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An existential-phenomenological approach to understanding the experience of romantic love Lecovin, Karen Eve 1990

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AN EXISTENTIAL-PHENOMENOLOGICAL APPROACH TO UNDERSTANDING THE EXPERIENCE OF ROMANTIC LOVE  by KAREN EVE LECOVIN  B.G.S., Simon F r a s e r U n i v e r s i t y , 1984 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS  in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology  We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g to the required  THE UNIVERSITY OF  standard  BRITISH COLUMBIA  August, 1990 ©  Karen Eve L e c o v i n , 1990  In  presenting  degree at the  this  thesis  in  University of  partial  fulfilment  of  of  department  this thesis for or  by  his  or  requirements  British Columbia, I agree that the  freely available for reference and study. I further copying  the  representatives.  an advanced  Library shall make it  agree that permission for extensive  scholarly purposes may be her  for  It  is  granted  by the  understood  that  head of copying  my or  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  Department  of  Counselling Psychology  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  DE-6  (2/88)  Abstract  The purpose o f t h i s e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l s t u d y was t o i n v e s t i g a t e t h e meaning o f a r o m a n t i c l o v e e x p e r i e n c e . S i x a d u l t co-researchers discussed t h e i r romantic experience with the researcher.  love  The c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were  asked t o r e c a l l t h e t i m e b e f o r e , d u r i n g , and a f t e r t h e l o v e experience.  Two i n t e r v i e w s were conducted.  The i n i t i a l i n -  d e p t h i n t e r v i e w s were t a p e - r e c o r d e d and t r a n s c r i b e d .  The  t r a n s c r i p t s were a n a l y z e d a c c o r d i n g t o t h e method o u t l i n e d by C o l a i z z i  (1978).  the t r a n s c r i p t s .  Twenty-two themes were e x p l i c a t e d from  These were w r i t t e n i n t o an e x h a u s t i v e  d e s c r i p t i o n of a romantic love experience.  The e s s e n t i a l  s t r u c t u r e o f t h e e x p e r i e n c e was c u l l e d from t h e e x h a u s t i v e description.  The t r a n s c r i p t s , t h e themes, t h e e x h a u s t i v e  d e s c r i p t i o n and t h e e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e were v a l i d a t e d by the co-researchers.  The d e s c r i p t i o n o f a r o m a n t i c  love  e x p e r i e n c e i s a s t a r t i n g p o i n t b o t h f o r f u t u r e r e s e a r c h and f o r t h e development o f a p p r o p r i a t e c o u n s e l l i n g t e c h n i q u e s t o be used w i t h c l i e n t s who a r e r o m a n t i c by d i s p o s i t i o n o r by situation.  iii  Table of Contents Page ABSTRACT  i  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I.  V  INTRODUCTION History  1  Modern P e r i o d Significance  5  . o f t h e Study  6 8  Purpose o f t h e Study Definitions II.  i  10  REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Table 1 - Models o f Romantic  Love  13  The C u l t u r a l M o d e l Assumptions o f t h e C u l t u r a l Model  14  The L i m e r e n t M o d e l Assumptions o f t h e C u r r e n t Model  19  The C h e m i c a l M o d e l Assumptions o f t h e Chemical Model  24  The A d d i c t i o n  Model  Assumptions o f t h e A d d i c t i o n Romantic  Model  27  Love and t h e C l i n i c i a n s  31  Freud Assumptions o f Freud Froitira A s s u m p t i o n s o f Fromm  34  Maslow A s s u m p t i o n s o f Maslow  37  Branden Assumptions o f Branden  41  S o c i a l S c i e n t i s t s and Romantic Love Assumptions o f t h e S o c i a l S c i e n t i s t s  32  . . . .  44  iv Critique III.  IV.  51  METHOD Method  55  Co-Researchers.  57  Selection of Co-researchers  57  Demographic I n f o r m a t i o n  57  Phenomenological Interview  58  Analysis of Protocols  60  RESULTS A p p l i c a t i o n o f Themes  62  Themes  65  C l u s t e r s o f Themes  77  Three Phases o f a Romantic Love E x p e r i e n c e . Concept o f Viewing Exhaustive Exhaustive  Description  . . .  78  . . . .  79  Description  Concept f o rViewing t h e E s s e n t i a l S t r u c t u r e Essential Structure V.  80 . . .  88 88  DISCUSSION Theoretical Implications  93  L i m i t a t i o n s o f t h e Study  98  Implications  f o rCounselling  Implications  f o r Future Research  101 . . . 103  SUMMARY  104  BIBLIOGRAPHY  106  APPENDIX A:  L e t t e r o f I n t r o d u c t i o n a n d C o n s e n t . . . . 121  APPENDIX B:  Protocols  122  V  Acknowledgements  I w i s h t o e x p r e s s a p p r e c i a t i o n t o my c o - r e s e a r c h e r s f o r t h e i r w i l l i n g n e s s t o share t h e i r romantic l o v e experiences with  me. I a l s o w i s h t o e x p r e s s s p e c i a l thanks t o L a r r y Cochran  f o r h i s h e l p f u l guidance. A warm thank-you  t o s p e c i a l f r i e n d s Susan Landau,  Pamela B i e l a , H a r r i e t t Wolfe, and L i l l i a n M a u r i c e f o r t h e i r s u p p o r t and encouragement. F i n a l l y , thank you t o my space t o complete t h i s t h e s i s .  f a m i l y f o r p r o v i d i n g me  the  1  CHAPTER 1:  Introduction  What is this thing called love This funny thing called love Just who can solve its mystery Why should it make a fool of me  ( P o r t e r , 1929)  The aim o f t h i s t h e s i s i s t o i n v e s t i g a t e t h e meaning o f r o m a n t i c l o v e by s t u d y i n g human e x p e r i e n c e .  Throughout  h i s t o r y e v e r y Western c i v i l i z a t i o n has had i t s own concept of r o m a n t i c l o v e .  The t h r e a d s from t h e s e c o n c e p t s have been  i n t e r w o v e n t o form t h e f a b r i c o f r o m a n t i c l o v e a s we know i t today.  I t i s important, t h e r e f o r e , t o understand  each  t h r e a d and how i t changed o r r e f i n e d t h e c o n c e p t s o f romantic love p r e v i o u s l y held.  History  The o r i g i n o f r o m a n t i c l o v e i n t h e West i s g e n e r a l l y t r a c e d t o c o u r t l y l o v e i n f e u d a l t i m e s ( B e i g e l , 1951; Hunt, 1959).  However, an e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h e l i t e r a t u r e shows  e v i d e n c e o f i t a s e a r l y a s P l a t o ' s symposium (1951), which contains a systematic d i s c u s s i o n o f romantic love. P l u t a r c h , a Roman i n t h e f i r s t c e n t u r y B . C . ,  expressed  c o n c e r n t h a t r o m a n t i c l o v e was a t h r e a t t o t h e f a m i l y 1959).  (Hunt,  He f e a r e d t h a t a l o v e based on p e r s o n a l a t t r a c t i o n  was an a n t a g o n i s t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p which c o u l d e x i s t o n l y outside of-marriage.  The a d u l t e r o u s , p a s s i o n a t e i n d u l g e n c e  of d e s i r e was a l s o emphasized by O v i d i n h i s A r t o f Love  2  ( O v i d , 1959).  D u r i n g t h e d e c l i n e o f t h e Roman Empire,  i n f l u e n c e d by t h e C h r i s t i a n Church and i t s a s c e t i c i s m , t h e newly emerging i d e a o f l o v e emphasized s e x u a l St. Augustine  urged Romans t o abandon r o m a n t i c  restraint. love i n  f a v o u r o f a " b r o a d e r c o n c e p t i o n o f l o v e t h a t p l a c e s emphasis on e v e r l a s t i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y between husband and w i f e " ( L a n t z , 1982,  p. 4 4 8 ) .  C o u r t l y l o v e i n t h e m i d d l e ages d e s e r v e s p a r t i c u l a r mention because i t i s c e n t r a l t o modern u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f romantic  love.  passionate  The i d e a l s o f C h r i s t i a n l o v e (agape) and t h e  f e e l i n g s o f H e l l e n i c Rome (Eros) were combined  i n t o a new c o n c e p t i o n  of love.  Men a t t a c h e d t h e i r  spiritual  l o n g i n g s t o women who were s e x u a l l y u n r e a c h a b l e (Hunt, 1959).  The p r o t o t y p e  f o r t h i s model o f e n n o b l i n g  love i s  t h a t o f Dante's d e v o t i o n t o B e a t r i c e , w i t h whom he had no physical contact.  However, i n n o r t h e r n F r a n c e ,  the v e r s i o n  o f l o v e w h i c h d e v e l o p e d was more t o l e r a n t t o consummation o f attraction. Capellanus r u l e s governing  (1941) i n The A r t o f C o u r t l y Love c o d i f i e d it.  Love, he c l a i m e d , was n e c e s s a r i l y  a d u l t e r o u s , w h i l e f e e l i n g s o f a f f e c t i o n were more appropriate t o marriage.  There r e m a i n s , however, a  c o n t r o v e r s y as t o whether t h i s a c c u r a t e l y d e s c r i b e s t h e r u l e s o f c o u r t l y l o v e o r i f i t was meant as a s p o o f  (Singer,  1984) . T h i s p e r i o d o f h i s t o r y has come under c o n s i d e r a b l e debate t h r o u g h o u t t h e ages.  Many h i s t o r i a n s b e l i e v e t h a t  3  t h e c o u r t l y i n f l u e n c e was p o s i t i v e and t h a t l o v e was p u r i f i e d by t h e t r o u b a d o u r i n f l u e n c e (Hunt, 1959). Rougement (19 5 6 ) , however, m a i n t a i n s  D e n i s de  t h a t c o u r t l y l o v e had a  d e v a s t a t i n g i n f l u e n c e on Western s o c i e t y and i t s l e g a c y i s t h e s o u r c e o f much unhappiness and t h e h i g h d i v o r c e ra.te. Biegel  (1951) d i s a g r e e s , c o n c l u d i n g t h a t r o m a n t i c  love,  i n h e r i t e d from t h e c o u r t l y l o v e t r a d i t i o n , " p r o v i d e s one o f t h e few p o s i t i v e f a c t o r s i n mate s e l e c t i o n , a l l o w i n g and e m o t i o n a l  g r a t i f i c a t i o n i n t h e enormous s t r e s s o f  civilization"  (p. 3 3 4 ) .  Other t h e o r i s t s emphasize d i f f e r e n t a s p e c t s . (1974) d e s c r i b e s c o u r t l y l o v e as an " e n n o b l i n g ,  relief  Murstein burning  p a s s i o n " i m p o s s i b l e between husband and w i f e (p. 1 0 8 ) . Singer  (1984) emphasizes t h e importance o f f r u s t r a t e d s e x u a l  d e s i r e i n c o u r t l y l o v e , and B e i g e l (1951) p o i n t s o u t t h e s i m i l a r i t y between t h e e x p e r i e n c e  o f t h e c o u r t l y l o v e r and  t h a t o f a modern a d o l e s c e n t who i m p r e s s e s h i s g i r l peer-defined  with  feats.  Because o f t h e range o f emotions w h i c h come under t h e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of courtly love, i t i s d i f f i c u l t t o describe i t by a s i n g l e component.  However, i t does appear t h a t t h i s  period introduced the p o s s i b i l i t y of mutuality i n attraction. understanding  T h i s c o n c e p t t o o i s c e n t r a l t o t h e modern o f romantic  love. •  A n o t h e r theme, which emerged d u r i n g t h e R e n a i s s a n c e , was t h e dichotomy o f man's a t t i t u d e toward women (Hunt, 1959).  Woman was i d e a l i z e d f o r h e r b e a u t y , y e t l u s t e d a f t e r  4  and d e s p i s e d  f o r her s e x u a l i t y .  Perhaps r e l a t e d ,  p e r s e c u t i o n o f w i t c h e s grew t o a f e v e r i s h p i t c h because o f t h e b e l i e f t h a t c e r t a i n women had c o h a b i t e d w i t h t h e i n o r d e r t o g a i n power o v e r men  devil  (Hunt, 1959).  I n 16th C e n t u r y E n g l a n d , K i n g Henry V I I I p l a c e d  passion  o v e r r e a s o n , t h u s e s t a b l i s h i n g a b r e a k from t r a d i t i o n a l c o n c e p t s o f l o v e and m a r r i a g e .  For l o v e o f Anne B o l e y n ,  he  d e f i e d t h e Roman C a t h o l i c s a n c t i o n a g a i n s t d i v o r c e .  While  sex and l o v e were not t o l e r a t e d o u t s i d e o f m a r r i a g e ,  both  were a c c e p t a b l e w i t h i n i t (Hunt, 1959). The  E n l i g h t e n m e n t , w h i c h dominated 18th  t h o u g h t , saw emotion.  The  century  t h e a r i s t o c r a c y and upper m i d d l e - c l a s s i d e a l was  to separate  l o v e from sex  a l l o w i n g f r e e p l a y o f c a r n a l d e s i r e (Hunt, 1959). was  t h e e r a which f o s t e r e d an o b s e s s i o n w i t h t h e  r i t u a l s of g a l l a n t r y , f l i r t a t i o n ,  s e d u c t i o n and  scorn  by Yet, i t social  adultery.  These e x c e s s e s found l i t e r a r y e x p r e s s i o n i n t h e myths o f  Don  J u a n and t h e v i o l e n t e r o t i c i s m of t h e M a r q u i s de Sade. The modern v e r s i o n o f r o m a n t i c  l o v e began t o f l o w e r i n  t h e pre-modern w o r l d of i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n and u r b a n i z a t i o n . Stone (1977) and Trumbach (1978) documented t h e d e c l i n e i n p a t r i a r c h y and t h e r i s e of d o m e s t i c i t y w h i c h r e s u l t e d i n g r e a t e r v a l u e b e i n g p l a c e d on i n d i v i d u a l i s m ( L a n t z , 1982). As a r e s u l t , i n e a r l y 19th c e n t u r y Europe, i t was for  acceptable  b o t h sexes t o choose t h e i r mates on t h e b a s i s o f  romantic  attraction.  I n N o r t h A m e r i c a , where t h e r i g h t s of  5  t h e i n d i v i d u a l and r o m a n t i c  l o v e were i n t e r l o c k e d ,  even  g r e a t e r emphasis was g i v e n t o c h o i c e . V i c t o r i a n l o v e was c o n s i d e r e d t o be a d e f e n c e a g a i n s t t h e changes b r o u g h t by t h e i n d u s t r i a l r e v o l u t i o n 1959). filial  (Hunt,  Romantic f e e l i n g s towards woman tended t o merge w i t h love.  T h i s caused a p r u d i s h a t t i t u d e t o re-emerge i n  the face o f p o t e n t i a l l y incestuous temptations However, as i n o t h e r e r a s which s e p a r a t e d  (Hunt, 1959).  sexual  feelings  from a l o v e o b j e c t , t h e r e c o - e x i s t e d a p e r c e p t i o n o f a decadent c l a s s o f women w i t h whom men s a t i s f i e d t h e i r s e x u a l attitudes.  Freud's a n a l y s i s  of love i n t h i s period  i d e n t i f i e d a d i r e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p between f r u s t r a t e d  sexual  f e e l i n g s and t h e tendency t o i d e a l i z e (Hale, 1985).  Modern  Period  Romantic l o v e i n contemporary Western c i v i l i z a t i o n i s a s y n t h e s i s o f t h e t r e n d s which began i n a n t i q u i t y .  It  combines t h e s p i r i t u a l g o a l o f s e x u a l i t y from e a r l y Greece, the medieval i d e a l i z a t i o n o f t h e love o b j e c t , t h e P u r i t a n view t h a t love i s e s s e n t i a l t o marriage, s t r e s s on t h e e m o t i o n a l Goode, 1959;  and t h e V i c t o r i a n  a s p e c t s o f l o v e ( B e i g e l , 1951;  Hunt, 1959).  The modern r o m a n t i c  love  r e l a t i o n s h i p has become a p s y c h o l o g i c a l package encompassing "a c o m b i n a t i o n 1983,  o f b e l i e f s , i d e a s , and a t t i t u d e s "  p. x i ) . I t i s e x p e c t e d t o f u l f i l l  i n d i v i d u a l ' s needs.  a l l the  (Johnson,  6  Kilpatrick  (1974) d e f i n e s t h e r o m a n t i c  l o v e i d e a l as  t h e b e l i e f t h a t " f o r e v e r y g i r l t h e r e i s a boy; one day t h e y w i l l meet and f a l l  i n l o v e and l i v e h a p p i l y e v e r  (p. 2 5 ) . However, i t i s n o t f o r everyone.  after"  Weber (1987), i n  an a r t i c l e e n t i t l e d "Alone a t L a s t " , r e p o r t s t h a t a g e n e r a t i o n o f Americans v i e w r o m a n t i c t h e i r careers. "chemistry". it.  l o v e as a b a r r i e r t o  They a r e p r a g m a t i c and d i s t r u s t t h e As a r e s u l t , t h e y t r y t o s u p p r e s s and c o n t r o l  Y e t , even t h e y see i t as i n e v i t a b l e .  The r o m a n t i c  bond  has become one o f t h e few m e a n i n g f u l r e l a t i o n s h i p s w h i c h p r o v i d e a sense o f b e l o n g i n g  i n an a l i e n a t i n g  Significance  of the  world.  Study  S o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s have t r a d i t i o n a l l y r e g a r d e d l o v e as t o o m y s t e r i o u s ,  romantic  t o o t r i v i a l and t o o ephemeral t o  warrant s c i e n t i f i c i n v e s t i g a t i o n  ( P r a x e d i , 1982).  b e l i e f t h a t love, per se, i s not s c i e n t i f i c a l l y  The  respectable  as a s u b j e c t f o r s t u d y has l o n g a c t e d as a d e t e r r e n t t o t h e study o f romantic 1986).  love (Berscheid & Walster,  1978; G a y l i n ,  I n 1975, U n i t e d S t a t e s S e n a t o r W i l l i a m P r o x m i r e  objected t o grants given f o r the study o f romantic  l o v e on  grounds t h a t " n o t even t h e N a t i o n a l S c i e n c e F o u n d a t i o n can argue t h a t f a l l i n g i n l o v e i s a s c i e n c e " (Tennov, 1979).  As  a consequence, few r e s e a r c h e r s have wanted t h e i r names l i n k e d with love research  (Rubin,  1980).  Because t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f r o m a n t i c  love i s frequently  d i s m i s s e d , r e s e a r c h e r s and c l i n i c i a n s f a i l t o acknowledge  7  i t s i m p o r t a n c e f o r Western s o c i e t y . r a t i o n a l e f o r marriage.  Yet, i t i s the  A c c o r d i n g t o Johnson  primary  (1983),  Western s o c i e t y l i v e s w i t h t h e b e l i e f t h a t m a r r i a g e can be based on r o m a n t i c  love.  This i s contrary to  only  other  s o c i e t i e s w h i c h p r e f e r c h o i c e o f m a r i t a l p a r t n e r t o be based on b i r t h , economics, r e l i g i o n o r p o l i t i c s W a l s t e r and W a l s t e r ' s  study  (Goode, 1959).  (1978) i n d i c a t e s 97%  of  Americans f a l l i n l o v e a t l e a s t once d u r i n g t h e i r and t h a t one  i n t h r e e d i v o r c e (Weitzman, 1985).  lifetimes, The  r a t e o f f a m i l y breakdown, d i v o r c e and r e m a r r i a g e , t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p s based on r o m a n t i c failure.  The  suggests  l o v e a r e doomed t o  cost of d i v o r c e to s o c i e t y i s d e v a s t a t i n g ,  b o t h i n economic terms and people.  high  i n t h e p s y c h o l o g i c a l e f f e c t s on  There i s a need, t h e r e f o r e , t o know more about a  phenomenon t h a t has members.  How  i n f l u e n c e on t h e a c t i o n s o f a s o c i e t y ' s  t h e n can t h i s knowledge be  obtained?  Love cannot be u n d e r s t o o d o n l y i n terms o f i t s b e h a v i o r s , and t h e t e c h n o l o g y experience  physiologically.  does not e x i s t t o measure t h e One  way  t o more  fully  u n d e r s t a n d t h e phenomenon would be t o p l a c e emphasis on what s e t s i t a p a r t from o t h e r human e x p e r i e n c e s  (Pope, 1980).  A complete i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f t h e s u b j e c t i v e  experience  o f l o v e b e f o r e , d u r i n g , and a f t e r t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p has p r e v i o u s l y been u n d e r t a k e n . investigation.  not  T h i s s t u d y w i l l a t t e m p t such an  Common themes w i l l be e x p l o r e d i n t h e  r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e image of l o v e i n p o p u l a r c u l t u r e and t h e a c t u a l e x p e r i e n c e s  and a t t i t u d e s o f i n d i v i d u a l s .  A  8  b e t t e r understanding l o v e may  o f what i t means t o f a l l i n and out  h e l p i n d i v i d u a l s make sense o f t h e i r  (Pope, 1980).  of  experience  Furthermore, i n s i g h t i n t o the process might  make i t p o s s i b l e t o p l a n t h e r a p e u t i c i n t e r v e n t i o n s f o r p e o p l e i n t h i s s t a t e who  are e x p e r i e n c i n g  Purpose of  the  difficulties.  Study  E a r l y s c i e n t i f i c s t u d i e s on l o v e c o n c e n t r a t e  on  i n t e r p e r s o n a l a t t r a c t i o n t h a t can be d i r e c t l y o b s e r v e d , measured, and r e p l i c a t e d .  Hess and P o l t (1960) s t u d i e d  " p u p i l d i l a t i o n " as a measure o f a t t r a c t i o n ; Newcomb (1965) " r e c i p r o c i t y o f l i k i n g " ; Byrne (1971) " a t t i t u d e s i m i l a r i t y " ; and A r g y l e and Cook (1976) " f r e q u e n c y o f g l a n c e s " .  These  s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s r e l i e d on q u e s t i o n n a i r e s , r a t i n g s c a l e s and p e r s o n a l i t y s t u d i e s . Concentration  on p s y c h o s o c i a l and  demographic  c o r r e l a t e s o f f a l l i n g i n and out o f l o v e l e a v e s unexamined t h e m a t t e r of how phenomenon (Pope, 1980). ( G a y l i n , 1986;  l o v e r s experience  As a r e s u l t , some  P r a x e d i , 1982;  Tennov, 1980)  t h e l a b o r a t o r y method i n f a v o u r o f a n e c d o t a l f o c u s on t h e s u b j e c t i v e w o r l d o f t h e  the  researchers have d i s c a r d e d r e p o r t s which  individual.  D i f f e r e n t i n v e s t i g a t i v e techniques (1980),  relatively  are r e q u i r e d .  Pope  i n h i s r e v i e w of t h e m e t h o d o l o g i e s f o r e x a m i n i n g  r o m a n t i c l o v e , s t a t e s t h a t a "more complete e v a l u a t i o n o f our n o t i o n s about r o m a n t i c l o v e depends on t h e development o f a w i d e r v a r i e t y of i n v e s t i g a t i v e s t r a t e g i e s " (p.  329).  9  Farber  (1977) c o n c l u d e s  t h a t t h e r e i s a need f o r more  d i v e r s e research techniques romantic  which d e s c r i b e t h e experience o f  love i n adult populations.  D e s p i t e t h e l i m i t a t i o n s o f c u r r e n t e m p i r i c a l methods, t h e r e i s a h e s i t a t i o n t o adopt a q u a l i t a t i v e approach because o f t h e l a c k o f r i g o r o u s c o n t r o l .  Many q u a l i t a t i v e  approaches, however, a r e s u i t a b l e f o r t h e s t u d y o f r o m a n t i c love.  The e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l method i s  p a r t i c u l a r l y a p p l i c a b l e t o the study o f romantic  love  because i t p l a c e s emphasis on i t s meaning as u n d e r s t o o d from the inner world of the i n d i v i d u a l  (Solomon, 1981).  approach c o r r e s p o n d s w i t h Ruben F i n e ' s b e l i e f  This  (1985) t h a t  t h e r e s e a r c h e r needs t o be i n v o l v e d w i t h t h e r e s e a r c h i n o r d e r t o g i v e meaning t o t h e e x p e r i e n c e a s k i n g i n d i v i d u a l s what t h e e x p e r i e n c e  being explored. of romantic  By  love  means t o them, t h e r e s e a r c h e r g i v e s c o n s i d e r a t i o n t o t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s t h o u g h t s and f e e l i n g s (Branden, 1977; G a y l i n , 1986;  Person,  1988).  The r e s e a r c h e r c a n t h e n i s o l a t e  " c l u s t e r s o f themes" ( C o l a i z z i , 1978, p. 59) from t h e i n d i v i d u a l d e s c r i p t i o n s o f romantic  l o v e and i d e n t i f y an  e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e of the love experience.  Using the  e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l approach, t h i s s t u d y a t t e m p t t o answer t h e q u e s t i o n : romantic  love?  will  What i s t h e meaning o f  10  Definitions A s a t i s f a c t o r y d e f i n i t i o n o f romantic eluded s c i e n t i f i c Although  researchers  l o v e has so f a r  (Sternberg & Grajek,  1984).  t h e r e a r e s i m i l a r themes r u n n i n g t h r o u g h many  d e f i n i t i o n s of romantic phenomenon (Pope, 1980). o v e r i t s meaning.  love, i t i s not a c l e a r l y  understood  There i s c o n s i d e r a b l e c o n t r o v e r s y  A t one extreme o f a continuum, i t i s  i d e n t i f i e d w i t h sexual impulses  (Freud, 1963; James, 1950);  a t t h e o t h e r i t i s viewed as ephemeral ( P r a x e d i , 1982). Romantic l o v e i s d e s c r i b e d by one w r i t e r as an emotion that implies choice  (Solomon, 1981) and by a n o t h e r as a  f e e l i n g which o c c u r s w i t h o u t c h o i c e  ( P e e l , 1978).  Johnson  (1985) v i e w s l o v e as a mass phenomenon t h a t has s u p p l a n t e d r e l i g i o n i n man's s e a r c h f o r meaning, w h i l e Tennov (1980) v i e w s l o v e as h a v i n g an a s p e c t o f madness. Love, i n i t s most n e g a t i v e d e f i n i t i o n s , i s a d i s e a s e ( B u r t o n , 1963), an a d d i c t i o n ( P e e l e & Brodsky, 1976), a n e u r o s i s (Askew, 1965), a f e v e r and p a s s i n g f a n c y (de Rougement, 1956), n a r c i s s i s m (Freud, 1957), and a f o l l y o f t h e mind ( W a l s t e r & B e r s h e i d , 1971). O t h e r s have g i v e n l o v e p o s i t i v e a t t r i b u t e s .  Fromm  (1957) i d e n t i f i e s i n l o v e an i n t e n s i t y and enhanced v i t a l i t y that results i n a productive orientation.  Aberoni  v i e w s l o v e as e n a b l i n g t h e i n d i v i d u a l t o t r a n s c e n d Rizley  (1983) oneself.  (1980) sees l o v e as t h e b r e a k i n g down o f s o c i a l ,  economic, and p o l i t i c a l  boundaries  and Branden (1980) says  11  i t i s one o f t h e g r e a t e x p e r i e n c e s and c h a l l e n g e s o f a lifetime.  Branden and Branden (1987) d e f i n e l o v e as a  " p a s s i o n a t e s p i r i t u a l e m o t i o n a l - s e x u a l attachment  that  r e f l e c t s a h i g h r e g a r d f o r t h e v a l u e o f each o t h e r ' s p e r s o n " (p. 2 ) .  Kephart  (1973) s t r e s s e s p h y s i c a l a t t r a c t i o n  i d e a l i z a t i o n i n "a s t r o n g e m o t i o n a l i n v o l v e m e n t " Pope (1980) acknowledges b o t h p o s i t i v e and  and  (p. 9 2 ) . negative  a s p e c t s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e phenomenon: A preoccupation w i t h another person. A d e e p l y f e l t d e s i r e t o be w i t h a l o v e d one. A f e e l i n g o f i n c o m p l e t e n e s s w i t h o u t him o r h e r . T h i n k i n g o f t h e l o v e d one o f t e n , whether t o g e t h e r o r a p a r t . S e p a r a t i o n f r e q u e n t l y provokes f e e l i n g s o f genuine d e s p a i r o r e l s e t a n t a l i z i n g a n t i c i p a t i o n o f r e u n i t i n g . Reunion i s seen as b r i n g i n g f e e l i n g s o f e u p h o r i c e c s t a s y o r peace and fulfillment. (p. 4) A t t h i s p o i n t , , t h e r e does not e x i s t an e x a c t d e f i n i t i o n o f t h i s e x t r a o r d i n a r y human e x p e r i e n c e .  I n f a c t , as  (1988) p o i n t s o u t , r o m a n t i c l o v e cannot be  fully  communicated by any s i n g l e t h e o r e t i c a l v i e w p o i n t . i t may  Person  However,  be p o s s i b l e t o d e v e l o p a d e f i n i t i o n based on t h e  meaning o f r o m a n t i c l o v e t o i n d i v i d u a l s who experienced.  have l i v e d t h e  S i m i l a r i t i e s i n e m o t i o n a l c o n t e n t between  i n d i v i d u a l e x p e r i e n c e s a r e l i k e l y t o emerge t h r o u g h dialogue.  12  CHAPTER I I :  L i t e r a t u r e Review  U n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e m y s t e r y o f l o v e i s something one c a n r e a c h f o r , b u t no d e f i n i t i o n o f l o v e i s g o i n g t o p r o v i d e a d e f i n i t i v e answer. worthwhile process  Nevertheless,  t h e r e a d e r may f i n d i t i s  t o e x p l o r e t h e s u b j e c t i n a way t h a t i n i t i a t e s a  o f i n q u i r y t h a t l e a d s t o f u r t h e r q u e s t i o n i n g and  i n t e r m i t t e n t understanding  (McCready, 1981).  The e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l approach t o r e s e a r c h r e q u i r e s t h a t t h e r e s e a r c h e r , as w e l l as t h e s u b j e c t ' s a s s u m p t i o n s and p r e c o n c e p t i o n s ,  b o t h i m p l i c i t and e x p l i c i t ,  be made a p p a r e n t so t h a t t h e i r impact on t h e f i n d i n g s w i l l be r e c o g n i z e d .  Furthermore, these preconceptions  define the  manner i n which one approaches t h e s u b j e c t . One may b e g i n t o u n d e r s t a n d r o m a n t i c  l o v e by e x a m i n i n g  t h e c u r r e n t models found i n p h i l o s o p h i c a l , p s y c h o l o g i c a l and popular  forms i n o u r s o c i e t y .  v a r i o u s models o f r o m a n t i c e x p l a n a t i o n or romantic t h i s view.  Following i s a table of the  love.  Each p r e s e n t s i t s  l o v e and t h e i m p l i c a t i o n a t t a c h e d t o  The assumptions o f t h e model a r e d i s c u s s e d i n  more d e t a i l a t t h e end o f each s e c t i o n . model summarizes t h i s  chapter.  A c r i t i q u e o f each  13 Table  1  M o d e l s o f R o m a n t i c L o v e and T h e i r  Relation  Model  D e f i n i t i o n o f Romantic Love  Implications f o r this Definition  Cultural  Addressses emotional aspects according t o meanings s u p p l i e d by o u r Western C u l t u r e .  Emphasizes r o m a n t i c l o v e as s t r u c t u r e d by society.  Limerent  A f e e l i n g s t a t e comprised o f i t s own s e t o f characteristics.  Postulates twelve emotional components t h a t occur w i t h i n the person.  Chemical  A b i o c h e m i c a l approach to the love experience.  Explains emotional a t t a c h m e n t s from a neuroscience and c h e m i c a l framework.  Addiction  A dependency need c h a r a c t e r i z e d by an individual's inner desperation.  Presents romantic l o v e as attachment hunger r o o t e d i n childhood experiences of helplessness.  Clinicians  S e t s f o r t h l o v e as c e n t r a l t o an i n d i v i dual's well-being. This enables the c l i n i c i a n t o gain ins i g h t i n t o problems of l o v i n g  Explains love from a therapist's viewpoint.  Psychosocial  I d e n t i f i e s l o v e as s p e c i f i c observable characteristics  Analyses concrete behaviors i n individuals to f a c i l i t a t e understanding of t h i s complex emotion.  14 THE  CULTURAL MODEL  T h i s approach a d d r e s s e s t h e e m o t i o n a l r o m a n t i c l o v e , and how culture.  aspects  of  i t has been d e f i n e d by Western  R o b e r t Solomon, t h e l e a d i n g proponent o f  model, b e l i e v e s t h a t r o m a n t i c l o v e r e f l e c t s s o c i e t y  this (1981).  Baron (1983) n o t e s t h a t our l o v e emotions a r e shaped, molded and o r g a n i z e d  t h r o u g h meanings s u p p l i e d by our c u l t u r e .  Western c u l t u r e t e a c h e s us how we a r e i n l o v e and how  we a r e supposed t o f e e l when  t o i d e n t i f y l o v e emotions.  These  t h o u g h t s a r e echoed by R i z l e y (1980) i n h e r a s s e r t i o n t h a t r o m a n t i c l o v e i s t h e c u l t u r a l e x p r e s s i o n of t h e environment i n which i t i s o r i g i n a l l y adaptive. (1981),  According  t o Solomon  l o v e i s an emotion s u r r o u n d e d by myths and metaphors  p e c u l i a r t o t h e c u l t u r a l c o n c e p t w i t h i n w h i c h t h e emotion exists.  I n h i s w r i t i n g s , he a d d r e s s e s t h e metaphors t h a t  permeate our c u l t u r e and o f r o m a n t i c l o v e , and  i n f l u e n c e our p e r c e p t i o n s  and  views  i t s accompanying emotions.  I n t r a c i n g t h e development o f r o m a n t i c l o v e h i s t o r i c a l l y , Solomon (1981) has e l i c i t e d s e v e r a l preconditions for i t s existence.  These a r e  on t h e c o n c e p t o f i n d i v i d u a l i t y and  (a) an emphasis  (b) p e r s o n a l c h o i c e  as  t h e c o r e o f t h e m a t i n g and m a r r i a g e r i t u a l . The  c u l t u r a l pressures  d o u b l e b i n d f o r t h o s e who  of western t r a d i t i o n create a  a r e aware o f t h e f a n t a s i e s , y e t  acknowledge l o n g i n g f o r t h e emotion. t h i s bind s u c c i n c t l y ,  Tweedie (1979) s t a t e s  15 we d i e of l o v e and d i e w i t h o u t i t . . . l o v e , t r u e l o v e i s t h e r a r e s t o f a l l emotions and one t h a t has been c o n s p i c u o u s by i t s absence s i n c e mankind dropped from t h e t r e e s , (p. 90) Solomon (1988) emphasizes t h a t l o v e i s an o r d i n a r y cosmic emotion t h a t i s not e s s e n t i a l t o t h e w e l l b e i n g  nonof  a l l i n d i v i d u a l s . Solomon f u r t h e r d e f i n e s r o m a n t i c l o v e h a v i n g an " i n n a t e n e s s " . r e c i p r o c a l , s e x u a l and  Romantic l o v e , f o r Solomon, i s i s associated with a p a r t i c u l a r  p e r s o n , c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a s h a r e d i d e n t i t y . emotion" p e r c e i v e d by Solomon has an c o n s t r u c t i o n and  as  The  intelligent  i s s t r u c t u r e d by c o n c e p t s and  w h i c h g i v e meaning t o t h e e x p e r i e n c e . however, n o t e s t h a t t h e emotions may  "love  Knapp  judgement (1963),  be so i n t e r w o v e n w i t h  t h e o t h e r b e h a v i o r a l p r o c e s s e s t h a t t h e y cannot e a s i l y s p l i t o f f i n t o a separate  be  compartment.  Knapp (1963) o b s e r v e s t h a t emotions a r e d e t e r m i n e d by the p r e v a i l i n g c u l t u r a l stereotypes, e a r l y learned  patterns  and  the  inherited differences.  Solomon (1981) d e t a i l s  metaphors s o c i e t y uses t o d e s c r i b e t h e l o v e e x p e r i e n c e  and  c r i t i c i z e s each f o r i t s f a i l u r e t o f u l l y e x p l a i n t h e emotional  content.  expressions cultural  Yet t h e s e metaphors a r e t h e v e r b a l  o f our e m o t i o n a l  experiences  within a defined  context.  The metaphors of l o v e r e f l e c t t h e s o c i e t y i n w h i c h live.  The words used t o d i s c u s s b u s i n e s s ,  we  politics,  r e l i g i o n , and communication a r e a l s o used t o d e s c r i b e  love.  Solomon's (1081) t w e l v e d i s t i n c t metaphors a r e as f o l l o w s :  16  a)  The economic metaphor promotes l o v e as an exchange, a s e x u a l p a r t n e r s h i p , a t r a d e - o f f o f i n t e r e s t s , c o n c e r n s and e s p e c i a l l y o f a p p r o v a l . The economic metaphor g i v e s a d e t a i l e d a c c o u n t o f the concrete motivations however, t h e e x p e r i e n c e  b)  f o r love.  I t ignores,  o f l o v e (p. 1 7 ) .  The work metaphor v i e w s t h e l o v e r e l a t i o n s h i p as a challenge.  The r e l a t i o n s h i p s t a k e s on a l i f e o f  i t s own as b o t h p a r t n e r s "work" t o m a i n t a i n t h e  c)  relationship  (p. 1 9 ) .  The d r a m a t i c  metaphor i m p l i e s t h a t l o v e i s a v e r y  s e r i o u s e n t e r p r i s e i n w h i c h each p a r t n e r has a defined r o l e to play  (p. 2 0 ) . Solomon n o t e s t h a t  t h o s e who engage i n t h e d r a m a t i c  model t e n d t o  keep t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n t h e p u b l i c eye (p. 1 9 ) . d)  B a n a l i t y as metaphor r e f e r s t o t h e t e n d e n c y t o d i s c u s s l o v e i n terms o f r e l a t i o n s h i p s and relating.  T h i s i s a throwback t o t h e l a t e  sixties  and e a r l y s e v e n t i e s when t h e emphasis on m e e t i n g one's own needs and e x p r e s s i n g one's own needs was considered  a key element i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  Open  d i s c u s s i o n s o f l o v e , work, anger, s e x a l l came under t h e t o p i c known as " r e l a t i n g " e)  (p. 2 0 ) .  The communications metaphor d i s c u s s e s l o v e i n t h e e l e c t r o n i c terms t h a t permeate o u r l a n g u a g e . F o r example, a l o v e r e l a t i o n s h i p c o u l d be  considered  t o have good v i b r a t i o n s o r t h e p a r t n e r s might  17  engage i n p o s i t i v e feedback t o one a n o t h e r . i t s e l f i s not e x p r e s s e d :  the i n d i v i d u a l s  communicate about l o v e (p. f)  The  Love  21).  p o e t , R i l k e , w r i t e s o f l o v e as "two  r e a c h i n g out t o g r e a t each o t h e r . "  The  solitudes notion  of  l o v e b e i n g a c u r e f o r one's l o n e l i n e s s i s a negative view of l o v e . a p o s i t i v e experience  Solomon f e e l s t h a t l o v e i s w h i c h a r i s e s out o f  already f u l l s o c i a l l i f e g)  The m e t a p h y s i c a l  (p.  22).  model o f l o v e i m p l i e s t h a t  i s t h e r e a l i z a t i o n of bonds t h a t a r e formed.  an  love  already  T h i s approach does not a l l o w f o r t h e  development of a r e l a t i o n s h i p .  I t assumes t h a t  t h e l o v e r e l a t i o n s h i p w i l l e x i s t i n f u l l upon t h e m e e t i n g o f t h e two d e s t i n e d i n d i v i d u a l s (p. h)  I n h i s b r i e f o v e r v i e w o f l o v e as a  24).  medical  metaphor, Solomon r e f e r s t o P e e l e ' s work on  love  a d d i c t i o n and Fromm's w r i t i n g s on t h e absence o f l o v e i n our c u l t u r e .  D e f i n i n g l o v e i n terms o f a  " s i c k n e s s " model d e n i e s t h e p o s i t i v e t h a t t h e emotion does p r o v i d e i)  The  (p.  25).  a e s t h e t i c model i s s i m i l a r t o t h e  of romantic love. love:  admiring  The  emphasis i s on  the beloved  experience  idealization unrequited  from a d i s t a n c e  (p.  26) . j)  The  c o n t r a c t model o f l o v e i s based on t h e  o f commitment and o b l i g a t i o n .  notion  Commitment i s  18  e s s e n t i a l t o t h e c o n t r a c t even though emotion i s not r e q u i r e d k)  (p. 27) .  Solomon d i s c u s s e s t h e b i o l o g i c a l metaphor o f l o v e n o t i n g t h a t l o v e i s n o t an i n s t i n c t , b u t a p a r t i c u l a r a t t i t u d e toward s e x and p a i r - b o n d i n g (p. 2 8 ) . Solomon a l s o n o t e s t h a t where s e x and l o v e come t o g e t h e r expression  i t i s i n the realm of  s p e c i f i c t o a c u l t u r e which s p e c i f i e s  t h e meaning o f l o v e and s e x (p. 2 8 ) . 1)  Solomon s u p p o r t s emotion.  t h e metaphor t h a t l o v e i s an  He q u e r i e s t h e d e s c r i p t i o n s used t o  d e s c r i b e t h e " f e e l i n g s " o f l o v e (p. 3 1 ) . Solomon's c o n c e r n i s w i t h how s o c i e t y a i d s o r h i n d e r s the experience  of romantic love.  I t i s h i s opinion that  t h e myths and metaphors o f l o v e f a l l i n t o t w e l v e  categories.  The v a l u e o f r o m a n t i c l o v e and i t s b a s i s i s d e t e r m i n e d , t o some e x t e n t , by t h e r e s e a r c h e r s  of romantic love.  Assumptions o f t h e C u l t u r a l Model 1)  Love i s an emotion.  2)  Love i s i n f l u e n c e d by c u l t u r a l and s o c i e t a l expectations.  3)  T h e o r i s t s w o r k i n g w i t h t h i s model have d e f i n i t e assumptions which stem from t h e i r own c u l t u r e .  4)  Love i n a c u l t u r a l c o n t e x t c o n c e r n s i t s e l f the mating ( e x t e r n a l r i t u a l ) versus internal  process).  with  l o v i n g (the  19  THE LIMERENT MODEL The l i m e r e n t approach t o r o m a n t i c l o v e h o l d s limerence  that  has i t s own d i s t i n c t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s .  section w i l l experience  explore the nature of limerence  This  and t h e  o f r o m a n t i c l o v e w i t h s p e c i a l emphasis on t h e  work o f Dorothy Tennov. In d e f i n i n g limerence, emotional  twelve  components t h a t o c c u r w i t h i n t h e l i m e r e n t  individual. 1)  Tennov (1980) l i s t s  These a r e :  I n t r u s i v e t h i n k i n g about t h e o b j e c t o f p a s s i o n a t e desire  ( t h e l i m e r e n t o b j e c t o r L.O.) who i s a  p o s s i b l e sexual partner  (p. 2 3 ) .  2)  A c u t e l o n g i n g f o r r e c i p r o c a t i o n (p. 2 3 ) .  3)  Dependency o f mood on L.O.'s a c t i o n s o r , more a c c u r a t e l y , t h e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f L.O.'s a c t i o n s with respect t o the p r o b a b i l i t y of r e c i p r o c a t i o n (p. 2 4 ) .  4)  I n a b i l i t y t o r e a c t l i m e r e n t l y t o more t h a n one person a t a time (exceptions t o t h i s occur only a f t e r limerence l a s t fading)  5)  i s a t low ebb - e a r l y on o r i n t h e  (p. 2 4 ) .  Some f l e e t i n g and t r a n s i e n t r e l i e f from  unrequited  limerent passion through v i v i d imagination of a c t i o n by L . O . t h a t means r e c i p r o c a t i o n (p. 2 4 ) . 6)  F e a r o f r e j e c t i o n and sometime i n c a p a c i t a t i n g b u t always u n s e t t l i n g shyness i n L.O.'s p r e s e n c e ,  20  e s p e c i a l l y i n t h e b e g i n n i n g and whenever u n c e r t a i n t y s t r i k e s (p. 2 4 ) . 7)  I n t e n s i f i c a t i o n t h r o u g h a d v e r s i t y ( a t l e a s t up t o a p o i n t ) (p. 24) .  8)  A c u t e s e n s i t i v i t y t o any a c t o r thought o r c o n d i t i o n t h a t can be i n t e r p r e t e d , and an extraordinary a b i l i t y t o devise or invent r e a s o n a b l e e x p l a n a t i o n s f o r why t h e n e u t r a l i t y t h a t t h e d i s i n t e r e s t e d o b s e r v e r might see i s i n f a c t a s i g n o f h i d d e n p a s s i o n i n t h e L.O. (p. 2 4 ) .  9)  An a c h i n g i n t h e h e a r t (a r e g i o n i n t h e c e n t r e f r o n t o f t h e c h e s t ) when u n c e r t a i n t y i s s t r o n g (p. 24) .  10)  Buoyancy (a f e e l i n g o f w a l k i n g on a i r ) when r e c i p r o c a t i o n seemed e v i d e n t (p. 2 4 ) .  11)  A general i n t e n s i t y of f e e l i n g that leaves other concerns  12)  i n t h e background (p. 2 4 ) .  A remarkable  a b i l i t y t o emphasize what i s t r u l y  a d m i r a b l e i n L.O. and t o a v o i d d w e l l i n g on t h e n e g a t i v e , even t o respond w i t h compassion f o r t h e n e g a t i v e and r e n d e r i t e m o t i o n a l l y , i f n o t p e r c e p t u a l l y , i n t o a n o t h e r p o s i t i v e a t t r i b u t e (p. 24) . As a consequence o f h e r i n t e r v i e w s w i t h l i m e r e n t s , Tennov (198 0)  notes " t h a t l i m e r e n c e , r a t h e r t h a n b e i n g an  e v e n t , i s a p r o c e s s o f thought, an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f e v e n t s " (p. 1 8 ) .  21  Limerence may  b e g i n as a b a r e l y p e r c e p t i b l e f e e l i n g o f  increased i n t e r e s t i n a p a r t i c u l a r person.  "A new  someone  t a k e s on a s p e c i a l meaning o r an o l d f r i e n d i s seen i n a different light"  (p. 17).  T h i s d i s t i n c t i v e moment w h i c h t h e  F r e n c h c a l l "coupe de f o u d r e "  ( t h u n d e r b o l t ) when t h e eyes  l o c k i n a t r e m u l o u s gaze, " i s t h e b e g i n n i n g o f a s t a t e  ...  u n l i k e a n y t h i n g e l s e t h a t has e v e r happened" (p. 19). Thoughts f o c u s on t h e o b j e c t of d e s i r e (a c e r t a i n l o o k , a special smile).  The  other a c t i v i t i e s .  f a n t a s y l i f e of l i m e r e n t s o v e r r i d e s a l l  R e c i p r o c a t i o n o f f e e l i n g from t h e  loved  o b j e c t becomes t h e main g o a l and an e x t r a o r d i n a r y amount o f t i m e i s s p e n t daydreaming about t h e l o v e o b j e c t . emotional  s t a t e has  i t s own  This  set of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g i t from t h e o t h e r t y p e s o f l o v e . P h y s i o l o g i c a l l y t h e p e r s o n caught up i n a l i m e r e n t s t a t e experiences  heart p a l p i t a t i o n s , trembling, p a l l o r , blushing,  and a g e n e r a l weakness i n t h e p r e s e n c e ( r e a l o r imagined) o f t h e l o v e d one.  The  emotional  attached t o the process  are:  and b e h a v i o r a l c o r r e l a t e s awkwardness, s h y n e s s ,  f e a r f u l n e s s , a p p r e h e n s i o n , n e r v o u s n e s s , and a n x i e t y t h a t one's a c t i o n s may limerent object's  b r i n g about a n e g a t i v e change i n t h e behavior.  Tennov (1979) s t a t e s t h a t l i m e r e n c e w i t h a l l i t s j o y s and p a i n i s a p o s i t i v e e x p e r i e n c e of b o t h sexes o v e r t h e i r l i f e t i m e .  t h a t a f f e c t s many p e o p l e Tennov i s most emphatic  t h a t l i m e r e n t s , as a group, a r e " f u l l y f u n c t i o n i n g , e m o t i o n a l l y s t a b l e , n o n - p a t h o l o g i c a l members o f s o c i e t y " (p.  22  89).  She acknowledges, however, t h a t t h e n a t u r e o f  l i m e r e n c e i s such t h a t i t e c l i p s e s  other r e l a t i o n s h i p s  and  can l e a d t o s e l f - i s o l a t i o n on t h e p a r t o f t h e l i m e r e n t . Tennov c o n s i d e r s s e x u a l a t t r a c t i o n t o be an aspect of limerence.  important  However, she n o t e s t h a t a n x i e t i e s and  shyness e x p e r i e n c e d by t h e l i m e r e n t p e r s o n i n t h e o f t h e b e l o v e d may  presence  i n t e r f e r e with sexual functioning.  Limerence does not appear t o be c o m p a t i b l e w i t h t h e "immodest b e h a v i o r s " t h a t a r i s e i n s e x u a l (Tennov, 1980,  p.  situations  79).  O t h e r t h e o r i s t s have i d e n t i f i e d a s t a t e s i m i l a r t o Tennov's l i m e r e n c e , but t h e y v a r y i n t h e v a l u e t h e y p l a c e on the experience.  Ellis  (1954), as a r e s u l t o f h i s r e s e a r c h  on s e x u a l mores, d i s d a i n s r o m a n t i c l o v e f o r i t s e x c l u s i v i t y , i r r a t i o n a l i t y , and i d e a l i z a t i o n o f t h e b e l o v e d o t h e r . n o t e s t h a t r o m a n t i c l o v e tends t o c r e a t e an situation:  artificial  t h e b e l o v e d i s p e r c e i v e d as p o s s e s s i n g  necessary c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . i t i s the r e l a t i o n s h i p  He  certain  In r e a l i t y , according to E l l i s ,  t h a t r e q u i r e s these  i n o r d e r t o e x i s t and not t h e l o v e d one.  characteristics This p e c u l i a r i t y  o f r o m a n t i c l o v e - t h e i d e a l i z a t i o n f a c t o r and t h e need f o r m u t u a l i t y can c r i p p l e a budding Stendhal  relationship.  (1975), i n h i s c o l l e c t i o n o f e s s a y s ,  De  1'Amor, d e s c r i b e s p a s s i o n a t e l o v e as a c r y s t a l l i z a t i o n : enhancement o f t h e e x i s t i n g f e a t u r e s o f t h e l o v e d  one.  C r y s t a l l i z a t i o n d i f f e r s from i d e a l i z a t i o n i n t h a t t h e p e r c e p t i o n o f d e f e c t s ceases t o be an impediment.  an  23  I d e a l i z a t i o n molds t h e image o f t h e b e l o v e d needed c o n c e p t i o n o f t h e Peck (1978),  to f i t the  individual.  i n The Road L e s s T r a v e l l e d , d e s c r i b e s  romantic  l o v e as c r e a t i n g a f e e l i n g o f oneness between  people.  The  l o v e d one  Johnson (1983),  i s seen t h r o u g h a t i s s u e of  i n speaking  of romantic  two  illusion.  love, notes t h a t  l i f e becomes i n t e n s e , enormous w i t h bouyant f e e l i n g s and empty and  f l a t without  t h e term p a s s i o n a t e  it.  B e r s c h e i d and W a l s t e r  love to describe limerence.  (1971) use The  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which t h e y a s s i g n t o t h i s e m o t i o n a l are:  i n t e n s i t y , a b s o r p t i o n i n one p e r s o n ,  state  t e n d e r as w e l l as  s e x u a l f e e l i n g s , e l a t i o n and p a i n , a n x i e t y and  relief,  a l t r u i s m and j e a l o u s y , p h y s i o l o g i c a l a r o u s a l and a l o n g i n g f o r complete f u l f i l l m e n t which can o n l y be g r a n t e d by  the  love object.  Assumptions of t h e L i m e r e n t Model 1)  Limerence i s an e l e v a t e d s e n s a t i o n encompassing buoyancy of f e e l i n g s , a c u t e l o n g i n g , and an of the  2)  aching  heart.  Limerence i s an overwhelming f e e l i n g t h a t governs behaviour.  3)  Limerence i s a normal  4)  Limerence i s time-bound t o a p p r o x i m a t e l y years.  experience. two  24  THE  CHEMICAL MODEL OF LOVE  T h i s approach i s based upon t h e v i e w t h a t r o m a n t i c i s a biochemical product  occurring within a s o c i a l ,  and b i o l o g i c a l c o n t e x t .  This view overlaps w i t h  limerent, emotional  and a d d i c t i v e p e r s p e c t i v e s .  love  cultural  the Leibowitz  (1983) n o t e s t h a t b i o c h e m i c a l r e s p o n s e s might be t h e b a s i s f o r i n t e n s i t y experienced emotional  attachments.  by some i n d i v i d u a l s i n t h e i r  "A g i d d y h i g h s i m i l a r t o  an  amphetamine b o o s t i n v a r i a b l y accompanies t h e s t a t e o f f a l l i n g i n l o v e " (p. 102).  R e s e a r c h has d e f i n i t i v e l y shown  t h a t a n e u r o l o g i c a l and c h e m i c a l p r o c e s s u n d e r l i e s t h e v a r i o u s a c t i v i t i e s w h i c h have been found t o be a d d i c t i v e (Pargman & Baker, 1980;  P e e l e , 1985;  Weisz & Thompson,  1983) . I t has been noted t h a t p e o p l e i n l o v e have r e d u c e d l e v e l s of l a c t i c a c i d i n t h e i r blood, they are l e s s t i r e d , have h i g h e r l e v e l s of e n d o r p h i n s and, euphoric  (Money, 1980).  The  love experience  components: component.  t h e r e f o r e , a r e more  might be c o n s i d e r e d t o have  two  a f e e l i n g component and a b o d i l y a r o u s a l The p h y s i o l o g i c a l d e t e r m i n a n t s  or b o d i l y arousal  c r e a t e d by t h e l o v e emotions a r e f a s t b r e a t h i n g , f e e l i n g o f euphoria, aggression  r a p i d p u l s e , c o m p u l s i o n t o t a l k and ( F a s t & B e r n s t e i n , 1983).  comfortable  This set of responses  i n a g i v e n s i t u a t i o n a l l o w s each i n d i v i d u a l t o f e e l i n a unique emotional  state.  Leibowitz  (1983) p r o v i d e s  a  25  d e t a i l e d d e f i n i t i o n of the f e e l i n g aspect of romantic  love  and i n d i c a t e s t h a t t h e s e f e e l i n g s have a b i o l o g i c a l b a s i s : a)  a sense o f i n t e n s e e x c i t e m e n t  b)  g r e a t calm o r g r e a t l y e n f o r c e d w e l l - b e i n g i n t h e presence  c)  o f t h e o t h e r (p. 8 8 ) ;  a d e s i r e t o be w i t h , t o r e v e a l o n e s e l f t o , and t o be known and u n d e r s t o o d  d)  (p. 8 8 ) ;  by t h e o t h e r (p. 88) ;  a s t r o n g d e s i r e f o r s e x u a l i n t i m a c y whether a c t e d upon o r n o t (p. 8 8 ) ;  e)  p o s s e s s i v e n e s s i n r e g a r d t o a t t e n t i o n and a f f e c t i o n from t h e o t h e r (p. 8 8 ) ;  f)  a s t r o n g concern  f o r t h e w e l f a r e o f t h e o t h e r (p.  8 8 ) ; and, g)  an element o f i d e a l i z a t i o n which i n v o l v e s s e e i n g t h e o t h e r as more a t t r a c t i v e , n o b l e and intelligent  (p. 8 8 ) .  S t u d i e s i n d i c a t e t h a t extreme b i o l o g i c a l changes, whether i n d u c e d t h r o u g h drugs o r o t h e r  heightened  e x p e r i e n c e s , can l e a d t o p a t t e r n s o r s t a t e s o f e x h i l a r a t i o n (Milkman & S u n d e r w i r t h ,  1983).  