Falling in Love
Love is the capacity that gradually develops
from the infant's basic need for human contact. This need develops into
a growing desire in childhood for contact with one's age mates or peers,
and further develops into the inner need to know another intimately. Love
Love's Dimensions include:
to hold dear, to cherish
to feel a lover's passion, devotion, or tenderness
to like or desire acutely
take pleasure in (i.e., love to play the violin)
to thrive in (i.e., he loves this weather)
to feel affection or experience desire.
Types of Love-like Emotions
Love at First Sight - love is too deep an emotion to be so fickle!
Love is Blind - maybe at first. Mature love is accepting of faults, not
Love Conquers All - but it doesn't pay the rent.
Love is Both Ecstasy and Agony - is the way we excuse mistreatment
Love is Always Passionate - nothing is always passionate
Romantic Love is, according to Zick Rubin, a three part phenomenon,
with equal parts of:
Attachment - a need for the physical presence and emotional support of
the other person.
Caring - a feeling of concern and responsibility for the other person.
Intimacy - a close bond manifested in part by confidential communications.
Passion was NOT one of the components of love for Rubin.
Passionate Love - a wildly emotional state associated with strong physiological,
arousal, confused feelings, intense absorption with and longing for the
loved one, and strong desires for fulfillment through this person.
Limerence - Symptoms of Love Sickness
a deep and acute longing
shyness and clumsiness
idealize the loved one
strong sexual attraction
Companionate Love - lower key emotions, but with deeper attachment,
friendly affection, kindly preoccupation.
The Liking to Loving Continuum:
Components of Love:
Researchers are fairly consistent in reporting that a it is very rare
for a person to have intense feelings of love for more than one person
at a time.
the Passion Cluster of Facination/Exclusiveness/Sexual Desire
Respect (including integrity, honesty, reliability)
Styles of Loving: (from the Greeks)
There seems to be general gender difference in the way men and women conceive
Eros - erotic, worldly love
Storge - romantic love
Ludus - playful love
Mania - obsessive, clingy love
Pragma - goal oriented, functional love
Agape - spiritual love
Males tend to trade affection and commitment for sexual intimacy and
The Triangular Theory of Love: Commitment/Passion/Intimacy
Females tend to trade sexual intimacy for commitment and affection.
Paradoxes of Romantic Love
Nonlove absence of all three
Liking intimacy only
Infatuation passion only
Empty love commitment only
Romantic love intimacy and passion
Fatuous love passion and commitment
Companionate love intimacy and commitment
Consummate love all three components in equal parts. This is the
one we all want to nurture!
Consummate Love has little of any of these qualities. However, everyone
wants and needs some romance! sooooooooooooooooo ...Conditions Favorable
to Romantic Love are:
Separateness vs. Togetherness - love sometimes smothers
Independence vs. Togetherness
Ecstasy vs Despair
Jealousy vs. Trust
special times of the year (Springtime, for example)
expectation of falling in love
coming from a loving family
money and other resources
effective communication skills
conflict resolution abilities
the communication of feelings!
Aube, J., & Koestner, R. (1995). Characteristics and relationship
adjustment: Another look at similarity-complimentarity hypotheses. Journal
of Personality, 63(4). Couples did not become more similar on gender characteristics
over a 15 month period of cohabitation or marriage.
Bailey, R.C. & Czuchry, M. (1994). Psychological kinship fulfillment
and dating attraction. Social Behavior and Personality, 22, 157-192. Fulfilling
kinship needs with non-familial relationships may illicit a feeling that
people have married their opposite sex parent. When both male and female
subjects felt a high degree of kinship toward their dating partner, they
also expressed more love and liking of their partner.
Buss, D.M. (1994). The stratgies of falling in love. American Scientist,
4(27), 238-240. World-wide, men and women do not differ in their need for
long-term relationships. Men reported a significant greater interest in
short-term relationships than are women. Men desired a greater number of
sex partners (18 over a lifetime compared to 4-5 for women).
Felmlee, D.H. (1994). Who's on top? Power in romantic relationships.
Sex Roles, 31, 275-295. 46% of the sample viewed the power distribution
in their relationships as being equal. When inequalities in the power distribution
were admitted, both genders were more likely to attribute the upper hand
to men. While less than half saw their relationships as equal, the majority
thought their relationships were fair, assuming some degree of male dominance
to be preferred.
McElhaney, L.J., (1992). Dating and courtship in the later years. Generations,
16(3), 21-23. Activity level and energy is important in the ability to
meet new partners, as is general health ability to drive, organization
membership, and sibling contact.
Murstein, B.I., and Brust, R.G. (1985). Humor and interpersonal attraction.
Journal of Personality Assessment, 49 (6), 637-640. Humor is more associated
with general affiliative attraction than romantic attraction. Compatibility
in sense of humor, rather than character of humor, is more important here.
Stets, J.E. (1003). Control in dating relationships. JMF, 55, 673-685.
Control over one's dating partner is more common under conditions of low
perspective taking and high conflict. Perspective taking increases in later
stages of relationships due to greater familiarity with the other.
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