The Sociology of an Unrequited Love

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        An unrequited love is a type of romantic love that is common among young lovers who misread verbal and nonverbal cues of their beloved and who have yet to learn about their own romantic needs and wants. “Unrequited love is the result of one person deeply wanting an intimate relationship with another who simply is not interested and who does not reciprocate.” Unrequited is often the result of mismatch of personal attributes between two people. One person may find the traits of the other attractive but the latter does not find the former’s physical or personal attitudes worth exploring. Sometimes, this happens in a mismatch in physical qualities. The person pursuing may probably be too “ugly” or “beautiful” for the other or vice versa. Society often expects compatibility. If the girl or wife is beautiful, it also expects that the boy or husband is also attractive or least not within the range of what is culturally acceptable as “beautiful”. If they enter into a romantic relationship despite this incompatibility, one partner may have found a redeeming factor from the “unattractive” partner, probably in terms of social status or wealth. Thus, a beautiful young lady can fall in love with “ugly” old man because of the latter’s wealth and social connections which can provide her with material security and higher social status.

      There was one girl in one college who is madly in love with a guy who does not respond to her initiatives. She sent him gifts and often met him and offered him friendship and warm care. She even went to the extent of becoming a stalker, following him wherever he went. But this one-sided affair did not materialize into a romantic relationship. The guy further ignored this girl and transferred to another school and residence just to avoid her. Unrequited is, indeed, painful to the person falling in love. This could have been avoided if he or she would stop after few attempts to invite the other to enter into a romantic relationship. Of course, this is not easy. The main reason why a person cannot just stop initiating his or her courtship despite being avoided by the other is infatuation, i.e., the strong and irrational feeling of caring and longing for intimacy with the other by the person falling in love with. Infatuation is not easy to stop. Only time can heal it and by distancing oneself completely from things or people who can remind him or her of the person one is falling with.

      But this is not always the case. There are some situations where persistence in courtship pays. Depending on their upbringing with regard to loving and cultural taste, there are some girls who love to be pursued, either as a test to know who among the suitors is serious in his proposal. Others are probably conservative or religious that they go beyond physical traits of their suitors and look for good spiritual values they expect from their partners.

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Photo credit:

1. “Woman Refusing Apologies from her Boyfriend” by David Castillo Dominici (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

2. lifehack.org

 

 

What is a Deceptive Love?

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        Let us start with a short story of a man who had mental reservation or lying when he didn’t tell his girlfriend that he is already in love with another woman while still in relationship with her. This can be considered a form of deceptive love:

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I had a boyfriend for five years and seven months. His name was Anton and we were deeply in love. At least I’d like to believe that he was in love with me, too. We had dreams of getting married in the year 2000 and we agreed to name our first baby girl with both our mothers’ names.

For five years, my life focused on Anton. He was my world and my life, and he always came first. My friends, family, career and even myself came after. My heart and mind were already set on having him as my husband–my lifetime partner. Nothing and no one could change that. His family and friends knew about us and accepted me. They were all kind to me and treated me well. I remember his brothers and sisters introducing me to their friends as “our future sister-in-law”. Everyone thought it would be Anton and me in the end.

Third quarter of this year, we began having frequent fights over small things like where to eat, what movie to watch and whether he would see me or not. He’d tell me he was under a lot of pressure from both his work and his relationship with me so I proposed we “cool off” for awhile. I told him that in the meantime, I wouldn’t call him or see him as often as I wanted to, but I’d always be around if ever he needed me.

Without a second thought, he accepted my proposal and told me to just end the relationship. Joe, it was as if he had just waited for me to initiate the breakup.

I was shocked and surprised. The man I love and gave my life to was letting me go. Though it hurt, I accepted the idea because I thought he was just tired from work and confused. I thought that after a few days, we’d both realize that we really need and love each other.

When we parted ways, I couldn’t help but cry. The following day I called him and asked if we could still talk about it. I asked him the real reason and he told me that he was tired of my demands. He was tired of being committed and just wanted to be alone for awhile. I told him I’d change but Anton remained firm in his decision.

Twenty days after our breakup, we agreed to meet in our old meeting place for dinner. However, he didn’t show up despite my numerous pages reminding him that I was waiting. When the mall closed, I decided to go home and on my way, I saw him with another woman. What made it even painful was that he just ignored me, as if he didn’t see me. For two days, I was absent from work, I didn’t know what to do. I was so confused. I didn’t know what was happening, why he was with that girl when he was supposed to meet me–that same girl my friends saw him with minutes before our breakup…. (Source: http://sobrangcheezy.blogspot.hk/2010/03/joe-dmangos-love-notes-time-to-move-on.html).

