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the Origins of Love - Past, Present or Future

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Trevor Proffitt
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« Reply #3135 on: May 23, 2009, 02:51:53 pm »

Maybe, in the end, people put a little bit too much emphasis on love. The companionship is nice, but it's a bit unrealistic to think that love alone can solve all your problems for you.  Sometimes, it just makes more! 
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Volitzer
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« Reply #3136 on: May 26, 2009, 12:21:07 pm »

29 Dimensions of Compatibility.

Group Number 1:
 
Screening Dimensions
 
1.  Good Character.  No marriage will ever thrive if one of the partners is not of "good character."  Character as used here, relates to one's integrity; it has to do, primarily, with honesty.  A "character disorder," for instance, refers to the tendency of a person to "lie, cheat, and steal" in an effort to gain personal advantage.  The first matter that needs to be screened is the character of both persons.
 
2.  Quality of Self Conception.  All emotional health begins with a well-developed self-concept.  In a marriage, if both persons know themselves well as individuals, even in their deep places, and if each of them takes ownership of all the parts of themselves, their individual "self-strength" will provide a strong foundation for building a life together in partnership under even difficult circumstances.
 
3.  Absence of Emotional Red Flags.  No addictions, no neuroses, no thought disorders and no affect disorders.  The presence of any one of these "pathological conditions" can jeopardize marital success.  No marriage should ever be initiated until all of these red flags have been fully dealt with.  To expect that the marriage will cause a person to "get over their drinking problem," is an expectation long on fantasy and short on reality.
 
4. Anger Management.  More marriages break up every year because two people do not know how to manage their anger in relation to each other than because of any other single reason.   Since literally everybody has anger, and since it can be so easily be mismanaged in an intimate relationship, careful attention should be paid to the level of mastery each person has over this area.  If either partner has any history of anger mismanagement (explosiveness, somatization, conversion of anxiety into physical symptoms; turning on their own psyche, or underhandedness.), this will cause major problems in the marital relationship.
 
5. Obstreperousness.  One quality that can destroy a marriage is a critical attitude.  Even if this attitude is largely independent of the other person's actions, it can become a constant source of marital stress.  One quality that should be looked at for both potential partners, prior to blame, is the tendency to find fault, to attribute blame, to make the other person wrong, and to need to portray oneself as always "right."  This quality is highly related to one's score on an "optimism-pessimism" scale.  The more pessimistic a person is, the more likely they are to be  obstreperous.
 
6.  Understandings About Family.  The parenting of children requires a deep and lasting commitment.  The urge to do this, or not do it, usually emerges from a central and highly personal inner place.  It is absolutely critical for matching partners to have this dimension well discussed and decided  prior to any serious dating relationship, let alone a committed marriage.  If one person has a strong desire to be a parent and the other has none, the match will likely be a poor one, however well the other dimensions are harmonized.  In this day of so many second and third pairings, the question of whether one party is willing and eager to share in the parenting task, perhaps as a step-parent, is equally critical.  The corresponding matter of how much authority the new parent will have is a vital factor as well.  Finally, if it is a given that children will be involved in the family, careful attention should be given to preferred styles of parenting.
 
7.  Family Background.   If one or both of the persons has been raised in a dysfunctional family atmosphere, there needs to be adequate evidence that the impact of this emotional atmosphere has been recognized and worked through.  Moreover, each person needs to come to their contemplated partnership with the support of their primary figures-or a full understanding of why that support is not available.  Finally, each person needs to ascertain whether their "in-law" relationships will be positive influences, and if not, whether they can be managed effectively.
 
Group Number 2:
 
Core Personal  Dimensions, Representing Characteristics Relatively Difficult To Alter
 
8.  Intellect.  There is a considerable body of clinical and empirical data that indicates the importance of intellectual equality in a marital partnership.  There is no evidence that  two people do better in marriage if they are extremely bright, but there is evidence that they need to be at a similar intellectual level, whatever that level may be.  Technically, there is a general rule that there should be no more than one standard deviation of difference in the intelligence level of two persons.
 
9.  Energy.  Marriages tend to be more successful when the energy levels of two partners are similar.  If one person is highly energized and the other person is considerably lower on energy, there is bound to be difficulty.  Although the amount of energy a person has is often indicitive of emotional health, two people with relatively low energy can form a positive relationship if both of them are quite accepting of the other's energy level.
 
10.  Spirituality.  Perhaps no dimension is more in need of matching for any couple than this one.  However, it is at the same time one of the most complex dimensions.  First, the specific faith of each person should be the same.  For example, in the case of Christianity, this includes attention Protestant versus Catholic, denominational preference, degree of involvement, etc.  Furthermore, it is good to attain "belief alignment" on the role of the church, the nature of God, the place of prayer, the function of Biblical authority, and in relation to specific theological matters.  If the two persons has no spiritual faith, even this needs careful matching.
 
