This study investigated the influence of personality (int vs ext) and method of first contact on expression of love among couples. Three hypotheses were postulated and tested using 300 married couples which comprised of 157 females and 143 males conveniently selected from the catholic men organization and catholic women organization of Immaculate Heart Parish Orji and Holy Cross Parish Aladinma, all in Owerri. he participants were within the age range of 41 years with minimum of 18 years and maximum of 59 years. The participants had a mean age of 29.33 years and a standard deviation of 7.372 years. The Eysenck personality Questionnaire (EPQ) developed by Eysenck & Eysenck (1975) and Expression of Love Scale, developed and validated by the researcher was used for data collection. Cross-sectional survey design was used and a 2-way ANOVA was adopted as a statistical test. Findings showed personality do not influence expression of love and method of first contact difference do not influence expression of love. Finding on the interaction of the two factors showed no statistical significance influence on expression of love. Findings were discussed in relation to literature review and recommendations were also made.
Background to the Study
The existence of love is as old as man’s existence, it can be see as a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes that ranges from interpersonal affection (“I love my mother) to pleasure (“I love that meal”). Love can refer to an emotion of a strong attraction and personal attachment (Oxford Illustrated American Dictionary, 1998). It can also be a virtue representing human kindness, compassion, and affection, the unselfish legal and benevolent concern for the good of another. It is an intense feeling of fondness or attraction, deeper and stronger than liking, especially when associated with romantic or sexual attachment in someone. Love gives a sense of immorality, the existentialist Kiekegarrd(1847) described love as uniting the temporal with the external. This is best understood when an individual sees a loved one, such as father, mother or spouse. Even when such loved one has died and is no longer on earth, individuals love lives on for the one he/she cherish.
It is very important to note that couples need to express love to one another because love is an essential tool in a lasting relationship. Wojtyia (1965) wrote about the development of love in his book love and responsibility. In true love between a man and woman, there is an evolution from attraction and desire to a feeling of good will toward the other person. A healthy integration of sensually, sentiment, and loving kindness takes place, so that one looks at the other with love, and treasure the other person. One can see that even from the bible very analogy of human creation, it is necessary for a man and woman to be together and show love to one another. “He formed a woman out of the rib and brought her to him”, “that is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united with his wife, and they become one (Gen. 2: 22 & 24). We can see that God planned for man and woman to unite to love and Harmony for continuity of his creation.
Furthermore, the stress of expression of love can further be seen deeper in the scripture as St. Paul threw more light on love between a husband and wife. “But because there is so much immorality, even man should have his own wife, and every woman should have her own husband. A man should fulfill his duty as a husband and a woman should fulfill her duty as a wife and each satisfy the other’s need. A wife Is not the master of her own body, but her husband is; In the same way a husband is not the master of his own body, but his wife is” (1 Corinthians 7:2-4). From the word of St. Paul, one can deduce that expression of love among couples should be immeasurable as he further stressed in Ephesians 5:25, “husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it”.
However, Lewis (1960) in his book “the four love” describes four kinds of human love, affectionate love, romantic love, friendship and the love of God . Affectionate Love or storge is the natural love a parent has for a child. Eros, or romantic love is the desire two have for each other, love between couples. Plato considered eros as something like poetic rapture upon seeing the beauty and company of the beloved when two persons fall in love. This is the contrast to someone who has sexual desire without being in love who wants to use the other strictly for selfish pleasure. A utilitarian relationship, in which the sexual partner becomes an object for use, holds no long term possibility for joy, fulfillment, or happiness, but rather leaves one empty, disappointed, and ultimately done. Philia is the love of friendship, but may have conditions. It gives, but may expect something equal in return. Agape love is true, unconditional love, a generosity of spirit which gives and expects nothing in return. It is Gods love for mankind and it is love at first at highest level. The more expression of true love between a man and woman, the more successful the relationship.
However, several factors can influence individuals expression of love to the opposite partner such as personality is one of such factor. Many scholars have their variation in the definition of personality as there is no particular general definition of personality. Personality can be defined as the uniqueness of an individual’s characteristics, this means that individuals vary in their characteristics. Larson & Buss (2002) defined it as the set of psychological traits and mechanisms, within the individual that are organized and relatively enduring and that influences his or her interactions with, and adaptations to the environment”. They asserted further that environment have include the intrapsychic, physical and social environment. Uwaoma (2006) sees personality as “those peculiar behaviours a person displays at all times, regardless of the environmental conditions, places and persons with or before him. They include the manner in which a person thinks, speaks or reacts; Coleman (2003) defined it simply as “the sum total of behavioural and mental characteristics that is distinctive of an individual “. Researchers have delineated different or a variety of personality types such a personality type A and B, Big five personality, Introversion vs Extroversion.
Furthermore, for the scope of this study, extroversion and introversion dimension of personality will be used for this study. Extroversion and introversion are two major dimensions of human personality. Extroversion tends to manifest in outgoing, talkative, energetic behaviours. Whereas, introversion manifest in more reserved and solitary behaviour. Extroverts are sociable and crave excitement and change, and thus can become bored easily. They tend to be carefree optimistic and impulsive. Extroverts may be more open in expressing their love. Introverts plan their actions and control their emotions. They tend to be serious, reliable and pessimistic. They are not carefree. Since the try to control their emotion, they may take time to express their love directly
Method of first contact may be another factor which can influence expression of love among couples. It can also be seen as the method of first communication between the couples. Communication can be direct or indirect. Someone who is not accustomed to the practice of a particular culture, social group or that of an opposite sex ways of intetraction may resort to an indirect communication to the said opposite sex, chances are majority of people have heard someone at some point say “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” (Joyce, 2012). For some individuals, the fear of getting such random reply compels them to resort to indirect communication with the opposite sex who they find interest in. while some who are carefree may find it easy communicating directly with the opposite sex they are interested in. introverts might be cautious in their approach to an opposite sex due to their reserved personality.
Expression of love among couples can be influenced by several factors, but this research project tends to investigate if personality and method of first contact will influence expression of love among couples.
Statement of the Problem
Love is an essential and much needed tool for every successful social relationship. In every successive relationship, love exist. Between couples, love bring about kindness, peace, hope, joy, understanding and tolerance. When this love is not in existence in a family, there is misunderstanding, unfaithfulness, quarrelling, which have led to the crash of several homes. Several factors influence the expression of love among couples. This study is channeled to narrow down the gap in knowledge on these several factors which influence expression of love among couples. So, this project researcher is embarked focused at investigating the relevance of personality and method of first contact on expression of love among couples.
Purpose of the Study
The aims of this study are as follow
- to weigh the statistical influence of personality on expression of love among couples
- to weigh the statistical influence of method of first contact on expression of love among couples.
Operational Definition of Terms
- Personality: individuals uniqueness in their characteristics, it was measure in Extroversion and Introversion dimension.
- Method of first contact: the method through which the partners first met themselves, it is categorized into Direct contact and Indirect contact (meeting your spouse through someone).
- Expression of Love: how freely individuals show love to their spouse by word and action. Dictomized into positive and negative.
- Couples: individuals in a marriage institution which is between a man and woman.
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