While permanent relationships increase the chance for the Offspring to survive in difficult conditions because of determined cooperation between the two parents distribution of parental roles, shared protection of the Offspring against threats, shared provision of food to the Offspring etc.
Although short-term relationships are very frequent in various human communities, the majority of studies conducted heretofore have focused on marriages. Studying such type of heterosexual relationships seems hindered by the prevailing set of values, on the one hand, and the tendency to keep promiscuity and infidelity a secret, on the other Buss, According to Busscasual sex is a taboo, but at the same time a subject of fascination.
In many cultures, it is typical for adolescents and young people to experiment with their abilities while seeking to establish themselves on the so-called marriage market and build their own sexual strategies Buss, One type of such relationship has been described by Bisson and Levine as a relationship in which friends engage in uncommitted sex.
In literature, this type of relationship has been referred to as sex friends, fuck bodies or friends with benefits abbreviated as FWBs. The FWB phenomenon is of interest also to Polish psychologists and sociologists. Based on their findings Jankowska,one can say that such relations appear most frequently among single people under 30 years of age, undergraduates or well educated individuals, financially independent and living primarily in big cities.
FWB relationships are governed by specific rules, with no restrictions, no responsibilities and no emotional commitment Jankowska, In most cases, FWB partners will have known each other for a long time. Engaging in such relationships requires mutual consent Jankowska, As discussed above people engage in different types of relationships, such as mono- vs. Fahs, Munger,p. Longterm and short-term relationships in which the couple engage in sexual activity and define their relationship as romantic Izdebski, Ostrowska, To outline the theoretical framework of this study, first we focus on discussing the theory of attachment, triangular theory of love and the concept of sociosexual orientation.
Literature on relationships presented below indicates that the most important psychological factors, determining individuals' decisions while selecting the type of sexual relationship is the style of attachment, the ability to form relationships based on intimacy, passion and commitment and individuals' sociosexual orientation. The attachment styles The theory of attachment was co-authored by John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth Ainsworth, Bowlby,who drew their inspirations from a number of fields: Their theoretical and empirical achievements revolutionised our understanding of the processes responsible for developing close relations Bretherton, It is thanks to them that we know today that the attachment style develops in infancy and childhood and is characterised by a search for closeness with the attachment figures usually parents that provide comfort and security in difficult and unpleasant situations.
A child develops secure attachment a secure attachment style in response to sensitivity and availability of the attachment figure. Finally, unavailability and insensitivity of one's primary caregiver results in developing an avoidant attachment style. It is characteristic of people with no consistent, organised strategy for regulating emotions or coping with stress.
This type of attachment results from early childhood experience of receiving no support in difficult situations. As children such individuals were subjected to overwhelrning situations, rejection or even aggression on the part of their caregivers. Frequently changing caregivers or caregivers exhibiting disordered behaviours have a destructive influence upon their charges, who experience agitation, rage and helplessness.
The return of such caregiver does not sooth; on the contrary it increases anxiety. In their psychological construct, persons with disorganized attachment style possess no constant, consistent model of ties, which would lay the foundations for their subsequent emotional and cognitive functioning.
These three insecure attachment styles result in negative self-assessment the feeling of worthlessness, fear of rejection and a tendency to mistrust and avoid deeper emotional relations with people. Hazan and Shaverwent even further and concluded that romantic love and bond between partners develop through the same attachment processes as those observed in childhood. In other words, adults in romantic relationships are subject to the same mechanisms as those present in mother-child relation.
They proposed three innate behavioural systems fundamental for the optimal functioning of relationships formed by couples: These systems are at the same time discrete and mutually dependent.
Each of them organizes behavioural responses which maximize survival, adaptation, and reproduction in the context of social relationships Mikulincer, Shaver, ; Peloquin et al.
Therefore love relationships involve attachment processes in which a romantic or marital partner often becomes an adult's primary attachment figure. The insecure attachment is manifested through anxiety and avoidance Peloquin et al. The attachment and caregiving systems are crucial in adult love relationships as both partners alternate between providing and eliciting care, security and comfort Schachner, Shaver, Mikulincer, Individuals' caregiving behaviours can be predicted from their attachment insecurities Mikulincer, Shaver, People with chronic attachment insecurities may fail to recognize distress signals in others and respond to them appropriately Collins et al.
