Analysis of Love


Honorís Psych 2


2-23-04


In the observed couple, the male and female both displayed the "roles" of their gender according to the Evolutionary Approach. The guy played his role by buying a candy bar to give to the girl, three days in a row. He also opened a door for her and held her lunch tray while she was digging through her backpack. The girl displayed her role by nurturing him (going so far as to hand feed him cheetos), and calling him "baby". She did not make conspicuous attempts to use her looks or age to attract him however. Surprisingly, the guy did not act extremely macho or manly in a stereotypical nature, but was subtler about it.


In accordance with the Psychoanalytic Theory of love, the couple is most likely in the step of projection. Both the guy and girl (separately) indicated that the other was perfect, flawless. The girl often defends the guy when people poke fun at his intelligence level (she insists he isn\'t dumb). I believe they are together out of shared defenses (both are at the bottom of the high school social caste system and are the subject of teasing). They really aren\'t very opposite of each other, or very similar. More neutral than anything. I have no idea about their feelings of family so the repletion reason of choosing a partner should not be ruled out.


For the week or so I observed the couple, they seemed to be displaying infatuous love as indicated by Sternberg\'s Triangular Theory. There is no question whether the relationship contained passion- neither can ever seem to keep their hands off the other, regardless of where they are or what is going on around them. They also show a high level of commitment (the guy faithfully waits outside of every class for her, the girl is currently on a mission to have the guy accompany her on a trip to New York she is taking, although he is not qualified to do so as he does not play an instrument. The couple does seem to lack the emotional component, and from my observations there appears to be no intimacy.


From the Love as a Story Theory, the couple looks as if they are displaying the Government Story. The girl holds power over the guy, and displaying this by ordering him around and making conditions he must meet. When he breaks a condition, she punishes him by getting visibly upset, and ignoring him.


I believe both people in this relationship are anxious/ambivalent. They are both preoccupied with relationship issues, and both have the desire to be extremely close and are clingy. Iím not sure of the details of their home lives, so I cannot say if they are searching for this sort of relationship because of unpredictable parents or not. However, it could relate to the shared defenses of the couple that enables them to be so clingy (they draw strength from one another?).


To be honest, I have not learned much about love from this assignment. However, I realized that attraction plays a very strong role in relationships, as does power and background (home, social, etc.) This probably hasn\'t changed the way I\'ll look at future relationships, because it is very difficult to say you have learned something and to then apply it to life. Maybe I\'ll be wearier of the power factor in relationships, but truthfully I doubt it will be in the front of my mind.