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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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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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  • “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

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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)

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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

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    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.

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    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

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    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

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    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.

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    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

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    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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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

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    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

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    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?

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    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

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    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



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    • 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

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    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)

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    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

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    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

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    Enriching a Relationship

    • Spend Time Together

    • Be Appreciative

    • Five Positives to Every One Criticism

    • Communicate (honesty & curiosity)

    • Demonstrate Affection

    • Be Spontaneous

    • Develop Rituals