Therefore, the b i o l o g i c a l  p r i n c i p l e t h a t governs how drugs a f f e c t us a l s o a p p l i e s t o romance.  C e r t a i n b r a i n n e u r o t r a n s m i t t e r s a r e i n v o l v e d and  t h e s e n e u r o t r a n s m i t t e r s c r e a t e surges i n t h e b r a i n ' s c h e m i c a l system upon meeting someone a t t r a c t i v e Sunderwirth,  1983).  (Milkman &  Hence, a d d i c t i o n can be d e f i n e d as  s e l f - i n d u c e d changes i n t h e n e u r o t r a n s m i t t e r s o f t h e b r a i n (Milkman & S u n d e r w i r t h ,  1983).  The p l e a s u r e c e n t r e i n t h e  26  l i m b i c a r e a o f t h e b r a i n i s s t i m u l a t e d by n o r e p i n e p h r i n e w h i c h i s t r i g g e r e d by t h e body upon e n c o u n t e r i n g a p l e a s a n t memory, f a n t a s y o r e x p e r i e n c e .  L e i b o w i t z (1983) n o t e s t h a t  l o v e and romance i s seen as t h e most p o w e r f u l a c t i v a t i o n o f the pleasure centre.  Consequently,  much i n common w i t h a d r u g - i n d u c e d  t h e romantic s t a t e has s t a t e ( L e i b o w i t z , 1983).  In order t o maintain s t i m u l a t i o n of t h i s centre, i n d i v i d u a l s c o n t i n u o u s l y seek o u t r o m a n t i c and r e w a r d i n g e x p e r i e n c e s . W i n a r i c k (1985) c o n s i d e r s t h e f a c t o r s i n v o l v e d i n t h e c h o i c e o f a l o v e r t o be complex, u n c o n s c i o u s , c o m p u l s i v e and almost u n c o n t r o l l a b l e .  F a s t and B e r n s t e i n (1983) l i n k t h e  apocrine glands t o a p e r c e p t i o n o f odors:  t h i s same l i n k i s  between s m e l l , emotion and s e x u a l c h e m i s t r y .  The  hypothalamus i s now r e g a r d e d as t h a t p a r t o f t h e b r a i n  which  e n a b l e s us t o respond t o a n o t h e r ' s s u b l i m i n a l s c e n t messages. Assumptions o f t h e Chemical 1)  Model  Love has b o t h a p s y c h o l o g i c a l and a p h y s i o l o g i c a l basis.  2)  Love c a n be c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a p h y s i c a l change m a n i f e s t e d by o b s e r v a b l e symptoms.  3)  Love i s e l i c i t e d by a s i g n i f i c a n t o t h e r ( r e a l o r imagined).  4)  The s i g n i f i c a n c e o f l o v e i s governed by b i o l o g i c a l determinants.  27  THE ADDICTION MODEL T h i s s e c t i o n presents the l e a d i n g proponents o f t h e a d d i c t i o n model and s e t s f o r t h t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between romantic  l o v e and a d d i c t i o n .  Romantic l o v e i s p e r c e i v e d as a l l - e n c o m p a s s i n g , submerging o f t h e s e l f w i t h t h e o t h e r .  a  P e e l e & Brodsky  (1975) w r i t e e x t e n s i v e l y on a d d i c t i v e b e h a v i o r s  covering  m e d i c a l r e s e a r c h and b i o - c h e m i c a l a s p e c t s o f a d d i c t i o n , as w e l l as t h e s o c i o - e c o n o m i c  c o n d i t i o n s t h a t can l e a d t o  addiction.  Love i s one o f t h e many e x p r e s s i o n s o f t h e s e  behaviors.  Peele  (1975) r e d e f i n e d t h i s p a r t i c u l a r  e x p e r i e n c e o f l o v e as a "dependency need" n o t i n g t h a t t h e i n t e n s i t y o f t h e e x p e r i e n c e was f u e l e d by an i n n e r d e s p e r a t i o n r a t h e r t h a n a d e s i r e t o know t h e o t h e r .  The  i n d i v i d u a l who i s i n t h e g r i p o f t h i s i n t e n s e emotion goes t o g r e a t extremes t o ensure c o n s t a n c y  of the partner's  r e c i p r o c a t i o n as w e l l as b e i n g dependent on t h e maintenance of the r e l a t i o n s h i p . R e s e a r c h i l l u s t r a t e s t h a t a d d i c t i o n a r i s e s n o t from substance  abuse, b u t as a consequence o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s  search f o r a c e r t a i n experience 1983).  (Milkman & S u n d e r w i r t h ,  F o r example, s t u d i e s conducted w i t h Vietnam  veterans  ( Z i n b e r g , 1971), as w e l l as m e d i c a l p a t i e n t s ( Z i n b e r g & Robertson,  1974) i n d i c a t e t h a t drug use was c o n f i n e d t o a  s p e c i f i c s i t u a t i o n i n t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s l i f e , and d i d n o t c o n t i n u e once t h e s i t u a t i o n had changed.  When d r u g u s e  c o n t i n u e s , i t can be c o n s i d e r e d a d d i c t i v e .  S i m i l a r l y , when  28  a r e l a t i o n s h i p t a k e s on a c o n t r o l l i n g a s p e c t i t a l s o assumes an a d d i c t i v e q u a l i t y .  R u s s i a n o f f (1956), i n h e r m e d i c a l  p r a c t i c e , n o t e s t h a t women t e n d t o pursue m a r r i a g e and f a m i l y t o t h e d e t r i m e n t o f t h e i r own s e l f and c a r e e r development.  I n o t h e r words, even p r i o r t o t h e  r e l a t i o n s h i p , t h e n o t i o n o f marriage e x e r t s a c o n t r o l as t o how  some women conduct t h e i r l i v e s and s t r u c t u r e t h e i r  lifestyle. A d d i c t i o n i s p e r c e i v e d as h a v i n g a s o c i o - c u l t u r a l  base,  i t s genesis being e a r l y childhood experiences w i t h i n t h e familial setting  (Diamond, 1989; Money, 1980; P e e l e , 1975).  For example, n o n - r e s o l u t i o n o f c o n f l i c t s around such i s s u e s as autonomy and dependency may be viewed as c o n t r i b u t i n g f a c t o r s i n a d u l t h o o d t o a d d i c t i v e b e h a v i o r s (Milkman & S u n d e r w i r t h , 1983; P e e l e , 1975; Saheebey, 1985). P e e l e (1975) notes t h e a d d i c t i v e e x p e r i e n c e i s assumed t o have f i v e b a s i c c r i t e r i a : 1)  The e x p e r i e n c e absorbs a p e r s o n ' s c o n s c i o u s n e s s so as t o e r a d i c a t e a l l awareness o f p a i n and a n x i e t y (p. 6 5 ) .  2)  The e x p e r i e n c e dominates t h e p e r s o n ' s l i f e t o t h e extent t h a t t h e person i s unable t o d e r i v e s a t i s f a c t i o n from o t h e r i n v o l v e m e n t s  3)  (p. 6 5 ) .  The e x p e r i e n c e g i v e s t h e p e r s o n t h e f e e l i n g o f power t h a t he/she i s i n c o n t r o l o f t h e environment and t h a t he/she i s a w o r t h w h i l e p e r s o n ( t h e  29  f e e l i n g o f b e i n g o u t o f c o n t r o l becomes t h e impetus t o c o n t i n u e d  i n v o l v e m e n t ) (p. 6 5 ) .  4)  The e x p e r i e n c e  c e a s e s t o be p l e a s u r a b l e  5)  The e x p e r i e n c e  i s predictable - p r e d i c t a b i l i t y of  the experience  i s used t o f o r e s t a l l t h e a n x i e t y  (p. 6 5 ) .  t h a t n o v e l t y and c h a l l e n g e o f a new e x p e r i e n c e create Peele  can  ( P e e l e , 1983, p. 6 5 ) .  (1975) p r e s e n t s  three b a s i c premises which  s p e c i f i c a l l y d e s c r i b e l o v e and t h e a d d i c t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p : a)  when a p e r s o n ' s attachment t o a s e n s a t i o n ,  object  o r a n o t h e r p e r s o n i s such as t o l e s s e n h i s / h e r a p p r e c i a t i o n o f and a b i l i t y t o d e a l w i t h  other  t h i n g s i n h i s / h e r environment (p. 5 6 ) ; o r , b)  i n him/her s e l f  c)  t h a t he/she becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y dependent on t h e experience  (p. 5 6 ) ; o r ,  as h i s / h e r o n l y s o u r c e o f g r a t i f i c a t i o n  ( P e e l e , 1983, p. 5 6 ) . H a l p e r n (1982) g i v e s t h e term "attachment hunger" t o t h i s p a r t i c u l a r type of love. a d d i c t i v e behaviors,  Attachment hunger, l i k e  i s a product of childhood  experiences  and d i s p l a y s t h e f o l l o w i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s : C o m p u l s i v i t y , p a n i c i f l o v e d one i s a b s e n t , w i t h d r a w a l symptoms, a post-mourning p e r i o d w h i c h c o n t a i n s an element o f l i b e r a t i o n , t r i u m p h , and accomplishment. (p. 5) The degree o f l o v e a d d i c t i o n e x p e r i e n c e d  by an  i n d i v i d u a l i s based on t h e degree o f attachment hunger f e l t by t h a t p e r s o n .  H a l p e r n (1982) n o t e s t h a t t h e attachment i s  30  more i n t e n s e when t h e a t t r a c t i o n i s a l s o l i m e r e n t . i n d i v i d u a l s who  do e x p e r i e n c e  Those  a l i m e r e n c e based a d d i c t i o n  have a c o m p e l l i n g need t o connect w i t h and r e m a i n c o n n e c t e d with the i d e a l i z e d Marcia  "other".  (1975) c o n c l u d e s  t h a t t h e phenomenon o f  t r a n s f e r e n c e i n connection w i t h romantic i n those childhood experiences dependence.  love i s a l s o rooted  of h e l p l e s s n e s s  and  As l o v e a d d i c t i o n p e r m i t s t h e i n d i v i d u a l t o  f e e l i n c o n t r o l o f h i s / h e r environment, so  transference  e n a b l e s t h e i n d i v i d u a l t o e x p e r i e n c e meaning, power and salvation.  Transference  ( S i l v e r b e r g , 1948)  i n d i c a t e s a need  t o e x e r t complete c o n t r o l o v e r e x t e r n a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s . way  One  t o achieve t h i s i s t o i n v e s t the other w i t h c e r t a i n  q u a l i t i e s and power e n a b l i n g t h e l o v e r t o r e l a t e o b j e c t i v e l y t o t h o s e a s p e c t s of s e l f w i t h w h i c h he i s u n a b l e t o identify.  The  g i v i n g over o f o n e s e l f , o r p a r t s o f o n e s e l f ,  have been v a r i a b l y l a b e l e d (Freud, 1914); d i s p l a c e m e n t ,  transference/counter-transference p r o j e c t i o n and  identification  (Freud, 1955); p r o j e c t i o n p e r i l s and s t r i v i n g f o r superiority  ( A d l e r , 1963).  Assumptions of the A d d i c t i o n Model 1)  I f t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s l i f e has l i t t l e meaning, l o v e becomes t h e o n l y s o u r c e of g r a t i f i c a t i o n f o r t h a t individual.  31  2)  T h i s model has phases w h i c h a r e s i m i l a r i n d e s c r i p t i o n t o t h e l i m e r e n t model such as  acute  l o n g i n g f o r t h e p a r t n e r and i d e a l i z a t i o n . 3)  A d d i c t i v e love i s motivated  by t h e l o v e r ' s own  needs f o r s e c u r i t y . 4)  J e a l o u s y and p o s s e s s i v e n e s s  are c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of  addictive love. 5)  The i n t e n s e p a s s i o n a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a d d i c t e d a r i s e s out of desperation.  love  The r e l a t i o n s h i p i s  used t o p r o t e c t t h e l o v e r s from a f r i g h t e n i n g world. 6)  T h e o r i s t s w o r k i n g w i t h t h i s model v i e w c h i l d h o o d dependency needs and poor f a m i l y r e l a t i o n s h i p s as a cause f o r l o v e problems.  7)  Not a l l l o v e i s a d d i c t i v e .  T h i s model i n d i c a t e s  one v a r i a n t l o v e c o u l d t a k e .  Romantic Love and t h e C l i n i c i a n s As an e x p e r i e n c e conceptualizing.  romantic  love lends i t s e l f t o general  T h e r a p i s t s have a c c e s s t o numbers o f  p e o p l e who w i l l i n g l y r e c a l l t h e i r most p r i v a t e e x p e r i e n c e s . C o n s e q u e n t l y , o v e r a p e r i o d o f t i m e t h e s e moments c o l l e c t i v e l y allow the c l i n i c i a n t o develop general concerning  a given experience.  concepts  This chapter w i l l s e t f o r t h  t h e c o n c e p t s o f F r e u d , Fromm, Maslow and Branden t h a t r e l a t e to  romantic  love.  32 Sigmund  Freud  Freud considered of s e x u a l i t y .  "Man  r o m a n t i c l o v e t o be a s u b l i m i n a l form  having  found by e x p e r i e n c e  that  sexual  l o v e a f f o r d e d him h i s g r e a t e s t g r a t i f i c a t i o n i t becomes a prototype Love was  of a l l h a p p i n e s s t o him"  (Freud,  1963,  p e r c e i v e d as a s e x u a l phenomenon and,  o u t l e t f o r sexual tension. converted  p.  69)  therefore,  " S u r p l u s s e x u a l energy can  an  be  i n t o a number o f t h i n g s , f e e l i n g s o f t e n d e r n e s s  and a d m i r a t i o n which a r e components o f r o m a n t i c l o v e " (Freud,  1955,  p. 112).  In Reik's opinion  (1941),  Freud  v i e w e d l o v e as a "washed out and anemic v e r s i o n o f sex"  (p.  20) . Freud (1983) a s s e r t s , on t h e one hand, t h a t r o m a n t i c l o v e c o u l d o n l y be e x p r e s s e d by someone who ego  ideal  ( i s mature).  has d e v e l o p e d  On t h e o t h e r hand, he a s s e r t e d  t h e l o v e o b j e c t i s a s u b s t i t u t e f o r our own  unattained  an  that ego  ideal. " E a r l y f a m i l y i n f l u e n c e s e s t a b l i s h the b l u e p r i n t f o r a l l l a t e r l o v e s , r o m a n t i c and o t h e r w i s e " Ill).  The  t a s k of a d o l e s c e n t  (Freud,  1955,  p.  development i s t o i n t e g r a t e  s e x u a l and a f f e c t i o n a t e f e e l i n g s and t h e n t o be a b l e t o d i r e c t t h e s e toward a unique o t h e r o u t s i d e t h e f a m i l y u n i t . D u r i n g a d o l e s c e n c e i s s u e s of c h i l d h o o d a r e opened up i n t e g r a t e d i n t o consciousness.  The  s t a t e of being  c o n n e c t s t h e budding young a d u l t t o h i s p a s t The  and  i n love  experiences.  "oneness" o f t h e c h i l d w i t h t h e Mother i s l i n k e d t o  "oneness" o f two  lovers.  the  I n t h e same manner t h a t a Mother  33  i s c o n s i d e r e d t o be a b l e t o e n t e r i n t o t h e c h i l d ' s  emotional  and p h y s i c a l s t a t e so t o l o v e r s a r e a b l e t o p u t t h e i r egos a s i d e and e n t e r i n t o t h e e m o t i o n a l and p h y s i c a l s t a t e o f t h e o t h e r (Mahler, 1968).  Freud equates t h i s s t a t e o f b e i n g i n  l o v e t o a h y p n o t i c t r a n c e , n o t i n g t h a t t h e r e i s t h e same humble s u b j e c t i o n , t h e same c o m p l i a n c e ,  t h e same absence o f  c r i t i c i s m and t h e same s a p p i n g o f i n i t i a t i v e towards t h e h y p n o t i s t as towards t h e b e l o v e d t h i s d i s s o l u t i o n o f boundaries state".  (p. 1 1 4 ) . Freud r e f e r s t o  and d e f e n s e s as t h e " o c e a n i c  McCready (1981) d e f i n e s Freud's o c e a n i c f e e l i n g s as  an empathic connectedness t o o t h e r s - a c h o o s i n g t o empathize w i t h t h e s t r u g g l e o f a n o t h e r p e r s o n as i f i t were one's own.  I f t h i s s t a t e i s p e r v a s i v e (as i t i s i n some  p e o p l e ) , t h e e m o t i o n a l f i e l d s o f t h e two l o v e r s may o v e r l a p t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t each knows, f e e l s and t h i n k s f o r t h e other. One o f t h e s a l i e n t f e a t u r e s o f b e i n g i n l o v e i s idealization.  The b e l o v e d i s s t y l i z e d i n t o a u n i q u e b e i n g .  The q u a l i t i e s o f t h e l o v e d one a r e o v e r - v a l u e d and u n c r i t i c a l l y accepted.  Freud f e e l s t h a t l o v e i t s e l f i s an  i r r a t i o n a l phenomenon v e r g i n g on t h e abnormal. l o v e as an i n v e s t m e n t  o f energy.  He v i e w s  As t h e r e i s o n l y a c e r t a i n  amount a v a i l a b l e , t h e r e w i l l be l e s s energy f o r o n e s e l f o r one's c r e a t i v i t y illusion.  (p. 9 1 ) . The " l o v e " s t a t e f o r Freud i s an  As i l l u s i o n s d i s s i p a t e , l o v e r s t e n d t o  d i s c o n t i n u e t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s upon r e t u r n i n g t o r e a l i t y .  34  Assumptions o f Freud 1)  Not a l l p e o p l e have t h e c a p a c i t y t o e x p e r i e n c e "oceanic"  states.  2)  I d e a l i z a t i o n of the lover heightens love.  3)  I l l u s i o n has an enhancing e f f e c t on l o v e . F a n t a s i e s , w i s h f u l t h i n k i n g and p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r t h e f u t u r e may become " i l l u s i o n s " t h a t p e o p l e hope f o r i n l o v e (McCready, 1981).  4)  Romantic l o v e i s r o o t e d i n t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s e a r l y familial history.  The f u s i o n o f t h e c h i l d  with  t h e mother i s l i n k e d w i t h t h e f u s i o n o f two lovers.  E r i c h Fromm Love i s t h e c o n c e r n f o r l i f e and t h e growth o f t h a t which we l o v e . (Fromm, 1956, p. 25) U n l i k e Freud (1963), who p e r c e i v e s l o v e as d i m i n i s h i n g t h e c r e a t i v i t y o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l , Fromm (1956) v i e w s l o v e as h a v i n g t h e p o t e n t i a l t o be a l l encompassing, p r o d u c t i v e , and growth-oriented.  Mature l o v e i s a m y s t i c a l , a l m o s t  r e l i g i o u s experience.  The t r a n s c e n d e n t  s t a t u s o f oneness  w i t h t h e u n i v e r s e and w i t h God a r e p e r c e i v e d as s i m i l a r t o t h e oneness a c h i e v e d  through  union.  I l o v e from t h e essence o f my b e i n g and experience the other person i n t h e essence o f h i s o r h e r b e i n g . . . we a r e  35 a l l p a r t o f one, we a r e one . . . (pp. 44-45) The  i n d i v i d u a l i n v o l v e d i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p based on mature  love experiences  l o v e as r i c h and d e e p l y s a t i s f y i n g .  He  s t r e s s e s t h a t i n d i v i d u a l s need t o a c h i e v e m a t u r i t y and independence b e f o r e b e i n g c a p a b l e o f e x p e r i e n c i n g t r u e l o v e . True (mature) l o v e i s d e f i n e d by Fromm as a d e c i s i o n making act. Fromm (1956) i s most emphatic about t h e n e c e s s i t y o f viewing t h e other without embellishment o r i l l u s i o n .  In  o r d e r f o r t h i s t o o c c u r he b e l i e v e s t h a t i t i s v e r y important  " t o know t h e o t h e r p e r s o n as he e x i s t s  objectively"  (p. 2 8 ) . I n t h i s manner, Fromm's v i e w s o f t h e  o t h e r a r e s i m i l a r t o Freud's n o t i o n o f t h e s t r o n g ego i d e a l as a p r e r e q u i s i t e f o r a mature r e l a t i o n s h i p .  Fromm f e e l s  t h a t many o f t h e problems t h a t o c c u r i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s a r e a consequence o f i n d i v i d u a l s u n i t i n g t o meet t h e i r own unmet needs and w i t h o u t  forethought.  Fromm's (1956) d e f i n i t i o n o f immature e r o t i c l o v e i s s i m i l a r t o Tennov's l i m e r e n c e :  "Erotic love i s the craving  f o r complete f u s i o n w i t h one o t h e r p e r s o n and by i t s v e r y nature  i s t h e most d e c e p t i v e  Intimacy  i s achieved  form o f l o v e t h e r e i s " (p. 4 2 ) .  s o l e l y through sexual contact.  t h e b a s i s o f t h i s sudden i n t i m a c y t h e b e l o v e d  Y e t on  i s presumed t o  be "known". The valued,  separateness  of the i n d i v i d u a l , r a t h e r than being  i s viewed as a b a r r i e r t o be overcome t h r o u g h  p h y s i c a l union.  I n t h o s e s i t u a t i o n s s e x u a l d e s i r e i s seen  o n l y as r e l i e f from p a i n f u l t e n s i o n and not an a c t o f discovery through f u s i o n .  E r o t i c love i s i l l u s o r y - the  o t h e r i s " l i t t l e known" r a t h e r t h a n known and  the  r e l a t i o n s h i p i s based on each i n d i v i d u a l s t r i v i n g t o evade c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h h i s / h e r own  insecurities.  In t h i s  manner, i t i s s i m i l a r t o a d d i c t i v e l o v e where one o r b o t h l o v e r s have dependency needs t h a t can o n l y be met e x c l u s i v e union w i t h the  Assumptions of  through  other.  Fromm  1)  Love has b o t h m y s t i c a l and r e l i g i o u s  2)  For l o v e t o t r a n s p i r e , i t i s i m p o r t a n t  qualities. to  " o b j e c t i v e l y " know o n e s e l f and t h e o t h e r " u n i o n " can o c c u r .  before  McCready (1981) n o t e s t h a t  knowing a p e r s o n ' s i n n e r n a t u r e t h r o u g h l o v e i s what w r i t e r s a r e r e f e r r i n g t o when u s i n g expressions  l i k e "union",  "oneness", and  "essence  o r what Shakespeare r e f e r r e d t o as "the m a r r i a g e o f t r u e minds" (p. 3)  112).  Only t h r o u g h " u n i o n " can l o v e t r a n s c e n d  thought  and r e a c h t h e l o v e r ' s e s s e n c e . 4)  Love i s s t r e n g t h e n i n g t o one's l i f e .  In the  act  o f g i v i n g and r e c e i v i n g j o y i s c r e a t e d . 5)  True l o v e can o n l y be e x p e r i e n c e d  by l o v e r s  who  a r e c o n s i d e r a t e , c a r i n g and r e s p e c t f u l o f o t h e r s .  37  Abraham  Maslov  Maslow (1968) n o t e s t h a t most o f t h e d a t a a v a i l a b l e on r e l a t i o n s h i p s between men and women a r i s e s e i t h e r o u t o f t h e l i t e r a t u r e o r as a consequence o f t h e c o l l e c t i v e s t u d i e s o f various psychotherapists.  The i n f o r m a t i o n r e v e a l e d by  c l i e n t s t o t h e i r t h e r a p i s t s , f o c u s e s on t h e d e s t r u c t i v e n e s s r a t h e r t h a n t h e enhancing p o t e n t i a l o f r e l a t i o n s h i p s . He p o i n t s o u t t h a t t h i s p a r t i c u l a r knowledge p r o v i d e s a d i s t o r t e d v i e w o f r e l a t i o n s h i p s and l o v e i n g e n e r a l . b e l i e v e s t h a t i t i s important  Maslow  t o i l l u s t r a t e what r o m a n t i c  l o v e and an open r e l a t i o n s h i p would be l i k e f o r t h e h e a l t h y individual. experiences  He p o s t u l a t e s t h a t by l e a r n i n g about t h e peak (of which one i s l o v e ) from h e a l t h y  self-  a c t u a l i z i n g i n d i v i d u a l s a b a l a n c e d c o n c e p t o f l o v e and r e l a t i o n s h i p s can be d e v e l o p e d . According forces:  t o Maslow (1968), man c o n t a i n s w i t h i n h i m two  one t h a t i s r i s k - o r i e n t e d , spontaneous, e x p a n s i v e  and d e l i g h t s i n e x p l o r i n g and m a n i p u l a t i n g  t h e environment;  and t h e o t h e r w h i c h f e a r s p a r e n t a l s e p a r a t i o n , r i s k s , and growth. The  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the healthy s e l f - a c t u a l i z e d  human a r e : a)  more e f f i c i e n t p e r c e p t i o n s  of r e a l i t y  b)  more openness t o e x p e r i e n c e  c)  i n t e g r a t i o n , wholeness and u n i t y o f t h e p e r s o n (p.  (p. 1 0 9 ) ;  104) ; d)  increased spontaneity  (p. 1 0 9 ) ;  (p. 107)  38  e)  a r e a l s e l f w i t h a f i r m i d e n t i t y , autonomy u n i q u e n e s s (p.  f)  and  106);  i n c r e a s e d o b j e c t i v i t y , detachment, transcendence of s e l f  (p.  and  114);  g)  r e c o v e r y of c r e a t i v e n e s s (p.  h)  a b i l i t y t o fuse concreteness  108); and a b s t r a c t n e s s  (p.  105) ; i)  democratic  c h a r a c t e r s t r u c t u r e (p.  j)  a b i l i t y t o l o v e (p.  113);  113).  Maslow (1968) d e f i n e s t h i s h e a l t h y i n d i v i d u a l as a self-actulizer.  The  s e l f - a c t u a l i z e r i s perceptive of  r e a l i t y , a t t r a c t e d t o t h e unknown, t o l e r a t e s a m b i g u i t y , a c c e p t s h i m s e l f and t h e u n a l t e r a b l e . autonomous, and d e m o c r a t i c .  and  He i s spontaneous,  Within the  self-actualizing  i n d i v i d u a l d e s i r e and r e a s o n a r e i n harmony. An i m p o r t a n t  aspect of s e l f - a c t u a l i z a t i o n i s a  p a r t i c u l a r k i n d o f c o g n i t i o n which Maslow (1968) p e r c e i v e s as b a s i c t o t h e h e a l t h y l o v e r e l a t i o n s h i p . Love i n v o l v e s f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h t h e l o v e o b j e c t and s e e i n g w i t h c a r e . . . under c e r t a i n c i r c u m s t a n c e s l o v e i s more p e r c e p t i v e than non-love. (p. 78) Maslow d i v i d e d t h e l o v e e x p e r i e n c e l o v e and D-love. another person.  B-love stands  f o r love of the Being  I t i s u n s e l f i s h and  s e l f - a c t u a l i z e d human b e i n g s deficiency love.  i n t o two c a t e g o r i e s :  i s experienced  (p. 4 2 ) .  I t i s s e l f i s h and  of  o n l y by  D-love s t a n d s  i s experienced  B-  for  by l e s s  mature i n d i v i d u a l s (p. 1 2 ) . I n t h e s t a t e o f B - l o v e t h e l o v e d one r e c e i v e s t o t a l a t t e n t i o n . The B - l o v e r can be more a c u t e l y and penetratingly perceptive. (Maslow, 1963, p. 73) T h i s i s n o t t h e same p o s s e s s i v e a t t e n t i o n t h a t t h e l i m e r e n t has towards h i s l o v e r , however, n o r i s i t t h e c a s u a l o f one p e r s o n e n c o u n t e r i n g situation  another.  glance  The b e l o v e d i n t h i s  (as p e r c e i v e d by Maslow) i s c e n t r a l and t h e  "ground" i s n o t i m p o r t a n t l y p e r c e i v e d . I t i s as i f t h e f i g u r e i s i s o l a t e d f o r t h e t i m e b e i n g from a l l e l s e as i f t h e p e r c e p t had become f o r t h e moment t h e whole B e i n g . (Maslow, 1963, p. 74) Maslow c o n c l u d e s  t h a t t h e d i f f e r e n c e between B - l o v e and D-  l o v e i s d e v e l o p m e n t a l i n n a t u r e , a l t h o u g h he n o t e s t h a t n o t everyone goes beyond t h e D-stage (p. 4 2 ) . There a r e n i n e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t o t h e B - l o v e r : a)  B - l o v e r s have t h e a b i l i t y t o l o v e and be l o v e d ;  b)  B - l o v e r s a r e more p e r c e p t i v e - t h e y see t h e q u a l i t i e s and t h e f l a w s o f t h e i r l o v e r s ;  c)  B-lovers a r e able t o accept the i n d i v i d u a l i t y , independence and achievement o f l o v e r s w i t h o u t jealousy;  d)  the c h i e f aspect of B-lover i s admiration;  e)  B - l o v e r s have a s t r o n g sense o f s e l f - i d e n t i t y ;  40  f)  B - l o v e r s do n o t f e e l t h e need t o impress b u t a r e a b l e t o be f o r t h r i g h t about weakness and shortcomings;  g)  B - l o v e r s e n j o y s e n s u a l i t y and a r e f r e e t o e x p r e s s their sexuality.  A t t h e same t i m e , t h e r e i s n o t  t h e o v e r r i d i n g need t o " p e r f o r m " s e x u a l l y ; h)  B - l o v e r s a r e a b l e t o empathize w i t h t h e needs o f t h e i r l o v e d ones;  i)  B-lovers a r e able t o enjoy themselves i n t h e i r loving.  The  n o t i o n t h a t B - l o v e r s o n l y can t r u l y e x p e r i e n c e  love i s  s i m i l a r t o Fromm's (1956) a s s e r t i o n t h a t " t r u e l o v e " c a n o n l y be e x p e r i e n c e d The  by mature (independent) i n d i v i d u a l s .  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f D-love a r e dependency on t h e  l o v e o b j e c t , a n x i e t y , h o s t i l i t y due t o f e a r o f r e j e c t i o n , s u s c e p t i b i l i t y t o j e a l o u s y , r e a d i n e s s , tendency t o be demanding and s e l f - c e n t r e d .  Love hunger and dependency  needs o f D-love a r e s i m i l a r t o a d d i c t i o n .  Assumptions o f Maslow 1)  Love i s i n t i m a t e l y c o n n e c t e d t o s e l f actualization.  2)  C r e a t i v e l o v e c a n r e s u l t i n a peak  3)  Peak l o v e e x p e r i e n c e s  4)  Love has t h e p o t e n t i a l t o e n a b l e l o v e r s t o " s e e " one  make l i f e  experience.  worthwhile.  a n o t h e r i n a sense t h a t i s n o t p o s s i b l e w i t h  non-love.  41  Nathaniel  Branden  Branden (Branden, 1980; Branden & Devers, 1982) draws on h i s own p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e s ,  t h o s e o f h i s c l i e n t s , as  w e l l as t h e a v a i l a b l e h i s t o r i c a l and s o c i o l o g i c a l d a t a t o i l l u s t r a t e h i s theory of romantic love.  He d e f i n e s  romantic  l o v e as a " p a s s i o n a t e - s p i r i t u a l - e m o t i o n a l - s e x u a l a t t a c h m e n t between two p e o p l e t h a t r e f l e c t s a h i g h r e g a r d f o r t h e v a l u e o f each o t h e r ' s s e l f  (Branden, 1980, p. 5 ) .  Branden (1980) b e l i e v e s t h a t r o m a n t i c l o v e has been denigrated  as a consequence o f t h e i m p o s s i b l e demands made  upon t h e l o v e r e l a t i o n s h i p by modern s o c i e t y ' s  expectations.  He n o t e s i n h i s book The P s y c h o l o g y o f Romantic Love t h a t t o o much a t t e n t i o n has been p a i d t o t h o s e who have experienced  only negative  a t t e n t i o n t o those couples  r e l a t i o n s h i p s and t o o l i t t l e f o r whom r o m a n t i c l o v e i s a  s o u r c e o f j o y and contentment (p. 1 1 ) . He s u g g e s t s t h a t i n o r d e r t o acknowledge t h e importance and t h e v a l u e o f r o m a n t i c l o v e i n o u r l i v e s we need t o r e t h i n k i t s meaning, its  experience,  what i t f u l f i l l s ,  requires t o continue  and what c o n d i t i o n s i t  (p. 3 3 ) . Branden's v i e w s on r o m a n t i c  l o v e c o r r e s p o n d t o t h o s e o f Fromm, Maslow and Solomon. S i m i l a r t o Fromm, who b e l i e v e s i t i s i m p o r t a n t  t o have  a s t r o n g ego i d e a l i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p , Branden s t a t e s t h a t l o v e r e q u i r e s p e r s o n a l m a t u r i t y and t h e a t t a i n m e n t reasonably  mature l e v e l o f independence and s e l f -  responsibility.  of a  42  V a r i o u s v i e w s h e l d by Branden (1980) a r e a p r o d u c t o f t h e human p o t e n t i a l movement. The human p o t e n t i a l movement h e l p e d t o create a fresh i n t e l l e c t u a l climate i n which t o approach t h e s u b j e c t o f romantic love. (Branden, 1980, p. 53) I n t h e same manner as t h e human p o t e n t i a l movement s u p p o r t s t h e growth and s e l f - a c t u a l i z a t i o n o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l , so l o v e i s p e r c e i v e d as an e x q u i s i t e human o p p o r t u n i t y , and u n i q u e pathway t o t h i s s e l f - a c t u a l i z a t i o n .  A s p e c t s o f t h e human  p o t e n t i a l movement c o n t r i b u t e t o t h e p e r c e p t i o n o f r o m a n t i c l o v e as e g o i s t i c , i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c , and m o t i v a t e d by t h e d e s i r e f o r personal happiness.  I n looking a t couples w i t h  h e a l t h y r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h a t have l a s t e d o v e r a l o n g p e r i o d o f t i m e , Branden (1980) n o t e s t h e f o l l o w i n g  characteristics:  a)  tendency t o e x p r e s s l o v e v e r b a l l y  (p. 1 2 ) ;  b)  t e n d t o be p h y s i c a l l y a f f e c t i o n a t e (p. 12) ;  c)  t e n d t o e x p r e s s t h e i r l o v e s e x u a l l y (p. 1 2 ) ;  d)  e x p r e s s a p p r e c i a t i o n and a d m i r a t i o n (p. 1 3 ) ;  e)  p a r t i c i p a t e i n mutual s e l f - d i s c l o s u r e  f)  o f f e r each o t h e r an e m o t i o n a l s u p p o r t system (p.  (p. 1 3 ) ;  13) ; g)  express love m a t e r i a l l y  (p. 1 3 ) ;  h)  a c c e p t demands and p u t up w i t h s h o r t c o m i n g s (p. 13;  i)  c r e a t e t i m e t o be a l o n e t o g e t h e r (p. 1 3 ) .  43  U n l i k e Freud who  p e r c e i v e s p a s s i o n a t e l o v e as l i m i t i n g t o  one's growth and c r e a t i v i t y , Branden (1980) b e l i e v e s t h a t our u n i q u e n e s s and i n d i v i d u a l i t y a r e enhanced t h r o u g h romantic encounters.  Branden a l s o comments t h a t r o m a n t i c  l o v e c o u l d be and s h o u l d be t h e b a s i s f o r m a r r i a g e r a t h e r than a d i v e r s i o n outside of marriage. Romantic l o v e , a c c o r d i n g t o Branden (1980), i s an e m o t i o n a l response t o t h a t which we v a l u e h i g h l y t h e commitment t o a r e l a t i o n s h i p i s a s o u r c e o f s t a b i l i t y security.  and  Branden n o t e s t h a t t h e p s y c h o l o g i c a l needs  s a t i s f i e d by r o m a n t i c l o v e have s u r v i v a l v a l u e .  These a r e :  a)  human  companionship;  b)  need t o l o v e ;  c)  need t o be l o v e d ;  d)  need t o e x p e r i e n c e p s y c h o l o g i c a l v i s i b i l i t y ;  e)  need f o r s e x u a l f u l f i l l m e n t ;  f)  need f o r e m o t i o n a l s u p p o r t  g)  need f o r s e l f awareness and d i s c o v e r y ;  h)  need t o e x p e r i e n c e o u r s e l v e s f u l l y as men  system;  or  women; i)  need t o s h a r e our e x c i t e m e n t i n b e i n g a l i v e and t o e n j o y and be n o u r i s h e d by t h e e x c i t e m e n t o f another  Branden p e r c e i v e s t h e s e needs as b e i n g e s s e n t i a l t o t h e w e l l - b e i n g o f a l l i n d i v i d u a l s and a v a i l a b l e t o t h o s e w i t h t h e wisdom and courage t o r e a c h out t o t h e i r  ideals.  44  Assumptions o f Branden 1)  P a s s i o n a t e attachments between a man and a woman generates  2)  b o t h e c s t a s y and s u f f e r i n g .  Sexual a t t r a c t i o n i s not r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f romantic  3)  love.  Romantic l o v e i s n o t omnipotent; y e t ,  irrational  and i m p o s s i b l e demands a r e o f t e n made o f i t . 4)  To succeed i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p , r o m a n t i c  l o v e needs  t h e l o v e r s t o have good s e l f - e s t e e m . 5)  Success i n love i s r e l a t e d t o p s y c h o l o g i c a l maturity.  S o c i a l S c i e n t i s t s and Romantic Love T h i s c h a p t e r e x p l o r e s t h e ways i n w h i c h s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s have p e r c e i v e d , a s s e s s e d and e v a l u a t e d l o v e and i t s a t t e n d a n t The  romantic  behaviors.  i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f t h e "mysteries" o f romantic  love  through t h e a n a l y t i c l e n s o f t h e o b j e c t i v e researcher i s c o n s i d e r e d t o be a more r e c e n t p a t h o f e n q u i r y .  In the  e a r l y y e a r s o f t h e s o c i a l s c i e n c e s t u d i e s l o v e was n o t examined because (a) i t was t h o u g h t t h a t r e s e a r c h e r s c o u l d n o t p e n e t r a t e t h e m y s t i q u e o f l o v e ; (b) i t was t a b o o t o s t u d y l o v e and s e x , and (c) r e s e a r c h e r s had n o t y e t d e v i s e d the necessary & Walster,  s c a l e s and measurements t o s t u d y i t ( B e r s c h e i d  1978).  Over t h e p a s t two decades t h e taboo receded and r e s e a r c h e r s developed  an a s s o r t m e n t o f t e s t s , s c a l e s and  45  q u e s t i o n n a i r e s t o e x p l o r e t h e phenomena o f l o v e .  As i n a l l  s c i e n t i f i c r e s e a r c h , t h e o b j e c t t o be s t u d i e d r e q u i r e s an o p e r a t i o n a l d e f i n i t i o n - a d e f i n i t i o n t h a t can be b r o k e n down i n t o s m a l l e r u n i t s p e r m i t t i n g each u n i t t o be i n i s o l a t i o n from t h e t o t a l .  examined  The essence o f r o m a n t i c l o v e  c o n s i s t s o f t h r e e components:  (a) a s t r o n g e m o t i o n a l  attachment toward a p e r s o n o f t h e o p p o s i t e s e x ; (b) t h e tendency t o t h i n k o f t h i s p e r s o n i n an i d e a l i z e d manner, and (c) a pronounced p h y s i c a l a t t r a c t i o n t h e f u l f i l l m e n t o f w h i c h i s r e c k o n e d i n terms o f t o u c h ( K e p h a r t , 1973). R e s e a r c h has e l i c i t e d a member o f v a r i a b l e s t h a t a r e p e r c e i v e d as i n c r e a s i n g o r d e c r e a s i n g one's l e v e l o f l o v e . These a r e v a l u e s i m i l a r i t i e s  ( C u r r y & Kenny, 1970); p h y s i c a l  a t t r a c t i v e n e s s (Aronson & L i n d e n , 1965; Byrne & N e l s o n , 1965; G e r a r d & Mathewson, 1966; I n s k o & W i l s o n , 1974; L e v i n g e r , 1964); dependency (Rubin, 1970); p a r e n t a l i n t e r f e r e n c e ( D r i s c o l l , D a v i d & L i p e t z , 1972); s e l f - e s t e e m ( W a l s t e r , 1965); emotion and b e l i e f  ( S c h a c t e r , 1964);  self-  d i s c l o s u r e ( J o u r a r d , 1971); bonding ( K e r n b e r g , 1974; M a h l e r , 1968); r e c i p r o c a t i o n (Homans, 1961; K r e b s , 1970); i n t e r n a l / e x t e r n a l locus of c o n t r o l  (Dion & D i o n , 1973) ; and  s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n ( I n s k o & W i l s o n , 1977; Munro & Adams, 1978) . The development,  t r a n s a c t i o n and maintenance o f l o v e i s  g i v e n d i f f e r e n t emphasis w i t h each d i v e r s e t h e o r e t i c a l perspective that i s presented.  The s o c i a l  scientists  d i s c u s s e d h e r e have each f o r m u l a t e d t h e i r own models o r  46  t h e o r i e s t o e x p l a i n t h e i r perception of the occurrence  of  romantic love. The r e i n f o r c e m e n t model o f i n t e r p e r s o n a l a t t r a c t i o n a s s e r t s t h a t s t i m u l i can be i d e n t i f i e d as r e w a r d i n g p u n i s h i n g (Byrne & C l o r e , 1970).  or  C e r t a i n behaviors occur to  encourage t h e r e p e t i t i o n o f r e w a r d i n g s t i m u l i ,  other  behaviors occur i n order to avoid punishing s t i m u l i .  The  B y r n e - C l o r e model i s premised on t h e n o t i o n t h a t s t i m u l i w h i c h reward arouse p o s i t i v e f e e l i n g s and s t i m u l i p u n i s h arouse n e g a t i v e f e e l i n g s .  which  Accordingly, since a  n e u t r a l s t i m u l u s a c q u i r e s t h e same c a p a c i t y f o r a r o u s i n g p o s i t i v e o r n e g a t i v e f e e l i n g s as t h e reward o r punishment stimulus, i t f o l l o w s t h a t i f the n e u t r a l stimulus i s a p e r s o n he/she w i l l be l i k e d i f a s s o c i a t e d w i t h rewards and d i s l i k e d i f a s s o c i a t e d w i t h punishment ( B e r s c h e i d & W a l s t e r , 1978;  Lott & Lott,  1961).  T h i s p a r t i c u l a r model o f i n t e r p e r s o n a l a t t r a c t i o n  has  been w e l l documented and s u p p o r t e d by e x t e n s i v e e m p i r i c a l r e s e a r c h (Byrne, 1961a; Byrne, B u e h l e r , 1955;  1961b; Byrne,  Byrne & C l o s e , 1970;  Byrne & N e l s o n , 19 65).  1971;  Byrne &  Byrne & G r i f f i t h ,  The model u n d e r s c o r e s t h e g e n e r a l  theme o f a l l t h e o r i e s on i n t e r p e r s o n a l a t t r a c t i o n : t h o s e who  1966;  reward us and d i s l i k e t h o s e who  we  p u n i s h us.  like In  r o m a n t i c l o v e t h i s model c o u l d be used t o e x t r a p o l a t e on s t i m u l i t h a t encourages o r d i s c o u r a g e s t h e pursued romantic  liaison.  of a  47  T e s s e r and P a u l h u s (1976) proposed a " c a u s a l " model o f l o v e r e l a t i o n s h i p s based on t h e f o l l o w i n g a s s u m p t i o n s : (a) l o v e , and t h o u g h t about t h e l o v e d one a f f e c t one another;  (b) t h e frequency  o f d a t i n g and l o v e a f f e c t s each  o t h e r , and (c) t h e f r e q u e n c y  of dating a f f e c t s r e a l i t y  c o n s t r a i n t s and can c r e a t e n e g a t i v e f e e l i n g s (Smith,  1978).  I n d e v e l o p i n g t h i s model, T e s s l e r and P a u l h u s assume r e c i p r o c a l c a u s a t i o n among t h e v a r i a b l e s chosen when t h e same v a r i a b l e s c o u l d be i n f l u e n c e d by such r e i n f o r c i n g f a c t o r s as v a l u e s i m i l a r i t i e s physical attraction  (Curry & Kenny, 1974) and  (Berscheid & Walster,  1974).  There i s  no b a s i s i n t h e r e s e a r c h conducted t o i n d i c a t e t h a t t h e chosen v a r i a b l e s a l o n e i n f l u e n c e each o t h e r . S o c i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n i s t theory proposes t h a t a l l emotions a r e t h e p r o d u c t factors: and  of three e s s e n t i a l i n t e r a c t i n g  (a) p h y s i o l o g i c a l a r o u s a l , (b) t h e s o c i a l  (c) c o g n i t i v e l a b e l i n g  (Baron,  1983).  context,  This p a r t i c u l a r  p e r s p e c t i v e h o l d s t h a t t h e same p h y s i c a l s e n s a t i o n s c o u l d be a c c o r d e d d i v e r g e n t meanings i n d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r a l or s o c i a l contexts Hochschild,  historical,  ( A v e r i l l , 1980; Gordon, 1981;  1975a, 1975b, 1979; K a t z , 1976, 1981; S c h a c t e r &  S i n g e r , 1962; S h o t t , 1979a, 1979b). S o c i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n i s t s , B e r s c h e i d and W a l t e r propose a two component t h e o r y o f r o m a n t i c mind.  love:  (1978) body and  Western c u l t u r e , a c c o r d i n g t o B e r s c h e i d and W a l t e r s  (1978), t e a c h e s n o t o n l y t h a t l o v e e x i s t s b u t a l s o when i t i s a p p r o p r i a t e t o f e e l l o v e and when i t i s n o t a p p r o p r i a t e  48  ( B e r s c h e i d & W a l s t e r , 1978).  Any s i t u a t i o n i n w h i c h  p h y s i o l o g i c a l a r o u s a l o c c u r s can c o n t r i b u t e t o t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s e m o t i o n a l s t a t e and be l a b e l l e d l o v e ( D u t t o n & A r o n , 1974; W a l s t e r & B e r s c h e i d , 1971).  According t o t h i s  r e a s o n i n g , s i n c e b o t h mind and body impact on emotions, we s h o u l d be v u l n e r a b l e t o l o v e anytime o u r i n c o n s i s t e n t i d e a s on l o v e combine t o t e l l us " t h i s may be l o v e " a t t h e same t i m e as we a r e p h y s i o l o g i c a l l y a r o u s e d - f o r whatever r e a s o n ( B e r s c h e i d & W a l s t e r , 1978). The i n v e s t m e n t model/theory proposed by R u s b u l t (1980) has much i n common w i t h b o t h exchange t h e o r y ( B l a u , 1967) and i n t e r d e p e n d e n c e t h e o r y ( K e l l e y & T h i b a u t , 1978).  Rubin  (1973) n o t e s t h a t i n t h e case o f l o v e , t h e d u a l theme o f what we c a n g e t and what we can g i v e remain intertwined.  closely  Both i n t e r d e p e n d e n c e t h e o r y and exchange  t h e o r y assume t h a t t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between two i n d i v i d u a l s i s dependent upon t h e r e w a r d / c o s t r a t i o o f s p e n d i n g t i m e w i t h the person.  The model i t s e l f i s d e s i g n e d t o p r e d i c t  degree o f commitment t o and s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h a v a r i e t y o f forms o f r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n c l u d i n g r o m a n t i c l o v e ( R u s b u l t , 1980) w h i l e m i n i m i z i n g c o s t s .  Research based on t h i s model  s u g g e s t s t h a t a r e l a t i o n s h i p ' s c o s t and v a l u e does p r e d i c t commitment i n f r i e n d s h i p s and b u s i n e s s a s s o c i a t i o n s e x c l u s i v e of romantic love. In  o r d e r t o e x p l a i n l o v e i n everyday l i f e ,  Sternberg  (1986) d e v e l o p e d a t r i a n g u l a r t h e o r y o f l o v e which d e l i n e a t e s t h r e e components o f l o v e :  i n t i m a c y , p a s s i o n , and  49  decision/commitment.  In the context of Sternberg's  theory,  intimacy r e f e r s t o f e e l i n g s of closeness, connectedness,  and  bondedness i n a l o v i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p ; p a s s i o n r e f e r s t o romance, p h y s i c a l a t t r a c t i o n , s e x u a l consummation r e l a t e d phenomena i n l o v i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s ,  and  and  d e c i s i o n / c o m m i t m e n t r e f e r s t o (a) t h e d e c i s i o n t h a t l o v e s a n o t h e r and  one  (b) t h e commitment t o m a i n t a i n t h a t l o v e .  These components i n t e r a c t and combine w i t h each o t h e r t o formulate d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of love. as a consequence of e m o t i o n a l  Intimacy  i s perceived  investment i n the  r e l a t i o n s h i p , p a s s i o n i s an outgrowth o f m o t i v a t i o n a l i n v o l v e m e n t and decision/commitment d e r i v e s from a c o g n i t i v e d e c i s i o n t o commit t o t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p . by S t e r n b e r g experienced  Research conducted  shows t h a t t h e i n t i m a c y component may as an o v e r a l l f e e l i n g and t h a t t h i s  be  particular  component forms a common c o r e i n a l l l o v i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s . These o p e r a t i o n a l d e f i n i t i o n s o f l o v e and t h e p a r i n g down o f l o v e t o d i s c r e t e , o b s e r v a b l e  u n i t s of i n t e r a c t i o n  as  posed by s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s have encouraged t h e development o f v a r i o u s s c a l e s and q u e s t i o n n a i r e s t o o b j e c t i v e l y measure love. R u b i n (1970, 1973) scale.  d e v i s e d a l o v e s c a l e and a  liking  These s c a l e s were o f f e r e d as s o l i d measures o f  romantic  l o v e d e s p i t e t h e statement o f R u b i n (1973)  who  a v e r r e d t h a t r e s e a r c h e r s r a r e l y i s o l a t e l o v e as a t o p i c o f investigation. s c a l e are  The t h r e e major components o f R u b i n ' s l o v e  (a) an a f f i l i a t i v e and dependent need, (b) a  50  p r e d i s p o s i t i o n t o h e l p , and absorption.  (c) e x c l u s i v e n e s s and  F u r t h e r i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f what t h e s c a l e  measures i n d i c a t e s t h a t on t h e l i k i n g  s c a l e i t may  i n fact  be a d m i r a t i o n t h a t i s measured and on t h e l o v e s c a l e  perhaps  t h e d e f i n i t i o n s a r e more a p p r o p r i a t e t o compassionate  love  r a t h e r t h a n r o m a n t i c l o v e (Baron, 1983). Dion and Dion (1973) conducted a s t u d y d e s i g n e d t o measure t h e degree t o which some i n d i v i d u a l s  (called  e x t e r n a l s ) a r e s u s c e p t i b l e t o t h e c u l t u r a l myth o f r o m a n t i c love.  E x t e r n a l s t e n d t o be i n f l u e n c e d by t h e i r s u r r o u n d i n g  environment whereas i n t e r v a l s v i e w e v e n t s as b e i n g under t h e i r personal control. B a r d i s (1978) d e v e l o p e d a measure c a l l e d t h e e r o t o m e t e r w h i c h i s d e s i g n e d t o measure h e t e r o s e x u a l l o v e , t h a t i s , t h e l o v e a p e r s o n f e e l s towards a n o t h e r p e r s o n .  The  erotometer,  on f u r t h e r i n v e s t i g a t i o n , seems t o measure l e v e l s o f s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p , r a i s i n g the question of i t s r e l i a b i l i t y f o r measuring r o m a n t i c l o v e . M o r a i s and Tan  (1980) i n v e s t i g a t e d t h e  male-female  d i f f e r e n c e s towards c o n c e p t i o n s o f r o m a n t i c l o v e .  They  asked b o t h male and female s t u d e n t s t o judge h y p o t h e t i c a l r o l e p a i r s a l o n g 28 r o l e d i f f e r e n t i a l s c a l e s .  The  defining  f a c t o r s o f t h e t e s t were growth and bond f o r m a t i o n , r e s p e c t f o r p a r t n e r s and independence,  s i m i l a r i t y to partner,  s u p e r f i c i a l i t y v s . d e p t h , approach-avoidance without i d e a l i z a t i o n  ( M o r a i s & Tan, 1980).  and warmth M o r a i s and  Tan  (1980) f e l t t h a t t h e completed s t u d y gave some s u p p o r t t o  51  the n o t i o n t h a t the content  of romantic love r e l a t i o n s h i p s  i s a f u n c t i o n o f economic r o l e s .  Assumptions o f the S o c i a l S c i e n t i s t s 1)  Love can be reduced t o d i s c r e t e u n i t s  and  measured. 2)  One  can e v a l u a t e one  " f a c e t " of love behavior  draw c o n c l u s i o n s c o n c e r n i n g love 3)  the " t o t a l i t y " of  and the  experience.  Romantic l o v e i s m u l t i - d i m e n s i o n a l  and  requires  s e v e r a l i n d i c a t o r s t o a d e q u a t e l y measure i t . 4)  The  q u a l i t y of the love experience  i s determined  by t h e i n t e r a c t i o n of i n t i m a c y , p a s s i o n  and  commitment.  Critique There a r e v a r i o u s and d i v e r s e approaches t o r o m a n t i c love.  The  aspects  c r i t i q u e of t h e s e approaches f o c u s e s  o f each model:  (a) any  on  two  i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s t h a t might  e x i s t w i t h i n t h e model i n r e g a r d t o t h e meaning o f r o m a n t i c l o v e and  (b) c l a r i f i c a t i o n o f t h e a s s u m p t i o n s and  underlying The  their  expectations.  c u l t u r a l model o f r o m a n t i c l o v e p u t s f o r w a r d  p e r s p e c t i v e o f purpose v e r s u s meaning.  Myths and  a  metaphors  o f l o v e a r e p e r c e i v e d by Solomon as a weak s u b s t i t u t e f o r the emotional  aspects  of love.  However, Solomon's  d i s c u s s i o n becomes c i r c u l a r as he a l s o r e s o r t s t o  52  v e r b a l i z a t i o n s such as " l o v e i s g r a n d " , " l o v e i s d i a l e c t i v e " , and " l o v e i s s e l f - l o v e " i n o r d e r t o expound and e x p l a i n h i s b a s i c p r e m i s e t h a t l o v e i s an emotion. The l i m e r e n t model i s c o n s i d e r e d experiential.  t o be w h o l l y  The l i m e r e n t c o n d i t i o n i s r o o t e d i n t h e  i n d i v i d u a l ' s emotional,  p h y s i o l o g i c a l and f e e l i n g s t a t e .  The l i m e r e n t i n d i v i d u a l seems t o be p a s s i o n a t e l y a t t a c h e d t o the idea of being i n love.  The weakness o f t h i s model  appears t o be t h a t t h e r e c i p i e n t o f t h e l i m e r e n t ' s a r d o r i s merely a v e h i c l e f o r h i s / h e r The c h e m i c a l  passion.  model seems t o p r o v i d e t h e u n d e r p i n n i n g s  for the limerent viewpoint.  I t perceives romantic love i n  b i o l o g i c a l as w e l l as p h y s i c a l terms.  I t slimitation i s  t h a t r o m a n t i c l o v e , i n t h i s model, becomes m e r e l y a neurotransmitter  f o r the various b o d i l y reactions.  The  p h y s i o l o g i c a l r e s p o n s e s c r e a t e d by l o v e a r e n o t u n i q u e t o t h i s s t a t e b u t a r e due t o p r e v i o u s a c c u l t u r a t i o n . The a d d i c t i o n model, l i k e t h e c h e m i c a l on m e d i c a l  and b i o c h e m i c a l  considered  t o be c h e m i c a l l y based b u t r e t a i n s a number o f  s i m i l a r i t i e s t o limerence. a d d i c t i v e behavior t o t a l behavior. terminology  research.  