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Individual perceptions of love in late adolescence and early adulthood

Barbara Križe (2012) Individual perceptions of love in late adolescence and early adulthood. Diploma thesis.

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    In the thesis two concepts are examined. Namely, adolescents’ and adults’ personal understandings of a partnership love and secondly, their love experiences. The theoretical part discusses the love between two partners as a relationship which is determined by a person’s understanding of the loved one even though one is aware that the beloved does not match one’s ideal conception of a partnership. The difference between love and falling in love is that falling in love does not last a long time since it is based on idealizing partner’s characteristics. Special attention is paid to the importance of subjective theories and the developmental stages of adolescence and adulthood. The theoretical part concludes with description of destructive subjective conception of love, which has (mostly negative) effect on a partnership. In the empirical part I was interested if adolescents and adults differ in their personal understandings and experiences of love. I also wanted to determine whether males and females understand love differently. The survey sample covers 192 respondents; a hundred of them between the ages of 18 and 23 (adolescence) and 92 of them between the ages of 24 and 35 (adulthood).There were 87 men and 105 female respondents. The questionnaire used is based on the understanding of love defined by Milivojević (2009). The results showed that both groups of respondents understand love as accepting the partner, being honest with each other, a satisfying sexual relationship, complying with partner’s demands, falling in love and everlasting love. This is followed by conceptions determining love as showing attention and surrendering oneself to the beloved one, understanding what the beloved one thinks and needs, awareness that you become dependent upon the partner, jealousy, sacrifice, changing of personal characteristics and habits in order to show your love to your partner. In the end there are beliefs connected to fulfilling the expectations, valuating oneself on the basis of love one receives, the ability to love one partner only and indifference linked to when love is ended. The most common experiences with love and partnership range from complete trust, the feeling of fulfilment, the wish to be with the partner in times of crisis or to make him/her happy, having a satisfying sexual life, thinking alike and forgiveness to making sacrifice in the name of the partnership and spending free time together. The respondents are less experienced when it comes to their awareness what causes the partner to be in a bad mood, how to deal with jealousy and ending the relationship once their love is over. In the same category there are also demands for the partner to change, expectation that the partner would deny what’s dear or important to them, love for the partner regardless of his/her behaviour, and the change of personal traits one does not like in the partner. Statistically significant differences in personal conceptions among adolescents and adults occur in 4 of 21 claims related to conditioning of love, jealousy, fear of losing loved ones and undergoing personal changes in order for the partner to like them. 3 of 17 claims related to experience show differences in the intensity of jealousy and consequently the evaluation of love, sacrificing for the benefit of the relationship and the total amount of free time spent together. Statistically significant differences in personal conceptions of partnership love and love between the sexes is observed in 8 of 17 claims. These are: showing attention to your partner, jealousy as a demonstration of true love, sacrifice, total surrender to the partner, keeping the partner constantly in mind, and finally, the beliefs that you become dependent on the partner and that changing your personal characteristics for the sake of the partner is an expression of true love.

    Item Type: Thesis (Diploma thesis)
    Keywords: love, partnership, ideas about love, adolescents, adults
    Number of Pages: 75
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Alenka PolakMentor
    doc. dr. Helena Smrtnik VitulićComentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=9171529)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 720
    Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2012 09:40
    Last Modified: 12 Apr 2012 09:40
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/720

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