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The Chemistry of Love: Theoretical Approaches to Partner Selection. Based on theories of Harvell Hendrex Linda L. Zimmerman, M.A., LCPC Professor of Psychology and Student Development. Men look for: enhancement of the species classic beauty good bone structure clear skin, shiny hair

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The chemistry of love theoretical approaches to partner selection l.jpg

The Chemistry of Love: Theoretical Approaches to Partner Selection

Based on theories of Harvell Hendrex

Linda L. Zimmerman, M.A., LCPC

Professor of Psychology and Student Development


Biological theory l.jpg

Men look for:

enhancement of the species

classic beauty

good bone structure

clear skin, shiny hair

bright eyes, red lips

rosy cheeks

Biological Theory


Biological theory3 l.jpg
Biological Theory

Women look for:

  • pronounced “alpha” qualities

  • ability to dominate other males

  • ability to bring home more than their share of the kill.


Social psychology theory l.jpg
Social Psychology Theory

  • “Exchange” theory of mate selection:

  • We select mates who are more or less our equals

  • We look for youth, beauty, social rank, charm, intelligence, compassion.


Persona theory l.jpg
Persona Theory

  • Each of us has a mask, a persona we show other people.

  • Based on the potential of the suitor to enhance our self-image.

  • You feel more attractive, desirable when with this person.

  • You feel better about yourself to be seen with this person.


The people we are attracted to seem to resemble each other quite closely l.jpg
The people we are attracted to seem to resemble each other quite closely.

We seem to be searching for a very definite set of positive and negative traits.

  • Physical

  • Personality


Partner selection l.jpg
Partner Selection quite closely.

Three Theories:

1. biological

2. social psychology

3. persona

All have some validity, but is there more to how we select partners?


How is the brain involved in forming relationships l.jpg

How is the brain involved in forming relationships? quite closely.

Neuroscientist Paul McLean suggests a model that divides the brain into three concentric layers:

1. Cerebral Cortex - “new” brain

2. Limbic System - “old” brain

3.Brain Stem - “old” brain


1 cerebral cortex new brain l.jpg
1. Cerebral Cortex quite closely.“New” Brain

  • most highly developed in humans

  • in contact with daily surroundings

  • conscious, alert, logical, makes decisions

  • thinks, observes, plans, anticipates, responds

  • organizes information, creates ideas


2 limbic system old brain located around the top of the brain stem l.jpg
2. Limbic System - quite closely.“Old” BrainLocated around the top of the brain stem

Generates vivid emotions:

  • fear

  • aggression

  • caring

  • emotional pain

  • pleasure


3 brain stem old reptilian brain l.jpg
3. Brain Stem - quite closely.“Old Reptilian” Brain

Most primitive layer, oversees:

  • reproduction

  • self-preservation

  • vital functions - circulation of blood, breathing, sleeping, contraction of muscles

  • physical action


Old brain logic regarding others the old brain wants to know if they are someone to l.jpg
Old Brain Logic quite closely.Regarding others, the old brain wants to know if they are someone to:

  • nurture

  • be nurtured by

  • have sex with

  • run away from

  • submit to

  • attack


What the old brain remembers l.jpg
What the Old Brain Remembers quite closely.

  • It has no sense of linear time.

  • It is trapped in an infantile perspective

  • It expects us to be taken care of as we were as babies



What happens l.jpg
What Happens? feel angry, sad, abandoned,

1. Before birth we are safe and warm in our mother’s womb.

2. Birth (rudely) forces us out of our idyllic existence.

3. After birth for a short time we are unified with ourselves and perfectly connected to the world.


Socialization occurs l.jpg
Socialization Occurs feel angry, sad, abandoned,

  • indoctrination with societies laws, beliefs, and values

  • messages transmitted about who we are and how we should behave

  • limits on the individual

  • socialization becomes a form of psychic injury


Socialization occurs17 l.jpg
Socialization Occurs feel angry, sad, abandoned,

socialization becomes a form of psychic injury


Body taboos sensuality sexuality l.jpg
Body Taboos, Sensuality, Sexuality feel angry, sad, abandoned,

We are taught:

  • not to touch our genitals.

  • to cover certain parts of our bodies.

