Attraction: Love and Physical Attractiveness Essay

Words: 1149
Pages: 5

PSY301: Social Psychology
Robin Friedman

When it comes to attraction, a variety of simple factors play a significant role in whom we as people come to like. Things as basic as proximity, looks, similarity, and even the difficulty of the pursuit all affect a person’s overall attractiveness. This paper will discuss how these factors are attributed to attraction and why human nature demands bonding and relationships.
People are drawn to those who are near and seen on a regular basis. This finds its explanation in that people become accustomed to the presence of a person or object (or being themselves present in a place). This results in the sensation of “liking” said things.
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All of this can be attributed to a person’s fear of isolation and purposelessness.
There are three classifications of love. Companionate love expresses deep caring for another person, comfort, trust, and enjoyment of shared experiences (Berscheid, 2010); passionate love involves intense emotional arousal and physical attraction which declines over time (Fehr, 1994; Regan, 1998) (Hatfield et al., 2008; Tucker & Aron, 1993); and care and concern for another’s welfare as in compassionate love has been described as part of communal relationships (Clark & Mills, 1979; Clark & Monin, 2006). While those seeking a long-term relationship may expect all three forms of love, those who desire to remain single or are in long-term relationships, may seek only one or two. Companionate and compassionate love both involve a sense of selflessness in the one cares for another while companionate and passionate both seek to share happy experiences. Examples of these relationships include marriages (companionate), affairs (passionate), and caretaker or familial relationships or friendships (compassionate). Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love (Sternberg, R., 1986) distinguishes romantic love from empty love and infatuation through the presence or absence of commitment (one’s conclusion to love or stay with another) and intimacy (shared feelings of closeness). While romance involves intimacy and passion (i.e. passionate love), it does not involve a