Posts tagged ‘Passionate love’

The Psycology of Love

Psychologists and researchers have proposed a number of different theories of love. The following are the major theories proposed to explain liking, love, and emotional attachment.

Liking vs. Loving

Psychologist Zick Rubin proposed that romantic love is made up of three elements: attachment, caring, and intimacy. Attachment is the need to receive care, approval, and physical contact with the other person. Caring involves valuing the other persons needs and happiness as much as your own. Intimacy refers to the sharing of thoughts, desires, and feelings with the other person.

 Compassionate love and Passionate love

Compassionate love is characterized by mutual respect, attachment, affection, and trust. Compassionate love usually develops out of feelings of mutual understanding and shared respect for each other. Passionate love is characterized by intense emotions, sexual attraction, anxiety, and affection. When these intense emotions are reciprocated, people feel elated and fulfilled. Unreciprocated love leads to feelings of despondence and despair. Hatfield suggests that passionate love is transitory, usually lasting between 6 and 30 months. According to Hatfield, passionate love arises when cultural expectations encourage falling in love, when the person meets your preconceived ideas of an ideal lover, and when you experience heightened physiological arousal in the presence of the other person. Ideally passionate love then leads to compassionate love, which is far more enduring. While most people desire relationships that combine the security and stability of compassionate with the intensity of passionate love, Hatfield suggests that this is rare.

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March 24, 2009 at 2:21 pm 1 comment


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