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This is all about love

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  1. 1. What is Love?
  2. 2. “Work and love, that’s all there is” – FreudFinding love is a key developmental event in early adulthoodPsychologists and the public use the word “love,” so it must have some meaningToday’s lecture is intended to challenge your preconceptions and help you to establish a working definition of loveIntroduction
  3. 3. Only 5% of species, those where both parents needed for child’s survivalPair-bonding: having an emotional attachment to another ◦ Oxytocin, vasopressin, dopamine release during sex; feels addicting ◦ Good feelings associated with partner (classical conditioning) ◦ Tells you “Gee sex with this person feels great” rather than just “Geez sex feels great”Monogamy
  4. 4. Montane vole Prairie volePair-bond vs. No pair-bond
  5. 5.  Love is multifaceted, with up to 3 central components1. Passion: intense longing for another person2. Intimacy: feeling connected, enjoying one’s company and support3. Commitment: obligations and responsibilities to one anotherSternberg’s Triangular Theory
  6. 6. Falling in love (passion) ≠ love ◦ Excitement related to new, attractive person ◦ “We fall in love when we are consciously or unconsciously sexually motivated” ◦ The honeymoon always endsDependency ≠ love ◦ “I need him” or “I’d die without her” ◦ “What you describe is parasitism, not love” ◦ Love is based on choice, not necessityPeck’s Criticisms of “Love”
  7. 7. Love ≠ a feeling ◦ Love is an action, characterized by treating someone well ◦ Having strong feelings that someone is important or needed doesn’t mean you love themMyth of Romantic love ◦ Story that two people are “meant to be,” that it is predetermined “in the stars” ◦ If it doesn’t end up working out, people say it wasn’t “true love” after all (hindsight bias) ◦ Realistically, there are many suitable partners
  8. 8. Love is… ◦ An action, not a feeling ◦ Attention ◦ A risk of rejection ◦ Independence, not dependence ◦ Commitment ◦ Self-disciplined …hard work
  9. 9. Partner’s know each other’s hopes, quirks, likes, dislikesSecret Weapon: ritualized “repair attempts” to prevent increased negativityShared, deep sense of meaning5 : 1 ratioHappy Couples
  10. 10. Arguments characterized by… ◦ Harsh setup: negative and accusatory ◦ 4 types of negative interactions: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, stonewalling ◦ Flooding  StonewallingUnhappy Couples ◦ Failed repair attempts ◦ Bad memories
  11. 11. “I define love thus: The will to extend one’sself for the purpose of nurturing one’s ownor another’s spiritual growth” - M. Scott Peck“Love is the subtlest force in the world” - Mahatma Gandhi“By accident of fortune a man may rule theworld for a time, but by virtue of love hemay rule the world forever” - Lao-tzu“Love is the only force capable ofLove Quotestransforming an enemy into a friend” - Martin Luther King Jr.
  12. 12. “It’s a curious thought, but it is only whenyou see people looking ridiculous, that yourealize just how much you love them” - Agatha Christie“One of the oldest human needs is havingsomeone to wonder where you are whenyou don’t come home at night” - Margaret Mead“Love is a condition in which the happinessof another person is essential to your own” - Robert Heinlein“Whoso loves… Believes the impossible” - Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  13. 13. “Love doesn’t have to feel dizzying” - Michael Levine“Love is something like the clouds that werein the sky before the sun came out. Youcannot touch the clouds, you know; but youfeel the rain and know how glad the flowersand the thirsty earth are to have it after ahot day. You cannot touch love either; butyou feel the sweetness that it pours intoeverything” - Annie Sullivan“Among those whom I like or admire, I canfind no common denominator, but amongthose whom I love, I can: all of them makeme laugh” - W. H. Auden
  14. 14. “Sympathy constitutes friendship; but inlove there is a sort of antipathy, oropposing passion. Each strives to be theother, and both together make up onewhole” - Samuel Taylor Coleridge“True love comes quietly, without bannersor flashing lights. If you hear bells, get yourears checked. - Erich Segal“Love talked about can be easily turnedaside, but love demonstrated is irresistible” - W. Stanley Mooneyham