  • to feel embarrassment and guilt when norms are breached.

  • to disown parts of our sensuality.


The false self sexually repressive distant mother l.jpg
The False Self feel angry, sad, abandoned,Sexually Repressive, Distant Mother

Thechild may:

  • become a “tough guy” who tells himself he can make it on his own.

  • exaggerate problems in the hope someone will come to her rescue

  • hoard love and material objects, but will never have enough


Child s stages in reaction to parental repression l.jpg
Child’s Stages in Reaction to Parental Repression feel angry, sad, abandoned,

1. Hides forbidden behavior from parents

2. Thinks angry thoughts but does not speak them aloud

3. Explores his body in the privacy of his room


Child s stages in reaction to parental repression21 l.jpg
Child’s Stages in Reaction to Parental Repression feel angry, sad, abandoned,

4. teases younger siblings when parents are away

5. eventually decides some thoughts and feelings must be eliminated


Child s stages in reaction to parental repression22 l.jpg
Child’s Stages in Reaction to Parental Repression feel angry, sad, abandoned,

6. gets a jolt of anxiety whenever he/she comes close to the forbidden thoughts or behaviors

7. constructs an imaginary parent in his head to police his/her thoughts and actions (superego)


Negative emotions l.jpg
Negative Emotions feel angry, sad, abandoned,

Some parents:

  • try to tease children out of being angry or upset.

  • ignore angry feelings.

  • punish child for his/her anger.


Negative emotions24 l.jpg
Negative Emotions feel angry, sad, abandoned,

The child reacts by:

  • repressing his/her anger.

  • internalizing the anger.

  • trying to disown that part of the self.


The disowned self l.jpg
The Disowned Self feel angry, sad, abandoned,

  • “lost self” - the parts repressed in response to demands of society or parents


The disowned self26 l.jpg
The Disowned Self feel angry, sad, abandoned,

2. “false self” - the facade erected to fill the void created by repression and lack of adequate nurturing


The disowned self27 l.jpg
The Disowned Self feel angry, sad, abandoned,

3. “disowned self” - negative parts of the false self that met with disapproval and were therefore denied


Two distinct types develop l.jpg

Fusers feel angry, sad, abandoned,

Grew up with parents who

were not or could not be close, warm, or nurturing

were cold, detached.

Two Distinct Types Develop


Fusers l.jpg
Fusers feel angry, sad, abandoned,

  • Unconsciously fear abandonment

  • Always want to “do things together.”

  • Appear to be insecure

  • Hold on too tight

  • Appear needy

  • Generally select an “isolator” as a partner


Two distinct types develop30 l.jpg
Two Distinct Types Develop feel angry, sad, abandoned,

Isolators

Grew up with parents who

  • could not or would not let them explore or venture out

  • Were engulfing, confining.


Isolators l.jpg
Isolators feel angry, sad, abandoned,

  • Unconsciously push others away, “need space”

  • Feels dread when things become too intimate

  • Fears being pinned down, stuck

  • Generally select a fuser as a partner


Fusers and isolators l.jpg
Fusers feel angry, sad, abandoned, and Isolators

These two types tend to grow up and marry each other, thus beginning an infuriating game of push and pull that leaves neither partner satisfied.

Harville Hendrix, Ph.D.,Getting the Love you Want, 1998.


Fuser or isolator l.jpg
Fuser feel angry, sad, abandoned, or Isolator

Which one describes you better?

i.e. what is your unconscious need?


Your personality l.jpg

Contains: feel angry, sad, abandoned,

intact parts of your original self.

certain aspects of your false self.

Your Personality

We fervently believe that finding the perfect mate will make us whole again.


What are we really looking for l.jpg
What are we really feel angry, sad, abandoned,looking for?*

  • someone to make up for the psychological and emotional damage we experienced in our childhood

  • someone to heal our invisible childhood scars

    *according to Harville Hendrix


Will we find it in another person l.jpg
Will We Find feel angry, sad, abandoned,It in Another Person?


Or must we look for it in ourselves l.jpg
Or Must We Look for feel angry, sad, abandoned,IT in Ourselves?


Slide38 l.jpg

What do you think? feel angry, sad, abandoned,


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