Additional thoughts on love
Walter vom Saal
1. The concept of companionate love.
Several authors distinguish romantic love (or passionate love) and companionate love.
Romantic love is "the type of love that is focused on physical attraction, feelings of ecstasy, and passion, romance, and exclusivity." (Caroll & Wolpe, 1966, Sexuality and Gender in Society, p. 201)
"Passionate love is a strong emotional state of confused feelings: tenderness and sexuality, elation and ain, anxiety and relief, altruism and jealousy. Companionate love, on the other hand, is less emotionally intensive and involves friendly affection and a deep attachment to someone." (Byer & Schainberg, 4th edition, p.83)
Companionate love is "a love that develops over time in committed couples, involving a sense of intimacy, trust, mutual respect, comfort and ease, and deep affection. Companionate love can also be quite sexual and sensual, but usually without the sense of urgency found in romantic love." (Caroll & Wolpe, 1966, Sexuality and Gender in Society, p. 203)
- is a less intense emotion than passionate love.
- is characterized by freindly affection and a deep attachment that is based on extensive familiarity with the loved one.
- involves a thoughful appreciation of one's partner.
- encompasses a tolerance for a;nother's shortcomings along with a desire to overcome difficulties and conflicts in a relationship.
- includes being committted to the ongoing nurturing of a partnership.
- is often enduring, while passionate love is almost always transitory.
--------------- Crooks & Bauer, 6th edition, 1996, p.171.
Also: relate this to a 1983 Psychology Today survey that identified the following three things as the most important ingredients of love: friendship, devotion, and intellectual compatibility. (I don't know what questions they asked, or who took this survey, and it would be important to know those things.)
Table expanded from Byer & Shainberg, p.85:
|emotionally very intense||emotionally less intense|
|THE focus of one's life||A focus of one's life|
|highly sexualized feelings||less highly sexualized feelings|
|sexual activity may be present or absent||sexual activity may be present or absent|
|fear of rejection||emotional trust|
|powerful feelings of jealousy||lesspowerful feelings of jealousy|
|relationship feels unstable||relationship feels strong and stable|
|often appears suddenly||develops over time|
and, according to one author:
|almost always transitory||often enduring|
Zick Rubin identifies three components of love:
- attachment refers to a person's desire for the physical presence and emotional support of the other person.
- caring refers to an individual's concern for the other person's well-being.
- intimacy is the desire for close, confidential communication with the other.
The definition of intimacy
Byer & Shainberg, 6th edition, p.65, state that Sternberg identifies intimacy asa containing the following ten elements:
1. Desiring to promote the welfare of the loved one.
2. Experiencing happiness with the loved one.
3. Holding the loved one in high regard.
4. Being able to count on the loved one in times of need.
5. Having mutual understanding with the loved one.
6. Sharing oneself and one's posessions with the loved one.
7. Receiving emotional support from the loved one.
8. Giving emotional support to the loved one.
9. Communicating intimately with the loved one.
10. Valuing the loved one.
Breakdown of relationships
1. Textbook that describes the "stages of a relationship."
2. Unrealistic expectations.
...young people are propelled into marriage impulsively, and then gigantic and unrealistic demands are placed upon the marriage and upon the spouse. The marriage is expected to provide communication, understanding, personal fulfillment, eroticism, romantic love, ever-stimulating intellectual companionship, and ever-present emotional support and responsiveness. It is out of these unreasonable cultural expectations in concertw with a multiplicity of personal psychological factors that divorce emerges ..." (from Laura J. Singer, "Diorce and the single life: divorce as development. In Ard, B. N. & Ard, C (1976), Handbook of marriage counseling (2d ed.) Palo Alto, CA: Science and Behavior Books, pp 511-519. Quote from p.511.
3. Research study: the concept of attribution in deteriorating relationships.