model, i s based  Addictive love i s  Love i s viewed as one a s p e c t o f  w i t h i n t h e model r a t h e r t h a n b e i n g t h e  Love i s d i s c u s s e d  i n drug-related  - t h e t h i r t e e n t h metaphor - a d d i c t i v e l o v e .  The t h e r a p e u t i c model, r e p r e s e n t e d  by F r e u d , Fromm,  Maslow and Branden, d i s c u s s e s t h e c o n c e p t o f l o v e as i n f e r r e d from c a s e s t u d i e s and p e r s o n a l  stories.  Freud  53  a s s e r t s t h a t one w i t h i n the see  l e a r n s how  (1978),  limiting,  who  by  the  i n d i v i d u a l upon  b e l i e v e s Freud's p e r c e p t i o n  speculates  of love  is  t h a t F r e u d ' s l o v e l i f e must have been  e n e r g y when c a u g h t up  Fromm, M a s l o w and  Branden  maturity.  l e s s t h a n i d e a l b e c a u s e F r e u d seemed t o l o s e h i s and  love  f a m i l y s e t t i n g , w h e r e a s Fromm, M a s l o w and  l o v e as e x p e r i e n c e d  White  to love or experience  i n an  intense  Branden p e r c e i v e  creativity  relationship.  l o v e as g r o w t h  enhancing.  Fromm's d e s c r i p t i o n o f e r o t i c l o v e i s somewhat s i m i l a r the  romantic love i d e a l i z e d  i n l i t e r a t u r e whereas mature  l o v e i s more s y m p t o m a t i c o f c o m p a s s i o n a t e l o v e . r e q u i r e s k n o w l e d g e and diminishes  The  t e n d e n c y has  r o m a n t i c l o v e as p a s s i v e .  One  w a i t s t o be  process  (Branden,  mature l o v e , t h i s knowledge i s not s p e a k s o f l o v e as two  M a s l o w and l o v e - an  the  interactive  1969).  W h i l e Fromm e m p h a s i z e s k n o w l e d g e a s b e i n g  does not  perceive  n o t i c e d by  w h e r e a s t r u e l o v e o r m a t u r e l o v e i s an  love  love  been t o  beloved  He  Mature  w i t h knowledge r o m a n t i c  (Fromm, 1 9 5 6 ) .  two.  to  b e i n g s who  defined.  become one,  central  Fromm a l s o and  yet  d e f i n e what f u s i o n o r oneness i s .  Branden equate romantic l o v e w i t h emotion t h a t can  o n l y be  to  experienced  remain Both  compassionate by  the  mature  individual. The  social  s c i e n t i s t s purport  assessment of romantic l o v e . the c r i t e r i a  to present  objective  However, t h e r e s u l t s h i n g e  applied to romantic love.  s t u d i e s sampling i s not  an  random and  there  In nearly a l l i s a tendency  to  on  54  r e c r u i t t h r o u g h a c a p t i v e a u d i e n c e ( s t u d e n t s ) and t h r o u g h self-selection.  F u r t h e r m o r e , t h e r e s e a r c h may n o t t e s t what  i t has been d e s i g n e d analysis for results.  t o t e s t o r may use i n a p p r o p r i a t e d a t a The l i t e r a t u r e r e v e a l s s e v e r a l  approaches t o d e f i n i n g l o v e , b u t l i t t l e work has been done on e x p l o r i n g i t s s u b j e c t i v e meaning t o t h e i n d i v i d u a l .  An  e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l approach, because i t t a k e s  into  a c c o u n t t h e meaning o f t h e e x p e r i e n c e lived i t ,  s h o u l d h e l p us t o f i l l  understanding.  t o t h o s e who have  t h e gaps i n o u r  The e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l  w i l l be d e s c r i b e d more f u l l y i n C h a p t e r 3 .  approach  CHAPTER I I I :  A q u a l i t a t i v e approach  Method  t h a t i s w e l l s u i t e d t o t h e study  o f r o m a n t i c l o v e i s e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g y because i t p l a c e s i t s emphasis on t h e meaning o f t h e e x p e r i e n c e as understood 1981).  from t h e i n n e r w o r l d o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l  (Solomon,  E x i s t e n t i a l - p h o n e m e n o l o g y combines two f i e l d s o f  discipline:  (a) e x i s t e n t i a l , a p h i l o s o p h y "which seeks t o  u n d e r s t a n d t h e human c o n d i t i o n as i t m a n i f e s t s i t s e l f i n o u r c o n c r e t e l i v e d s i t u a t i o n " and (b) phenomenology, a method which a l l o w s us t o c o n t a c t phenomena as we a c t u a l l y  live  them o u t and e x p e r i e n c e them" ( V a l l e & K i n g , 1978, pp. 6-7). I n t h i s way, e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g y l o o k s a t t h e s t r u c t u r e o f human e x p e r i e n c e t o u n d e r s t a n d  i t s essence  ( V a l l e & K i n g , 1978) . The r e l a t i o n s h i p between an i n d i v i d u a l and h i s w o r l d i s not one o f cause and e f f e c t , where one c a n be c o n t r o l l e d t o determine  i t s i n f l u e n c e on t h e o t h e r .  Rather,  individuals  and t h e i r w o r l d a r e seen as an i n s e p a r a b l e u n i t .  This  concept o f " l e b e n s w e l t " i s c e n t r a l t o e x i s t e n t i a l phenomenology which seeks t o f o c u s on t h e c o n s c i o u s n e s s t h a t i n d i v i d u a l s have o f t h e i r own e x p e r i e n c e  ( G i o r g i , 1970;  V a l l e & K i n g , 1978) . T h i s approach  a l s o assumes t h a t a l t h o u g h a s p e c t s o f  each i n d i v i d u a l e x p e r i e n c e may be u n i q u e , s i m i l a r i t i e s w i l l a l s o be a p p a r e n t .  D i a l o g u i n g w i t h s e v e r a l i n d i v i d u a l s who  have l i v e d t h e e x p e r i e n c e i s e x p e c t e d t o r e v e a l p a t t e r n s o r  56  " c l u s t e r s o f themes" ( C o l a i z z i , 1978, p. 59) t h a t p o i n t t o a common u n d e r l y i n g s t r u c t u r e :  "through d e s c r i p t i o n t h e  p r e r e f l e c t i v e l i f e w o r l d i s brought t o t h e l e v e l o f r e f l e c t i v e awareness where i t m a n i f e s t s i t s e l f a s p s y c h o l o g i c a l meaning" ( V a l l e & K i n g , 1978, p. 1 7 ) .  The  subjects of existential-phenomenology, according t o C o l a i z z i (1978) c i t i n g F r e i r e researchers.  (1970), a r e c o n s i d e r e d t o be c o -  Research  s u b j e c t s a r e r e g a r d e d as h a v i n g e q u a l  s t a t u s and t h e exchange o f i n f o r m a t i o n i s c o o p e r a t i v e r a t h e r t h a n c o n t r o l l e d by t h e r e s e a r c h e r ( G i o r g i ,  1970).  Because one's b i a s e s a f f e c t t h e way i n w h i c h information i s interpreted, researchers using the e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l methodology must be a l e r t t o t h e i r own p r e c o n c e p t i o n s and p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s .  Yet romantic  l o v e i s so common an e x p e r i e n c e i n Western s o c i e t y and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f i t so p e r v a s i v e t h a t a l l t h e d e s c r i p t i o n s as d i s c u s s e d i n t h e p r e v i o u s c h a p t e r a r e l i k e l y t o s t r i k e a chord.  As C o l a i z z i  (1978, p. 52) p o i n t s o u t ,  i s f i d e l i t y t o phenomena".  "objectivity  The o n l y r e a s o n a b l e way t o a v o i d  c o l o u r i n g t h e e x p e r i e n c e o f any c o - r e s e a r c h e r w i t h my own preconceptions i s t o t r u s t the " d i a l o g a l  approach"  ( C o l a i z z i , 1978, p. 69) and r i g o r o u s l y a t t e n d and be p r e s e n t to the experience being r e l a t e d . phenomenologist,  For the e x i s t e n t i a l -  t h e source o f i n f o r m a t i o n l i e s w i t h i n t h e  immediate e x p e r i e n c e o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l  (Biela,  1985).  57  Role of  Co-Researchers  I s e l e c t e d my and  acquaintances  i n d i v i d u a l s who romantic i s an and  about romantic  love.  criteria  (in English) a  D i s t a n c e from the l o v e  i s then described i n f u l l .  c r e a t e d an e n v i r o n m e n t o f c o m f o r t  The As  romantic  r e s e a r c h e r t o f r e e l y e l a b o r a t e on h i s o r h e r The  i n t e r v i e w s were r e c o r d e d  and  t h e s e themes. the e s s e n t i a l verification.  essential  transcribed.  The  s t r u c t u r e was  The  I  An  then exhaustive  w r i t t e n based  T h o s e c h a n g e s recommended by t h e  for  co-  results.  demographic i n f o r m a t i o n presented  m a l e s and  five  females  h e r e was  were i n t e r v i e w e d .  o f t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r s was  Canadian.  and  Information  t h e i n t e r v i e w s , t h e i r a g e s w e r e 30, One  on  s t r u c t u r e were g i v e n t o t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r s  from each c o - r e s e a r c h e r a f t e r t h e i n t e r v i e w s were Two  I  co-  themes, t h e e x h a u s t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n  r e s e a r c h e r s were i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o t h e  Demographic  love  experience.  a n a l y z e d t h e t r a n s c r i p t s f o r common t h e m e s . d e s c r i p t i o n and  middle  researcher,  e n a b l i n g each  past  experience  as i t a l l o w s f o r t h e b e f o r e ,  phases of the s t o r y t o u n f o l d .  experience  friends  I spoke w i t h s i x  were a b l e t o a r t i c u l a t e  love experience.  important  end  c o - r e s e a r c h e r s by t a l k i n g w i t h  40,  44,  A m e r i c a n and  elicited completed.  At the time 48,  50 a n d  five  of  53.  were  T h e i r e t h n i c backgrounds i n c l u d e d E n g l i s h , t h i r d  generation American, Jewish  and  described t h e i r socio-economic  Russian.  The  co-researchers  s t a t u s as e i t h e r  "middle  58  c l a s s " o r "upper middle accountant, and  class".  Their occupations  were  b u s i n e s s woman, p s y c h o l o g i s t , t h e r a p i s t ,  student  cameraman.  Phenomenological  Interview  T h e r e were two i n t e r v i e w s w i t h e a c h o f t h e c o researchers. and  Each i n t e r v i e w l a s t e d a p p r o x i m a t e l y  o c c u r r e d o v e r a p e r i o d o f f i v e months.  The  one h o u r first  interview involved the co-researcher describing t o the researcher h i s or her experience  of romantic  P r i o r t o the interview, a telephone  love.  call  was made t o  e a c h c o - r e s e a r c h e r t o s e t up a n a p p o i n t m e n t a n d t o d e s c r i b e the format  of the interview.  mailed t o the co-researchers  A l e t t e r of consent (Appendix  A).  was  Before  then  each  i n t e r v i e w I d i s c u s s e d t h e n a t u r e o f my r e s e a r c h t o p u t t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r a t e a s e and t o e s t a b l i s h The i n t e r v i e w s w e r e u n s t r u c t u r e d . were asked  t o enable  trust. Open-ended  t h e i n d i v i d u a l t o r e f l e c t upon and  d e s c r i b e h i s o r h e r e x p e r i e n c e more f u l l y .  I opened t h e  i n t e r v i e w by a s k i n g t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r s t o r e c a l l  i n a s much  d e t a i l a s p o s s i b l e w h a t was h a p p e n i n g i n t h e i r l i f e d u r i n g , a n d a f t e r t h e y met t h e i r r o m a n t i c They were asked  questions  before,  love partner.  t o describe t h e i r experience  as i f they  t e l l i n g a story. In  addition, during f i r s t  q u e s t i o n s were asked description:  interviews, the following  i f t h e y were n o t answered i n t h e  were  59  1.  I s there a part of the experience that stood out f o r you?  2.  I n w h a t way was t h i s l o v e e x p e r i e n c e from o t h e r l o v e  different  experiences?  3.  How do y o u f e e l a b o u t t h i s e x p e r i e n c e  now?  4.  What d i d y o u l e a r n a b o u t y o u r s e l f ?  5.  Has t h i s e x p e r i e n c e h a d a n e f f e c t o n f u t u r e relationships?  I t was i m p o r t a n t t o me t o b e f u l l y person  during the interview.  attentive t o the  I responded t o t h e c o -  r e s e a r c h e r s b y r e f l e c t i n g t h e i r own w o r d s w h e n e v e r Questions  s u c h a s "Can y o u e l a b o r a t e o n t h a t ? " ,  possible.  "What was  h a p p e n i n g f o r y o u a t t h a t t i m e ? " , a n d " T e l l me more a b o u t that?" helped t o stimulate dialogue. tape-recorded  and t r a n s c r i b e d .  For t h e second  i n t e r v i e w I r e t u r n e d t o each c o -  researcher with the transcribed t h e i r romantic  The i n t e r v i e w s w e r e  interview (protocol) of  l o v e e x p e r i e n c e , t h e themes, t h e e x h a u s t i v e  d e s c r i p t i o n and t h e e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e f o r v a l i d a t i o n . second  set of validating  The  i n t e r v i e w s were n o t t a p e - r e c o r d e d  b u t d e t a i l e d n o t e s were t a k e n r e g a r d i n g any changes t o t h e themes, e x h a u s t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n o r e s s e n t i a l Copies  of a l l t r a n s c r i p t s are presented  structure. i n A p p e n d i x B.  I n t h e s e p r o t o c o l s , names a n d l o c a t i o n s a r e i d e n t i f i e d b y s i n g l e l e t t e r s o r a l t e r n a t e p l a c e names f o r c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y .  60  Analysis of  Protocols  The p r o t o c o l s were i n t e r p r e t e d p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l l y d e s c r i p t i v e methods o u t l i n e d by C o l a i z z i  (1978).  using  Each  p r o t o c o l was r e a d many t i m e s i n o r d e r t o more f u l l y understand  t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r ' s e x p e r i e n c e and be aware o f  t h e nuances o f t h e e x p e r i e n c e . The n e x t s t e p i n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i n v o l v e d e x t r a c t i n g s p e c i f i c phrases  from t h e t r a n s c r i p t s t h a t were d i r e c t l y  r e l a t e d t o the experience.  Each key p h r a s e was w r i t t e n on  an i n d e x c a r d w i t h t h e i n i t i a l o f t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r f o r identification. In those statements  where t h e meaning was c l e a r , I was  a b l e t o d i r e c t l y quote t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r .  F o r example, A  mentioned t h a t " i t was i f I d i d n ' t have c o n t r o l , i t f e l t l i k e I was b e i n g h y p n o t i z e d . "  She was d e s c r i b i n g e x p l i c i t l y  her f e e l i n g s o f being out o f c o n t r o l i n t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p . d e s c r i b e d h e r l a c k o f c o n t r o l as " b e i n g o u t o f my mind".  U In  some c a s e s , " t h e r e s e a r c h e r must go beyond what i s g i v e n i n t h e o r i g i n a l d a t a and a t t h e same t i m e s t a y w i t h i t "  (Valle  & K i n g , 1978, p. 5 9 ) . F o r R h i s l o v e r ' s a b i l i t y t o "speak" h i s mind i m p l i e d t h a t he f e l t u n d e r s t o o d  a t a deep l e v e l .  Each theme t h a t r e p r e s e n t e d t h e s p e c i f i c phase was w r i t t e n on an i n d e x c a r d . were f i l e d t o g e t h e r .  The c a r d s w i t h s i m i l a r themes  Themes were c l u s t e r e d a c c o r d i n g t o  whether t h e y o c c u r r e d b e f o r e , d u r i n g , o r a f t e r t h e experience.  The p r o t o c o l s were r e - r e a d i n o r d e r t o ensure I  had n o t d e v i a t e d from t h e e x p e r i e n c e o r missed  any themes.  61  A l i s t o f t h e themes w i t h accompanying d e s c r i p t i o n s was made.  These themes were w r i t t e n i n t o an  exhaustive  d e s c r i p t i o n of the romantic love experience. d e s c r i p t i o n was  The  exhaustive  t h e n condensed i n t o t h e e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e .  I n t h e second i n t e r v i e w ,  I gave each c o - r e s e a r c h e r  p r o t o c o l s , t h e themes, t h e e x h a u s t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n and essential structure for verification. q u e s t i o n s were t h e n  The  the  the  following  asked:  1.  Was  2.  I s t h e r e something you would l i k e t o add?  3.  I s t h e r e a n y t h i n g you w i s h t o c l a r i f y ?  The o r i g i n a l  then  anything d i s t o r t e d or l e f t  out?  themes, e x h a u s t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n and e s s e n t i a l  s t r u c t u r e were r e - a d j u s t e d t o accommodate t h e changes. c o - r e s e a r c h e r s v a l i d a t e d t h e s e changes.  The  62  CHAPTER IV:  Results  E x p l i c a t i o n o f Themes Twenty-two themes e v o l v e d o u t o f t h e s i x t r a n s c r i p t s . E a c h theme s i g n i f i e s one a s p e c t o f t h e r o m a n t i c experience.  love  A s much a s p o s s i b l e t h e m e s w e r e f o r m e d o n t h e  b a s i s o f quotes from t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . 11, o n e n e s s / f u s i o n  F o r example,  theme  were t h e words used by c o - r e s e a r c h e r s t o  a r t i c u l a t e an a s p e c t o f t h e e x p e r i e n c e . "abandonment t o t h a t f u s i o n " .  B described h i s  M spoke o f b e i n g  " a t one"  with her lover. Initially,  some o f t h e t h e m e s a p p e a r e d t o r e s t a t e a n d  r e i n f o r c e each o t h e r .  F o r e x a m p l e (Theme 4 ) , I n t i m a t e  g l a n c e , a n d (Theme 5) I n s t a n t b o n d i n g , s i m i l a r on f i r s t  reading.  appear  somewhat  However, t h e g l a n c e t a k e s  place  on a p h y s i c a l l e v e l whereas t h e b o n d i n g o c c u r s on an emotional  level  experiences  s u p p o r t i n g t h e f a c t t h a t each o f these  r e q u i r e s i t s own  theme.  On r e - r e a d i n g t h e p r o t o c o l s , t h e n o t i o n o f o b s t a c l e s seemed t o be c o n n e c t e d swings experienced  by t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r s .  combined and r e t i t l e d more c l e a r l y  t o , o r based upon, t h e e m o t i o n a l  Emotional  represented  extremes  the emotional  These were (Theme  16), which  seesaw t h e c o -  r e s e a r c h e r s seemed t o e x p e r i e n c e . The c o - r e s e a r c h e r s w e r e g i v e n t h e 22 t h e m e s t o r e a d a t the second i n t e r v i e w .  Even t h o u g h a l l t h e themes were  v a l i d a t e d by t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r s , two i n d i v i d u a l s q u e r i e d t h e  63  theme I n c o m p l e t e n e s s . and to  described this  U acknowledged e x p e r i e n c i n g a  l a c k as b e i n g " u n f u l f i l l e d "  being incomplete.  not j u s t l i k e  a p i e c e m i s s i n g and  theme, R e a d i n e s s ,  "there r e a l l y  i n addition  M f e l t t h a t i t i s "more t r a n s c e n d e n t , now  I f e e l whole".  c h a n g e s w e r e i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o t h e theme One  lack  was  These  Incompleteness.  r e i n f o r c e d w i t h comments s u c h  i s a c e r t a i n e m o t i o n a l and  as  mental  predisposition for this - a readiness". In  t h e e x h a u s t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n , R wanted t o change  word "handle"  t o t h e word " g e n e r a t e " ,  entering another  when d i s c u s s i n g  r e l a t i o n s h i p b e c a u s e he was  r i s k the p r e l i m i n a r y steps necessary  the  not w i l l i n g  to start  to  a  relationship. A f t e r reading the e s s e n t i a l structure, t h e word " i n j e c t " . connectedness dimension  understanding  and  themes a r e l i s t e d  f o l l o w one fall  w i t h i n one  according to t h e i r  i n order.  with  not s t a t i c .  occurrence  T h e y seem t o  Although  of the t h r e e phases,  t h e m e s w i t h i n e a c h p h a s e was  a  entities.  a f t e r the experience.  a f t e r another  fusion,  appearing to " i n j e c t "  t h e y a r e "as one"  not separate  b e f o r e , d u r i n g , and  to  f e l t that rather than  of s p i r i t u a l i t y ,  spirituality The  and  He  B objected to  t h e themes t e n d  the order of The  the  linear  s t r u c t u r e of language i n h i b i t s the d e s c r i p t i o n .  Some c o -  r e s e a r c h e r s e x p e r i e n c e d t h e themes s i m u l t a n e o u s l y , whereas o t h e r s e x p e r i e n c e d them d i f f e r e n t l y . the o v e r a l l experience.  Each c o n t r i b u t e s t o  W i t h i n t h i s s t u d y , e v e r y theme i s  64  t e a s e d o u t and d e s c r i b e d .  As C l a s p e l l  (1984, p. 88) n o t e d ,  t h e themes a r e " t e m p o r a r i l y suspended" i n o r d e r t o " s i n g l e o u t and f o c u s " on t h e i r meaning.  The e x h a u s t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n  and t h e e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e w h i c h a r e p r e s e n t e d f u r t h e r i n t h e c h a p t e r draw t h e themes t o g e t h e r and c l a r i f y t h e experience.  65  Themes  Initial 1  phase  Incompleteness:  As t h e i n - l o v e f e e l i n g s commence,  p e o p l e e x p e r i e n c e a c o n v i c t i o n t h a t something has been m i s s i n g from t h e i r l i v e s .  They r e a l i z e t h a t t h e y were  p r e v i o u s l y i n c o m p l e t e and i n some c a s e s  unfulfilled.  Some e x p e r i e n c e i n c o m p l e t e n e s s b e f o r e t h e y meet t h e p e r s o n whereas o t h e r s do n o t .  However, f o r t h o s e  i n d i v i d u a l s , t h e f e e l i n g o f wholeness and i s so overwhelming  completeness  a f t e r meeting t h e i r p a r t n e r s t h a t ,  i n r e t r o s p e c t , t h e y wonder whether t h e y were i n f a c t complete.  R e f l e c t i n g back on 18 y e a r s o f m a r r i a g e ,  A.  s a y s , "and I t h i n k I must have known t h a t i t was missing a l l the time." M. e x p r e s s e d s u r p r i s e a t f e e l i n g a l a c k .  She  d e s c r i b e d h e r s e l f as h a v i n g a good s o c i a l l i f e and missing anything. anything." [her]  say I was  w o r l d had never b e e n . . . t h a t  Readiness:  lacking  But a f t e r meeting h e r l o v e r , she " f e l t t h a t  greatly lacking 2.  " I wouldn't  not  [she] must have been  something."  E x p e r i e n c e o f t h e i n - l o v e s t a t e i s preceded  by an a t t i t u d e o f a c t i v e s e a r c h i n g and a r e a d i n e s s f o r change. to  People a r e r e c e p t i v e e m o t i o n a l l y and m e n t a l l y  the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n t h a t w i l l take p l a c e .  r e a l i z a t i o n f o s t e r e d r e a d i n e s s f o r A., who  Self-  had begun t o  66  see h e r s e l f d i f f e r e n t l y , " i n a way t h a t I ' d always dreamed about s e e i n g m y s e l f . " The need f o r p a s s i o n i n h i s l i f e was t h e impetus f o r B.  H i s w i f e had r e c e n t l y l e f t him, and he was  unhappy i n h i s p r e s e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p . his  l i f e he was ready f o r a r o m a n t i c  When E. e n t e r e d involvement.  F o r U. and f o r N., t h e r e was a r e s t l e s s n e s s and a l o n g i n g f o r more t h a n t h e i r m a r r i a g e s p r o v i d e d . 3.  Sense o f a t t r a c t i o n :  People a r e drawn towards  their  l o v e because o f some s p e c i a l a t t r i b u t e ( s ) o f t h e i r lover.  I t can be e i t h e r i n a p h y s i c a l o r i n a m e n t a l  sense.  T h i s engages t h e i r a t t e n t i o n and a b e t s t h e i n -  love process. his voice:  F o r U. i t was h e r l o v e r ' s p r o f e s s i o n and  " I heard h i s v o i c e and I h e a r d him speak,  and t h a t was a r e a l s e d u c t i o n i n i t s e l f . "  F o r N. i t  was h e r l o v e r ' s l o o k s — " H e was such a gorgeous m a n " — i n c o m b i n a t i o n w i t h i n t e l l e c t and h i s p r o f e s s i o n . F o r B., e t h n i c i t y i s i m p o r t a n t . have been " i n f l u e n t i a l " i n h i s l i f e .  Jewish people He f i n d s  a t t r a c t i v e h i s l o v e r ' s c o n f i d e n c e and outspokenness, c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s he a s s o c i a t e s w i t h h e r J e w i s h n e s s . R. was f a s c i n a t e d by h i s l o v e r ' s " i n s i g h t , " h e r intuition,  and h e r a b i l i t y t o speak [ h i s ] mind, l i k e  [he] d i d n ' t know [ h i s ] mind." 4.  Intimate glance:  I n t e n s e emotion i s e x p e r i e n c e d by  g a z i n g i n t o t h e l o v e r ' s eyes. captured i n time.  An e n c h a n t i n g moment i s  The eyes l o c k i n an exchange o f  67  acknowledged i n t i m a c y t h a t o f f e r s a c c e s s i n t o t h e lover's selves.  The  l o o k i s an i n t e r c h a n g e o f  i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t can say " I want you" o r " I know you." U. s a i d she e x p e r i e n c e d d e s i r e emanating from h e r l o v e r s ' look: eyes."  "He  r e a l l y s o r t o f devoured me w i t h h i s  N. d e s c r i b e d i t as f o l l o w s :  " I couldn't take  my eyes o f f him, he c o u l d n ' t t a k e h i s eyes o f f me...Both o f us knew t h a t e v e n t u a l l y we would have an affair."  For M.,  on t h e o t h e r hand, i t was more a  sense o f b e i n g "known": see r i g h t t h r o u g h 5.  I n s t a n t bonding:  " H i s eyes l o o k e d l i k e he c o u l d  me." Although s i m i l a r t o " i n t i m a t e glance"  and o c c u r r i n g o f t e n s i m u l t a n e o u s l y , " i n s t a n t deserves a separate category.  The  bonding"  feelings that  s u r r o u n d and u n d e r l i e i n s t a n t bonding a r e s e v e r a l . There i s a sense o f connectedness, y e a r n i n g and n e e d i n e s s . concert "immediately". was  physical desire,  These emotions o c c u r i n For example, M. n o t e d t h a t " i t  i n s t a n t . . . I had never had t h a t happen t o  before."  I n a s i m i l a r manner N. s a i d , " I was  me really  almost s p e e c h l e s s . "  She opened t h e door and saw  man  "We  standing there.  this  j u s t stood there l o o k i n g at  each o t h e r w i t h o u t r e a l i z i n g t h a t t h e r e were p e o p l e t h e r e . . . . I t was  like  electricity."  R. s t a t e s t h a t b o t h he and h i s l o v e r  immediately  r e c o g n i z e d t h e i r " t a l k i n g p o t e n t i a l , " and he s a i d , " I was  drawn t o h e r t h a t s t r o n g l y . "  68  6.  F e e l i n g out o f c o n t r o l and swept away;  P e o p l e have a  sense o f b e i n g caught up i n an emotion t h a t has a of  i t s own.  stopped.  nor  N. and h e r l o v e r " c o u l d n o t keep away from  one a n o t h e r . " of  F e e l i n g s can be n e i t h e r c o n t r o l l e d  life  B. e x p r e s s e d a f e a r t h a t " t h e s e p a s s i o n s  mine would j u s t t a k e o v e r " and he would be "swept  away" by h i s a r d o r . U. f e l t " f r a g i l e " , and d e s c r i b e d h e r l a c k o f c o n t r o l as " b e i n g out o f my mind."  She remembered  r u n n i n g out o f a c o n f e r e n c e t o answer t h e t e l e p h o n e i n case i t was h e r l o v e r c a l l i n g , " t h i n g s t h a t I would never do i n my r i g h t mind." F o r A.,  h e r "overwhelming"  f e e l i n g s were a  c a t a l y s t t o t h e break up o f h e r m a r r i a g e .  " I t was  i f I d i d n ' t have c o n t r o l . . . . I t h i n k i t f e l t l i k e I  as was  being hypnotized." M., movies, in  love.  who  r e a d romance n o v e l s and went t o r o m a n t i c  a c c e p t e d t h e c u l t u r a l norm t h a t p e o p l e For h e r , p a r t o f t h e f a l l was  "fell"  an i n a b i l i t y t o  c o n t r o l f e e l i n g s , so i t was a c c e p t a b l e t o f e e l "helpless".  M i d d l e phase  7.  Recognition of a d i s t i n c t kind of love: f e a t u r e s o f t h e e x p e r i e n c e may  Although  d i f f e r i n each  case,  p e o p l e r e c o g n i z e t h e i n - l o v e f e e l i n g and a r e a b l e t o  69  distinguish  i t from o t h e r l o v e f e e l i n g s .  b e l i e v e the experience being.  Lovers  touches t h e core o f t h e i r i n n e r  F o r A., i t was as though she was t a p p e d a t a  "deep and u n c o n s c i o u s l e v e l " . i n t e l l e c t u a l connection.  F o r R. , i t was an  He d e s c r i b e d a "mental  s t i m u l u s " t h a t s e t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p a p a r t from o t h e r s . 8.  Euphoria:  As r o m a n t i c  sense o f e u p h o r i a .  l o v e f e e l i n g s blossom, so does a  People experience  f e e l i n g s o f j o y and w e l l - b e i n g .  extremely  There i s an i n c r e a s e d  v i t a l i t y , as i f somehow t h e l o v e f e e l i n g s p e o p l e t o become more v i b r a n t .  good  empower  L i f e t a k e s on an added  d i m e n s i o n w h i c h g i v e s i n c r e a s e d meaning t o t h e i r w o r l d . A. d e s c r i b e d i t as a " e u p h o r i c w a l k i n g on c l o u d s , k i n d o f up i n t h e a i r .  You know, you c o u l d be spaced o u t  j u s t about i n h a l f a second."  F o r U., h e r h e i g h t e n e d  sense o f f e e l i n g " a l i v e " s p i l l e d o v e r i n t o " t h i s glow, j u s t s o r t of a f e e l i n g of excitement." was a "source had 9.  felt  F o r R.,  life  o f c o n s t a n t j o y , " something he "never...  before."  Exclusive relationship;  The i n - l o v e e x p e r i e n c e i s  c h a r a c t e r i z e d by i t s spontaneous e x c l u s i v i t y .  The  f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h each o t h e r makes a s i m i l a r r e l a t i o n ship with a t h i r d party unlikely. t i v i t y t o t h e i r surroundings diminishes.  The l o v e r ' s s e n s i -  and o t h e r p e o p l e  I t i s as though t h e l o v e r s have e n t e r e d a  d i f f e r e n t r e a l i t y , one i n which t h e y e x i s t o n l y f o r each o t h e r .  M. r e c a l l e d t h a t " i t f e l t l i k e he and I  70  were t h e o n l y ones i n t h e w o r l d .  A l l these  other  p e o p l e were d a n c i n g around us, b u t we were t h e o n l y ones t h a t r e a l l y were i n each o t h e r ' s eyes o r i n each other's heart." 10.  Intimacy:  A sense o f i n t i m a c y c h a r a c t e r i z e s t h e mutual  t r u s t n e c e s s a r y t o r i s k r e v e a l i n g innermost and f e e l i n g s . 1  I t i s an i m p o r t a n t component o f t h e i n -  love experience.  People e x p l o r e t h e i r s i m i l a r i t i e s  d i f f e r e n c e s , r e s u l t i n g i n an exchange o f disclosures.  thoughts  The  and  self-  i n t i m a c y o f t h e s e exchanges c r e a t e s a  sense o f warmth, c o m f o r t and mutual  understanding.  R. e x p e r i e n c e d a depth o f " r i c h n e s s " i n h i s relationship.  He and h i s l o v e r p l a y e d t o g e t h e r , swam,  w a l k e d and cooked t o g e t h e r .  M. commented on t h e l a c k  o f t e n s i o n w i t h h e r l o v e r , and d e s c r i b e d him as b e i n g l i k e a "brother". ons,"  She s a i d t h e r e was  so t h a t she f e l t she c o u l d be  no need f o r "put "comfortably  [her]self." 11.  Oneness/fusion:  People have a sense o f coming t o g e t h e r  i n an e x p l o s i v e f u s i o n . connectedness.  They p e r c e i v e a s t r o n g bond o f  B. d e s c r i b e d h i s "abandonment t o t h a t  f u s i o n . . . t h e s p i r i t u a l i t y and t h e s e x u a l i t y , t h e s i t y of  inten-  it...."  L o v e r s o f t e n e x p r e s s t h e f e e l i n g as h a v i n g a sense of t h e i r "other h a l f " .  As M. o b s e r v e d ,  l i k e the other h a l f of myself." her l o v e r :  She was  " i t almost " a t one"  felt with  " I j u s t f e l t I had known t h i s p e r s o n a l l my  71  life."  U. e x p e r i e n c e d  t h i s f u s i o n w i t h h e r l o v e r as  b e i n g " s t u c k t o g e t h e r " , and as "a sense o f completeness". 12.  Sexual transcendence:  P e o p l e have a s t r o n g d e s i r e f o r  sexual union with the beloved.  However, i t i s t h e  y e a r n i n g f o r u n i o n t h a t needs t o be s a t i s f i e d and i s a more p o w e r f u l  f o r c e t h a n mere s e x u a l s a t i s f a c t i o n .  sexual experience mind and body.  The  i s d e s c r i b e d as encompassing b o t h  R. c o n c l u d e d  t h a t a r e l a t i o n s h i p based  on s e x u a l a t t r a c t i v e n e s s "doesn't work o u t . " s e x - i n - l o v e i s a unique combination  Authentic  t h a t i n c l u d e s "both  p h y s i c a l a t t r a c t i o n and s p i r i t u a l growth." d e s c r i b e d t h e s e x u a l a s p e c t as n o t o n l y  A.  being  " p h y s i c a l l y p o w e r f u l , " b u t a l s o as h a v i n g elements o f the s p i r i t u a l , the emotional 13.  Vulnerability:  and t h e p s y c h o l o g i c a l .  The i n - l o v e e x p e r i e n c e  i s marked by a  w i l l i n g n e s s t o s u r r e n d e r and become v u l n e r a b l e w i t h t h e lover.  Responses t e n d t o s o f t e n , and a t t i t u d e s a r e .  open towards each o t h e r i n t h e e a r l y s t a g e s o f t h e i n love experience.  This f a c i l i t a t e s adjustment t o t h e  needs and i n t e r e s t s o f t h e b e l o v e d . R. r i s k e d s h a r i n g t h e d e l i c a t e p a r t s o f h i m s e l f t h a t he was " s c a r e d o f " :  "You s t a r t s e e i n g , you know,  p a r t s o f y o u r s e l f t h a t you're s c a r e d o f , o r t h e t h i n g s t h a t a r e h o l d i n g you back, o r f e a r f u l p a r t s o f y o u r s e l f , negative parts of y o u r s e l f . "  72  A. d e s c r i b e s t h i s opening up o f h e r s e l f as an awareness t h a t " a l l my b a r r i e r s were g o i n g t o t o t a l l y f a l l down, and I would j u s t be t o t a l l y exposed and raw." 14.  I d e a l i z a t i o n of lover:  The a b i l i t y o f t h e l o v e r s t o  judge r e a l i t y i s i m p a i r e d .  The l o v e r s t e n d t o i g n o r e  n e g a t i v e q u a l i t i e s i n t h e i r l o v e r w h i l e i d e a l i z i n g what t h e y p e r c e i v e as t h e i r mate's v i r t u e s .  In retrospect  t h e y r e c o g n i z e t h a t t h e s e q u a l i t i e s have been exaggerated.  M. was "put on a p e d e s t a l " by h e r l o v e r ,  who " p i c t u r e d [ h e r ] as a p r i n c e s s . "  N. was g l o r i f i e d  by h e r "gorgeous" l o v e r , who thought h e r t h e " b r i g h t e s t " and t h e " p r e t t i e s t " o f women. 15.  Obsessive/intrusive thinking: one become a l l - c o n s u m i n g .  Thoughts o f t h e l o v e d  A feeling of helplessness  o c c u r s as t h e i n d i v i d u a l i s l o s t i n o b s e s s i v e daydreams o f , o r about, t h e l o v e r .  Fantasies interfered with  c o n c e n t r a t i o n , c a r e e r , and, f o r M., " e v e r y t h i n g e l s e i n [her] l i f e . "  She f e l t l i k e a "zombie," and "daydreamed  a l l the time." B. d e s c r i b e d t h i s s t a t e o f t o t a l i n v o l v e m e n t h i s l o v e r as f o l l o w s : constant thought,  with  "She would be l i k e a c o n s t a n t , a  a constant..."  He would s t o p what he  was d o i n g and f o c u s h i s energy e n t i r e l y on h i s l o v e r , " r e a l l y j u s t r e v e l a n d . . . j u s t be t o t a l l y i n v o l v e d w i t h her," t o the e x c l u s i o n of everything e l s e .  73  N. was " a b s o l u t e l y o b s e s s e d . "  She had h e r o n l y  car accident while l o s t i n thoughts of h e r l o v e r .  "I  a t e , drank and s l e p t t h i n k i n g o f t h i s man, and t h r o u g h o u t t h e day I would j u s t t h i n k about him, constantly." 16.  Emotional  extremes:  The i n - l o v e s t a t e i s d i s t i n g u i s h e d  by an i n t e n s i t y o f f e e l i n g , a p a s s i o n t h a t seems t o be f u e l e d by e i t h e r d e l i g h t i n t h e l o v e r ' s p r e s e n c e o r p a i n due t o absence. joy  P e o p l e v a c i l l a t e between g r e a t  and despondency, o r even e x p e r i e n c e  same t i m e .  both a t t h e  B. i s immersed i n t h e f e r v o r o f r o m a n t i c  a t t r a c t i o n , b u t , a t t h e same t i m e , "has t h e b r a k e s on full."  He d e s c r i b e d h i s message t o E. as s a y i n g "Yes-  Yes, No-No," e q u a l l y s t r o n g l y . emotions as s w i n g i n g  M. d e s c r i b e d h e r  from " e l a t i o n t o d e p r e s s i o n . "  I t appears t h a t impediments t o t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p a l s o p l a y havoc w i t h p e o p l e ' s emotions. experience obstacles. keeping  Lovers  i n t e n s i f i e d longing i n the face of D i s t a n c e from t h e l o v e r was i d e n t i f i e d as  the f e e l i n g a l i v e .  and t h e " f i r e " d i e d down.  B. moved t o a n o t h e r c i t y , The f l a m e s would i g n i t e and  f a n t h e b l a z e when E. f l e w o u t t o v i s i t him. A n t i c i p a t i o n of the next encounter created a s t a t e o f euphoria which helped t o maintain t h e p a s s i o n . W h i l e U. r e v e l e d i n t h e "ego-high" o f l o v e , she a l s o " p i n e d " f o r h e r l o v e r because o f h i s  74  unavailability.  U. e x i s t e d as though on an e m o t i o n a l  see-saw. 17.  I n t u i t i v e understanding of lover:  P e o p l e have an  a l m o s t m a g i c a l sense o f b e i n g u n d e r s t o o d , r e n d e r i n g speech u n n e c e s s a r y .  They p e r c e i v e each o t h e r as  " f i t t i n g " t h e i r image o f a p e r f e c t p a r t n e r .  It isa  mutual r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t does n o t r e q u i r e s e l f explanation.  The l o v e r s f e e l a p o w e r f u l empathy w i t h ,  and a c c e p t a n c e o f , each o t h e r .  Communication f l o w s as  i f from t h e depths o f t h e i r s o u l s .  R. was a t t r a c t e d by  h i s l o v e r ' s a b i l i t y t o know h i s c h a r a c t e r and t h o u g h t s w i t h o u t " e x p l i c i t foreknowledge":  "her remarkable  i n s i g h t i n t o me...She c o u l d a r t i c u l a t e an emotion t h a t I was f e e l i n g b u t c o u l d n ' t a r t i c u l a t e , and do i t i n t u i t i v e l y , I suppose, w i t h o u t enough i n f o r m a t i o n about my p a s t o r p r e s e n t o r i d e a l s a t t h a t t i m e . " A. f e l t t r u s t f o r h e r l o v e r , who r e c o g n i z e d and a n t i c i p a t e d her thoughts.  "He knew what I was g o i n g t o  s a y . . . . I t w a s . . . t h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f each o t h e r somehow." F o r M., i t was as though she and h e r l o v e r were on t h e "same w a v e l e n g t h .  We had t h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g  between u s . " 18.  S p i r i t u a l i t y and t r a n s c e n d e n c e :  As t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p  p r o g r e s s e s , p e o p l e d e s c r i b e t h e connectedness t h e i r l o v e r as h a v i n g a p r o f o u n d s p i r i t u a l  with  dimension  t h a t s e t s i t a p a r t from o t h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  I t was  75  d i f f i c u l t f o r p e o p l e t o v e r b a l i z e more p r e c i s e l y what s p i r i t u a l i t y meant t o them.  However, a t t a c h i n g  the  word " s p i r i t u a l " t o t h i s s i g n i f i c a n t d i m e n s i o n o f i n - l o v e e x p e r i e n c e was an a l l - e m b r a c i n g ing  not d i f f i c u l t .  the  F o r A. t h e r e  was  sense o f b e i n g u n d e r s t o o d — t r a n s c e n d -  the o r d i n a r y — t h a t  was  h a r d t o f i n d words f o r :  "It  w a s . . . t h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f each o t h e r somehow...I f e l t so...I  don't know, I'm  things."  R.  not good a t v e r b a l i z i n g t h e s e  referred to t h i s preternatural  i n e f f a b l e q u a l i t y of h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p as  or  "spiritual  psychology." 19.  O b s c u r i n g of the f u t u r e :  I n k l i n g s o f an  uncertain  f u t u r e w h i c h r e s u l t s i n the d e a t h o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p a r e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of i n t e n s e i n - l o v e e x p e r i e n c e s . P l a n s f o r t h e f u t u r e may implemented.  be d i s c u s s e d ,  In the i n i t i a l stages of  but t h e y a r e  not  the  r e l a t i o n s h i p , the wondrous sense of t h e moment i s f u e l e d by u n c e r t a i n t y and m y s t e r y .  Ultimately,  however, i t l e a d s t o f r u s t r a t i o n and end  the a f f a i r .  a resolution to  A l t h o u g h U. knew t h a t h e r l o v e r would  not l e a v e h i s w i f e , she e x p r e s s e d t h i s " w e i r d hope t h a t maybe something would happen and impact on him her l o v e r .  and he would."  For B.,  She  [she'd] have t h i s e v e n t u a l l y broke w i t h  h i s f e a r of committing t o  the  f u t u r e r e s u l t e d i n E. l e a v i n g t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p .  76  F i n a l phase  20.  Suffering:  Although l o v e r s experience  the transforming  high of romantic love, there i s a l s o a dark s i d e t o these impassioned f e e l i n g s . experienced emotional  The l o s s o f a l o v e r i s  as i n t e n s e sadness, d e p r e s s i o n and  confusion.  R. d e s c r i b e d h i m s e l f as s u f f e r i n g  from " t h e deepest p a i n and sorrow t h a t [he'd] e v e r f e l t — [ h i s ] h e a r t was j u s t i n agony."  He e x p l a i n e d :  "I j u s t f e l t l o n e l y , I f e l t confused, I f e l t lost." and  B. p l u n g e d i n t o d e s p a i r .  totally  He l o s t h i s a p p e t i t e  s p e n t hours c r y i n g o v e r t h e l o s s o f E.. M. f e l t c o n f u s e d and g r i e v e d o v e r h e r l o s s .  b e l i e v e d t h a t she "would never f e e l t h a t h i g h  She  again":  " I was v e r y c o n f u s e d on what l o v e i s , and I k i n d o f d i d n ' t t h i n k i t was t h i s w i l d p a s s i o n anymore.  I just  t h o u g h t i t was s a d . " 21.  Guardedness:  A f t e r a f a i l e d o r p a i n f u l romance, p e o p l e  become c a u t i o u s , and a r e more f e a r f u l t h a n e v e r o f vulnerability.  M. never p e r m i t t e d h e r s e l f t o r e a l l y  f a l l i n l o v e w i t h t h e man she e v e n t u a l l y m a r r i e d ,  never  allowed t h a t fervent f e e l i n g t o take hold again.  R.  has n o t e x p e r i e n c e d  t h e same deep f e e l i n g i n l a t e r  romantic r e l a t i o n s h i p s . U. has n o t met a n o t h e r l o v e r who had t h e same impact on h e r and does n o t b e l i e v e she c o u l d  "subject"  h e r s e l f t o that kind of r e l a t i o n s h i p again.  She  77  described herself  now  as  having a tendency  to  "withdraw." 22.  Self-understanding:  The  in-love  e x p e r i e n c e and  its  a f t e r m a t h expands i n s i g h t .  I t becomes a v e h i c l e  understanding oneself.  lovers  attained  a new  The  l e v e l of awareness.  c r y s t a l l i z e t h e i r wants. system.  She  N.  recognized her  was  " f i n a n c i a l l y independent."  had  many " d i m e n s i o n s " t o  but  b e h a v i n g Yes."  o p e n and  i t i s "no  her  value was  cultural tie"—and For  R.  the  i t , including  of  who  relationship  "coming  into his pattern  S i n c e he  i s now  to  feelings.  She  l e a r n e d t o be  with:  lover's  No, his  to  be  feelings."  acknowledged  more d i r e c t  In a subsequent r e l a t i o n s h i p ,  s e n s i n g a change i n her t o c o n f r o n t him  "saying  f o r him  about h i s  l e v e l of m a t u r i t y .  o f r e j e c t i o n and  of  more a w a r e o f  longer t e r r i f y i n g  direct with his lover  r e a c h e d a new fear  to  myself."  gained i n s i g h t  feelings,  had  They were a b l e  n e e d f o r a l o v e r who  same r e l i g i o n — " I n e e d t h e  B.  they  came t o a c c e p t h e r  the  understand  f e l t that  for  feelings,  "Have y o u r f e e l i n g s  she  M. her  about  upon was  able  changed  for  me?" Clusters  The divided  of  Themes  t w e n t y - t w o themes drawn from t h e into three sections.  onset of the  relationship,  interviews  are  Those themes o c c u r r i n g  d u r i n g the  relationship  at  and  the in  78  t h e a f t e r m a t h o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p a r e grouped t o g e t h e r . W i t h i n t h e s e c t i o n s t h e themes a r e o r d e r e d i n t h e sequence i n which t h e y were e x p e r i e n c e d by t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . of  Many  t h e themes o c c u r s i m u l t a n e o u s l y and not n e c e s s a r i l y i n  t h e same o r d e r f o r each o f t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . s e c t i o n c o n t a i n s themes 1-6:  the f e e l i n g s  The  opening  initially  e x p e r i e n c e d on meeting t h e l o v e r . The m i d d l e s e c t i o n , c o n t a i n i n g themes 7-14, two p a r t s .  c o n s i s t s of  The themes c o n s t i t u t i n g t h e f i r s t p a r t (7-13)  r e f l e c t t h e emotions t h e i n d i v i d u a l e x p e r i e n c e s i n d i r e c t response t o t h e e x i s t e n c e o f t h e l o v e r .  When each o f t h e  c o - r e s e a r c h e r s e x p e r i e n c i n g v u l n e r a b i l i t y spoke about t h e s e f e e l i n g s t h e r e seemed t o be a t u r n i n g - p o i n t , n o t away from t h e l o v e r , but as a need t o b o t h u n d e r s t a n d t h e e x p e r i e n c e and a f f i r m t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e l o v e r . of  The second  t h e m i d d l e s e c t i o n (themes 14-19) seems t o a d d r e s s  part  this  "turning point." The denouement o r f i n a l phase c o n t a i n s themes 20-22. The o v e r a l l e x p e r i e n c e o f r o m a n t i c l o v e i s n o t s e q u e n t i a l , but i t has been d i v i d e d i n t h i s manner t o promote ease o f understanding.  Three Phases o f a Romantic Love E x p e r i e n c e  I n i t i a l phase 1.  Incompleteness  2.  Readiness  79  3.  Sense o f a t t r a c t i o n  4.  Intimate glance  5.  I n s t a n t bonding  6.  F e e l i n g o u t o f c o n t r o l and swept away  M i d d l e phase 7.  Recognition of a d i s t i n c t kind of love  8.  Euphoria  9.  Exclusive  10.  Intimacy  11.  Oneness/fusion  12.  Sexual  13.  Vulnerability  14 .  I d e a l i z a t i o n of lover  15.  Obsessive/intrusive  16.  E m o t i o n a l extremes  17.  I n t u i t i v e understanding of l o v e r  18.  S p i r i t u a l i t y and t r a n s c e n d e n c e  19.  Obscuring of the future  relationship  transcendence  thinking  F i n a l phase 20.  Suffering  21.  Guardedness  22.  Self-understanding  C o n t e x t f o r Viewing; t h e E x h a u s t i v e  Description  The e x h a u s t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n i s a n a r r a t i v e o f t h e theme descriptions.  I t c o n t a i n s a b e g i n n i n g , m i d d l e and end, and  80  d e s c r i b e s t h e e x p e r i e n c e o f r o m a n t i c l o v e as i t was e x p e r i e n c e d by t h e s i x c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . Movement can be seen w i t h i n t h e n a r r a t i v e .  The o v e r a l l  e x p e r i e n c e , however, i s n o t a l i n e a r phenomenon, and t h e v a r i o u s emotions d e s c r i b e d need t o be v i e w e d as h a v i n g o c c u r r e d s i m u l t a n e o u s l y on some o c c a s i o n s .  Exhaustive D e s c r i p t i o n P r i o r t o the romantic love experience the cor e s e a r c h e r s i n d i c a t e d f e e l i n g an u n a c c o u n t a b l e r e s t l e s s n e s s . R. was r u n n i n g h i s a f f a i r s " w i t h o u t any e x t e r n a l s c h e d u l e o r sense o f g o a l . "  U. r e p o r t e d t h a t she "had reached  n e g a t i v e s t a t e , a v e r y depressed marriage way."  a very  s o r t o f s t a t e i n my  and was f e e l i n g q u i t e h o p e l e s s about t h a t i n a  N. noted t h a t h e r move t o a new c i t y gave h e r a  f e e l i n g o f freedom. wanted."  " I c o u l d almost do a n y t h i n g t h a t I  The r e s t l e s s n e s s i s accompanied by a f e e l i n g t h a t  something i s m i s s i n g i n t h e i r l i v e s . incompleteness. marriage, the time."  There i s a sense o f  A., r e f l e c t i n g on e i g h t e e n y e a r s o f  s a y s , " I must have known t h a t i t was m i s s i n g a l l M. e x p r e s s e d  s u r p r i s e t h a t a f t e r meeting her  l o v e r , she f e l t t h a t h e r " w o r l d had never b e e n . . . t h a t [she] must have been g r e a t l y l a c k i n g something." being  U.  experienced  "unfulfilled . 1 1  The f e e l i n g s and emotions t h a t a r e e x p e r i e n c e d i n t h i s i n t r o d u c t o r y phase induce a s t a t e o f r e a d i n e s s f o r new experiences t o occur.  The need f o r p a s s i o n i s h i s l i f e was  t h e impetus f o r B.  H i s w i f e had r e c e n t l y l e f t him and  was  unhappy i n h i s p r e s e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p .  his  l i f e he was  ready f o r a r o m a n t i c  F o r U. and f o r N. t h e r e was  When E.  he  entered  involvement.  a l o n g i n g f o r more t h a n  t h e i r marriages provided. T h i s i n t r o d u c t o r y phase s e t s t h e s t a g e f o r t h e encounter.  The encounter  i s i n i t i a t e d by a sense o f  a t t r a c t i o n t o a p a r t i c u l a r o t h e r . . The a t t r a c t i o n u s u a l l y c o n f e r s on a s p e c i f i c a t t r i b u t e o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l t h a t engages t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s a t t e n t i o n and a b e t s t h e i n - l o v e " process.  U. s a i d , "then I h e a r d h i s v o i c e , and  h e a r d him speak, and t h a t was  I  a real seduction i n i t s e l f . "  N. noted t h a t she " l o o k e d a t h i s f a c e . . . . T h i s was gorgeous man  "falling-  I have e v e r seen."  B.,  t h e most  on t h e o t h e r hand,  i n i t i a l l y experienced a strong negative r e a c t i o n to h i s future lover:  "She was t o o l o u d , t o o s u r e o f h e r s e l f ,  too  confident." Accompanying t h i s i n i t i a l a t t r a c t i o n i s t h e i n t i m a t e glance.  The g l a n c e foreshadows f u t u r e i n t i m a c y and  exchanges.  The  l o o k i s an i n t e r c h a n g e o f i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t  can say " I want you" o r " I know you." "spent f o u r h o u r s . . . w i t h t h i s man, It  A. n o t e d t h a t she  and something  f e l t l i k e I was h y p n o t i z e d by t h i s man."  clicked.  U. found t h a t  "he r e a l l y s o r t o f devoured me w i t h h i s eyes...and I remember j u s t f e e l i n g . . . r e a l l y e m o t i o n a l l y c o n n e c t e d somehow."  N. s t a t e s t h a t " I c o u l d n ' t t a k e my eyes o f f him  and he c o u l d n ' t t a k e h i s eyes o f f  me."  82  Simultaneously takes place. yearning  w i t h the i n t i m a t e glance i n s t a n t bonding  The f e e l i n g o f c o n n e c t e d n e s s , p h y s i c a l d e s i r e ,  and n e e d i n e s s o c c u r t o g e t h e r  and " i m m e d i a t e l y . "  M.  n o t e d , " I t was i n s t a n t . . . . I had n e v e r had t h a t happen t o me before."  