Presentation on theme: "Love and Communication in Intimate Relationships"— Presentation transcript:
1 Love and Communication in Intimate Relationships Chapter EightLove and Communication in Intimate Relationships
2 Love Exists in all cultures Exists in all ethnic groups Exists in all orientationsDual nature:Feeling – Emotional ComponentActivity – Action Component
3 CommunicationCommunication is the thread that connects sexuality and intimacyThe quality of the relationship affects the quality of the sex.Partners who are satisfied with sexual communication tend to be satisfied with their relationship in generalMost of the time we do not think about the quality of our communication until it fails.
4 Friendship and LoveFriendship is a strong foundation for strong love relationships that include: mutual acceptance, trust, respect, confidentiality, understanding, and spontaneity.Difference between friends and lovers: deeper levels of fascination, exclusivity, and sexual desire.Love has a greater potential for distress, conflict, and mutual criticism.
5 Friendship and LoveMarriage still houses two separate individuals. Boundaries should be clarified and options should be sharedSuccess in marriage depends upon the ability of the partners to communicate concerns and on the maturity of the people involved in the marital relationship.
6 Love and SexualitySexuality and love are intimately related in our cultureOur cultural language connects love and sex and love “legitimizes” sex outside of marriage.Our sexual standards have become personal rather than institutional.Many in sexual relationships use words associated with “love” to describe/explain sexual practice.The use of “lovers”, “make love”, or “intimate” are often used instead of technical or slang terms to describe the sexual practice in the sexual relationship.
7 Love and Sexuality What factors lead to sexual intercourse? Belief that sex will “grow” the relationshipBelief that sex will add “meaning” to the relationshipSexual satisfaction is tied to relationship satisfaction, but appears to be more significant in menLevel of intimacy and relationship duration are correlated with the decision to engage in sexual activityPartners who are less committed to the relationship are less likely to be sexually involvedPartners who “share the power” in a relationship are more likely to be involved in a sexual relationship than those in inequitable relationships.
8 Love and SexualityCultural environment and physical environment play a role in the level of sexual activityOpportunity for sex can be precluded in an environment that is not “private” (ex. Parents, friends, roommates, or children)Opportunity for sex may either be enhanced or suppressed by the values of the culture.
9 Love and Sexuality Versus How woman shows sexual interest to man (how the man “sees” it) = assertive, forceful, and even aggressive sexual behaviorVersusHow man shows sexual interest to woman (how the woman “sees” it) = behavior that inspires trust and confidenceDo we exhibit the behavior that we expect?
10 Sex Outside of Committed Relationships Young adult sex outside of marriage is now the normValues in America have shifted to legitimize pre-marital or non-marital sex.Change is due to:Effective contraception and abortionRedefined gender roles – legitimizing female sexualityAlterations in demographics – people waiting longer to get married
11 Men, Women, Sex, and LoveMen separate “sex” and “love” more than womenHowever, the emotional quality of the relationship makes sexual experience “special”Gay men may have more willing partners for casual sex than heterosexual menWomen, generally, value sex in the context of a relationshipLesbians share sex less than heterosexual couples of gay men
12 Men, Women, Sex, and LoveWomen, generally, value sex in the context of a relationshipSeek emotional relationshipsMay derive their self-worth from the quality of the relationshipLesbians share sex less than heterosexual couples of gay menTend to postpone sexual involvement until they have developed emotional intimacy with their partner
13 Love Without Sex Celibacy May be a choiceMay be a circumstance (no partner)May be short or long termMay be goal oriented (marriage)Asexuality – little or no sexual attraction to either sexEmphasis on friendship and other relationship qualitiesMay “free” up energy for personal growth or other kinds of relationships.
14 Styles of Love: John Lee see pg 226, text Eros: love of beautyMania: obsessive loveLudus: playful loveStorge( STOR-gay): companionate loveAgape: altruistic lovePragma: practical love
15 Styles of Love: John Lee see pg 226, text Lee hypothesizes that mutually satisfying relationships partners need to share the same style and definition of loveRecent research on styles: College women showed more erotic and pragmatic styles, whereas the men exhibited higher rates of Ludus attitudes
16 The Triangular Theory of Love Theory developed by Robert SternbergEmphasizes the dynamic quality of love relationships in separate and combined forms
17 The Components of Love: Ten Signs of Intimacy Wanting to promote your partner’s welfareFeeling happiness with your partnerHolding your partner in high regardBeing able to count on your partner in time of needBeing able to understand each other
18 The Components of Love (cont.) Sharing yourself and your possessions with your partnerReceiving emotional support from your partnerGiving emotional support to your partnerBeing able to communicate with your partner about intimate thingsValuing partner’s presence in your life
19 Kinds of Love: Sternberg pg 228-229, text LikingIntimacy onlyInfatuationPassion onlyRomantic LoveIntimacy and passionCompanionate LoveIntimacy and commitmentFatuous LovePassion and commitmentConsummate loveIntimacy, passion, and commitmentEmpty loveCommitment onlyNonloveAbsence of all three
20 The Geometry of LoveThe shape of the love triangle depends on the intensity of the love and the balance of the parts.Intense relationships have larger areasThe balance determines the shape of the triangleThe greater the match between the triangles of the two partners, the more likely each will experience satisfaction in the relationship.
