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New Ideals, Realities, and Challenges in Love (OV Portuguese)

New Ideals, Realities, and Challenges in Love (OV Portuguese)

In the context of a heterosexual couple, two main types of love persist: 1) romantic love where desire for a union, for a future together, and for a sex life are very important; 2) companionate love, typical of long-term relationships, which is based on friendship and trust. What do they both have in common?

The requirement for sexual exclusiveness. In passion (first stage of romantic love) jealousy is more present. Facebook users show “denial” of jealousy as a “politically correct” attitude every time the other repeatedly likes or shares the picture of a potential rival.  A love triangle may be established in the imagery of the person who denies jealousy and suffers silently. The real absence of jealousy can be linked to the current volatility of affective bonds. In the culture of narcissism, of the disposable, everyone is replaced and one soon returns “to the market”. Some authors suggest we live in a cultural ideal of denial of jealousy in romantic love (Arreguy & Garcia, 2001, 212). How is it possible to maintain a partner’s  interest?

In matter of relationship there are many possibilities and any would be magical. Thinking about my experience as a clinical sexologist, I advise for: (a) investing in oneself (e.g., being in a continuous state of growth, not neglecting physical appearance); (b) investing in the relationship (e.g., trying to listen to the other, as well as initiating and maintaining dialogue, making time available for the relationship (creation of “leisure islands/free time islands” (Brendler, 2007), protecting the couple’s privacy; (c) investing in the other (e.g., being alert to the other’s needs, desires and interests, stimulating and validating the other’s behavior; (d) keeping sexual desire in couple; (e) investing in the negotiation of household chore sharing (e.g., encouraging the man to share domestic chores and child care (Brendler, 2012)- this will avoid gender old topics as motive of confiict in couple; f) prevalence of positive emotions over negative ones. Love between two people means motivation, alchemy, construction.
Love is plural but taking care of love, in turn, is a decision that will require constant commitment and investment.

Speakers: Neil and Dwain
Areas of Interest / Categories: WAS 2013

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