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Chapter 7 Love and Communication in Intimate Relationships

Chapter 7 Love and Communication in Intimate Relationships. What is Love?. Difficult to define Special attitude with behavioral and emotional components Different things to different people Difficult to measure. Rubin’s Love Scale. 13-item questionnaire 3 components of love Attachment

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Chapter 7 Love and Communication in Intimate Relationships

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  1. Chapter 7Love and Communication in Intimate Relationships

  2. What is Love? • Difficult to define • Special attitude with behavioral and emotional components • Different things to different people • Difficult to measure

  3. Rubin’s Love Scale • 13-item questionnaire • 3 components of love • Attachment • Caring • Intimacy

  4. Sternberg’s Triangular Theory • Passion, Intimacy, & Commitment are the three components of love • Passion builds then fades • Intimacy & Commitment continue to build • Variations in components yield different kinds of love • Intimacy alone = friendship • Passion alone = infatuation • Commitment alone = empty love

  5. Sternberg’s Triangular Theory

  6. Falling in Love • The chemistry of love • Neurotransmitters • Mentioned last class • Endorphins • Chemicals - euphoria, peace, tranquility • Loss of romantic love and neurotransmitter withdrawal

  7. Falling in Love: Proximity • Proximity • Mere exposure effect • Familiarity breeds predictability which leads to greater comfort • Greater proximity often reflects shared interests

  8. Falling in Love: Similarity • Similarity • Level of physical attractiveness • Age, educational status, and religion • Race and ethnicity • Why Similarity? • Share similar interests & activities • Communicate better • Confirm own views & experiences • Supportive of values & beliefs

  9. Falling in Love: Reciprocity • Reciprocity • When someone shows they like us, we tend to like them back • Increases in self-esteem • Increases likelihood of relationship enduring

  10. Falling in Love: Physical Attractiveness • Belief that “What’s beautiful is good” • Status by association • Most important in early stages • May be an indicator of physical health • Heterosexual males place greater emphasis on physical attractiveness

  11. Attachment • Intense emotional tie • Adult attachments are influenced by our attachment to caregiver in infancy

  12. Attachment • Attachment styles in Adulthood • Paired couples often are similar in their attachment styles • Attachment style affects interaction in relationship

  13. Attachment Styles and Relationships

  14. Issues in Loving Relationships • Relationship between love & sex • Relationship between the two is not always clear • Consider “hook-ups” and “friends with benefits” • Questions to ask: • Does sexual intimacy deepen a love relationship? • Do men and women have different views of sex & love? How does age impact this?

  15. Sexual Orientation and Attitudes about Love & Sex • Many people stereotype same-sex relationships as primarily sexual • Sex differences among lesbians and gay men are consistent with general sex difference in attitudes toward love and sex • Gay men are more likely than lesbians to separate love from sex • Lesbians more likely to postpone sex until intimacy has been established

  16. Jealousy in Relationships • Jealousy-prone person • Low self-esteem • High value on wealth and popularity • Negative consequences • Precipitates partner violence • Stifles relationship development • Raises anxiety, depression, anger • Sex differences • Women (her fault) • Men (partner or third person’s fault)

  17. Maintaining Relationship Satisfaction • Ingredients in a lasting love relationship • Self-acceptance • Appreciation of each other’s qualities • Commitment • Good communication, realistic expectations and shared interests • I versus You communication • Ability to face and deal with conflict • Know how to compromise

  18. Maintaining Relationship Satisfaction • Characteristics of high quality relationships • Supportive communication • Companionship • Sexual expression and variety • Although not always variety… • Seeing partner as best friend • Maintaining frequent positive interaction

  19. Maintaining Relationship Satisfaction • Individual and relationship growth • Growth and change maintain relationship • Overcome obstacles • View problems as challenges • Negotiate and renegotiate wants • Accept each other as unique

  20. Maintaining Relationship Satisfaction • Sexual Variety • Communication is critical • Listen to needs • Must communicate yours! No mind readers! • Be spontaneous • Sometimes need to plan for intimate time • Don’t worry about frequency “standards”

  21. Chapter 8Sexual Behaviors

  22. Celibacy • Types of Celibacy • Complete celibacy • Neither masturbates nor has sexual contact with another person • Partial celibacy

  23. Reasons for or Benefits of Celibacy • Religious, moral beliefs • Waiting for the appropriate person • Learning about other aspects of self • Health considerations • During substance abuse recovery

  24. Erotic Dreams • Expression and exploration of desires • Most males, two thirds females • Nocturnal orgasm • Both sexes • Women have higher frequency of intercourse and of orgasm with masturbation more likely aware

  25. Erotic Fantasy • Daydreams, masturbation, or during sexual encounters • 95% of women and men fantasize • Fantasy content among heterosexual and non-heterosexual individuals are similar, except for sex of imagined partner

  26. Sexual Fantasy • Function of sexual fantasies • Source of pleasure & arousal • Overcome sexual anxiety • Acceptable expression of socially unacceptable behavior • Gender similarities & differences • Women more likely to use romance • Men more likely to have domination fantasies • Women more likely to have submission fantasies

  27. Fantasies: Help or Hindrance? • Most research points to helpful • Healthy part of sexuality • May actually enhance a relationship • How might fantasies be harmful?

  28. Perspectives on Masturbation • Traditional Condemnation • Censured as non-procreational • Erroneous health concerns • Tissot, Graham, Kellogg • Contemporary research has established that it is not harmful • Differences by race, gender, education • White male, married, college grad

  29. Purposes for Masturbation • Relieves sexual tension • Means of self-exploration • Shared experience • Common among married couples • More frequent sex = more frequent masturbation • Not dissatisfaction • Assists in physical relaxation

  30. Self-Pleasuring Technique • Follow your moral values • Set aside adequate time & relax • Experiment with different types of touch

  31. Kissing and Touching • Kissing • Cross-cultural practices and attitudes toward kissing • Touching • Cornerstone of human sexuality • Whole body is responsive • Specific erogenous zones

  32. Touching: Manual Stimulation of Genitals • Individual differences with regard to manual stimulation • Most women need consistent touching through orgasm • Usually hand movements against mons and clitoris • Men may not like to be touched just after orgasm

  33. Gay Male Sexual Behaviors • Misconceptions • One “wears the dress” • Realities • Similar to noncoital heterosexual behaviors • Fellatio, mutual masturbation are most common • Compared to other men, gay men often have more diversity, self-expression, & personal enjoyment in their sexual contact

  34. Lesbian Sexual Expression • Misconceptions • Idea of wearing dildo • Artificial penis • Realities • Similar to noncoital heterosexual behaviors • Lesbian sexual relations tend to be longer and involve more all-over body sensuality

  35. Oral-Genital Stimulation • Types: cunnilungus & fellatio • Acceptance varies • 69 refers to simultaneous oral-genital stimulation

  36. Anal Stimulation • Prevalence is lower than other forms of sexual activity • Health risk (HIV, other infections) • Lubricants and gentle insertion needed • Bad idea to have vaginal sex after anal

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