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Chapter 7 Love, attraction, relationships, and communication.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 7 Love, attraction, relationships, and communication."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 7 Love, attraction, relationships, and communication

2 What Is Love? Difficult to define –special attitude with behavioral and emotional components –different things to different people –difficult to measure

3 What Is Love? (cont.) Zick Rubin's "love scale(13 item questionnaire) –Has 3 components Attachment: The need to be cared for and be with the other person. Caring: Valuing the other persons happiness and needs as much as your own Intimacy: Sharing private thoughts, feelings, and desires with the other person.

4 Rubins Love Scale Subjects are asked to answer the following questions concerning their attitudes towards the loved one. 1. If [loved one] were feeling badly, my first duty would be to cheer him/her up. 2. I feel that I can confide in [loved one] about virtually everything. 3. I find it easy to ignore [loved one]s faults. 4. I would do almost anything for [loved one]. 5. I feel very possessive toward [loved one]. 6. If I could never be with [loved one], I would feel miserable. 7. If I were lonely, my first thought would be to seek [loved one] out. 8. One of my primary concerns is [loved one]s welfare. 9. I would forgive [loved one] for practically anything. 10. I feel responsible for [loved one]s well being. 11. When I am with [loved one], I spend a good deal of time just looking at him/her. 12. I would greatly enjoy being confided in by [loved one]. 13. It would be hard for me to get along without [loved one].

5 Types of Love Passionate love (a.k.a. romantic love or infatuation) –extreme absorption with and desire for one another. –intense psychological feelings Little logic and reasoned consideration –generalized physiological arousal, strong sexual desire Increased heartbeat, sweating, blushing, stomach butterflies, etc. –avoid conflict, overlook faults –feelings of completeness –short-lived; usually occurs early in a relationship.

6 Types of Love Companionate love –less intense –friendly affection & deep attachment –extreme familiarity Reflected in sexual relationship; partners feel comfortable discussing what pleases one another and share familiarity and sexual trust. –tolerance for short-comings –desire to overcome difficulties and work through conflicts –more enduring than passionate love

7 Sternbergs Triangular Theory of Love Love has three faces: –Passion: motivational component Fuels romantic feelings, sexual desire, attraction. –Intimacy: emotional component Feeling of being bonded with other person; warmth, sharing private thoughts, emotional closeness. –Commitment: thinking/cognitive component Conscious decision to love another and work through difficulties. Various combinations of the three components of love make up the different kinds of love. –See triangle

8 Sternbergs Triangular Theory of Love All 3 components are important dimensions of a loving relationship The 3 components exist in different patterns and to varying degrees –Different combinations produce different types of love. –Can also change over time.

9 Sternbergs theories, (cont.) Passion component of love peaks early in a relationship, and then declines. Intimacy and commitment components build gradually over time. Conceptual basis for transition from passionate to companionate love. Growth in intimacy & commitment occurs as passion grows weaker –Can sustain a relationship as difficulties arise once passion fades

10 Lees Styles of Loving Romantic (eros): a passionate physical love based on physical appearance and beauty Game-playing (ludus): love is played as a game; love is playful; often involves little or no commitment and thrives on conquests Possessive (mania): highly emotional love; unstable; the stereotype of romantic love; its characteristics include jealousy and conflict. Companionate (storge): an affectionate love that slowly develops, based on similarity and friendship. Altruistic (agape): selfless altruistic love; spiritual Pragmatic (pragma): inclination to select a partner based on practical and rational criteria where both will benefit from the partnership

11 PART 1: How would you define love? Consider how love is different from like. Also, consider how love is different from lust. PART 2: Is sex better when the sexual partners are in love? Why or why not? Discussion question

12 The brain chemistry of falling in love Neurotransmitters norepinephrine dopamine phenylethylamine (PEA) oxytocin Endorphins –Morphine-like, soothing substances help produce sense of euphoria, security, and peace –Can cause us to feel good when with someone we love. Loss and neurotransmitter withdrawal –These brain chemicals are similar to drugs: Brain can develop chemical tolerance, causing the high felt at the beginning of a relationship to diminish. Withdrawal from neurotransmitters can cause feelings of anxiety, despair, and pain, like withdrawal from a drug. 5 brain chemicals triggered when falling in love

13 Why do we fall in love with one person and not another? 1)Proximity 2)Similarity 3)Reciprocity 4)Physical attractiveness What common notion about attraction is missing from this list?