N. s t a t e s t h a t "we j u s t s t o o d t h e r e l o o k i n g a t  each o t h e r w i t h o u t r e a l i z i n g t h e r e were o t h e r p e o p l e t h e r e . " R. s t a t e d t h a t on m e e t i n g h i s f u t u r e l o v e r b o t h i m m e d i a t e l y recognized  t h a t "we had some t a l k i n g p o t e n t i a l . "  T h i s f i r s t phase o f t h e r o m a n t i c l o v e r e x p e r i e n c e i s o f t e n c h a r a c t e r i z e d o v e r a l l by f e e l i n g s o f b e i n g swept away and  out of c o n t r o l .  The emotions s e t f r e e t h r o u g h t h e  i n t i m a t e g l a n c e and bonding f l o o d t h e i n d i v i d u a l .  A. n o t e d  t h a t " i t was something deep and u n c o n s c i o u s . . . . I t was l i k e I was o u t o f c o n t r o l . "  N. c o u l d n ' t  d e f i n e t h e emotion, o n l y  t h a t " i t was some s p a r k ; we c o u l d n o t keep away from one another."  U. n o t e d t h a t she " d i d n ' t have t h a t c o n t r o l " t h a t  h e r l o v e r had, and t h i s was e x c r u c i a t i n g f o r h e r .  She  engaged i n a c t i o n s t h a t she would "never have done i n h e r r i g h t mind.  I was t o t a l l y o u t o f my mind."  The r e l a t i o n s h i p moves from t h i s i n i t i a l together  t o a r e a l i z a t i o n that t h i s experience i s d i f f e r e n t  from o t h e r s — t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p i s u n i q u e . " i t was so p o w e r f u l , anything  drawing  like i t . "  A. r e c a l l e d t h a t  and so s c a r y . . . . I ' d n e v e r e x p e r i e n c e d N. s t a t e d t h a t she "never was drawn t o  any p e r s o n as [she] was t o him....I'd n e v e r e x p e r i e n c e d those kinds of f e e l i n g s before."  M. n o t e d t h a t she " f e l t a t  83  one w i t h him....I never e v e r dreamed I would f e e l  so  wonderful." The  second phase i s a t i m e f o r r e a d j u s t m e n t and g e t t i n g  t o know one a n o t h e r .  A number o f themes c o n s t i t u t e t h i s  p a r t i c u l a r p e r i o d i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p .  Again, while  the  d e s c r i p t i o n i s n e c e s s a r i l y l i n e a r , many o f t h e f e e l i n g s expressed The  o c c u r s i m u l t a n e o u s l y o r as p a r t o f o t h e r emotions. f e e l i n g accompanying t h e r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t t h i s  i s d i f f e r e n t i s one o f e u p h o r i a . r e l a t i o n s h i p was  love  B. n o t e d t h a t once t h e  e s t a b l i s h e d , he c o u l d " r e a l l y j u s t r e v e l  ...and j u s t be t o t a l l y i n v o l v e d w i t h h e r . . . . A t would be e u p h o r i c . "  R. noted t h a t " i t was  times i t  a sense o f  c o n s t a n t joy....We b o t h gave each o t h e r j o y t o be i n each o t h e r ' s company."  M.  noted t h a t " a l l  [her] f a n t a s i e s , a l l  [her] t h o u g h t s . . . he j u s t f i t a l l o f i t . "  A. d e s c r i b e d i t as  " k i n d o f e u p h o r i c , w a l k i n g on c l o u d s , k i n d o f up i n t h e air." The h e a d i n e s s of t h i s new by i t s spontaneous e x c l u s i v i t y . each o t h e r :  involvement i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d The  lovers e x i s t only f o r  s e n s i t i v i t y to t h e i r surroundings  people diminishes.  M.  r e c a l l e d t h a t " i t was  and  other  like a  cocoon....He and I were t h e o n l y ones xn t h e w o r l d . "  little N.  n o t e d t h a t she wanted t o be w i t h her l o v e r " a l l t h e t i m e ,  to  t o u c h him c o n s t a n t l y . . . . T h i n k i n g back I don't t h i n k we were e v e r i n a a room where we c o u l d t a l k t o o t h e r p e o p l e l o o k i n g a t one  another."  without  84  The  l o v e r s become more i n t i m a t e .  i n n e r m o s t t h o u g h t s and  They r e v e a l t h e i r  f e e l i n g s w i t h one a n o t h e r .  i n t i m a c y o f t h e s e shared  The  s e l f - d i s c l o s u r e s c r e a t e s a sense o f  warmth, c o m f o r t and mutual u n d e r s t a n d i n g . were v e r y c l o s e , and t h e r e was  U. n o t e s ,  a l o t of s o r t of  "we  emotional  intimacy." The  l o v e r s experience  explosive fusion.  a sense o f coming t o g e t h e r i n an  B. d e s c r i b e d h i s "abandonment t o t h a t  f u s i o n . . . t h e i n t e n s i t y of i t . " L o v e r s e x p e r i e n c e as a sense o f d i s c o v e r i n g t h e i r o t h e r h a l f . j u s t f e l t I had known t h e p e r s o n a l l my experienced  M.  life."  the f u s i o n  said, "I U.  a "sense of c o m p l e t e n e s s . "  A major p a r t o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p i s t h e s t r o n g d e s i r e to u n i t e s e x u a l l y w i t h the other. experience  t h a n mere s e x u a l s a t i s f a c t i o n , and  as encompassing b o t h mind and body. experience  I t i s a more p o w e r f u l i s described  A. d e s c r i b e d  w i t h h e r l o v e r as " s p i r i t u a l l y ,  emotionally,  p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y and p h y s i c a l l y p o w e r f u l . . . . I was f r e a k e d out by t h i s man."  it."  was  " I was...very  s t a r t l e d by my p h y s i c a l e x p r e s s i o n  N. remembered t h a t t h e minute he t o u c h e d h e r she  on f i r e — i t was an  absolutely  B. r e c a l l e d t h a t h i s l o v e r  t a k e n aback by h i s e x p r e s s i o n o f p a s s i o n . p a s s i o n a t e . . . . She was  her  of "was  j u s t a m a t t e r o f t i m e b e f o r e we would have  affair." W i t h e x p r e s s i o n o f i n t i m a c y and oneness v u l n e r a b i l i t y  makes i t s e l f f e l t . are taken.  The  l o v e r s are open and g r e a t e r  R. r i s k e d s h a r i n g t h e "hidden"  risks  p a r t of h i m s e l f  85  t h a t he was  "scared of":  "You  s t a r t seeing...parts  of  y o u r s e l f t h a t you're scared of, or the t h i n g s t h a t are h o l d i n g you back, o r f e a r f u l p a r t s o f y o u r s e l f . . . and...these t h i n g s s t a r t coming o u t . "  A. d e s c r i b e s t h i s o p e n i n g up  of  h e r s e l f as an awareness t h a t " a l l my b a r r i e r s were g o i n g t o t a l l y f a l l down...total never experienced  before."  to  d e v a s t a t i n g v u l n e r a b i l i t y t h a t I'd U. e x p r e s s e d  " i n c r e d i b l y vulnerable....That  how  she  felt  i f you have some k i n d o f  disagreement... t h a t f e e l i n g [occurs] of l o s i n g  the  relationship." The  f e e l i n g s of v u l n e r a b i l i t y mark an  awareness o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p and life.  The  increased  i t s meaning w i t h i n one's  l o v e r s ignore the negative q u a l i t i e s i n t h e i r  l o v e r w h i l e i d e a l i z i n g what t h e y p e r c e i v e as t h e i r mate's virtues.  M. was  put "on a p e d e s t a l " by h e r l o v e r ,  p i c t u r e d h e r as a " p r i n c e s s . " l o v e r , who  N. g l o r i f i e d h e r  t h o u g h t her t h e " b r i g h t e s t " and t h e  who  "gorgeous" "prettiest".  Thoughts o f t h e l o v e d one become a l l - c o n s u m i n g .  M.  noted t h a t the f a n t a s i e s i n t e r f e r e d w i t h " e v e r y t h i n g e l s e i n [her] l i f e . " the thoughts."  She daydreamed a l l t h e t i m e . N. noted t h a t she was  "I couldn't  " a b s o l u t e l y obsessed,"  having her only car accident w h i l e l o s t i n thoughts of lover. The  stop  " I a t e , drank and s l e p t t h i n k i n g o f t h i s  her  man."  o b s e s s i v e t h o u g h t s and t h e f e e l i n g s o f  v u l n e r a b i l i t y combined t o produce a r o l l e r c o a s t e r e f f e c t o f h i g h s and lows w i t h i n t h e i n d i v i d u a l .  B. n o t e d t h a t he  "behaving Yes and s a y i n g No...both e q u a l l y s t r o n g l y . . . . !  was  86  d i d n ' t want t o l o s e t h a t p a s s i o n , t h a t i n t e n s i t y . " r e c a l l s t h a t " i t was v e r y e x c i t i n g , b u t a l s o f r u s t r a t i n g , because I c o u l d n ' t  U.  very  see t h i s p e r s o n as much as I  wanted t o . " The  closeness  experienced i n t h i s p h a s e — t h e  constant  t h i n k i n g about t h e o t h e r — l e d t o an i n t u i t i v e u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h e l o v e r .  The l o v e r s f e e l empathy w i t h , and a c c e p t a n c e  o f , each o t h e r .  R. e x p r e s s e d awe t h a t h i s l o v e r " c o u l d see  t h i n g s about me t h a t I c o u l d n ' t myself."  A. remembers t h a t .  see t h a t I f e l t about  " I t was as i f he was j u s t  like  r e a d i n g my mind o r something a l l t h e t i m e . . . . I t was t h i s i n c r e d i b l e u n d e r s t a n d i n g between u s . " The  f e e l i n g o f b e i n g u n d e r s t o o d gave t h e two l o v e r s a  sense o f c o n n e c t e d n e s s . s p i r i t u a l dimension.  The e x p e r i e n c e was f e l t t o have a  B. s a i d t h a t t h e J e w i s h a s p e c t o f E.  was a l a r g e p a r t o f h i s a t t r a c t i o n t o her. l i k e a basic foundation  "Spirituality i s  t o my l i f e . . . . I t h i n k a l o t o f t h e  s p i r i t u a l i t y would have been hooked up w i t h t h e s e x u a l i t y also."  R. n o t e d t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p s o c c u r r i n g a f t e r t h e s i g -  n i f i c a n t one never had t h a t s p i r i t u a l d i m e n s i o n — " I t ' s  never  m a t e r i a l i z e d i n t h a t same way a g a i n . " I n t h e moment t h a t t h e i n d i v i d u a l i s a t one w i t h t h e l o v e r , p a r a d o x i c a l l y t h e r e i s a f e a r and t h e n an awareness t h a t t h i s may n o t r e a l i s t i c a l l y w o r k — t h a t t h e f u t u r e p r o b a b l y n o t be e x p e r i e n c e d w i t h t h e o t h e r . he  will  R. s t a t e d t h a t  " d i d n ' t want... t h i n g s t o p r o c e e d any d i f f e r e n t l y t h a n  t h e y were."  N. f e l t t h a t "deep down I knew t h a t we  87  w o u l d n ' t . . . w o u l d n ' t be a good m a r r i a g e . "  B. n o t e d t h a t " i f  I had been l i s t e n i n g t o my body I would have known t h a t . . . t h e r e ' s a f u t u r e . . . . I r e a l l y had such a p o w e r f u l s t r u g g l e between t h a t Yes and No." W i t h t h e d e c i s i o n t o p u l l back and end t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p a l o t of soul searching  occurs,  and t h e i n d i v i d u a l goes  t h r o u g h a p e r i o d o f i n t e n s e shock and g r i e f . t h a t he " f e l t l o n e l y , c o n f u s e d , f e l t t o t a l l y  R. r e c a l l s lost....  [ N o t h i n g ] h e l p e d i n terms o f a l l a y i n g t h e k i n d o f p a i n I was going through." couldn't  B. "was v e r y a f r a i d f o r [ h i m ] s e l f . . . . I  e a t a l l t h a t t i m e . . . . T h i n g s go i n t o a n i c e  dark depression  f o r about s i x months."  long  U. r e c a l l s b e i n g i n  a s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n w i t h h e r l o v e r and h i s w i f e and f r i e n d s and  f e e l i n g , " T h i s i s i t . . . . I t was v e r y demeaning.  I t was a  v e r y v e r y k i n d o f down k i n d o f f e e l i n g . . . . I became i n c r e a s i n g l y more d i s s a t i s f i e d w i t h j u s t h a v i n g i t l i k e  that  and r e s o l v e d t o end i t . " I n t h e a f t e r m a t h o f t h e sadness and h u r t t h e i n d i v i d u a l becomes more wary i n a p p r o a c h i n g new r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  M.  felt  t h a t no one c o u l d make t h a t k i n d o f impact on h e r a g a i n : " I t would have t o be Superman f o r me t o f e e l — t o i d e a l i z e t h e p e r s o n i n t h a t way."  R. r e c a l l e d t h a t he d i d n ' t have  a n o t h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p a f t e r t h a t f o r two y e a r s .  " I wasn't  able t o handle another r e l a t i o n s h i p . " The  d i m i n i s h i n g o f g r i e f and sadness a l l o w s t h e  i n d i v i d u a l t o l o o k a t t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p and a c h i e v e s e l f understanding.  B. f e l t t h a t h i s l o v e r h e l p e d him t o l e a r n  88  more about h i m s e l f .  "One v e r y c l e a r t h i n g i s t o s i m p l y have  more courage, t o be more d i r e c t . "  U. n o t e d t h a t " i t was a  real f u l f i l l i n g  f o r both of us."  k i n d of experience  R.  s t a t e d t h a t he had become "much more f o r g i v i n g . . . n o t n e a r l y so demanding on m y s e l f o r o t h e r p e o p l e . "  Context f o r Viewing the E s s e n t i a l S t r u c t u r e The  e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e i s a shortened d e s c r i p t i o n o f  the romantic love e x p e r i  the romantic love experience.  t h e b a s i c components o f t h e e x h a u s t i v e  d e s c r i p t i o n , forming  a p a t t e r n which i s the core of t h e experience.  The purpose  o f t h e e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e i s t o d e s c r i b e t h e meaning o f t h e experience  as s u c c i n c t l y as p o s s i b l e .  Essential  Structure  Before the romantic love experience unaccountable r e s t l e s s n e s s .  people f e l t  A sense o f i n c o m p l e t e n e s s and a  f e e l i n g t h a t something was m i s s i n g i n t h e i r accompanied t h e r e s t l e s s f e e l i n g . state of readiness  an  lives  The f e e l i n g s i n d u c e a  f o r new e x p e r i e n c e s .  e x p e c t a t i o n t h a t something new w i l l  P e o p l e have an  enter t h e i r  lives.  These f e e l i n g s o f e x p e c t a t i o n and r e a d i n e s s a r e rewarded by p e o p l e e x p e r i e n c i n g a sudden and u n a c c o u n t a b l e a t t r a c t i o n t o a p a r t i c u l a r other.  The i n i t i a l a t t r a c t i o n  c o u l d be v o i c e , t o u c h , o r e x t e r n a l appearance.  The s p e c i f i c  a t t r i b u t e would be such t h a t p e o p l e c o u l d r e a d i l y d i f f e r e n t i a t e t h e l o v e r from o t h e r s .  The  89  F o l l o w i n g and almost accompanying t h e a t t r a c t i o n i s the i n t i m a t e glance. i n s t a n t bonding,  The  initial  intimate glance,  and t h e f e e l i n g s o f b e i n g out o f c o n t r o l  and swept away o c c u r s i m u l t a n e o u s l y .  P e o p l e seemed t o be  " f l o o d e d " e m o t i o n a l l y by t h e e x p e r i e n c e .  Within t h i s short  space t h e r e i s a f e e l i n g o f connectedness and experiencing of  an  completeness.  P e o p l e e x p e r i e n c e t h i s new from p r e v i o u s e n c o u n t e r s .  r e l a t i o n s h i p as b e i n g u n i q u e  T h i s p a r t i c u l a r encounter  c h a r a c t e r i z e d by f e e l i n g s o f e u p h o r i a , e x c l u s i v i t y intimacy.  The  the  is and  shared s e l f - d i s c l o s u r e r e i n f o r c e s t h e i r  t o g e t h e r n e s s t o t h e e x c l u s i o n o f o t h e r s and c r e a t e s a p e r p e t u a t i n g atmosphere o f warmth and mutual  understanding.  P e o p l e speak about d i s c o v e r i n g t h e i r o t h e r h a l f .  The  f e e l i n g s o f connectedness a r e l i k e n e d t o an e x p l o s i v e fusion. plane.  T h i s o c c u r s on t h e e m o t i o n a l and on t h e p h y s i c a l The  sexual experience transcends the b o d i l y act t o  encompass t h e mind and t h e s o u l . The  i n t i m a c y and s h a r i n g b r i n g on f e e l i n g s o f  v u l n e r a b i l i t y as g r e a t e r r i s k s a r e t a k e n and s e c r e t s a r e shared.  The  f e e l i n g s o f v u l n e r a b i l i t y i n t e n s i f y , and i n  o r d e r t o p r o t e c t themselves  p e o p l e choose t o i g n o r e t h e  n e g a t i v e q u a l i t i e s a l o v e r may  have.  The tendency i s t o  i d e a l i z e t h e v i r t u e s o f t h e l o v e r and t o enhance t h e r o l e o f t h e l o v e r w i t h i n one's l i f e . The  l o v e d one becomes c e n t r a l t o a p e r s o n ' s e x i s t e n c e .  Thoughts o f t h e l o v e d one become o b s e s s i v e and  all-  90  consuming. actions,  The e m o t i o n a l s t a b i l i t y o f p e o p l e i s t i e d t o t h e  i n t e r a c t i o n s and r e a c t i o n s o f t h e b e l o v e d .  The t o g e t h e r n e s s , t h e c l o s e n e s s even when n o t t o g e t h e r , l e a d s t o f e e l i n g s o f empathy and a c c e p t a n c e o f t h e b e l o v e d as w e l l as t o f e e l i n g s o f b e i n g u n d e r s t o o d i n t u i t i v e l y by the beloved.  The f u s i o n , t h e connectedness,  and t h e  i n t u i t i v e u n d e r s t a n d i n g a r e as one w i t h s p i r i t u a l i t y i n t h e romantic love r e l a t i o n s h i p . A t t h e moment o f g r e a t e s t c l o s e n e s s t h e r e a l i z a t i o n o c c u r s t h a t t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p may n o t be " f o r e v e r " . decision  The  t o terminate the r e l a t i o n s h i p i s fraught with  difficulties.  P e o p l e e x p e r i e n c e i n t e n s e shock and g r i e f and  e n t e r i n t o a mourning s t a t e . R e l a t i o n s h i p s a r e no l o n g e r r e g a r d e d c a s u a l l y o r as lightly.  A c e r t a i n w a r i n e s s and c a u t i o n e x e m p l i f i e s t h e  a t t i t u d e toward new r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  The passage o f t i m e  h e a l s , and p e o p l e found t h a t t h e y c o u l d b e g i n t o l o o k a t t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p and engage i n t h e n e c e s s a r y s o u l - s e a r c h i n g without experiencing the pain.  The u n d e r s t a n d i n g g a i n e d  from t h e e x p e r i e n c e e n a b l e d p e o p l e t o move f o r w a r d w i t h g r e a t e r awareness o f what b e i n g i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p i n v o l v e s and what i s r e q u i r e d s h o u l d a new o p p o r t u n i t y a r i s e .  91  CHAPTER V:  Discussion  An a n a l y s i s o f t h e i n t e r v i e w s o f t h e s i x c o - r e s e a r c h e r s e l i c i t e d twenty-two (22) themes t h a t were common t o t h e i r experience of romantic l o v e .  The themes (as p r e s e n t e d i n  Chapter IV) a r e t h e f o u n d a t i o n upon which an e x h a u s t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e l o v e e x p e r i e n c e was w r i t t e n .  The c o -  r e s e a r c h e r s v a l i d a t e d t h e d e s c r i p t i o n and t h e twenty-two themes. The d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e l o v e e x p e r i e n c e as i t e v o l v e d through "dialogue" w i t h the s i x co-researchers i s a beginning:  as f u r t h e r i n v e s t i g a t i o n s o f t h e r o m a n t i c l o v e  experience take place, the i m p l i c a t i o n s of the present f i n d i n g s f o r p r a c t i c a l purposes  such as c o u n s e l l i n g , and f o r  f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h , w i l l be more c l e a r l y d e f i n e d .  Personal Dialogue The e x p e r i e n c e o f r o m a n t i c l o v e as r e v e a l e d t h r o u g h t h e s t u d y emphasizes t h e commonality o f t h e l o v e e x p e r i e n c e . The concept o f r o m a n t i c l o v e has always h e l d a f a s c i n a t i o n f o r me.  From e a r l y a d o l e s c e n c e I q u e s t i o n e d how  d i f f e r e n t p e o p l e c o u l d be brought t o g e t h e r as a consequence o f one emotion:  romantic l o v e .  D i d b e i n g a l o v e r o r l o v e d one r e q u i r e c e r t a i n definitive characteristics?  C o u l d anyone f a l l i n l o v e o r  was i t c o n f i n e d t o a c e r t a i n p e r s o n a l i t y t y p e ?  Could t h e  experience of b e i n g - i n - l o v e occur w i t h i n the m a r i t a l  92  relationship?  Having experienced  " i n s t a n t bonding"  (meeting  a p e r s o n and e x p e r i e n c i n g a sense o f "knowing" beyond words) o u t s i d e t h e m a r t i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p , i t seemed t h a t t h e nature of romantic  very  l o v e ( i t s p a s s i o n / i t s i n t e n s i t y ) were  c o n t r a r y t o the s t a b i l i t y of the m a r i t a l r e l a t i o n s h i p .  A  r e v i e w o f t h e l i t e r a t u r e on l o v e i l l u s t r a t e d t h a t w i t h each a d d i t i o n a l s t o r y o r anecdote t h e d i f f e r e n c e s i n a t t i t u d e s and s t y l e s o f l o v e were more a p p a r e n t t h a n t h e i r similarities. Romantic l o v e i s a l i b e r a t i n g , e n e r g i z i n g emotion, y e t an emotion t h a t u n f o l d s i n a p r e d e t e r m i n e d and pattern.  recognizable  T h i s p a r t i c u l a r p a t t e r n of t h e l o v e e x p e r i e n c e  a d e f i n e d b e g i n n i n g , m i d d l e and end. experience  of romantic  In researching  l o v e as i t i s l i v e d , a new  has  the  dimension  has been added t o what i s a l r e a d y known about t h e phenomena of l o v e .  Theoretical Implications The  l i t e r a t u r e presented  models o f l o v e .  assumptions drawn from s i x  T h i s s t u d y r e a c h e s beyond t h e s e models t o  encompass i n d i v i d u a l e x p e r i e n c e s . experiences  Out o f t h e s e  a d e s c r i p t i o n o f meaning i s formed w h i c h t a k e s  i n t o a c c o u n t t h e complete e x p e r i e n c e The  individual  of being i n l o v e .  r e s u l t s of t h e s t u d y i l l u s t r a t e how  each o f t h e  models r e s t r i c t s t h e i n v e s t i g a t i o n of r o m a n t i c  love.  romantic  complementary  l o v e i s d e f i n e d i n terms s p e c i f i c and  When  t o t h e g i v e n model, o n l y c e r t a i n a s p e c t s o f t h e phenomena o f  93  love are revealed. not c o n s i d e r e d and The  I n t h e models, t h e t o t a l e x p e r i e n c e  is  i s missing.  e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l approach u n f o l d s a  f u l l d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e e x p e r i e n c e t h e event.  b e f o r e , d u r i n g and  after  As t h i s approach a l l o w s t h e phenomenon t o  examined as i t i s e x p e r i e n c e d ,  be  i t takes i n t o account s e v e r a l  o f t h e models p r e v i o u s l y examined. I n t h e c u l t u r a l model, v e r b a l and  behavioural  e x p r e s s i o n s used t o d e f i n e t h e e m o t i o n a l may  experiences  a l s o be used t o d e f i n e o t h e r b e h a v i o u r s .  of love  Solomon  (1988), t h e main proponent of t h e c u l t u r a l model, a s s e r t s that personal choice  ( a l b e i t d e f i n e d by t h e c u l t u r a l m i l i e u )  p l a y s a l a r g e p a r t i n t h e s e l e c t i o n o f one's l o v e .  For  example, M, who  accepted  admitted  t o r e a d i n g romance n o v e l s ,  t h e c u l t u r a l norm t h a t p e o p l e " f a l l " the i n i t i a l  i n l o v e (Theme 6 ) .  In  s t a g e s , i t seemed t h a t none o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l s  i n t e r v i e w e d f e l t t h a t t h e y had c o n t r o l o r c h o i c e i n t h e i r mate s e l e c t i o n (Themes 4, 5, 6 ) . Solomon p u t s f o r t h a r a t i o n a l d i s c u s s i o n o f love.  I m p l i c i t i n h i s d i s c u s s i o n i s the n o t i o n t h a t  l o v e r s who and  romantic two  come t o g e t h e r are matched e m o t i o n a l l y , p h y s i c a l l y  intellectually.  The  experience  of t h e  co-researchers  seemed t o negate t h e r a t i o n a l approach - t h e i r r e c a l l was i r r a t i o n a l behaviours  (Themes 6, 15, 16).  t h a t c h o i c e came i n t o t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p was  The  only time  when t h e  researcher r e c a l l e d his/her d e c i s i o n to terminate relationship  (Theme 19).  of  co-  the  I n t h e case o f t h e c u l t u r a l model,  94  t h e e x p e r i e n c e s , as r e l a t e d i n t h e s t u d y , c h a l l e n g e t h e n o t i o n o f b a s i n g a t h e o r y on observed b e h a v i o u r s o n l y . "Limerence,"  Tennov (1980) n o t e s , " i s a p r o c e s s o f  thought, o r i n t e g r a t i o n o f events"  (p. 1 8 ) . T h i s a s p e c t o f  limerence which d e f i n e s l o v e through t h e emotional  interplay  of c e r t a i n behaviours i n a s p e c i f i c context i s r e f l e c t e d i n some o f t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r ' s e x p e r i e n c e s . F o r example, i n t h e l i m e r e n t model, t h o u g h t s f o c u s on the o b j e c t of d e s i r e .  Without e x c e p t i o n , t h e co-researchers  spoke o f b e i n g h y p n o t i z e d .  U s t a t e s t h a t "he s o r t o f  devoured [ h e r ] w i t h h i s eyes".  A n o t e d t h a t i t was  something "deep and u n c o n s c i o u s " .  N had "never e x p e r i e n c e d  those kinds o f f e e l i n g s before." U n l i k e t h e i n d i v i d u a l s who s h a r e d t h e i r  experiences  w i t h Tennov, t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r s d i d n o t e x p e r i e n c e t h e n e g a t i v e emotions o f shyness,  f e a r f u l n e s s and a n x i e t y . A l l  the co-researchers e x h i b i t e d e x c l u s i v e behaviours  (Theme 9)  towards t h e i r l o v e r s , and found t h a t t h e e m o t i o n a l e x p e r i e n c e enhanced r a t h e r t h a n i n h i b i t e d t h e s e x u a l functioning of the lover. One o f t h e most c o m p e l l i n g outcomes o f t h e s t u d y was the a f t e r e f f e c t of t h e experience - t h e time i t took t o recede i n t o t h e d i s t a n c e and f o r t h e i n d i v i d u a l t o be a b l e to o b j e c t i v e l y assess the experience.  The n o t i o n o f u s i n g a  s p e c i f i c a l l o t m e n t of time t o d e f i n e t h e beginning, middle and end o f t h e event i s c o n t r a r y t o some o f t h e e x p e r i e n c e s of the co-researchers.  95  I n t h e c h e m i c a l model many o f t h e f e e l i n g s d i s c u s s e d by L e i b o w i t z (1983) were e x p e r i e n c e d by t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r s (Themes 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15).  The  and b i o l o g i c a l changes a f f e c t t h e way  f a c t t h a t chemical  i n d i v i d u a l behave i n  r o m a n t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p s emphasizes t h e importance  of  understanding the t o t a l experience of romantic l o v e .  For  example, A d e s c r i b e d b e i n g " k i n d o f e u p h o r i c ... up i n t h e air".  N noted t h a t she was  "obsessed"  and M "daydreamed  most o f t h e t i m e , [she] c o u l d n ' t s t o p t h e t h o u g h t s " . In c o n s i d e r i n g the o v e r a l l experience, the f a c t t h a t t h e s e b e h a v i o u r s might have been c h e m i c a l l y i n d u c e d r e i n f o r c e s t h e n o t i o n t h a t (a) b e h a v i o u r s a l o n e a r e i n s u f f i c i e n t i n d i c a t o r s o f t h e accompanying emotions and  (b)  t h e c o n t e x t w i t h i n which t h e b e h a v i o u r o c c u r s ( i n t h e case o f t h e c h e m i c a l model) i s a f a c t o r f o r L e i b o w i t z i n d e f i n i n g the chemical r e a c t i v e  behaviour.  I n d e f i n i n g a d d i c t i v e l o v e , P e e l e (1975) n o t e s t h a t t h e i n t e n s i t y o f t h e e x p e r i e n c e i s f u e l e d by an i n n e r d e s p e r a t i o n r a t h e r than a d e s i r e t o know t h e o t h e r .  The  e x p e r i e n c e d e s c r i b e d by t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r s spoke t o a need t o know t h e o t h e r .  For B "we  i n each o t h e r ' s company". of emotional intimacy".  b o t h gave each o t h e r j o y t o be  F o r U, " t h e r e was  a l o t of s o r t  The c o - r e s e a r c h e r s i n d i c a t e d  an  overwhelming need t o connect w i t h t h e i d e a l i z e d " o t h e r " ( H a l p e r n , 1982).  T h i s need, u n l i k e t h e "needs" e x p r e s s e d  i n d i c a t i v e o f a d d i c t i v e b e h a v i o u r s , d i d not t a k e o v e r t h e i r e m o t i o n a l and p h y s i c a l w e l l - b e i n g .  precedent  as  96  Freud  (1955) viewed l o v e as an i l l u s o r y e x p e r i e n c e .  In  t h e s t a t e o f " l o v e " Freud h e l d t h a t t h e i n d i v i d u a l p u t a s i d e t h e i r r a t i o n a l b e h a v i o u r and t o o k on i r r a t i o n a l  behaviours.  I n t h e s t u d y , s e v e r a l c o - r e s e a r c h e r s saw, and c o n t i n u e t o see, t h e i r b e l o v e d t h r o u g h a d i f f e r e n t frame o f r e f e r e n c e . Many o f t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r s a l s o engaged i n i r r a t i o n a l behaviours.  They d i d n o t , however, see t h e m s e l v e s as de-  e n e r g i z e d by t h e e x p e r i e n c e . Fromm s (1956) d e f i n i t i o n o f mature l o v e a p t l y 7  describes the experience of the co-researchers, p a r t i c u l a r l y the transcendent  state.  sense o f b e i n g u n d e r s t o o d  F o r A, t h e r e was an a l l - e m b r a c i n g - transcending the ordinary that  was h a r d t o f i n d words f o r , " i t was ... t h i s  understanding  o f each o t h e r somehow". Fromm (1956) d i s m i s s e s f u s i o n w i t h t h e " o t h e r " as b e i n g t h e p r o d u c t o f mature l o v e .  The c o - r e s e a r c h e r s a l l f e l t  t h a t f u s i o n was a v e r y i m p o r t a n t p a r t o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p , e n h a n c i n g and i n t e n s i f y i n g b o t h t h e p h y s i c a l and t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l aspect of the r e l a t i o n s h i p . Both Branden's (1980) and Maslow's (1986) p e r c e p t i o n o f l o v e appear t o be o u t s i d e o f t h e r o m a n t i c l o v e e x p e r i e n c e , as d e f i n e d by t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r s .  The c o - r e s e a r c h e r s seemed  to experience self-understanding with the termination of the r e l a t i o n s h i p as opposed t o i t o c c u r r i n g d u r i n g t h e l i f e o f the r e l a t i o n s h i p . The e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l approach e x p l o r e s t h e experience of love i n i t s t o t a l i t y .  The e x p e r i e n c e from t h e  97  b e g i n n i n g t o t h e end i s an i n t e g r a t e d whole, t h e p a r t s o f w h i c h cannot be a s s e s s e d  i n s e p a r a t i o n from each o t h e r .  The  s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s seek a d e f i n i t i o n o f l o v e t h r o u g h t h e exploration of various parts of the overall  experience.  T h i s approach d i m i n i s h e s t h e e x p e r i e n c e , weakening t h e impact t h e e x p e r i e n c e has f o r t h e i n d i v i d u a l . T h i s s t u d y i s t h e f i r s t t o e x p l o r e t h e f u l l meaning o f the romantic  love experience.  The e x h a u s t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n  and e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e c a n be seen as a b e g i n n i n g toward t h e development o f a t h e o r y o f r o m a n t i c  step  l o v e as w e l l  as f u r t h e r i n g r e s e a r c h on l o v e .  L i m i t a t i o n s o f Study One o f t h e l i m i t a t i o n s o f t h i s s t u d y p r e v i o u s l y noted i n b o t h t h e c u l t u r a l and t h e l i m e r e n t models i s t h e inadequacy o f t h e language used t o d i s c u s s l o v e . Malone and Malone (1987) i n d i c a t e t h a t l i n g u i s t i c r e s e a r c h i l l u s t r a t e s t h a t o u r language c o n t a i n s f a r more t h a n r e n d e r e d meanings.  I t c o n t a i n s b o t h s t r u c t u r a l and  s p i r i t u a l meaning about o u r s e l v e s as p e r s o n s .  "There i s  meaning and 'meaning w i t h i n meaning' a n d . . . t h e r e may even be meanings between meanings" (p. 3 4 ) . Hendrix  (1988) notes t h a t t h e word " l o v e " i s used i n so  many c o n t e x t s t o d e s c r i b e so many emotions t h a t " l o v e " t h e word has no d i s t i n c t meaning (p. 282) .  The c o n t e x t d e f i n e s  whether one l o v e s c h o c o l a t e , a c e r t a i n book, o r a c e r t a i n person.  98  H e n d r i x (1988) b e l i e v e s t h a t t h i s usage o f one word t o c o v e r many a s p e c t s  of a p a r t i c u l a r experience/emotion  c r e a t e s d i f f i c u l t i e s w i t h i n the t h e r a p e u t i c context.  Person  (1988) s u g g e s t s t h a t language i s a l i b r a r y o f s t o r e d c u l t u r a l wisdom and t h e r e f o r e words a r e f r a u g h t i n h e r e n t c u l t u r a l i n s i g h t s (p. 82).  with  Freud (1921) a l s o n o t e d  t h a t "language has c a r r i e d out an e n t i r e l y j u s t i f i a b l e  piece  o f u n i f i c a t i o n i n c r e a t i n g t h e word ' l o v e ' w i t h i s numerous u s e s " (p. 9 1 ) .  Person f u r t h e r s t a t e s i n h e r book Dreams o f  Love and F a t e f u l E n c o u n t e r s (1988) t h a t t h e word " l o v e " b o t h u n i f i e s d i s s i m i l a r phenomena and conveys t h e u n i f y i n g aim l o v e ( t h a t i s , t h e b r i n g i n g t o g e t h e r o f t h e l o v e r and  of  the  o b j e c t of h i s l o v e ) . I n t h e d i v e r s i t y of e x p e r i e n c e u n d e r l y i n g u n i t y d e f i n e d as l o v e .  t h e r e i s a common The  interviews display  t h i s i n c r e d i b l e v a r i a t i o n i n t h e emotions t h a t u n d e r l i e t h e experience,  y e t each of t h e s e r o m a n t i c l o v e e x p e r i e n c e s  interconnected  t h r o u g h common themes.  I t s h o u l d be  t h a t during the i n t e r v i e w s the co-researchers  were  noted  expressed  d i f f i c u l t y i n f i n d i n g t h e " r i g h t " word t o match a c e r t a i n emotion. A second l i m i t a t i o n of t h e r e s e a r c h p r e s e n t e d manner i n which t h e s i t u a t i o n i s d i s c u s s e d .  The  i s the experience  d e s c r i b e d i s an i n c i d e n t which consumes a g o o d l y p a r t o f  the  i n d i v i d u a l ' s l i f e , t a k i n g p l a c e i n some i n s t a n c e s o v e r a ten-year  period.  Yet i t i s d i s c u s s e d w i t h o u t  reference  to  99  p r e v i o u s l o v e experiences of the i n d i v i d u a l or f a m i l i a l experiences. W i n a r i c k (1985) n o t e s t h a t t h e f i r s t e x p e r i e n c e o f l o v e and o f oneness i s found i n c h i l d h o o d , and t h a t t h e s e experiences e x e r t a profound i n f l u e n c e throughout Person  1990  life.  (1988) a s s e r t s t h a t t h e l o v e r , i n t h e a c t o f  i n l o v e , draws upon h i s p a s t e x p e r i e n c e s .  first  falling  Kevles i n the  May  a r t i c l e on "The O r i g i n o f Mother Love" s t a t e s t h a t t h i s  p r e f e r e n c e f o r one i n d i v i d u a l may emotion we c a l l l o v e .  be i n t h e o r i g i n o f t h e  I t i s not u n r e a s o n a b l e t o suppose  t h a t t h e a b i l i t y o f two i n d i v i d u a l s t o l o v e began w i t h mother l o v e and t h e n e v o l v e d , i n human c u l t u r e , i n t o t h e k i n d o f male-female  attachments we r e c o g n i z e as r o m a n t i c  l o v e (p. 6 5 ) . As noted i n t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n t o t h e paper, t h e r o m a n t i c l o v e e x p e r i e n c e seems t o be s p e c i f i c t o Western s o c i e t y ( B u e h l e r and W e l l s , 1981; Goode, 1959). r e s e a r c h e r s were from N o r t h America.  A l l s i x co-  Whether o r n o t t h e s e  e x p e r i e n c e s would s u r f a c e i n o t h e r c u l t u r e s o r o t h e r s o c i e t i e s would r e q u i r e t h a t b o t h c r o s s - c u l t u r a l i n t r a c u l t u r a l s t u d i e s be u n d e r t a k e n p o s s i b l e s i m i l a r i t i e s and  and  i n order to assess  differences.  As d i s c u s s e d p r e v i o u s l y , each o f t h e models p r e s e n t e d c a p t u r e s an a s p e c t o f l o v e .  The essence o f t h e e x p e r i e n c e  i s h i d d e n w i t h i n t h e m o d e l s — a s t h e essence i s t o be i n t h e meaning o f each unique e x p e r i e n c e .  found  100  I n a n a l y z i n g t h e themes p r e s e n t e d researchers,  by t h e s i x c o -  a p a t t e r n b e g i n s t o emerge t h a t f o r t h e s e s i x  i n d i v i d u a l c o n s t i t u t e s the core of the love  experience.  Implications f o r Counselling I t was s i g n i f i c a n t d u r i n g t h e i n t e r v i e w s t h a t t h e c o r e s e a r c h e r s , a t v a r i o u s t i m e s , commented on t h e i r need t o s h a r e and d i s c u s s t h e e x p e r i e n c e  as i t happened.  During the  second i n t e r v i e w , c o - r e s e a r c h e r s  expressed t h a t reading the  p r o t o c o l s and t h e themes v a l i d a t e d t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e . s i x co-researchers and,  All  mentioned t h a t t h e t e l l i n g o f t h e i r s t o r y  i n p a r t i c u l a r , t h e r e a d i n g o f t h e i r t r a n s c r i p t , had  provided important  a r e l i e f and a l i g h t n e s s , f u r t h e r c l a r i f y i n g i s s u e s f o r them.  The m a j o r i t y o f c o u n s e l l o r s a r e n o t t r a i n e d t o d i s c u s s " l o v e " and i t s a t t e n d a n t  behaviors  ( B u e h l e r and W e l l s , 1981;  L e i b o w i t z , 1983; P e r s o n , 1988; Tennov, 1980). e l i c i t e d i n t h i s s t u d y , as w e l l as t h e study  The themes itself,  will  c o n t r i b u t e t o t h e awareness o f t h e c o u n s e l l o r . I n t h e c o u n s e l l i n g s i t u a t i o n t h e c o u n s e l l o r has t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o become a c o - e x p l o r e r w i t h t h e c l i e n t ( C l a s p e l l , 1984).  Based on t h e feedback from t h e second  i n t e r v i e w s , s t o r y - t e l l i n g as a t e c h n i q u e ,  including  r e c o r d i n g and t r a n s c r i b i n g t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r ' s would be a v a l u a b l e c o u n s e l l i n g t o o l .  experience,  101  The c o u n s e l l o r , as l i s t e n e r , i s a v a i l a b l e f o r t h e i n d i v i d u a l t o u n f o l d h i s / h e r concerns without  feeling  embarrassed, j u d g e d , o r d e f e n s i v e . The c o u n s e l l o r needs t o be f u l l y p r e s e n t w i t h t h e c l i e n t as he o r she d e s c r i b e s t h e l o v e r e l a t i o n s h i p , techniques  such a r e f l e c t i o n , c l a r i f i c a t i o n ,  q u e s t i o n s and summarizing.  B u e h l e r and W e l l s  using  open-ended (1981) c i t e  t h r e e components o f which a c o u n s e l l o r , d e a l i n g w i t h one who has u n d e r t a k e n t h e " l o v e r " r o l e , s h o u l d be aware.  The  first  i s respecting the c l i e n t ' s claim to the r o l e of "lover". According  t o B u e h l e r and W e l l s , a p e r s o n " i n l o v e " t e n d s t o  e x h i b i t c e r t a i n behaviors response t o h i s r o l e .  and e x p e c t s  The c o u n s e l l o r ( i n t h i s s i t u a t i o n )  must t h e n d e c i d e d how he/she w i l l their role.  c e r t a i n behaviors i n  interact with a c l i e n t i n  Using the phenomenological-existential  approach, t r u s t between t h e c l i e n t and t h e c o u n s e l l o r i s e s s e n t i a l , otherwise  t h e r e w i l l be a h e s i t a n c y on t h e p a r t  o f t h e c l i e n t t o d i s c l o s e f e e l i n g s o r t o g l o s s o v e r what happened f o r f e a r o f b e i n g m i s u n d e r s t o o d .  T h i s approach  does n o t r e q u i r e t h a t t h e c o u n s e l l o r u n d e r t a k e any assessment as t o how o r why t h e c l i e n t i s " i n l o v e " . B u e h l e r and W e l l s  (1981) f u r t h e r c i t e t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f  a s c e r t a i n i n g t h e c o s t and reward t h a t t h e l o v e r r o l e for  the c l i e n t .  In using the phenomenological-existential  approach, t h e e x p e r i e n c e the c o u n s e l l o r .  holds  i s n o t open t o i n t e r p r e t a t i o n by  The b e h a v i o r s  of the c l i e n t w i t h i n the  s i t u a t i o n have no p a r t i c u l a r v a l u e o t h e r t h a n as  102  clarification.  The  c l i e n t needs t o f e e l f u l l y f r e e t o  e x p l o r e t h e meaning of t h e Lastly,  experience.  B u e h l e r and W e l l s  (1981) s u g g e s t t h a t  the  c o u n s e l l o r a n a l y z e t h e v a r i o u s elements o f t h e l o v e r r o l e , e s p e c i a l l y as i d e a l i z a t i o n negative  (of t h e l o v e d one)  can have b o t h  and p o s i t i v e consequences f o r t h e c l i e n t .  The  phenomenological-existential  approach i s h o l i s t i c  i n c h a r a c t e r , and as such, c o u n s e l l o r s w o r k i n g w i t h approach a r e  facilitators.  I n s t e a d of e n c o u r a g i n g t h e c l i e n t t o a n a l y z e present  this  the  l o v e s i t u a t i o n , he/she i s encouraged t o p l a c e  the  i n c i d e n t i n such a manner t h a t i t r e l a t e s not o n l y t o previous s i g n i f i c a n t experiences f a m i l i a l concept.  The  experience  but a l s o w i t h i n t h e of l o v e t h e r e b y  becomes an  i n t e g r a l p a r t of t h e growth p r o c e s s r a t h e r t h a n a moment i n t i m e t o be l i v e d t h r o u g h .  I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r Research The  themes e l u c i d a t e d i n t h e s t u d y , s e p a r a t e l y  t a k e n as a whole, may further  and  be used as a s t a r t i n g p o i n t f o r  research.  I n c o n s i d e r i n g f u t u r e e x p l o r a t i o n o f t h e essence o f l o v e , one  c o u l d query t h e themes t h e m s e l v e s .  culture-specific,  Are  they  o r would s i m i l a r themes be found i n o t h e r  cultures?  Would t h e e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e found i n t h e  exhaustive  d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h i s s t u d y be t h e same, o r would a  culture-reflective  s t r u c t u r e emerge?  103  The c o - r e s e a r c h e r s , w i t h one e x c e p t i o n ,  initially  e x p e r i e n c e d t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n t " l o v e a t t r a c t i o n " between t h e o n s e t o f a d u l t h o o d and t h e i r m i d - t w e n t i e s .  I s i t p a r t of  one's l i f e s t a g e s t o e x p e r i e n c e a s t r o n g c o n n e c t i o n t o a s i g n i f i c a n t other?  I f t h e e x p e r i e n c e does n o t o c c u r i n  e a r l y adulthood, w i l l  i t occur at a l a t e r time?  Is the  e x p e r i e n c e a n e c e s s a r y p a r t o f one's "passages"  through  life?  Are t h e r e s p e c i f i c male/female r e s p o n s e s t o t h e  romantic love experience?  F o r example, t h e two male  r e s e a r c h e r s e x p r e s s l y mentioned t h a t s m e l l was them.  important t o  A l s o , t h e two male c o - r e s e a r c h e r s c o n t i n u e d t o  d i s c u s s t h e i r l o v e r s i n i d e a l i z e d terms.  On r e a d i n g t h e  p r o t o c o l , R. s a i d " i t was what I s a i d t h e n and what I t h i n k now."  B. commented t h a t he s t i l l t h i n k s E. i s "the  b r i g h t e s t p e r s o n I have known". Colaizzi  (1978) s t a t e s t h a t t h e e x i s t e n t i a l meaning o f  t h e phenomenological complete.  t h e s i s i s t h a t r e s e a r c h can n e v e r be  Further e x p l o r a t i o n i n t o the area of  romantic  l o v e can o n l y add t o our u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e e x p e r i e n c e .  SUMMARY The purpose o f t h i s s t u d y was t o i n v e s t i g a t e t h e meaning o f r o m a n t i c l o v e b e f o r e , d u r i n g and a f t e r t h e t e r m i n a t i o n of the love r e l a t i o n s h i p .  T h i s was done u s i n g  t h e p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l - e x i s t e n t i a l approach. The s i x c o - r e s e a r c h e r s i n t e r v i e w e d had each e x p e r i e n c e d a s i g n i f i c a n t r o m a n t i c l o v e r e l a t i o n s h i p and were open t o  104  sharing t h e i r experience with the researcher.  The  i n t e r v i e w s were t a p e - r e c o r d e d and t h e n t r a n s c r i b e d . The t r a n s c r i p t s were a n a l y z e d u s i n g C o l a i z z i ' s method (1975).  S i g n i f i c a n t s t a t e m e n t s were p u l l e d from t h e  t r a n s c r i p t s and themes were t h e n f o r m u l a t e d around each statement.  The themes were used t o p r e p a r e an e x h a u s t i v e  description.  The r e s e a r c h e r r e t u r n e d t o each c o - r e s e a r c h e r  f o r v a l i d a t i o n o f t h e t r a n s c r i p t , themes and d e s c r i p t i o n . Person  (1988) noted t h a t r o m a n t i c l o v e i s one o f t h e  most " s i g n i f i c a n t c r u c i b l e s f o r growth"  (p. 2 3 ) . I n o r d e r  t o make sense o f t h e e x p e r i e n c e , one needs t o see what s e t s i t a p a r t from o t h e r human e x p e r i e n c e s (Pope,  1980).  I t i s hoped t h a t t h e r e s u l t s o f t h i s s t u d y w i l l be seen as an o p p o r t u n i t y t o f u r t h e r i n v e s t i g a t e t h e phenomenon o f romantic l o v e .  Bibliography A b e r o n i , F.  (1983).  Falling  i n love.  New  York:  London  House, I n c . A d l e r , A.  (1963).  I n d i v i d u a l psychology.  L i t t l e f i e l d Adams & A r g y l e , M.,  & Cook, M.  York: Aronson,  Paterson,  NJ:  Co.  (1976).  G a z e and m u t u a l  gaze.  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S i m o n and  D r u g s and  Schuster.  the  APPENDIX A:  LETTER  APPENDIX B:  PROTOCOLS  123  Transcript  #1  (Case  M)  K: C o u l d y o u p l e a s e d e s c r i b e i n a s much d e t a i l a s p o s s i b l e w h a t was h a p p e n i n g t o y o u b e f o r e , d u r i n g , a n d a f t e r y o u r r o m a n t i c l o v e r e l a t i o n s h i p , as though you were t e l l i n g a story? M: Okay, I t h i n k I ' v e g o t t o go b a c k t w o y e a r s b e f o r e I met t h i s f e l l o w , a n d I ' l l t e l l y o u why. I was e i g h t e e n a t t h e t i m e , and I ' d e n t e r e d u n i v e r s i t y . And I roomed w i t h t w o women—actually, f o u r w o m e n — f r o m N.A.. And t h r o u g h o u t t h e y e a r , y o u know, I was g o i n g o u t w i t h o t h e r p e o p l e — y o u know, I was e i g h t e e n , I was g o i n g o u t w i t h a l o t o f i n t e r e s t i n g p e o p l e — a n d t h e y w o u l d k e e p g o i n g b a c k a n d f o r t h t o some o f t h e i r m a l e f r i e n d s t h a t t h e y knew i n a f r a t e r n i t y a t S.. A n d t h e y ' d come b a c k a l w a y s , a l l o f t h e m i n u n i s o n , a n d t h e y w o u l d s a y , "Oh, y o u m u s t meet t h i s f e l l o w a t S.. I mean, y o u t w o a r e s o r i g h t f o r e a c h o t h e r , y o u ' v e g o t t o meet h i m . Come up w i t h u s some w e e k e n d . " And w h a t e v e r . W e l l , you know, t h a t was f i n e . I mean, I d i d n ' t t h i n k a n y t h i n g o f i t , b e c a u s e , w e l l , I'm g o i n g o u t w i t h o t h e r p e o p l e , a n d I'm doing other things. And t h e n i n t h e s p r i n g , I w e n t up t o N.A., s t a y e d a t somebody's h o u s e , a n d w e n t t o S.. And t h i s woman w a n t e d me t o meet t h i s f e l l o w . B u t i n s t e a d I met a n o t h e r f e l l o w , a n d he came down l a t e r , a n d t h a t was, y o u know, t h a t was r e a l l y n o t h i n g . B u t i t was f u n n y , b e c a u s e , a g a i n , t h a t c o n n e c t i o n w i t h S.. Next year, these people c o n t i n u o u s l y w e n t up t o S. a g a i n , a n d w o u l d b e s a y i n g t h e same t h i n g . I don't t h i n k they t o l d t h i s f e l l o w about i t . I mean, I t h i n k t h e y j u s t , y o u know, y a k k e d a m o n g s t themselves, the g i r l f r i e n d s . And t h e n one o f my roommates was g o i n g v e r y , v e r y s t e a d y w i t h t h i s f e l l o w ' s b e s t f r i e n d . Y o u know, he was t h i s f e l l o w ' s b e s t f r i e n d . The f e l l o w was I . , t h a t I was g o i n g t o meet. So h i s b e s t f r i e n d w e n t w i t h one o f my r o o m m a t e s . And s o maybe t h e y t a l k e d a b o u t i t a b i t , who knows. Anyway, I w e n t t o T., a n d U o f T a n d t h e n w e n t t o R. f o r my t h i r d a n d f o u r t h y e a r . I g o t t o R. i n my t h i r d year. I went t h r o u g h r u s h , and j o i n e d a s o r o r i t y . J u s t because t h e r e were t w e n t y - e i g h t thousand p e o p l e t h e r e , I f e l t I ' d be t o o l o n e l y a n d w h a t e v e r . So a l l o f u s j o i n e d s o r o r i t i e s , my roommates and I . And t h e y j o i n e d o t h e r s o r o r i t i e s , a n d I j o i n e d o n e . I g u e s s , one o f my roommates and I j o i n e d o n e , t h i s one. And I g o t i n t o t h a t s o r o r i t y , and one o f my p l e d g e c l a s s members o f t h i s s o r o r i t y was I . ' s sister (laughter). When I t h i n k o f i t ! And t h e n when I met h e r , I t h o u g h t , "Oh my God!", I s a i d . I w e n t up t o h e r , a n d I g o t t o know h e r . And t h e n s h e became my roommate i n t h e sorority. Out o f a h u n d r e d women, s h e ' s my roommate. And I thought, "This i s r e a l l y r i d i c u l o u s . " So s h e was my roommate i n t h e s p r i n g , a n d I d i d n ' t t e l l h e r a n y t h i n g a b o u t this. And s h e s a i d t o me, a f t e r r o o m i n g w i t h me f o r a c o u p l e o f w e e k s , I g u e s s i t w a s — h e r name was K . — s h e s a i d , "You know, M., y o u h a v e j u s t g o t t o meet my b r o t h e r . " A n d I  124 t h o u g h t , "Oh my God, I m i g h t a s w e l l t e l l h e r t h i s s t o r y . " I s a i d , "You, t o o ? " And s h e s a i d , "No, r e a l l y , I c a n ' t b e l i e v e i t , how much y o u r e a l l y w o u l d g e t a l o n g . " Okay. So I was r e a l l y p r i m e d f o r t h i s guy. She h a d a p i c t u r e o f h i m i n h e r room. I w e n t down t o h e r h o u s e f o r h e r d i n n e r , down t o S.A., f r o m R., we'd go down f o r t h e w e e k e n d , a n d t h e r e he was. And h e r m o t h e r s a i d t o me, "You m u s t r e a l l y m e e t my s o n ! " ( l a u g h t e r ) So I t h o u g h t , "Oh!" And I d i d s e e a p i c t u r e o f h i m , and he r e a l l y — i t was i n t e r e s t i n g — b e c a u s e I l o o k e d a t h i s p i c t u r e and I r e a l l y l i k e d h i m . I t h o u g h t he was v e r y handsome. He seemed l i k e a f i n e f e l l o w . The f a m i l y was r e a l l y n i c e — v e r y , y o u know, r e a l l y c o n g e n i a l . I f e l t v e r y much a t home w i t h t h a t f a m i l y . B o t h t h e m o t h e r and f a t h e r , and t h e s i s t e r . I t was l i k e my s e c o n d f a m i l y . So J u n e came a r o u n d , and K. w a n t e d me t o s t a y . She h a d i t s e t up. She and h e r m o t h e r w a n t e d me t o s t a y a t h e r h o u s e f o r t h e week, b e c a u s e I was K.'s f r i e n d . And h e r b r o t h e r w o u l d be t h e r e . I said fine. You know, I mean, I was thinking: " T h i s i s r e a l l y funny. You know, y o u ' v e g o t t o r e a l l y f o l l o w t h i s through. I mean, i f p e o p l e a l l t h i n k t h a t t h i s guy's f o r you a n d . . . W e l l , what have I g o t t o lose?" So I remember c o m i n g . . . I was t a k i n g t h i r d - y e a r S p a n i s h t h e n , b e c a u s e I was w r i t i n g t o a f e l l o w i n X.. And he was w r i t i n g me l e t t e r s i n S p a n i s h , s o I f i g u r e d I s h o u l d , y o u know...He was an A m e r i c a n l i v i n g i n X. f o r t h e y e a r , a biology student. Anyway, s o I t o o k S p a n i s h f o r h i m . So a f t e r my S p a n i s h c l a s s was f i n i s h e d , I was w a l k i n g up t h e r o a d — a n d I ' l l n e v e r f o r g e t i t — I was w a l k i n g up t h e s t r e e t back t o the s o r o r i t y house. And t h e r e was a l i t t l e b a l c o n y . And t h e r e was t h i s t a l l , r e a l l y v e r y f a i r , I ' d s a y — n o t blond h a i r , but sandy-coloured h a i r , I ' l l never f o r g e t i t — and he y e l l e d a t . . . N o b o d y h a d t o l d h i m a n y t h i n g . So we t a l k e d about t h i s l a t e r . Nobody h a d s a i d a w o r d t o h i m a b o u t me, b e c a u s e t h e y j u s t w a n t e d t o s e e w h a t w o u l d h a p p e n . B u t I knew a l l a b o u t h i m . He j u s t knew a f r i e n d o f K . ' s , a f r i e n d o f h i s s i s t e r ' s , w o u l d be s t a y i n g t h e r e f o r a week. And he s t o o d o u t t h e b a l c o n y . I f o r g e t what h e . . . I ' l l n e v e r f o r g e t t h e moment, b u t he y e l l e d o u t t o me, a l l t h e way down t h e s t r e e t i n a w o n d e r f u l , you know—"How d i d y o u r t e s t go?" or something t o t h a t e f f e c t . As i f he a l w a y s knew me, you know. And I s a i d , "Oh, w h a t a n e a t guy. What a n i c e fellow." And he s a i d , "Come on up." You know. "We're g e t t i n g r e a d y t o go, and I ' d l o v e t o meet y o u . " Or w h a t e v e r , y o u know. He was v e r y c o n g e n i a l . And we t a l k e d a b o u t i t a f t e r w a r d s , t h a t i t was r e a l l y odd. I mean, e v e n when he saw me, he s a i d , w a l k up t h e s t r e e t . And when I saw h i m f r o m a d i s t a n c e on t h e b a l c o n y — I g u e s s my e y e s w e r e b e t t e r t h e n ; now I w o u l d n ' t e v e n be a b l e t o s e e him!