Developing Intimate Relationship
Self-concept and Self Esteem
* To have successful relationships, we must first accept and feel good about ourselves. * A positive self-concept and a healthy level or self-esteem help us love and respect others. * As adults, we probably have a sense that we’re basically lovable, worthwhile people and that we can trust others is, as babies and children, we felt loved, valued and respected; if adults responded to our needs in a reasonably appropriate way; and if they gave us the freedom to explore and develop a sense of being separate individuals. * According to psychologist Erik Erikson, it continues to develop as we encounter and resolve various crises at each stage of life. * Gender role – the activities, abilities, and characteristics our culture deems appropriate for us based on whether we’re male or female. * Our adult styles of loving may be based on the styles of attachment we established in infancy with our mother, father or other primary caregiver. People who are secure in their intimate relationships probably had a secure, trusting, mutual satisfying attachment to their mother, father or other parenting figure. * People’s earliest experiences and relationships were less than ideal, however, they can still establish satisfying relationships in adulthood. People can be resilient and flexible. They have the capacity to change their ideas, beliefs and behavior patterns. They can learn ways to raise their self-esteem; they can become more trusting, accepting, and appreciative of others.
* Friendships give people the opportunity to share themselves and discover others. * The friendships we form in childhood are important in our development; through them we learn about tolerance, sharing and trust. * Companionship – Friends are relaxed and happy in each other’s company. They typically have common values and interests and make plans to spend time together. * Respect – Friends have a basic respect for each other’s humanity and individuality. Good friends respect each other’s feelings and opinions and work to resolve their differences without demeaning or insulting each other. There are also honest with each other. * Acceptance – Friends feel free to be themselves and express their feelings without fear of ridicule or criticism. * Help – Sharing time, energy and even material goods is important to friendship. Friends know they can rely on each other in times of need. * Trust – Friends are secure in the knowledge that they will not intentionally hurt each other. * Loyalty – Friends can count on each other. They stand up for each other in both word and deed. * Mutuality – Friends retain their individual identities, but close friendships are characterized by a sense of mutuality – “what affects you affects me.” Friends share the ups and downs in each other’s lives. * Reciprocity – Friendships are reciprocal. There is give-and-take between friends and the feeling that both share joys and burdens more or less equally over time. * Friendships are usually considered both stabler and longer lasting than intimate partnership. Friends are often more accepting and less critical than lovers, probably because their expectations are different. Love, Sex and Intimacy
* Love encompasses opposites: affection and anger, excitement and boredom, stability and change, bonds and freedom. * Love does not give us perfect happiness, but it does give our lives meaning. * Love reflects the positive factors that draw people together and sustain them in relationship. * Sex brings excitement and passion to the relationship.
* It intensifies the relationship and adds fascination and pleasure. * The determination to continue, reflects the stable factors that help maintain the relationship. Sternberg’s Love Triangle
* He sees love as being composed of intimacy,...