11.  Education.   As important as intelligence is, our research indicates that for a large sub-sample, more women than men, a generally equal amount of education for each partner is a critical factor.  For instance, women who have finished college or graduate work often prefer to be matched with men who have accomplished at a similar level.  There are many marriages that work well without educational equality, but if education has received heavy stress during a person's growing-up years, this dimension must be given appropriate attention.
 
12.  Appearance.  In the culture at large, that is, without any question, the most frequently monitored dimension of simple appearance is more possible.  Most persons are comfortable being matched with partners within the same "grade level" on appearance.  For instance, when persons are rated on a seven-point scale on appearance, and when they are matched with persons receiving their same rating-or even at one point above or below-they are generally satisfied.  It should be noted that spouses who are in love with each other typically rate their partners as two to three scales points higher on appearance than a jury of objective persons rates them.
 
13.  Sense of humor.  Beyond the fact that "sense of humor" contributes significantly to a person's overall attractiveness, it is a key dimension in the building of a marital bond over the course of a marriage.  Laughter is highly therapeutic in every intimate relationship, and there is evidence that marriages in which there is little laughter tend to suffer considerably more during trying times.  Having "sense of humor" in common does not require that both people be able to generate humor equally.  One person may do this unusually well, while the other person serves as an appreciative audience.  Research indicates that the key criterion in this regard is for both persons to experience  the freeing, lightening, and enlightening effects of shared laughter.  There is a strong correlation between "happy" partners and partners who are thought to have a highly developed sense of humor.
 
14.  Mood Management.  It is critical that two people be well matched with regard to their moods.  If one person has wide mood fluctuations, the other person needs to have a high degree of tolerance for this.  It is essential to assess each person's mood management to ascertain that this area will not become provocative in the marriage over time.
 
15.  Overall Traditional vs. Non-Traditional Personality Orientations.  If two persons are highly traditional in their approach to life, they will tend to get along well.  If one person is quite untraditional, it will be important to find another person who is similarly non-traditional.  For instance, if one person likes to be highly predictable, engages in a significant amount of planning about future events (events transpiring during the next day, the next week, or months ahead),  this person will likely be unhappy with someone who prefers a high degree of spontaneity, who chafes under too much "obsessiveness" about planning.
 
16.  Ambition.  Our research indicates that two well-matched partners need to have approximately the same amount of ambition.  When they do, and assuming they are equally ready to back their ambition with a commensurate amount of hard work, they will have a common quality that will contribute substantially to the harmonizing of their relationships.  On the negative side, if there is a large discrepancy between the amount of ambition the two partners have, there will be considerable stress between them.  One person will be intent on pursuing advancement, and the other person will resent the amount of time and energy this requires.
 
17.  Sexual Passion.  Interpersonal chemistry is assessable by the individuals involved in a pairing, and by them only, but the degree of "generalized passion" that a person possesses can be measured.  The passion we are talking about here is sexual passion, and our goal is to match two persons who have relatively similar levels of sexual passion.
 
18.  Artistic Passion.  Some people are, right to the center of themselves, artistically inclined.  This is for them a primary personal trait.  Sometimes, these persons are skillful as artists.  They may play an instrument, write music or poetry, paint, sculpt, or sing.  Other people cannot perform, but have they have a strong interest in observing, listening, reading, and feeling.  If one of these "artistically inclined" persons is matched with someone who has none of these skills or passions, they are like two strangers with little "soul" compatibility.  Most people with strong artistic feelings and interests simply must be paired with partners who have some of the same.  Otherwise their marriage seldom works.
 
19.  Values Orientation.  It is critical for marital partners to have similar values about the essentials of living.  For instance, their values about social issues, political issues, and environmental issues are highly important.  Also they need to be in strong agreement about money issues.  Their views about saving money and giving money away should be similar.  When two persons in a marital relationship have values that are highly congruent, meaning agreeeable; the marriage almost surely works out better.
 
20.  Industry.  This dimension has to do with one's orientation toward work.  If one person is a "hard worker" and the other person is a "shirker," there will be likely be feelings of resentment and guilt.  For instance, if the woman gets up earlier, works more intensely during the day , and still has work to do at night, while the man gets up later, works only moderately hard, and stops in the late afternoon for a round of golf, this will put considerable strain on the relationship.  When one party complains about the other being "lazy," and the "lazy" partner complains about the other as a "workaholic" or "obsessive," you are likely to have a mismatch on the dimension of industry.
 
