Love and self-esteem. Idealization of a partner in premarital relations
Love is a conformal reaction to the norms and values that prevail in society. And the norm in a modern developed society is, in particular, the idea that everyone at a certain age should experience love. In order for a person to be capable of such a strong emotional attachment as love is, certain prerequisites are necessary. Two groups of these premises can be distinguished.
The first we describe as the assimilation of a system of codes to denote emotional states. It is assimilated in the process of socialization, through literature, cinema, television. Through the identification of the reader or viewer with the hero, it becomes possible to share his feelings, a person learns to interpret his own emotional states. Through a system of codes to indicate emotional states, society also determines the conditions under which it may arise. So, the love for a hunchbacked old man from the side of a young beautiful girl is almost always regarded as absurd. And one who at a certain point in life does not have a romantic experience begins to feel a sense of anxiety, doubts arise about his own fullness, etc. The presence of such experience gives a feeling of self-confidence, leads to social and psychological comfort.
The second group of prerequisites for strong heterosexual affection is friendship with peers of the same sex. According to many authors, love as the most powerful and deepest form of interpersonal attraction does not differ qualitatively from its other types, but only quantitatively, Pam and colleagues found that love and friendship can be described using the same scales of affection, respect, altruism, physical attractiveness, just love indicators on these scales are higher. From the point of view of J. Cunningham and J. Antilla, friendships between partners precede love, and romantic love differs from friendship only in the nature of the interests shared by partners in the relationship. Friendship is closely related to romantic relationships with members of the opposite sex. For example, J. Katz and colleagues showed that the comfort of students who have close friends of their gender are more often romantic partners. This is understandable because both types of relationships require certain communication skills, appropriate motivation, etc.
Friendship in adolescence is of particular interest, because at this time it has the greatest resemblance to love. I.S. Kon points out that youthful friendship as the first independent attachment “not only anticipates love, but partly includes it.”
At this age, the similarity of the mechanisms of love and friendship is also most pronounced, for example, often friendship, like love, is seen as a sublimation of the sexual instinct. According to Kreutz, among Austrian schoolchildren aged 15-17, the highest affective expectations regarding friendships are observed among those who do not yet have stable and successful contacts with their peers. As soon as such contacts are established, the need for same-sex friendships decreases. Therefore, in adolescence, there is an inverse relationship between emotional involvement in friendships and love.
The intensity of friendships is inversely related to romantic love throughout a person’s life cycle. Thus, many studies have shown a decrease in the number, intensity, and depth of friendly contacts in youth and adulthood and an increase in their significance again in old age. This does not only indicate that marriage; parenting reduces the possibility of contact with friends, but also that at this time the need for emotional affection is satisfied in love. In the early adolescence, according to I.S. Kon, same-sex friendship serves as a preparation and as a substitute for heterosexual emotional connections.
The development of emotional attachments in adolescence is associated with an increase in interpersonal competence. The most significant changes that teenage friendship undergoes in comparison with children’s friendships are associated with an increase in depth and intimacy. According to J. Sullivan, a teenager begins to develop a real sensitivity (sensitivity) to what another person is experiencing. On this basis, a close friendship arises with peers of the opposite priest, thanks to which a teenager can experience extreme conditions: loneliness, intimacy, etc.
In modern society, heterosexual activity begins earlier, and earlier a teenager reorientes to a heterosexual type of communication. However, this transition is not easy. Separation of boys and girls is a universal phenomenon in the history of culture (5), it creates a distance between them, so at first psychological closeness is more easily achieved with a peer of their own gender.