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The study also laid the groundwork for Mary Ainsworth’s attachment theory, showing how the infants used their cloth “mothers” as a secure base from which to explore.

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Another early conception of parent-child relationships was that love only existed as a biological drive for survival and comfort on the child’s part.

In 1958, however, Harry Harlow’s landmark study comparing rhesus’ reactions to wire “mothers” and cloth “mothers” demonstrated the depth of emotion felt by infants.

Most psychologists and relationship counselors predict a decline of intimacy and passion over time, replaced by a greater emphasis on companionate love (differing from adolescent companionate love in the caring, committed, and partner-focused qualities).

However, couple studies have found no decline in intimacy nor in the importance of sex, intimacy, and passionate love to those in longer or later-life relationships.

The scientific study of relationships evolved during the 1990s and came to be referred to as 'relationship science', Romantic relationships have been defined in countless ways, by writers, philosophers, religions, scientists, and in the modern day, relationship counselors.

Two popular definitions of love are Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love and Fisher’s theory of love.As emerging adults mature, they begin to develop attachment and caring qualities in their relationships, including love, bonding, security, and support for partners.Earlier relationships also tend to be shorter and exhibit greater involvement with social networks.Older women in particular face social, demographic, and personal barriers; men aged 65 and older are nearly twice as likely as women to be married, and widowers are nearly three times as likely to be dating 18 months following their partner’s loss compared to widows.The term significant other gained popularity during the 1990s, reflecting the growing acceptance of non-heteronormative relationships.Securely attached infants miss the parent, greet them happily upon return, and show normal exploration and lack of fear when the parent is present.

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