—that he j u s t , he r e a l l y i m m e d i a t e l y l i k e d me. And I g u e s s I i m m e d i a t e l y l i k e d him. And we w e n t u p s t a i r s and I t h o u g h t , "Oh my God!" I w a l k e d i n t h e room and t h e r e he was. I t h o u g h t , "Oh my g o s h . Oh!" I was r e a l l y a l m o s t s p e e c h l e s s . He was, l i k e , my i d e a l t h a t I h a d a l w a y s f a n t a s i z e d a b o u t , s t a n d i n g r i g h t t h e r e i n f r o n t o f me. I t almost f e l t l i k e  125 other h a l f of myself. I mean, t h e r e was n o . . . I t was we s t o o d t h e r e , j u s t s o r t o f l o o k i n g a t e a c h o t h e r .  just,  K: I t s o u n d s a s t h o u g h i t h a p p e n e d i n s t a n t a n e o u s l y f o r y o u . M: I t was. I n s t a n t . I t was i n s t a n t . And I t h o u g h t , n e v e r h a d t h a t e v e r h a p p e n t o me b e f o r e .  I  K: Can y o u d e s c r i b e t h e f e e l i n g s t h a t w e r e h a p p e n i n g f o r y o u at t h e time? M: ( p a u s e ) I f e l t it."  I ' d met my h u s b a n d .  I f e l t that, "This i s  K: I n w h a t way was t h i s i t ? M: I j u s t f e l t I h a d know t h i s p e r s o n a l l my l i f e . That t h i s r e a l l y f i t . T h i s p e r s o n f i t . T h e way h e i n t e r a c t e d w i t h me, he f i t a l l my v a l u e s . I f e l t s e c u r e w i t h him. And t h a t i n s t a n t , h e f i t my image o f my t y p e , y o u know, t h e t y p e I w o u l d b e a t t r a c t e d t o . He l o o k e d l i k e a n I v y L e a g u e u n i v e r s i t y f e l l o w , b u t a t t h e same t i m e , s t r o n g i d e a l s o n a s o c i a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f t h i n g s . L i k e , h e came f r o m a v e r y w e l l - o f f f a m i l y , very w e l l brought-up, b u t very strong ideals. A n d j u s t r e a l l y my t y p e . Y o u know, b y s t r o n g i d e a l s I mean r e a l l y g o i n g o u t a n d h e l p i n g t h e w o r l d . You know, I mean, I was o n l y t w e n t y - o n e ( l a u g h t e r ) . I g u e s s , I was a l i t t l e b i t i d e a l i s t i c t h e n o r s o m e t h i n g . So h e f i t everything. He f i t e v e r y s i n g l e t h i n g I ' d e v e r t h o u g h t I wanted i n a person. K: So i t w a s n ' t a s t h o u g h s o m e t h i n g p a r t i c u l a r s t o o d o u t f o r you? M: Oh, I r e a l l y l i k e d h i s s m i l e , h i s e y e s . H i s eyes sparkled. H i s e y e s h a d a l o t o f k i n d n e s s i n them. H i s e y e s l o o k e d l i k e h e c o u l d s e e r i g h t t h r o u g h me. I felt i m m e d i a t e l y u n d e r s t o o d , l i k e h e ' s a l w a y s known me. K: Can y o u e l a b o r a t e on t h i s  feeling of being  understood?  M: T h a t ' s a h a r d o n e . ( p a u s e ) I know we d i d n ' t r e a l l y h a v e t o f i l l i n a l o t . T h a t we w e r e r i g h t o n t h e same wavelength. And s o m e t h i n g I s a i d , he w o u l d come r i g h t b a c k and a n s w e r i t . I t was j u s t r e a l l y d i r e c t c o m m u n i c a t i o n . B u t t h e r e was j u s t s o much k i n d n e s s i n h i s e y e s . So much warmth, i n t e l l i g e n c e . I t was j u s t r e a l l y , y o u know...He w a s n ' t a t S. a t t h a t t i m e . I should say t h a t also. I was a t R., a n d he was b a c k a t G. U n i v e r s i t y g e t t i n g h i s Master's. A n d s o , I mean, t h a t ' s why I d i d n ' t s e e h i m t h a t whole year. He came home f o r t h e summer.  126  K: W e l l , i n w h a t way w o u l d y o u s a y y o u r m e e t i n g w i t h h i m , t h i s r o m a n t i c way, was d i f f e r e n t f r o m y o u r f e e l i n g s f o r other people?  in  M: ( p a u s e ) I f e l t a t one w i t h h i m . I f e l t we w e r e a c o u p l e immediately. I f e l t I c o u l d l a u g h w i t h h i m , I c o u l d do a n y t h i n g w i t h h i m , t h a t we h a d t h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g b e t w e e n us. And, I mean, I had a l o t o f women f r i e n d s . It felt l i k e h a v i n g a r e a l l y , r e a l l y g o o d f r i e n d who's a l w a y s known you t h a t I c o u l d c o n f i d e i n , but y e t h a v i n g t h a t a t t r a c t i o n a t t h e same t i m e , t o o . I t was l i k e t h e b e s t o f a l l w o r l d s . K:  You're d e s c r i b i n g t h i s  i n a very positive  way.  M: Uh-hum. Y e a h , I mean, i t was j u s t t h e m o s t w o n d e r f u l f e e l i n g I ever experienced. I n e v e r , e v e r dreamed I w o u l d f e e l so w o n d e r f u l . A t t h a t moment...I mean, I ' d s e e n a l o t o f r o m a n t i c m o v i e s and a l l t h a t , w h e r e p e o p l e , y o u know, saw e a c h o t h e r f r o m a c r o s s a c r o w d e d room, b u t I ' d n e v e r f e l t it. I t h i n k when y o u f e e l i t , i t ' s s o o v e r w h e l m i n g . One moment y o u ' r e f i n i s h i n g a S p a n i s h t e s t , f e e l i n g p e r f e c t l y fine. You know, and o k a y . I mean, I w a s n ' t an u n h a p p y p e r s o n , and I w a s n ' t d e p r e s s e d . I r e a l l y , r e a l l y had a good social life. I had g o o d f r i e n d s . I h a d e v e r y t h i n g . And I wasn't a t t a c h e d t o anyone a t t h e t i m e . Writing to that f e l l o w i n X., b u t I r e a l l y w a s n ' t a t t a c h e d t o h i m . I w o u l d n ' t s a y I was l a c k i n g a n y t h i n g . I didn't feel like I was l a c k i n g a n y t h i n g . B u t a t t h a t moment, I f e l t t h a t my w o r l d had n e v e r b e e n . . . t h a t I must have been g r e a t l y l a c k i n g something. I f e l t t h a t i t was c o m p l e t e . That I never w a n t e d t o be w i t h a n y o n e e l s e a g a i n , m a l e - w i s e . T h i s was it. How c o u l d a n y t h i n g t o p t h i s ? K:  So he  seemed t o f i l l  a l l y o u r d e s i r e s f o r t h e moment.  M: J u s t . . . i t f i t . A l l my f a n t a s i e s , a l l my t h o u g h t s on who I w o u l d m a r r y t h a t I s p e n t a l l my t e e n a g e y e a r s and c o l l e g e y e a r s , m a y b e — y o u know, c o l l e g e y e a r s , I t h i n k , I s p e n t l e s s t h i n k i n g a b o u t . . . m a y b e more m a r r i a g e - w i s e I t h o u g h t . . . H e j u s t f i t a l l o f i t . And t h e n t o r e a l l y be a t t r a c t e d t o someone a t t h e same t i m e . I mean, I ' d b e e n a t t r a c t e d t o p e o p l e b e f o r e , w h e r e y o u l i k e a c e r t a i n way t h e y h o l d t h e i r h e a d , o r a c e r t a i n way t h e y move, s m i l e . B u t t h i s was everything! I t was l i k e I c o u l d n ' t n a r r o w down w h a t i t was. K:  And  was  M:  You  mean, d i d i t l a s t ?  K:  this  i n the beginning  of the  relationship?  Yes.  M: W e l l , we h a d a l o n g - d i s t a n c e r o m a n c e . So i t n e v e r e n d e d . T h a t f e e l i n g n e v e r w e n t away. I f we h a d s e e n e a c h o t h e r . . . B y l o n g - d i s t a n c e , we saw e a c h o t h e r , y o u know, t h e n ,  127 f o r t h a t week, we saw e a c h o t h e r a g a i n i n t h e summer f o r a week, I came up t o N.A., we w r o t e l e t t e r s a l m o s t e v e r y d a y , a n d t h e n i n t h e f a l l we saw e a c h o t h e r f o r a week, a n d t h e n t h e n e x t C h r i s t m a s f o r two w e e k s . So t h a t ' s i t . K: W e l l , feeling.  i t sounds as though t h e d i s t a n c e k e p t t h i s  euphoric  M: Oh, y e a h . I mean, I d o n ' t know w h a t i t w o u l d ' v e b e e n like. A c t u a l l y , I had f e a r s o f t h a t . Not t h a t — I a l w a y s h a d f e a r s t h a t my f e e l i n g s w o u l d n ' t go, t h a t maybe h i s f e e l i n g s w o u l d go. And I d o n ' t know q u i t e why. Because i t seemed t o o b i z a r r e . And I ' d known p e o p l e t h a t w e r e , y o u know, r e a l l y , h a d h a d t h o s e f e e l i n g s f o r somebody, a n d g o n e o u t w i t h t h e m , and t h e n t h e y r e a l l y s t i l l k e p t t h e l o v e g o i n g , b u t i t w a s n ' t t h a t i n i t i a l Wow!... s t r o n g a t t a c h m e n t feeling. So, y e a h , we h a d t h i s l o n g - d i s t a n c e r o m a n c e . And so I t h i n k t h a t k e p t i t a l i v e . Now, we s p e n t e v e r y d a y t o g e t h e r f o r t h e n e x t week. And i t was j u s t s o a m a z i n g , b e c a u s e e v e r y t h i n g t h a t w o u l d o c c u r seemed t o c o n f i r m t h a t f i r s t moment. I mean, we d i d n o t e x p r e s s o u r f e e l i n g s f o r e a c h o t h e r t h a t week. We j u s t s p e n t t i m e t o g e t h e r . We w e n t out t o g e t h e r . N o t on d a t e s , b u t we w e n t o u t t o g e t h e r d r i v i n g a r o u n d , we s p e n t t i m e i n t h e g a r d e n t o g e t h e r , we s p e n d t i m e i n t h e e v e n i n g s t o g e t h e r — b e c a u s e I was l i v i n g a t t h e h o u s e f o r a week. And he was j u s t s o much f u n . We had s o much f u n . We w o u l d j u s t be c o m p l e t e l y — I was completely m y s e l f w i t h him. I mean, t h e r e was no p u t - o n s . He saw me w i t h e y e make-up, w h a t e v e r , o f f . He saw me r o l l e r s on. He saw me w i t h e v e r y t h i n g , and i t d i d n ' t seem t o m a t t e r . That was r e a l l y n e a t , t o o . He was l i k e a b r o t h e r t o me. K:  What do y o u  mean, l i k e a b r o t h e r t o  you.  M: ( p a u s e ) W e l l , I mean, I know t h a t t h a t s o u n d s v e r y u n r o m a n t i c when y o u s a y somebody's l i k e a b r o t h e r . It's j u s t t h a t , I n e v e r met somebody t h a t I c o u l d be w i t h , be a t t r a c t e d t o , have t h i s marvelous f e e l i n g of f a l l i n g i n l o v e — I r e a l l y d e f i n i t e l y f e l t I was f a l l i n g i n l o v e w i t h h i m — a n d y e t , I f e l t so c o m f o r t a b l e w i t h h i m , a n d c o u l d l a u g h and j o k e a s i f he was a p a l , a r e a l l y g o o d f r i e n d . And, I g u e s s I was w i t h h i s s i s t e r , s o i t f e l t l i k e we w e r e two s i s t e r s and a b r o t h e r , t o o . K:  Very  comfortable.  M: V e r y , v e r y c o m f o r t a b l y . Yeah, t h a t ' s r i g h t . No t e n s i o n . I mean, I t h o u g h t r o m a n t i c l o v e w o u l d h a v e t h e t e n s i o n . T h i s d i d n ' t have t h e t e n s i o n a t a l l . I t had c o m p l e t e relaxation, i f anything. J u s t r e a l l y at ease. I t was great. Yeah. Do y o u w a n t me t o c o n t i n u e ? Should I c o n t i n u e , maybe, t i m e - w i s e ? Should I continue? K:  Uh-hum.  M:  Okay.  K:  Uh-hum.  S h o u l d I maybe go  on  and  tell  you  what happened?  M: Okay. A f t e r t h a t f i r s t week, I w e n t b a c k t o N.G.. And t h e n he w r o t e t o me and s a i d t h a t h i s c o u s i n i n S.A.—N.Q.was h a v i n g h e r d e b u t a n t e b a l l o r w h a t e v e r . So he w a n t e d t o know i f I w o u l d come up f o r t h e p a r t y . And I t h o u g h t , "Oh, t h a t w o u l d be f u n , a c t u a l l y . " And he s e n t me a l o t o f l e t t e r s s a y i n g , y o u know, " L o v e , I . , " and a l l t h a t . And he would w r i t e these l e t t e r s . He w o u l d s t a r t t h e l e t t e r s , "Dear P r i n c e s s . " I t ' s very i n t e r e s t i n g , because I l i k e d t h a t , b e c a u s e I f e l t I was p u t on a p e d e s t a l , b u t , t o me, t h a t d i d n ' t f i t t h a t one week w e r e t o g e t h e r . Now I'm a n a l y z i n g i t f r o m a d i s t a n c e now, b u t I remember t h e n e v e n t h i n k i n g . . . I t h i n k t h a t ' s why I d i d n ' t know i t w o u l d l a s t , at t h a t time. Because w r i t i n g "Dear P r i n c e s s " — I ' m c e r t a i n l y anything but a p r i n c e s s ( l a u g h t e r ) . K:  So y o u  f e l t he was  idealizing  you.  M: He was i d e a l i z i n g me! And I t h o u g h t , " W e l l , God, he saw me a l l d i f f e r e n t w a y s , e v e r y w h i c h way, i n J u n e . And w h a t ' he d o i n g c a l l i n g me ' P r i n c e s s ' f o r ? " That j u s t r e a l l y d i d n ' t f i t . And my m o t h e r s a i d , " W e l l j u s t a c c e p t t h a t t h e man's i n l o v e w i t h y o u , h e ' s f a l l i n g i n l o v e . L e t him have this." And I s a i d : "Oh, w e l l , I'm g o i n g t o f a l l o f f my pedestal." And I was, e v e n a t t w e n t y - o n e , w o r r i e d a b o u t that. K:  Worried  about?  M: W e l l , I d i d n ' t w a n t t o f a l l o f f a p e d e s t a l . r e a l l y l i k e d a b o u t t h i s was t h a t he saw me who K: You him?  f e l t you  d i d n ' t have t o put  on  any  I  What I was.  pretensions  for  M: T h a t ' s r i g h t . B u t h e r e I am b e i n g a p r i n c e s s ? Oh-oh. L i k e , what's happened here? I s i t t h a t I've l e f t t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p , gone home, and now h e ' s i d e a l i z i n g me f r o m afar? I d i d n ' t r e a l l y know, y o u know. And I l e f t i t a t that. He w o u l d e x p r e s s h i s f e e l i n g f o r me. Gee, I w i s h I s t i l l h a d t h o s e l e t t e r s on me. Anyway, I w e n t up f o r t h a t week i n t h e summer, and i t was e v e n b e t t e r t h a n J u n e . It was w o n d e r f u l . B u t t h e r e was a d i f f e r e n c e . I n J u n e , when we w e r e t o g e t h e r , i f I remember b a c k , I d o n ' t t h i n k we e v e r kissed. We n e v e r k i s s e d . K:  Not  during your r e l a t i o n s h i p at  all?  M: No, t h e f i r s t w e e k — o h y e a h , d u r i n g t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p — b u t t h a t f i r s t week i n J u n e , we n e v e r k i s s e d a t a l l . We  129  w e r e n o t t e l l i n g e a c h o t h e r o u r f e e l i n g s . And I t h r o u g h l e t t e r s , t h e f e e l i n g s became s t r o n g e r . K:  How  d i d you  f e e l about not  think  t e l l i n g your f e e l i n g s ?  M: ( l o n g p a u s e ) I f e l t o k a y , b e c a u s e , i n a way, he h a d . . . O k a y , now t h i s i s , y o u know, j u s t my u p b r i n g i n g t h e n . A t t h e t i m e , I f e l t i t was a man's t h i n g — I w o u l d n ' t f e e l t h a t way n o w — b u t I f e l t t h e n i t was a man's t h i n g t o f i r s t express the f e e l i n g s . K:  So  i f he  declared  his feelings  f i r s t —  M: T h e n I c o u l d , t h e n I c o u l d . So I l e t h i m t a k e t h e r e i g n there. So, i n a r e a s l i k e t h a t — I mean, we w e r e e q u a l i n e v e r y way, a s f a r a s i n J u n e , and j u s t b e i n g m y s e l f , and y a k k i n g away and a l l t h a t — b u t , as f a r a s t h e m a t t e r s o f b e i n g i n t i m a t e , r e v e a l i n g w h a t we f e e l f o r e a c h o t h e r , I a l l o w e d h i m t o do t h a t f i r s t . K: I g e t a s e n s e t h a t y o u m i g h t h a v e b e e n f e e l i n g some f e a r around expressing your f e e l i n g s f i r s t . M: Oh, d e f i n i t e l y . B u t t h a t w a s n ' t d o n e . Women j u s t n e v e r did that. B e c a u s e y o u w o u l d n ' t a l l o w a man t o know w h a t y o u f e l t , b e c a u s e y o u c o u l d be r e j e c t e d . Y e t I r e a l i z e t h a t men c a n c e r t a i n l y be r e j e c t e d , t o o . B u t t h a t ' s how we f e l t . And t h a t ' s how I f e l t , y o u know, d e f i n i t e l y . So, I f i g u r e d , " W e l l , i t ' s up t o h i m . " And he c e r t a i n l y seemed t o be s t a r t i n g t o r e v e a l a l o t of f e e l i n g s . L i k e , I can't remember e x a c t l y t h e n , b u t I knew t h a t c e r t a i n l y he was f e e l i n g v e r y , v e r y s t r o n g l y . And he d i d s e n t a b i g P e a n u t s c a r d s a y i n g " I l o v e y o u " on i t . D i d he s a y "I l o v e y o u " ? He s a i d s o m e t h i n g t o t h a t e f f e c t , I remember. B u t anyway, t h e f e e l i n g s were s t r o n g . T h e n I w e n t up t h e r e f o r a week, and t h e n we d i d s t a r t s p e n d i n g t i m e w i t h e a c h o t h e r i n a r o m a n t i c way. The r e l a t i o n s h i p c h a n g e d , I w o u l d s a y , a b i t . K:  Changed?  M: W e l l , c h a n g e d i n t h a t i t became more i n t e n s e . Romantically. B e c a u s e he r e v e a l e d h i s f e e l i n g s f o r me. d i d n ' t s a y he l o v e d me, i n p e r s o n , b u t he r e v e a l e d h i s f e e l i n g s f o r me. K:  I n w h a t way  d i d he  reveal his feelings?  M: Oh, he j u s t s a i d he was f e e l i n g s t r o n g l y w i t h me. He t h i n k s h e ' s f a l l i n g i n l o v e w i t h me. I t h i n k he d i d s a y that. I c a n ' t remember t h e n . B u t I know he d i d f a l l . I remember t h e moment when he f i n a l l y s a i d he l o v e d me. K:  And  how  d i d you  f e e l about  that?  He  130  M: A b o u t t h e summer? K: H i s d e c l a r i n g h i s f e e l i n g s f o r y o u . M: Oh, I l o v e d i t . I t h o u g h t , " W e l l , t h i s i s g r e a t . This i s t h e way i t s h o u l d b e . Y o u know, t h i s was b o u n d t o happen. Y o u know, t h i s i s t h e n e x t s t e p . " T h a t h e was b e i n g o p e n w i t h me a b o u t h i s f e e l i n g s . A n d I — t h a t was i n t e r e s t i n g f o r me. I h e l d back a b i t . I had never f e l t so s t r o n g l y f o r somebody. And I r e a l i z e d a t t h a t moment, "I'm n o t v e r y g o o d a t r e v e a l i n g my f e e l i n g s f o r somebody." T h a t was t h e f i r s t — I mean, e v e n now, I'm t h i n k i n g a b o u t i t , I'm t h i n k i n g b a c k , I r e a l i z e , "Gee, h e r e ' s a g u y p r o f e s s i n g h i s c a r i n g , h i s f e e l i n g s , a n d I was p l a y i n g a b i t c o y a b o u t that." I d i d n ' t t h i n k deeper than t h a t then. I mean, I'm j u s t t h i n k i n g b a c k now. T h a t was r e a l l y , t h a t was w e i r d o f me t o d o t h a t . But again, I t h i n k t h a t ' s t h e u p b r i n g i n g — t h a t y o u d o n ' t r e v e a l t o o much, b e c a u s e t h e n maybe t h e y ' l l r u n away. Y o u p l a y a l i t t l e h a r d t o g e t . I wasn't t h i n k i n g t h a t c o n s c i o u s l y a t a l l . I j u s t t h i n k i t was p r o p e r f o r me t o b e "a l a d y . " So I d i d n ' t r e v e a l . . . B u t I a l s o t h i n k b a c k now, I d i d n ' t r e a l l y know how t o e x p r e s s my f e e l i n g s . I f e l t very embarrassed. K: S o u n d s a s t h o u g h c u l t u r a l norms g o t i n t h e way. M: A h , y e s . Y e s , I t h i n k s o . B e c a u s e , I mean, when I t h i n k b a c k i n J u n e , when we w e r e t o g e t h e r , I h a d a g r e a t t i m e w i t h him. Of c o u r s e , I w a s n ' t e x p r e s s i n g my i n t i m a t e f e e l i n g s . I w a s n ' t d o i n g a n y i n t i m a t e r e v e a l i n g t o h i m , b u t we c e r t a i n l y had a g r e a t time. B u t s o o n a s , y o u know, t h e more i n t i m a t e f e e l i n g s s t a r t e d c o m i n g , i t was h i s r o l e t o s a y i t , b e c a u s e I h a d b e e n t a u g h t t h a t way. When g i r l f r i e n d s y a k k e d t o g e t h e r i n h i g h s c h o o l and u n i v e r s i t y , y o u a l l s a y t h a t . P r o b a b l y t h e y d o n ' t do now, b u t we d i d . So I j u s t t h o u g h t t h a t was t h e t h i n g t o d o . K: Y o u a l s o m e n t i o n e d t h a t more i n t i m a t e play. Can y o u e l a b o r a t e on t h o s e ?  f e e l i n g s came i n t o  M: Y e a h , t h e r e w e r e s t r o n g s e x u a l f e e l i n g s . I mean, I t h i n k i f t h e r e were s e x u a l f e e l i n g s i n June, t h e y were a l l wrapped up i n l o v e a n d c a r i n g a n d f a l l i n g i n l o v e . Where, when h e became s t r o n g e r a n d more r e v e a l i n g o f h i s f e e l i n g s — l i k e h e w o u l d s a y t o me, y o u know, t h a t , y o u know, a l l t h o s e t h i n g s t h a t h e c a r e d a b o u t me, o r t h a t , y o u know, " Y o u ' r e b e a u t i f u l " o r "Your eyes a r e l i k e t h i s . " I mean, h e w o u l d do i t i n a v e r y r o m a n t i c way, i n t h a t he w o u l d b e h o l d i n g me i n h i s a r m s , a n d he w o u l d be k i s s i n g me. And I n e v e r h a d t h a t h a p p e n t o me i n t h a t way. I mean, I d i d , b u t I mean, I d i d n ' t h a v e s u c h f e e l i n g s . So I h a d s u c h s t r o n g s e x u a l feelings. S t r o n g e s t f e e l i n g s I ' v e e v e r f e l t i n my l i f e . But w i t h a p e r s o n t h a t I a l s o f e l t such r e s p e c t f o r , such l o v e f o r and c a r i n g . They were a l l m i x e d up!  131  K: S o u n d s a s t h o u g h i t ' s a c o n f l i c t  f o r you.  M: No, I d i d n ' t t h i n k o f i t t h e n a s a c o n f l i c t . Now I w o u l d t h i n k b a c k i f I a n a l y z e d i t , b u t r i g h t t h e n , w i t h my f e e l i n g s , n o , i t a l l j u s t seemed t o b e p e r f e c t . A n d i f my f e e l i n g s w e r e awkward, I t h o u g h t , i t ' s b e c a u s e I h a d n e v e r f a l l e n i n love before. I t r u l y f e l t I was i n l o v e . I ' d n e v e r been i n l o v e b e f o r e , so t h i s i s o b v i o u s l y what l o v e is. Y o u a r e n o t j u s t s e x u a l l y a t t r a c t e d t o somebody; y o u actually are i n love. Now w h a t ' s " i n l o v e " ? Some m a g i c a l word. B u t I d i d n ' t know w h a t i t was, b u t I knew t h a t when I r e a d r o m a n t i c b o o k s o r r o m a n t i c m o v i e s , t h a t i t seemed l i k e people j u s t f e l l i n love. So I h a d f a l l e n i n t o t h i s , s o I was h e l p l e s s , I t h o u g h t , t o c o n t r o l i t . K: W o u l d y o u s a y t h a t i t was i n y o u r h e a d , a n d a l o t o f f a n t a s i z i n g a n d t h i n k i n g , a n d now i t was m o v i n g down i n t o t h e body? M: Oh, i t was i n my b o d y . (laughter).  Oh y e a h .  My b o d y was v e r y  active  K: A c t i v e ? M: No, n o t a c t i v e p h y s i c a l l y . A c t i v e . . . i t was a c t i v e p h y s i c a l l y , b u t a c t i v e p h y s i c a l l y i n t h a t I was j u s t t h i n k i n g a b o u t h i m b e i n g i n t h e o t h e r room. I w a s n ' t , we d i d n ' t — I mean, we w e r e t h e n , y o u know, p r o p e r p e o p l e i n t h a t , y o u know, we n e v e r s l e p t w i t h e a c h o t h e r . We j u s t w h a t we u s e d t o c a l l "made o u t " w i t h e a c h o t h e r . K: W o u l d y o u s a y y o u w e r e p r e o c c u p i e d  with these  feelings?  M: Oh, y e s . He was my w h o l e w o r l d . He was e v e r y t h i n g . He was i n my t h o u g h t s a l l t h e t i m e . Of c o u r s e , i n t h e summer, w h a t e l s e do y o u h a v e t o d o ? He was j u s t s o w o n d e r f u l . I mean, a t t i m e s we w o u l d k i n d o f . . . I n t h e m o r n i n g s , when we'd wake u p , we'd go down t o b r e a k f a s t . I remember h a v i n g t h i s b e a u t i f u l flowered robe t h a t I r e a l l y , r e a l l y l i k e d . And he s o r t o f t r e a t e d me l i k e a p r i n c e s s a b i t . I was s t i l l h i s f r i e n d a n d a l l t h a t , b u t I was now h i s l o v e r . B u t I was n o t h i s l o v e r ; a l l we d i d was k i s s e a c h o t h e r a n d make o u t ! But somehow I h a d some s o r t o f . . . f e l t s p e c i a l . K: S p e c i a l ? M: ( p a u s e ) I t f e l t l i k e he a n d I w e r e t h e o n l y o n e s i n t h e world. That a l l t h e s e o t h e r p e o p l e were d a n c i n g around u s , b u t we w e r e t h e o n l y o n e s t h a t r e a l l y w e r e i n e a c h o t h e r ' s eyes, o r i n each other's h e a r t . K: So y o u h a d y o u r own u n i q u e  space.  132 M: Oh, y e s . I t was l i k e a l i t t l e c o c o o n . I t was j u s t wonderful. So t h a t week r e a l l y c o n f i r m e d f o r me, a n d c o n f i r m e d i t f o r h i m , t h a t we w e r e f e e l i n g v e r y s t r o n g l y f o r each other. A n d , I mean, e v e r y n i g h t , e v e r y b o d y e l s e w o u l d go t o b e d , a n d we'd s i t down a n d w a t c h t . v . a n d j u s t make o u t u n t i l two i n t h e m o r n i n g ( l a u g h t e r ) ! W i t h a l l t h e s e f e e l i n g s , r u m b l i n g s g o i n g on. J u s t m a r v e l o u s l y p a s s i o n a t e . Passionate. K: Can y o u e l a b o r a t e  on t h e p a s s i o n ?  M: I t j u s t seemed t o l e t g o . I t ' s i n t e r e s t i n g . . . I mean, we j u s t seemed t o l e t g o , b u t we n e v e r l e t go b e l o w t h e w a i s t ! (laughter) I d o n ' t e v e n know now why t h a t o c c u r r e d , b u t I guess, i n those days, you d i d n ' t a l l o w i t t o occur. You j u s t never would ever t h i n k o f doing t h a t . I s u p p o s e d some people did. K: I g e t a s e n s e t h a t y o u w e r e on a r o l l e r c o a s t e r , i t h a d t o come t o a h a l t .  but that  M: Oh, y o u n e v e r w e n t p a s t t h a t . I mean, t h e r e ' s k i n d o f a n u n s a i d t h i n g , t h a t h e w o u l d n o t h a v e m i s t r e a t e d me. I mean, t h a t was k i n d o f t h e norm t h e n . I t h i n k he f e l t h e w o u l d b e m i s t r e a t i n g me. And I t h i n k he r e a l l y d i d f e e l t h a t he w o u l d want t o save t h a t f o r m a r r i a g e . We n e v e r t a l k e d a b o u t it. B u t , I mean, h i s t y p e , I w o u l d s a y , w o u l d t h i n k t h a t . And I c e r t a i n l y t h o u g h t t h a t t h e n . K: Were p l a n s  f o r t h e f u t u r e i n y o u r mind?  M: Y e a h . And I t h i n k i n h i s m i n d , t o o . I t h i n k t h a t we d i d n ' t d i s c u s s t h o s e p l a n s , b u t i t r e a l l y f e l t we w e r e discussing the future. We w e r e d i s c u s s i n g t h e f a l l , a n d I w o u l d come up i n t h e f a l l , h e ' d go b a c k t o B., we'd s e e e a c h o t h e r a t C h r i s t m a s , t h e n he was g o i n g t o p a s s t h e F o r e i g n S e r v i c e Exam, he was g o i n g i n t o t h e F o r e i g n S e r v i c e , I was g o i n g t o g r a d u a t e t h e n e x t y e a r i n J u n e — w e would be t a l k i n g like this. A n d t h e n I w o u l d go i n t o t h e F o r e i g n S e r v i c e w i t h h i m . Now w h a t e l s e d o e s t h a t mean, I s u p p o s e , t h a n I w o u l d go a s h i s w i f e . Because i n t h o s e days, you wouldn't go i n a n y o t h e r way. Y o u know, y o u j u s t w o u l d n ' t . So, t h e r e was l i k e f u t u r e s t e n t a t i v e l y — h e t h r e w o u t t h e s e f u t u r e s t e n t a t i v e l y t o me. Not t e n t a t i v e l y , b u t a s s u r e d l y . T h i s was a s u r e t h i n g . But never saying marriage. Then I w e n t home. You know, t h e l e t t e r s c a m e / e v e n more romantically passionate. Revealing of f e e l i n g s , a l o t of l o v e and c a r i n g . Not s e x u a l l e t t e r s , d e f i n i t e l y n o t , b u t j u s t c a r i n g and l o v e . I would have been v e r y t u r n e d o f f i f t h e y had been s e x u a l . T h e n i n S e p t e m b e r , we came up a g a i n — I came up a g a i n — w e w e n t o u t f o r one week a g a i n b e f o r e h e w e n t b a c k t o B. a n d I w e n t o f f t o R.. A n d t h e n , I remember g o i n g o u t one n i g h t i n t h e c a r . He j u s t g r a b b e d me a n d p a s s i o n a t e l y k i s s e d me a n d s a i d t h a t h e l o v e d me. He was  133  d r i v i n g me b a c k . . . I t was t h e end o f t h e week a n d he d r o p p e d me o f f a t my s o r o r i t y h o u s e . And t h e way he s a i d i t , i t was t h i s . . . I g u e s s h e ' d b e e n t h i n k i n g a b o u t i t a l o n g t i m e , and he j u s t b l u r t e d i t o u t . Now w a i t a m i n u t e . He s a i d some s o r t o f a poem. T h a t was w e i r d . When I t h i n k a b o u t i t now i t sounds w e i r d . B u t I'm j u s t r e m e m b e r i n g b a c k now, he s a i d some s o r t o f a poem. I f o r g e t w h a t i t was. K:  And  you  didn't feel  i t was  weird at that time.  M: No, he was v e r y r o m a n t i c . This i s j u s t a l l part of the r o m a n t i c i d e a l t h a t he was. T h a t he w o u l d be t h e t y p e t o do t h i s , y o u know. And t h e n he s a i d he l o v e d me, y o u know, a n d he l o v e s me, and " I l o v e y o u v e r y d e e p l y . And, y o u know, I s a i d " I l o v e you" back. And i n t h o s e d a y s , i t was r e a l l y funny. I d o n ' t know w h a t t h e y do t h e s e d a y s . But i n t h o s e d a y s , when somebody s a i d t h e y l o v e d y o u , t h e y m e a n t — a t l e a s t , i n our group, they thought very c a r e f u l l y about i t . B e c a u s e " I l o v e y o u " meant " T h i s i s i t . " K: A  commitment.  M: T h i s i s a c o m m i t m e n t . So he w r o t e e v e r y d a y , a n d we b o t h d e c i d e d we w e r e n o t g o i n g t o d a t e a n y o n e e l s e . We'd discussed that. And we d i s c u s s e d t h a t , y o u know, he w o u l d t a k e h i s F o r e i g n S e r v i c e exam i n F e b r u a r y . I t h i n k he was t a k i n g i t f o r second time. He g o t g o o d g r a d e s i n s c h o o l , b u t t h i s F o r e i g n S e r v i c e exam, A m e r i c a n F o r e i g n S e r v i c e exam, was v e r y d i f f i c u l t , and he m i s s e d i t b y one p o i n t t h e year before. So he had t o t a k e i t a g a i n , b e c a u s e he was g e t t i n g h i s Master's i n psychology at G . — f o r e i g n s e r v i c e , psychology. T h a t ' s my a r e a , t o o . I was i n p s c h o l o g y . And a g a i n , y o u s e e we e v e n h a d t h e same m a j o r i n s c h o o l , when I t h i n k of i t ! K: W e l l , y o u m e n t i o n e d t h e  fit.  M: Y e a h , i t was j u s t v e r y s t r a n g e . So, y o u know, he s a i d he w o u l d come b a c k a t C h r i s t m a s , and t h e n , y o u know, " L e t ' s t a l k more t h e n . . . " Okay, s o I d i d n ' t d a t e a n y o n e . In fact, I g o t j o b w o r k i n g F r i d a y and S a t u r d a y n i g h t s , and I j u s t l i v e d i n my m i n d f o r h i m . I took a psychology course, that's right. Okay. I took a psychology course. I talked t o my a d v i s e r , who s a i d , "Oh, y o u know, I r e a l l y w a n t y o u t o go t o g r a d u a t e s c h o o l i n p s y c h o l o g y . " T h a t was t h e l a s t t h i n g on my m i n d , b e c a u s e I was i n l o v e , r i g h t ? Who c a r e s about school? D i d n ' t want t o t e l l him t h a t . B u t he s a i d , y o u know, " I r e a l l y w a n t t o p u t y o u i n t h i s p s y c h o l o g y c l a s s , b e c a u s e . . . " And I r e a l l y r e s p e c t e d t h i s a d v i s o r ; he was v e r y g o o d . And he s a i d , " I w a n t y o u t o r e a l l y t h i n k a b o u t y o u r c a r e e r . " I t h o u g h t , "Boy, he d o e s n ' t know I'm n o t e v e n t h i n k i n g a b o u t my c a r e e r . " I mean, e v e r y t h i n g w e n t o u t t h e window. B e c a u s e when I . w e n t b a c k t o B. t h e n , a l l I d i d was t h i n k a b o u t h i m . I mean, I w o u l d go t o t h e l i b r a r y  134  and I t h o u g h t a b o u t h i m . I j u s t t h o u g h t a b o u t h i m a l l t h e time. So t h i s g u y , my a d v i s o r , p u t me i n t o a p s y c h o l o g y c l a s s w h i c h was v e r y h e a v y , v e r y p h i l o s o p h i c a l s t u f f . And I couldn't think. K: The t h o u g h t s o f I . w e r e s o o v e r w h e l m i n g t h a t t h e y your concentration.  stopped  M: Y e a h , I h a d t o d r o p o u t o f t h a t c l a s s . I k e p t my o t h e r c l a s s e s g o i n g , b u t I dropped o u t o f t h a t one. Because I — t h a t ' s t h e l a s t t h i n g I w a n t e d t o d o , was s t u d y ppsychological theory. And I d i d n ' t e v e n t e l l my a d v i s o r . I j u s t n e v e r went back t o him. Because I t h o u g h t he j u s t w o u l d n ' t u n d e r s t a n d i f I t o l d h i m I was i n l o v e . And t h a t j u s t — I mean, why w o u l d I be i n l o v e when I was t h i n k i n g o f a career? Y o u know, I mean, I h a d a l l t h o s e t h i n g s , l i k e h e w o u l d t h i n k i t was r e a l l y dumb. K: S o u n d s a s t h o u g h much o f y o u r t i m e was s p e n t i n t h e daydreams. M: Oh, a l l t h e t i m e . I daydreamed a l l t h e t i m e . I remember I h a d a t e n n i s c o u r s e I was t a k i n g . The b a l l s w o u l d b e s h o t a t me. I w o u l d n ' t even s e e them coming. I ' d be s t a n d i n g there with a tennis racket. I ' l l never forget t h a t . The t e a c h e r w o u l d c o n s t a n t l y be y e l l i n g a t me. And I j u s t w o u l d n ' t be t h e r e . K: S o u n d s a s t h o u g h y o u w e r e h a v i n g other areas of your l i f e .  difficulty  coping i n  M: Oh, y e a h . I might as w e l l have been c o m p l e t e l y a And e v e r y b o d y knew t h a t I was i n l o v e . So t h e y j u s t expected i t . T h a t seemed t o be w h a t l o v e was. So I t h o u g h t , " T h i s i s what f a l l i n g i n l o v e i s . T h i n k i n g the person a l l the time. B u t God, y o u know, I d o n ' t flunk out of t h i s u n i v e r s i t y . "  zombie. sort of about want t o  K: Were t h o s e f e e l i n g s g o o d f o r y o u , t h i n k i n g a b o u t l o v e a l l the time? M: Y e a h , b u t I was g e t t i n g a l i t t l e w o r r i e d . I was g e t t i n g a l i t t l e w o r r i e d a b o u t two months i n t o t h e t e r m . I mean, I was n o t s t u d y i n g a t a l l . K: Y o u w e r e h a v i n g  difficulty  stopping  the thoughts.  M: I c o u l d n ' t s t u d y . I couldn't stop the thoughts. And e v e r y o n e I t a l k e d t o s a i d , "Oh, y o u ' r e j u s t i n l o v e . That's j u s t what y o u e x p e c t . " And I t h o u g h t , " W e l l , I mean, I l o v e t h i n k i n g about t h i s person. B u t gee w h i z , I d o n ' t want t o flunk out e i t h e r . " I didn't flunk out; I d i d a l l r i g h t . B u t I s t u d i e d r i g h t b e f o r e t h e exams. A n d l u c k i l y I d r o p p e d t h a t p s y c h o l o g i c a l t h e o r y c o u r s e . So I d i d n ' t h a v e t o h a v e a  135  paper. A paper would have been i m p o s s i b l e a t t h a t t i m e . The exam, a t l e a s t , I c o u l d p u t on t h e s t u f f a t t h e e n d , y o u know, a n d p r o c r a s t i n a t e a n d t h e n p u t on t h e s t u f f , a n d t h a t was o k a y . You know, a n d I d i d i t , b e c a u s e I knew i t was survival. I had t o . I c o u l d n ' t f l u n k . K: I n r e t r o s p e c t , i s t h e r e s o m e t h i n g t h a t y o u c o u l d h a v e done t h e n t h a t would have h e l p e d y o u cope b e t t e r w i t h t h e f e e l i n g s , those in-love feelings? M: W e l l , now I know. B u t t h e n . . . I mean, now I w o u l d ' v e d o n e t h o u g h t - s t o p p i n g a n d a l l t h o s e t h i n g s , b e c a u s e I'm more aware. You know, I w o u l d h a v e known. Nobody t o l d me t h o s e things. E v e r y o n e s a i d , " T h i s i s t h e way i t i s . Y o u h a v e t o go t h r o u g h t h i s s t a g e , a n d i t ' s c o m p l e t e l y i m p o s s i b l e t o d o a n y t h i n g about." Now I r e a l i z e I w o u l d h a v e h a d t o w a n t t o s t o p them, a n d I d o n ' t t h i n k I w a n t e d t o s t o p t h e m , e x c e p t when I was u n d e r d i r e c i r c u m s t a n c e s o f t a k i n g my exams. B e c a u s e I e n j o y e d them. K: I t f e l t  good.  M: Y e s . A n d I d i d n o t h a v e a n y i n t e r e s t i n s c h o o l a t t h a t point. I j u s t d i d n ' t want t o f l u n k o u t , b e c a u s e I d i d want to graduate. B u t I f e l t I wasn't g o i n g on t o g r a d u a t e s c h o o l anyway. I mean, I c o u l d n ' t go on t o g r a d u a t e s c h o o l , b e c a u s e I h a d h i m . He was g o i n g t o p a s s t h e exam, a n d we w e r e g o i n g t o go o v e r s e a s . I mean, t h i s was i n my m i n d , y o u know, t h a t we h a d k i n d o f t a l k e d a b o u t . N o t h i n g was l a i d o u t , b u t i t was j u s t e x p e c t e d . So I f i g u r e d , " W e l l , I ' l l j u s t g e t a B.A. I mean, who n e e d s t o go t o g r a d u a t e s c h o o l anyway?" I n t h o s e days, v e r y few p e o p l e t h o u g h t a b o u t g o i n g t o g r a d u a t e s c h o o l . So y o u g o t y o u r B.A., a n d t h e n y o u g o t o u t a n d g o t a j o b . O r I p l a n n e d t o g o t o B. a n d w o r k f o r a congressman o r a s e n a t o r o r something l i k e t h a t i n psychology. O r t h e U.N. — y o u know, I h a d d r e a m s o f d o i n g that. So y o u d o n ' t n e e d t o go t o g r a d u a t e s c h o o l , s o w h a t w o u l d t h e g r a d e s b e f o r e anyway? You know, I was r a t i o n a l i z i n g t h a t way. And I t h i n k t h e n , i n t h a t e r a , t h a t was o k a y , to r a t i o n a l i z e o r compromise. B e c a u s e we w e r e n ' t t h i n k i n g o f g r a d u a t e s c h o o l . And i f I w a s n ' t t h a t i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e t o p i c a t t h a t moment i n my l i f e , f i n e , I ' l l l e t i t g o . K: So y o u t h e n j u s t k e p t w i t h t h e f e e l i n g s t h a t w e r e happening towards I . . M: Y e a h , I j u s t k e p t them g o i n g . I d i d n ' t t h i n k about s t o p p i n g them. I was g e t t i n g a l i t t l e b i t w o r r i e d a b o u t my c o u r s e s t h o u g h , y e s . A n d t h e n I j u s t knew t h a t , "Oh, I ' l l p u l l t h r o u g h , I a l w a y s d o , y o u know, a n d j u s t s t u d y . " Then when he came a t C h r i s t m a s t i m e — t h e f e e l i n g s w e r e j u s t a s i n t e n s e as e v e r — h e announced t o h i s p a r e n t s h i s f e e l i n g s f o r me, o k a y . T h e y became v e r y w o r r i e d t h a t we w e r e t o o young. I was t w e n t y - o n e , a n d he was t w e n t y - t h r e e . They  136  °thought we w e r e t o o y o u n g . So h i s m o t h e r — h e was P r o t e s t a n t , and I was P r o t e s t a n t , t o o — a n d he w a n t e d h i s m o t h e r , who h a d p u t us t o g e t h e r i n t h e f i r s t p l a c e , was w o r r i e d . . . A c t u a l l y , t h e y were r i g h t . I mean, we w e r e rushing i n t o t h i s too f a s t . And he m i g h t h a v e t o l d t h e m t h a t he w a n t e d t o m a r r y me. How d i d I know? He d i d n ' t t e l l me t h a t moment, b u t he m i g h t h a v e t o l d t h e m he was i n l o v e w i t h me and w a n t e d t o m a r r y me. I mean...He h a d a n o t h e r g i r l f r i e n d b e f o r e me—maybe a c o u p l e of y e a r s b e f o r e , a y e a r before—but, I g u e s s , i t had n e v e r b e e n t h i s i n t e n s e f o r him. T h i s was t h e f i r s t t i m e . He d i d t e l l me t h a t , actually. K: And how w e r e y o u f e e l i n g a b o u t t h i s b a r r i e r t h a t b e i n g p u t up by h i s m o t h e r .  was  M: I s t a r t e d g e t t i n g v e r y w o r r i e d . I was s t a y i n g a t t h e i r h o u s e r i g h t b e f o r e C h r i s t m a s h o l i d a y , and I n o t i c e d t h a t s h e was g e t t i n g v e r y w o r r i e d . I t created a tension, a d e f i n i t e tension. I t a l s o , b e c a u s e he was s o d u t i f u l t o h i s m o t h e r — he was a g o o d b o y . . . S h e had h i m t a l k t o t h e i r d o c t o r , f a m i l y d o c t o r , y o u know, t h e i r f a m i l y d o c t o r o r w h a t e v e r . A doctor. A c t u a l l y , no, no, i t was n o t a f a m i l y d o c t o r , i t was a f r i e n d , b e c a u s e t h e r e was a s e m i n a r y t h e r e o r something. N.Q.! W e l l , I g u e s s S.C.U., i t m u s t h a v e b e e n connected with that. A f a m i l y f r i e n d . I . had g o n e t o a C a t h o l i c boys' school. So I t h i n k he was p a r t o f t h i s w h o l e thing. Anyway, he w e n t and t a l k e d t o h i m . And t h e n he t o o k me f o r a d r i v e a f t e r he t a l k e d t o h i m , and he s a i d t o me, "I r e a l l y r e a l i z e d — p e r h a p s we a r e g o i n g t o o f a s t . " You know, he made me s e e t h a t we h a v e t o r e a l l y go much s l o w e r . So, i t ' s l i k e I . ' s , a l l h i s r a t i o n a l s i d e s came i n t o f o r e , b e c a u s e he was s o , s o a t t a c h e d t o h i s f a m i l y . K:  So  i t s o u n d e d as t h o u g h he  was  pulling  away.  M: H i s f e e l i n g d i d n ' t — n o . H i s f e e l i n g s were not p u l l i n g away. H i s r a t i o n a l t h i n k i n g was t a k i n g o v e r . I d o n ' t know w h a t — I f o r g e t w h a t t h e d o c t o r s a i d t o h i m , w h e t h e r he was t e l l i n g me t h e w h o l e s t o r y , b u t he s a i d : "Maybe t h e y ' r e right. Maybe we a r e t o o y o u n g . Maybe we s h o u l d j u s t s e e . " And I s a i d , " T h a t ' s f i n e . You know, i f we've o n l y known each other..." B u t I s a i d t h a t was f i n e , b u t I t h o u g h t , " W e l l , God, i f somebody r e a l l y l o v e s y o u , how c a n t h e y s u d d e n l y be s o r a t i o n a l ? " I c o u l d n ' t do t h a t , s o why c a n he do t h a t ? And I t h o u g h t , "Oh w e l l , h e r e i t i s . H e r e ' s t h e p e d e s t a l t h a t ' s g o i n g t o come f l y i n g down." And I w e n t backhome f o r C h r i s t m a s , and I f e l t r e a l l y , r e a l l y f u n n y . K:  Funny?  M:  Funny.  K:  I n w h a t way  Yeah,  strange.  funny?  137  M: B o t h e r e d . I was v e r y b o t h e r e d and w o r r i e d t h a t h i s f e e l i n g s w e r e g o i n g t o c h a n g e , t h a t he was g o i n g t o o b e y h i s mother. Not h i s f a t h e r . H i s f a t h e r stayed out of i t . And my m o t h e r s a i d t o me, " W e l l , i t s o u n d s l i k e h i s m o t h e r maybe i s w o r r i e d t h a t you're g e t t i n g too c l o s e . You're going t o t a k e h e r s o n away f r o m h e r . You know, e v e n t h o u g h s h e r e a l l y w a n t e d y o u t o g e t t o g e t h e r , t h e r e may be some s o r t o f d y n a m i c s g o i n g on i n t h e f a m i l y , t h a t y o u ' r e t a k i n g h e r f i r s t - b o r n , h e r son t h a t she i d e a l i z e s . You're t a k i n g over...you're t h e o t h e r woman i n h i s l i f e . And maybe h e r motivation i s n ' t a l t o g e t h e r pure." K:  Can  you  e l a b o r a t e on y o u r  feelings?  M: Okay. I f e l t she was r i g h t , b e c a u s e I h a d s e n s e d t h e m o t h e r b e i n g j e a l o u s o f me. T h e r e w e r e t h i n g s g o i n g on a t Christmas. A f t e r he a n n o u n c e d t o h e r h i s f e e l i n g s f o r me, s h e s t a r t e d g e t t i n g j e a l o u s o f my y o u t h . She s t a r t e d m a k i n g comments a b o u t y o u t h and b e i n g y o u n g e r . She was r e a l l y g e t t i n g on t h a t y o u t h t h i n g . And I t h i n k s h e was g o i n g t h r o u g h h e r menopause, I r e a l l y do. You know, now t h a t I t h i n k b a c k , t h e r e was t h a t s o r t o f t h i n g g o i n g o n . But I w e n t home f o r C h r i s t m a s , and t h i n k i n g , "Gee, t h i s i s a shock. How c o u l d somebody f e e l s o much, and t h e n now s t a r t being r a t i o n a l ? " So t h a t r e a l l y c o n f u s e d me. I f e l t very confused. B e c a u s e I c o u l d n ' t s t o p my f e e l i n g s t h a t e a s i l y . "So w h y — i s he s t o p p i n g h i s f e e l i n g s ? " Or was...And t h e n I t a l k e d t o some m a l e f r i e n d s o f m i n e , who s a i d , " W e l l , t h a t ' s men." Men h a v e t o t h i n k o f t h e i r c a r e e r s , t h e i r f u t u r e , and a l l t h i s — v e r y sexist, right? You know, t h e y h a v e a l l t h e s e r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s on them. And men do t h i n k t h i s way. And I t h o u g h t , " W e l l , maybe t h e y ' r e r i g h t . He's g e t t i n g s c a r e d and b l a h - b l a h . . . " And I t h o u g h t , " W e l l , g e e , I d o n ' t f e e l scared, I don't f e e l anything. I d o n ' t f e e l any o f t h a t . " K: S o u n d s a s t h o u g h y o u r f e l t a p u l l i n g away f r o m  f e e l i n g s w e r e t h e same, a n d I..  you  M: Y e s . Y e s , I d i d . And t h e n when I w e n t b a c k , a f t e r C h r i s t m a s , I f e l t t h e y h a d — h e had r e a l l y somehow...He c a r e d , and he s t i l l was i n l o v e w i t h m e — I d i d f e e l t h a t — b u t I f e l t he was w a n t i n g t o . . . H e h a d more c o n t r o l t h a n I d i d , I guess. He r e a l i z e d h e ' d gone w i l d l y i n l o v e , a n d he t h o u g h t , "Oh, w a i t a m i n u t e . I've got t o r e a l l y s t e p back h e r e , and I ' v e g o t t o p u l l b a c k my f e e l i n g s . " So I f e l t some p u l l i n g b a c k , some s t i f f n e s s . K: A s e n s e o f  loss?  M: I f e l t a s e n s e o f l o s s , y e s . I was c o n f u s e d , and d i d n ' t r e a l l y c o n f r o n t him w i t h i t . Because a g a i n , I wasn't good w i t h f e e l i n g s anyway, t o e x p r e s s them. So h e r e he was, t h i s p e r s o n d o i n g t h i s t o me. And I d i d n ' t know w h a t i n h e c k was  138  g o i n g on. A n d I c o u l d n ' t u n d e r s t a n d how somebody t w o w e e k s ago c o u l d f e e l s o w i l d l y i n l o v e , a n d t h e n now, when p a r e n t s t a l k e d t o them...Of c o u r s e , f r i e n d s o f m i n e came t o t h a t New Y e a r s ' E v e p a r t y — w e h a d a New Y e a r s ' E v e p a r t y — a n d I t o l d my roommate. A n d my roommate s a i d t o me, "Oh, g e t r i d o f him! H e ' s a mamma's b o y . I f he's kowtowing t o h i s mother, forget i t . " A n d t h e n h e r b o y f r i e n d was s i t t i n g r i g h t t h e r e . He s a y s , " Y e a h , f o r g e t i t , M.. J u s t g e t r i d o f h i m . " " Y o u r e a l l y t h i n k so?" I s a i d . " Y e a h , y e a h , h e ' s a mamma's b o y . " So I s t a r t e d g e t t i n g r e a l l y c o n f u s e d , b e c a u s e maybe t h e y w e r e r i g h t , y o u know, s i n c e I'm s o n a i v e i n t h e s e t h i n g s . "You know, i f h e ' s l i s t e n i n g t o o t h e r p e o p l e a r o u n d h i m , t h e n , y o u know, h e ' s n o t r i g h t f o r y o u . " And I c o n s u l t e d other friends. T h e y s a i d t h e same t h i n g . I c o n s u l t e d one f r i e n d o f mine t h e r e , t h o u g h — a n o t h e r f r i e n d o f mine's b o y f r i e n d — a n d h e s a y s , "No, h e ' s s c a r e d . His feelings are so overwhelming f o r h i m he's s c a r e d . So h e ' s p u l l i n g b a c k , and h e ' s a l l o w i n g h i s m o t h e r t o d o t h a t , o r t h e p r i e s t t o d o that. T h e r e ' s a s i d e o f h i m t h a t r e a l l y w a n t s — y o u know, i s scared of h i s feelings." K:  Sounds a s though you're  f e e l i n g confused  at this point.  M: R i g h t now? K:  Uh-hum.  M: No, n o , I'm n o t c o n f u s e d r i g h t now. me t o a n a l y z e i t r i g h t now, I know. K:  No, I'm s o r r y .  I meant c o n f u s e d  I mean, i f y o u w a n t  a t the  time.  M: T h e n ? Oh, y e s , y e s , y e s , y e s ! A n d , I t h i n k , y o u know, I d i d n ' t k n o w — I c o u l d a n a l y z e i t r a t i o n a l l y , b u t i t was s t i l l an a w f u l , a w f u l s i t u a t i o n . Awful. K:  So y o u w e r e b e i n g c h u r n e d  up b y a l l t h e s e  feelings.  M: Oh, i t was h o r r i b l e . I t was h o r r i b l e . I t was w o r s e than...My f e e l i n g s i n t h e f a l l were n i c e and o b s e s s i v e . They were l o v e l y f e e l i n g s . Now was j u s t o b s e s s i v e , b u t worried. T h e n h e w e n t b a c k t o s c h o o l . He d i d n ' t w r i t e ! So, o k a y , i t w e n t f r o m t h e f a l l , w r i t i n g e v e r y d a y , t o g o i n g b a c k t o B. a n d n o t w r i t i n g a t a l l . K: What was h a p p e n i n g f o r y o u a t t h a t  time?  