Sexual satisfaction is often analysed with respect to its integration with the attachment and caregiving systems Peloquin et al. According to Mikulincer and Shaverthe primary attachment system strategy involves pursuing closeness with significant persons i. A secure attachment style develops when significant persons are available, emotionally sensitive and attentive to one's individual needs. Then, an individual feels secure, which encourages him or her to create close emotional bonds with others.
Hyperactivation is characteristic for people with an anxious attachment style and lets them bond with unresponsive partners. Persons with anxious attachment style carefully monitor relations with others for a deficit or impairment of physical or emotional closeness Cassidy, Berlin, ; Simpson, Ickes, Grich, Deactivation concerns closeness-seeking inhibitions as a result of unavailability of the significant person, which is the most typical strategy for people with an avoidant attachment style.
Strongly avoidant individuals often do not allow themselves to be emotionally close to their partners in a relationship, and turn to them for support only in difficult situations Simpson, Rholes, Nelligan, ; Butzer, Campbell A secure attachment style in a relation with a sexual partner is characterised by the feeling of security and satisfaction with the partner's closeness.
Finally, an avoidant style is characterised by a reluctance to establish close, open relations with one's partner Plopa, Still, very little is known about links between specific attachment styles and the inclination to engage in casual or long-term sexual relationships. Similar findings were obtained by Allen and Baucomboth among undergraduates in informal relationships and among married couples.
Furthermore, people with an avoidant attachment style show less restrictive attitudes towards sex and have a greater number of casual and uncommitted sexual partners. Although observable among representatives of both sexes, this pattern seems to be slightly more apparent among men Gentzler, Kerns, ; Schachner, Shaver, According to Robert Sternbergsuch change is unavoidable and arises from the internal nature of relations in close relationships. According to Sternberg, changes affecting closeness between partners that take place during their relationship can be understood through the three components of love: Intimacy is understood in general as positive feelings towards one's partner, manifested in a desire to care for partner's welfare, experiencing happiness with and because of the partner, feeling high regard for one's partner and being able to count on the partner when needed; mutual understanding and sharing experiences with the partner, giving and receiving emotional support, intimate communication with the partner and belief that the partner is an important element of one's life Wojciszke,p.
The dynamics of intimacy is subtle and changes with subsequent stages of the relationship. Each relationship begins with an attempt to find common language and develop an ability to understand and learn partner's needs. Accuracy of such attempts increases as the relationship continues. Intimacy itself grows relatively slowly to gradually disappear with time Sternberg, Passion is a mixture of strong emotions.
Lust, joy and admiration mix with pain, anxiety, envy and longing. It is often accompanied by strong physiological arousal, search for physical closeness, desire to engage in erotic contacts but also a need to protect and care or build self-esteem.
Passion usually lasts between 18 and 36 months. Passion grows at a tremendous pace as the relationship continues to fade nearly just as fast. In its nature, passion is the absolute admiration for one's partner. Feelings, thoughts and emotions that accompany this love component do not lend themselves to reasoning. Anthropological studies have provided evidence for the existence of passion and passionate love in almost all of the cultures studied.
It should be noted that passion, treated as urge, can be understood in two ways, either as a desire to bond with someone who cannot be substituted by anyone else, or a desire to engage sexually with any person who meets certain minimum requirements; the latter is particularly applicable to men Wojciszke, Wojciszke cites Philip Shaver et al.
I am aroused and truly alive in your presence. Commitment involves conscious decisions and actions aimed at transforming a relationship from a love affair into permanent relationship. This behaviour is consciously controlled. In a successful relationship, commitment is a stable element that cements a relationship and, on investing certain effort, makes it possible to keep it going.
Dynamics of the commitment component is different from changes taking place in intimacy and passion. The level of commitment remains stable throughout the relationship Huesmann, Levinger, Depending on the intensity of individual components of love, one can distinguish several different types of relationships, or types of love: Sociosexual orientation The concept of sociosexuality was introduced to science as early as the mid20th century by Alfred Kinsey, an American biologist.
He used it to describe individual differences regarding one's inclination to engage in relationships based on uncommitted sex.
However, it was not until Simpson and Gangestad constructed the Sociosexual Orientation Inventory SOIa self-report tool designed to measure one's sociosexual orientation, that the construct in question attracted strong interest from psychologists. Although the original concept of sociosexuality referred to intensification of actions related to engaging in uncommitted sex, the construct evolved with time towards bipolar continuum of reproductive strategy in which one end describes short-term relationship preferences while the other - long-term relationship preferences.
