Psychological Self-Help

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or abusive, we may demand a teetotalling or a very unaggressive
spouse. If you have been dumped two or three times by the same kind
of person, say a flirt, you will probably be very frighten of the next
such person who comes along. If your father was in the military and
gone a lot or left your mother for another woman, you may avoid deep
intimacy with anyone (including a spouse) or select a partner who is
very insecure, dependent, and afraid to leave. Levine (1992) discusses
at length the resentment and ambivalence many women feel towards
men in general and how this interferes with selecting a partner. 
We may select a partner who will make up for our own
weaknesses or who will satisfy some of our unconscious needs. We
may seek through a mate the satisfaction of some need that was
unfulfilled by a parent. Examples: a love-starved adult may have
felt unloved and untouched as a child, an inarticulate person may
select a talkative partner, a low ability person may seek a more able
person. An angry person who can't express his/her feelings may find a
hostile, expressive person very appealing (if it isn't turned on him/her
very often). A person who would like to rebel and "act out" but can't,
might be strongly attracted to a wild rebel. 
Determining Your Love Story
After developing the popular 3-factor—intimacy, passion, and
commitment--theory of love, Sternberg (see last section) felt a lot
about love was still unexplained. He wondered: where do our
attitudes, expectations, and feelings about love come from? What
prompts a beginning relationship to change into love? Why do some
loves last and others evaporate? It seemed likely to Sternberg (1998)
that your “love story,” i.e. your needs and how you imagine your love
life will unfold, has a great bearing on who you are attracted to, how
your love is expressed, how well it endures, and so on. For a love
relationship to work, the two love stories need to be compatible—in
some cases, that means similar stories and needs (e.g., both giving or
highly social), and in other cases, complimentary or supplemental but
congruent stories and needs (e.g., one a leader and the other a
follower or one outgoing who helps the shy one socialize). 
Sternberg and his students started by trying to identify people’s
love stories. They ended up with 26, for example: 
Sacrifice story—love means both give up things for the other. 
Police story—love involves the “Officer” watching the “Suspect” closely. 
Travel story—life should be a happy journey for two lovers. 
Sex story—love mainly involves an exciting sex life. 
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