M: Oh, I d i d n ' t know w h a t was g o i n g o n . So I d e c i d e d ^ — w h a t was i t a b o u t , a l l o f J a n u a r y w e n t by: no l e t t e r . Then I w r o t e , two weeks i n t o F e b r u a r y . And I s a i d , " I r e a l l y would l o v e t o know w h a t ' s g o i n g on. I haven't heard from y o u " — something t o t h i s e f f e c t . " I s t i l l l o v e you, and I want t o know i f y o u s t i l l l o v e me." S o m e t h i n g v e r y d i r e c t . That t o o k a l o t o f c o u r a g e o n my p a r t t o w r i t e t h a t , b e c a u s e , a s  139  I s a i d , I d i d n ' t — b u t I r e a l l y w a n t e d t o know. Thinking b a c k now, I s h o u l d n ' t h a v e done t h a t . I s p o k e t o some o f my m a l e f r i e n d s , who s a i d , "No, d o n ' t w r i t e t h e l e t t e r . Let him s i t i t o u t . L e t him t h i n k about i t . He's j u s t t a k i n g t i m e t o t h i n k t h i n g s t h r o u g h . You're g o i n g t o push him, so he's g o i n g t o have t o answer you." W e l l , t h e y were r i g h t . K: Y o u s o u n d e d a s t h o u g h y o u w e r e d e s p e r a t e , g o i n g f r o m p e r s o n t o p e r s o n t o t r y and f i g u r e o u t some a n s w e r s . M: E x a c t l y , e x a c t l y . I d i d n ' t know w h a t t o do. F i r s t of a l l , I n e v e r h a d t h e s e f e e l i n g s b e f o r e , s o I was j u s t confused. You know, I d i d n ' t know w h a t t o d o . So, what I d i d was, I w r o t e h i m a l e t t e r . And I w r o t e h i m a l e t t e r — I ' l l n e v e r f o r g e t t h i s — t e n pages and I x e r o x e d i t , and i t m u s t h a v e g o t t e n l o s t i n some o f my s t u f f somewhere. I c e r t a i n l y d o n ' t h a v e i t now. T e l l i n g h i m why I n e v e r l o v e d him. I g u e s s , my p r i d e , y o u s e e . So I w r o t e h i m a l e t t e r s a y i n g , " W e l l , I n e v e r r e a l l y l o v e d y o u anyway." I w r o t e him t e n pages. T h a t was r e a l l y dumb. And I t o l d t h i s f r i e n d a b o u t i t , t h i s m a l e f r i e n d , he was t h i s b o y , h e s a i d , " Y o u ' r e m a k i n g t h e w r o n g move." B e c a u s e , y o u s e e , one o f t h e t h i n g s I d i d n ' t t e l l y o u i s t h a t he h a d f l u n k e d t h e F Exam a g a i n , f o r t h e s e c o n d t i m e , s o he w o u l d now h a v e t o go t o V i e t Nam. And I w r o t e t h e l e t t e r a b o u t a week a f t e r he g o t t h e r e s u l t s f o r t h e exam. And s o , b e c a u s e he f l u n k e d t h e F Exam, he w o u l d no l o n g e r be exempt f r o m g o i n g t o t h e w a r , a n d he w o u l d h a v e t o d e c i d e e i t h e r . . . Y o u know, g u y s w e r e d e c i d i n g t h e n f o r g o i n g i n t o t h e Army, g o i n g i n t o t h e Navy. B a s i c a l l y , t h e two b i g d e c i s i o n s w e r e Army/Navy. N a v y was f o u r y e a r s , Army was two y e a r s , b u t y o u c o u l d go o v e r t h e r e a n d b e , y o u know, f r o n t l i n e s . So, t h e Army, y o u c o u l d go o v e r t h e r e and be k i l l e d , t h e Navy t a k e s f o u r y e a r s out o f y o u r l i f e . So I . was g o i n g t h r o u g h t h i s d e c i s i o n . F i n a l l y he d i d c h o o s e t h e N a v y . And t h e n e x t y e a r a f t e r t h a t , he d i d go t o O f f i c e r s ' C a n d i d a t e s S c h o o l , i n t h e E a s t - I g u e s s t h e r e was P . E . I . — a n d t h e n w e n t o v e r s e a s . So I w r o t e my l e t t e r a t a v e r y o p p o r t u n e t i m e , when he h a d j u s t heard a l l these things. N o t o n l y was he g o i n g t h r o u g h p r o b l e m s w i t h t r y i n g t o r e - t h i n k u s , b u t he a l s o h a d j u s t f l u n k e d t h e exam, and h a d t o t h i n k a b o u t V i e t Nam. And I t o l d t h i s t o a f r i e n d o f m i n e . . . I knew t h a t b e f o r e I w r o t e t h i s t e n - p a g e l e t t e r , b e c a u s e he t o l d me i n t h e l e t t e r he h a d t o make t h a t d e c i s i o n a b o u t V i e t Nam. And I t o l d t h i s f r i e n d o f m i n e , who was exempt f r o m V i e t Nam b e c a u s e o f something. I forget. He was s o r e l i e v e d . Some h e a l t h thing. And he s a i d , " W e l l , y o u know, r i g h t now, a l l t h e f e l l o w s I know a r e g o i n g t h r o u g h t e r r i b l e t u r m o i l on w h e t h e r t o — y o u know, f i r s t o f a l l , w h a t b r a n c h o f t h e s e r v i c e t o go i n t o , a n d a l s o , j u s t t h e f e a r o f g o i n g t o V i e t Nam a n d t h e anger t h e y ' r e f e e l i n g . And i f t h e y ' r e g o i n g w i t h somebody, t h e y ' r e c e r t a i n l y n o t — w e l l , t h e y d o n ' t know w h a t t o d o . And t h e y d o n ' t know w h e t h e r t o h o l d on t o t h e i r g i r l f r i e n d s , o r s a y , y o u know, ' I t ' s g o i n g t o be two y e a r s ' s e p a r a t i o n ' —  140  or four years' separation i f i t ' s the Navy—'and t h e r e f o r e we'd b e t t e r b r e a k u p . " So he was t r y i n g t o g i v e me a m a l e p o i n t o f v i e w o f t h e f e a r and t h e c o n f u s i o n t h e men w e r e going through at the time. 1  K:  And  how  was  t h a t f o r you?  M: I r e a l i z e now how i m m a t u r e I was, i n t h a t I c o u l d understand but I couldn't empathize. L i k e I was t o o s e l f i s h a t t h a t moment. And t h a t was c o n f u s i n g t o me, t o o . Because I t h o u g h t , was i t r e a l l y l o v e I f e l t . f o r h i m ? I f i t was l o v e I f e l t f o r h i m , I s h o u l d be more c a r i n g a b o u t w h a t h e ' s g o i n g t h r o u g h r i g h t now. I was, b u t o n l y w i t h r e s p e c t t o how i t was g o i n g t o a f f e c t me. K:  How  was  i t a f f e c t i n g your f e e l i n g s ?  M:  Yeah, yes.  K:  By  I thought—I  " s e l f i s h " you  mean, I was  selfish.  mean?  M: W e l l , I w a s n ' t t h i n k i n g o f h i m . I was o n l y t h i n k i n g o f me. And I knew t h a t a t t h a t moment, and I w r o t e a t e n - p a g e l e t t e r t e l l i n g him I n e v e r l o v e d him. And a f t e r I s e n t i t — I n e v e r s e n t a l e t t e r l i k e t h a t e v e r a g a i n i n my l i f e , and n e v e r s e n t a l e t t e r t o somebody b e f o r e I r e a l l y t h o u g h t a b o u t i t . You know, t h a t t a u g h t me a l e s s o n . And i t was j u s t r e a l l y weird. I mean, i t f e l t r e a l l y g o o d a s f a r a s g e t t i n g i t o f f my c h e s t . But t h e y were l i e s . I itemized a l l t h e t i m e s where I r e a l l y n e v e r l o v e d him. I was j u s t k i d d i n g myself. How b i z a r r e , when I t h i n k o f i t now! I g u e s s I was t w e n t y - o n e . Ah, w h a t do y o u e x p e c t , a t w e n t y one y e a r o l d ? ( l a u g h t e r ) K:  Sounds as t h o u g h you  were g o i n g  through a l o t of  hurt.  M: Y e a h , I was r e a l l y h u r t . Yeah, r e a l l y h u r t . And I c o u l d n o t e m p a t h i z e w i t h him a t a l l . I wanted t o g e t b a c k a t him. K:  H u r t and  angry.  M: Oh, boy! Oh, I was s o — w h e n I t h i n k o f i t , I was so angry. T h e n I...my f r i e n d s s a i d , "Ah, y o u know, he was no g o o d anyway. I f he d i d t h a t t o y o u , he w a s n ' t v e r y c a r i n g of you." T h e s e a r e women f r i e n d s . And t h e n E a s t e r h o l i d a y came, and I t h o u g h t , " W e l l , s o w h a t , I w r o t e t h e t e n - p a g e letter." I f he came home f o r E a s t e r , y o u s e e — A p r i l . I phoned him. And he was v e r y a n g r y on t h e p h o n e . I forget w h a t he s a i d , b u t I remember he was v e r y a n g r y a t t h e p h o n e call. And he s a i d he d i d n ' t w a n t t o t a l k t o me. I didn't say a n y t h i n g . I j u s t s a i d I w a n t e d t o g e t t o g e t h e r and talk. And he s a i d he d i d n ' t w a n t t o s e e me. I thought, "Oh, a l l r i g h t . Well, fine." B u t a g a i n , how c o u l d l o v e end that quickly? I s t i l l had f e e l i n g s f o r h i m . So w e r e h i s  141  f e e l i n g s c o m p l e t e l y g o n e ? A c c o r d i n g t o my m a l e f r i e n d s , t h e y r e a l l y f e l t t h a t i t was t h e V i e t Nam, a n d i t was t h e , y o u know, t h e c o n f u s i o n he f e l t , i t was o v e r w h e l m i n g . B u t s i n c e I w r o t e t h a t l e t t e r , t h e y d i d n ' t e v e n know how t o h e l p me! T h e y t h o u g h t I was s u c h a f o o l . "So n a t u r a l l y h e ' s a n g r y a t y o u , b e c a u s e you've w r i t t e n t h i s one t h a t y o u n e v e r cared! So w h a t do y o u e x p e c t h i m t o f e e l ? " And I t h o u g h t , "Oh, God. W e l l , a t l e a s t I l e a r n e d my l e s s o n . B u t what I do now, I h a v e t h e s e f e e l i n g s — w h a t do I d o w i t h t h e s e feelings?" I met a n o t h e r f e l l o w . A g a i n , f i x e d up w i t h t h i s new f e l l o w , g o s h , f r o m T . — a n d he came f r o m T.. Again, f i x e d up w i t h t h e same f r i e n d s who t o l d me a b o u t I . . So t h e y f i x e d me up w i t h t h i s g u y . B u t t h i s g u y — I w e n t o u t w i t h h i m . T h i s was r e a l l y f u n n y , b e c a u s e t h e n t h i s g u y i m m e d i a t e l y f e l l f o r me, a n d I h a d no f e e l i n g s f o r h i m . B e c a u s e I was s t i l l w r a p p e d up w i t h I . . He was v e r y much like I.. I n f a c t , he was more m a t u r e , t h a n I . . I n every way, he was much m o r e — b y " m a t u r e , " I mean s t a b l e i n h i s f e e l i n g s , he was s o l i d . He h a d t h a t r a t i o n a l c o n t r o l o v e r h i s f e e l i n g s , y e t a t t h e same t i m e c o u l d e x p r e s s t h e m , a n d t e l l me t h a t h e was f a l l i n g i n l o v e w i t h me. And I s a i d , "I'm n o t i n l o v e w i t h y o u , " I t o l d h i m . A n d h e s a i d , " W e l l , I s t i l l care f o ryou." I s a i d , "Well, I s t i l l care f o r I . , so I ' v e g o t t o work t h a t o u t f i r s t . " A n d h e was j u s t a wonderful, wonderful fellow. I t h i n k I was t o o y o u n g f o r him, t o o immature. Not age-wise, b u t j u s t t o o immature f o r him. He j u s t d i d n ' t f i t m y — h e f i t my i d e a l a s f a r a s e v e r y t h i n g he was, b u t I j u s t w a s n ' t a t t r a c t e d t o h i m i n t h a t same way. K: I t s o u n d s a s t h o u g h y o u w e n t w i t h h i m o n t h e r e b o u n d . M: No, i t w a s n ' t e v e n a r e b o u n d . I j u s t went o u t w i t h h i m , b e c a u s e he was a n i c e f e l l o w . B u t he s t a r t e d r e a l l y c a r i n g f o r me. He r e a l l y c a r e d f o r me. He came t o m y — I was g r a d u a t i n g t h a t y e a r , t h a t s p r i n g — h e came t o my g r a d u a t i o n . My p a r e n t s a d o r e d t h i s f e l l o w . T h e y t h o u g h t . . . T h e y l i k e d I . , t o o . T h e y d i d meet I . . Because I . . . . I n t e r e s t i n g l y e n o u g h , my f a t h e r was w o r k i n g i n B., he h a d a p r o j e c t i n B., at t h e time. And he met I . , a n d w e n t o u t w i t h I . t o m o v i e s and e v e r y t h i n g . So my f a t h e r — I c a n ' t b e l i e v e t h a t , I s h o u l d a s k my f a t h e r now, a c t u a l l y . My f a t h e r a n d I . d i d a l l sorts of things together. I s h o u l d a s k h i m t h a t now, t h a t ' s i n t e r e s t i n g . I keep f o r g e t t i n g about t h a t . Sorry. K: How w e r e y o u f e e l i n g a b o u t  that?  M: Oh, I was o k a y . I t h o u g h t t h a t was g r e a t . He came t o my father. B u t I...One t h i n g my f a t h e r t o l d me a f t e r I . b r o k e up w i t h me, a n d t h a t i s — m a y b e w e ' r e g e t t i n g o f f t h e t r a c k h e r e , b u t t h i s d i d h e l p m e — m y f a t h e r s a i d , "You know, " I " was r e a l l y a n n o y e d when y o u s t a r t e d w o r k i n g a t t h e c o l l e g e r e s t a u r a n t , t h e c o l l e g e hang-out." I g o t a j o b as a h o s t e s s , and I r e a l l y l o v e d w o r k i n g t h e r e . I t was g r e a t .  142  I t was a l i t t l e e x t r a money. And I was d o i n g m o d e l l i n g a t the time, too. So I was p u l l i n g i n some e x t r a s t u f f t h e n . And he t o l d my f a t h e r , "How c a n y o u a l l o w M. t o w o r k i n a restaurant?" My f a t h e r was m o s t a n n o y e d a t t h a t , l i k e somehow he had n o t done h i s d u t y a s a f a t h e r . And my f a t h e r t h e n s a i d t o me, " I . ' s t o o c o n s e r v a t i v e . " You know, and I t h o u g h t t o m y s e l f , "Gee, my f a t h e r ' s p r e t t y s h a r p . What a sharpie. He was b o t h e r e d by t h a t comment. L i k e , w h a t r i g h t did somebody I was g o i n g o u t w i t h h a v e t o s a y t h a t . I t was my c h o i c e . So my f a t h e r was s a y i n g , " W e l l , maybe I . was not a l l he was r e a l l y c r a c k e d up t o be. Maybe he was more c o n s e r v a t i v e and more c o n t r o l l i n g o f y o u . " So t h a t made me feel better. B u t I s t i l l d i d n ' t know w h a t t o do w i t h my feelings. I mean, i t made me f e e l b e t t e r r a t i o n a l l y , b u t i t d i d n ' t make me f e e l . . . I s t i l l d i d n ' t f i n d a n y o n e I was attracted to. I ' d go o u t on d a t e s , and I . . . n o t h i n g . You know, s o w h a t do I do? I d i d n ' t know w h a t t o do. K: C o u l d y o u with?  elaborate  on t h e s e f e e l i n g s t h a t y o u  were  left  M: Ah, s a d n e s s . J u s t r e a l l y sadness. I wasn't h u r t a n y m o r e , b e c a u s e I knew I had a l o t o f p a r t i n t h a t , w r i t i n g t h a t l e t t e r and e v e r y t h i n g . I j u s t t h o u g h t , "Boy, I r e a l l y made a m i s t a k e w r i t i n g t h a t l e t t e r . " And i f I . i s n o t t h e r i g h t p e r s o n f o r me, a t l e a s t I c o u l d h a v e f o u n d o u t a d i f f e r e n t way. Not someone e l s e t e l l i n g me, y o u know? I blamed m y s e l f a l o t . I blamed m y s e l f f o r e v e r y t h i n g . That was i n t e r e s t i n g t o me. T h a t was r e v e l a t i o n t o me, too—how much I b l a m e d m y s e l f . K:  Blamed?  M: F o r t h e b r e a k - u p . Not h i m , b u t me. I b l a m e d me. And t h a t seemed i r r a t i o n a l t o my f r i e n d s . B u t I f i g u r e d , " W e l l , i t was me t h a t d i d i t . " By w r i t i n g t h e l e t t e r , o r maybe n o t e x p r e s s i n g my f e e l i n g s e n o u g h , n o t b e i n g more d i r e c t . And t h e n my f r i e n d s w e r e r e a l l y f u n n y . H e r e we a l l w e r e t w e n t y o n e — I j u s t turned twenty-two, a c t u a l l y , t h a t s p r i n g — " W e l l , w h a t do y o u e x p e c t , y o u ' r e o n l y t w e n t y - t w o ? " I s a y s , "Yeah, b u t many o f y o u a r e g e t t i n g m a r r i e d r i g h t now. I f we c a n ' t e x p r e s s our f e e l i n g s , l i k e , what a r e our m a r r i a g e s g o i n g t o be l i k e ? " L i k e , we'd s t a r t e d t a l k i n g a l o t a b o u t t h a t — communication. And s o anyway, t h a t summer I d i d , I c a l l e d h i m up. A c t u a l l y , t h i s i s i n t e r e s t i n g . I c a l l e d h i m up i n July. I c o u l d n o t g e t o v e r my f e e l i n g s . I d e c i d e d , " W e l l , I ' l l c a l l h i m up one more t i m e . " So I c a l l e d h i m o n c e i n A p r i l , he d i d n ' t w a n t t o t a l k t o me, s o I c a l l e d h i m i n July. And I w e n t down. I c a n ' t remember now, w a i t a minute. Oh, no, no, no, no. Okay, I c a l l e d h i m , and I s a i d I wanted t o have a t a l k w i t h him. And he a c c e p t e d . He came up t o R., d r o v e a l l t h e way up, w a l k e d i n t h e d o o r , and t h e r e i t was a g a i n . And I knew, s o o n a s he w a l k e d i n t h e d o o r , t h a t he s t i l l c a r e d . That's a l l I wanted t o see. So  143  I t h o u g h t , "Now w h a t ? " Now I'm r e a l l y c o n f u s e d . I knew r i g h t then. T h e r e was s a d n e s s i n h i s f a c e , b u t r e a l l o n g i n g and c a r i n g . And we w a l k e d a l l a r o u n d campus, a n d I t o l d h i m how s o r r y I was t h a t I w r o t e t h a t l e t t e r . And h e was t e l l i n g me a b o u t h i s f e e l i n g s a b o u t g o i n g t o V i e t Nam. And how i t w o u l d h a v e b e e n n i c e t o g e t t o g e t h e r , t o know e a c h l o n g e r , t o r e a l l y g e t t o know e a c h o t h e r , a n d a l l t h o s e feelings. We w a l k e d a l l a r o u n d campus. We s a t a n d we w a l k e d , a n d we s a t a n d we w a l k e d . I t was w e i r d , b u t we s t a r t e d f a l l i n g f o r each other again. Just being r e a l l y close. H o l d i n g h a n d s , w a l k i n g a l l a r o u n d t h e campus. And w h a t I r e a l l y l i k e i s , t h e r e was no m a l i c e o n h i s p a r t t h a t I had w r i t t e n t h a t l e t t e r . T h a t was r e a l l y m a t u r e o f h i m , I thought. So...and I d i d n ' t have any m a l i c e on h i s p a r t . I r e a l l y f e l t I had grown a l i t t l e . Not grown up, what "grown up" means, b u t I h a d g r o w n l i t t l e . I f e l t more m a t u r e t h a n I d i d s i x months e a r l i e r . K: I n w h a t way? M: ( p a u s e ) I g u e s s . . . Okay, l e t me j u s t e x p l a i n t h i s . I'm j u s t e x p r e s s i n g i t now. I've never r e a l l y thought t h i s through. I n e v e r t a l k e d a b o u t i t , I g u e s s , i n t h i s way. T h a t now i t ' s — w h a t ? — t w e n t y y e a r s l a t e r , and I r e a l i z e t h a t , a t t h a t moment o f w a l k i n g a r o u n d campus w i t h h i m , I was t h a t d a y a s o l d a s I am now, I f e l t i n my f e e l i n g s , i n t h a t I r e a l l y c a r e d f o r him, f e l t a t t r a c t e d t o him, and c a r e d more f o r h i m t h a n I d i d f o r m y s e l f . N o t t h a t I do t h a t a l l t h e t i m e now; I d o n ' t mean t h a t . But I wasn't s e l f i s h a t t h a t moment. I d i d n ' t t h i n k o f w h a t I was g o i n g t o g e t o u t o f i t . I f e l t I w a n t e d t o j u s t p u t c l o s u r e on i t , t o somehow s a y , "Okay, t h i s i s t h e way i t i s now, e v e n t h o u g h . . . Okay, i f we s t i l l f e e l t h i s way f o r e a c h o t h e r . . . " We d i d n ' t s a y how we f e l t f o r e a c h o t h e r , b u t t h e f e e l i n g s were s t i l l t h e r e , t h e c a r i n g and t h e w a l k i n g . And t h e n we went o u t t o d i n n e r . Oh, y e s ! Okay, we w e n t o u t t o d i n n e r , we h a d a g l a s s o f w i n e , a n d he s a i d . . . W e w e n t t o s e e B o n n i e and C l y d e ! That's r i g h t . God, t h i s i s a g e s a g o . A n d a t d i n n e r , he s a i d t o me a f t e r w a r d s , h e s a i d , y o u know, "You r e a l l y r e m i n d me o f B o n n i e . You know, y o u r b l o n d h a i r a n d a l l t h a t . " And he s t a r t e d s a y i n g t h e s e t h i n g s , a n d I t h o u g h t , "Oh, d e a r . He s t i l l c a r e s . " I mean, v e r b a l i z i n g more. He d i d n ' t s a y he c a r e d , b u t h e ' s s a y i n g w h a t I reminded him o f . K: A n d t h a t made y o u f e e l ? M: T h a t h e s t i l l c a r e d f o r me. I d o n ' t know w h a t l o v e i s . A t t h a t p o i n t I was g e t t i n g v e r y c o n f u s e d on w h a t l o v e i s . A n d I k i n d o f d i d n ' t t h i n k i t was t h i s w i l d p a s s i o n a n y m o r e . I j u s t t h o u g h t i t was s a d . K: A n d t h e f e e l i n g s y o u w e r e  experiencing...  144  M: Were s a d . B e c a u s e t h e f e e l i n g s w e r e t h a t , "I'm g o i n g o f f t o V i e t Nam, a n d I c a n ' t make..." He d i d n ' t s a y " I c a n ' t make a commitment t o y o u , " b u t " I h a v e t o f i g u r e o u t w h a t I'm g o i n g t o d o . " So i t was c o u c h e d i n t h o s e t e r m s . A n d t h e n we came b a c k t o w h e r e I was l i v i n g , a n d we w a l k e d u p t h e s t a i r s , a n d we d i d n ' t s a y a n y t h i n g . A n d we s t i l l w e r e h o l d i n g h a n d s . A n d a t t h e d o o r , he k i s s e d me g o o d b y e . I remember i n h i s e y e s . . . Oh, I t h i n k I s a i d s o m e t h i n g t o t h e e f f e c t o f " I s t i l l love you" o r something. I think I said something. God, I r e a l l y f o r g e t . Something t o t h a t e f f e c t . I don't t h i n k I s a i d " I s t i l l love you," b u t something t o that effect. K: Y o u a l l o w e d  him t o see your c a r i n g .  M: Y e s , y e s , I r e a l i z e t h a t now, t h a t was v e r y d a r i n g . I w o u l d n ' t e v e n do t h a t now! I ' v e g o n e down h i l l ! W e l l , I'm m a r r i e d now, b u t , I mean, i f I h a d t o do i t o v e r a g a i n , I p r o b a b l y . . . I g u e s s i n c e r t a i n p o s i t i o n s y o u do t h i n g s . B u t I g u e s s I w a n t e d h i m t o know. I f e l t I w a s n ' t g o i n g t o s e e him a g a i n . A n d he k i s s e d me v e r y q u i c k l y , a n d r a n o u t t h e door. I mean, j u s t t o r e o u t t h e d o o r l i k e p a n i c . Like, " I can't stay." I t was l i k e , " I c a n ' t s t a y w i t h t h i s p e r s o n o r I may g i v e i n ! " And he t o r e o f f . A n d I t h o u g h t , " H o l y s m o k e s , now w h a t do I do w i t h my f e e l i n g s ? " T h e y g o t a l l c h u r n e d up a g a i n . And I a s k e d my f r i e n d s w h a t t o d o , a n d a f r i e n d o f m i n e s a i d . . . O h , y e s ! He c a l l e d me b a c k a c o u p l e o f days l a t e r , i n a v e r y m a t t e r o f f a c t v o i c e , a s k i n g i f he l e f t a r i n g i n my c a r . And I s a i d , "No." "Oh, f i n e , t h a n k y o u , " a n d he h u n g u p . W e l l , now t h a t ' s o d d . A g a i n c o n s u l t e d my m a l e f r i e n d s , who s a i d , "Oh, w e l l , h e o b v i o u s l y , y o u know, r e a l l y f e l t he c a r e d t o o much t h a t n i g h t " — I mean, t h e y w e r e a n a l y z i n g t h i s , y o u know f r o m w h a t you've s a i d — " a n d then i s p u l l i n g back a g a i n . " And I s a i d , " W e l l , t h a t c o u l d b e . God o n l y knows a t t h i s p o i n t , I'm s o confused." T h e n I w e n t down t o s e e h i m a g a i n , w i t h a friend. J u s t dropped by, t o h i s house. T h a t was b r a v e . A b o u t t w o o r t h r e e weeks l a t e r . Don't y o u t h i n k t h a t ' s brave? K: S o u n d s a s t h o u g h y o u w e r e t a k i n g many  risks.  M: I c a n ' t b e l i e v e i t now, when I t h i n k o f i t . A n d i t was r e a l l y l o v e l y . He was i n h i s s o r t o f g r u b b y j e a n s a n d o u t i n t h e b a c k d o i n g some g a r d e n i n g , a n d I came i n w i t h a friend. I d i d n ' t go a l o n e , I came w i t h a f r i e n d . And i s m o t h e r was t h e r e . And we r e a l l y h a d a r e a l l y n i c e afternoon. I t was r e a l l y , r e a l l y n i c e . But i t r e a l l y seemed l i k e he h a d made t h e d e c i s i o n , h e was g o i n g t o V i e t Nam a n d t h i s i s i t . Okay, t h a t ' s f i n e . Y o u know, s o I l e f t i t , went i n t o t h e f a l l , and I f e l t okay w i t h i t . T h a t ' s t h e way i t i s , i t ' s g o i n g t o h a v e t o b e u n f i n i s h e d . S., t h e f e l l o w I was d a t i n g f r o m T., w e n t b a c k t o N., b e c a u s e h e was l i k e o n s a b b a t i c a l o r w h a t e v e r f r o m T.. So I was f r e e o f  145  S., b u t S. was s t i l l w r i t i n g . So I d i d n ' t h a v e t o c o n t e n d w i t h S t e v e , w i t h h i s a f f e c t i o n s . So i n S e p t e m b e r , s u d d e n l y I g o t a k n o c k o n my d o o r — I was s t i l l l i v i n g i n t h e s o r o r i t y h o u s e — I g o t a k n o c k on t h e d o o r — d o y o u want t o h e a r a l l t h i s ? — s u d d e n l y I g o t a knock on t h e door. "There's somebody h e r e t h a t h a s p u t h i s g u i t a r i n y o u r b e e t l e . " I s a i d , " T h e r e ' s n o b o d y t h a t ' s p u t t h e i r g u i t a r i n my b e e t l e . " "No, M., y o u h a v e a b l u e V o l k s w a g e n . T h e r e ' s some g u y down h e r e w a n t i n g t o t a l k t o y o u . " I t h o u g h t . . . I was i n t h e shower. I h a d t o g e t o u t o f t h e s h o w e r . My h a i r was s o a k i n g w e t . So I came down, a n d t h e r e was t h i s g u y . W e l l , t h i s f e l l o w was f r o m W.. I s t a r t e d t a l k i n g w i t h h i m . He t o l d me h i s name; h i s name was A.. A n d h e a s k e d me t o g o out w i t h him, a f t e r I s t a r t e d t a l k i n g t o him f o r a w h i l e . I t w a s n ' t my b e e t l e he p u t i t i n . I t was t h e woman who l i v e d a c r o s s t h e s t r e e t who a l s o h a d a b l u e b e e t l e . He came o v e r , l a n d e d i n N.A., was t h e r e f o r h i s M.B.A. f r o m t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f H., a n d o b v i o u s l y he g o t t h e c a r s m i x e d u p . I w a s n ' t t h e woman. So he s a y s , "Why d o n ' t we go o u t tonight?" A n d I s a y s , "No, I w o r k . " W e l l , i t was interesting. " B u t how a b o u t t o m o r r o w n i g h t ? " "No, I'm w o r k i n g t h e n , t o o . " L i k e , I d i d n ' t want t o go o u t w i t h a n y b o d y . W e l l , he c e r t a i n l y p e r s i s t e d . So t h e f o u r t h n i g h t — y o u know, he s a i d , "How a b o u t t h e n e x t n i g h t , t h e n e x t n i g h t " — I s a i d , " F i n e , okay. Sure, sure, sure." So I w e n t o u t w i t h h i m . Went t o a p a r t y , a F r e n c h p a r t y i n N.A., and came b a c k . My i m m e d i a t e t h o u g h t i s , "Oh, my God, I'm g o i n g o u t w i t h a f o r e i g n e r . " I ' d n e v e r gone o u t w i t h a foreigner before. I t h o u g h t t h e y w e r e some f o r e i g n b e i n g , right? W e l l , t h i s f e l l o w and I s t a r t e d d a t i n g . And I p l a i n l y t o l d h i m I was s t i l l i n l o v e w i t h somebody e l s e , b u t I w o u l d go o u t w i t h h i m . A n d t h a t was S e p t e m b e r , t h a t was O c t o b e r , a n d I a g a i n , y o u know, p l a i n l y t o l d h i m . T h a t was fine. We w e n t o u t , a n d we became r o m a n t i c a l l y i n v o l v e d . B u t i t was i n t e r e s t i n g . I c o u l d become a t t r a c t e d t o h i m p h y s i c a l l y , m e n t a l l y , b u t I w a s n ' t i n l o v e w i t h h i m . So t h a t was a new e x p e r i e n c e f o r me, t o o . So I w e n t o u t w i t h t h a t g u y i n t h e f a l l , a n d we saw e a c h o t h e r e v e r y d a y . A n d f i n a l l y , I . came up f o r some o t h e r d o . I t h i n k f o r some h o m e c o m i n g , homecoming game w i t h R., a n d h i s s i s t e r . So h e came u p , b e c a u s e s h e was one y e a r , t w o y e a r s b e h i n d me, s o s h e was s t i l l . . . A n y w a y , I saw h i m a g a i n , a n d f r i e n d s o f m i n e g r a b b e d me i n t h e k i t c h e n , a n d t h e y s a i d , "M., l i s t e n . I f y o u r e a l l y w a n t o u r p o i n t o f v i e w , i t ' s A. o v e r I . a n y t i m e . A. i s j u s t way more m a t u r e , m o r e " — j u s t , a l l t h e women a d o r e d A.. He was j u s t , y o u know, l i k e a w a l k i n g . . . E v e r y o n e l i k e d h i m . Somehow I was a l i t t l e a f r a i d o f h i m , o k a y . A l i t t l e a f r a i d o f h i m , b e c a u s e he was a f o r e i g n e r . He w o u l d be g o i n g b a c k t o H.. I d i d n ' t t r u s t h i s m o r a l s , b e c a u s e he w o u l d a l w a y s f l a u n t t h i s F r e n c h w a y s , how F r e n c h men h a v e a l l t h i s f r e e l o v e , f r e e sex. I . would never say t h a t t o me! B u t , y o u know, A. d i d . So he was d i f f e r e n t f r o m my way of t h i n k i n g things. B u t , y e a h , he was v e r y r e s p e c t f u l o f me.  146  K: Were y o u r towards I.?  f e e l i n g s i n f l u e n c e d by your  friends'  feelings  M: No, n o , t h e y w e r e n ' t . I s t i l l f e l t s t r o n g l y f o r I . . But t h e n I s t a r t e d g e t t i n g more p h y s i c a l l y i n v o l v e d w i t h A.. And A. was t h e n t h e f i r s t p e r s o n I e v e r s l e p t w i t h — i n January. So I was s t a r t i n g t o g e t more p h y s i c a l l y i n v o l v e d w i t h h i m . Hadn't s l e p t w i t h h i m y e t . And t h e n I r e a l i z e d , "Well, w a i t a minute here." Now i t was December. A n d A. was s t a r t i n g t o e x p r e s s h i s f e e l i n g s t o me. About h i s caring. He f o u n d i t h a r d t o e x p r e s s h i s f e e l i n g s . W e l l , no w o n d e r , i f I was t e l l i n g h i m , " L o o k , I d o n ' t c a r e f o r y o u . I c a r e f o r t h i s o t h e r g u y . " Anyway, I s a i d t o h i m i n December, I s a i d , " L o o k , i f y o u a n d I a r e g o i n g t o h a v e a n y c h a n c e , f o r me t o r e a l l y s t a r t c a r i n g a b o u t y o u , I ' v e g o t t o go down a n d e n d i t w i t h I . . " "Why do y o u h a v e t o d o t h a t ? " he t h o u g h t . He c o u l d n ' t u n d e r s t a n d t h a t . He was r e a l l y , r e a l l y . . . N o w t h a t I t h i n k b a c k , he was s c a r e d t h a t I w o u l d go down a n d s e e t h i s g u y a n d t h a t w o u l d b e t h e e n d o f h i m . So I t o l d h i m , "No, I r e a l l y h a v e t o do t h i s . This i s the way I h a v e t o do t h i s . " So I c a l l e d up I . ' s f a m i l y . I d i d n ' t speak t o I . , b u t spoke t o h i s mother, and I s a i d , "Look, I r e a l l y want t o speak t o I . . I have t o end t h i s o n c e a n d f o r a l l i n my h e a d . " Because t h i s meeting i n J u l y c o n f u s e d me. So I w e n t down t o h i m , d r o v e down t o h i s house. He o p e n e d t h e d o o r — o h , i t was s o e m b a r r a s s i n g —but I h a d t o do i t . W a l k e d i n t o h i s h o u s e i n t h e r a i n — d r o v e down, S.A. i s f i f t y m i l e s f r o m R . — w a l k e d i n , a n d we w e n t i n t o t h e d r a w i n g room o f h i s h o u s e . A n d t h a t moment, when I saw h i m i n t h a t d r a w i n g room, i n t h e i r v e r y , v e r y f o r m a l living-room-drawing-room, I t h o u g h t , "Oh, my God. H e ' s s o d i f f e r e n t t h a n A.." A. was a f e l l o w o f t h e s i x t i e s . There was t h e F r e e S p e e c h Movement g o i n g o n i n R.. A. was p o l i t i c a l l y aware. B r i l l i a n t , b r i l l i a n t economics student. T h e n a n M.B.A. B u t n o t b u s i n e s s w i s e . He j u s t was v e r y perceptive. And I s u d d e n l y r e a l i z e d , "My God, I . ' s conservative. He's r e a l l y c o n s e r v a t i v e . What am I d o i n g g o i n g . . . F i r s t o f a l l , w h a t am I d o i n g g o i n g o u t w i t h a Republican?" B e c a u s e I . was a R e p u b l i c a n . A n d I was d e f i n i t e l y a Democrat. And, a t l e a s t A m e r i c a n s a t t h o s e times had v e r y s t r o n g f e e l i n g s . You were v e r y d i f f e r e n t p e o p l e when y o u v o t e d d i f f e r e n t p a r t i e s . S o , a n d A. u s e d t o l a u g h a b o u t my l i v i n g i n a s o r o r i t y b e f o r e . Y o u know, "How c o u l d you p o s s i b l y l i v e w i t h a bunch o f — o n e hundred g i r l s ? " And I . was a f r a t e r n i t y f e l l o w . L i k e , A. r e a l l y made me c o n f r o n t my c u l t u r e , v e r y , v e r y much. A. c o n f r o n t e d my c u l t u r e e v e r y i n c h o f t h e way. "Why do y o u do t h i s i n t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s ? Why do y o u do t h i s ? Why do y o u w a l k down t h e s t r e e t a n d s a y , 'How a r e y o u ? ' , when y o u n e v e r e v e n e x p e c t an answer b a c k ? " He c o n s t a n t l y b o m b a r d e d me w i t h my c u l t u r a l norms.  147  K: Uh-hum. I. .  You  were s e e i n g  a d i f f e r e n c e t h e n b e t w e e n A.  and  M: Oh, an e x t r e m e d i f f e r e n c e . And s u d d e n l y I t h o u g h t , "Wow, t h i s i s g r e a t t h a t I ' d gone down t o s e e t h i s g u y ! " Because I had been l i v i n g i n a f a n t a s y w o r l d . And my f r i e n d s w e r e right. And s o I t o l d h i m , I s a i d , " L o o k , I h a v e a n o t h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p now. And i n o r d e r f o r me t o r e a l l y c a r e f o r t h i s p e r s o n , I h a v e t o know o n c e and f o r a l l f r o m y o u w h a t y o u r f e e l i n g s a r e f o r me." And he s a i d , " W e l l . . . " — h e d i d n ' t say. He s a i d , "I'm g o i n g o f f t o V i e t Nam and I h a v e that to consider." I said, "Fine." I knew t h e n , " L o o k , h e ' s n o t g o i n g t o t e l l me a n y t h i n g . " Fine. And I s a i d , " W e l l , t h a t ' s a l l I w a n t t o know, and I h a v e t o — " And i t was v e r y , v e r y f o r m a l . Oh, I f e l t r e a l l y p r o u d o f m y s e l f . A t t h a t moment, I f e l t so p r o u d o f m y s e l f t h a t I a c t u a l l y did t h i s . I l o w e r e d my p r i d e , w e n t i n t o h i s h o u s e , and confronted him. b  K:  T o o k some a c t i o n .  M: Oh, i t f e l t s o f r e e i n g ! I c o u l d not b e l i e v e i t . I drove down t o S.A., h a v i n g f e e l i n g s f o r him s t i l l , w a l k e d i n t o t h a t h o u s e , t a l k e d t o h i m , f o r m a l l y i n h i s l i v i n g room. I walked out. We w a l k e d t o t h e c a r . And I'm s t a n d i n g o u t s i d e my b e e t l e , and he s u d d e n l y l o o k s a t me i n a r o m a n t i c way. And l o o k i n g a t t h e s t a r s : "Isn't i t a beautiful night?" I s a i d , "Goodbye, I . ! " I t h o u g h t — i s n ' t t h a t w o n d e r f u l ? D o n ' t p u l l any o f t h o s e games on me. One moment y o u ' r e one way, t h e n e x t moment y o u ' r e t h i s . K:  A  see-saw.  M: A s e e - s a w . I s a i d , " F o r g e t i t . I don't want t h a t . " I g o t i n t h e c a r , and t o t h i s d a y , I ' v e n e v e r t h o u g h t a b o u t him r o m a n t i c a l l y a g a i n . Now t h a t s h o c k e d me r i g h t t h e r e . T h a t I c o u l d end i t . T h a t h a s b e e n a w e a l t h o f i n f o r m a t i o n f o r me, e v e n i n c o u n s e l l i n g now. I mean, h e l p i n g p e o p l e i n this. T h a t I t o o k a c t i o n , I f o u n d o u t e x a c t l y , and t h e n he s t a r t e d d o i n g a l i t t l e b i t o f a g a m e — I ended i t . I s a i d , "No, t h a n k - y o u v e r y much." Now I a l s o h a d t h e l u x u r y o f h a v i n g somebody b a c k t h a t I was g o i n g t o . K: You w e r e a b l e t o go feelings.  t o a n o t h e r p e r s o n and  t r a n s f e r some  M: I w e n t r i g h t b a c k . I d r o v e r i g h t b a c k t o A.'s a p a r t m e n t , and t o l d h i m . "This c a l l s f o r a drink!" (laughter) That's w h a t he s a i d : "This c a l l s f o r a drink!" So we h a d a d r i n k . T h e n I had t h e m o s t w o n d e r f u l w i n t e r I ' v e h a d i n . . . T h e n I s t a r t e d g o i n g w i t h somebody. See, I . and I w e r e l o n g d i s t a n c e r o m a n c e . And A. and I s t a r t e d r e a l l y s e e i n g e a c h other. And t h e n I f o u n d o u t w h a t i t was r e a l l y l i k e . And I f e l l i n love. I f e l l i n l o v e w i t h A.. Of c o u r s e , t h a t  148 ended l a t e r , t o o , i n a d i f f e r e n t s o r t o f note. But I had t h a t e x p e r i e n c e t h a t y e a r , o f g o i n g o u t w i t h somebody d a i l y , and f a l l i n g i n l o v e w i t h them. And he d i d n o t p u t me on a pedestal. He r e a l l y , r e a l l y c a r e d . And I r e a l i z e d , a f t e r A., t h a t I d i d n o t w a n t somebody l i k e I.. T h a t my t y p e was r e a l l y n o t my t y p e . T h a t was my t y p e , my s c h o o l g i r l d r e a m s . And I h a d c h a n g e d . I had g r o w n u p — o r was g r o w i n g up. But i r o n i c a l l y , I w e n t w i t h A. f o r t h r e e y e a r s , o r w h a t e v e r . Came up t o E.. F o l l o w e d A. h e r e . And t h e n , r i g h t a f t e r I g o t m a r r i e d — I met my h u s b a n d up h e r e . I, y o u know, b r o k e up w i t h A.. I met my h u s b a n d h e r e . B u t t h a t f a l l when I met my h u s b a n d — m y h u s b a n d I h a v e now; I ' v e o n l y b e e n m a r r i e d o n c e ! — I w e n t down t o N.A. f o r my s i s t e r ' s w e d d i n g . And I w e n t o v e r t o a f r i e n d o f m i n e ' s h o u s e , who knew I . ' s sister. And s h e c a l l e d I . ' s s i s t e r , and s t a r t e d t a l k i n g t o h i s m o t h e r on t h e p h o n e . She s a y s , "M., h e r e , t a l k t o h i s mother." "Oh, I . ' s m o t h e r ? " This i s about f o u r years after. I mean, I h a d n o t s e e n o r h e a r d o f I . . He was i n t h e N a v y and V i e t Nam. So I t a l k e d t o t h e m o t h e r , a n d s h e s a i d , "Oh, h i , M.. I t ' s so w o n d e r f u l t o h e a r from you. I. i s i n V i e t Nam. You know, I . d o e s n ' t h a v e any g i r l f r i e n d . And he knew he r e a l l y h a d t o g e t h i s , y o u know, c a r e e r underway. T h i s V i e t Nam t h i n g s h a d t o be u n d e r w a y b e f o r e he'd c a r e d f o r you." She was s t a r t i n g t o make e x c u s e s f o r w h a t he d i d t o me. I s a i d , "Oh, r e a l l y ? " "Are you g o i n g w i t h anyone?" I l i e d , b e c a u s e I h a d j u s t met 0. two m o n t h s before. So I s a i d , "No." You know, I t h o u g h t , " W e l l , l e t ' s l e a v e t h i s o p e n . Who knows i f a n y t h i n g ' s g o i n g t o come o f 0 . " — y o u know! K:  Are  you  s a y i n g t h a t you  still  had  some f e e l i n g s f o r  I.?  M: No, no, I d i d n ' t . I t was more c u r i o s i t y . And I t h o u g h t , " W e l l , maybe I . ' s c h a n g e d t o . Because I've ended i t w i t h A., I'm now a d i f f e r e n t p e r s o n b e c a u s e o f A. and w h a t I h a d gone t h r o u g h , and I ' v e met 0.. B u t , y o u know, I d o n ' t know w h a t l o v e i s a n y m o r e . And s o maybe...We c a n a l w a y s s e e . " So t h a t was O c t o b e r . And t h e n 0. and I d i d s t a r t i n d a t i n g , s e r i o u s l y , i n the winter. 0.'s p a r e n t s w e r e c o m i n g i n t h e summer. And s u d d e n l y i n A p r i l we w e r e e n g a g e d . And, a t t h a t p o i n t , I r e a l l y h o n e s t l y s a y , I d i d n ' t know w h a t l o v e was a n y m o r e . So I f e l t I w a s . . . I c o u l d n ' t s a y I was falling i n l o v e w i t h 0., b e c a u s e I r e a l l y was c a u t i o u s on w h a t I meant by l o v e . K: Do y o u f e e l t h a t t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p y o u influenced your future r e l a t i o n s h i p s ?  had  with  I.  M: Y e a h , i t made me way more c a u t i o u s . I t made me r e a l l y t h i n k a b o u t w h a t l o v e was. But, you see, I g o t m a r r i e d i n J u l y — J u l y 15. And w o u l d y o u b e l i e v e t h a t one m o n t h l a t e r , out of the b l u e , I got a l e t t e r from I . , a f t e r f i v e y e a r s . F o u r and a h a l f , f i v e y e a r s . So h i s m o t h e r m u s t h a v e t o l d him i n t h e f a l l . And I s t i l l h a v e t h a t l e t t e r somewhere.  149  And i t was b a s i c a l l y : "I'm o u t o f t h e N a v y now. I'm g o i n g to law s c h o o l . I'm—" He s e n t me a p i c t u r e o f h i m i n h i s uniform. " I s t i l l c a r e about you, and I want us t o g e t together." Well. Well, well, well. I wish that l e t t e r n e v e r came. W e l l , I d o n ' t know how t o e x p l a i n i t . I t was v e r y h a r m f u l t o me. K:  Harmful?  M: V e r y h a r m f u l t o me t h a t I g o t t h a t l e t t e r . (pause) I s u d d e n l y r e a l i z e d I was m a r r i e d . And s u d d e n l y a f t e r I was m a r r i e d — i t was w o n d e r f u l g o i n g w i t h 0. a l l y e a r — b u t r i g h t a f t e r I g o t m a r r i e d i n J u l y , I r e a l i z e d , "I'm n o t f r e e a n y m o r e . " When I g o t t h a t l e t t e r , I r e a l i z e d , "My God, I'm not f r e e anymore. I c a n ' t j u s t f l y down t o N.A. a n d go o u t w i t h somebody e l s e . " K:  By somebody e l s e do y o u mean I . ?  M: I . , y e a h . Not anybody e l s e . I wasn't d e s i r i n g o f g o i n g out w i t h a n y o n e e l s e , b u t I d i d n ' t h a v e t h e f r e e d o m t o go a n d s e e w h e t h e r t h e r e was s t i l l s o m e t h i n g i n t h i s relationship. K: E v e n t h o u g h y o u f e l t t h a t t h e f e e l i n g s w e r e no there.  longer  M: Y e a h , I w o u l d j u s t — I was c u r i o u s , b e c a u s e t h e f e e l i n g s had once been so s t r o n g . B u t I knew, t h o u g h , i n t u i t i v e l y , t h a t I ' d g o n e w i t h A.. I was now m a r r i e d someone e l s e who was l i k e A.. He was a b l e n d o f A. a n d I . . He was p e r f e c t . I was somebody who h a d t h a t b l e n d , w h i c h was v e r y p e r f e c t f o r me, o f b o t h E u r o p e a n and A m e r i c a n , y o u k n o w — o r C a n a d i a n , y o u know, b u t N o r t h A m e r i c a n . And I t h o u g h t I . — I d o n ' t know i f he h a d g r o w n , o r c h a n g e d , b u t I w a n t e d t o s e e whether I s t i l l l i k e d t h a t t y p e . But I had a hunch I p r o b a b l y w o u l d n ' t be a t t r a c t e d t o t h a t t y p e a n y m o r e . But I guess i t b r o u g h t back o l d memories, and a l l t h a t . But i t s u d d e n l y , I t h i n k , w h a t i t r e a l l y b r o u g h t up t o me was t h a t I d i d n ' t h a v e f r e e d o m a n y m o r e . And i t p u t me i n t o a mood t h a t was q u i t e d e p r e s s e d t h a t f i r s t y e a r o f my m a r r i a g e . K:  F r e e d o m means t o  you?  M: I was now c o m m i t t e d t o someone e l s e . I never committed myself to anything before. F r i e n d s , maybe. I h a d g o o d friends. I was l o y a l , a l w a y s l o y a l t o f r i e n d s , a n d I was... L o y a l t y i s v e r y i m p o r t a n t t o me. Commitments. Now, b u t I mean—commitments t o f r i e n d s — b u t I had n e v e r been c o m m i t t e d , made a c o n s c i o u s d e c i s i o n t o be c o m m i t t e d , a n d now t h e r e was a p i e c e o f p a p e r t h a t I was c o m m i t t e d . It j u s t s o r t o f . . . I h a d f e e l i n g f o r somebody, s o I a u t o m a t i c a l l y was c o m m i t t e d t o them. But I would have t o make a r a t i o n a l . . . ! mean, I was c o m m i t t e d , I was m a r r i e d ,  150  t h e p a p e r s were s i g n e d , so t o speak. "My God, t h i s i s a c o m m i t m e n t t o t h i s o t h e r p e r s o n , t o be l o y a l t o t h i s o t h e r person. N o t t o r u n o u t on them. T h a t I c o u l d h u r t someone else." The i r o n y i s — a n d 0. and I t a l k a b o u t t h i s now and t h e n — w h a t i f t h e l e t t e r had come a m o n t h s o o n e r ? I don't know. And I d o n ' t w a n t t o g e t o f f t h e t r a c k h e r e . But I g u e s s I w o u l d h a v e gone down. To s e e . And s o 0. k e e p s t h i n k i n g , w e l l , I n e v e r would have m a r r i e d him t h e n . I don't t h i n k so. You know, I t h i n k t h a t p r o b a b l y — b u t who knows? I t was r e a l l y odd t h a t i t came a m o n t h l a t e r , I w i l l say. K: And l o o k i n g b a c k , I g e t a s e n s e t h a t y o u l e a r n i n g s from t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p .  had  a l o t of  M: Oh, oh, y e s . B u t , when I t h i n k b a c k now t h a t I'm r e t e l l i n g i t , i t ' s a c t u a l l y p u t t i n g some t h i n g s i n p e r s p e c t i v e r i g h t now f o r me. I am g e t t i n g a l o t o u t o f t h i s , r e t e l l i n g i t , i n t h a t I t h o u g h t , o v e r t h e l a s t few y e a r s , and w i t h A. I f e l t t h a t w a y — I b l a m e m y s e l f a l o t — t h a t I c o u l d n o t r e a l l y e x p r e s s my f e e l i n g s . And I s a i d t h a t when I was s t a r t i n g t o f a l l i n l o v e w i t h I . , I d i d n ' t e x p r e s s my f e e l i n g s v e r y w e l l . But a f t e r t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s t a r t e d going sour, I t h i n k I r e a l l y expressed—maybe not w h o l e h e a r t e d l y — b u t I d i d take a l o t of r i s k s . They were rejected... K: I'm w o n d e r i n g i f t h e r e ' s a t i e - i n b e t w e e n t h e r i s k s t h a t y o u t o o k w i t h I . and t h i s commitment t h a t y o u t a l k a b o u t w i t h y o u r p r e s e n t h u s b a n d . T h a t t h e r e may be a f a c t o r i n t h a t f e e l i n g o f b e i n g s w e p t away, t h a t y o u may be m i s s i n g , t h a t y o u had w i t h I . . M: Oh, y e a h , y e a h , y e a h , y e a h . Okay. I n e v e r f e l t swept away by my h u s b a n d t h a t w h o l e y e a r . Never d i d . I really h e l d b a c k d e l i b e r a t e l y . I met h i m i n S e p t e m b e r , and a f t e r b o t h A. and I . , t h a n k - y o u v e r y much, I w a s n ' t g o i n g t o go through t h i s again. So when I met h i m , I i m m e d i a t e l y l i k e d h i m , and we c o m m u n i c a t e d — b a m ! — j u s t s o w e l l t h a t f i r s t meeting. I t j u s t h i t me o v e r t h e h e a d . And I t h o u g h t , "Boy, t h i s i s a guy who's c o m b i n i n g b o t h I . and A.. Perfect f o r me." And I t h o u g h t , " B u t I'm n o t g o i n g t o f a n t a s i z e a b o u t him. I'm n o t g o i n g t o do any o f t h o s e t h i n g s . " See, I knew n o t h i n g a b o u t t h o u g h t - s t o p p i n g o r a n y t h i n g t h e n , b u t I t h o u g h t , " L i s t e n , i t seems l i k e t h e k e y t o t h i s i s , D o n ' t fantasize. D o n ' t t h i n k a b o u t t h e p e r s o n , s o when y o u ' r e away f r o m them, y o u ' r e u n d e r y o u r own c o n t r o l . " So I f i g u r e d t h a t o u t t h e h a r d way. So I n e v e r f a n t a s i z e d a b o u t 0. t o o much. I t h i n k I — I c a n ' t say never. I mean, t h a t ' s n o t b e i n g h o n e s t ; when I t h i n k b a c k . I certainly did a b i t . But I r e a l l y c o n t r o l l e d m y s e l f . And t h e n when 0., a f t e r a c o u p l e o f m o n t h s o f g o i n g o u t w i t h me, a f t e r a m o n t h and a h a l f , s t a r t e d a c t i n g s t r a n g e , I c o n f r o n t e d h i m r i g h t away.  151  K:  By  "strange"...  M: S t a r t e d a c t i n g a l o o f . I met h i m — h e came up t o my d o o r , we w e r e g o i n g o u t on a d a t e , and a t t h a t moment he s t a r t e d acting aloof. Where he had b e e n s o r o m a n t i c , r i g h t , f o r a w h o l e m o n t h and a h a l f . And I t h o u g h t , "Oh, h e r e we a r e again. H e r e ' s t h e l i t t l e c h a n g e t h a t comes i n t o relationships." And I s a i d t o 0., I s a i d , " L o o k , I w e n t t h r o u g h A., I w e n t t h r o u g h I . , n o t r e a l l y c o m m u n i c a t i n g how I feel. So I'm g o i n g t o be v e r y d i r e c t w i t h y o u . " I said, " Y o u ' r e a c t i n g — t h i s i s how y o u ' r e a c t i n g t o w a r d s me r i g h t now. Y o u ' r e a c t i n g q u i t e a l o o f and e v e r y t h i n g . I'm w o n d e r i n g , y o u know, i f a n y t h i n g ' s g o i n g on f o r y o u . Have y o u r f e e l i n g s c h a n g e d f o r me?" And I f e l t s o m a t u r e , y o u know, b e i n g t h a t way. And he s a i d , " W e l l , I d o n ' t know i f my f e e l i n g s . . . " I t h o u g h t h i s f e e l i n g s w e r e l e s s e n i n g . "No," he s a i d . He s a i d , " I f e e l t h a t t h i s i s g o i n g t o o f a s t , s o I h a v e t o s l o w down my f e e l i n g s , and I h a v e t o p u l l back a b i t . I have t o t h i n k . I need t i m e t o t h i n k . " And, o f c o u r s e , I t a l k e d t o 0. l a t e r , and he s a i d he was falling v e r y h a r d t o me, and by p u l l i n g b a c k and t h i n k i n g . . . A n d I t h o u g h t , "Wow, t h i s i s f a s c i n a t i n g ! He's v e r y s i m i l a r t o I.." A. was s i m i l a r t o me. A. j u s t l e t h i s f e e l i n g s go. He was v e r y d i r e c t , and, y o u know, " L e t ' s go." Where, "Gee, t h i s g u y ' s " — I mean, I t h o u g h t he was v e r y s i m i l a r . He's E u r o p e a n , l i k e A. was, b u t he seemed t o h a v e I . ' s ...a l i t t l e b i t more c o n s e r v a t i v e , I g u e s s . T h a t made me f e e l safer. Not c o n s e r v a t i v e p o l i t i c a l l y , but c o n s e r v a t i v e lifestyle-wise. So, a t t h a t moment, when 0. s a i d t h a t , I had a l i t t l e b i t o f . . . I d i d n ' t t h i n k a b o u t I . , b u t I t h o u g h t , "Oh, g o s h , t h a t ' s w h e r e I w e n t w r o n g w i t h I . . I. was p u l l i n g b a c k , and I s h o u l d h a v e a l l o w e d h i m t o p u l l back. T h a t ' s w h a t t h o s e m a l e f r i e n d s s a i d . And h e r e i s t h i s guy d o i n g i t t o me now." But I wasn't w o r r i e d . I s a i d , " F i n e , t a k e a l l t h e t i m e you want. T h a t ' s f i n e w i t h me. You know, I c a n go o u t w i t h o t h e r p e o p l e . " Because I r e a l l y d i d f e e l t h a t way, b e c a u s e I w a s n ' t f a n t a s i z i n g . I h a d my own l i f e , I had my own c o n t r o l , s o I d i d n ' t g e t l o c k e d i n t h a t t h i s p e r s o n i s e v e r y t h i n g t o me. K:  So  you  c o u l d keep y o u r s e l f .  M: Oh, y e s . I kept myself. Where, w i t h A., I l e t m y s e l f fall. With I . , I l e t myself f a l l . And I d i d n ' t w a n t t o have t h a t happen a g a i n . ( p a u s e ) I s h o u l d add one more t h i n g , though, t o t h i s . And t h a t i s , I t h i n k , f i n a l l y — y o u know, 0. d i d t h i s t o me t h r e e more t h a t y e a r , p u l l i n g b a c k , and I was s o r a t i o n a l — I t h i n k t h a t I d i d n ' t a l l o w m y s e l f t o r e a l l y f a l l f o r 0.. So, when I t h i n k b a c k now, I c o u l d ' v e l e t go and i t w o u l d b e e n p e r f e c t l y s a f e ! So I h e l d b a c k t o o much, and I n e v e r a l l o w e d t h a t i n f a t u a t i o n t o t a k e h o l d . And s o when I . w r o t e me t h a t l e t t e r , i t r e m i n d e d me t h a t , " G o s h , I d o n ' t h a v e t h i s w i t h 0.. Maybe t h e r e ' s s o m e t h i n g w r o n g , t h a t I d o n ' t h a v e t h i s w i t h 0.. W e l l , I know I h e l d  152  i t back. B u t maybe i t j u s t n e v e r w o u l d come." So t h e n t h e n e x t y e a r I s t a r t e d r e a l l y r e - t h i n k i n g my m a r r i a g e . Not t e l l i n g 0. a b o u t i t . G e t t i n g v e r y p a n i c k e d . Panicked i n t h a t , "Have I m a r r i e d someone I d i d n ' t l o v e ? Oh my God!" So I w e n t t h r o u g h t h a t w h o l e y e a r . 