Power of Love

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What makes our lives meaningful? A majority of people would say the close relationships we carry in our lives define their meaningful life. We meet a variety of people throughout each day. Sometimes these strangers become friends, sometimes they become romantic relationships, and sometimes they remain strangers. In this paper I will discuss the power of love through attraction, personal bonds, and romance.

Many factors impact the type of people we are attracted to. They include physical attractiveness, proximity, reciprocity, and similarity. Research shows that the initial phases of romantic attraction are largely determined by physical appeal (Curran & Ruppel, 2012). People’s perception of their own physical appeal also plays a part in romantic love. People tend to choose companions who are equal, or very close to the level of attractiveness to themselves (Curran & Ruppel, 2012).

Proximity is an important factor in determining who we are friends with. People are more likely to become friends with people who are geographically close. One reason for this is the mere exposure effect. The mere exposure effect refers to people’s tendency to have a greater liking for things we see often (Feenstra, 2011). This effect leads to our tendency to prefer mirror images of ourselves.

People also tend to pick partners who are similar to themselves in values and interests such as age, race, religion, social class, personality, education, intelligence, and attitude (Feenstra, 2011). This is seen not only between romantic partners, but also between friends. This tendency is called the matching hypothesis (Feenstra, 2011). The intensity of relationships is greater among those who perceive similarities.

We like those we have equitable relationships with. Equity involves receiving back what one provides. According to this theory, it is not the overall amount one receives from a relationship that is important, it is whether or not what one gives and what one...
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