ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Interpersonal Attraction

Updated on October 22, 2011

"Falling in love" and "Being in love" are common expressions that people use to described their passionate desire for one another. Passionate love may occur at almost any stage during life, although people involved in long-term cohabitation seem to experience a qualitatively different kind of love.

There are many kinds of love; sexual, parental, filial, fraternal and narcissistic, as well as love for a group, school and country. Although the factors that influence interpersonal attraction are complex and not fully understood, they all appear to involve social reinforcement. People learn to act in ways that reinforce friends and lovers in order to maintain and strengthen their ties.

Attraction is increased by positive evaluation of oneself by the other person's familiarity, similarity in looks, interests and attitudes. Couples tend to be similar in attractiveness, shared opinions and physical good looks.

A person is attracted to a potential mate for various reasons. The attraction may be purely physical and the relationship transient. A person may strive to fulfil a magical desire for the perfect lover, whose qualities are reminiscent of the idealized, qualities of parents or other past sources of love and affection. A person's expectations for a partner may or may not be realistic.

Steinberg's theory of love describes how different combinations of intimacy, passion and commitment give rise to lilting and different kinds of love. These elements may combine to form eight different kinds of relationships. For example:

a- No love involves not one of these elements.

b- Liking involves intimacy.

c- Romantic love involves intimacy and passion but no commitment.

d- Infatuation love involves only passion.

e- Empty love only involves commitment.

f- Compassionate love entails both intimacy and commitment, but no passion.

g- Fatuous love is a kind of love marked by complacency in the relationship. It entails truth, passion and commitment, but no intimacy.

h- Consummate love is the highest form of love and contains all the three elements.

A person able to give and revive love with minimum fear and conflict has the capacity to develop genuinely intimate relationships with others when involved in an intimate relationship. A person's expectations of a partner may or may not be realistic. One neurotic motivation is an inability to separate from parents. Another neurotic motivation is selecting a partner to compensate childhood needs. Every person and every marriage probably carries an element of such unrealistic experience. When these tendencies predominate and the couple acts mainly to exchange patterns of exploitation, or when interlocking complementary needs fail to bring sufficient security in happiness, discomfort and anxiety occur, and the relationship may break down.

From an evolutionary standpoint; love serves both procreative and child-rearing functions. Sociologists have observed that men and women differ with respect to social cues. Men prefer potential mates to be young and physically attractive because young, attractive women tend to be fertile. Women prefer potential mates to control socioeconomic resources because these resources are important to support the family.

In true intimacy, there is mutuality, a quality reminiscent of the first stage of life. Through the crisis of intimacy versus isolation, people transcend the exclusives of earlier dependencies and establish mutuality with an extended and diverse social group.

Erikson believed that meaningful work, procreation and recreation within a loving relationship represent utopia.

The successful formation of a stable marriage and family depends on the capacity to become intimate. The years of early adulthood are crucial for deciding whether to get married and to whom.

Gender identity determines object choice, either heterosexual or homosexual, but making an intimate connection with another person is a major task. People with schizoid personality disorder remain slated from others because of fear, suspicion, the inability to take risks or the lack of a capability to love.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      hi..its very interesting, i do agree with your research, im also finding an article about our research which is about interpersonal attraction, can we be friends?so that we can exhange our thoughts..=D.. if you have yahoo messenger you can add me.. japit_yu..tnx

    • hassam profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks for your regular comments........well I dont really do a research for specific topic all I do is keep surfing on the internet and read local news papers and in the end I do get some valuable info for an article and I publish it.

    • Lucky Dog profile image

      Lucky Dog 

      10 years ago

      Well done Hassam! Where did you do your research?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)