Love and the Development of Sexual Relationships (Ch.7)

Learning Objectives

  1. Explain how Zick Rubin attempted to measure love, including a list and description of the three components of his love scale and what his findings revealed.
  2. Describe the characteristics of passionate love.
  3. Describe the characteristics of compassionate love.
  4. Explain Sternbergís triangular theory of love.
  5. List and describe six styles of loving as proposed by John Lee.
  6. Discuss the factors that affect with whom we fall in love, making specific reference to the following:
      a)the chemistry of love




      e)physical attractions

  1. Describe the role self-love plays in the development of intimacy.
  2. List and describe each of the following phases of a relationship as it develops and becomes more intimate:










  4. Discuss what research findings reveal regarding how women and men, both heterosexual and homosexual, perceive the relationship between love and sex.
  5. Discuss strategies for determining personal values and guidelines regarding sexual expression.
  6. Define jealousy, and discuss the role it plays in love relationships and how to manage jealous feelings.
  7. Summarize research findings regarding sex differences in jealousy.
  8. Discuss some of the factors that contribute to maintaining relationship satisfaction over time.
  9. From a cross-cultural perspective, discuss menís and womenís preferences in mate selection.
  10. Describe research findings that clarify whether romantic love is a universal experience.


Love and the Development of Sexual Relationships (Ch.7)

What is Love

Difficult to define

- can mean different things to different people

- difficult to measure

Rubinís "love scale"

- 3 components

* attachment: desire for physical presence &

emotional support

* caring: concern for each otherís well-being

* intimacy: desire for close & confidential


-some validity to this measure:

weak lovers made less eye contact than strong


Types of love

Passionate love (infatuation, or romance)

- intense psychological feelings

- physiological arousal

- typically, strong sexual desire

- early in relationship; avoid conflict, overlook faults;

complete fulfillment

- short-lived -->transition to different love, or ending

of relationship

Compassionate love

- friendly affection & deep attachment

- extensive familiarity 7 thoughtful appreciation with

tolerance for shortcomings

- commitment to nurturing & problem solving

- richer, more meaningful sexuality

Sternbergís triangular theory

-3 components

* passion=motivation that fuels romance, attraction,

& desire

* intimacy=sense of bondedness, warmth, sharing,


* commitment=conscious decision to love & maintain


- passion builds, intensifies, then fades; intimacy &

commitment continue to build

- presence or absence of different components

account for variations in kinds of love

-research limited, but some support especially for

intimacy & commitment as predictors of stability

Leeís styles of loving

- romantic (eros): physical beauty, tactile pleasure

- game-playing (ludus): fun, casual, "conquests"

- possessive (mania): obsessive, jealous, roller-

coaster ups & downs

- companionate (storge): slow to develop, enduring:

peaceful & quiet

- altruistic (agape): selfless, caring, compassionate;

no expectation of reciprocation

- pragmatic (pragma): rational, practical; shared

interests, mutual satisfaction

- research is limited

Falling in love: Why and with whom

The chemistry of love

- neurotransmitters in the brain similar t amphetamine

* norepinephrine

* dopamine

* phenylethylamine (PEA)

- body builds tolerance for PEA -->diminished

giddiness & euphoria

- endorphins may be responsible for deeper

attachments: produce sense of tranquillity, security

- loss or potential loss of loved one may be similar to

drug withdrawal


- familiarity breeds liking; mere exposure effect

- familiarity breeds predictability -->greater comfort


- share similar interests & activities

- communicate better

- confirm own views & experiences

- supportive of values & beliefs


- when someone shows they like us, we tend to like

them back

- positive reactions to flattery, compliments, attention

- decreases likelihood of rejection

Physical attractiveness

- aesthetically pleasing

* infant studies demonstrate early preference for


- "whatís beautiful is good" belief

- status by association

- most important in early stages of a relationship

The development of intimacy


- genuine interest, concern, respect for self

- prerequisite for a satisfying relationship with others

The phases of a relationship

- inclusion: an invitation to relate

- response: agreeing to relate

- care: genuine concern for anotherís welfare

- trust: belief that each will promote growth &

stability of relationship

- affection: feelings of warmth & attachment; desire

for physical closeness

- playfulness: display of delight & pleasure in each


- genitality: decision to experience genital sex

Issues in loving relationships

Relationship between love and sex

- several possibilities

- questions to ask

* does sexual intimacy deepen a love relationship?

* do men & women have different views of sex &


* does sexual orientation affect views of sex & love?

Sex & relationships on your terms

- each person has to decide how to express his or her

own sexuality

- steps to take

* knowing what you want

* asking for when you want

* saying "not yet" to sex

* ending a relationship

* managing rejection

Jealousy in relationships

- definition: an aversive feeling in response to a real

or imagined relationship between oneís partner &

another person

- jealousy prone person

* low self-esteem

* places high value on wealth, fame, popularity, attractiveness

- negative consequences

* precipitates violence against partner

*stifles development of relationship & associated


* increases anxiety, depression, anger, damages self-


- numerous gender differences in triggers,

experiences, & coping with jealousy

Maintaining relationship satisfaction

Ingredients in a lasting love relationship

- self-acceptance

- appreciation of each otherís qualities

- commitment

- good communication

- realistic expectations

- shared interests

- ability to face & deal with conflict

Sexual variety

- communication is critical

- vary times & places

- be open to spontaneous experiences

- plan time together; make dates

- discuss what is comfortable rather than worrying

about what is normal

- read & discuss books on sexual techniques