Honor’s Psych 2
Analysis of Love
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
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. I’m 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.