21 Attachment Theory (Romantic love similar to infant-caregiver attachment) Bond depends on attachment object’s responsivenessInfant happier in attachment object presenceShares discoveries with attachment object. Coos, talks baby talkFeeling of oneness with attachment objectRomantic loveFeelings are related to lover’s interestHappier when lover is presentShares experiences with loverLovers coo, talk baby talkFeeling of oneness with lover
22 Components of Attachment Attachment style endures across ones lifeDepends upon security and safety – There is a need to feel secure – partner need respond to a needOpen acceptance and honesty
23 Types of Attachment Secure attachments Anxious/ambivalent attachment Find it relatively easy to get close to other peopleAnxious/ambivalent attachmentBelieve that other people didn’t get as close as they themselves wantedAvoidant attachmentsFeel discomfort being close to other people** In adulthood the attachment style developed in infancy combines with sexual desire and caring behaviors to give rise to romantic love
24 Unrequited Love Love is not returned Causes distress to all involved Rejecters most distressedPerspectives differ between the people who offer love and those who do not reciprocateRejecter see rejected as self-deceiving and unreasonableRejected see rejecter as inconsistent and mysterious
25 JealousyJealousy does not prove the existence of love – proves only that the other person can be made jealousJealousy and love are not necessarily companionsJealousy is painful – associated with anger, hurt and loss (or perceived)Jealousy can destroy or cement a relationship (paradoxical)Jealously is linked to violence – marital violence and rape are linked to jealousy
26 JealousyAversive response to a real or imagined involvement with a third personPainful experienceAbsence may indicate relationship problemsOccurs where there are commitments in a relationshipMen and women differ in reported attempts to make their partner jealous
27 Managing Jealousy Jealousy can be unreasonable or realistic Dealing with irrational suspicions can be difficultCan work on underlying causes of our insecurity (Why are we jealous?)If jealousy is well-founded, relationship may need to be modified or endedJealousy can be the catalyst for change
28 Extradyatic Involvement (EDI) Sexual or romantic relationships outside of a “committed” relationshipEDI may be: 1) sexual but not emotional, 2) sexual and emotional, and 3) emotional but not sexual.In Dating and Cohabitating relationships EDI more common, In exclusive marriage, EDI expected and can have legal implications.Nonexclusive Marriages may be open for intimacy but not sex, open with sex allowed, group/multiple relationships
29 Making Love Last: From Passion to Intimacy Intimate love: Each person knows they can count on the otherCommitment: Based on conscious choices rather than transitory feelingsCaring: Involves making another person’s needs as important as your ownSelf-disclosure: Revealing ourselves—our hopes, our fears, our everyday thoughts to deepen understanding and intimacyWorking together these elements help to transform love.
30 The Nature of Communication Communication: a transactional processInvolves conveying symbols, words, gestures, movementsGoal of establishing human contact, exchanging information, and reinforcing or changing attitudes and behaviors3
31 Contexts of Communication Cultural contextthe language, values, beliefs, and customs in which communication takes place – this shapes our style of communicationSocial contextthe roles we play in society – status roles can define the style of communication in the relationshipPsychological contexthow people communicate based on their personalities ( factors: self-esteem, self-efficacy)
32 Nonverbal Communication The ability to correctly interpret nonverbal communication is important in relationshipsMost of our “feeling” communication is nonverbal3 important factors: (Like You vs. Dislike You)Proximity: nearness in physical spaceEye contact: a symbol of interestTouching: signals intimacy, closeness5
33 Sexual CommunicationOur interpersonal sexual scripts provide us with “instructions” on how to behave sexuallyIn beginning relationships (pg )Halo effectInterest and opening linesFirst move and beyondIn some cases: establishing sexual orientationDirecting sexual activity4
34 Sexual Communication (Cont.) In established relationshipsinitiating sexual activityFor heterosexuals: men typically initiate more oftenIn established relationships. Women a may feel comfortable in overtly initiating sex.In same-sex relationships: typically the more emotionally expressive partner initiates
35 Gender Differences in Partner Communication Women send clearer messages to their partners than do menMen more than women tend to send negative messages or withdraw, and tend to talk less about feelings and personal issuesWomen tend to set the emotional tone of an argument – typically escalate or diminish argumentWomen tend to use more qualifiers in their style of speaking, men use fewer words
36 Developing Communication Skills Talking about sexKeys to good communication (pg )Self disclosureTrustFeedback6
37 Conflict and Intimacy Conflict is natural in intimate relationships Conflict is a process in which people perceive incompatible goals and interference from others in achieving their goals.A lack of arguing can signal trouble in a relationshipConflict isn’t dangerous; it’s the manner in which it is handled that can hurt or help relationship7
38 Conflicts about Sex Fighting about sex Can result from a disagreement about having sexCan also be used as a “scapegoat” for nonsexual problemsCan be a cover-up for deeper feelings such as inadequacyIt’s hard to tell during a fight if there are deeper causes
39 Conflict ResolutionThe way couples deal with conflict reflects and contributes to their happinessStrategies for conflict resolutionNegotiating conflictsAgreement as a gift, increases chances of reciprocationBargaining (win-win)Coexistence (get along)
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