. Japanese arranged marriages begin with little love, but within 10 years love is equal to that found in American marriages based upon love. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
Friendship vs. romantic loveFriendship includes characteristics most people desire in their spouses and lovers too Enjoyment of each other’s company most times Acceptance of one another Mutual trust; you hold each other’s best interests Mutual assistance in times of need Ability to confide in one another Understanding each other’s behavior Spontaneity; freedom to be yourself King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
Love is different because of…Fascination – preoccupation with the other Exclusiveness – not having the same relationship with others Sexual desire – physical intimacy Giving the utmost – sacrificing for the other Physical attractiveness – preference for higher levels of attractiveness and social status Feeling “in love” vs. loving King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
How do I know if this is really love?Romantic love includes physiological arousal and a cognitive interpretation of that arousal as being caused by the other person. The physiological response is like a natural high (heavy breathing, pounding heart, dry mouth, sweaty palms). Feelings of romantic love are associated with 3 brain chemicals (dopamine, norepinephrine and phenylethylamine – like amphetamines) Our thinking (cognitive) brain then tries to figure out why we feel this way. Is it because I’m in love? King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
Can my brain be fooling me?Schacter & Singer (1962) – participants were injected with adrenaline (but were told it was vitamin B) and were put in a room with either a happy-acting person or an angry-acting person and later found themselves feeling and acting the way the actor did. Their cognitive interpretation of their physiological arousal used environmental cues (the way the other person was acting) to “decide” what emotion to feel. If participants were told to in advance that they would experience a rush of adrenaline, the actor had no influence on them. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice HallLove and chocolate Chocolate is high in phenylethylamines. “Love junkies” search for one romantic “high” after another, believing that love has faded when the initial physiological response has faded. The initial physiological response of infatuation always fades; true love depends on friendship and commitment to continue past this stage. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice HallCompanionate love Companionate love is based on togetherness, trust, sharing, affection, and a concern for the welfare of the other (more so than passion). Realistic and not based on fantasy or ideals. Characteristic of the stable type of love found in lasting adult relationships. Associated with chemicals oxytocin & vasopressin. Perhaps these substances give long-term lovers a sense of calm, peace and security. Often includes a good, satisfying sexual relationship King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice HallPassionate Love Researchers equate the word love with companionate love, and the expression of feeling in love with passionate love. Passionate love – intense longing for union with another and a state of profound physiological arousal. More sexualized than companionate love Tends to decline with time Attachment type love – comforts of predictability and security but little else. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
Sex without love; love without sexSome people argue that love is unnecessary for sex; sex can be enjoyed for its own sake. Some simply prefer independence over emotional involvement. Romance is a cultural concept. Men are more likely than women to be able to enjoy sex outside of a loving relationship. Love is a feeling, not an act. Many couples prefer to reserve their sexuality for marriage or other committed relationship. Celibacy allows time and focus to develop other aspects of the relationship and finding other ways to express love. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
Conditional vs. unconditional loveConditional love (deficiency love) – the other satisfies our needs and fulfills our desires; it is positively reinforcing. When our needs are no longer met we fall out of love. Unconditional love (being love) does not depend on the loved one meeting certain expectations or desires. The ideal of parent-child relationships. Romantic partners can eventually transcend conditional love. “I want you to be.” St. Augustine. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice HallPrerequisites of love Self-esteem – If you cannot accept and love yourself, it will be impossible to you to accept that someone else might love you. People who feel confident and self-sufficient do not require external validation (neediness). To accept oneself is to accept one’s shortcomings as well as one’s strengths. Children who have been neglected or abused often become adults who are unable to feel loved/loving. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice HallSelf-disclosure A person cannot really love you until they get to know the real you; this distinguishes love from infatuation. Self-disclosure – a mutual exchange of vulnerabilities; emotional intimacy. Women tend to find self-disclosure easier than men and tend to self-disclose slightly more than men. Well-timed self-disclosure makes a person more likable throughout a relationship. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
Attachment theory of love (1)Studies of Americans showed that the strength of the infant-caregiver attachment bonds relate to relationship styles in adulthood. Four styles: Secure, Anxious-ambivalent, Avoidant (2 subtypes – dismissive and fearful), Secure-preoccupied. It is not completely clear whether these styles relate well to individuals raised and living adult lives within other cultures. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
Attachment theory of love (2)Secure attachment – children learn that parents are a source of security and trust. Adults do not fear abandonment and find it easy to get close to others. More than half of adults are “secure,” have positive views of themselves and others, are well liked and strive for a balance of closeness and independence. They freely give hugs and other physical comfort, and show active, positive involvement during conversations. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
Attachment theory of love (3)Anxious-ambivalent – parents are inconsistent, leading to uncertainty in the child Actively seek to be near the parent Angry sometimes and ambivalent other times Adults feel negatively about themselves, are insecure in relationships, fearing rejection Can be desperate in trying to get close to their partners and end up giving up their independence. Secure, preoccupied is similar to this style. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
Attachment theory of love (4)Avoidants –parents neglect them, and/or under or over-stimulate them. Avoidant adults desire independence because they have negative views of others, therefore they have difficulty getting close to their partners; are not likely to self-disclose. Dismissive avoidants have negative views of others but positive views of themselves. Fearful avoidants have negative views of others and themselves. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
Sternberg’s Triangular TheoryKing, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
