3 Passionate vs. Companionate Love Passionate Love: a state of extreme absorption with and desire for one anotherAccompanied by increased heart rate, perspiration, blushing, and great excitementTypically short-lived (months)Companionate Love: characterized by friendly affection and deep attachmentCommunication and understanding of one another can enhance sex lifewill skip over theories of love
5 The (brain) chemistry of love NeurotransmittersNorepinephrineDopaminePhenylethylamine (PEA)OxytocinLoss of romantic love may be associated with tolerance of neurotransmittersEndorphins: morphine-like brain chemicals that promote a sense of security & peace; increased in long-term relationshipscompare to drug addiction
6 Similarity: homophily Falling in LoveProximityMere exposure effectGreater proximity often reflects shared interests (like taking a class together)Similarity: homophilyPeople who fall in love tend to have similar beliefs, values, attitudes, interests, and intellectual abilitiesAlso tend to pair with people whose physical attractiveness is similar to our ownPeople are also more likely to end up relationships with someone of a similar age, educational status, religion, race, and ethnicityToo much proximity has opposite effect: kibbutz in Israel
7 Role of Similarity in Relationships Caption: Percentage of couples in various types of relationships that are homophilous for age, educational status, and religion
8 Falling in Love: Reciprocity When someone shows they like us, we tend to like them backIncreases in self-esteemIncreases likelihood of relationship enduring
9 Falling in Love: Physical Attractiveness Belief that “what’s beautiful is good”Offer status by associationMost important in early stagesMay be an indicator of physical healthMales tend to place greater emphasis on physical attractivenessattractive people more sought out as friends, lovers, and are perceived as more likeable, interesting, sensitive, happy, competent and socially skilledwealth and social rank may be more important for women than reproductive ability
11 The relationship between love and sex Relationship between the two is not always clear“Hook-ups” and “friends with benefits” vs. datingCan also have a dating-like relationship without sexQuestions to consider:Does sexual intimacy deepen a love relationship?Do men and women have different views of sex and love?Men more likely to define being in love in sexual termsEasier for men to have sex without love; cultural vs. hormonal factors?
12 Sexual Orientation & Attitudes About Love and Sex Stereotype: same-sex relationships as primarily sexualSex differences among lesbians and gay men are consistent with general sex difference in attitudes toward love and sexGay men are more likely than lesbians to separate love from sexLesbians more likely to postpone sex until intimacy has been established
13 Jealousy in Relationships Jealousy-prone personLow self-esteemHigh value on wealth, popularity, and physical attractivenessNegative consequencesPrecipitates partner violenceStifles relationship developmentRaises anxiety, depression, and angerSex differencesWomen more likely to acknowledge feelings of jealousyMen tend to focus more on sexual involvement with anotherMany people think it is desirable to provoke jealousyWomen more inclined to do so than men
15 Maintaining Relationship Satisfaction Factors associated with high marital satisfaction:Parents of both spouses had happy, successful marriagesSpouses have similar attitudes, interests, and personalitiesBoth spouses satisfied with sex lifeCouple has an adequate and steady incomeThe woman was not pregnant when the couple married
16 Maintaining Relationship Satisfaction Characteristics of high quality relationships:Supportive communicationCompanionshipSexual expression and varietySeeing partner as best friendMaintaining frequent positive interactionpositive interaction more important than negative interaction
17 Not important to everyone Communication is critical Be spontaneous Sexual VarietyNot important to everyoneCommunication is criticalBe spontaneousPlan for intimate timeDon’t worry about frequency “standards”be spontaneous/plan seem contradictory
18 Discovering Your Partner’s Needs Ask questionsYes/No questionsOpen-ended questionsEither/Or questionsSelf-disclosureDiscuss sexual preferencesGive permissionLearn to make requestsYes/No: do you like >______?Open ended : what gives you the most pleasure sexuallyGiving permission: providing reassurance and encouragementMaking requests: being responsible for own satisfaction
19 Taking Responsibility For Your Own Pleasure: Make requests specificUse “I” languageExpressing and receiving complaintsChoose right time and placeTemper complaints with praiseAvoid “why” questionsLimit to one complaint per discussionExpress your feelingsFocus on future changes“why don’t we have sex more frequently” passive-aggressive
20 Saying No Three step approach Show appreciation for invitation Say no in a clear, unequivocal fashionOffer alternativesNot in the mood at a given time, or early on in a relationship
21 Communication Patterns in Relationships Gottman’s constructive communication tacticsLeveling and editingValidatingVolatile dialogueGottman’s destructive communication tacticsCriticismContemptDefensivenessStonewallingBelligerenceleveling & editing: stating facts clearly and using I language; editing not saying things that will be hurtfulvalidating: acknowledging partner’s perspectivevolatile dialogue: fighting is good!stonewalling: silent treatment… not responding, etc.belligerence: purposely provoking
22 Final ReflectionBased 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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