Chapter 12: Close Relationships: Passion, Intimacy and Sexuality
What is Love?
Passionate and Companionate Love
Passionate love: having strong feelings of longing, desire, and excitement towards
a certain person. This is also called romantic love.
Companionate love: less strongly emotional, tends to be calmer and more serene.
It is also called affectionate love. It involves thinking of the other person as your soul
mate or special partner. It is what makes people want to remain each others
There may be a physiological, even biochemical difference between the two kinds of
o People who feel passionately about each other high high levels of
phenylethylamine (PEA), a NT. This causes strong emotional feelings. It also
produces high intensity or frequency of sexual desire.
o Companionate love is not characterized by high levels of PEA.
Love and Culture
The question of whether love is universal or a product of Western culture has been
o Some cultures place more of a value on it than others do.
Love Across Time
A successful relationship depends on making the transition from passionate to
A behavioural sign in the decrease in passion can be found in data about frequency
of sexual intercourse.
Sternberg (1986): love is composed of three ingredients (passion- largely emotional,
intimacy- common core of all relationships, commitment- conscious decision).
1. Passionate love is an aspect of _____.
a. Eastern culture
b. Western culture
c. Both Eastern and Western culture
d. Neither of the two
2. Passionate love is to companionate love as _____ love is to _____ love.
a. Affectionate, romantic
b. Committed, intimate c. Married, single
d. Romantic, affectionate
3. People who feel passionately in love have high levels of ______.
4. In the triangle theory of love, what does companionate love stem from?
d. Both a and b
Different Types of Relationships
Exchange vs. Communal
Two different basic types of relationship
o Exchange Relationships: based on reciprocity and fairness
o Communal Relationships: based on mutual love and concern
A difference is whether people keep track or not.
Social psychologists say that communal relationships are more mature and
desirable than exchange ones. This is only for romantic relationships. Across the
broader society, exchange relationships seem more powerful.
o Communal societies are more primitive.
Started by John Bowlby and continued in the 1980s. He was influenced by Freud and
o He noticed that children separated from their parents during WWII reacted
differently, and he proposed that they would take this behaviour into later
Types of Attachment:
o Bowlbys observations were extended by Philip Shaver to describe adult
relationships. They found that people could classify themselves easily,
without any long questionnaires. Classifications range from
anxious/ambivalent (where they want to be around the other person 24/7
and completely merge with them) to avoidant (where they want to maintain
some distance between themselves and the other person). In the middle lie
secure attachment individuals (a comfortable balance).
o While communal vs. exchange are equal, not all attachment styles are. The
secure attachment style produces the best outcomes. The other attachment
styles do, however, provide some limited kind of defence mechanisms or
ways of coping with painful relationships. Eg: avoidant style is thought to begin when parents neglect their
Two Dimensions of Attachment?:
o Researchers started to move from a single dimension model to a two
dimensional attachment theory.
2 dimensions: anxiety (attitudes towards the self) and avoidance
(attitudes towards the other).
(Negative attitude towards self)
Low Avoidance Preoccupied of Fearful avoidant High Avoidance
(Positive attitude anxious ambivalent (Negative attitude
towards others) Secure Dismissing avoidant towards others)
(Positive attitude towards self)
Basically, the avoidance category is divided into 2.
o Secure attachment people seem to have the most healthy relationships.
o Preoccupied attachment people want more from their partners, want
closeness however worry that their partners will see their flaws and
abandon them. They view partners are unrealiable and uncommitting.
o Dismissing avoidant attachment people have a high opinion of them selves
but a lot opinion of others.