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Communication, Love, and Intimacy

This is useful on how to make relationships much better and choosing the right partner.
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Communication, Love, and Intimacy

  2. 2. What is Love? Love takes many forms. Love exists between parent and child and between family members. Love between friends involves concern for the other’s well-being. Lovers may experience two additional types of love: passionate love and compassionate love.
  3. 3. Passionate Love • It is also known as romantic love or infatuation • It is a state of extreme absorption with and desire for another. • It is characterized by intense feelings of tenderness, elation, anxiety, sexual desire, and ecstasy. • Generalized physiological arousal, including increased heartbeat, perspiration, blushing, and stomach churning along with a feeling of great excitement, often accompanies this form of love. • Passionate love is the all-encompassing, earth sharing love of movies, songs, and poetry also referred to as romantic love, infatuation, puppy love, and obsessive love.
  4. 4. Compassionate Love • It has a less intense emotion than passionate love. • It is characterized by friendly affection and a deep attachment that is based on extensive familiarity with the loved one. • It involves a thoughtful appreciation of one’s partner. • Companionate love often encompasses a tolerance for another’s shortcomings along with a desire to overcome difficulties and conflicts in a relationship. • This kind of love is committed to ongoing nurturing of a partnership. • In short, companionate love is often enduring, whereas passionate love is almost always transitory • It can be difficult to evolve from romantic to companionate love due to models of love in the media.
  5. 5. Love and Sex • Sex in a compassionate relationship typically reflects feelings associated with familiarity, especially the security of knowing what pleases the other. This foundation of knowledge and sexual trust can encourage experimentation and subtle communication. Sexual pleasure strengthens the overall bond of a compassionate relationship. Although sex is usually less exciting than in passionate love, it is often experienced as richer, more meaningful, and more deeply satisfying. • If a relationship is to continue, romantic love must develop into companionate or conjugal love, which involves feelings of deep affection, attachments, intimacy, and ease with the partner. Companionate love includes the development of trust, loyalty, a lack of criticalness, and a willingness to sacrifice for the partner.
  6. 6. Love at First Sight? • Studies show that, at least among young, predominantly white college students, men are more likely to believe in love at first sight. They are also more likely to believe true love comes only once, lasts forever, and overcomes obstacles such as religious differences • Partners who believe in “love at first sight” become romantically involved more quickly and have partners with less similar personalitoes than those who don’t believe in love at first sight (Barelds & Barelds- Dukstra, 2007).
  7. 7. Falling in Love Love is a complex human emotion that can be explained, at least in part, by various psychosocial interpretations of its origins. However, the answer to why we fall in love also encompasses, to some degree, complex neurochemical processes that occur in our brains when we are attracted to another person.
  8. 8. Chemistry of Love • People caught up in the intense passion of blooming love often report feeling swept away or feeling a kind of natural high. • Such reactions might have a basis, at least, in part, in brain chemistry. The initial elation and the energizing “high” that is characteristic of passionate love result from surging levels of three key brain chemicals: norepinephrine, dopamine, and phenlethylamine. • These chemicals are called neurotransmitters and allow our brains cells to communicate with each other, and they are chemically similar to amphetamine drugs; thus, they produce amphetamine-like effects, such as euphoria, giddiness, and elation.
  9. 9. Chemistry of Love • The amphetamine-like highs and elevated sexual arousal associated with new love typically do not last—perhaps in part because the body eventually develops a tolerance to phenlethylamine and related neurotransmitters, just as it does to amphetamines. With time, our brain simply becomes unable to keep up with the demand for more and more phenlethylamine to produce love’s special kick. Thus, the highs that we feel at the beginning of a relationship eventually diminish. This observation provides a plausible biological explanation for why passionate or romantic love is short-lived.
