Relationships & Love
What really is love? 5th grade girl
How do you know he is the one? 7th grade girl .pdf >>
Many parents do not discuss relationships and love with
their children. Although love is valued by many, it can be
difficult to define and understand. Research into the common
characteristics of successful, romantic, intimate relationships
may provide guidelines for evaluating relationships and offer
suggestions for improvement.
Parent SUGGESTION: go over The
Love Test activity with your child.
1. How can you tell if you have found the right person?
Criteria for Judging Functional Intimacy
- (Frankel, 1982)
- being able to have nondefensive, unguarded communication.
- having empathy for each other, that is, being supportive
of each other and understanding of each other’s perspective.
- being able to resolve conflicts by mutual accommodation
and compromise as well as willing to be accepting of differences
that cannot be negotiated.
- being confirming of each other’s lovability.
- having enjoyable physical contact from affection to sex.
Ann Landers found that when women were asked what they longed
for most in their sexual relationships they asked for more
“cuddling” not more intercourse.
- having a “we” identity based on an aggregate
of shared experiences from joyous to the tragic.
- being supportive of each other’s individual interests,
friends, hobbies, and careers.
- being mutually available during crises.
- being playful together.
Healthy self-love, self-esteem, is a necessary condition
for healthy love of others. A good, intimate relationship
is not an easy process. It requires effort and work by two
well adjusted individuals.
2. How can you tell if someone is really in love with
Eric Fromm, The Art of Loving (1956)
- Paradox of love - become one and yet remain two (Fromm,
1956, p. 17).
United to another but able to preserve one’s own individuality.
Fromm maintained that
meaningful love can only be attained if a person is secure
in one’s own identity (self-
- A relationship is primarily giving, not receiving.
Four elements present in all forms of love:
- “active concern for the life and growth of that
which we love.... I want the loved person to grow and unfold
for his own sake, and in his own ways, and not for the purpose
of serving me (Fromm, 1956, pp. 23-4).”
- responsibility - attending to the physical and psychic
needs of the other person.
- respect - seeing the person as he or she is and encouraging
the person to develop in his or her own unique way.
- knowledge of the other and his or her reality with no
3. What does it take to have an intimate loving relationship?
Characteristics of Loving, Intimate Relationships:
(Chelune, Robison & Kommor, 1984 - In Denney & Quadrango,
- Knowledge of the innermost being of the other - involves
developing trust and taking part in a great amount of self-disclosure.
- Mutuality - each must have the perception that the relationship
is a joint venture that involves shared interaction and
that he/she is receiving a fair share of the costs and benefits
of the relationship.
- Interdependence - develop ways each person can depend
on the other for support, resources, understanding, and
help of various sorts.
- Trust - accepting each other,
-- avoiding purposely hurting each other,
-- having the best interests of the other and the relationship
-- feeling warmth and caring for each other,
-- responding to the needs of the other,
-- sharing and desiring that the relationship continue.
- Commitment - the acceptance of the relationship continuing
indefinitely or the attempt to make it continue indefinitely
- affects all other characteristics and vice versa.
- Caring - a strong affection for the other - must be present
as it affects all the other characteristics.
Mary Lee O’Connell, CRNP - 8/04