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Love & Intimacy. Chapter Seven. Agenda. Review Theories of Love Discuss Connection Between Love & Sex in Intimate Relationships. Class Exercise: Stereotypes and Intimacy. We will view a video clip from the movie “What Women Want”

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Love intimacy

Love & Intimacy

Chapter Seven


  • Review Theories of Love

  • Discuss Connection Between Love & Sex in Intimate Relationships

Class exercise stereotypes and intimacy
Class Exercise:Stereotypes and Intimacy

  • We will view a video clip from the movie “What Women Want”

  • What are the stereotypes associated with men/masculinity and women/femininity.

  • How do these stereotypes influence intimacy?

The forms and origin of love
The Forms and Origin of Love

  • Romantic love – passionate love that includes sexual desire, physical attraction, and elation

    • We tend to idealize our romantic partner

  • Companionate love (conjugal love) – deep affection, attachment, intimacy, trust, loyalty

Colors of love lee love triangles sternberg can we measure love

Colors of Love (Lee)

Love Triangles (Sternberg)

Can We Measure Love?

Conceptualizations of Love

Lee 1974 1998

(Lee, 1974, 1998)

Colors of Love

Colors of love
Colors of Love

  • Based on research

  • Six basic ways (“colors”) to love

  • Love styles are independent

  • Lovers with compatible love styles will be happier with each other than incompatible styles

Six contemporary love styles based on the work of lee 1973
Six Contemporary Love Styles(based on the work of Lee, 1973)

  • Eros (sounds like "air-ohs"): "characterized by intense emotional attachment and powerful sexual feelings or desires" (Lamanna & Riedmann, 1991, p. 92). Sustained relationships are typified by "continued active interest in sexual and emotional fulfillment, plus the development of intellectual rapport" Lamanna & Riedmann, 1991, p. 92; emphasis added).

  • Storge (sounds like "store-gay"): "an affectionate, companionate style of loving. This love focuses on deepening mutual commitment, respect, and friendship over time" (Lamanna & Riedmann, 1991, p. 92).

    Continued …

Love styles
Love Styles

  • Pragma: "emphasizes the practical element in human relationships, particularly in marriages. Pragmatics love involves rational assessment of a potential partner's assets and liabilities" (Lamanna & Riedmann, 1991, p. 92).

  • Agape: altruistic love. It "emphasizes unselfish concern for the beloved's needs even when that means some personal sacrifice. . . . [it also] emphasizes nurturing others with little conscious desire for return other than the intrinsic satisfaction of having loved and cared for someone else" (Lamanna & Riedmann, 1991, p. 92-93).

    Continued …

Love styles1
Love Styles

  • Ludus (sounds like "lewd-us"): emphasizes the recreational aspect of sexuality and sensual pleasures. It may be part of a more committed relationship based on other loves styles, too.

  • Mania: based on strong sexual attraction and emotional intensity, but a manic partner is extremely jealous, moody, and her/his need for attention is insatiable.

Colors of love1
Colors of Love

  • Manic and ludic – poorer psychological health

  • Storge and eros – higher psychological health

  • Gender Differences:

    • Men – more socially acceptable to have eros or ludus styles; less to have agape; more likely to have ludic style

    • Women – more socially acceptable to have agape; less to have ludus; more likely to have pragmatic style

Sternberg 1998 1999

(Sternberg, 1998, 1999)

Love “Triangles”

Love triangles
Love Triangles

  • Love is three elements that can be combined to produce 7 different types of love

  • Three basic elements:

    • Passion – sexual desire and physical attraction; part of romantic love

    • Intimacy – connection and feelings of closeness; an emotional investment

    • Commitment – to love in the short term; to maintain that love in the long term

Love triangles sternberg 1998 1999
Love Triangles (Sternberg, 1998, 1999)

  • Love changes as we mature

  • Different forms of love may be experienced within the same couple throughout time

Can we measure love1
Can We Measure Love?

  • Scales have been developed to measure love

    • Measure something strongly associated with love

      • Attachment (Rubin, 1970, 1973)

    • Measure aspects of relationships

      • Relationship Rating Scale

      • Passionate Love Scale

  • Most scales measure romantic, not companionate, love

Behavioral Reinforcement Theories

Cognitive Theories

Physiological Arousal Theories

Evolutionary Theories

Theories of Love

Class exercise
Class Exercise

  • Is love essential for emotional survival?

  • What are the characteristics of a truly loving relationship?

  • How do you recognize love?

  • Is it possible to love more than one person in a lifetime? More than one person at a time?