The concept of sociosexual orientation proved remarkably useful in explaining certain psychological aspects of selecting and maintaining sexual partners, such as preferences of men and women for choosing a partner Simpson, Gangestad, ; Fletcher et al. However, the most important benefit of introducing and operationalizing the concept of sociosexuality is the ability to study individual differences in an overall level of promiscuous behavioral tendency in the preferred number of sexual partners, attitude towards uncommitted sex and in the frequency of sexual fantasies about a person or persons other than the current partner Penke, Asendorpf, To summarize, there are many indications that factors governing these choices belong to the following three areas: Research problem and hypotheses The purpose of this study is to establish the role of level of attachment style prototypes, levels of passion, intimacy and commitment and sociosexual orientation in choosing one's type of sexual relation.
We find it important to answer the following question: The theoretical and empirical premises presented above allowed us to formulate the following research hypotheses: Hypothesis 1 - People in long-term relationships differ from those in short-term and FWB relationships in the intensity of their level of attachment style prototypes. Hypothesis 2 - People in long-term relationships do not differ from those in short-term or FWB relationships in terms of passion.
Hypothesis 3 - Unlike people in short-term or FWB relationships, those in long-term relationships show a higher level of intimacy and commitment. Hypothesis 4 - Unlike people in short-term or FWB relationships, those in long-term relationships show a more restrictive sociosexual orientation. Method Subjects The study group consisted of 90 persons: FWBs, people in short-term relationships shorter than 12 months and people in long-term relationships longer than 12 months.
Each group consisted of 30 individuals. Upon recruitment for the study, all subjects, having been familiarized by the researcher with the definitions of the different relationship types, decided by themselves which group to join short-term, long-term or FWB. Subjects for the study were recruited through social media grono. People were also recruited by word of mouth through friends, colleagues and acquaintances. All subjects were promised anonymity.
Members of the FWB group were recruited in the same manner as the rest of the study subjects. In addition, due to the uniqueness of the FWB group the term FWB aroused controversyit was unlikely that people who qualify for this group will openly admit it Therefore information about recruitment for the study and a link were placed, apart from the social media listed above, on thematic websites such as friend4fuck.
People interested in the study were subjected to a uniform procedure of completing on-line questionnaires, which were collected in an electronic mail box set up specifically for this purpose. Among subjects there were also people who were recruited in direct conversations. Such people were contacted through friends and completed the questionnaires in person. Instruments Three questionnaires were used in the study. The ASQ consists of 24 statements that form 3 subscales to measure the intensity of the three attachment style prototypes in close relationships: High scores on the Secure Style subscale are recorded for people whose relationships are based on mutual trust and openness.
These people also feel confident that their partner will be available for them in difficult times. They also feel secure and satisfied about being with their partner.
Finally, a high score on the Avoidant Style subscale is characteristic for people with no tendency to establish close and open relations with partner.
Those people react with embarrassment or nervousness when partner expects closeness. Estimated with Cronbach's alpha internal consistency measurement, the reliability of ASQ subscales is satisfactory and ranges between. The Cronbach's alpha coefficients of reliability calculated in our study did not differ significantly from those obtained by Plopa and were as follows: Then, the surveyed subjects filled in the Measuring of love questionnaire Wojciszke, It consists of 36 statements divided into three groups that measure the level of Robert Stemberg's three love components: Intimacy, Passion and Commitment.
Cronbach's alpha reliability coefficients calculated in our study for the individual scales were as follows: The SOI-R consists of 9 items that identify the general sociosexual orientation with three aspects of sociosexuality: High SOI-R scores show a non-restrictive orientation oriented towards shortterm relationshipswhereas low SOI-R scores show a restrictive orientation oriented towards long-term relationships.
Cronbach's alpha scores were the following: The Cronbach's alpha coefficients of reliability calculated in our study proved to be equally satisfactory and were as follows: Results Since the research hypotheses regarded differences between three groups of persons, involved in three different types of relationships, the univariate analysis of variance ANOVA seemed the most justified statistical method to verify these hypotheses.
To apply this method we needed to determine, whether the data collected during the experiment fulfil its premises. Means and standard deviations achieved by subjects representing different types of relationships on the Attachment Style Questionnaire Table 2.
Mean and standard deviation scores for subjects representing different types of relationships on the Love Measurement questionnaire Table 3.
Avoidant Attachment: Understanding Insecure Avoidant Attachment
Mean and standard deviation scores for subjects representing different types of relationships in the Revised Socio-sexual Orientation Inventory In the next step, agreement in distribution of the analysed variables compared to normal distribution was studied using the Kohnogorow-Smirnow test in all subject groups.
