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Chapter 7: Love, Relationships, and Communication

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1 Chapter 7: Love, Relationships, and Communication
Bio 27 October 15 Chapter 7: Love, Relationships, and Communication

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 will skip over theories of love

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 compare to drug addiction

6 Similarity: homophily
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 Too 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 back Increases in self-esteem Increases likelihood of relationship enduring

9 Falling in Love: 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 attractive people more sought out as friends, lovers, and are perceived as more likeable, interesting, sensitive, happy, competent and socially skilled wealth and social rank may be more important for women than reproductive ability

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? Men more likely to define being in love in sexual terms Easier 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 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 Many people think it is desirable to provoke jealousy Women more inclined to do so than men

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 positive interaction more important than negative interaction

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

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 Yes/No: do you like >______? Open ended : what gives you the most pleasure sexually Giving permission: providing reassurance and encouragement Making requests: being responsible for own satisfaction

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 “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 fashion Offer alternatives Not in the mood at a given time, or early on in a relationship

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 leveling & editing: stating facts clearly and using I language; editing not saying things that will be hurtful validating: acknowledging partner’s perspective volatile dialogue: fighting is good! stonewalling: silent treatment… not responding, etc. belligerence: purposely provoking

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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