Romantic Love Essay

Romantic Love Essay

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Topic: Romantic Relationships: Romantic love types and relational dialectics
Ashley Duncan, Connor Janis, Brantley McAdoo, Robyn Spreen

When thinking about romantic relationships, whether in the movies, media or your own relationship what characteristics come to mind? The topic we will discuss in this presentation attends to the romantic relationships within interpersonal communication.
Specifically, the romantic love types and relational dialectics that define and influence our relational patterns. By understanding the makeup of the various dialectics and love types, we can better judge the underlying characteristics we exhibit in our own personal relationships and how to utilize that knowledge to positively influence our lives.




John Alan Lee has introduced six different forms of love. These range from friendly to obsessive. It should be noted that there is no “right” way to define romantic love in relationships. Different things work for different people. These types differ depending on gender- women score higher than men on “practical” love and cover a large spectrum of variation. While there are numerous forms of love, there are two that forefront the spectrum on opposite sides. Those are Passionate and Companionate love.

Passionate love is defined as a state of intense emotional and physical longing for union with another. Studies show six primary characteristics that are true about its experience and expression as follows. The first dictates how it changes our brains. Substantial activation occurs within the part of the brain associated with obsessive thinking (caudate nucleus) therefore, encouraging the individual’s thoughts to consistently revolve around their partner. Secondly, we view our partners in an “exces...


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...shley). Lastly, we have Novelty versus Predictability where we see the most common issue in relationships. Often, there is a clash in needing stability but also the want for change (Along Came Polly, Ashley).

As we can see, different people look for different types of romantic relationships. There is no right or wrong way to love based on these types, nor do people of varied culture or age experience them any differently than the other. In examining the different love types and relational dialectics associated with romantic relationships, we can better understand how people of different love-types interact and acknowledge the conflict that can arise. Thus, aiding in our own knowledge and perceptions of romantic relationships and how to navigate them appropriately. Thank you for your time and we hope this presentation has been applicable to your own relationships.

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