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       Not all forms of romantic love are sincere and honest. Some are deceptive. Romantic partners can appear as angels but deep inside they are motivated to take advantage of the other.  Having your heart broken is the easy part; knowing when to move on is the challenge. One must be careful not to enter into a deceptive love relationship. This type of love is based on lies and deceit. And the innocent victim of this type of love will end up frustrated and broken hearted.

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      Deceptive love is a fake type of romantic love where one or both partners either consciously or unconsciously mislead the other in an effort to dishonestly establish trust and intimacy. The person who engages in this type of romantic love follows a sort of “catch and release” pattern. He or she is more interested in catching more fish (lovers) than in staying in love and maintaining a long-term relationship. His or her intention is ‘to collect” more girlfriends or boyfriends and enjoy whatever social, emotional, and sexual benefits he or she can reap while in intimacy with their partners. But he or she would eventually break up with some of his or her partner/s if he or she becomes dissatisfied with the relationship. This is the case of a person who is tagged as a “playboy” or “playgirl”, a person who likes to establish multiple romantic relationships with other people without serious intention of establishing a lasting relationship or true love.

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      This is an unhealthy and functional type of “love”. The person falls in love with another for selfish motives. This is common in the social media where anonymous individuals, using fictitious identity, establish romantic relationships with other users through chatting and other digital means of communication. One woman in the Philippines became a victim of this type of love on Facebook. She fell in love with a man she only knew through the social media. After establishing romantic relationship, the man requested her nude photo. Then he extorted her money, demanding that she should give him a certain amount or else he would post her nude picture online.

     In the study “Understanding the Routine Expression of Deceptive Affection in Romantic Relationships,” deceptive affection means that an individual in a romantic relationship chooses to express affection he or she does not actually feel. According to this study, non-married individuals expressed deceptive affection about three times a week to romantic partners.

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      Couples who are not in good terms with their partners usually use deceptive affection to save face, avoid embarrassing their partner or sidestep a situation that may land them in hot water. This can include lying about one’s own feelings or feelings about a partner and expressing affection instead of negative feelings.  Some studies showed that couples use verbal and non-verbal affection in hopes that a sweet caress or profession of love will mask their true feelings. The use of affection to lie appears to be a regular activity in romantic relationships. Thus, people can be extra sweet with their partners to gain material favors such as owning a new car, house and lot, or signing a pre-nuptial agreement to gain an inheritance of the wealthy partner. Deceptive affection can actually help maintain a relationship in some cases. But affections in deceptive love are only a facade of the selfish motives of some romantics to take advantage of their partners.

12 signs to move on

Source: Pinterest

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What is an Obsessive Love?

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      Obsessive love begins with intense emotions, flattery, and attention, but slowly turns into an unhealthy possessiveness of the partner. Initially, it’s easy to confuse obsessive love for healthy love. In the beginning of romantic relationships, it’s natural for one partner to be the sole focus of the thoughts of the other, but they become unhealthy and obsessive when one is too possessive and controlling of one partner by the other–when he or she is no longer living a normal life [1].

Obsessive Love as an Unhealthy Love

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Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

     Obsessive love is an unhealthy type of romantic love where conflict and dramatic extremes in the relationship are both the goal and the theme of the couple’s love. Obsessive lovers are often violent or overly aggressive at different levels. These people cannot establish an intimate and stable relationship with their partners. They most likely need professional counseling and would be better off if they broke up immediately with their partners to avoid further hurt and injury. People who are obsessed with love are not capable of self-giving in the relationship. Most often, these people are possessive and concern only with their own needs without considerations of the personal needs of their partners. There is also domination of the obsessive lovers over their weaker partners. And this can lead to verbal and physical abuse if the weak partner allows the “unhealthy” relationship to continue [2].

Obsessive Love as a Clinical Disorder

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Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

      “Obsessive love relationship is probably the worst manifestation of the feeling of love or when you mistake obsession for love…At times people who are obsessed with their feelings tend to consider their obsession towards their object of desire as their love. Obsession is a state of mental and clinical disorder due to which people get highly self-centered and feel rather insecure towards the other person…They would rather attempt at tying down the other person instead of understanding their emotions and needs. In case of non-reciprocation from the other side the obsessed person is more hell bent on compelling and getting attention from the object of his obsession…In cases of complete mental illness, the patient mostly complains of hallucinating about vulgar and disgusting images of the person they are obsessed with…In most cases, the obsessed people love to either harm the other person physically or mentally. The obsessed person desperately wants to make his or her presence felt in the other person’s life by physical abuse [3].”