0. g o t s i c k . I got pregnant. What a h o r r i b l e y e a r . I t was one o f t h e m o s t h o r r i b l e y e a r s o f my l i f e . Well, c e r t a i n l y , I got pregnant, I w a s n ' t g o i n g t o go a n y w h e r e . Besides, I never thought of it. I made a c o m m i t m e n t , and I had t o s e e t h i s t h r o u g h . B u t u n t i l s o many y e a r s l a t e r . . . A c t u a l l y , A. came b a c k , t o o . I w r o t e a l e t t e r t o A. t h r e e y e a r s l a t e r a f t e r t h a t , when I was i n E u r o p e . And he c a m e — h e d i d n ' t end t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p -he came b a c k . He t h o u g h t my m a r r i a g e was on t h e r o c k s , and he came b a c k . Crazy. But anyways, so, t h e s e p e o p l e s t i l l h o l d o n , I g u e s s , and I'm s i m i l a r . B u t anyway, I r e a l i z e d I was t o o r a t i o n a l w i t h my m a r r i a g e . And t h e n when I a c t u a l l y . . . I remember s e e i n g somebody f r o m a f a r who r e m i n d e d me o f m y — o f I . . N o t I . , b u t j u s t g e n e r a l l y an a t t r a c t i v e man. And s u d d e n l y t h i s a t t r a c t i v e man i n c l a s s — I was i n s c h o o l , y o u know, o u t a t U . B . C — a s k e d me o u t f o r c o f f e e . I was a T.A. i n the c l a s s . I was a T.A. f o r t h i s department, f o r P.. And t h i s guy a s k e d me o u t f o r c o f f e e . And t h e n we w e n t o u t f o r c o f f e e e v e r y week on T h u r s d a y , and I r e a l i z e d — I'm r e a l l y g l a d t h a t h a p p e n e d t o m e — b e c a u s e I r e a l i z e d t h a t I s t i l l h a d f e e l i n g s o f a t t r a c t i o n f o r somebody. B e c a u s e I was m a r r i e d , and I was i n t o b a b i e s , and I t h o u g h t o f m y s e l f as a w i f e - m o t h e r - s t u d e n t - f r i e n d . I didn't t h i n k of myself i n a r o m a n t i c way. And j u s t h a v i n g c o f f e e w i t h t h a t f e l l o w f o r t h r e e m o n t h s b r o u g h t b a c k t h a t I was a woman. T h a t I have romantic f e e l i n g s . K: I h a v e a s e n s e f r o m w h a t y o u s a y t h a t y o u ' r e vulnerable to those emotional highs.  still  M: No. S o r r y t o d i s a p p o i n t you. I s a y "No" w i t h s u c h confidence! (laughter) I c o u l d be. I c o u l d be. I c e r t a i n l y d o n ' t f e e l t h a t way r i g h t t h i s moment a s I'm t a l k i n g t o you. I am s o i n v o l v e d w i t h my w o r k a t U.S.C. t h a t r o m a n c e i s n o t on my m i n d a n y m o r e . E v e n t e l l i n g t h i s — t e l l i n g t h i s , I just love t e l l i n g i t , i t ' s r e a l l y i n t e r e s t i n g t o t a l k about i t . But I can see i t from a distance. I f e e l I'm n o t t h a t v u l n e r a b l e a n y m o r e . But I t h o u g h t t h a t b e f o r e I saw t h i s guy f o r c o f f e e — w h a t , s e v e n y e a r s ago o r s o m e t h i n g ! I thought that then. I obviously was w r o n g . So, I mean, c e r t a i n l y i t c o u l d h a p p e n a g a i n . I mean, a l l I d i d was h a v e c o f f e e w i t h h i m f o r t h r e e m o n t h s . And t h e n I d i d t e l l 0. a b o u t i t . I mean, I f e l t t h a t was b e t r a y i n g h i m , s o I t o l d h i m a b o u t i t . ( p a u s e ) No, r i g h t now I f e e l q u i t e d i s t a n c e d f r o m i t . I f e e l v e r y o k a y w i t h it. Yet, I w i l l say, i t c e r t a i n l y i s l o v e l y , t h a t f e e l i n g is lovely. And t o t h i n k t h a t , f r o m now u n t i l t h e day I d i e , I ' l l never experience i t again, i s k i n d of sad. K:  T e l l me  more a b o u t t h a t  sadness.  153  M: W e l l , I . . . ( l o n g p a u s e ) W e l l , I g u e s s , I ' v e c e r t a i n l y never f e l t that high again. I mean, I c a n ' t s a y i f I r e a l l y d e s i r e i t r i g h t now. R i g h t now, I d o n ' t d e s i r e i t . A n d I probably never w i l l d e s i r e i t again. B u t , I g u e s s , when I t h i n k o f never experiencing i t again, i t ' s kind o f a f e e l i n g of l o s s . I t h i n k , yeah, y e a h — I t h i n k I have a c a p a b i l i t y of having that f e e l i n g again. (pause) W e l l , okay, i t ' s s a d , b u t a l s o , I don't t h i n k I want t o be o u t o f c o n t r o l anymore. So I w i l l s a y t h a t . I t f e e l s . . . I t h i n k I would choose n o t t o be o u t o f c o n t r o l . K: I s t h e r e M: No.  a n y t h i n g e l s e you'd  No, t h a n k - y o u .  K: T h a n k - y o u v e r y much.  like  t o add?  154  Transcript  #1  (Case  U)  K: C o u l d y o u t a l k a b o u t a t i m e when y o u w e r e r o m a n t i c a l l y i n l o v e w i t h someone, a n d w h a t h a p p e n e d t o y o u b e f o r e , d u r i n g , and a f t e r t h e e x p e r i e n c e , a s i f y o u w e r e t e l l i n g a s t o r y ? F i r s t I w o u l d l i k e y o u t o t a l k a b o u t how y o u w e r e f e e l i n g and w h a t y o u w e r e t h i n k i n g b e f o r e y o u met t h a t p e r s o n — w h a t was g o i n g o n i n y o u r l i f e f o r y o u a t t h a t t i m e . U: Okay, I t h i n k I ' l l s t a r t w i t h t h e one t h a t made t h e b i g g e s t i m p a c t and l a s t e d t h e l o n g e s t . P r o b a b l y t h a t ' l l be a p p r o p r i a t e , and t h e n I c a n t a l k about any o t h e r e x p e r i e n c e s afterward. Am I t a l k i n g l o u d e n o u g h ? K: Uh-hum. U: Okay. A n d w h a t I was d o i n g b e f o r e I met t h i s p e r s o n . . . I guess I had reached a v e r y n e g a t i v e s t a t e , a v e r y d e p r e s s e d s o r t o f s t a t e i n my m a r r i a g e a n d was f e e l i n g q u i t e h o p e l e s s a b o u t t h a t i n a way. I a c t u a l l y w a s — i n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, I was h a v i n g a n a f f a i r w i t h someone who I was k i n d o f i n f a t u a t e d w i t h , a n d v e r y p h y s i c a l l y a t t r a c t e d t o , who was i n a c o u r s e t h a t I was t a k i n g a t s c h o o l . And t h i s p e r s o n was k i n d o f p l a y i n g g a m e s — y o u know, m i n d g a m e s — w i t h me, and he was h a v i n g a n o t h e r a f f a i r , a n d he was a l s o m a r r i e d . A n d s o we w e r e k i n d o f s t r u g g l i n g , a n d t h i s o t h e r p e r s o n , t h e p e r s o n who I'm g o i n g t o be t a l k i n g a b o u t t h a t I f e l l i n l o v e w i t h , somehow k i n d o f i n v o l v e d h i m s e l f a n d o f f e r e d s u p p o r t , e m o t i o n a l s u p p o r t , a n d a s k e d me i f I w a s — y o u know, s t a r t e d a s k i n g me, " A r e y o u o k a y ? " a n d , " A r e t h i n g s o k a y w i t h y o u ? " a n d , y o u know, " I s e e t h a t y o u seem k i n d o f t r o u b l e d , " and so f o r t h . And t h i s was a p e r s o n who I h a d s o r t o f met s e v e r a l y e a r s e a r l i e r , a n d I c a n remember t h e f i r s t t i m e I saw h i m was a t some k i n d o f a b i g g a t h e r i n g o f p e o p l e , a n d he w a l k e d i n , and I remember t h i n k i n g t h a t t h e r e was s o m e t h i n g i n c r e d i b l y a t t r a c t i v e a b o u t h i m , e v e n t h o u g h h e w a s n ' t t h e k i n d o f p e r s o n I was u s u a l l y p h y s i c a l l y a t t r a c t e d t o . And he d i d n ' t h a v e t h e same k i n d s o f — I h a d some s o r t o f a n i d e a l i z e d n o t i o n o f w h a t a p p e a l e d t o me, a n d I remember, a n o t h e r t i m e , s e e i n g someone t h a t j u s t f i t t h a t , and j u s t s e e i n g h i m a c r o s s t h e room, a n d g o i n g "Who i s t h a t ? " , y o u know, a n d I e n d e d up h a v i n g a n a f f a i r w i t h t h a t person. And i t was l i k e , I w o u l d seem t o meet t h e s e p e o p l e i n k i n d o f high-energy academic s i t u a t i o n s . L i k e t h i s p e r s o n t h a t I h a d met t h a t I r e f e r r e d t o b e f o r e — I ' m k i n d o f g o i n g o f f t r a c k — w a s a t some k i n d o f a n a c a d e m i c m e e t i n g , and i t was i n a s i t u a t i o n w h e r e t h e r e was a l o t o f e n e r g y and, y o u know, k i n d o f i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h w o r k o r s c h o o l . It was a l w a y s t h a t k i n d o f a t h i n g . K: So s o m e t h i n g i n t e l l e c t u a l  i s a stimulus  f o r you.  155  U: Y e s , y e s . So anyway, I h a d s e e n t h i s p e r s o n t h a t I f e l l i n l o v e w i t h , I h a d s e e n h i m s e v e r a l y e a r s b e f o r e , and remember b e i n g v e r y s u r p r i s e d a t t h e way I f e l t when I saw him. You know, i t was l i k e , I d i d n ' t b e l i e v e i t . I t was l i k e I saw h i m , and I j u s t t h o u g h t , " T h e r e ' s a r e a l l y i n t e r e s t i n g - l o o k i n g person." And t h e n I h e a r d h i s v o i c e , and I h e a r d h i m s p e a k , and t h a t was a r e a l s e d u c t i o n i n i t s e l f , b e c a u s e he h a d t h i s w o n d e r f u l v o i c e and t h i s w o n d e r f u l way o f t a l k i n g and j u s t a w o n d e r f u l q u a l i t y t o h i s voice. And s o I d i d n ' t r e a l l y t h i n k a b o u t i t — I mean, I j u s t saw h i m v e r y , v e r y b r i e f l y , y o u know, a t t h i s t h i n g a few y e a r s b e f o r e . And t h e n I r a n i n t o h i m a g a i n , s h o r t l y b e f o r e I s t a r t e d g o i n g b a c k t o s c h o o l t o g e t my M a s t e r ' s , I ran i n t o him a t t h e r e c e p t i o n desk i n t h i s department t h a t I was g o i n g i n t o . And I remember j u s t t h e way he l o o k e d a t me, k i n d o f — h e r e a l l y s o r t o f d e v o u r e d me w i t h h i s e y e s . And a g a i n , i t was l i k e , h e r e was t h i s p e r s o n whose p h y s i c a l a p p e a r a n c e was v e r y much u n l i k e a n y o n e t h a t I ' d e v e r b e e n a t t r a c t e d t o , and I remember j u s t f e e l i n g t h i s — w h a t ' s t h e f e e l i n g ? — i t ' s l i k e a r e a l h i g h , l i k e a r e a l surge o f , k i n d °f/ j°y somehow, y o u know, and a c c e p t a n c e somehow, a n d j u s t f e e l i n g r e a l l y e m o t i o n a l l y c o n n e c t e d somehow, and s a y i n g , "Oh, y o u know, y o u ' r e g o i n g t o be d o i n g t h i s a n d t h i s h e r e , " a n d , y o u know, " L o o k i n g f o r w a r d t o w o r k i n g w i t h y o u , " and a l l that. And a g a i n , I d i d n ' t t h i n k a n y t h i n g o f i t . . I mean, i t was j u s t a v e r y n i c e f e e l i n g , and I s o r t o f l i n k e d i t more w i t h my f e e l i n g s a b o u t w h a t I was g o i n g t o be d o i n g , a n d , y o u know, i t made me f e e l more e n t h u s i a s t i c a b o u t t h e c o l l e g e t h a t I was g o i n g i n t o . So t h a t was f i n e , and t h e n I e n d e d up w o r k i n g w i t h t h i s p e r s o n i n t h e c o l l e g e , and s o I was i n f a i r l y f r e q u e n t c o n t a c t . L i k e I w o u l d s e e h i m maybe t h r e e o r f o u r t i m e s a week, j u s t a s p a r t o f w h a t I was doing. And t h i s i s when t h i s came up, w h e r e I was h a v i n g a n a f f a i r w i t h t h i s o t h e r p e r s o n , and I s t a r t e d t o . . . M y m a r r i a g e was f a l l i n g a p a r t . T h i n g s w e r e r e a l l y d i f f i c u l t a t home. I ' d g o n e t h r o u g h a s i t u a t i o n w h e r e my h u s b a n d h a d f o u n d a c h e q u e t h a t I h a d — t h i s was maybe two y e a r s b e f o r e t h i s , a y e a r o r two b e f o r e — h e had f o u n d a c h e q u e t h a t I was s e n d i n g t o someone I was h a v i n g an a f f a i r w i t h . And I was s e n d i n g h i m a l e t t e r a b o u t my p l a n s , and he t r i e d t o g e t me t o r e n e g e on t h i s d e a l and I w o u l d n ' t , and s o I e n d e d up g o i n g t o A. anyway, and m e e t i n g t h i s p e r s o n . And, I mean, i f t h i n g s were bad b e f o r e t h a t , t h e y were r e a l l y bad a f t e r that. And t h e k i d s w e r e k i n d o f r e s t l e s s , and t h e y knew t h i n g s w e r e g o i n g o n , and h e r e I was i n t h i s new c o l l e g e , and j u s t v e r y d e t a c h e d f r o m w h a t was g o i n g on a t home. And v e r y d i s c o n n e c t e d . We w e r e n ' t e v e n g o o d f r i e n d s . So anyhow, t h e n I was h a v i n g t h i s a f f a i r w i t h t h i s o t h e r p e r s o n , and I was f e e l i n g v e r y d e t a c h e d f r o m h i m , a n d I w a s n ' t g e t t i n g . . . H e was, y o u know, a s I s a i d , r e a l l y p l a y i n g m i n d games w i t h me, and we f i n a l l y , f i n a l l y g o t t o g e t h e r f o r one w h o l e day t o g e t h e r , f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e . And I j u s t h a d a f a n t a s t i c t i m e — I t h o u g h t i t was g r e a t — a n d he came b a c k a few d a y s l a t e r and s a i d t h a t i t j u s t w a s n ' t g o i n g t o w o r k  156  f o r h i m , he h a d t h i s o t h e r a f f a i r , and he f e l t he was going t o g e t r e a l l y i n v o l v e d i n me, and s o he d i d n ' t w a n t t o go any f u r t h e r w i t h i t . And I r e a l l y e x p e r i e n c e d t h a t a s rejection. L i k e , I d i d n ' t r e a l l y b e l i e v e him. P a r t o f me b e l i e v e d h i m , and p a r t o f me t h o u g h t , "He's j u s t s a y i n g t h a t t o make me f e e l b e t t e r . You know, i f h e ' s r e a l l y t h a t s m i t t e n w i t h me, t h e n h e ' s n o t g o i n g t o be a b l e t o c u t i t off." So, l i k e , I r e a l l y d o u b t e d m y s e l f , a n d i t r e a l l y k i n d o f a t e away a t my c o n f i d e n c e a b o u t my s e l f . And — t h i s i s i n t e r e s t i n g a c t u a l l y , t h i n k i n g about a l l t h i s s t u f f . And s o at t h i s p a r t i c u l a r point i n time t h i s other person k i n d of j u m p e d i n t o t h e b r e a c h and s t a r t e d o f f e r i n g e m o t i o n a l support. And I j u s t — p e o p l e w o u l d s a y t o me, "You know, he r e a l l y f o c u s e s on y o u a l o t , and he t a l k s a b o u t y o u r i s s u e s a l o t w i t h c l i e n t s , " and a l l t h a t , and I g o t a b i t o f h a s s l e about t h a t . I t was p a r t l y j u s t f e e d b a c k t h a t I g o t f r o m t h i s group. And s o f i n a l l y a n o t h e r m o n t h w e n t b y maybe, and I remember one n i g h t — h o w was I f e e l i n g a r o u n d t h a t t i m e ? — I s t a r t e d t o have t h i s glow, I guess, j u s t s o r t of a f e e l i n g o f e x c i t e m e n t , a k i n d o f s e x u a l e x c i t e m e n t f o r one t h i n g . T h i s s o r t o f , a s we t a l k e d a b o u t , s o r t o f an i n f l a t e d s e n s e o f m y s e l f , v e r y h y p e r s e n s i t i v e , k i n d o f , t o my e n v i r o n m e n t a n d w h a t was g o i n g on a r o u n d me, and v e r y t u n e d i n , v e r y a w a r e o f my s u r r o u n d i n g s , and, s o r t o f , how I was c o m i n g across with people. And I became v e r y — I mean, t h a t was a l r e a d y g o i n g on a l i t t l e b i t when I was h a v i n g t h i s a f f a i r , and I was v e r y i n t o my own s e x u a l i t y . I t was k i n d o f a p e r i o d o f s e x u a l e x p l o r a t i o n . And I was a w a r e o f m y s e l f i n a way t h a t I h a d n e v e r b e e n a w a r e o f m y s e l f b e f o r e . I mean, and h e r e I was, I was a l r e a d y i n my f o r t i e s . K:  Can  you  d e s c r i b e t h a t more?  U: Y e a h , s u r e ( p a u s e ) . W e l l , I mean, i t was k i n d o f l i k e t h e way I d r e s s e d : I would d r e s s as p r o v o c a t i v e l y as I c o u l d w i t h o u t s o r t o f g o i n g o u t o f t h e b o u n d s o f w h a t was a c c e p t a b l e i n t h i s c o l l e g e t h a t I was i n . J u s t s o r t o f l i k e t h i s r e a l l y k e e n i n t e r e s t i n e v e r y t h i n g I was w e a r i n g , and my h a i r , a n d — i t ' s h a r d t o g e t b a c k i n t o i t , i t ' s a m a z i n g , you k n o w — j u s t t h i s i n c r e d i b l e f e e l i n g about m y s e l f ; i t ' s hard to describe, i t r e a l l y i s (long pause). Physically, what's the f e e l i n g ? I t ' s s o r t of l i k e excitement, p h y s i c a l l y , i n t h e p i t o f my s t o m a c h ( p a u s e ) . Just a — I d o n ' t k n o w — j u s t a f e e l i n g o f b e i n g s e x u a l l y t u r n e d on, you know, a t v a r i o u s t i m e s , j u s t b e i n g r e a l l y s e x u a l l y a w a r e o f m y s e l f and t h e i m p a c t — f e e l i n g s e n s u a l a s w e l l . . . K:  Sounds l i k e you  were s a y i n g a sense o f  well-being.  U: Uh-hum, uh-hum. And j u s t a f e e l i n g o f — I h a d l o n g h a i r , a n d j u s t t h e f e e l i n g and t h e f l o w o f my h a i r , and j u s t s o r t o f a w a r e o f t h e c o n n e c t i n g w i t h o t h e r p e o p l e , w i t h men p a r t i c u l a r l y , and i t was l i k e t h a t was w i t h me w h e r e v e r I went, k i n d o f . And I c a n remember t h i s p a r t i c u l a r e v e n i n g  157  when t h i s t h i n g s t a r t e d . And I w e n t t o c l a s s , and I was w e a r i n g my j e a n o u t f i t — I had t h i s b l u e j e a n o u t f i t w h i c h I t h o u g h t was r e a l l y s e x y — a n d , i n f a c t , I p r o b a b l y d i d n ' t e v e n w e a r r u n n e r s w i t h i t > l i k e I h a d t o w e a r some k i n d o f j a z z y boots or shoes or something l i k e t h a t . And I j u s t remember b e i n g v e r y h y p e d up, and j u s t k i n d o f g e n e r a l l y excited. And I w a s n ' t q u i t e s u r e w h a t i t was a l l a b o u t . N o t h i n g was r e a l l y h a p p e n i n g . I was k i n d o f i n b e t w e e n things. I had s o r t o f b e e n r e j e c t e d by t h i s p e r s o n t h a t I was h a v i n g an a f f a i r w i t h . And t h e r e was f e e l i n g o f l o t o f e n e r g y , e n e r g y f o r my w o r k , and j u s t k i n d o f a e u p h o r i c f e e l i n g — t h a t was i t , a e u p h o r i c f e e l i n g , w h a t e v e r t h a t i s . And I remember an e x p e c t a n c y , k i n d o f l i k e s o m e t h i n g was g o i n g t o h a p p e n , and I had a b s o l u t e l y no i d e a w h a t , I r e a l l y d i d n ' t , n o t i n a c o n s c i o u s way. And I remember b e i n g i n t h i s c l a s s and b e i n g c h a r g e d up. And a f t e r w a r d s , I k i n d o f -and a g a i n , t h i s was v e r y u n d i r e c t e d , I was j u s t s o r t o f h a n g i n g around t o ask a q u e s t i o n . You know, I was really k i n d o f i n v o l v e d w i t h t h e w o r k t h a t I was d o i n g , and I h a d a l o t o f q u e s t i o n s a b o u t i t . And t h i s p e r s o n was k i n d o f l e a d i n g t h e c l a s s , and he was s i t t i n g i n t h e c h a i r a t t h e f r o n t o f t h e c l a s s a f t e r w a r d s , and k i n d o f s l u m p e d i n h i s c h a i r and l o o k i n g v e r y — a h , w h a t ' s t h e word...He w o u l d g e t t h i s l o o k on h i s f a c e . He w o u l d j u s t k i n d o f , n o t w i t h d r a w , b u t become v e r y q u i e t , and s o r t o f p h y s i c a l l y , j u s t k i n d o f s i t b a c k i n h i s c h a i r , l i k e he was s p a c e d o u t somehow, l i k e he was k i n d o f s p a c i n g o u t and d i s t a n c i n g h i m s e l f i n some way. And he s t a r t e d t o — h e had t h i s way o f t a l k i n g w h i c h was e x c i t i n g f o r me, t h e way he u s e d h i s v o i c e , y o u know, and he was v e r y e x p r e s s i v e , t h e way he t a l k e d , and he s a i d , "You know, t h e r e ' s t h i s s u c h - a n d - s u c h k i n d o f a t h i n g c o m i n g up down i n D., and i t ' s a l l a b o u t t h e s t u f f t h a t we've b e e n d o i n g , and we s h o u l d r e a l l y go down." And I remember g e t t i n g a g a i n t h i s f e e l i n g o f — i t was k i n d o f f e e l i n g g o o d about myself again. I t was, l i k e , a b o u t my w o r k , y o u know, t h a t I was b e i n g s i n g l e d o u t somehow a s s p e c i a l w i t h w h a t I was d o i n g , and t o be i n c l u d e d somehow. And s o a g a i n i t was l i k e , "Oh, a l l r i g h t , s u r e . You know, t h a t s o u n d s interesting." And I j u s t f e l t s o m e h o w — i t was an ego t r i p , l i k e i t was an ego h i g h , i t was l i k e , " W e l l , I m u s t be r e a l l y , y o u know, s p e c i a l i n some way." And a g a i n , i t was n o n s p e c i f i c i n terms of seeing myself i n r e l a t i o n t o t h i s p e r s o n i n a s e x u a l way. The f e e l i n g s t h a t I was d e s c r i b i n g w e r e more a b o u t m y s e l f , my s e x u a l i t y . And i t was n o n s p e c i f i c a t t h a t p o i n t ; i t was n o t d i r e c t e d t o w a r d a n y b o d y i n p a r t i c u l a r . So t h a t was f i n e . I w e n t home, and I was q u i t e t i t i l l a t e d by t h i s . And t h e n I remember when we w e r e w a l k i n g down t h e s t r e e t , y o u know, i n t h i s a r e a w h e r e I was d o i n g a l l t h i s w o r k — a few d a y s l a t e r , maybe t h e n e x t d a y , I d o n ' t remember f o r s u r e — a n d t h e t o p i c came up a g a i n . And he was a s k i n g me, y o u know, he s a i d s o m e t h i n g a b o u t , " W e l l , gee, maybe t h e r e a r e s e x u a l o v e r t o n e s t o t h i s , " and I j u s t s o r t o f w e n t , " W h a t ? " — y o u know, t h a t was t h e f a r t h e s t t h i n g f r o m my m i n d a t t h a t p o i n t , w i t h t h i s p e r s o n , anyway.  158  And s o t h e n t h a t g o t me t h i n k i n g , t h o u g h . I mean, I s o r t o f came away f r o m t h e r e , a n d I t h o u g h t , " T h i s i s r e a l l y interesting. I mean, why d i d h e s a y t h a t , a n d why i s h e saying i t l i k e that?" So we w e n t o n t h i s t r i p . A n d i t was v e r y e x c i t i n g , I m u s t s a y . I t was a c o m b i n a t i o n somehow o f t h i s e x c i t e m e n t a n d e n e r g y a b o u t my w o r k , a n d t h a t g o t s o r t of t r a n s l a t e d i n t o t h i s e x c i t e m e n t and energy f o r him somehow. A n d t h e n I s t a r t e d t o become a w a r e o f t h i s a t t r a c t i o n f o r h i m , w h i c h h a d b e e n v e r y much l i k e . . . T h e p e r s o n t h a t I was h a v i n g t h e a f f a i r w i t h when we w e r e a l l i n t h e same g r o u p was v e r y p h y s i c a l l y a t t r a c t i v e , a n d t h i s p e r s o n d i d n ' t s o r t o f f i t t h a t d e s c r i p t i o n f o r me. And s o i t was m y s t e r i o u s . I t was l i k e , " I d o n ' t u n d e r s t a n d t h i s . " And y e t t h e f e e l i n g s t h a t I h a d f o r t h i s p e r s o n w e r e s t r o n g e r i n a d i f f e r e n t k i n d o f way. A n d t h e r e was j u s t a l o t of passion. A n d we w e n t o n t h i s t r i p , a n d — a n d a l s o I s t a r t e d t o f e e l i n c r e d i b l y v u l n e r a b l e a t t h e same t i m e , s o i t was l i k e t h i s f e e l i n g o f v u l n e r a b i l i t y , w h i c h . . . ( p a u s e ) . Where t h e v u l n e r a b i l i t y comes i n i s , y o u know, s o r t o f l i k e a f e a r o f , i f y o u h a v e some k i n d o f d i s a g r e e m e n t , o r i f y o u d o n ' t s e e e y e t o e y e on s o m e t h i n g , t h a t f e e l i n g o f l o s i n g the r e l a t i o n s h i p . L i k e , i t ' s so f r a g i l e — l i k e t h e whole t h i n g i s j u s t so h e i g h t e n e d , and t h e r e ' s such a sense o f a r o u s a l and, s o r t o f , a merging t o g e t h e r and m e e t i n g , t h a t i f t h e r e ' s a moment w h e r e . . . F o r i n s t a n c e , a t o n e p o i n t d u r i n g t h i s w e e k e n d t h a t we s p e n t t o g e t h e r — a n d t h a t was when we b e g a n t o h a v e a s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p — a t o n e p o i n t , he made some comment a b o u t u s n o t b e i n g w e l l - m a t c h e d sexually. I t was i m p l i e d , o k a y , i t w a s n ' t s p e c i f i c . I t was more l i k e , " T h i s i s a p r o b l e m i n t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p , sexually." And I was j u s t d e v a s t a t e d ! I mean, i t was l i k e I was up s o h i g h , a n d f e e l i n g s o v u l n e r a b l e , t h a t e v e r y t h i n g r e s t e d on t h a t s o m e h o w — t h a t i f t h a t wasn't okay f o r h i m , t h a t t h a t meant he w a s . j u s t g o i n g t o end i t , o r he d i d n ' t w a n t t o c o n t i n u e , o r he w a s n ' t h a p p y w i t h i t . I t was k i n d o f l i k e , i n s t e a d o f t h i n k i n g a b o u t how I f e l t a b o u t i t , a n d my d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h i t — w h i c h I h a d , some dissatisfaction. You know, t h e r e ' s a l w a y s i s s u e s , a n d there's k i n d o f l i k e t h a t p e r i o d o f adjustment t o each other s e x u a l l y , s o we w e r e j u s t i n t h a t r e a l i n i t i a l p h a s e , a n d I was j u s t c r u s h e d when I h e a r d t h i s . Y o u know, i t was l i k e , "What d o e s t h i s mean? Am I b e i n g r e j e c t e d ? " But t h i s would go o n , f r o m t i m e t o t i m e a s t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p w e n t o n , a n d h e w o u l d t h r o w t h o s e t h i n g s o u t , a n d i t was k i n d o f l i k e h e w o u l d s a y i t — h e was one o f t h e s e p e o p l e t h a t s o r t o f h a d t o s a y w h a t e v e r was on h i s m i n d — s o he w o u l d j u s t s a y t h a t . And h e ' d s a y , "Gee, t h i s i s r e a l l y k i n d o f s t r a n g e t h a t w e ' r e s o i n v o l v e d w i t h e a c h o t h e r , a n d t h a t I'm s t i l l i n t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p , b e c a u s e t h i s i s u s u a l l y a n i s s u e f o r me, and I'm s u r p r i s e d t h a t , y o u know, i t ' s o k a y f o r me," a n d a l l that. So i t was a b i t o f t o r m e n t , i n a way. Anyway, how d i d I g e t o f f on t h a t ?  159  K: I'm w o n d e r i n g i f y o u h a d s e n s e t h a t he was or using that to distance himself.  pulling  away,  U: ( p a u s e ) Uh-hum, uh-hum. I g u e s s t h a t was a c o n c e r n . I mean, t h e p o i n t was t h a t he was m a r r i e d , and I was m a r r i e d . B u t my s e n s e was t h a t he d i d n ' t h a v e a s much d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p as I had w i t h m i n e — t h a t f o r him t h i s was j u s t h i s way o f o p e r a t i n g i n t h e w o r l d , was t o be m a r r i e d and h a v e a f f a i r s , w h e r e a s f o r me t h i s was j u s t l i k e r e a l l y c o n s u m i n g , and I c o u l d n e v e r h a v e b e e n t h a t i n t e r e s t e d o r i n v o l v e d i f I had h a d any r e a l f e e l i n g s f o r my husband. Y e a h , I f e l t l i k e maybe I was g o i n g t o be rejected. I t t i e d i n w i t h t h e way my s e l f - e s t e e m was a t t h a t time, which was...(pause). I g u e s s I had a l o t o f h a n g - u p s a b o u t my s e x u a l i t y , and t h a t I w a s n ' t a g o o d p e r f o r m e r i n some way, t h a t I h a d n ' t h a d e n o u g h e x p e r i e n c e , a n d s o i f somebody s a i d s o m e t h i n g a b o u t t h a t , t h e n I t o o k i t v e r y p e r s o n a l l y and f e l t r e j e c t e d by t h a t . And s o , l i k e , I h a d s o much i n v e s t e d i n t h a t a t t h a t t i m e . Yeah, I d i d (pause). So, I d o n ' t know., K:  What h a p p e n e d d u r i n g t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p f o r y o u ?  U: W e l l , I c a n remember, l i k e , t h e r e was a l o t o f s e x u a l e x c i t e m e n t t h a t w e e k e n d , j u s t e v e r y p l a c e and e v e r y w h e r e we w e r e , and j u s t d r i v i n g i n t h e c a r , and a l o t o f s t u f f g o i n g o n , a n d t o u c h i n g , and c o m i n g b a c k t o t o w n a n d f e e l i n g r e a l l y q u i t e w r e n c h e d by h a v i n g t o go home. A l t h o u g h b y t h a t t i m e I ' d h a d t h a t e x p e r i e n c e b e f o r e , s o I was g e t t i n g p r e t t y g o o d a t , y o u know, h i d i n g i t , and s o r t o f h a v i n g t h i s d u a l personality. And t h e n n o t b e i n g s u r e , y o u know, w h a t was g o i n g t o h a p p e n w i t h i t , and i t w e n t on. And I g u e s s i t was very e x c i t i n g , but a l s o very f r u s t r a t i n g , because I c o u l d n ' t s e e t h i s p e r s o n a s much a s I w a n t e d t o . I p i n e d f o r him. He j u s t w a s n ' t t h a t a v a i l a b l e . He was v e r y o b s e s s e d w i t h h i s own i m p o r t a n c e , and h i s own w o r k s c h e d u l e , a n d o f c o u r s e he h a d h i s c o m m i t m e n t s i n h i s m a r r i a g e . He was much b e t t e r a b o u t t h o s e t h a n I was w i t h m i n e . And I remember ( p a u s e ) — y e a h , I mean, I a l w a y s w a n t e d t o s p e n d more t i m e w i t h h i m t h a n he w a n t e d t o s p e n d w i t h me, and I t h i n k t h a t became part of i t . I t was l i k e i t was p a r t o f t h e o b s e s s i o n , s o r t o f , and I d o n ' t know w h a t w o u l d h a v e h a p p e n e d i f i t h a d b e e n t h e o t h e r way a r o u n d , o r i f i t h a d b e e n e q u a l . Sort of a f e e l i n g o f b e i n g c h e a t e d somehow, and a s e n s e o f l o s s , and pining. And I remember o n c e , when he was a w a y — o n e o f u s was away, I g u e s s he was a w a y — a n d we g o t t o g e t h e r a f t e r b e i n g a p a r t f o r a c o u p l e o f w e e k s , and I remember we w e n t t o h a v e c o f f e e a t t h i s p l a c e , and t h e r e was j u s t t h i s i n c r e d i b l e e l e c t r i c i t y b e t w e e n u s , and I remember h i s e y e s w e r e . . . I c a n remember s i t t i n g and s t a r i n g a t h i m and j u s t being enthralled. And h i s e y e s w e r e j u s t t h i s i n c r e d i b l e s h a d e o f b l u e — w h i c h , y o u know, t h e y v a r i e d , k i n d o f . And I remember he l o o k e d a t me, and he s a i d — a n d he seemed t o f i n d i t v e r y d i s t r a c t i n g , and v e r y a n n o y i n g o r u p s e t t i n g , k i n d  160  o f — l i k e he was i n t o t h i s , t o o , b u t he a l s o s a i d , y o u know, " I ' v e n e v e r e x p e r i e n c e d t h i s b e f o r e , and I'm f i n d i n g i t v e r y d i s t r a c t i n g , " b e c a u s e he was a l w a y s c o n c e r n e d a b o u t h i s d i s t r a c t i o n s and w a n t i n g t o g e t on w i t h h i s w o r k . And I c a n a c t u a l l y r e m e m b e r — I t h i n k we w e r e t a l k i n g a b o u t t h e i d e a o f , y o u know, when y o u ' r e i n l o v e w i t h someone a n d , k i n d o f , t h a t s e n s e o f l o s s o r f e e l i n g l i k e y o u w a n t t o be w i t h h i m and y o u c a n ' t . And I remember f i n d i n g e x c u s e s t o l e a v e w h a t I was d o i n g and d r i v e o u t t o w h e r e he was, and s o r t o f d r i v i n g a r o u n d t h e b u i l d i n g , s e e i n g i f he was a r o u n d , l o o k i n g f o r h i s c a r , y o u know, and t h e n , i f h i s c a r was t h e r e , f i n d i n g some e x c u s e t o go i n , and f e e l i n g v e r y l e f t o u t when he w a s n ' t a v a i l a b l e . Or he m i g h t k i n d o f come t r o t t i n g by and s o r t o f t r e a t me j u s t l i k e I was, l i k e one o f t h e o t h e r p e o p l e t h e r e , and a s i f we w e r e n ' t h a v i n g relationship. And t h a t was v e r y d i s t r e s s i n g . I s u b s e q u e n t l y . . . I c a n remember s i t t i n g i n t h e b e d r o o m — h e u s e d t o come o v e r t o my h o u s e d u r i n g t h e d a y , w h i c h was p r e t t y r i s k y , s c a r y , and I u s e d t o go t o h i s p l a c e — a n d I c a n remember s i t t i n g i n t h e b e d r o o m , i n my b e d r o o m , and f e e l i n g r e a l l y s t r a n g e , b e c a u s e t h e r e I was s i t t i n g t h e r e w i t h t h i s o t h e r guy. And we w e r e s o r t o f h a l f d r e s s e d , and e a t i n g l u n c h i n t h e b e d r o o m , and s i t t i n g on t h e c a r p e t , and I was i n t h e t h r o e s o f t h i n k i n g a b o u t l e a v i n g my m a r r i a g e , and i n some way t h i s was an i m p e t u s f o r me t o do i t r e a l l y . And y e t I knew t h a t he was n e v e r g o i n g t o l e a v e h i s w i f e . I knew t h a t , I mean, I r e a l l y knew t h a t , b u t I h a d t h i s w e i r d h o p e t h a t maybe s o m e t h i n g w o u l d h a p p e n and I ' d h a v e t h i s i m p a c t on h i m and he w o u l d . I d i d s o r t of, I e v e n t u a l l y got t h e m e s s a g e a f t e r a b o u t a y e a r t h a t t h i s was n e v e r g o i n g t o h a p p e n , f o r s u r e , e v e n t h o u g h I k i n d o f knew i t a l l a l o n g . And I c a n remember f e e l i n g v e r y s a d a b o u t w h a t was g o i n g o n , and a b o u t my m a r r i a g e and a l l t h a t . And I s t a r t e d t o c r y , and he p u t h i s arms a r o u n d me and r o c k e d me. And, y o u know, t h a t was t h e f i r s t t i m e a n y b o d y had e v e r done t h a t . And s o we w e r e v e r y c l o s e , and t h e r e was a l o t o f s o r t o f e m o t i o n a l i n t i m a c y and a l o t o f s e x u a l e x c i t e m e n t . B u t i t was very m e a s u r e d f r o m h i s s i d e , y o u know, i t was j u s t — i t was a l m o s t l i k e a t a p t h a t c o u l d be t u r n e d on and o f f , and t h a t was j u s t e x c r u c i a t i n g f o r me, b e c a u s e I c o u l d n ' t seem t o do t h a t , I d i d n ' t h a v e t h a t c o n t r o l . And I f e e l l i k e I d o n ' t — somehow I d o n ' t f e e l v u l n e r a b l e l i k e t h a t a n y m o r e . It's r e a l l y i n t e r e s t i n g . I d o n ' t know w h e t h e r I c o u l d e v e r e v e n subject myself to that, or lose that c o n t r o l that I l o s t or w h a t e v e r , I d o n ' t know, i t ' s r e a l l y w e i r d . K: So a r e y o u s a y i n g y o u t h i n k t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p h a d e f f e c t on f u t u r e r e l a t i o n s h i p s ?  an  U: W e l l , t h a t i n c o m b i n a t i o n w i t h a c o u p l e o f o t h e r s . E v e n t u a l l y , I got t o t h e p o i n t where I don't t h i n k t h a t c o u l d r e a l l y happen a g a i n . I d o n ' t know. Maybe i t c o u l d , and maybe i t — I d o n ' t f e e l a s o p e n t o i t . You know, I d o n ' t f e e l l i k e I c o u l d . . . R i g h t now, i t w o u l d t a k e an a w f u l l o t  161  more f o r t h a t t o h a p p e n , and I c a n ' t t h i n k o f a n y o n e t h a t c o u l d make t h a t k i n d o f an i m p a c t on me. Because i t had s o m e t h i n g t o do w i t h how I f e l t a b o u t m y s e l f , a n d my deficits. Okay? So now t h a t I ' v e g o t some o f t h o s e t h i n g s t h a t I d i d n ' t h a v e a t t h a t t i m e , i t w o u l d h a v e t o be S u p e r m a n f o r me t o f e e l — t o i d e a l i z e t h e p e r s o n i n t h a t way. I t ' s a l w a y s b e e n someone who I c a n r e a l l y i d e a l i z e , a n d f e e l has r e a l l y something t o o f f e r m e — t h a t I r e a l l y want something t h a t t h a t person has. So I s u b s e q u e n t l y moved o u t a n d moved i n t o my own a p a r t m e n t . I remember one t i m e I h a d made a n a r r a n g e m e n t t o go o u t w i t h t h i s woman on a F r i d a y e v e n i n g , a n d s h e a n d I h a d — a n d l i k e , h e r e I was s i n g l e , f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e , y o u know, i n t w e n t y - f i v e y e a r s o r w h a t e v e r , and maybe e v e r , b e c a u s e b e f o r e t h a t I l i v e d w i t h my p a r e n t s , b e f o r e we g o t m a r r i e d — a n d t h e r e I was i n my own a p a r t m e n t , a l l b y m y s e l f , and i t was v e r y e x c i t i n g , I r e a l l y e n j o y e d i t i n some r e s p e c t s . T h a t was a l s o i n c r e d i b l y l o n e l y , a n d he and I w o u l d come home f r o m , y o u know, we'd go on a w e e k e n d o r s o m e t h i n g l i k e t h a t , and h e ' d come home a n d maybe b r i n g me up i n t o my a p a r t m e n t , and I ' d w a l k i n , a n d t h e n t h e r e ' d be t h i s i n c r e d i b l y empty f e e l i n g when he w a l k e d o u t . Like h e r e I was c o n f r o n t e d w i t h t h e s e f o u r w a l l s . So anyway, t h i s woman and I h a d t h i s d a t e one n i g h t , a n d I remember s h e and I had had l o t s o f d i s c u s s i o n s about h e r f e e l i n g r e j e c t e d when h e r f r i e n d s w o u l d d e c i d e a t t h e l a s t m i n u t e t o go o u t w i t h some guy t h a t s u d d e n l y p h o n e d them o r s o m e t h i n g , s o I knew I h a d t o . be v e r y r e s p e c t f u l . And he s u d d e n l y p h o n e d me, w h i c h was v e r y o u t o f c h a r a c t e r f o r h i m t o p h o n e me i n an e v e n i n g . And he s a i d t h a t h i s w i f e h a d j u s t s u d d e n l y d e c i d e d t o go o u t — w h i c h r e m i n d s me o f a m o v i e I saw o n t . v . l a s t n i g h t — a n d , " D i d I want t o g e t t o g e t h e r ? " And I was j u s t c r u s h e d — a n d go t o a m o v i e ! — a n d i t was j u s t l i k e t h i s i n c r e d i b l e t e m p t a t i o n ! You know, i t was l i k e , h e r e was t h i s p e r s o n , we a l w a y s w o u l d j u s t c a t c h t h e s e odd moments t o g e t h e r , o r i t w o u l d be d u r i n g t h e d a y , a n d t h e f e e l i n g o f w a n t i n g t o h a v e , y o u k n o w — i t was a n i n c o m p l e t e f e e l i n g . It was l i k e I w a n t e d t o be w i t h t h i s p e r s o n a s my p a r t n e r i n a more t r a d i t i o n a l way, and s e e h i m i n t h e e v e n i n g s a n d go p l a c e s t o g e t h e r and s h a r e a l l t h e s e t h i n g s , a n d I c o u l d n e v e r do t h a t , a n d i t was v e r y , v e r y f r u s t r a t i n g . And s o t h e t h o u g h t o f d o i n g t h a t was s o t a n t a l i z i n g , f o r one e v e n i n g , y o u k n o w — a n d , o f c o u r s e , t h e r e was a l s o t h i s w h o l e sexual thing. And s o I remember j u s t a g o n i z i n g o v e r t h a t decision. And I c o u l d n ' t do i t . I mean, I j u s t , I h a d t o go o u t w i t h h e r . And i t was a l s o s o m e t h i n g a b o u t m y s e l f , too. I t was k i n d o f l i k e I c o u l d n ' t j u s t do t h a t . But i t was a 'damned i f y o u do, damned i f y o u d o n ' t ' s i t u a t i o n , b e c a u s e I h a t e d m y s e l f f o r t h e c h o i c e I made, a n d y e t i f I h a d gone w i t h h i m I w o u l d h a v e h a t e d m y s e l f f o r t h a t . I w o u l d h a v e b e e n a n n o y e d w i t h m y s e l f e i t h e r way. So t h a t was t h e k i n d o f , y o u know, s e n s e o f l o s s a n d p i n i n g - a w a y f e e l i n g , j u s t m i s s i n g h i m and w a n t i n g t o be w i t h h i m . And t h e w h o l e e v e n i n g — a n d t h e n I remember s h e a n d I w e n t o u t , a n d s h e s a t t h e r e , and i t was s o r t o f t h i s t i m e f o r h e r t o  162 dump a l l h e r s h i t o u t t o me i n t h i s — w e w e r e down a t t h e Vancouver H o t e l h a v i n g d r i n k s — a n d she s t a r t e d t o c r y , and get i n t o a l l her s t u f f . And I was j u s t — I c a n r e m e m b e r — I j u s t f e l t so r e s t l e s s and f r u s t r a t e d . And I j u s t t h o u g h t — I was j u s t r e a d y t o j u s t go t h r o u g h t h e c e i l i n g . A n d i n some way i t was s o w r o n g f o r me t o be t h e r e , a n d y e t i t was s o w r o n g f o r me t o be a v a i l a b l e t o h i m a l l t h e t i m e a n d f o r h i m n o t t o b e a v a i l a b l e t o me. So i t was l i k e a C a t c h - 2 2 s i t u a t i o n (pause). Anyway, i t w e n t on o v e r a p e r i o d o f t w o or three y e a r s — f r o m t w o t o t h r e e y e a r s , somewhere a r o u n d t h e r e — w h e r e , y o u know, we w o u l d c o n t i n u e t o m e e t o n a v e r y e r r a t i c b a s i s . And I g u e s s t h e f e e l i n g s w e r e s t i l l p r e t t y s t r o n g , y o u know, a t t h a t p o i n t , e v e n a f t e r t w o o r t h r e e y e a r s , b u t i t became i n c r e a s i n g l y more f r u s t r a t i n g , a n d I became i n c r e a s i n g l y more d i s s a t i s f i e d w i t h j u s t h a v i n g i t l i k e t h a t . And I g u e s s w h a t f i n a l l y h a p p e n e d w a s — I d o n ' t know i f I ' v e t o l d y o u a b o u t t h i s , j u s t p r i v a t e l y , o r n o t — b u t he h a d a p a r t y , a n d I was i n v i t e d , a n d h i s w i f e was t h e r e and gave him t h i s f a n c y cake. A n d e v e r y b o d y we k n e w — l i k e , we h a d a l l t h e s e m u t u a l f r i e n d s , a n d e v e r y b o d y was t h e r e — a n d i t was l i k e p e o p l e knew w h a t was g o i n g o n , b u t t h e y d i d n ' t know w h a t was g o i n g o n , a n d some p e o p l e t h o u g h t t h e y knew w h a t was g o i n g o n , o t h e r p e o p l e . . . M o s t p e o p l e d i d n ' t r e a l l y know, b u t t h e y s o r t o f s p e c u l a t e d — a n d I'm p r o b a b l y a t t a c h i n g more w e i g h t t o i t , I'm s u r e t h e y d i d n ' t s t a n d around and t h i n k about i t a l l e v e n i n g . And I c o u l d n ' t b e l i e v e t h a t i s w i f e d i d n ' t know w h a t was g o i n g o n . T h a t was h a r d t o b e l i e v e . B u t a p p a r e n t l y s h e ' s p r e t t y g o o d a t t h a t — n o t k n o w i n g ! — a n d I remember w a t c h i n g w h i l e h e o p e n e d t h e s e p r e s e n t s a n d c u t t h i s c a k e , a n d e v e r y b o d y was s t a n d i n g a r o u n d , a n d j u s t f e e l i n g o u t o f p l a c e , y o u know, l i k e , "What t h e h e l l am I d o i n g h e r e ? " I mean, I r e a l l y f e l t a s e n s e o f b e l o n g i n g w i t h t h i s p a r t i c u l a r g r o u p t h a t I was i n , a n d I knew a l o t o f p e o p l e t h e r e , a n d i t was f i n e . B u t I was a l s o — i t j u s t made me v e r y s a d , I g u e s s , a n d v e r y d i s s a t i s f i e d and u n c o m f o r t a b l e . And y e t , s o r t o f h a n g i n g o n — y o u know, l i k e I was h a n g i n g on a n d h a n g i n g o n , a n d t h e n e v e r y b o d y l e f t and t h e r e were about s i x o f us i n t h e k i t c h e n , a n d h i s w i f e was s t a n d i n g i n t h e k i t c h e n , a n d I was t h e r e , a n d he was k i n d o f t h r o w i n g me a f e w c r u m b s . A n d when h e was c u t t i n g t h e c a k e a n d o p e n i n g t h e s t u f f o r w h a t e v e r h e was d o i n g , a n d e v e r y b o d y was w a t c h i n g , h e g a v e h i s w i f e a k i s s — b u t i t was l i k e a v e r y p e r f u n c t o r y l i t t l e p e c k , s o r t o f — a n d he t o l d me a f t e r w a r d s when we t a l k e d a b o u t i t , h e s a i d , " I was v e r y a w a r e o f y o u b e i n g t h e r e , a n d I was c o n c e r n e d , y o u know, I t r i e d n o t t o g e t i n t o t o o b i g a k i s s , a n d , y o u know, s h e d o e s n ' t l i k e k i s s i n g i n p u b l i c anyway, s o i t r e a l l y w a s n ' t a p r o b l e m , " a n d s o f o r t h a n d s o on. And s o I s t o o d t h e r e t h a t n i g h t , a n d i t was a b o u t o n e o ' c l o c k i n t h e m o r n i n g , a n d we w e r e a l l s t a n d i n g a r o u n d i n t h e k i t c h e n , a n d t h e r e was a l l t h i s B.S. f l y i n g b a c k a n d f o r t h , a n d I was w a t c h i n g h i m — s o r t o f j u s t r e a l l y s t i l l e n a m o u r e d w i t h h i m , b u t I was g e t t i n g more a n d more p i s s e d off, I g u e s s , s o t h e r e was a l o t o f a n g e r t h e r e , a n d a l o t  163  of d i s a p p o i n t m e n t and f r u s t r a t i o n . And s o I j u s t s a i d t o m y s e l f — I d r o v e home b y m y s e l f , a n d I j u s t t a l k e d t o m y s e l f i n my h e a d , a n d I j u s t s a i d — " T h i s i s i t . " L o o k , y o u know, I n e v e r w a n t e d t o b e t h e o t h e r woman. I t j u s t d o e s n ' t f i t f o r me. I t was v e r y d e m e a n i n g . I t was a v e r y , v e r y k i n d o f down k i n d o f f e e l i n g , a n d r e a l i z i n g t h a t I was c a u g h t somehow. A n d s o I r e s o l v e d , a t t h a t p o i n t , t o e n d i t . I t h i n k we g o t t o g e t h e r a f e w more t i m e s a f t e r t h a t , b u t i t was l i k e , I knew t h a t I was g o i n g t o e n d i t . I was v e r y sad, I would c r y . And I ended i t . I mean, I d i d , w i t h i n a p e r i o d o f t h r e e months. And I f e l t r e a l l y good a b o u t t h a t . You know, I f e l t — a n d i t was i n t e r e s t i n g , b e c a u s e I s t i l l have a r e a l s t r o n g f e e l i n g o f f r i e n d s h i p f o r t h i s p e r s o n , b u t I d o n ' t p i n e f o r h i m anymore. And I u s e d t o t h i n k I would always l o v e him, and I don't f e e l l i k e I l o v e him. I mean, I l o v e h i m a s a f r i e n d , b u t I d o n ' t l o v e h i m i n t h e same way t h a t I d i d t h e n . And I d o n ' t t h i n k I c o u l d . And I d o n ' t w a n t t o go b a c k t o i t ; I d o n ' t h a v e t h o s e f e e l i n g s . I remember o n c e we g o t t o g e t h e r when h e c a m e — h e moved a w a y — and h e came b a c k , a n d we w e r e h a v i n g a m e e t i n g , l i k e a w o r k m e e t i n g , a n d h e — I mean, h e p r a c t i c a l l y r a p e d me. B u t he managed t o s o r t o f somehow i n s i n u a t e h i m s e l f o n me. I d i d n ' t — y o u know, I d o n ' t c o n s i d e r i t r a p e , I g u e s s , b u t I was p r e t t y a n n o y e d , a n d h e s o r t o f f o r c e d h i m s e l f o n me. And y e t , I mean, I g u e s s I c o u l d h a v e s t o p p e d i t , o k a y , b u t by t h a t t i m e I was r e a l l y w i t h d r a w n a n d r e a l l y d i s t a n c e d , and i t j u s t d i d n ' t . . . I was k i n d o f d o i n g i t f o r h i m , i n a s e n s e , a n d I was v e r y . . . A n d t h a t was i t . I mean, t h a t a b s o l u t e l y — I d i d n ' t e v e n g e t t u r n e d o n . A n d t h a t was a r e a l l y good f e e l i n g . I'm g e t t i n g away f r o m t h e t o p i c o f l o v e , I g u e s s , b u t i t was a v e r y n i c e f e e l i n g , y e a h . K: W e l l , i t s o u n d s a s t h o u g h y o u g o t i t t o g e t h e r w i t h i n y o u r s e l f — y o u r emotions were r e s o l v e d .  a t t h e end  U: Y e a h , I g u e s s t h a t ' s t r u e i n a way, b e c a u s e , I m u s t s a y , s i n c e t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p . . . L i k e , I mean, s u p e r i m p o s e d o n t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p was t h i s o t h e r f o u r - m o n t h a f f a i r t h a t I h a d , which a c t u a l l y took place simultaneously t o t h i s , o r toward t h e end a c t u a l l y — i t k i n d o f p i g g y b a c k e d on t h i s — a n d I d i d get r e a l l y i n f a t u a t e d w i t h t h i s person, and I f e l t t h a t I l o v e d him, t o o . But s i n c e t h a t time, I have never had t h a t experience. I'm n o t s a y i n g I w o u l d n ' t l i k e t o h a v e i t , b u t I d o n ' t t h i n k I e v e r want t o f e e l t h a t l i m i t e d a g a i n . V u l n e r a b l e i s okay, I don't mind f e e l i n g v u l n e r a b l e , b u t I do f e e l much more c o m p l e t e w i t h i n m y s e l f , i t ' s i n t e r e s t i n g , and I f e e l l i k e . . . Y o u know t h e r e ' s t h a t f e e l i n g when y o u ' r e w i t h someone t h a t y o u r e a l l y c a r e a b o u t , a n d when y o u ' r e t o g e t h e r , you f e e l l i k e you're k i n d o f s t u c k t o g e t h e r and there's t h a t sense o f completeness. A n d i n some way I h a v e t h a t w i t h m y s e l f a l o t more t h a n I e v e r d i d . A n d I r e a l l y got something out o f t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p . L i k e , I g o t s o m e t h i n g . . . I r e a l l y d i d f e e l l o v e d i n some way. Now w h a t he s a i d t o me was t h a t h e h a d h a d a l o t o f a f f a i r s a n d h e  164  was known a s a w o m a n i z e r , a n i n v e t e r a t e k i n d o f , y o u know, p h i l a n d e r e r and a l l t h a t , and he s t i l l s a y s t h a t — l i k e , t o t h i s d a y , we t a l k a b o u t i t — a n d he s a y s t h a t i f h i s w i f e , number o n e , e v e r a c t e d l i k e s h e knew w h a t was g o i n g o n a n d c o n f r o n t e d h i m , w h i c h s h e d o e s n ' t , number t w o , r e a l l y k i n d o f r e s p o n d e d t o h i m t h e way h e w a n t s t o b e r e s p o n d e d t o , t h a t h e d o e s n ' t t h i n k he w o u l d c a r r y o n l i k e t h i s . Anyway, I d o n ' t know a b o u t t h a t . But t h e p o i n t i s t h a t he d i d s a y t o me a f t e r w a r d s t h a t he h a d g o t s o m e t h i n g f r o m m e — o r , h e s a i d , d u r i n g t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p — t h a t h e f e l t was a l w a y s t h e r e f o r h i m , a n d we've t a l k e d a b o u t i t s i n c e , t h a t h e f e l t r e a l l y l o v e d f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e , a n d t h a t he f e l t — h e h a d a l w a y s f e l t , p h y s i c a l l y , k i n d o f r e j e c t e d b y women, e v e n t h o u g h he had had a l l t h e s e a f f a i r s , b u t he had s t i l l f e l t p h y s i c a l l y r e j e c t e d i n some way, s o m e h o w — a n d t h a t h e n e v e r f e l t t h a t way w i t h me. A n d i t c h a n g e d t h e way t h a t — t h a t h e f e l t l i k e he h a d r e a l l y g o t s o m e t h i n g f r o m me. So i t was r e a l l y good f o r b o t h o f u s , I t h i n k . I t was a r e a l — I d o n ' t want t o u s e t h e word "growth," because i t ' s s u c h a c l i c h e — b u t i t was a r e a l f u l f i l l i n g k i n d o f e x p e r i e n c e f o r b o t h o f us. So I d o n ' t know w h e t h e r y o u w a n t t o h e a r a b o u t t h e other s i t u a t i o n . . . K: I s t h e r e a n y t h i n g e l s e y o u ' d l i k e t o a d d , t h a t y o u haven't t a l k e d about, w i t h t h i s s i t u a t i o n ? U: ( l o n g p a u s e ) W e l l , I g u e s s — I d o n ' t k n o w — I g u e s s I k i n d of described t h e angst, t h e a n x i e t y t h a t I f e l t . And a t t h e same t i m e , I f e l t i n v o l v e d a n d — i t was v e r y c o m p e l l i n g — i n a way t h a t I d o n ' t f e e l i n v o l v e d now, a n d i n some way t h a t k i n d o f heightens the sensations i n other areas as w e l l . So t h e r e ' s a g e n e r a l f e e l i n g o f b e i n g more a l i v e somehow, a n d more t u r n e d - o n . And i n some way I f e e l l i k e , t o some extent, I tend t o withdraw. I mean, I d o n ' t know how...I w o u l d l i k e t o h a v e t h a t f e e l i n g more, b u t I d o n ' t know whether i t ' s something t h a t j u s t k i n d o f goes on and on. I f y o u e n d up l i v i n g w i t h a p e r s o n , i t c o u l d be r a t h e r d r a i n i n g a t t h e same t i m e , I d o n ' t know. O r — n o t d r a i n i n g ; i t m i g h t be s o m e t h i n g t h a t d o e s n ' t n e c e s s a r i l y e x i s t i n t h e same way i f y o u become i n v o l v e d i n a l o n g - t e r m r e l a t i o n s h i p , I d o n ' t know. K: A r e y o u s a y i n g  that l i v i n g with  someone c h a n g e s i t ?  