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Emotional intimacy, particularly in sexual relationships, typically develops after a certain level of trust has been reached and personal bonds have been established. The emotional connection of "falling in love", however, has both a biochemical dimension, driven through reactions in the body stimulated by sexual attraction PEA, phenylethylamine ,  and a social dimension driven by "talk" that follows from regular physical closeness or sexual union. If they can do this in an open and comfortable way, they can become quite intimate in an intellectual area.
Experiential intimacy is when two people get together to actively involve themselves with each other, probably saying very little to each other, not sharing any thoughts or many feelings, but being involved in mutual activities with one another. Imagine observing two house painters whose brushstrokes seemed to be playing out a duet on the side of the house. They may be shocked to think that they were engaged in an intimate activity with each other, however from an experiential point of view, they would be very intimately involved.
Physical intimacy occurs in the latter but it is governed by a higher-order strategy, of which the other person may not be aware. One example is getting close to someone in order to get something from them or give them something. That "something" might not be offered so freely if it did not appear to be an intimate exchange and if the ultimate strategy had been visible at the outset.
Emotionally intimate communal relationships are much more robust and can survive considerable and even ongoing disagreements. Physical and emotional[ edit ] Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms.... So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle gently entwist; the female ivy so enrings the barky fingers of the elm.
O, how I love thee! How I dote on thee! Love is qualitatively and quantitatively different from liking , and the difference is not merely in the presence or absence of sexual attraction. There are three types of love in a relationship: Sacrificial love reflects the subsumption of the individual self will within a union and is said to be expressed within the Christian Godhead and towards humanity.
In contrast, passionate love is marked by infatuation, intense preoccupation with the partner, throes of ecstasy, and feelings of exhilaration that come from being reunited with the partner. These couples often provide the emotional security that is necessary for them to accomplish other tasks, particularly forms of labor or work. Empirical research[ edit ] The use of empirical investigations in 1898 was a major revolution in social analysis. Some of the attributes included in the study were kindness , cheerfulness and honesty.
Two characteristics that children reported as least important included wealth and religion. Today, the study of intimate relationships uses participants from diverse groups and examines a wide variety of topics that include family relations, friendships , and romantic relationships, usually over a long period.
Research being conducted by John Gottman 2010 and his colleagues involves inviting married couples into a pleasant setting, in which they revisit the disagreement that caused their last argument. Although the participants are aware that they are being videotaped, they soon become so absorbed in their own interaction that they forget they are being recorded.
They monitor newlywed couples using self-reports over a long period a longitudinal study. Participants are required to provide extensive reports about the natures and the statusses of their relationships.
In a recent study on the impact of Hurricane Katrina on marital and partner relationships, researchers found that while many reported negative changes in their relationships, a number also experienced positive changes. The study reports three distinct findings showing how unhealthy habits are promoted in long-term, intimate relationships: Aristotle[ edit ] Over 2,300 years ago, interpersonal relationships were being contemplated by Aristotle.
Aristotle believed that by nature humans are social beings. People are attracted to relationships that provide utility because of the assistance and sense of belonging that they provide. In relationships based on pleasure, people are attracted to the feelings of pleasantness when the parties engage. However, relationships based on utility and pleasure were said to be short-lived if the benefits provided by one of the partners was not reciprocated. The philosophical analysis used by Aristotle dominated the analysis of intimate relationships until the late 1880s.
During this time theorists often included relationships into their current areas of research and began to develop new foundations which had implications in regards to the analysis of intimate relationships. Until the late 1950s, the majority of studies were non-experimental. Participants consisted mostly of college students, experimental methods and research were being conducted in laboratories and the experimental method was the dominant methodology in social psychology.
Approximately 300 researchers from all over the world attended the conference.