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“Stalking is a sign of obsessive love” (image courtesy of Shutterstock)

Signs of that the Partner is an Obsessor

  1. Barrages you with intense and constant attention;
  2. Demands unreasonable amounts of your time Ignores other aspects of their   life for you;
  1. Ignores other aspects of their life for you;
  2. Shows jealously towards anyone and any activity that competes for your  attention;
  3. Follows you or checks up on you when you’re not together;
  4. Stalking;
  5. Physically ignores personal space to show others that you’re taken [4].

      Obsessive love is said to be delusional and a sign of mental health problem. It can start with a strong or extreme feeling of infatuation and develop into an obsession. This type of love is unrealistic and demanding. It occurs in about 0.1% of adults. “Individuals who suffer from delusional jealousy often interpret minor experiences like a coworker saying hello to their spouse or romantic partner looking at a passerby as positive proof that their loved one is being unfaithful. Male alcoholics have been found to be particularly vulnerable to developing delusional jealousy. Females are more likely to develop obsessive love toward people they know rather than toward a stranger [5].”

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Photo credit: Shutterstock

The Healthy Love

    An obsessive love is not true love. It is an unhealthy love. “A healthy love relationship usually evolves over time such that it no longer involves the near desperate intensity and fervor of infatuation. Healthy love tends to mature over the years to include commitment, friendship, and a solid respect for the other person as an individual and of their needs. Healthy relationships allow both people to feel loved, cared for, and respected and allow for each person’s individuality and the pursuit of their own professional lives, recreational activities, and friendships outside of the love relationship[6].”

References

[1] “6 signs your partner is dangerously obsessed with you,” Retrieved 1 June 2017, http://citifmonline.com/2014/06/23/6-signs-your-partner-is-dangerously-obsessed-with-you/#sthash.RHdpuDtg.dpuf

[2] Hammond, R., Cheney, P. and Pearsey, R. “Sociology of the Family” in www.freesociologybooks.com.

[3] “Obsessive Love Relationship” in http://www.mydearvalentine.com/relationships/obsessive-love-relationship.html.

[4] supra, note 1.

[5] “The Difference Between Healthy and Obsessive Love” at http://www.medicinenet.com/confusing_love_with_obsession/views.htm

[6] Ibid.

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Functions of Persistent Rumors in Business Organizations

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Introduction

It is normal in any business organization to hear rumors against the company, managers, supervisors as well as fellow employees. Unlike gossip, rumors deal with social issues, not personalities, that affect a sector of a company or the entire business organization. People may immediately dismiss rumors as hearsay and unproductive talk. But if they persist, they might have a structural basis that requires a closer examination and analysis.

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A persistent rumor about the company or workplace usually has structural roots that need attention and solution. All companies which face bankruptcy or imminent demise are always forewarned by rumors. Before Enron collapsed, for instance, rumors about the company fraudulent accounting persisted. But it seemed that the early warning signs were ignored by the company leading to its closure. “A detailed look at the Enron accounting scandal reveals the circumstances that made it possible for Enron to succeed in deceiving the public. There was connivance with external auditors & banks, while SEC gave Enron exemptions from investment laws, instead of paying heed to the early warning signs”(http://www.brighthub.com/office/finance/articles/101609.aspx).

Rumor as an Indicator of a Serious Issue and Lack of Transparency

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A company which hides some vital information to their valued customers, stockholders, employees and to the public is prone to rumors. In today’s social media age, it only takes a post, selfie, or viral video to spread the rumors if a business firm is found deceiving the stockholders or customers about the true state of the company, products or services.As the saying goes, “If there’s a smoke, there’s fire!”. The smoke is the rumor, the fire is the negative effect that destroys the company. A firm cannot hide the reality to the public. It is only a matter of time that the fire will come out and burn the entire house! So, if there’s a persistent smoke or rumor, it is better for house managers or CEOs to put it off before it burns the company. And this could only be done if the company starts providing clear and convincing information to the affected sector about the issue. A transparent system is less prone to rumors. Thus, when rumors came out about the bending of iphone 6, Apple immediately issued a statement and credible explanation to stop the rumors on the alleged defects of the phone. And it did apparently succeeded in putting off the smoke as Apple posted a historical profit of $18 billion last year due to massive sale of iphone 6 and 6plus.

Rumor as An indicator of a Management Problem.

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It is important that managers must be empirically updated with what’s going in the company. It there is a discontent in the company, the manager must be the first to know it, not the last one. S/he must open to suggestions and willing to listen even to people whom s/he dislike.