U: Y e a h , I'm s a y i n g t h a t I s u s p e c t t h a t i t d o e s . Now, I'm not saying you wouldn't love t h e person, o r t h a t you c o u l d n ' t r e m a i n i n l o v e , b u t I d o n ' t t h i n k i t w o u l d be t h a t a n x i e t y a n d s e n s e o f e x p e c t a t i o n a n d a l l o f t h a t , y o u know, I d o n ' t know. I've never had t h a t e x p e r i e n c e , so I don't k n o w — o f l i v i n g w i t h someone t h a t I f e l t t h a t way a b o u t . K: Of b e i n g  i n l o v e a n d l i v i n g w i t h t h e m a t t h e same t i m e ?  165  U: Y e a h , I mean f o r any l e n g t h o f t i m e . Now, I h a d a f o u r m o n t h r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h someone who I f e l t t h a t I was i n l o v e w i t h a t t h e t i m e , and t h a t was v e r y e x c i t i n g a n d v e r y d o m i n a t i n g as w e l l , c o m p e l l i n g . But a g a i n , i t ' s l i k e t h a t was a v e r y s o r t o f e x t r a o r d i n a r y s i t u a t i o n ; i t w a s n ' t r e a l l y the kind of thing that lasted. So i t ' s a l w a y s b e e n v e r y , f o r me, i t ' s a l w a y s b e e n v e r y e p h e m e r a l — w h a t ' s t h e o t h e r w o r d I'm l o o k i n g f o r ? There's another word, which k i n d of means l i k e a l i g h t g o i n g o u t , I c a n ' t t h i n k o f t h e w o r d . . . B u t anyway, i t ' s — n o t ' i n c a n d e s c e n t , ' b u t i t ' s a s i m i l a r word, o k a y ? — a n d i t ' s always been a v e r y t r a n s i t o r y k i n d of t h i n g , t r a n s i t o r y k i n d of s t a t e . And I a l w a y s w o n d e r w h e t h e r I j u s t d i d n ' t k i n d o f , y o u know, h a n g i n t h e r e , I d o n ' t know, and w a i t f o r t h i s t o h a p p e n , o r w h e t h e r i t was s o m e t h i n g t h a t w o u l d j u s t h a p p e n a g a i n o r — y o u know, I mean, i t ' s o n l y h a p p e n e d a few t i m e s . So, I mean, I c a n remember o n c e l o o k i n g a t somebody a c r o s s t h e room a n d t h i n k i n g — t h e one t h a t I m e n t i o n e d e a r l i e r — a n d j u s t s a y i n g t o t h e p e r s o n I was w i t h , "Who i s t h a t ? " You know, and j u s t f e e l i n g t h i s i n c r e d i b l e a t t r a c t i o n f o r t h e p e r s o n , a n d we e n d e d up h a v i n g an a f f a i r , b u t I w a s n ' t a l w a y s r e a d y f o r that kind of thing. A g a i n , i t h a p p e n e d when I was f e e l i n g v e r y — a h , okay, okay, I j u s t thought o f something. The f i r s t t i m e t h a t I e v e r h a d an a f f a i r was s h o r t l y a f t e r I h a d f i n i s h e d my M a s t e r ' s d e g r e e , g o t t h i s v e r y h i g h p r o f i l e j o b - I had been out w o r k i n g f o r a y e a r , b u t I s u d d e n l y g o t t h i s r e a l l y good j o b a y e a r l a t e r . And a g a i n , i t was t h i s h e i g h t e n e d s e n s e o f my s e l f w h i c h p l a y e d i n t o my f e e l i n g s and my s e x u a l i t y . And i t was a l m o s t l i k e I h a d h a d t h i s m a s s i v e i n j e c t i o n o f c o n f i d e n c e , and t h a t when I g o t t h i s m a s s i v e i n j e c t i o n o f c o n f i d e n c e , t h e n I s t a r t e d t u r n i n g my a t t e n t i o n t o t h e s e u n r e s o l v e d i s s u e s o f my s e x u a l i t y . And a l s o , b e c a u s e I f e l t s o g o o d a b o u t m y s e l f , i t came o u t , i t came t h r o u g h , i t j u s t r e a l l y came o u t i n a l l o f me. And I remember I was w o r k i n g a t t h e h o s p i t a l , and I g o t on a p l a n e t o go up t o t h e i n t e r i o r t o do t h i s p r e s e n t a t i o n , and I s a t n e x t t o t h i s r e a l l y c r a z y guy, and we s t a r t e d t a l k i n g v e r y much l a t e r i n t h e f l i g h t . And I j u s t h a d t h i s i n c r e d i b l e — t h i s was n o t l o v e , e x a c t l y , I d o n ' t w h a t I w o u l d c a l l i t . T h a t was j u s t a r e a l j u s t p u r e and s e x u a l i n f a t u a t i o n , k i n d of. B u t t h a t was t h e b e g i n n i n g o f a l l t h i s , when I s t a r t e d t o have t h i s sense of myself. And t h a t was w h a t f o l l o w e d , k i n d o f . And s o i t was a l m o s t l i k e A l i c e M i l l e r ' s " g r a n d i o s e s e l f , " y o u know. And i t was l i k e , a f t e r f e e l i n g i n a s t a t e o f m i l d d e p r e s s i o n a l l my l i f e — a n d s o r t o f a c c e n t u a t e d a t c e r t a i n t i m e s by e v e n w o r s e d e p r e s s i o n — a n d then suddenly, s o r t of, g e t t i n g i n t o t h i s grandiose s e l f . And I s e e i t v e r y m u c h — w h e n s h e t a l k s a b o u t t h a t , I c a n really relate to i t . L i k e I c o u l d j u s t a t t r a c t anybody, you know, and i t was t r u e ! And i t was l i k e p e o p l e f e l t t h a t , and p i c k e d up on i t . And I h a d t h i s c r a z y a f f a i r w i t h h i m , b u t i t was v e r y f r a g i l e a t t h e same t i m e . L i k e what h a p p e n e d was, he s t a r t e d t o — f i r s t we h a d t h i s i n c r e d i b l e a f f a i r , i t was v e r y b r i e f — a n d t h e n he s t a r t e d t o p l a y  166  games w i t h me and t e l l me he was g o i n g t o c a l l me b a c k , a n d he d i d n ' t . I c a n remember r u n n i n g o u t o f a c o n f e r e n c e , i n t h e m i d d l e o f w o r k , b e c a u s e I t h o u g h t he was c a l l i n g . You know, a n d I h e a r d t h e phone r i n g a n d t h e s e c r e t a r y h a d g o n e for lunch. A n d — I mean, t h i n g s t h a t I w o u l d n e v e r do i n my r i g h t mind. I was t o t a l l y o u t o f my m i n d . I r e a l l y was. And now I l o o k b a c k on i t — i f I e v e r h a d a f e e l i n g o f shame, b e c a u s e shame t o me i s n o t a b i g p a r t o f my l e x i c o n — b u t when I t h i n k b a c k on t h a t t i m e , i t ' s one my l i f e ' s s h a m e f u l moments t h a t I a c t u a l l y l e f t t h i s c o n f e r e n c e w i t h t h e s e p a r e n t s a b o u t t h e i r k i d t o r u n and answer t h e phone b e c a u s e I t h o u g h t i t was h i m . And i t w a s n ' t . So t h a t was j u s t t h i s — s o i t was v e r y f r a g i l e a t t h e same t i m e . T h e r e was t h i s g r a n d i o s i t y , b u t t h e p r o b l e m was t h a t i t was a b o u t h a l f an i n c h t h i c k , and i t d i d n ' t t a k e much. A n y t h i n g , y o u know- a l l y o u h a d t o do was p u t a l i t t l e b i t o f a wedge i n t o i t , and i t j u s t f e l l f l a t . I t was v e r y t e n u o u s . 'Tenuous'— t h a t ' s t h e w o r d I was l o o k i n g f o r . Anyway, s o y e a h , y e a h — s o I d o n ' t know w h e t h e r y o u w a n t me t o t a l k a b o u t a n y t h i n g e l s e o r n o t . T h e r e was t h e o t h e r e x p e r i e n c e t h a t I h a d . The o t h e r t i m e t h a t I f e l t t h a t I was i n l o v e was w i t h t h a t f o u r - m o n t h s t i n t w i t h somebody. K:  I think that's  U: Y o u ' r e  welcome.  f i n e , thank-you.  167 Transcript  #1  (Case N)  K: Can y o u d e s c r i b e i n a s much d e t a i l a s p o s s i b l e w h a t was h a p p e n i n g t o you b e f o r e , d u r i n g , and a f t e r y o u r r o m a n t i c l o v e r e l a t i o n s h i p , as i f you were t e l l i n g a s t o r y ? N: I was i n a m a r r i a g e t h a t b a s i c a l l y was w i t h o u t p a s s i o n . I was n o t h a p p y w i t h my f o r m e r h u s b a n d . T h e r e was no c o n n e c t i o n b e t w e e n u s . I h a d j u s t moved t o S., a n d f e l t a c e r t a i n f r e e d o m a f t e r l e a v i n g T. a n d a l l my r o o t s b e h i n d me, and I c o u l d a l m o s t do a n y t h i n g t h a t I w a n t e d . When I l e f t T., I was r e a l l y d e p r e s s e d . I d i d n ' t w a n t t o b e w i t h my f o r m e r h u s b a n d , a n d I r e s e n t e d c o m i n g o u t t o S. w i t h h i m , and h i m m a k i n g me move a n d l e a v e my e n t i r e f a m i l y a n d s u p p o r t 'system i n T.. About two months a f t e r I a r r i v e d i n S . — i t was b y t h a t t i m e I h a d made some f r i e n d s a n d I ' d made a b i g p a r t y a t my h o u s e , a n d t h e d o o r b e l l r a n g , a n d t h i s h u s b a n d o f one o f t h e women t h a t I h a d i n v i t e d was a t t h e door. I t o o k one l o o k a t h i m , he t o o k one l o o k a t me, a n d I s a i d t o m y s e l f , "My God, I'm h o t a l l o v e r . T h i s man i s u n d r e s s i n g me." I looked a t h i s face. I t h o u g h t I was g o i n g t o d i e , t h i s was t h e m o s t g o r g e o u s man I h a v e e v e r seen. We j u s t s t o o d t h e r e l o o k i n g a t e a c h o t h e r w i t h o u t r e a l i z i n g t h a t t h e r e were o t h e r p e o p l e t h e r e , and I t o l d t h e m t o come i n , a n d f r o m t h a t p o i n t o n , t h e w h o l e e v e n i n g , we j u s t k e p t — i t was l i k e a n e l e c t r i c i t y . I couldn't take my e y e s o f f h i m , he c o u l d n ' t t a k e h i s e y e s o f f me, a n d when we'd g e t n e a r one a n o t h e r , we'd b o t h f e e l t h e h e a t . A n d we talked. And t h e e n d o f t h a t e v e n i n g , I knew t h a t I w o u l d s e e t h i s man a g a i n . E v e r y p a r t y t h a t we w e n t t o , a f t e r — b e c a u s e I was f r i e n d l y w i t h h i s w i f e — e v e r y p a r t y t h a t I w e n t t o a f t e r , we w o u l d s e e one a n o t h e r , a n d we w o u l d a l w a y s end up t a l k i n g t o one a n o t h e r . And h e ' d a l w a y s be b r i n g i n g up a b o u t a f f a i r s , a n d b o t h o f u s knew t h a t e v e n t u a l l y we would have t o have an a f f a i r . And I d o n ' t know w h a t i t was, b u t i t was c e r t a i n l y some s p a r k ; we c o u l d n o t k e e p away f r o m one a n o t h e r . A n d w h a t h a p p e n e d was t h e n t h a t I w o u l d p h o n e h i s h o u s e when I knew h i s w i f e w a s n ' t t h e r e , a n d we w o u l d t a l k a l l e v e n i n g , a n d he w o u l d a l w a y s b r i n g up a f f a i r s . And t h e n h e s t a r t e d c a l l i n g me when he knew my h u s b a n d w a s n ' t t h e r e , on t h e p r e t e x t o f s o m e t h i n g , a n d we, f o r s i x m o n t h s , saw o n e a n o t h e r v e r y o f t e n , o r e n g i n e e r e d t o s e e o n e a n o t h e r v e r y o f t e n , a n d t o go o u t a s c o u p l e s s o t h a t h e a n d I c o u l d be t o g e t h e r , a n d we n e v e r c o u l d t a k e o u r e y e s o f f o n e another. K: S o u n d s a s t h o u g h y o u w e r e t i t i l l a t i n g  one a n o t h e r .  N: Y e a h , we w e r e . And f i n a l l y one d a y a f t e r s e e i n g o n e a n o t h e r : — a n d I w o u l d d r e s s p r o v o c a t i v e l y f o r h i m , a n d I knew t h a t h e j u s t d r a n k t h i s a l l u p , a n d w h e n e v e r we w e r e a t p a r t i e s I w o u l d f e e l h i s e y e s on me, a n d I'm s u r e he c o u l d f e e l my e y e s on h i m , when we w e r e n ' t t a l k i n g .  168  K: How d i d y o u f e e l a b o u t h i m when y o u w e r e n ' t s e e i n g h i m ? What was h a p p e n i n g ? N: Oh, I was o b s e s s e d . A b s o l u t e l y obsessed. I ate, drank a n d s l e p t t h i n k i n g o f t h i s man, a n d t h r o u g h o u t t h e d a y I would j u s t t h i n k about him, c o n s t a n t l y . K: Was i t d i f f i c u l t your l i f e ?  f o r you t o c a r r y on w i t h o t h e r t h i n g s i n  N: ( p a u s e ) Y e s , i t was r e a l l y v e r y d i f f i c u l t . The o n l y t i m e I h a d a c a r a c c i d e n t was when I d r o v e p a s t h i s h o u s e , a n d I l o o k e d a t h i s house, and I went i n t o a p a r k e d c a r . I t was a t o t a l o b s e s s i o n . . . u n t i l , one d a y , I was b a b y s i t t i n g h i s s o n , and h e came t o p i c k up h i s s o n a t my h o u s e , a n d I a s k e d h i m i f h e ' d g i v e me a l i f t , a n d when I was s i t t i n g b e s i d e h i m i n t h e c a r I c o u l d n o t s t a n d i t anymore, and I s a i d t o h i m , "You b e t t e r h o l d my h a n d . I j u s t can't stand being so c l o s e t o y o u . " A n d t h e m i n u t e he t o u c h e d me, I was o n f i r e . And he s a i d , " W i l l y o u meet me l a t e r ? " And I d i d . And a f t e r t h a t , we knew i t was j u s t a m a t t e r o f t i m e b e f o r e we w o u l d h a v e a n a f f a i r , a n d b e i n b e d . I t t o o k me a b o u t e i g h t m o n t h s t o d e c i d e t h a t , t o h e l l w i t h i t , I was g o i n g t o d o it. A n d t h e n we h a d a c o n n e c t i o n f o r e i g h t y e a r s ( p a u s e ) . K: By c o n n e c t i o n y o u mean...? N: A f t e r s i x m o n t h s o f h a v i n g a n a f f a i r , I d e c i d e d , No, t h i s i s n o t g o i n g on a n y m o r e , b e c a u s e I was n o t p r e p a r e d t o l e a v e my m a r r i a g e f o r h i m , a n d I h a d y o u n g k i d s . B u t we w o u l d t a l k v e r y o f t e n — t w o , t h r e e t i m e s a week. O c c a s i o n a l l y we'd meet a n d t o u c h one a n o t h e r , b u t f o r e i g h t y e a r s , when I s a y we h a d a c o n n e c t i o n , we t h o u g h t a b o u t one a n o t h e r , we t a l k e d o f t e n , he w o u l d c o n s t a n t l y t r y a n d c o n v i n c e me t o c o n t i n u e w i t h t h e a f f a i r , and I w o u l d n ' t . I j u s t needed t o t a l k t o him. T h a t was e n o u g h . K: What was i t t h a t g a v e y o u t h e s t r e n g t h t o b r e a k i t o f f ? N: Oh, I knew t h a t i f I w e n t on w i t h i t , i t w o u l d d e s t r o y my m a r r i a g e , and I d i d n o t want t o l e a v e a t t h a t p o i n t . My k i d s were v e r y young, and I j u s t c o u l d n o t see m y s e l f d o i n g that. K: A r e y o u s a y i n g t h a t y o u r control?  f e e l i n g s were becoming o u t o f  N: Oh, t h e y w e r e o u t o f c o n t r o l a t one t i m e — w h e n I l e f t t o T. a n d s t a y e d t h e r e f o r t w o m o n t h s w i t h t h e c h i l d r e n o n e summer, b e c a u s e I was c o m p l e t e l y o u t o f c o n t r o l . I just w a n t e d t o be w i t h h i m a l l t h e t i m e , t o t o u c h h i m c o n s t a n t l y . We w o u l d s i t a n d t a l k f o r h o u r s . And, d u r i n g t h e e i g h t y e a r s , v e r y o f t e n h e ' d w a n t t o c o n t i n u e t h e a f f a i r , a n d when  169  I s e p a r a t e d f r o m my f o r m e r h u s b a n d , h e was t h e f i r s t o n e o n my d o o r s t e p . And, by t h a t t i m e , I d i d n o t want anymore o f that. He was s t i l l i n h i s m a r r i a g e . K: A n d d o y o u know why y o u d i d n ' t w a n t a n y m o r e o f i t ? N: I t h i n k , d e e p down, I knew t h a t we w o u l d n ' t — i t w o u l d n ' t be a g o o d m a r r i a g e , a n d I was s t i l l — h e w a s n ' t J e w i s h — a n d I was s t i l l v e r y much h o o k e d i n t o t h a t J e w i s h t h i n g , b e i n g w i t h somebody J e w i s h , a n d I s t i l l t h i n k I am. I need t h e s t r o n g c u l t u r a l t i e . But, t h i n k i n g back, oh, I don't t h i n k we w e r e e v e r i n a room w h e r e we c o u l d t a l k t o o t h e r p e o p l e w i t h o u t l o o k i n g a t one a n o t h e r . K: A v e r y  strong  N: V e r y s t r o n g .  connection. I t was e x t r e m e l y  strong.  K: Do y o u f e e l t h a t h a s i n f l u e n c e d o t h e r  relationships?  N: ( l o n g p a u s e ) I d o n ' t know. I c a n ' t s a y w h e t h e r i t h a s or whether i t hasn't. I d o n ' t know. B u t I knew t h a t when he came o u t t o N . — a f t e r I was a l r e a d y l i v i n g w i t h 0 . — I was c o m p l e t e l y c l e a n s e d o f h i m . And I know i f h e came o u t h e r e , I mean, i t w o u l d h a v e no e f f e c t on me w h a t s o e v e r . He h a d come o u t h e r e . I t h i n k when y o u a s k e d me w h a t made me t h i n k t h a t i t w o u l d n ' t w o r k — h e was e x t r e m e l y t i g h t . And I d o n ' t t h i n k I c o u l d l i v e w i t h a m a n — a n d I guess I want t o have more c o n t r o l i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p — I d o n ' t t h i n k I c a n l i v e w i t h a man t h a t w o u l d t e l l me how t o s p e n d my money, o r l i m i t me i n t h e amount o f money h e w o u l d g i v e me. K: S o , w h i l e y o u w e r e c a u g h t up i n t h e e m o t i o n s , t h e r e s t i l l a p a r t o f y o u t h a t was r a t i o n a l .  was  N: Y e a h . T h e r e a l w a y s i s , K. W e l l , t h a t ' s , I g u e s s , w h a t I was t r y i n g t o s a y . T h e r e a l w a y s i s a r a t i o n a l p a r t w i t h me. W i t h M., when I c h o s e M., a h , I h a d t o know w h a t h i s f i n a n c e s — I had t o g e t a f u l l d i s c l o s u r e s t a t e m e n t o f h i s finances. That's t h e r a t i o n a l . A s much a s I w a n t e d t o b e w i t h h i m , I knew t h a t I was n e v e r g o i n g i n t o a n y t h i n g again w h e r e I d i d n ' t know t h e f i n a n c i a l s i t u a t i o n , a n d w h e r e I d i d n ' t know t h a t — w h e r e — I h a d t o know t h a t a man was f u l l y independent. K: W o u l d y o u s a y t h a t t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h G. was a r e l a t i o n s h i p i n which you experienced f e e l i n g s o f a k i n d you had n e v e r e x p e r i e n c e d b e f o r e ? N: Oh, I ' d n e v e r e x p e r i e n c e d t h o s e k i n d o f f e e l i n g s b e f o r e . I n e v e r was s o d r a w n t o a n y p e r s o n a s I was t o h i m . B e c a u s e he was s o v e r y b r i g h t , I c o u l d n o t b e l i e v e t h a t t h i s man w a n t e d me. T h i s was s u c h a g o r g e o u s man, I c o u l d n o t b e l i e v e t h a t he t h o u g h t I was s o g o r g e o u s . When I l o o k e d a t  170  h i m , I t h o u g h t , "My, t h i s g u y i s g o r g e o u s — a n d h e ' s u n d r e s s i n g me!" H i s f i r s t t h o u g h t s , when h e l o o k e d a t me, was, "Oh, s h e ' s g o t s u c h b e a u t i f u l l e g s ! And h e r l i p s , and h e r e y e s ! " T h a t was h i s c o n n e c t i o n t o me. K: Were t h e r e  other  emotions connected w i t h  i t f o r you?  N: T h e r e was t h e i n t e l l e c t . T h e r e was t h e l o o k s . He was a professional. I t h i n k t h e r e was j u s t e v e r y t h i n g . And i f I was s i n g l e a n d h e was s i n g l e , we p r o b a b l y w o u l d h a v e h a d a l o n g - t e r m r e l a t i o n s h i p . We m i g h t h a v e e v e n l i v e d t o g e t h e r . K: A n d when i t e n d e d ? N: ( l o n g p a u s e ) When i t e n d e d s e x u a l l y ? B e c a u s e I'm j u s t s i t t i n g h e r e a n d t h i n k i n g , I d o n ' t know t h a t , w i t h G., t h a t i t e v e r ended. I t h i n k t h a t i f we met t o m o r r o w , we'd b e a s good f r i e n d s — I h a d t h e mortgage on h i s house, I h a d t h e mortgage on h i s b o a t . I don't know—we c o u l d s i t and t a l k about a n y t h i n g , a b s o l u t e l y a n y t h i n g , and f o r a v e r y l o n g p e r i o d o f t i m e — I d o n ' t know t h a t t h e r e was e v e r a n e n d . K: N o t a c l o s u r e . N: A h , n o . I d o n ' t know t h a t t h e r e was e v e r a c l o s u r e . j u s t knew t h a t I d i d n ' t w a n t t o b e w i t h h i m s e x u a l l y a n y m o r e . A n d I was t h e one t h a t p u l l e d away.  I  K: A n d y o u p u l l e d away b e c a u s e . . . ? N: B e c a u s e I knew t h a t I d i d n o t — I w a s n ' t g o i n g t o b r e a k u p my m a r r i a g e f o r h i m . A n d when I was s i n g l e a n d h e w a n t e d t o c o n t i n u e , I knew t h a t i t was no l o n g e r r i g h t . I t was no l o n g e r t h e t h i n g f o r me. A n d I t h i n k r e l i g i o n p l a y e d a large part i n that. K: I s t h e r e a n y t h i n g e l s e , o n l o o k i n g b a c k , t h a t y o u c a n t h i n k o f , t h a t was i m p o r t a n t f o r y o u e m o t i o n a l l y ? N: ( p a u s e ) No, I — I s t i l l h a v e t o s m i l e when I t h i n k o f i t . When I t h i n k o f h i m , I s e e t h i s m o s t g o r g e o u s man i n f r o n t o f me. K: When y o u s m i l e , t h e r e ' s  a warmth i n y o u r  smile.  N: Y e a h , i t was j u s t t h e m o s t w o n d e r f u l , w o n d e r f u l , passionate, emotional thing. I t was s o g o o d f o r me, b e c a u s e I g u e s s I n e v e r t h o u g h t I was t h a t g o r g e o u s , t h a t t h i s man c o u l d c h a s e a f t e r me, c o u l d p u r s u e me. K: S o u n d s a s t h o u g h y o u f e l t  as though y o u were a p r i n c e s s .  171  N: I was w i t h h i m . He t h o u g h t I was t h e b r i g h t e s t . He t h o u g h t I was t h e p r e t t i e s t . I always thought I had—my l e g s w e r e o k a y , b u t f r o m t h e way he l o o k e d a t t h e m , my God! K: So t h r o u g h h i s e y e s y o u saw a d i f f e r e n t N: Y e a h , way.  I saw a v e r y e x c i t i n g N., b e c a u s e h e saw me  K: I s t h e r e a n y t h i n g e l s e y o u ' d N: No. K: Okay.  N.. that  l i k e t o add?  No. Thank-you.  N: A n d maybe i t was more r o m a n t i c b e c a u s e we n e v e r h a d a c h a n c e t o l i v e t o g e t h e r t o s p o i l i t . We n e v e r h a d t h e quarrels. We n e v e r h a d a n y b a d t i m e s . When I l o o k b a c k , a l l i t was was t h e m o s t p l e a s a n t , b e a u t i f u l t i m e s . K:  Idealistic.  N: Y e s . B u t t h e n , t h e r e i s n ' t t h e e v e r y d a y - t o - d a y l i v i n g a n d , y o u know, t h e h a r d r e a l i t y o f w h a t c a n h a p p e n i n relationships. We n e v e r h a d t o q u a r r e l a b o u t money, b e c a u s e we d i d n ' t s h a r e o u r money. K: A n y t h i n g e l s e ? N: No, I d o n ' t t h i n k s o . K: Okay, t h a n k s .  172  Transcript  #1  (Case  R)  K: I ' d l i k e y o u t o t h i n k b a c k t o a t i m e when y o u w e r e e x p e r i e n c i n g an i n - l o v e f e e l i n g t h a t h a d an i m p a c t on y o u r life. And I ' d l i k e y o u t o s t a r t w i t h w h a t was h a p p e n i n g t o y o u b e f o r e y o u met t h i s p e r s o n , w h a t y o u w e r e f e e l i n g a n d thinking. R: Uh-huh. W e l l , I was e i g h t e e n . I ' d j u s t come b a c k f r o m t r a v e l l i n g t o Japan. And I knew I was g o i n g t o be g o i n g t o u n i v e r s i t y , b u t I was o f t h e m i n d t o s p e n d a summer, I guess, of hedonism. I w e n t t o a G u l f I s l a n d , a n d j u s t was r u n n i n g my a f f a i r s e x a c t l y a s I w a n t e d t o , w i t h o u t a n y e x t e r n a l s c h e d u l e o r s e n s e o f g o a l b e y o n d t h e d i s t a n t one o f attending university. B a s i c a l l y a l l I was d o i n g was f i s h i n g and r e a d i n g and p h o t o g r a p h i n g and s t u f f . And s o t h a t was t h e c o n t e x t i n w h i c h t h i s woman w a l k e d i n t o my l i f e . I'd b o r r o w e d a c a b i n f r o m my a u n t , a n d I was l i v i n g i n i t . And s h e — m y aunt, t h a t i s — d o u b l e - b o o k e d i t , so t h a t t h i s o t h e r woman t h o u g h t t h a t i t was h e r s f o r a p e r i o d o f t i m e , w h e r e a s i n f a c t I was i n i t . And I l a t e r f o u n d o u t f r o m t h e woman i n my r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t s h e was p u t o u t t o f i n d t h i s man l i v i n g i n h e r c a b i n when s h e a r r i v e d ! B u t we i m m e d i a t e l y r e c o g n i z e d t h a t we h a d some t a l k i n g p o t e n t i a l . J u s t , you know, a t f i r s t i t was b e i n g s e t b a c k , "Oh, w e r e y o u s u p p o s e d t o be i n t h i s c a b i n ? " " Y e a h , I was s u p p o s e d t o be i n t h i s cabin." B u t we j u s t s t a r t e d t a l k i n g . And w i t h i n t e n m i n u t e s we w e r e s t a r t i n g t o a r g u e . And n o t a r g u e a b o u t t h e s i t u a t i o n i n t h e c a b i n , j u s t a r g u e a b o u t an o u t l o o k on l i f e . And f u r t h e r t h a n t h a t , j u s t t h e n a t u r e o f me, more t h a n h e r . Because, b e i n g — a c o m b i n a t i o n o f b e i n g , I t h i n k , an e x c e p t i o n a l l y i n s i g h t f u l p e r s o n a n d g i f t e d p e r s o n , s h e was a l s o f i f t e e n y e a r s o l d e r t h a n me. She was t h i r t y - t h r e e , a n d I was e i g h t e e n . So I g u e s s — I c a n ' t remember e x a c t l y w h a t q u e s t i o n s she s t a r t e d a s k i n g , b u t t h e y were v e r y p r o v o c a t i v e , and t h e y c a u s e d me t o d e f e n d m y s e l f , t o question. She knew t h i n g s a b o u t me t h a t I d i d n ' t know a b o u t me. Or s h e c o u l d s e e t h i n g s a b o u t me t h a t I c o u l d n ' t s e e t h a t I f e l t about m y s e l f . She c o u l d c l a r i f y t h a t . K: A r e y o u s a y i n g t h a t s h e h a d p e r c e p t i o n — i n s i g h t  into  you?  R: Y e a h , r e m a r k a b l e i n s i g h t i n t o me. Where s h e c o u l d a r t i c u l a t e a n e m o t i o n t h a t I was f e e l i n g b u t c o u l d n ' t a r t i c u l a t e , a n d do i t f a i r l y i n t u i t i v e l y , I s u p p o s e , w i t h o u t e n o u g h i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t my p a s t o r p r e s e n t o r i d e a l s a t that time. So I f o u n d h e r j u s t s o c o m p e l l i n g by t h a t insight. And, I d o n ' t know, i t t o o k me a b o u t t h r e e h o u r s f r o m t h e t i m e s h e a r r i v e d t o make a p h y s i c a l move f o r h e r . I j u s t was d r a w n t o h e r t h a t s t r o n g l y . And s h e r e s p o n d e d . A l t h o u g h s h e was m a r r i e d a n d h a d c h i l d r e n , t h e y w e r e n ' t there. They were back E a s t .  173  K:  By  " p h y s i c a l " move, I'm  assuming you  mean  "sexual."  R: S e x u a l , y e a h . And s h e was v e r y r e s p o n s i v e . I didn't f i n d h e r o v e r w h e l m i n g l y a t t r a c t i v e , i n t h e s e n s e o f somebody t h a t ' s outrageously b e a u t i f u l , or a commercial type of a t t r a c t i o n , I g u e s s — y o u know, t h e i d e a l w o m a n — o r e v e n one o f t h e young n u b i l e g i r l t h a t ' s e x t r e m e l y a t t r a c t i v e . And she w a s n ' t , i n t h a t s e n s e . You know, s h e w a s n ' t l i k e a t a r g e t o f s e x u a l d e s i r e l i k e somebody e l s e m i g h t h a v e b e e n . But I d i d f i n d h e r v e r y a t t r a c t i v e , so i t worked o u t . And we j u s t became v e r y p a s s i o n a t e l o v e r s f o r t h e n e x t t h r e e months. K:  What was  i t that stood  out  f o r you  about her?  R: ( p a u s e ) Her i n s i g h t . Her i n t u i t i o n . And h e r a b i l i t y t o s p e a k my m i n d , l i k e I d i d n ' t know my m i n d . And, y o u know, i t was j u s t t o o f a s c i n a t i n g f o r w o r d s . I mean, s h e c o u l d p r o b a b l y t e l l me w h a t p a s s a g e s i n a b o o k I h a d r e a d t h a t h a d a p p e a l e d t o me, t h a t s t o o d o u t . J u s t an i n c r e d i b l e r a n g e o f knowledge of l i t e r a t u r e , too. So i f I m e n t i o n e d a n y t h i n g t h a t I had f o u n d v e r y i n t e r e s t i n g , s h e c o u l d remember w h a t i t was, t o o , i n t h a t g i v e n b o o k , o r s o m e t h i n g , and r e l a t e i t t o my c h a r a c t e r as t o why I f o u n d t h a t s o f a s c i n a t i n g . K:  So y o u  b o t h had  a common i n t e r e s t a s  well.  R: Y e a h , a l t h o u g h I g u e s s i t w o u l d n ' t b e . . . I t was m o r e , I g u e s s , a common i n t e r e s t i n s p i r i t u a l p s y c h o l o g y . T h a t was it. B u t s h e was f u n . I mean, we l a u g h e d s o s p o n t a n e o u s l y , as w e l l as f o u g h t s p o n t a n e o u s l y . B e c a u s e I g u e s s I was e n o u g h o f a m e n t a l c h a l l e n g e t o h e r t o be s t i m u l a t i n g company. Or, I g u e s s , j u s t i n t e r e s t i n g e n o u g h t h a t s h e w o u l d be w a n t i n g t o be w i t h me t w e n t y - f o u r h o u r s a d a y a s well. K:  How  d i d you  f e e l a b o u t y o u r s e l f when y o u  were w i t h  her?  R: V e r y h i g h . At times very despondent, though. Because, I t h i n k , a s y o u s t r u g g l e t h r o u g h y o u own l i m i t a t i o n s , y o u become a w a r e o f y o u r own l i m i t a t i o n s — o r w h a t y o u t h i n k a r e y o u r own l i m i t a t i o n s — y o u s t a r t s e e i n g , y o u know, p a r t s o f y o u r s e l f t h a t you're scared of, or the things t h a t are h o l d i n g you back, o r f e a r f u l p a r t s o f y o u r s e l f , n e g a t i v e p a r t s o f y o u r s e l f . And a l t h o u g h t h o s e t h i n g s s t a r t c o m i n g o u t , y o u c a n become d e p r e s s e d o r w h a t e v e r f o r a p e r i o d o f t i m e , and f r u s t r a t e d and a n g r y . And I w o u l d become l i k e that. B u t s h e seemed t o know how t o manage t h a t , s o t h a t I wasn't t h r e a t e n e d t o the p o i n t of departure. K:  How  d i d you  r e l a t e those f e e l i n g s to a r e l a t i o n s h i p ?  R:  Those f e e l i n g s i n the  relationship? .  174  K: Y e s , when y o u t a l k a b o u t t h e a n g e r a n d t h e d e p r e s s i o n , a n d t h a t t h i s was h a p p e n i n g w i t h i n y o u r s e l f . Do y o u r e l a t e t h i s a l s o t o w h a t was h a p p e n i n g b e t w e e n t h e t w o o f y o u ? R: ( p a u s e ) N o t t h a t much, n o . T h e r e was a s i d e t h a t . . . O u r r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n e a c h o t h e r was j o y f u l o n e , i n t h a t we b o t h g a v e e a c h o t h e r j o y t o be i n e a c h o t h e r ' s company. The p a r t t h a t would have been d i f f i c u l t , and would have d e p r e s s e d me f o r a p e r i o d o f t i m e , w o u l d b e s o m e t h i n g p u r e l y i n me, n o t t o do w i t h t h e b r e a k - u p o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p o r a n i n a b i l i t y t o communicate w i t h i n t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p , a l a c k o f s a t i s f a c t i o n with the other person, or anything l i k e that. I t was j u s t c o m i n g t o t e r m s w i t h m y s e l f , p u r e l y . K: So y o u r own g r o w t h . R: My own g r o w t h , y e a h . Whereas i n t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h h e r , i t was a s e n s e o f c o n s t a n t j o y r e a l l y . Like I never, I t h i n k , h a d f e l t b e f o r e , a n d v e r y r a r e l y s i n c e , e x c e p t maybe i n terms o f outdoor r e c r e a t i o n . I mean, l o o k i n g b a c k o n i t now...I d o n ' t t h i n k a b o u t i t t h a t much, b e c a u s e i t u s e d t o t e a r me u p , t h i n k i n g a b o u t i t t h e n , a n d t h e n s e e i n g how t h i n g s h a v e c h a n g e d a n d how i t ' s b e h i n d me a n d t h a t . B u t , y e a h , i t was g r e a t a d e a l o f j o y . I mean we swam t o g e t h e r and w a l k e d t o g e t h e r and shopped t o g e t h e r and cooked t o g e t h e r a n d e v e r y t h i n g , a s much a s p o s s i b l e . Although within the c o n t e x t . . . I mean, s h e h a d f r i e n d s , m u t u a l f r i e n d s o f my p a r e n t s a n d e v e r y t h i n g , a n d e v e r y b o d y knew s h e was m a r r i e d . I t was d i f f i c u l t t o c a r r y on a n a f f a i r i n l i g h t o f t h a t . You know, h e r f r i e n d s a n d my m o t h e r , a n d my m o t h e r knew...So we k i n d o f h a d t o s n e a k a r o u n d a b i t , a l t h o u g h I t h i n k i t became p r e t t y o b v i o u s , b e c a u s e i t j u s t was. K: B e c a u s e t h i s  feeling spilled  over?  R: Y e a h . (pause) I f e l t v e r y s p e c i a l i n t h a t , i n b e i n g h e r f r i e n d and h e r l o v e r . I f e l t v e r y l u c k y t o be i n t h a t p o s i t i o n w i t h h e r . Because she had a l o t o f a t t e n t i o n b e i n g t h r o w n h e r way f r o m o t h e r men, a n d f r o m p e o p l e i n g e n e r a l who w a n t e d t o j u s t t a l k w i t h h e r t o f i n d o u t a b o u t themselves. Because she had t h a t a b i l i t y t o see t h i n g s i n p e o p l e t h a t t h e y d i d n ' t know a b o u t t h e m s e l v e s , a n d a s k q u e s t i o n s t h a t w o u l d stump them f o r t h r e e d a y s , a n d when t h e y f o u n d t h e a n s w e r , i t w o u l d o p e n up a d o o r i n t h e i r p s y c h e t h a t was s o l i f e - g i v i n g t h a t t h e y l o v e d i t . And w h e n e v e r I became l a z y a b o u t t h a t , t h o u g h , s h e u s e d t o g e t mad, w h i c h was f u n n y . I t h a p p e n e d a c o u p l e o f t i m e s , w h e r e I s o r t o f , I guess, j u s t got t i r e d o f d e a l i n g w i t h aspects o f m y s e l f t h a t I d i d n ' t . . . I j u s t wanted t o have f u n , o r whatever. A n d s o m e t i m e s t h e r e was a demand t h e r e t o t a k e t h i s s e r i o u s l y , a n d i f I d i d n ' t . . . W e l l , o n c e s h e s a i d , "You know, y o u ' r e n o t g o i n g t o be i n t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p f o r e v e r . You m i g h t a s w e l l t a k e a d v a n t a g e o f i t w h i l e i t ' s h e r e . " And i n d e e d i t o n l y l a s t e d f r o m A p r i l — A p r i l , h a l f o f A p r i l ,  175  May, J u n e , J u l y , A u g u s t . So f o u r and a h a l f m o n t h s , guess, of being together almost a l l the time. K:  I  Uh-hum.  R: And t h e n a f t e r t h a t s h e moved b a c k E a s t , and w e n t b a c k t o h e r h u s b a n d , and t h a t p a r t o f o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p e n d e d t h e r e . B u t we c o n t i n u e d t o be f r i e n d s , when s h e came b a c k o u t w e s t , f o r another f i v e years. K:  By  " f r i e n d s " do y o u  mean a s e x u a l  r e l a t i o n s h i p as  well?  R: No. The s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p e n d e d . She e n d e d up g e t t i n g m a r r i e d a g a i n , and t h e n t h e r e w a s n ' t room f o r t h a t a n y m o r e . The t h i n g t h a t r e m a i n s c o n s t a n t , t h o u g h , to this day—and I ' l l t a l k to her twice a year or s o m e t h i n g — i s that quest i n m y s e l f t h a t she h e l p s t o c l a r i f y . K: I n r e t r o s p e c t , when y o u t h i n k a b o u t t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p , do y o u f e e l y o u had any c o n t r o l , o r w e r e y o u s w e p t away b y t h e feelings? R: ( p a u s e ) W e l l , I d i d n ' t w a n t t o . . . I d i d n ' t w a n t t h i n g s t o p r o c e e d any d i f f e r e n t l y t h a n t h e y w e r e , s o I g u e s s I n e v e r t h o u g h t o f c o n t r o l o r n o t c o n t r o l . I j u s t t h o u g h t t h a t we w e r e d o i n g w o n d e r f u l t h i n g s i n t h e h e r e and now, and I d i d n ' t want t o change a n y t h i n g . When i t came t i m e t o b r e a k up, I was b r o k e n up, and I w i s h I ' d maybe h a d more c o n t r o l of t h a t . I w i s h I w o u l d h a v e had t h e c o n t r o l , I g u e s s , t o perpetuate the r e l a t i o n s h i p . K:  By  "perpetuate"  you  mean...?  R: K e e p i t g o i n g . Just stay i n i t . You know, k e e p t h i n g s g o i n g as t h e y were. B e c a u s e we w e r e more i n l o v e e v e r y d a y . We w e r e more i n l o v e t h e day t h a t we l e f t — o r parted—than we'd b e e n t h e day b e f o r e t h a t , o r t h e m o n t h b e f o r e t h a t . So we l e f t a t an a b s o l u t e h i g h o f l o v e f o r e a c h o t h e r . K: it  Can y o u ended?  describe,  then,  what y o u r f e e l i n g s were l i k e  when  R: ( p a u s e ) T h e y w e r e , I g u e s s , t h e d e e p e s t p a i n and s o r r o w t h a t I've e v e r f e l t . I mean, I d i d n ' t h a v e a n o t h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p a f t e r t h a t f o r two y e a r s . My h e a r t was j u s t i n a g o n y a t l e a v i n g , and I must h a v e c r i e d , y o u know, g a l l o n s of t e a r s . I j u s t f e l t l o n e l y , I f e l t confused, I f e l t totally lost. And no m a t t e r now much p s y c h o l o g y I ' d g o n e t h r o u g h , none o f i t h e l p e d i n t e r m s o f a l l a y i n g t h e k i n d o f p a i n t h a t I was g o i n g t h r o u g h . You know, t h a t was s u c h a p a i n f u l experience. I d i d n ' t have t i m e f o r anybody, c l o s e s t f r i e n d s , my p a r e n t s , a n y t h i n g . I was j u s t l i k e a w r e c k . K:  Sounds as t h o u g h you  withdrew.  176  R: I d i d n ' t w i t h d r a w f r o m t h e s o c i a l o b l i g a t i o n s . I mean, I s t i l l w e n t t o d i n n e r h e r e , s t i l l d i d my s t u d i e s , y o u know, t h a t f a l l , and c o n t i n u e d t o r e a d and e v e r y t h i n g . But I t h i n k I j u s t . . . I wasn't a b l e t o handle another r e l a t i o n s h i p , that's f o r sure. T h a t was one t h i n g I d i d n ' t . . . I c o u l d n ' t m a n i f e s t i t . I mean, e v e n i f I ' d w a n t e d t o , w h i c h I ' d t h o u g h t w o u l d be g r e a t , i f I c o u l d move i n t o a r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h somebody e l s e . B u t I t h i n k t h a t I was s u c h a n i n t e n s e i n d i v i d u a l a t t h a t p o i n t t h a t any woman w o u l d h a v e r a n on f e e l i n g t h a t k i n d of energy. B e c a u s e i t was p r o b a b l y v e r y n e e d f u l e n e r g y ; i t was t a k e , t a k e e n e r g y , r a t h e r t h a n a s e n s e o f c o n t e n t m e n t i n m y s e l f , and s o m e t h i n g o f a s t r e n g t h t h a t w o u l d d r a w somebody e l s e t o y o u . K: So y o u else.  didn't  f e e l you  had  anything  to give to  someone  R: No, no, I d i d n ' t . I g u e s s I ' d b e e n t a k i n g , and b e i n g t h e r e c i p i e n t o f s o much, t h a t t h a t was my mode o f o p e r a t i n g . A l t h o u g h , y o u know, I had a l o t o f w e a l t h i n c h a r a c t e r . You know, a s much a s a n y b o d y e l s e i n h a v i n g t r a v e l l e d a n d , you know, h a v i n g an i n t e r e s t i n g b a c k g r o u n d and s t u f f . You know, I d o n ' t t h i n k I was l i k e a p e r s o n o f no v a l u e o r a n y t h i n g , b u t I g u e s s , y o u know, w i t h i n t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p I maybe was t o o s e l f - c e n t e r e d a t t h a t p o i n t t o be i n one. I was lustful as e v e r , b u t I wanted t h e s p i r i t u a l d i m e n s i o n t o t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p a t t h e same t i m e . And t h a t ' s why, I s u p p o s e , I had p r o b l e m s w i t h f o r m i n g o t h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s f o r y e a r s . I was u s i n g t h e one I ' d had a s an e x a m p l e o f w h a t a r e l a t i o n s h i p c o u l d o r s h o u l d be. And, i n f a c t , i t ' s n e v e r m a t e r i a l i z e d i n t h a t same way again. K: Can y o u others?  elaborate  more on how  that relationship affected  R: W e l l , f o r t h e f i r s t few y e a r s , I t h i n k my demands, a l t h o u g h s i l e n t , f o r a r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t I was i n w e r e probably too high. I mean, w a n t i n g t h e woman t o be more t h a n s h e was i n t h e way o f a m e n t a l s t i m u l u s . Sexually, t h e y w e r e f i n e and g e t t i n g b e t t e r . At t h a t l e v e l , t h e y were b e i n g h e l d t o g e t h e r v e r y w e l l . B u t I g u e s s a s t h e y became m o r e . . . I s o r t o f r e a l i z e d I c o u l d n ' t h a v e t h a t same k i n d o f s t i m u l a t i o n mentally again very e a s i l y . I mean, i t ' s h a r d t o f i n d somebody a g a i n l i k e t h a t . So, a c k n o w l e d g i n g t h a t , I j u s t , I g u e s s , a c c e p t e d t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s t o be d i f f e r e n t . N o t s o i n t e n s e , maybe? K:  By  "intense"  you  mean...?  R: I mean p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y , s p i r i t u a l l y i n t e n s e . They be p h y s i c a l l y i n t e n s e , t h e y c o u l d be f u n . Did I say sexually intense?  could  177  K: Uh-hum. R: Y e a h , s e x u a l l y i n t e n s e . They c o u l d be f u n . They c o u l d be m e n t a l l y s t i m u l a t i n g , w h i c h I ' v e a l w a y s i n s i s t e d o n , I guess. I mean, I ' v e t r i e d e v e r y now a n d a g a i n t o g o f o r a woman p u r e l y on s e x u a l a t t r a c t i o n , a n d i t d o e s n ' t w o r k o u t . You know, i t ' s n i c e , b u t i t j u s t n e v e r w o r k s o u t . I ' v e t r i e d t o go t o b a r s a t v a r i o u s t i m e s o v e r t h e l a s t t e n y e a r s , y o u know, t o p i c k up some r e a l l y l o v e l y woman, a n d i t d o e s n ' t work. K: By n o t w o r k i n g — t h e s e x u a l  i s j u s t n o t enough?  R: Y e a h , a n d I t h i n k w h a t I ' v e g o t t o do i s , I ' v e g o t t o f i n d somebody i n t h e c o n t e x t t h a t I e n j o y . . L i k e , m o s t o f t h e p e o p l e I ' v e met h a v e e i t h e r b e e n t h r o u g h o u t d o o r r e c r e a t i o n o r , perhaps, movies. S o m e t h i n g t h a t I'm i n t e r e s t e d i n . And i n t h a t c o n t e x t somebody comes o u t c o m p a t i b l e w i t h me. B u t , y o u know, on a p u r e l y s e x u a l a t t r a c t i o n l e v e l , I mean, y o u c a n l o o k a r o u n d t h e s t r e e t s o r s o m e t h i n g , b u t t h e c h a n c e s o f b e i n g c o m p a t i b l e w i t h somebody t h a t you're a t t r a c t e d t o purely p h y s i c a l l y are f a i r l y remote. I t w o u l d be n i c e i f i t h a p p e n e d a t t h e same t i m e . S o m e b o d y — t h e i d e a l p h y s i c a l p e r s o n f o r y o u , and t h e i d e a l m e n t a l p e r s o n , as i d e a l as i d e a l g e t s , w o u l d be g r e a t . So t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p a f f e c t e d my e x p e c t a t i o n s o f o t h e r s . But I ' v e become much more f o r g i v i n g , I g u e s s , o f m y s e l f a n d everybody e l s e i n t h e world i n general i n t h e l a s t f i v e years. I'm n o t n e a r l y s o d e m a n d i n g o n m y s e l f o r o t h e r people. K: A r e y o u s a y i n g t h a t y o u d o n ' t  expect...?  R: I d o n ' t e x p e c t a s much, n o . K: So t h a t i n - l o v e f e e l i n g t h a t y o u e x p e r i e n c e d p e r s o n h a s n ' t happened a g a i n f o r you then? R: N o t t o t h e same  with  this  extent.  K: I w o n d e r , R., t h e n , i f y o u c o u l d d e s c r i b e a g a i n w h a t i n - l o v e f e e l i n g means t o y o u .  this  R: ( l o n g p a u s e ) T h e r e a r e d i f f e r e n t p a r t s o f i t . I mean, different things. On t h e one l e v e l , i t ' s a j o y a t b e i n g w i t h somebody t h a t y o u r e a l l y e n j o y a n d a r e a t t r a c t e d t o , and t h a t makes y o u f e e l w o n d e r f u l . S o , i t means f e e l i n g v e r y good i n y o u r s e l f , j u s t e m o t i o n a l l y f e e l i n g good. I g u e s s , I . . . T h a t ' s what i t f e e l s l i k e . That's the t h i n g , i n t e r m s o f an e m o t i o n , t h a t ' s what i t f e e l s l i k e . I have d i f f e r e n t i d e a s a b o u t w h a t i t means. K: W e l l , a r e y o u s a y i n g i t ' s b e e n m i s s i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s f o r you, then?  i n the other  178  1 R: No, n o t t h e f e e l i n g o f b e i n g h a p p y a n d c o n t e n t e d a n d joyful. No. I mean, my h e a r t i s c a p a b l e a n d w i l l i n g t o f e e l t h o s e t h i n g s a g a i n , g i v e n t h e r i g h t r e l a t i o n s h i p . And I d i d f e e l i t a g a i n . The o n l y p r o b l e m h a s b e e n , a n d w h a t ' s become k i n d o f a q u a l i f i c a t i o n t o t h a t , i s t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n my e x p e r i e n c e h a v e o n l y l a s t e d b e t w e e n s i x months and two y e a r s and a h a l f o r something. And I g o t t o o h e a r t b r o k e n t o o many t i m e s t o , I g u e s s , go t o t h e p o i n t o f t h e f i r s t one a g a i n . I t never happened a g a i n . I d o n ' t know why. I t ' s maybe j u s t n o t m e e t i n g t h e r i g h t p e r s o n , more t h a n a n i n a b i l i t y o r u n w i l l i n g n e s s o n my p a r t t o g i v e a n d give. I j u s t , y o u know, met t h i s p e r s o n . We w e r e a t t r a c t e d t o e a c h o t h e r ; we f o u n d e a c h o t h e r s t i m u l a t i n g . Slept t o g e t h e r a n d s t a r t e d s p e n d i n g more a n d more t i m e t o g e t h e r . F e l l i n l o v e t o a p o i n t , a n d t h e n , f o r some r e a s o n , t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p ends. And t h a t ' s been t h e p a t t e r n . Y o u know, f o r some r e a s o n , b e i n g , w e l l . . . o n e o f t h e m . . . I l i v e d w i t h a woman f o r a y e a r a n d a h a l f . I became j u s t n o t a t t r a c t e d t o h e r p h y s i c a l l y a n y m o r e . A n d t h a t was v e r y d i f f i c u l t , s l e e p i n g t o g e t h e r . I wasn't s t i m u l a t e d enough t o s t a y w i t h her. A n d t h a t ' s why t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p e n d e d . A n o t h e r woman I l i v e d w i t h f o r a y e a r and a h a l f , h e r c a r e e r a m b i t i o n s and p e r s o n a l a m b i t i o n s g o t i n t h e way, w h e r e s h e d i d n ' t w a n t t o be i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p , b e c a u s e s h e f o u n d t h a t i t was a n o b l i g a t i o n t h a t s h e c o u l d n ' t h a n d l e on t o p o f an e i g h t e e n h o u r d a y . So t h a t one e n d e d . A n o t h e r o n e e n d e d , y o u know, a p e r s o n moves b a c k E a s t . O r y o u meet somebody c a m p i n g , a n d you have a f l i n g . I t m i g h t be a g r e a t r e l a t i o n s h i p , b u t s h e m i g h t w a n t t o h a v e h a d k i d s r i g h t away, a n d s h e knew t h a t I wasn't ready. So t h a t o n e e n d e d . Y o u know, p i c k i n g t h e wrong p e o p l e o r something (laughter). K: I t s o u n d s a s t h o u g h — w h a t h a p p e n e d i n t h e f i r s t o n e , t h e c o n d i t i o n s h a v e n e v e r b e e n q u i t e t h e same f o r y o u . R: No. The q u a l i t y h a s n e v e r b e e n q u i t e t h e same. (pause) But I t h i n k i t ' s a h a r d one t o compare t h i n g s t o . Because s h e ' s — a n d s t i l l i s — s u c h a magnetic and p o w e r f u l p e r s o n , t h a t t o b e i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h h e r w a s , y o u know, d o u b l y powerful as j u s t being i n a f r i e n d s h i p w i t h h e r , as a l o t o f p e o p l e a r e . A n d t h e y t e n d t o . . . Y o u know, p e o p l e who a r e j u s t i n f r i e n d s h i p s w i t h h e r h a v e moved a c r o s s t h e c o u n t r y t o s t a y n e a r b y , s o t h e y c a n s t i l l s e e h e r . A n d , y o u know, so i t ' s a h a r d p e r s o n t o compare t h i n g s w i t h , and u s e a s an e x a m p l e o f a r e l a t i o n s h i p , b e c a u s e i t ' s more h e r maybe t h a n the e f f e c t of a r e l a t i o n s h i p . K: A l t h o u g h t h e c o n n e c t i o n b e t w e e n y o u seemed v e r y s t r o n g . R: Uh-huh. Y e a h , i t was. Y e a h , i t was. So I was v e r y d i s a p p o i n t e d t h a t i t ended f o r t h a t r e a s o n . B e c a u s e we w e r e s o c o m p a t i b l e , m e n t a l l y c o m p a t i b l e . A n d I w a s n ' t ...I'm n o t  179  t h e m a g n e t i c p e r s o n she i s , o b j e c t i v e l y — a t l e a s t o b j e c t i v e l y - — b u t between us, we're v e r y c o m p a t i b l e ,  yeah.  K: I s t h e r e a n y t h i n g e l s e t h a t we h a v e n ' t t a l k e d a b o u t , i n terms o f your f e e l i n g s , t h a t you can say something about? R: Y e a h , I . . . ( l o n g p a u s e ) I guess i t ' s j u s t t h a t . . . S l o w l y I'm b e g i n n i n g t o b e l i e v e t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p s a r e n o t j u s t being i n l o v e , a f e e l i n g of being i n l o v e . They're a m e c h a n i s m f o r u n v e i l i n g y o u r s e l f , and u n v e i l i n g t h e o t h e r person. I g u e s s , b r i n g i n g l i g h t on t o e a c h o t h e r , e a c h o t h e r ' s b e t t e r nature, each o t h e r ' s p o t e n t i a l . So I d o n ' t have t h e e x p e c t a t i o n of c o n s t a n t l y b e i n g h i g h , o r b e i n g passionate. I g u e s s , t h e r e a r e more d i m e n s i o n s t o i t , a n d t h o s e h a v e t o do w i t h c o m i n g t o u n d e r s t a n d y o u r s e l f . K:  So t h r o u g h  the connection with the other  person...  R: T h r o u g h t h e c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e o t h e r p e r s o n , y e a h . You c a n e i t h e r do i t a l o n e , o r y o u c a n do i t w i t h somebody e l s e . And i t ' s a l o t e a s i e r t o do i t w i t h somebody e l s e . In a r e l a t i o n s h i p , I t h i n k y o u go t h r o u g h s o many t h i n g s t h a t a r e p o t e n t i a l s f o r i d e n t i f y i n g y o u r s e l f , and f o r i d e n t i f y i n g what you r e a l l y a r e . I d e n t i f y i n g w h a t y o u c a n do b e s t i n t h e w o r l d , s o c i a l l y ; what i s t h e b e s t o f y o u r a r t i s t i c c r e a t i v i t y ; what i s t h e b e s t p a r t o f y o u r n a t u r e . They can b r i n g t h a t out i n both people. G i v e n a commitment t o t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p and e x p e r i e n c i n g l i f e t o g e t h e r , t h e r e ' s g o i n g t o be e n d l e s s c o n f l i c t s , a s t h e r e i s i f y o u ' r e s i n g l e o r i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p or whatever. But b e i n g a b l e t o work them o u t i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p t e a c h e s y o u a l o t . And I g u e s s I t r u s t t h a t as t r u e . K: So t h r o u g h t h i s o t h e r p e r s o n , doors f o r y o u r s e l f .  i t o p e n s up  unexplored  R: Uh-huh. Y e a h , y e a h . ( l o n g p a u s e ) And h a v i n g k i d s w o u l d be a n o t h e r m e c h a n i s m f o r t h a t t o h a p p e n . L i k e , i t ' s more t h a n j u s t , y o u know, c r e a t i n g p r o g e n y , i t s . . . Again, going t h r o u g h t h a t e x p e r i e n c e , o p e n i n g up p a r t s o f y o u r s e l f . I mean, i t ' s n o t s e l f i s h ; I mean, y o u a r e b r i n g i n g o t h e r p e o p l e i n t o t h e w o r l d , you a r e g i v i n g j o y t o a n o t h e r p e r s o n , b u t . . . I s u p p o s e I t r u s t t h a t i