But you can hate a person you love even when your love is reciprocated, and even when you have an overall thriving relationship with them. A Love-Hate Relationship. How Self Sabotage Can be a People hate it when they act in ways that self-sabotage. So why don't they just stop?. They love and hate them—and that's normal. What these findings suggest to me is that this love/hate dynamic is a normal part of close relationships. . She blogs for Psychology Today in Between You and Me, and is.
The Psychology Of Loves That Last A Lifetime | HuffPost Life
But don't be convinced solely by what these couples reported -- research in neuroscience has also proven that intense romantic love can last a lifetime. A study published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience looked the brain regions activated in individuals in long-term romantic partnerships who had been married an average of 21 yearsand compared them with individuals who had recently fallen in love.
The results revealed similar brain activity in both groups, with high activity in the reward and motivation centers of the brain, predominantly in the high-dopamine ventral tegmental area VTA. The findings suggest that couples can not only love each for long periods of time -- they can stay in love with each other. Sustaining romantic love over the course of many years, then, has a positive function in the brain, which understands and continues to pursue romantic love as a behavior that reaps cognitive rewards, according to positive psychology researcher Adoree Durayappah.
Rewards can include the reduction of anxiety and stress, feelings of security, a state of calmness, and a union with another. And while we might eventually take our partner off of this pedestal after months and years of being together, maintaining a sense of "love blindness" is actually critical to long-lasting passionate love.
A University of Geneva review of nearly studies on compatibility couldn't pinpoint any combination of two personality traits in a relationship that predicted long-term romantic love -- except for one.
What to Do When You Hate the One You Love
One's ability to idealize and maintain positive illusions about their partner -- seeing them as good-looking, intelligent, funny and caring, or generally as a "catch" -- remained happy with each other on nearly all measures over time.
They're always trying new things together. Boredom can be a major obstacle to lasting romantic or companionate love, and successful couples find ways to keep things interesting.
They avoid neediness by preserving their independence. Neediness is the enemy of long-lasting desire an important component of romantic loveaccording to psychologist and Mating in Captivity author Esther Perel. But if couples can maintain independence and witness each other participating in individual activities at which they're skilled, they can continue to see their partner in an ever-new light.
What is most interesting is that there is no neediness in desire. There is no caretaking in desire.
Their passion for life carries over into their relationship. Psychologists have found that a strong passion for life can help to sustain passion in a life-long romantic relationship. The Stony Brook University study examining personality qualities that predicted long-term passionate love found that individuals who exhibit excitement for all that life has to offer are more likely to find success in their romantic partnerships.
Whereas individuals used to be more likely to look to marriage for safety and security, the societal standard has shifted such that more men and women enter into marriage looking for self-actualization and personal fulfillment. Unsurprisingly, people reported highly positive feelings and very low negative feelings toward the person they had chosen. But then the researchers assessed implicit feelings—the emotions they might not be consciously aware of—about the significant other.
Participants did a standard computer task that measures how quickly they respond to certain directions. Their job was to categorize the target words as positive or negative as quickly as possible by pushing the correct button. If we are thinking about something pleasant when a positive word pops up, we are quicker to categorize it as positive; but when a negative word pops up, we are slower to put it in the negative category.
Likewise, if we are thinking about something unpleasant, we will be slower to categorize positive words and quicker for negative ones. Great, because here is where it gets interesting. Take a look at the graph below. The bars on the left side of the graph show the typical response using positive and negative objects, such as sunsets and spiders, where positive objects only affect positive target words and negative objects only affect negative target words.
Thus, people feel both positively and negatively toward those they love.
This may not surprise you. Feeling negatively towards your partner does not mean that you are doing something wrong or that you are in the wrong relationship. Why does this study matter? Much of our relationship rhetoric focuses on positive and negative as two ends of a spectrum—feeling more positively toward your partner means you feel less negatively toward them, and vice versa.
Our feelings toward our partners can range wildly from moment to moment—and it seems that may just be part of the wild ride of sharing your life with another complex human being.
The Psychology Of Loves That Last A Lifetime
Instead, it seems we hold some positive views of these significant others, even as we profess our dislike of them—even if we may not be able to admit it at a conscious level. Not all bad feeling is bad for you Of course, there is such a thing as too much hate. That is, way more negative than positive.