ERIC Number: ED230844
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Romantic Love: A Special Case of Social Competence.
Warren, James D.
Two different clinical models provide different explanations of the interactions that typically occur in romantic love. One portrays love as one of the great delusions of the human experience, while the other suggests that romantic love is one of the great possibilities of the human experience. The delusional hypothesis, presented by Casler (1973) is a Freudian derivative, and defines love as "the fear of losing an important source of gratification." In this theory, love itself is not to blame, only our neurotic need for it. In contrast, Branden represents romantic love as a great possibility, and presents a more fully articulated, developmental perspective. According to Branden, the attraction upon which love is based derives from the "shock of recognition," a perception of a similar sense of life. The desire for psychological visibility is characterized by a strong, well-differentiatd ego and high self-esteem. There are several points of commonality between the two models. Both describe strong and weak individuals. Love itself serves as an important source of gratification in both models. Tennov (1979) offers evidence that there are, in fact, two different kinds of experiences possible within the context of romantic love. Whether romantic love indicates social competence or incompetence depends upon the reasons for entering the relationship, which in turn depend upon the state of the Self. Recognition of this dependency provides an important avenue for understanding both the love relationship and the Self that becomes romantically involved. (JAC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Southwestern Psychological Association (28th, Dallas, TX, April 15-17, 1982).