Theories of Love and You

 

            Three relationships stand out prominently in my memories of love.  Each one represented a different time in my life and each relationship showed me a different type of love.  Within these relationships I have grown as a person and learned of the many aspects that love encompasses.  In my particular case the three different relationships I am referring to occurred in chronological order and each one taught me how to love and how I want to be loved. 

            The first affair was as John Lee’s Six Styles of Love explains, Ludus.  It was a game for us; we played games in every aspect of our relationship.  It was a game to get each other to want to be together, then it was just simple and playful.  There was no serious commitment, just a very casual, almost childish hookup. The second relationship was “liking” as Sternberg’s, Triangular Theory of Love describes.  It was mostly just intimacy.  There was some passion but not enough to call it romantic love.  Of Lee’s six styles this was a combination of Eros and Storge.  The relationship was very intense but very short lived.  We became good friends and enjoyed each other’s company, but not enough to commit to one another.  Intimacy and physical attraction held the two of us together.  As with Storge though we stayed friends after and are still friends to this day.

            Most important to me was the third relationship; it lasted a few years and taught me how to truly love another person.  This relationship went through many of Sternberg’s stages.  Starting out as romantic love, with an abundance of passion that developed into intimacy.  Then fatuous love was experienced, we fell in love with each other and wanted the commitment that comes with love another human being.  Companionate and then consumate love closely followed one another.  During these two levels I remember the warm, happy glow emanating from me.  I was utterly blissful at this time in my life.  Sadly over a few years the passion and intimacy lessened, until empty love was all that was left.  The commitment stayed strong as ever, but we moved on from the relationship too look for more romance.  




Parents, Peers, and Gender Roles


               As an infant and a young child my parents initially helped develop my gender by providing me with gender appropriate toys, like dolls, and by dressing me in clothing deemed “girl” clothing.  Other than that though I was not pushed towards a traditional female role.  I was always allowed to dress as I pleased, play with toys that were geared towards boys, participate in any activities, and was given equal opportunity to help in the kitchen as well as the garage or garden.  While my mother stayed at home to raise my little brother and myself, she had very liberal views.  So while I modeled myself after her ability to take care of a home and nurture/raise children, I also shaped myself with her strong belief that a woman can do anything, and that a woman can be independent.  My father’s views were more traditional.  He believes that the husband is the breadwinner and that the wife submits and pleases her husband.  So in that way I differ from my dad’s views on gender roles.

            Another very influential person in my life was a past boyfriend.  I was with him for three years, from when I was seventeen until I was twenty.  We lived together for most of those three years.  That relationship taught me many things about being a woman.  Cohabitating with a partner lets you experience how gender roles play out in a household setting.  My long relationship with him allowed us both to grow together and to figure out how we identified with our genders when we had a partner alongside us.  I figured out that I was traditional in some aspects like taking care of laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning.  Although I feel that I more took over those things because I wanted to and also because I like to be in control.  So taking care of those things gave me more control.  In most other ways though I am very liberal and feminist.  If in the future I am a parent, I would want to model very liberal gender roles for my children.  I would want my children regardless of their gender to be just as strong, independent, and driven as they are emotional, caring, and nurturing. 

           

 

 

 
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