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Chapter 16. Sex and Heartache. Quote for the day. ‘Tis better to have loved and lost Than never to have loved at all. -Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam A.H.H. Did you know?.

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Chapter 16 l.jpg

Chapter 16

Sex and Heartache


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Quote for the day

‘Tis better to have loved and lost

Than never to have loved at all.

-Alfred Tennyson,

In Memoriam A.H.H.


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Did you know?

  • An exclusive primary sex partner is associated with the lowest rates of negative feelings, as well as the highest rates of positive feelings.

  • Does monogamy make people happier, or are happy people more likely to be monogamous?




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Relationships can make you sad

  • It is risky to take a chance on loving someone.

  • Be sure your sadness is not related to clinical depression

  • There can be a chemical basis for sadness that accompanies the loss of love.

  • Sadness varies in intensity

  • Is sadness really anger turned inwards?


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Relationships can make you sad

  • Loneliness

    • Our need to belong is one of the most fundamental and powerful motives

    • One crucial factor in avoiding loneliness is having some ongoing close relationships.

    • Two distinct types of loneliness:

      • Social loneliness

      • Emotional loneliness


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Relationships can make you sad

  • Loneliness

    • Prevalent among college students

      • Social isolation

    • Marriage is associated with less loneliness

    • Coping with loneliness

      • Accepting and reflecting on what you are experiencing

      • Increasing social contacts

      • Increasing your activity level


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Relationships can make you sad

  • Breaking Up

    • Long-term relationships dissolve for a variety of reasons

    • Interdependence Theory

    • Duck’s Phases of Dissolving a Relationship



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Relationships can make you sad

  • Breaking Up

    • Long-term relationships dissolve for a variety of reasons

    • Interdependence Theory

    • Duck’s Phases of Dissolving a Relationship

    • Cascade Model of Dissolving a Relationship






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Relationships can make you sad

  • Being dumped is even harder

    • Biggest difference between initiator and abandoned partner is PREPARATION.

    • Ending a relationship is usually painful, and sometimes it can be traumatic, or even dangerous

    • Motives for attempted/completed suicide

      • Anger or revenge

      • Absolution of self-blame through self-punishment

      • Escape from unbearable suffering


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Relationships can make you sad

  • Being dumped is even harder

    • Some people are more sensitive to rejection

      • Cognitive-affective processing

      • Self-fulfilling prophecy

    • Dependent love is the basis of much of our popular culture

    • The quality of the relationship is not always a good indicator of how you’ll feel if it ends.


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Relationships can make you sad

  • Unrequited Love

    • Love that is not returned or reciprocated

    • Inevitable part of the process of searching for a mate

    • People are attracted to highly desirable partners, but they end up with partners about equal to themselves.

    • Unpleasant for both people involved

    • Romantic rejection is hard to communicate


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Relationships can make you sad

  • Unrequited Love

    • Principle of least interest: whoever is less in love has the most power

    • Unrequited love is not the same as a crush

    • Erotomania: a delusional belief that someone, often a celebrity, has a romantic interest.

      • Typically lonely people who have had few sex partners and view their lives as a series of disappointments


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Relationships can make you sad

  • Guilt

    • Felt when we violate sexual values that we have established for ourselves or that are established for us

    • Anxiety or unhappiness resulting from feeling we have done something wrong

    • Feeling guilty about sex can be related to a belief that sex is immoral, sinful, or dirty.



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Relationships can make you mad

  • Jealousy

    • Perceived threat to existing relationship

    • Unlike envy: desire to obtain something that someone else already has.

    • Two situations likely to activate jealousy:

      • A threat to your self-esteem

      • A threat to the relationship




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Relationships can make you mad

  • Jealousy

    • Jealousy appears to be a nearly universal human experience

    • Gender differences in sexual jealousy

      • Sexual versus emotional infidelity

    • Coping with jealousy

      • Male jealousy more likely to result in injury/killing

      • Women typically blame themselves


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Relationships can make you mad

  • Conflict about sex can make you angry, sad or anxious

    • Sex can be a source of unacknowledged tension

    • Disagreement about sex may reflect other problems in the relationship.

    • Expressing anger almost always makes people angrier

    • Count to 10

    • Anger versus aggression


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Relationships can make you scared

  • From a physiological perspective, anxiety and love are very much the same

  • A certain amount of sexual anxiety might be helpful to some relationships

  • Sometimes anxious feelings might be a warning that there is something wrong

  • Each of us develops coping mechanism to help us take care of ourselves during stressful times.



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Relationships can make you scared

  • Performance Anxiety

    • Sex is not an Olympic event

  • Normalcy Anxiety

    • What is normal?

  • Fear of Commitment and Intimacy

    • Not all emotionally intimate relationships are sexual, and not every sexually intimate relationship involves emotional intimacy.



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Relationships can make you scared

  • Shyness

    • Social avoidance or social anxiety may be interpreted as disinterest, conceit, or snobbery

    • Shy people may have low interpersonal skills

    • Cognitive interference

  • Sexual Phobias

    • Extreme irrational fears that are out of proportion to any real danger



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