Choices in Relationships Chapter Three: Love in Relationships
Descriptions of Love • Sternberg developed the “triangular” view of love as consisting of three basic elements—intimacy, passion, and commitment. • The presence or absence of these three elements provides a description of various types of love experienced between individuals regardless of their sexual orientation.
Descriptions of Love • Nonlove: • the absence of intimacy, passion, and commitment • Two strangers looking at each other from afar have a nonlove. • Liking: • intimacy without passion or commitment • A new friendship may be described in these terms of the partners liking each other.
Descriptions of Love • Infatuation • passion without intimacy or commitment • Two persons flirting with each other in a bar may be infatuated with each other. • Romantic love • intimacy and passion without commitment • Love at first sight reflects this type of love.
Descriptions of Love • Companionate love • intimacy and commitment without passion • A couple who have been married for fifty years are said to have a companionate love. • Fatuous love • passion and commitment without intimacy • A couple who are passionately wild about each other and talk of the future but do not have an intimate connection with each other have a fatuous love.
Descriptions of Love • Empty love • commitment without passion or intimacy • A couple who stay together for social and legal reasons but who have no spark or sharing between them have an empty love. • Consummate love • combination of intimacy, passion, and commitment • Sternberg’s view of the ultimate, all-consuming love.
Love in Societal Context • Social Control of Love • “Is love color blind or is love blinded by color?” • Over 95 percent of people marry someone of their own racial background • Another example of the social control of love is that individuals attracted to someone of the same sex quickly feel the social and cultural disapproval of this attraction.
Love in Societal Context • Ancient Views of Love • Buddhist Conception of Love • The Buddhists conceived of two types of love—an “unfortunate” kind of love (self-love) and a “good” kind of love (creative spiritual attainment). • Greek and Hebrew Conceptions of Love • Three concepts of love introduced by the Greeks and reflected in the New Testament are phileo, agape, and eros.
Love in Societal Context • Love in Medieval Europe — From Economics to Romance • Love in the 1100s was a concept influenced by economic, political, and family structure. • Marriages of the sons and daughters of the aristocracy were arranged with the heirs of other states with whom an alliance was sought.
Love in Societal Context • Modern Conceptions of Love — Love Styles • Ludus • The ludic lover views love as a game, refuses to become dependent on any one person, and does not encourage another’s intimacy. • Pragma • The pragma love style is the love of the pragmatic, who is logical and rational.
Love in Societal Context • Modern Conceptions of Love — Love Styles • Eros • Just the opposite of the pragmatic love style, the eros love style is one of passion and romance. 4. Mania • The person with mania love style feels intense emotion and sexual passion but is out of control.
Love in Societal Context • Modern Conceptions of Love — Love Styles 5. Storge • The storge love style is a calm, soothing, nonsexual love devoid of intense passion. 6. Agape • One of the forms of love identified by the ancient Greeks, the agape love style is selfless and giving, expecting nothing in return.
Love in Societal Context • Romantic versus Realistic Love Romantic Love: • Romantic love is characterized by such beliefs as love at first sight, there is only one true love, and love conquers all. • The symptoms of romantic love include drastic mood swings, palpitations of the heart, and intrusive thoughts about the partner.
Love in Societal Context • Romantic versus Realistic Love Realistic Love: • Realistic love is also known as conjugal love. • Conjugal (married) love is less emotional, passionate, and exciting than romantic love and is characterized by companionship, calmness, comfort, and security.
Theories on the Origins of Love • Evolutionary Theory • Love has an evolutionary purpose by providing a bonding mechanism between the parents during the time their offspring are dependent infants. • Learning Theory • Learning theory emphasizes that love feelings develop in response to certain behaviors occurring in certain contexts.
Theories on the Origins of Love • Sociological Theory • Suggests the wheel model as an explanation for how love develops. • Basically there are four stages of the wheel-—rapport, self revelation, mutual dependency, and personality need fulfillment. • Psychosexual Theory • According to psychosexual theory, love results from blocked biological sexual desires.
Theories on the Origins of Love • Ego-Ideal Theory • Suggests that love springs from a state of dissatisfaction with oneself and represents a vain urge to reach one’s “ego-ideal.” • Ontological Theory • Love from an ontological perspective arises from a lack of wholeness in our being.
Theories on the Origins of Love • Biochemical Theory • Suggests that there may be a biochemical basis for love feelings. • Attachment Theory • The attachment theory of love emphasizes that a primary motivation in life is to be connected with other people.
How Love Develops in a New Relationship • Social Conditions for Love • Our society promotes love through popular music, movies, television, and novels. • Psychological Conditions for Love • Two psychological conditions associated with the development of healthy love relationships are high self-esteem and self-disclosure.
How Love Develops in a New Relationship • Physiological and Cognitive Conditions for Love • The individual must be physiologically aroused and interpret this stirred-up state as love.
Love as a Context for Problems • Simultaneous Loves • Some people (particularly those separated from the love partner, who may meet and fall in love with another) report the dilemma of being in love with two people at the same time. • Abusive or Unfulfilling Love Relationships • Another problem associated with love is being in love with someone who may be emotionally or physically abusive.
Love as a Context for Problems • Context for Risky/Dangerous/ Questionable Choices • Individuals are aware that love may cause them problems. • Plato said that “love is a grave mental illness,” and some research suggests that individuals in love make risky/dangerous/questionable decisions.
Jealousy in Relationships • Jealousy can be defined as an emotional response to a perceived or real threat to an important or valued relationship. • Causes of Jealousy • External Causes • External factors refer to behaviors the partner engages in that are interpreted as (1) an emotional and/or sexual interest in someone (or something) else or (2) a lack of emotional and/or sexual interest in the primary partner.
Jealousy in Relationships • Causes of Jealousy • Internal Causes • Mistrust • Low self-esteem. • Being involved and dependent. • Lack of perceived alternatives. • Insecurity
Jealousy in Relationships • Consequences of Jealousy • Jealousy can have both desirable and undesirable consequences. • Compersion • Compersion, describing the situation in which an individual feels positive about a partner’s emotional and sexual enjoyment with another person, is the “opposite” of jealousy.