AGS Sunday Seminar March, 2004


(Again presented by our distinguished Guest Presenter .. Mr Brett MacDonald)


Love – And How it Changes Through One’s Lifetime!



Liking, Friendship, and Love


There is a lot of information so much of the information will be given in point form; this may make discussion easier.

·        Liking, friendship, and love all have some common factors that appear to underpin them, these are: proximity, physical attractiveness, similarity, and reciprocity.

·        Proximity refers to how close people are in space, an underestimated factor. Does absence make the heart grow fonder?

·        Physical attractiveness: Believe it or not females show a greater emphasis on physical attractiveness than males. Men are more likely to emphasis their material possessions and achievements. When they come together however the level of attractiveness of each on the whole is comparable – makes you view your partner through different eyes since it could be an estimation of your own attractiveness.

·        Similarity Effects: Do ‘birds of a feather flock together’? or do ‘opposites attract’? The evidence tends to favour the former. It could be that we feel more comfortable with those around us with similar attitudes – we don’t have to work so hard in the relationship. Curiously, similarity favours respect while sharing activities favours liking. have you ever been on a team and liked them because they are on YOUR team but thought their attitude was trash?

·        Reciprocity Effects: Occurs when you show a liking to someone who has shown a liking to you. Its not hard to like someone who likes you. Isn’t that what a smile does, give a non verbal symbol of liking that precedes you in space as does the handshake and when both are working for you WOW. So what about bowing is it liking or respect? Think about it J


Well these points are the appetizers/ factors that come into play in love – the main course. But first a few myths, see how well you do and don’t be miffed ifs the score is low.

1.      When you fall in love you know it

2.      Love is a purely positive experience

3.      True love lasts forever


The answers to these will be forthcoming, but lets take a look at LOVE, a nasty little four lettered multiordinal term that has caused so much strife. How people use it can be part of the problem since it is assumed that it has one meaning. Not only has it different meanings on different levels of abstraction but also there are at least three well recognized components as well which fluctuates over time in relationships. Robert Sternberg in 1988 formed a visual triangle to show how love components relate to each other.


Firstly, it would be useful to define a few terms so we all know what we mean – I know the language usage is loose but so is the topic.

a)      Intimacy – warmth, closeness, and sharing in a relationship

b)      Commitment – an intent to maintain a relationship in spite of difficulties and costs that may arise

c)      Passion



Now the components of intimacy, commitment, and passion can give seven different types of relationships. These can be depicted thus:


It could be imagined how various couples display and move through some of the stages of love, some may never experience some of the types, some may fall into the patterns that suit their world views and stay there; however many move through a series of types that match the stages of individual development.


1. What sort of behaviours would you expect to witness for the various types of love?
2. Are all the types of love survival based, and if love is biologically based what are the functions of the 3 components?
3. Should love be forever and ever, as you would expect from consummate love?

<- Home