now, it may not last. (9) Do you think of the partner as being a part of
your whole life? If so, and these dreams seem good, that is an
indication of love.
An even better way to evaluate your love is to read The Love Test
by Harold Bessell (1984). It is threatening to honestly assess our love
for someone but this book is helpful, informative, and interesting. It is
sometimes hard to tell the difference among sex, love, and infatuation
(see Short, 1992).
You can tell that it's infatuation when you think that he's as sexy as Paul Newman, as
athletic as Pete Rose, as selfless and dedicated as Ralph Nader, as smart as John
Kenneth Galbraith and as funny as Don Rickles. You can be reasonably sure that it's love
when you realize he's actually about as sexy as Don Rickles, as athletic as Ralph Nader,
as smart as Pete Rose, as funny as John Kenneth Galbraith and doesn't resemble Paul
Newman in any way--but you'll stick with him anyway.
Can Marital Success Be Predicted and Improved?
Stages in the development of a relationship
Several theories speculate that a developing relationship goes
through certain stages, such as initial attraction, establishing rapport
(and checking out each other's values and attitudes), wooing and
selective disclosure (getting to know each other--are we similar?),
testing out the relationship (how well do we get along--are our needs
met?), disillusionment (he/she is irritating...boring) and, finally,
deciding whether or not to make a commitment to each other. If
commitments are made, then a period of attachment may follow,
involving warmth, security, and comfort. Likewise, there are stages
within marriage (see below and Rock, 1986, as well as Wallerstein &
Blakeslee, 1995) and divorce (see chapter 6). These stage theories
seem plausible but research suggests that the steps towards and
within marriage are more complex than any theory suggests, not at all
the same stages for different couples, and not even the same stages
for males and females (Brehm, 1985, pp. 145-146; Huston, Surra,
Fitzgerald, & Cate, 1981).
Can we predict marital success?
Research (Weiten, 1986, p. 386) provides some tentative
forewarnings of marital trouble, e.g. (1) one or both lovers' parents