Happy in love

Oct 052004
Authors: Jennifer Johnson

The positive effects of having a strong, loving relationship may

help to increase students’ motivation, and establish a happy,

healthy lifestyle.

Jacqueline Voss, a clinical psychologist at the University

Counseling Center, said students could definitely benefit from the

positive qualities that love has to offer.

“Although there are many different types of love and

relationships, a good, strong relationship can help add to

self-esteem, less depression and more productivity,” Voss said.

Alicia Valdez, a freshman animal science major, believes true

love is beneficial.

“There is definitely a difference between those who are in love

and those who aren’t,” Valdez said. “If you have someone who loves

and supports you, it seems to help with your everyday life.”

Valdez said that those experiencing the emotions of love seem

happier all around and seem to have a better attitude and

understanding for others.

“I just think that love makes you want to go the extra mile,”

Valdez said.

However, because there are different types of love and

relationships, it is difficult to study the effects of love. Voss

said that despite this obstacle, some interesting studies do


“(Yale) Psychologist Robert Steinberg’s belief is that love is

made up of three components: passion, intimacy and commitment. He

feels that passion draws us together and builds early in the

relationship, while intimacy and commitment evolve much more

slowly, but are better predictors of happy, long-lasting

relationships,” Voss said.

Voss said there is evidence to show that love is important.

“Psychologists, who work at places like the University

Counseling Center, are very aware of the impact of both a bad

relationship and the loss of a romantic relationship because it is

one of the most common reasons that people seek our help,” Voss


Along with the positive aspects of being in love, sometimes it

could make other things in life seem less important.

“I do think that having a loving relationship makes you happier

and the atmosphere brighter,” said Ryan Brewer, a junior political

science major.

However, while Brewer feels that the aspects of love can create

a more positive lifestyle, he also knows that it could have a

negative effect on students as well.

“You may be more apt to do things and feel more energetic and

productive, but you may also want to spend time with (a romantic

interest) instead of going to class or doing school work,” he


Voss feels the way people are affected by love depends on the

quality of the relationship. She said it is good to strive for a

strong relationship, whether friendly or romantically, that will

help both individuals maintain a healthy life.

“Being in love is exciting and fun,” Voss said. “There is a

feeling of passion and warmth, and it is healthy to have this type

of connection.”

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