21.  Curiosity.  This dimension was a latecomer to our list of critical matching qualities.  It also has to do with a need for stimulation, along with a personal strategy to pursue additional information through inquisitiveness.  If one partner is "regularly satisfied"  with relatively limited information about anything, while the other partner has a pressing "need to know more,"  this will typicall pull them in two very different directions.  Curiosity is not always healthy ("curiosity killed the cat"), but the degree of health represented by curiosity is beside the point.  In a marital match we are looking for two partners who "harmonize," who can relate to one another's style.  While complimenting can occur in relation to some of these discrepancies, our research indicates that similarity on dimensions like curiosity leads to greater marital satisfaction over time.
 
22.  Vitality and Security.  In seventeen cross-cultural studies, the number one quality cited by men in choosing a partner is the general quality called "fertility," and the number one quality attended to by women is security.  Men apparently look for healthy and vital women, and women look for men who can provide economic and physical security, especially during the childbearing years.  These qualities, extremely important in matching, must leave both partners feeling that they have "gotten a good deal" and "providing maximally" in the area of their fundamental need.
 
23.  Autonomy vs. Closeness-If one partner desires a significant amount of autonomy to be alone and to do their own thing , and if one partner wants considerably more closeness and relational involvement, the match will be difficult.  It is crucial to discover the amount required autonomy, and closeness for two individuals and to match them on the basis of their scores in these areas.
 
Group Number 3:
 
Necessary Skills That Can Be Developed In The Building Of A Stronger Marriage
 
24.  Communication.  Two life partners need to have a similar level of interest in communicating with one another and a similar ability to communicate.  While this may be a dimension that can be altered over time (largely because men in our culture receive so little early encouragement and training in the area of communication),  the matter of how much and how well two people  communicate is one of the two to three most frequent complaints when marriages get into trouble.  The fact is that the vast majority of women want more communication than their male counterparts, and they are also better able to communicate as well.  When one partner is not interested in or good at communication, and especially when the opposite is very interested and good at it, the marriage will tend to stagnate and prove frustrating for both of them.
 
25.  Conflict Resolution.  Both partners need to be good at conflict resolution for a marriage to survive and thrive.  There will always be conflict in every relationship, and if it is not promptly resolved, the relationship will suffer.  Conflict resolution is an example of a pre-marital variable that is both an attitude and a skill.  If a couple's attitude is positive about the need  for conflict resolution, and if they are willing to work at it, the skill can be developed quite easily but if one or both persons seem unwilling or unable to compromise, to talk things through, to entertain each other's positions, their relationship will suffer greater and greater strain over time.
 
26.  Sociability.  The degree to which two people both desire interpersonal relationships, and excel at them, needs to be similar for their relationship to thrive.  For instance , some persons demonstrate high attraction to other people, while others prefer to spend significantly more time alone or in just one relationship.  Over time, this variable will be tested over and over.  It is a matter about which premarital matching needs to be carefully concerned.
 
Group Number 4:
 
Crucial Qualities That Can Develop As A Consequence Of The Careful Management Of One's Emotional Life
 
27.  Adaptability.  When all is said and done, this may be the most important dimension of all.  In a society in which change is so prominent, in which there is growing differentiation and individuation, the need for adaptability is crucial.  If every other dimension were perfectly, or almost perfectly, matched for two people, we could accept a low adaptability score but where there is some difference between them, it is to adaptability that we look to see if change to unforseen circumstances can occur over time.
 
28.  Kindness.   In the seventeen cross-cultural studies referred to above, both men and women rated kindness as the second most important quality to look for in a mate.  When a prospective marriage partner has a well-developed capacity to treat other people with kindness, whether it is kindness for their partner, their children, their friends, or even for strangers, this quality will always enrich and deepen the marital relationship.  Although kind people can often maintain their kindness over time without reciprocation from their mate, the truly great marriages are those in which kindnes is matched by kindness.
 
29.  Dominance vs. Submissiveness.  If one partner is highly dominant, a marriage will work better if the other partner is significantly more submissive.  Research indicates that matching two persons who are high on dominance-or who both are high on submissiveness-leads to problems in the relationship.  While it is clinically preferable to find two persons, neither of whom unusually dominant or submissive, a satisfactory relationship can be developed by pairing high scores on one trait with low scores on the other.
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HereForNow
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HUH?


« Reply #3137 on: December 22, 2009, 03:22:13 pm »

Burying our dead and depending on one another for different reasons is what love was.
It evolved like a living creature that adapts to enviroment.

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Michelle Sandberg
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« Reply #3138 on: April 26, 2010, 01:30:11 pm »

That's true.  Neanderthal man buried his dead, he was far more advanced emotionally than people give him credit for!  Maybe more civilized than us.
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