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Revista Subjetividades

Print version ISSN 2359-0769On-line version ISSN 2359-0777


HOFFMEISTER, Alana; CARVALHO, Liana Müller  and  MARIN, Angela Helena. Understanding Love and Its Expressions at Different Developmental Stages. Rev. Subj. [online]. 2019, vol.19, n.3, pp. 1-14. ISSN 2359-0769.

This study aimed to investigate the perception of love, understanding how people experience this feeling in love relationships at different stages of development - adolescence, adulthood, and old age. We used an exploratory design with a qualitative and cross-sectional approach. Nine adolescents, nine adults, and eight elderly, who had been in a love relationship for at least six months, were selected for convenience. All responded to a semi-structured interview, which focused on the perception of love and how it was experienced in their relationship. Data content analysis indicated differences and similarities between the investigated steps. In all of them, love was associated with support, care, respect, and trust, as well as their experience evidenced by the exchange of affection. Specifically, in adolescence, the reports pointed to love with more ephemeral characteristics, but the participants pointed out that they were learning to relate. Among adults, there was a love characterized as solid and mature, as well as sharing dreams and plans for the future. The elderly reported that they perceived love as care, mainly due to the fear of losing their partner. It was evidenced that the way love is perceived and experienced is not specifically related to age, but to life experiences and the relationship that is built with the partner. It is expected that the results found promote reflection on love and its experiences in current relationships and serve as a basis for interventions aimed at fostering the quality of affective relationships.

Keywords : love; interpersonal interaction; stages of development.

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