Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-42gr6 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-18T08:55:46.929Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

5 - Romantic and Marital Relationships

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 September 2009

Frieder R. Lang
Affiliation:
Martin Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenburg, Germany
Karen L. Fingerman
Affiliation:
Purdue University, Indiana
Hans-Werner Bierhoff
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, D-44780 Bochum, Germany
Martina Schmohr
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, D-44780 Bochum, Germany
Get access

Summary

According to the hierarchical model of love, Lee's (1973) love styles may be subdivided into passionate and companionate love. From the perspective of life-span theory of control that differentiates selective and compensatory control, new insights on the development of love styles are derived. The goal of partnership formation depends on age-graded opportunity structures. Age-normative factors influence the chances to fulfill tasks with respect to the initiation and maintenance of a partnership. Passionate love is more easily realized in early than in late adulthood. In later adulthood, disengagement from goals related to passionate love and increased emphasis on companionate love are expected. A review of empirical findings tends to support these assumptions.

Hardly anywhere is the rivalry between lay insights and scientific knowledge as strong as in the area of romantic and marital relationships. We all know or expect to know from our everyday experience what this kind of relationship means. We have our personal insights and implicit theories about what characterizes a successful marital relationship and about the conditions under which a romantic relationship is formed. For example, people tend to equate marital relationship with romantic love. In addition, they assume that romantic love emerges immediately after the first contact has been established (love at first sight; Averill, 1985).

Other implicit assumptions refer to the development of romantic and marital relationships across time. From self-observation we are convinced that love changes over time. We feel that a personal relationship has developed somewhat across, say, five or ten years.

Type
Chapter
Information
Growing Together
Personal Relationships Across the Life Span
, pp. 103 - 129
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2003

