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Lecture 3

FRHD 1020 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Casual Sex, Attachment Theory, Libido

Family Relations and Human Development
Course Code
FRHD 1020
Shayna Sparling

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Week 3: Theories about Love
Jan 25 Lecture
Can We Define Love?
- Love
- Intimacy with, caring for, and commitment to another person
- Is this adequate?
- Fehr (1988)
- Asked participants to list key “features of love” and then asked a second sample to
rate the importance of these features
- Central to love were trust and caring
- Uncertainty and butterflies were considered to be peripheral
- People also describe love and joy similarly
- Love = Specific
- Joy = Generalized
Erich Fromm(1956)
- “Love is something one does, not a state one is in.”
Attachment Theory and Love
- Why do we love?
- Why does love feel different for different people?
- How do our early relationships affect our adult relationships
Roles of an Attachment Figure
- Secure Base
- When we’re not distressed, attachment system is not activated- we can pursue
goals with confidence
- Safe Haven
- When distressed, our attachment system activates- motivated to seek attachment
- Then attachment system deactivates- partner goes back to being a secure base.
Being a Good Attachment Figure
- Being a good secure base
- Promote freedom, autonomy
- Respect and support partner’s own efforts and decisions
- Being a good safe haven
- Be available, perceptive
- Respond when they need comfort, affection

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Assessment of Adult Attachment
- Anxiety (Model of self)
- Negative model of self
- E.g. “I resent it when my partner spends time away from me, I worry about being
- Avoidance (Model of others)
- Negative models of others
- E.g. “I prefer not to show a partner how I feel deep down. I am NOT comfortable
relying on my romantic partner.”
Anxious Behaviour
- Intimacy Needs: Strong need to be close, accepted, supported and reassured
- In a relationship: Clingy, needy, controlling, jealous, always seeking reassurance
- Associated with: Low self-esteem, sensitivity to rejection, neuroticism
- Processing Info: Hyperactivity of negative thought and emotion
- Sex: Use sex as a tool for intimacy
Avoidant Behaviour
- Intimacy Needs: Feel uncomfortable with: closeness, self-disclosure, feeling & expressing
- In a relationship: Expect relationship failure & averse to commitment
- Associated with: Narcissism
- Processing Info: Suppress distressing thoughts & memories
- Sex: + views of casual sex, sex to avoid fights
What Deactivating Looks Like
- “Checking out mentally” when your partner is talking to you
- Keeping secrets and leaving things foggy- to maintain feeling of independence
- Avoiding physical closeness (not wanting to share bed, walking ahead of partner)
- Forming relationships with an impossible future, such as with someone who is married
- Focusing on small imperfections in your partner: the way s/he talks, dresses, eats
- Pulling away when things are going well (like after an intimate date)
Do Avoidance Individuals Actually Care? (Deep Down)
- Yes
- When cognitively distracted, show desire for intimacy
- Reported the highest level of connection with a warm confederate.
Secure Behaviour
- Intimacy Needs: Comfortable with closeness, trust others. Turn to others when upset
- In a relationship: More stable and satisfying relationships
- Associated with: Lots of good stuff
- Processing Info: Positivity bias. Allow self to feel all emotions
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