Romantic Physical Affection Types and Relationship Satisfaction
November 17, 2003
When I had first started my research for this project I had hoped to learn many interesting aspects of romantic relationships. I soon discovered men and women's preferences regarding romantic physical affection and relationship satisfaction. My assumptions going into the project had changed once my research began. There have been countless studies dealing with physical affection, but few have examined the subject of physical affection in romantic relationships. My thoughts on romantic physical affection were that men would be more aggressive and women would express their affection through cuddling and holding. My hypothesis was incorrect based on the Likert scale data stating that women favor kissing on the lips, just as men do, as an expression of love over cuddling and holding (L'Abate).
Steinberge developed a triangular Theory of Love, which is the conceptualization of love relationships that include three basic components: commitment, passion and intimacy, but does not directly address physical affection (L'Abate).
Intimacy is the closeness that is felt by the two partners. Passion is the sexual motives and sexual excitement associated with a couple's relationship. Commitment is the decision that you love and want to be with the other person plus the promise to maintain the relationship. The triangular love theory is necessary for a healthy relationship. However physical affection is defined as any touch intended to arouse feelings of love in the giver and the recipient.
Seven types of physical attraction were examined excluding sexual intimacy.
These types are backrubs/massages, caressing/stroking, cuddling/ holding, holding hands, kissing on the lips, and kissing on the face (Gulledge). It was originally hypothesized that individuals who were more physically affectionate with their romantic partners will usually be happier and more satisfied in their relationships than...