  10. 10. Chemistry of Love • The continued progression from infatuation to the deep attachment characteristc of long-term loving rela4onships results, at least in part, from the brain gradually stepping up production of another set of neurotransmitters called endorphins. This morphine like, pain-blunting chemicals are soothing substances that help produce a sense of euphoria, security, tranquil, and peace. Thus, they can cause us to feel good when we are with a loved partner • This could be another reason why abandoned lovers feel so terrible after their loss: they are deprived of their daily dose of feel-good chemicals
  11. 11. Factors Affecting Love Proximity • Although people often overlook proximity, or geographic nearness, in listing factors that attracted them to a particular person, proximity is on e of the most important variables. We often develop close relationships with people whom we see frequently in our neighborhood, in school, or at work. • Social psychologists have offered a number of plausible explanations. One is simply that familiarity breeds liking or loving. Research has shown that when we are repeatedly exposed to novel stimuli— unfamiliar musical selections, works of art, human face, and so on—our liking for such stimuli increases. Well, same is the case with people we see frequently. • Another reasons why proximity influences whom we are attracted to is that people often meet each other in locations where they are engaging in activities that reflect common interests. Work and school are especially prevalent places where people connect with future in4mate partners. These environments proved opportunities for repeated contacts. Many of us are reluctant to initiate a relationship the first time or two we meet or interact with another person. However, at work or in class, we come
  12. 12. Factors Affecting Love Similarity • Similarity is also influential in determining with whom we fall in love. Contrary to the old adage that opposites attract, people who fall in love often share common beliefs, values, attitudes, interests, and intellectual abilities. We also tend to pair romantically with people whose level of physical attractiveness is similar to our own. This tendency to match physical attractiveness with a partner might be related to our fear of being rejected if we approach someone whom we perceive to be much more attractive than ourselves. We also tend to be attracted to people who are similar to us in age, educational status, religious affiliation, personality characteristics, and race and ethnicity.
  13. 13. Factors Affecting Love Reciprocity • Still another factor drawing us to a particular individual is our perception that the person is interested in us. People tend to react positively to flattery, compliments, and other expressions of liking and affection. This idea that we tend to respond kindly to others when they express liking or love towards us is called reciprocity. Reciprocity can set in motion a further escalation of the relationship: by responding warmly to people who we believe feel positively toward us, we often induce them to like us even more. Furthermore, our sense of self-‐esteem is affected by the extent to which we feel attached to and like by others. Knowing that someone likes us increases our sense of belonging or being socially integrated in a rela4onship and hence bolsters our self- ‐esteem.
  14. 14. Factors Affecting Love Physical Attractivenesss • Despite the saying that beauty is only skin deep, experiments have shown that physically attractive people are more likely to be sought as friends and lovers and to be perceived as more likeable, interesting, sensitive, poised, happy, sexy, competent, and socially skilled than people of average or unattractive appearance • We all enjoy looking a something or someone whom we consider beautiful. Another factor is that many people tend to believe that beautiful people have more to offer in terms of desirable personal qualities than those who are less attractive. We might also be attracted to beautiful people because they offer us the possibility of status through association. And perhaps beautiful people, by virtue of having been treated well by others over the course of their lives, are secure and comfortable with themselves, a fact that can translate into especially sa4sfying relationships with others. Finally, evidence shows that people consider physical beauty an indicator of health and that, other things being equal, we are attracted to healthy people.
  15. 15. Maintaining a Relationship Satisfaction Human relationships, in general, present many challenges. One challenge involves building positive feelings about ourselves. Another involves establishing satisfying and enjoyable relationships with family, peers, teachers, coworkers, employers, and other people in our social network. A third challenge involves developing special intimate relationships with friends, and when we want them, sexual relationships. Finally many people confront the challenge of maintaining satisfaction and love within an ongoing committed relationship.
  16. 16. Maintaining a Relationship Satisfaction Ingredients commonly present in a lasting love relationship include self-acceptance, acceptance by one’s partner, appreciation of one another, commitment, good communication, realistic expectations, shared interests, equality in decision making, and the ability to face conflict effectively. These characteristics are not static; they evolve and change and influence one another over time. Often they need to deliberately cultivated.