14 Why do we fall in love with one person and not another? Proximity (geographic nearness) –mere exposure effect (familiarity increases liking) with repeated exposure to novel stimuli (unfamiliar music, art, faces, etc.) our liking for the stimuli increases –familiarity breeds predictability greater comfort –greater proximity often reflects shared interests

15 Why do we fall in love with one person and not another? Similarity –Beliefs, values, attitudes, interests, intellect –level of physical attractiveness (fear of rejection?) –age, educational status and religion –race and ethnicity –Why? share similar interests & activities communicate better confirm own views & experiences supportive of values & beliefs

16 Homophily = similarity in personal characteristics

17 Why do we fall in love with one person and not another? Reciprocity –The principle that when we are recipients of expressions of liking or loving, we tend to respond similarly. –when someone shows that they like us, we tend to like them back. –The cycle of self-esteem If we feel positively about ourselves, we are more likely to feel that others also think positively of us--we tend to act more warmly to people we think feel positively toward us, which then often induces them to like us more. –increases likelihood of relationship enduring –If its all one-way giving of compliments, expressions of affection/love, relationship isnt likely to last.

18 Why do we fall in love with one person and not another? Physical attractiveness –"what's beautiful is good" belief: people perceive attractive people as more likeable, interesting, sensitive, happy, sexy, competent, and socially skilled. Having been treated better by others most of their lives, attractive people may in fact be more comfortable w/themselves. –status by association –most important in early stages As we come to know someone better, their inner beauty (or ugliness) often becomes apparent. –may be an indicator of physical health All things being equal, people are attracted to healthy people. –heterosexual males place greater value Appears to be true across many cultures.

19 Why do we fall in love with one person and not another? Sociobiology- behavior explained by evolutionary needs (Buss) –men attracted to young attractive females to maximize reproductive success –women attracted to older, established men to maximize reproductive success (security for offspring) Youth and physical attractiveness are, in theory, less important to females, because male fertility is less related to age than it is for females.

20 Sex differences in mate selection Women more willing than men to marry someone: better educated older would earn more was not good-looking Women less willing than men to marry someone: w/less education younger not likely to hold steady job would earn less NOTE: looking at graph, can see that these differences are not all that large

21 Love and styles of attachment Attachment : intense emotional tie between two individuals, such as infant and parent, or adult lovers. –It is possible to experience attachment w/o love, but love w/o attachment is unlikely –There has been much psychological research on how we form attachments and the effects of different styles of attachment.

22 Mary Ainsworths research using infants and the strange situation 1-year-old infants enter room with parent, then a stranger enters and begins to play with the infant; then the parent leaves. 3 types of attachment revealed from this research: Secure attachment –Parent is safe base from which to explore –Infant appeared to feel safe when parent left and confident that she would return. Anxious-ambivalent attachment (insecure) –Hesitant to leave parents side to explore or interact w/stranger –Extreme anxiety when parent left; ambivalent/resentful toward parent upon return. Avoidant attachment (insecure) –Avoid parent; little interaction w/parent or stranger

23 What accounts for differences in attachment styles? Combination of: 1) inborn differences among infants and 2) parenting practices. –Secure infants: more likely to have parents who were sensitive and responsive to their needs. Fed infants when they were hungry (i.e. not on a set schedule) Cuddled their babies at times other than during feeding or changing. –Insecurely attached infants: more likely to have parents who were less sensitive, less responsive, and inconsistent in their reactions to their babies. Fed infants on a set schedule or when it was convenient for parents Sometimes ignored babies cries of hunger Avoided phyical contact with their babies

24 Adult intimate relationships and attachment styles Which statement best fits your attachment style? A) I find it relatively easy to get close to other people. I am comfortable depending on other people and having them depend on me. I don't usually worry about being abandoned or about having someone get too close to me. B) I find it difficult to trust people completely. I am somewhat uncomfortable being close to others. I feel nervous when people start to get too close. Often, I feel like people want me to be more intimate than I feel comfortable being. I find it difficult to allow myself to depend on other people. C) I find that other people are reluctant to get as close as I would like. I often worry that someone I am close to doesn't really love me or won't want to stay with me. I want to merge completely with another person, and this sometimes scares people away.

