Falling in love, for many individuals, begins with an inescapable, uncontrollable, transformative experience of intense emotions and intrusive thoughts; one phenomenon from the literature is the extreme love experience, limerence. Romantic love researchers have tended to lump extreme love phenomena into the limerence model viewed as pathology. Transpersonal psychology was chosen as the lens to examine an extreme occurrence of falling in love for its positive, transformational, and spiritual potential using a phenomenological approach. There were 25 U.S. born participants, age 30 and older, recruited from the internet who reported experiencing a very intense and very significant romantic love occurrence. Data from semi-structured interviews were thematically analyzed for emergent information, and then the data were compared to potential explanatory models including limerence, spiritual emergency, biopsychosocial, and passionate romantic love. The results revealed a unique experience unlike limerence and with limited correlations to the biopsychosocial model. The new phenomenon is called amigeist, characterized by immediate, intense soul-mate bonding, such as secure attachment with lifepartner potential. The larger themes were dynamic connection, intense emotions, astonishment, new behaviors, and passionate long-term relationships.
|Commitee:||Hartelius, Glenn, Heery, Myrtle|
|School:||California Institute of Integral Studies|
|Department:||Integral and Transpersonal Psychology|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 77/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Romance literature, Psychology, Spirituality|
|Keywords:||Altered states of consciousness, Amigeist, Extreme love, Immediate bonding, Passionate love, Romantic love|
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