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WHAT IS LOVE? Passionate vs. Companionate Love Passionate Love: a state of extreme absorption with and desire for one another – Accompanied by increased.

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Presentation on theme: "WHAT IS LOVE? Passionate vs. Companionate Love Passionate Love: a state of extreme absorption with and desire for one another – Accompanied by increased."— Presentation transcript:

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2 WHAT IS LOVE?

3 Passionate vs. Companionate Love Passionate Love: a state of extreme absorption with and desire for one another – Accompanied by increased heart rate, perspiration, blushing, and great excitement – Typically short-lived (months) Companionate Love: characterized by friendly affection and deep attachment – Communication and understanding of one another can enhance sex life

4 FALLING IN LOVE

5 The (brain) chemistry of love Neurotransmitters Norepinephrine Dopamine Phenylethylamine (PEA) Oxytocin Loss of romantic love may be associated with tolerance of neurotransmitters Endorphins: morphine- like brain chemicals that promote a sense of security & peace; increased in long-term relationships

6 Falling in Love Proximity –Mere exposure effect –Greater proximity often reflects shared interests (like taking a class together) Similarity: homophily –People who fall in love tend to have similar beliefs, values, attitudes, interests, and intellectual abilities –Also tend to pair with people whose physical attractiveness is similar to our own –People are also more likely to end up relationships with someone of a similar age, educational status, religion, race, and ethnicity

7 Role of Similarity in Relationships

8 Falling in Love: Reciprocity Reciprocity –When someone shows they like us, we tend to like them back –Increases in self- esteem –Increases likelihood of relationship enduring

9 Falling in Love: Physical Attractiveness Physical Attractiveness –Belief that “what’s beautiful is good” –Offer status by association –Most important in early stages –May be an indicator of physical health –Males tend to place greater emphasis on physical attractiveness

10 ISSUES IN LOVING RELATIONSHIPS

11 The relationship between love and sex Relationship between the two is not always clear –“Hook-ups” and “friends with benefits” vs. dating –Can also have a dating-like relationship without sex Questions to consider: –Does sexual intimacy deepen a love relationship? –Do men and women have different views of sex and love?

12 Sexual Orientation & Attitudes About Love and Sex Stereotype: same-sex relationships as primarily sexual Sex differences among lesbians and gay men are consistent with general sex difference in attitudes toward love and sex –Gay men are more likely than lesbians to separate love from sex –Lesbians more likely to postpone sex until intimacy has been established

13 Jealousy in Relationships Jealousy-prone person –Low self-esteem –High value on wealth, popularity, and physical attractiveness Negative consequences –Precipitates partner violence –Stifles relationship development –Raises anxiety, depression, and anger Sex differences –Women more likely to acknowledge feelings of jealousy –Men tend to focus more on sexual involvement with another

14 MAINTAINING RELATIONSHIP SATISFACTION

15 Maintaining Relationship Satisfaction Factors associated with high marital satisfaction: –Parents of both spouses had happy, successful marriages –Spouses have similar attitudes, interests, and personalities –Both spouses satisfied with sex life –Couple has an adequate and steady income –The woman was not pregnant when the couple married

16 Maintaining Relationship Satisfaction Characteristics of high quality relationships: –Supportive communication –Companionship –Sexual expression and variety –Seeing partner as best friend –Maintaining frequent positive interaction

17 Sexual Variety Not important to everyone Communication is critical Be spontaneous Plan for intimate time Don’t worry about frequency “standards”

18 Discovering Your Partner’s Needs Ask questions –Yes/No questions –Open-ended questions –Either/Or questions Self-disclosure Discuss sexual preferences Give permission Learn to make requests

19 Taking Responsibility For Your Own Pleasure: Make requests specific Use “I” language Expressing and receiving complaints –Choose right time and place –Temper complaints with praise –Avoid “why” questions –Limit to one complaint per discussion –Express your feelings –Focus on future changes

20 Saying No Three step approach –Show appreciation for invitation –Say no in a clear, unequivocal fashion –Offer alternatives

21 Communication Patterns in Relationships Gottman’s constructive communication tactics –Leveling and editing –Validating –Volatile dialogue Gottman’s destructive communication tactics –Criticism –Contempt –Defensiveness –Stonewalling –Belligerence

22 Final Reflection Based on what you have learned today, what do you feel is the most important thing you can do differently to improve your current romantic relationship if you have one or a future romantic relationship?


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