Sternberg’s three key componentsIntimacy – friendship, emotional closeness, high regard and caring for the other, trust, mutual understanding, happiness together, etc. Passion – physical attraction, fascination, romance and sexual relations. Decision/commitment – decision to commit to loving the person through good times and bad and to maintain the relationship over time. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice HallIncomplete triangles None of the components are strong = nonlove; this characterizes a casual relationship. Intimacy alone = liking; an important friendship with real warmth, caring, bondedness. Passion alone = infatuation; love at first sight, obsession with the fantasy of love. Commitment alone = empty love; the end of a stagnant relationship or beginning of an arranged marriage. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
Better, but still incompleteIntimacy + passion = romantic love; the deep friendship of liking plus the attraction and excitement of passion. Intimacy + decision/commitment = companionate love; most romantic relationships that survive lose some of their passion and develop into this kind of love. Passion + decision/commitment = fatuous love; whirlwind romances with high risk of break up. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
Sternberg’s ultimate type of loveIntimacy + passion + decision/commitment = consummate love; commitment is made based upon a deep knowing and appreciation of one’s partner as well as the excitement of passion. This is the type of love that most of us strive for in our romantic relationships. Tip: the word “romantic” is used in a general sense here but has specific meaning as one of Sternberg’s 8 types of love. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
Lee’s many colors of loveIn Lee’s model, different love styles are portrayed as different colors; mutual love results from two styles of colors that make a good match. With the exception of mania and ludus, a good match generally results from two styles that are close on the chart (see next slide). Ask not how much you are loved but how (in what style) you are loved; and how you love. Do you and your partner match or clash? King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice HallLee’s “color” wheel Instead of red, blue & yellow, Lee’s “colors” are Eros, Ludus and Storge, at the points of the triangle within the circle. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
Lee’s primary “colors”Eros – emotional feeling of love follow strong physical attractions; they fall in and out of love often (similar to Sternberg’s infatuation). Ludus – self centered in pursuit of fun; enjoys the chase but doesn’t maintain a commitment (similar to Sternberg’s fatuous love). Storge – affection that develops from friendship (similar to Sternberg’s companionate love). King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
Lee’s secondary “colors”Pragma = ludus + storge; a practical style of loving, carefully seeking a mate with their list of desired traits. Mania = eros + ludus; intense, obsessive emotional dependency on the attention and affection of one’s partner. Agape = eros = storge; selfless, devoted lover, putting partner’s interests above their own. Similar to Maslow’s “being love” and Sternberg’s “empty love” – not very common. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
Hierarchical model of lovePerhaps the various theories appear so different because they focus on different levels of love (Barnes & Sternberg, 1997). Top level = love as a single entity 2nd level = clusters of smaller entities such as “hot” passion, “warm” companionship. 3rd level = clusters contributing to how we feel, such as sexuality, trust, sincerity, compatibility, fulfillment, mutual need, and intimacy. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice HallJealousy Jealousy is aroused when a person perceives a threat to their relationship of sense of self. Emotional components include anger, humiliation, fear, depression, & helplessness. Most likely in people with low self-esteem, unhappy with their lives, who place great value on things like popularity, wealth, fame, and physical attractiveness, or persons with a preoccupied attachment style. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice HallCulture and jealousy Men and women have different styles of responding to jealousy; both feel inadequate at first, then women try to make themselves more attractive but men tend to seek outside relief. Withdrawal prolongs the feelings of jealousy. Most likely to occur in cultures that consider marriage as a means for guilt-free sex, security and social recognition. Americans show more distress to a partner’s imagined infidelity than Chinese men and women. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
Maintaining a relationshipProximity, similarity and physical attractiveness play important roles in initiating relationships. Similarity is key to staying together. For continued development, a relationship must include mutual self-disclosure, equity and commitment. Change and the need to adapt to change is unavoidable in any long-term relationship. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice HallThe decline of passion Habituation – repeated exposure to even the most positive stimulus will eventually lead to less intense response to the stimulus and boredom. A large component in passion is novelty and fantasy, which can keep sex lives from becoming ritualized. Declining passion must be replaced with things that lead to companionate love. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
Growing together or growing apartHabituation can lead to growing apart as each individual finds new interests. A major predictor of marital success is the number of shared pleasurable activities. Couples in happy, long-lasting relationships frequently say that their partner is their best friend; they have fun together. Couples must make time to have fun together. Gottman’s ratio of 5 positive to 1 negative emotional interaction. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice HallGrowing… As couples grow and change, efforts to maintain a significant number of pleasurable similar interests and activities is critical to maintaining a satisfying relationship. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
Break ups - common experiencesObsessive review – preoccupation with what went wrong; this is okay for awhile if you actually learn from it and make changes in your life to prevent the same problems in future relationships. Emotional and social loneliness – not only losing your partner but friends you had in common. Most break ups are a process. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice HallCoping with break ups Express your emotions to a sympathetic listener; write down your thoughts. Figure out what happened; writing your thoughts down may help you gain insight. Focus on your ex as a real person vs. ideal Prepare to feel better; expect to heal. Avoid social isolation; let your friends help you. Look at this as a change; this is a new start. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
Becoming more intimateTrue intimacy requires mutual understanding of the good as well as the “bad.” Accept yourself as you are. Your ideas and feelings are legitimate. Recognize your partner for what that person is; intimacy is not possible with a “perfect” person. Become comfortable expressing yourself in both positive and negative situations. Learn to deal with your partner’s reactions. King, Human Sexuality Today, 5/e © 2005 by Prentice Hall
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