° ° Passionate love Cognitive, affective, and behavioral components o Characterized by physiological arousal, and belief that the partner is the cause of that arousal. o Cognitive characteristics Intense, focused attention Obsessive thinking o Affective (emotional) characteristics Euphoria- Feeling of intense happiness Emotional dependency Increased energy o Behavioral characteristics Seeking proximity Sexual bidding How does it change over time? o Can be overwhelming if our brain is constantly activated by the same stimuli, so: We habituate.
We start to feel less passionate about the same person over time. o How can we “keep the fire going”? Maintaining passion requires effort. Novelty matters Ex: Experiment involving couples engaging in an obstacle course v. those engaging in a more “boring” gymnasium activity. Couples who engage in “new” activities together, as opposed to many repetitive activities, report more love for each other over time. Could be a cyclical system in that, couples who are in love tend to seek out novelty. Some couples are able to maintain feelings of passionate love for decades. o Love over time Passionate love tends to decrease over time. Companionate love increases over time because it relies on intimacy processes. (At least initially) Both decline over the course of marriage Does not decline with age Physiological effects of passion – Passionate love is a “drug”? o Ventral tegmental area (VTA) lights up in brain scans when one sees an item of passionate love (i.e. money, chocolate, cocaine, etc.) Ex: Showing Edward Cullen a picture of Bella v. Rihanna. 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.
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