Behavioral reinforcement theories
Behavioral Reinforcement Theories

  • We love because another person reinforces positive feelings in ourselves

  • Positive/rewarding feeling in the presence of another makes us like them, even if the reward is unrelated to that person

  • Love is a result of many mutually reinforcing activities with a person

Cognitive theories
Cognitive Theories

  • A behavior occurs, and then we interpret it as love

  • If we think someone likes us, we are more prone to find them attractive

Physiological arousal theories
Physiological Arousal Theories

  • Physiological arousal is labeled with an emotion, such as love

  • We are more likely to experience love when we are physiologically aroused for any reason

  • Shaky bridge study (Dutton & Aron, 1974)

    • Male participants on a “scary” bridge were more likely than males on a “safe” bridge to call a female they met on the bridge

  • Arousal is not crucial for an emotional state

Evolutionary theories
Evolutionary Theories

  • Humans have 3 basic instincts:

    • Need for protection

    • Parent protects the child

    • Sexual drive

  • We love in order to produce offspring

  • Heterosexual men want healthy women to carry offspring

  • Heterosexual women want men with resources to care for her and the offspring

Love becomes more complex as we age

Love becomes more complex as we age

Love Across the Lifespan


  • Attachment to the caregiver can affect attachment throughout life

  • The love of mother and father are important

  • May be harder to be intimate with another as an adult if it was not experienced as a child

  • Three attachment types:

    • Secure – accepts caregiver leaving

    • Anxious/ambivalent – panic if left alone

    • Avoidant – caregiver forces parting early


  • Parental divorce is related to lower levels of trust a young adult (particularly female) experiences in intimate relationships


  • Time to learn how to love, manage emotions

  • Creates a foundation for adult relationships

  • Role repertoire – varied ways to relate with others

  • Intimacy repertoire – collection of behaviors used to create intimate relationships in life

  • Usually begin with an unattainable crush; romantic love more likely if parents’ relationship is stable, at ease with own body

Adult love and intimacy
Adult Love and Intimacy

  • Factors that increase attraction

    • Proximity – people you know or see often

    • Similarity – background, values, attitudes

    • Physical Attraction – “matching hypothesis”

    • Personality – openness, sociability, humor

    • Economic Resources – especially in men

    • Mutual Attraction and Love

  • Ideal qualities are consistent across gender, culture, and sexual orientation

Attraction in different cultures
Attraction in Different Cultures

  • Study comparing 37 cultures (Buss, 1989)

  • Men valued “good looks” in their partner

  • Women valued “good financial prospect” in their partner

  • Men preferred younger partners

  • Women preferred older partners

Intimate relationships
Intimate Relationships

  • Self-disclosure is important

  • Those who value intimacy tend to be more trusting, concerned for others, disclose more, have more positive thoughts about others, are perceived as more likable, smile, laugh, make more eye contact, and enjoy marriage more

Male and female styles of intimacy
Male and Female Styles of Intimacy

  • Culturally transmitted gender roles may be the largest factor in affecting style of intimacy

  • Men are inhibited from expressing intimacy, or maybe they just do it differently than women, such as through behavior

  • Gay men are more likely to believe in the importance of sharing intimacy with a romantic partner than heterosexual men

Intimacy in different cultures
Intimacy in Different Cultures

  • Culture seems to be more influential than gender in love and intimacy style

  • Individualistic vs. Collectivistic cultures

  • Strength of stereotypical gender roles affects level of intimacy; the stronger the stereotype, the less attached couples are

  • Western countries rate love as highly important, less developed Asian countries rated love the lowest

Long term love and commitment
Long-Term Love and Commitment

  • Effort and commitment are required to maintain a relationship

  • Women feel lonely in a marriage that has less liking, marital satisfaction, self-disclosure, and love

  • Men feel lonely in a marriage that has less intimacy, liking, and communication

Love and sex
Love and Sex

  • Initial attraction increases intimacy: more eye contact, more touches

  • Body language reveals attraction, and the female typically starts

  • Initially it is contact and conversation with bodies turned toward each other, followed by tentative touches that increase in duration and intimacy, then “full body synchronization”

  • Higher sexual desire, less unfaithful thoughts

Developing intimacy skills
Developing Intimacy Skills

  • Self-love – being at ease with ourselves, both the positive and negative qualities

  • Receptivity – shows others we are open to communication, approachable

  • Listening – provide full attention

  • Affection – warmth and security with others

  • Trust – a requirement that develops slowly

  • Respect – acknowledge and understand another’s needs; don’t have to share them

Jealousy compulsiveness possessiveness




The Dark Side of Love

Class exercise1
Class Exercise

  • A college couple who live together have been having increased arguments.

    • One partner wants the other to grow up and act mature.

    • In return, the other suggests that they need to have more fun in their relationship.

  • What advice would you give them?

  • What are the short- and long-term prospects for this couple?


  • Interpretation and emotional reaction that a relationship is threatened

  • Most jealous if the person we believe is threatening the relationship has qualities we want ourselves

  • More common with low self-esteem


  • Men more jealous of a female’s sexual infidelity

  • Women more jealous of a male’s emotional infidelity

  • Both genders more threatened by sexual infidelity in short-term relationships

  • Both genders more threatened by emotional infidelity in long-term relationships


  • Male heterosexuals more jealous of male-female sexual infidelity

  • Heterosexual women more jealous of male-male sexual infidelity

  • Much unknown about homosexual infidelity

  • Jealousy is in all cultures, although the reasons may vary

  • Jealousy shows a lack of trust & self-esteem


  • Love releases phenylethylamine (also in chocolate), which produces feelings of euphoria and love addiction

  • Society and media reinforces the “need” to be in love and may be carried over from adolescence without maturing


  • 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