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Ainsworth, M. D. S., Blehar, M. C., Waters, S., & Wall, S. (1978). Patterns of attachment: A psychological study of the strange situation. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum
Amelang, M. (1991). Einstellungen zu Liebe und Partnerschaft: Konzepte, Skalen und Korrelate. In M. Amelang, H. J. Ahrens, & H. W. Bierhoff (Eds.), Attraktion und Liebe (pp. 153–196). Göttingen: Hogrefe
Averill, J. R. (1985). The social construction of emotions. With special reference to love. In K. J. Gergen & K. E. Davis (Eds.), The social construction of the person (pp. 89–109). New York: Springer
Barnes, M. L., & Sternberg, R. J. (1997). A hierarchical model of love and its prediction of satisfaction in close relationships. In R. J. Sternberg & M. Hojjat (Eds.), Satisfaction in close relationships (pp. 79–101). New York: Guilford Press
Berscheid, E., & Reis, H. T. (1998). Attraction and close relationships. In D. T. Gilbert, S. T. Fiske, & G. Lindzey (Eds.), The handbook of social psychology (4th ed., Vol.II, pp. 193–281). New York: Oxford University Press
Berscheid, E., & Walster, E. (1974). A little bit about love. In T. L. Huston (Ed.), Foundations of interpersonal attraction (pp. 355–381). New York: Academic PressCrossRef
Bierhoff, H. W. (2000). Partnerschaft im Kontext von Familienkonstellation und Wohnsituation [Partnership in the context of family and living arrangements]. In P. Kaiser (Ed.), Partnerschaft und Paartherapie [Partnership and Couple therapy] (pp. 147–156). Göttingen: Hogrefe
Bierhoff, H. W., & Grau, I. (1999). Romantische Beziehungen [Romantic relationships]. Göttingen: Huber
Bierhoff, H. W., Grau, I., & Ludwig, A. (1993). Marburger Einstellungsinventar für Liebesstile [Marburg Inventory of Love Attitudes]. Göttingen: Hogrefe
Bierhoff, H. W., & Klein, R. (1991).Dimensionen der Liebe: Entwicklung einer deutschsprachigen Skala zur Erfassung von Liebesstilen [Dimensions of love]. Zeitschrift für Differentielle und Diagnostische Psychologie, 12, 53–71Google Scholar
Bierhoff, H. W., & Rohmann, E. (2000). Stability and change in romantic relationships. In J. Heckhausen (Ed.), Motivational psychology of human development (pp. 325–337). Amsterdam: ElsevierCrossRef
Bowlby, J. (1995). Bindung: Historische Wurzeln, theoretische Konzepte und klinische Relevanz [Attachment: Historical roots, theory and clinical relevance]. In G. Spangler & P. Zimmermann (Eds.), Die Bindungstheorie. Grundlagen, Forschung und Anwendung [Attachment theory] (pp. 17–26). Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta
Braun, W., & Proebsting, H. (1986).Heiratstafeln verwitweter Deutscher 1979/82 und geschiedener Deutscher 1980/83 [Widowed and divorced Germans in 1979/82 and 1980/83]. Wirtschaft und Statistik, 107–112Google Scholar
Bretherton, I., & Munholland, K. A. (1999). Internal working models in attachment relationships. In J. Cassidy & P. R. Shaver (Eds.), Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical application (pp. 89–111). New York: Guilford Press
Butler, R., Walker, W. R., Skowronski, J. J., & Shannon, L. (1995). Age and responses to the love attitudes scale: Consistency in structure, differences in scores. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 40, 281–296CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Case, R. (1987). The structure and process of intellectual development. International Journal of Psychology, 22, 571–607CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Collins, N. L., & Read, S. J. (1994). Cognitive representations of adult attachment: The structure and function of working models. In K. Bartholomew & D. Perlman (Eds.), Advances in personal relationships (Vol. 5, pp. 53–90). London: Jessica Kingsley
Connolly, J., Craig, W., Goldberg, A., & Pepler, D,. (1999). Conceptions of cross-sex friendships and romantic relationships in early adolescence.Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 28, 481–494CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hatfield, E. (1988). Passionate and companionate love. In R. J. Sternberg & M. L. Barnes (Eds.), The psychology of love (pp. 191–217). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
Hatfield, E., & Rapson, R. L. (1993). Love, sex and intimacy: Their psychology, biology, and history. New York: HarperCollins College Publishers
Heckhausen, J., & Schulz, R,. (1995). A life span theory of control.Psychological Review, 102, 284–304CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Heckhausen, J., Wrosch, C., & Fleeson, W., (2001). Developmental regulation before and after a developmental deadline: The sample case of “biological clock” for childbearing.Psychology and Aging, 16, 400–413CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Helms, L., & Bierhoff, H. W. (2001). Laesst sich Untreue durch Geschlecht, Einstellung oder Persönlichkeit vorhersagen?Zeitschrift für Familienforschung, 13, 5–25Google Scholar
Hendrick, C., & Hendrick, S. S,. (1986). A theory and method of love. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 392–402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hendrick, S. S., & Hendrick, C., (1995). Gender differences and similarities in sex and love. Personal Relationships, 2, 55–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hendrick, S. S., & Hendrick, C. (1997). Love and satisfaction. In R. J. Sternberg & M. Hojjat (Eds.), Satisfaction in close relationships(pp. 56–78). New York: Guilford Press
Hendrick, S. S., & Hendrick, C. (2000). Romantic love. In C. Hendrick & S. S. Hendrick (Eds.), Close relationships. A sourcebook(pp. 203–215). Thousand Oaks, CA: SageCrossRef
Hendrick, C., Hendrick, S. S., & Dicke, A., (1998). The love attitudes scale: Short form.Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 15, 147–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kaplan, E. H. (1991). Adolescents, age fifteen to eighteen: A psychoanalytic developmental view. In S. I. Greenspan & G. H. Pollock, The course of life, Vol. 4: Adolescence (pp. 201–233). Madison, WI: International Universities Press
Karney, B. R., Bradbury, T. N., & Johnson, M. D. (1999). Deconstructing stability: The distinction between the course of a close relationship and its endpoint. In J. M. Adams & W. H. Jones (Eds.), Handbook of interpersonal commitment and relationship stability (pp. 481–499). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum PublishersCrossRef
Koski, L. R., & Shaver, B. R. (1997). Attachment and relationship satisfaction across the life span. In H. J. Sternberg & M. Hojjat (Eds.), Satisfaction in close relationships (pp. 26–55). New York: Guilford Press
Kurdek, L. A. (2000). Attractions and constraints as determinants of relationship commitment: Longitudinal evidence from gay, lesbian, and heterosexual couples. Personal Relationships, 7, 245–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lang, F. R., & Heckhausen, J,. (2001). Perceived control over development and subjective well-being: Differential benefits across adulthood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 509–523CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lee, J. H. (1973). The colours of love. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall
Levinger, G,. (1980). Toward the analysis of close relationships. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 16, 510–544CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Levinger, G. (1994). Figure versus ground. Micro- and macroperspectives on the social psychology of personal relationships. In R. Erber & R. Gilmour (Eds.), Theoretical frameworks for personal relationships (pp. 1–28). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum
Levy, M. B., & Davis, K. E,. (1988). Love styles and attachment styles compared: Their relations to each other and to various relationship characteristics. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 5, 439–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Montgomery, M. J., & Sorell, G. T., (1997). Differences in love attitudes across family life stages.Family Relations: Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies, 46, 55–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Murstein, B. I., & Tuerkheimer, A., (1998). Gender differences in love, sex, and motivation for sex. Psychological Reports, 82, 435–450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rubin, Z., (1970). Measurement of romantic love. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 16, 265–273CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rutter, V., & Schwarz, P. (1996). Same-sex couples: Courtship, commitment, context. In A. E. Auhagen & M. v. Salisch (Eds.), The diversity of human relationships (pp. 197–226). New York: Cambridge University PressCrossRef
Shackelford, T. K., & Buss, D. M. (1997). Marital satisfaction in evolutionary psychological perspective. In H. J. Sternberg, & M. Hojjat (Eds.), Satisfaction in close relationships (pp. 7–25). New York: Guilford Press
Shaver, P. R., & Brennan, K. A,. (1992). Attachment styles and the “Big Five” personality traits: Their connection with each other and with romantic relationship outcomes. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 18, 536–545CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shaver, P. R., & Clark, C. L. (1996). Forms of adult romantic attachment and their cognitive and emotional underpinnings. In G. G. Noam & K. W. Fischer (Eds.), Development and vulnerability in close relationships (pp. 29–58). New York: Lawrence Erlbaum
Simon, R. W., Eder, D., & Evans, C,. (1992).The development of feeling norms underlying romantic love among adolescent females. Social Psychology Quarterly, 55, 29–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sprecher, S., Cate, R., & Levin, L,. (1998). Parental divorce and young adults' beliefs about love. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 28, 107–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sprecher, S., & Metts, S,. (1999). Romantic beliefs: Their influence on relationships and patterns of change over time. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 16, 834–851CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Teachman, J. D., & Heckert, A. (1985).The impact of age and children on remarriage. Journal of Family Issues, 6, 185–203CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wrosch, C., & Heckhausen, J., (1999). Control processes before and after passing a developmental deadline: Activation and deactivation of intimate relationship goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 415–427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wrosch, C., Heckhausen, J., & Lachman, M. E,. (2000). Primary and secondary control strategies for managing health and financial stress across adulthood. Psychology and Aging, 15, 387–399CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Yancey, G. B., & Eastman, R. L,. (1995). Comparison of undergraduates with older adults on love styles and life satisfaction. Psychological Reports, 76, 1211–1218CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×