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Developing and Enriching Intimate Relationships

Developing and Enriching Intimate Relationships. Obstacles to Love. Low Self-Esteem If I can’t love me then how can I trust another who says that they love me. (Cycle) Extensive Giving and Addiction Better stated as “giving up your individuality” Society focuses on obsessive and violent love.

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Developing and Enriching Intimate Relationships

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  1. Developing and Enriching Intimate Relationships

  2. Obstacles to Love • Low Self-Esteem • If I can’t love me then how can I trust another who says that they love me. (Cycle) • Extensive Giving and Addiction • Better stated as “giving up your individuality” • Society focuses on obsessive and violent love

  3. Love • “Liking with great emotional intensity • Falling in Love • Heightened physical arousal • Increased emotionality • Frequent thoughts of the loved one • Love Grows or Fall in Love

  4. Romantic Attachment: Individual Differences • Attachment Styles • Secure 54% (comfortable with intimacy & interdependence) • Avoidant 25% (dislike dependency and closeness) • Anxious/Ambivalent 19% (clingy & possessive, seeking assurance from partner) • Bartholomew’s Four Categories of Attachment Style • Secure • Preoccupied (I want complete intimacy but I feel that others are reluctant to get as close to me) • Fearful (I am uncomfortable getting close to others. I want to get close but I find it difficult to trust or depend on them) • Dismissing (I am comfortable without close emotional relationships but prefers not to depend on others)

  5. Outcomes of Attachment Styles • Secure- report greatest enjoyment, intimacy , and positive emotions, higher levels of disclosure & relational problem solving • Anxious/Ambivalent- more changeable emotionally • Avoidant- lower levels of positive emotions and appear to structure social activities in a way that minimizes closeness • (Tidwell et al. 1996) • Secure and Insecure show comparable overall degrees of security

  6. Three General Theories of Love • Evolutionary Psychological Theory of Love • Primitive Emotional Bonding to Promote Race • Buss (1988) Love Acts • Social Structural and Social Learning Theory • Love is Learned from Observation and Socialization • Self Expansion Theory • Premise: We seek to grow and expand self through the incorporation of people, experiences, and possessions into one’s conception of self • Idea is to become united with universe not self aggrandize.

  7. Theories of Love II • Consider the Following Using the 3 General Theories • Passionate Love • Companionate Love • Prototypical Approach • Considers the most representative features of love • Caring, friendship, honesty, trust, and respect • Sex, passion, novelty

  8. Love Schema • Mental model consisting of expectations and attitudes about love. • Six Love Schemas • Secure- closeness and independence • Clingy- high level of closeness • Skittish- uneasy with closeness • Fickle- never satisfied with present relationship • Casual- enjoys relationships without committing • Uninterested- not interested in any relationship

  9. History of Love • Four Dimensions of Attitudes about Love • Cultural Value: Is love a desirable state? • Sexuality: Should love be sexual or unsexual? • Sexual Orientation: Should love involve homosexual or heterosexual partners? • Marital Status: Should we love our spouses or is love reserved for others? • Historical Views of Love • Love is madness • Love has little to do with marriage • Love need not involve sexual contact • Love is a noble quest • Love is doomed • Love can be happy and fulfilling • Love and marriage go together.

  10. Types of Love • Robert Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love • Intimacy- feelings of warmth, support and sharing • Passion- physical arousal and desire • Commitment- decision to devote oneself to a relationship

  11. Romantic, Passionate Love • “I love you, but I’m not in love with you” • According to Berscheid, Passion is Rooted in: • 1) physiological arousal • 2) the belief that another person is the cause of the arousal • Misattributions (excitation transfer) • Laughter • Fear • Exercise

  12. Romantic, Passionate Love • Thoughts • The more you love the more you will think about them (reverse) • Romance blinds to undesirable traits • Thoughts about ourselves change when we are in love • Romantic lovers state that they would do anything for their partner and that they would be miserable without them.

  13. Love and Age • People married for five years were less romantic than high school seniors • People who had been married for 20 years or more were the most romantic of all. • Link between romance and age is a wide and shallow mouthed U.

  14. Companionate Love • Two major types of love that occur in American marriages • Love full of passion that leads people to marry • Love that’s full of friendship that underlies marriages that last.

  15. Styles of Loving • Eros- Erotic lover focuses on physical appearance • Ludus- Playful in love and likes to play the field • Storge- Slow developing attachments with commitment • Mania- Demanding and possessive, has a feeling of being out of control • Agape- Altruistic, loving without concern for receiving anything in return • Pragma- searches for a person with proper vital statistics • Men higher on ludus whereas women are more storgic and pragmatic

  16. Ingredients of Love: Needs from Love • Carlton Paine’s Ingredients of Love • Trust (honesty and dependability) • Affection (fondness for each other) • Respect (admiration and regard) • Fulfillment of Love Needs • Important to Match in Beginning • Communicate needs openly • Observe your partner with others • Be willing to make changes in self • Don’t assume the person will change in marriage

  17. Love Behaviors • “She loves me because she will do anything I want” • “If you love me you would know what I want” • Autonomy/Independence • Closeness • Forgiveness • Honesty • Respect • Others?

  18. Love and Sex • More similarity than differences between sexes • Women tend to experience stronger emotions than men do; on average, women’s emotions are more intense and more volatile. • Studies rarely find differences in romantic love between the sexes. • More men believe in love at first sight and that if you just love someone enough nothing else matters. • Women are more cautious about love, more selective and passion develops more slowly

  19. Does Love Last •  Prototypical North American Marriage • Romantic love with pledge of entire life • Romantic love decreases after people marry • Why doesn’t it last? • Fantasy- love is blind • Novelty- excitement • Arousal- fades or habituates • INTIMACY IS MORE STABLE THAN PASSION • COMPANIONATE LOVE IS MORE STABLE THAN ROMANTIC LOVE

  20. Intimacy • Intimacy- “emotional closeness”: to really know another • Key Elements (Sternberg, 1987) • Promote each others welfare • Experience happiness together • Holding each other in high regard • Counting on each other in times of need • Mutual understanding • Sharing of self and possessions • Receiving emotional support • Giving emotional support • Communicating intimately • Valuing each other

  21. Intimacy Development • Eliminate Blockers • Withdrawal or isolating the self (work, etc) • Personal Rigidity (no compromise) • Overt Self Righteousness (need to be right) • Lack of Trustworthiness • “We can only be intimate to the degree that we are willing to be open and vulnerable (Ornish, 1998)

  22. Intimacy Development • Enhancers • Androgynous Personalities • Expression of Genuine Emotions • Empathic and Nurturing Behaviors • Paying Attention to Others • Mutually Enjoyable Activities • Communication (especially deep self-disclosure) • Commitment

  23. Enriching a Relationship • Compliment not Criticize (5:1 ratio) • Be curious • Be honest (no secrets) • Plan together • Be spontaneous • Develop traditions • Talk about individual and shared interests

  24. Enriching a Relationship • Spend Time Together • Be Appreciative • Five Positives to Every One Criticism • Communicate (honesty & curiosity) • Demonstrate Affection • Be Spontaneous • Develop Rituals

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