Suggests that passionate love may have evolved to promote partner choice, which helps conserve time/energy associated with courtship. Passionate love causes relationships to progress more quickly than those that start off as friends. o Hormones and Passionate Love Nerve growth factor (NGF)- Chemical compound in the body Regulates synaptic plasticity and neural survival Elevated when people are passionately in love Cortisol “Stress hormone” In a way, falling in love can be “stressful” [in terms of arousal]. Immunosuppressant- Can suppress the immune system, making you more susceptible to disease. Cortisol levels are higher when passionately in love. What is companionate love? In what ways does it differ from passionate love? “…The affection and tenderness we feel for those with whom our lives are deeply intertwined.” Based on a deep sense of friendship o Involves companionship and enjoyment of shared activities or interests o Built on a foundation of admiration, trust, and respect Sex is less intense and plays a less central role for companionate lovers. Women report higher levels of companionate love.
What makes a marriage last? o Companionate love tends to take over once passionate love fades, allowing couples to stay together. o “My spouse is my best friend.” o “I like my spouse as a person.” Neural and hormonal level o Activates the areas of the brain associated with caregiving Similar to bonding with one’s child o Tied to vasopressin and oxytocin ° ° Divorce trends – Why do they spike in the 1970’s? At every age, a higher proportion of us have never been married. We get married later… …But we live longer. o 1900: Life long marriage would last about 23 years. o 2000: 55 years The changing rate of divorce o Generally increased during 20 th century 1970: Due to passage of “No Fault” divorces About 50% of U.S. marriages will end in divorce. Typical couple married just over 7 years Why is the divorce rate so high?
o High expectations for marriage o Changing economic status of women; Women are less dependent on their spouse for stability. o Decrease in average SES; In general, the poor are getting poorer. o SES and the probability of divorce Factors: Unemployment, poverty, welfare, and income. ° ° Enduring Vulnerabilities Model Bradbury and Karney People enter marriage with enduring vulnerabilities. Over time, these vulnerabilities will erode the positives in a relationship. o Pick bad partners Selection perspective o Family of origin issues We learn a lot from observing our parents’ behavior. May be exposed to a series of bad behaviors that are picked up during childhood and applied in later relationships.
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