  17. 17. Maintaining a Relationship Satisfaction Maintaining frequent positive interactions is crucial to continued satisfaction in a relationship. The saying “It’s the little things that count” is especially meaningful here. When one partner says to the other “You do not love me anymore,” that often means “You are not doing as many things as you used to do that show me you love me.” These behaviors are often small that the partners may not really notice them. However, when couples do fewer things to make one another feel loved, or when they stop doing them entirely, the deficit is often experienced as a lack of love. Continuing affection and considerate interaction helps maintain a feeling love.
  18. 18. Sexual Variety Another important ingredient to preserving a satisfying relationship might be sexual variety. Many people have a strong desire to seek variety in life’s experiences. They might acquire an assortment of friends, each of whom provides a unique enrichment to their lives. Likewise, the might read different kinds of books, pursue a variety of recreational activities, eat different kinds of foods, and take a variety of classes. Yet many of these same people settle for routine in their sex lives
  19. 19. Sexual Variety Many people are quite comfortable with established routines and have no desire to change them. However, if you prefer to develop more variety in your sexual relationship, communication is critical. Talk to your partner about your needs and feelings. Share with him or her your desire to try something different.
  20. 20. Sexual Variety Even though time inevitably erodes the novelty of a relationships, the resulting decline of passion can be countered by introducing novelty into patterns of sexual sharing. This can be accomplished by avoiding routine times and places. Instead of doing it in the same place and at the same time, make love in places other than the bed (on the laundry room floor, in the shower, alongside a nature trail), and at various times (in the morning, at noon, or in the middle of the night when you wake up feeling sexually aroused).
  21. 21. Sexual Variety Some of the most exciting sexual experiences take place on the spur of the moment, with little or no planning. It is easy to see how such experiences might frequently during courtship. It is equally apparent how they can become distant memories after a couple settles into the demanding daily schedule of living together. Nevertheless, you may find that striving to maintain this spontaneity will stand you in good stead as your relationship is nurtured over months and years together. On the other hand, planning for intimate time—sexual and nonsexual—can also help maintain closeness. Make dates with one another and consciously continue the romantic gestures that came naturally early in the relationship. Commit your energy and time to your sexual relationship.
  22. 22. Sexual Variety Do not let questions of what is “normal” get in the way of an enriched and varied erotic life. Too often, people refrain from experiencing something new because they believe that different activities are “abnormal.” In reality, only you can judge what is normal for you. Sexologists concur that any sexual activity as long as it gives pleasure and does not cause emotional or physical discomfort of harm to either partner. Emotional comfort is important because discomfort and conflict rather than intimacy and satisfaction can result if behaviors are tried too divergent from personal values and attitudes. Some partners find comfort and contentment in repeating familiar patterns of sexual interaction. Others consider sex relatively unimportant compared with other aspects of their lives and choose not to exert special efforts in pursuing its pleasures.
  23. 23. Darker Side of Love 1) Jealousy 2) Compulsiveness-being in love can produce a sense of ecstasy, euphoria, and a feeling of well‐being, much like a powerful drug. Researchers Peele and Brodsky (1976) suggest that love addiction is more common than most believe and that it is based on a continuation of an adolescent view of love that is never replaced as the person matures. 3)Possessiveness- Trying to manipulate the partner in attempts to feel worthy is a sign of low self‐esteem and can lead to stalking May require help from a mental health professional. Abusive love relationships exist when one partner tries to increase his or her own sense of self-worth or control the other’s behavior through withdrawing or manipulating love. Possessiveness indicates a problem of self-esteem and personal boundaries and can eventually lead to stalking. Thinking about another person with that level of obsession is a sign of a serious psychological problem, one that should be brought to the attention of a mental health professional.