25 Adult intimate relationships and attachment styles Which statement best fits your attachment style? A) I find it relatively easy to get close to other people. I am comfortable depending on other people and having them depend on me. I don't usually worry about being abandoned or about having someone get too close to me. B) I find it difficult to trust people completely. I am somewhat uncomfortable being close to others. I feel nervous when people start to get too close. Often, I feel like people want me to be more intimate than I feel comfortable being. I find it difficult to allow myself to depend on other people. C) I find that other people are reluctant to get as close as I would like. I often worry that someone I am close to doesn't really love me or won't want to stay with me. I want to merge completely with another person, and this sometimes scares people away. SECURE AVOIDANT ANXIOUS/AMBIVALENT

26 Adult intimate relationships and attachment styles Impact of attachment styles on intimate relationships: (56% of adults surveyed) (19% of adults surveyed) (25% of adults surveyed)

27 Issues in Loving Relationships Relationship between love & sex –several possibilities Love w/o sex; sex w/o love –questions to ask does sexual intimacy deepen a love relationship? do men & women have different views of sex & love? –More women than men seem to believe that love is a necessary component of a sexual relationship –Easier for men than women to have sex for pleasure w/o an emotional commitment –These differences seem to diminish with age. »Possibly b/c older women are less susceptible to negative stereotypes of women who have sex for pleasure?

28 Issues in Loving Relationships (cont.) Sexual orientation and views of sex & love: Stereotype among heterosexuals that gay men and lesbians have encounters that are primarily based on sexual interaction w/o genuine attachment, love, commitment, and overall satisfaction. –Reflected in quote from textbook authors files: I would not consider myself to be biased against homosexuals. However, I do feel some disapproval of the gay lifestyle, which often seems to involve casual affairs based more on sex than genuine caring. –Reflected in quote from anti-gay (religious) web site: The average homosexual relationship can be characterized as highly unstable and promiscuous http://www.straight-talk.net/gay/facts.shtml

29 Issues in Loving Relationships (cont.) Sexual orientation and views of sex & love: –homosexual men more likely to separate love from sex; lesbians more likely to postpone sex until intimacy has been established Pattern reflects overall sex differences in views of sex and love. Likely to arise from patterns of gender-role socialization that give more permission for casual sex for males than for females. The fact that some gay men engage in casual sexual encounters w/o love does not mean that gay men dont value love; it simply indicates that some gay men value sex as an end to itself. Heterosexual men visit brothels. Prostitution is a thriving industry. –falling in love with a same sex person often helps in gay or lesbian identity Many heterosexually oriented people have had same-sex sexual encounters that do not establish an identity as a homosexually oriented person; rather, it is falling in love w/a same-sex person that contributes to the development of a homosexual identity.

30 Jealousy Jealousy : an aversive emotional reaction evoked by real or imagined relationship between ones partner and another person. –Many people have ambivalent feelings about jealousy and simultaneously consider it a sign of insecurity as well as a sign of love/devotion. –People w/low self-esteem are more prone to jealousy. –Negative consequences precipitates partner violence stifles relationship development raises anxiety, depression, anger –Sex differences Women: more likely to be jealous of attractiveness or popularity; Men: more likely to be jealous of wealth and fame Women are more likely to acknowledge jealous feelings and men are more likely to deny them.

31 Discussion question: In your opinion, what are the key ingredients in a healthy relationship? What qualities do you think are present in an unhealthy relationship?

32 Maintaining Relationship Satisfaction Characteristics of high-quality love relationships –self-acceptance –appreciation of each other's qualities –maintaining frequent positive interaction –commitment –good & supportive communication –realistic expectations –shared interests –ability to face & deal with conflict –Supportive communication –Companionship, seeing partner as best friend –Sexual expression and variety

33 Individual and relationship growth –growth and change maintain relationship –overcome obstacles view problems as challenges negotiate and renegotiate wants accept each other as unique Maintaining Relationship Satisfaction

34 Sexual Variety –communication is critical –be spontaneous –plan for intimate time –don't worry about frequency "standards" Maintaining Relationship Satisfaction

35 The Importance of Communication Good communication is a valuable asset in developing a satisfying, enduring sexual relationship Key = mutual empathy –The underlying knowledge that each partner in a relationship cares for the other and knows that the care is reciprocated.

