Some components of intimate relationships:


* physical: sensual (through the senses), can be sexual or non-sexual, some people confuse the two kinds. E.g. of non-sexual: pleasure at stroking a newborn's soft skin, comforting hugs in a couple.

When sexual and non-sexual physical intimacy are confused, it can lead to touch deprivation as people avoid any kind of touching for fear of a sexual connotation (e..g kissing and hugging friends) Touch deprivation can lead to depression, inappropriate use of sex and sexual deviance.
Humans need frequent touching!

* emotional: entails trust, self-disclosure, makes people vulnerable, so need a feeling of security to engage.

Capacity for and quality of emotional intimacy based on early experiences.

Erik Erikson: development of basic trust in the first year of life, when caretaker of infant responds to infant's needs consistently and appropriately. Failure to develop a basic sense of trust can interfere with adult relationships.

Mary Ainsworth: several types of early infant-mother attachment:

1. secure
2. insecure anxious ambivalent
3. insecure anxious avoidant
4. disorganized
A secure attachment facilitates healthy later attachments (students can check more detail in the text, chapter 11)

Other important variables:

* innate temperament
* environmental influences
* historical influences

There are both generational and gender differences in the concept of love.

Make sure you know Bartholomew and Horowitz (1991) attachment styles, see text (secure, preoccupied, dismissing and fearful)

Important: two basic types of love: passionate and companionate - see text


Primarily young adulthood (20-45) for first marriages.

People experience conflict between independence needs (leads to loneliness) and intimacy needs (downside is loss of total freedom)

Advantages of marriage:

* intimacy (emotional, physical and sexual)
* interdependence (sharing resources and tasks)
* belongingness (one of the basic needs of humans according to A. Maslow)
* shared parenting
* continuity (memories, habits)
* shared identities

The disadvantages of marriage are different for men and women. In general married men are happier, healthier and live longer than non-married men. Women are healthier when single.

Types of marriage:

* traditional
* modern (Sr./Jr. partners)
* contemporary

Traditional marriages are ordered along traditional roles, where husband is dominant. Modern marriages give more weight to woman's decisions but in a disagreement the husband prevails. Contemporary marriages are totally egalitarian. Caveat: subjective perceptions differ from objective assessments: partners tend to see equality where outside observers don't.

Cohabitation: more common today. Stats Can term: POSSLQ: Persons of the Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters. In young adults it is often part of the "courtship" period, usually precedes marriage. In middle-aged and older persons it can be a permanent status.

Cultural differences in marriages:

In cultures with individualistic orientation, marriages based on mutual love are the norm. In those with group/family orientation, arranged marriages are the norm. In the latter, love can develop with time.

Same sex couples: lower rates of monogamy, but recently many same sex marriages.

Sex and marriage:

Enormous individual differences.
Frequency higher before children and after empty nest (when children leave home)
Couples satisfied with their sex lives report satisfaction with the marriage overall.
Actively religious women report better sex life in marriage, more orgasms.