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Rumors can serve as warning signs and guide for managers on what management area that s/he needs to examine and improve. A feedback mechanism is therefore necessary to check once in a while the general sentiment of employees in the company as well as the true state of things in the company. This feedback must come from below, from rank and file employees up to the top managers in order that the general picture of true state of the company will come out. The Japanese firms which use the inductive method of management are good on this. They usually ask feedback or opinion from people below before they create or implement a major policy that affects the entire business firm.

Remember: a persistent rumor can be an allay not an enemy in business when used wisely by business managers. They serve as a guide or indicator on what area to improve on in the company!

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What is Confluent Love?

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Confluent love is an emerging popular type of  union in  today’s globalizing world that is characterized by flows, flexibility, and “liquidity” of information and migration of people around the globe. The current postmodern society prefers anything contingent or passing, or relationships without lasting or long-term commitment. Confluent love flourishes in this type of environment. It is, therefore, unsurprising to see divorce, annulment, and legal separation, cohabitation, and marital infidelity increasing in today’s global society because of confluent love.

Unlike romantic love, confluent love has no commitment to last until death or to enter into marriage. It is passing and it is good while it lasts for partners.

This story of Gabrielle illustrates the contingency of confluent love:

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“It was three years ago when I became friends with a guy I met through a mutual friend. It was hard not to like him. He was sweet, charming and thoughtful. He became the friend I would call when I couldn’t sleep at three in the morning. I woke up one morning and realized I couldn’t imagine my life without him.

I had no illusions about the relationship because I knew he had a girlfriend from the start. I knew I was special to him, but did he love me? I was much too afraid to know the answer. I just held on to what we had, just happy to be with him, knowing deep in my heart that it wouldn’t last and yet hoping against hope that it would.

And then one day he told me his girlfriend was pregnant. I felt like someone had put a knife through my heart and twisted it in really deep. I knew at that moment that I had to let him go. I didn’t want him to see that the happiest day of his life was the saddest day of mine. But though I was slowly dying inside, a part of me was happy because I knew he was happy. Walking away from him was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do but I never looked back, afraid that if I did I wouldn’t have the strength to let him go.

It’s been a year now since we last spoke. Even though we made a vow to stay good friends, there was also an unspoken understanding between us that I needed time away from him to give me a chance to heal. There are days when I still miss him badly and I wonder if I can ever really let him go. I know one day I will love again. But for now I just take it one day at a time knowing that if I make it through the day, then tomorrow will be easier” (The happiest and saddest day, By Joe d’Mango).

Sincerely,

Gabrielle

What is Confluent Love?

Confluent love is a type of romantic relationship which is attuned to the present postmodern times. In his book, “The Transformation of Intimacy: Sexuality, Love and Eroticism in Modern Societies,” the British sociologist Anthony Giddens (1992) describes confluent love as a type of love which is based on pure relationship. And  pure relationship is a “social relation…entered into for its own sake; and which is continued only in so far as it is thought by both parties to deliver enough satisfaction for each individual to stay within it” (Cornville & Rogers, 1998, p. 97).

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‘Unlike romantic love, confluent love is not necessarily exclusive. What holds the pure relationship together is the acceptance on the part of each partner, ‘until further notice’, that each gains sufficient benefit from the relation to make its continuance worthwhile (Giddens, 2011). Romantic love is a type of relationship which is often viewed as ‘forever after’ monogamous love. This type of love prepares people for the lifelong commitment of marital love after courtship and engagement.

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Confluent love is different from romantic or marital love. In consensual love, the partners agree to have sexual relations with others whom they have no intention of marrying or, if they marry, do not necessarily see the marriage as having permanence (Kendal, 2014). The essence of confluent love is its contingency. It is not a “till-death-do-us-part” kind of relationship. It lasts as long as the lovers find the relationship mutually fulfilling. Thus, a one-night stand, a regular orgy of couples, or a temporary live-in arrangement or cohabitation with no intention of marrying, are some expressions of confluent love.

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Furthermore, confluent love, unlike romantic love, is not always monogamous. Sometimes it allows polygamous, bisexual or homosexual relationship. In this sense, confluent love does not conform to the criteria of true love as defined by the Bible and Church teachings. It has no religious dimension. It ends when both or all parties involved feel that the relationship is no longer working and satisfying. “The emergent morality of confluent love recognizes the rights of individual to happiness and appropriateness of ending relationships that are no longer experienced as fulfilling” (Goodwin & Cramer, 2009, p. 48). This emerging concept of love and commitment, facilitated by the liquidity of the world by the process of globalization and secularization, contravenes the religious understanding of marital love as sacred and a lifetime commitment.

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Thank you for reading this revised post on confluent love. Feel free to commnet, like, or share this post. Cheers and best wishes!