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The Initiation and Continuation of Love and Marriage

Autor:   •  October 1, 2017  •  Term Paper  •  3,318 Words (14 Pages)  •  418 Views

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The Initiation and Continuation of Love and Marriage

Chan Michael Kai Yau

The University of Hong Kong



Being a social creature, finding affection is the natural instinct of a human being. Throughout various relationships, we would develop some closer ones, and maybe you would find your love. To a certain point in your journey of love, marriage marks a significant milestone that signifies your promise to your partner. This remarkable behavior of human kind sparks our interest to study the factors that lead to interpersonal attraction and sustain a satisfying relationship.

The first step to love is to be attracted. Researches has found that the three major ingredients that contribute our liking to others are: proximity, attractiveness and similarity (Myers, 2011). Furthermore, it was supported by the “Filter Theory” (Kerckhoff & Davis, 1962) that we selectively attend to people who possess the above three advantages and more.

The step after being attracted is usually, to love and probably become married. Sternberg (1986) has proposed a “Triangular Theory of Love” that identifies the three components constructing love, namely intimacy, passion and commitment. At different stages of love, the combination of each component may vary and composes certain kinds of love. It was suggested that passion and commitment are the dominant elements in a new relationship, called the “Romantic Love”. Then, as love matures, our passion generally fades and turns into commitment which becomes a “Companionate Love”. Identifying the type of love helps us to sustain our relationship, and even enhance it.

Is marriage the tomb of love? As mentioned above, when relationship goes on, commitment and obligation seem like the only hooks maintaining each other. This may be the reason that couples expressed boredom after their 9th year of relationship (Tsapelas, Aron & Orbuch, 2009). Subsequently, scholars have been finding proves of long-term, yet satisfying relationships. It was found that if couples could accumulate knowledge and attain a process of ‘self-expansion’ (Parker-Pope, 2010), they would experience more happiness and less boredom. Thus, it facilitates a healthy and long-lasting relationship.

Many raised the point that married couples (presumed with longer relationships) focus on commitment more than dating couples and therefore encounter more boredom. This report would hence examine the difference of factors that married and dating couples claimed to be important in sustaining a satisfying relationship.


                It is believed that married couples would describe factors sustaining relationship distinctive from that of the dating couples’. Moreover, married couples would report more factors related to commitment rather than passion.


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