For some variables this test was statistically significant. However analysis of variance is considered relatively resistant to breaking the assumption of normality of the distribution compare Young, Veldman,after: Moreover, a more in-depth analysis of the values of skewness and kurtosis for these variables showed that they fall within the range of [ In the next step, homogeneity of variances for the analysed variables was measured using Levene's test in each group.
The results are presented in Tables: In most cases the results were insignificant and showed the homogeneity of variances. In cases where the test results were significant, Welsch's nonparametric test was applied. Attachment In accordance with hypothesis 1 greater intensity of the secure attachment style prototype would be expected in subjects in long-term relationships longer than 12 months.
No statistically significant differences were observed between groups with respect to the intensity of the anxious-ambivalent attachment style. Results of comparisons between three groups of subject engaged in different types of relationships and factors in Levene's test of homogeneity of variances with respect to the results of the Attachment Style Questionnaire To determine the direction of those differences, repeated comparisons were done using a post-hoc test of the Smallest Significant Difference NIR.
Results of analysis of the significance of differences in the studied groups are presented in Table 5. To increase the reliability of these results, results from the liberal NIR test have been compared with results of a more conservative Scheffe test.
These comparisons showed no disagreements. In summary, hypothesis 1 was confirmed in the part regarding differences between persons representing different types of relationships with respect to the intensity of the attachment styles. Hypothesis 1 however was not confirmed with respect to persons in short-term relationships, because their results on the Attachment Style Questionnaire did not differ significantly from the results of subjects in long-term relationships.
Love The results of statistical analyses aimed at verifying hypotheses 2 and 3 are presented in Table 6. Results of comparisons between three groups of subjects representing different types of relationships and factors in Levene's test of the homogeneity of variances with respect to the results on the Love Measurement questionnaire According to hypothesis 2 it was expected that subjects in long-term relationships do not differ from persons in short-term relationships and in FWB relationships with respect to intensity of passion.
According to hypothesis 3, subjects in long-term relationships as opposed to subjects in short-term relationships and FWB relationships would show higher level of intimacy and commitment.
Univariate analysis of ANOVA showed statistically significant differences between subjects representing the three different types of relationships. Depending on the type of relationships long-term vs. FWBthe subjects differed with respect to the intensity of love components. Differences in the intensity of love components among subjects involved in the three different types of relationships were analysed using repeated comparisons. A post-hoc NIR test was applied.
To increase the reliability of results obtained from the liberal NIR test, they were compared to results of a more conservative Scheffe test. For the Intimacy scale, which did not satisfy the requirement of homogeneity of variances, Tamhane's test was used, the results of which also showed no disagreements with the results of NIR test. Data are shown in Table 7. No statistically significant differences have been observed however between subjects in long- and short-term relationships with respect to love components.
In summary, hypotheses 2 and 3 were confirmed mostly with respect to the differences between subjects in long-term relationships compared to persons in FWB relationships. Repeated comparison tests showed that persons involved in long-term relationships do not differ from persons in short-term relationships in the intensity of passion, intimacy nor commitment.
How are patterns of attachment supported by the critical inner voice?
The overly positive and seemingly friendly views of self that are experienced by many avoidant individuals are also promoted by the inner voice and are often a cover-up for vicious, self-degrading thoughts. The critical inner voice can be thought of as the language of these internal working models; the voice acts as a negative filter through which the people look at themselves, their partner and relationships in general.
Although many critical inner voices are only partly conscious, they have the power to shape the ways that people respond to each other in their closest, most intimate relationships.
Individuals identified as having a dismissing attachment style have reported experiencing such thoughts as: There are many experiences throughout life that provide opportunities for personal growth and change. One essential way to do this is by making sense of your story. When you create a coherent narrative, you actually rewire your brain to cultivate more security within yourself and your relationships.
In a previous article, I noted that being involved in a long-term relationship with someone who has a secure attachment style is one pathway toward change. The other way is through therapy; the therapeutic alliance or relationship offers a safe haven in which to explore our attachment history and gain a new perspective on ourselves, others and relationships in general. To learn more about how to write a coherent narrative and develop an earned secure attachment, join Dr.
Lisa Firestone and Dr. Robert Firestone in writing 12 books and numerous professional articles. A founding member of Glendon Association, she has been a national lecturer and workshop facilitator in the areas of child abuse prevention and couple relations.
With Glendon, she has co-produced 40 video documentaries on a wide range of mental health topics.