36 Why sexual communication can be difficult Socialization –messages that increase shame & discomfort regarding sexuality –lack of communication in the home –lack of positive role models

37 Why sexual communication can be difficult Language can be an obstacle –Limited vocabulary How we talked about sex as kids Two extremes of sexual language –Embarrassment

38 Talking: Getting Started (not just for the beginning of a relationship, though) –Talk about talking Why is it hard to talk; is it hard for both partners? What might make it easier to talk about sex? –Use the news & current events Talking about a news story, or (maybe something that you learned in this class!) can be a less personal, less threatening way of starting a conversation about sex. –Read & discuss: the written word may be easier, less threatening Books, articles, etc.; fun web site: http://www.nerve.com/regulars/ –Share sexual histories Ask questions; could be about sexual experiences, or about sex education in your partners upbringing

39 Listening and Feedback Active listening –Actively communicating that you are both listening to and interested in what your partner is saying. –Includes attentive body language & facial expressions, asking questions, commenting, encouraging partner to continue, etc. Maintain eye contact Provide feedback –Verbal reaction to message; ensures you have interpreted message correctly, lets your partner know how you feel in response.

40 Listening and Feedback Support communication efforts –Im glad you told me how you really feel. Thanks for caring enough to tell me what is on your mind. Unconditional positive regard –Conveying to partner that you will still value and care for him/her regardless of what s/he says. Paraphrasing –Listener summarizes the speakers message in his or her own words. –Several attempts to paraphrase correctly may be necessary.

41 Discovering Your Partner's Needs Asking questions is very important--some ways of asking questions are more effective than others. –Yes/no questions least informative –Either/or questions: some structure, slightly more informative –open-ended questions: least structured, most informative b/c there are no restrictions on possible answers.

42 Discovering Your Partner's Needs (cont.) Self-disclosure –disclosure elicits disclosure –sharing of sexual fantasies can be exciting and informative –increases sexual satisfaction –start with small disclosures & build –be prepared to back off –normative male alexithymia

43 Learning to Make Requests Take responsibility for your own pleasure –Many people blame a partner if a sexual experience is unsatisfying rather than admit that they are reluctant to express their desires/needs. –Myth that has been propagated in movies, etc: When two people are really in harmony with each other, you dont have to talk about your sexual wants. You sense and respond to the others desires. Talking just spoils the magic. Make specific requests –EX: instead of saying, Id like you to try touching me differently, say I would like you to touch me gently around my clitoris but not directly on it. Use "I" language not You

44 Expressing Complaints Be aware of your motivation Choose the right time & place Temper criticism with genuine praise Nurture small steps toward change Avoid "why" questions –EX: Why dont you ever initiate sex? –disguised effort to attack the other person... Express negative emotions appropriately Limit to one criticism at a time

45 Receiving Complaints Empathize & paraphrase –Paraphrase--to restate the complaint in your own words Partner knows s/he is understood You know you understand correctly Acknowledge the basis for criticism Ask clarifying questions Express your feelings about the complaint –use I language Focus on changes that can be made

46 Gottmans constructive communication –Leveling and editing Leveling: stating thoughts and feelings clearly, simply, and honestly with I language. Editing: avoid saying things that would be deliberately hurtful or irrelevant to the issue at hand. –Validating Acknowledging the reasonableness of our partners concern –Volatile dialogue Couples who never argue might be ignoring important issues, causing resentment and frustration to build.

47 Gottmans destructive communication Criticism –Different from complaining; criticism is destructive, involves expression of contempt –Presents a problem by attacking other persons character. Contempt –worse than criticism; involves name-calling, insults, sarcasm Defensiveness –Denial of responsibility; constructing a defense rather than trying to discuss and resolve a problem. Stonewalling –Refusal to engage and provide feedback (silence, walking out of the room, turning on the TV, etc.) Belligerence –Confrontational, in-your-face type interaction

48 Impasses Talking may not solve every problem Additional steps to take –agree to disagree –take a break from each other, with an agreement to re-address the issue –grant each other their own beliefs –consider counseling


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