Attachment in Infancy and its Lifelong Effects

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Cavanaugh & Blanchard (1994) present theories of love consisting of three components: passion, a physiological desire for someone; intimacy, the feeling that one can share all one's thoughts, and actions with another; and commitment, the willingness to stay with a person through good and bad times (as cited in Sternberg, 1986). Research shows that men value physical attraction and women value earning potential (Buss and others, 1994). With an attachment theory perspective one can reflect Sternberg's components of love as well as reflect positively and negatively in the relationship or process (as cited in Buss, 1990). Cavanaugh (1994) present that marriage has all three, and that a balance shifts as time passes. This paper address the three components as well reminds what (as cited in Gibran, 1923) as love being a two sided coin issue and one side relating to ecstasy and the other to pain and adds that most are willing to take the risk. This paper addresses pros and cons of the love relationship from Sternberg and Buss, and other researchers, as well as what Sperling and Berman (1994) present.

Attachment theory may be considered a possible correlation for those that experience positive and negative affects. Sperling and Berman (1994) provide research from Hindy & Schwarz (1994) presenting attachment "lovesickness" through three domains:1)anxious romantic attachment, described as insecurity, and emotional dependency and "clinging", the second is sexual jealousy, and defined as a matrix of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors competitive and lastly post relationship depression being loosing a valued sexual relationship (as cited in Hindy & Schwartz, 1984, 1985; Hiindy, Schwarz, & Brodsky, 1989). Assortive mating is a theory that Cavanaugh & Blanchard (1994) believe to best to explain that people find mating partners and their seeking desire for love is theorized with similar dimensions such as religious beliefs, physical traits, age, socioeconomic status, intelligence, and political ideology (as cited in Sher, 1996).

For example, experiencing "lovesickness" Hindy & Schwarz (1994) one who is anxious and insecure may negatively affect their relationship with others. Friends often become jealous of one another and the time spent with one over the other. Sexual jealously can become negative where one may not be able to focus on their good relationship with their significant other. Lastly if sex becomes of a lesser value to the other partner, a relationship may diminish due to the lack of sexual intimacy. In a positive view one could find a relationship where values are shared and cheating would eliminate jealousy, they can share in their spirituality, physically they are attracted to one another, they empathize one another socio-economically, age can be positive or negative, positive through the mind state in relation to maturity for example. They may share similar intellect and politically express and communicate with one another. However we are reminded that love is a two sided coin (as cited in Gibran, 1923) where there is ecstasy there is pain.

Buss (1990) and other researchers conclude that woman seek men who can provide and men seek out attractive woman. An advantage would be stability; however, unemployment can burden the relationship. Another example would be one attracted to another and a bad accident occurring and the other in the relationship not able to accept the physical changes or due to disagreeing values attractiveness may decrease. This paper addresses attachment and an adult relationship being love. The goal of the paper was to present how adults relationships can be theorized through love and attachment beyond childhood as we expand on John Bolby (1998) developing with age and representing positive and negative affects of developing adult relationships.


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Hindy, C. G., & Schwarz, J.C. (1984). Individual differences in the tendency toward anxious romantic attachments. Paper presented at the Second International Conference on Personal Relationships, Madison, WI.

Hindy, C. G., & Schwarz, J. C. (1985). "Lovesickness" in dating relationships: Am attachment perspective. Paper presented at the 93rd Annual Convention of the American Psychological Asssociation, Los Angeles

Hindy, C. G., & Schwarz, J. C., & Brosky, A. (1989). If this is love why do I feel so insecure? New York: Atlantic Monthly Press

Sheer, T.G. (1996). Courtship and marriage: Choosing a primary relationship. In N. Vanzetti & S. Duck (Eds.), A lifetime of relationships (pp. 243-264). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

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