Concept of love in psychology


  • Concept of love in psychology

    Posted by Encyclios on April 2, 2023 at 7:27 AM

    Although there are common characters, most reactions or love drives are subjective and vary from individual to individual; however, there would be, according to most psychologists and scientists, three main stages in love between human beings: infatuation (or falling in love), attraction and attachment, composed of various elements and stages.

    Generally, love begins in the “infatuation” stage, strong in passion but weak in the other elements. The first spur of this stage would be the sexual instinct. Physical appearance, and other factors, would in fact play a decisive role in selecting possible mates or partners. In this phase, love is purely material: one appreciates the mate in his or her bodily appearance, in its pure exteriority. What begins with infatuation can develop into one of the fullest types of love.

    With the passage of time the other elements (affection, attachment) may grow and physical passion may decrease in importance, while maintaining the balance at the base of the relationship. In this phase, called “attraction”, one judges the partner beyond how he/she looks, one evaluates different factors such as his/her culture, his/her values. In this phase, therefore, one appreciates the partner in his/her pure interiority.

    In the “attachment” phase, the person focuses on the individual partner and fidelity becomes important. They now appreciate their partner in and of themselves, fully and completely, with the strength of the two previous phases but now aware of their own inner journey. Now they no longer love specific characteristics, whether material or spiritual, but the man/woman as such.

    The German-born psychologist Erich Fromm argued in his book The Art of Loving that love is not only a feeling, but it is also composed of actions and that in fact the so-called “feeling of love” is superficial compared to one’s commitment to love through a series of loving actions over time. In this sense, Fromm stated that love is not ultimately a feeling for everyone, but rather is a commitment and adherence, a set of loving actions directed toward another person, but also toward oneself or toward many others, over a prolonged, enduring period. Fromm also described love as a conscious choice that in its initial stages might arise as an involuntary feeling, but then no longer comes to depend solely on those feelings, but rather on a conscious commitment.

    Although humans are generally not sexually monogamous, when one person shares a love with another over a long period of time, they develop an increasingly strong “attachment” to the other individual.

    Regarding the eventual presence of children, according to recent scientific theories on love, this transition from attraction to attachment would occur in about 30 months: the time to carry a pregnancy to term and care for the child’s early childhood. After this period, passion would diminish, changing love from romantic love to a simple pleasure in being together. This last phase would last from 10 to 15 years: until the offspring reached adolescence or later (with considerable variation from culture to culture).

    Usually a relationship that is based on multiple factors (affection, attachment, esteem, common interests, sexual attraction) has a better chance of success than one based on sexual attraction alone. This “determinism of love”, functional only to the care of the child, has been criticized from many quarters, particularly by the proponents of emotional intelligence.

    Love is the fear of losing the beloved person or thing, often accompanied by a feeling of protection and / or jealousy towards the object of this feeling. In some cases love takes on pathological aspects, when it is the cause that prevents the conduct of a normal life or the trigger of a morbid attachment.

    Encyclios replied 2 months ago 1 Member · 0 Replies
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