Love The Basic Strength of Young Adulthood

Love, the basic strength of young adulthood emerges from the crisis of intimacy versus isolation. Erikson (1968, 1982) defined love as mature devotion that overcomes basic differences between men and women. Although love includes mthnacy, it also contains some degree of isolation, because each partner is permitted to retain a separate identity. Mature love means commitment, sexual passion, cooperation, competition, and friendship. It is the basic strength of young adulthood enabling a person to cope productively with the final two stages of development.

The antipathy of love is exclusivity, the core pathology of young adulthood. Some exclusivity, however, is necessary for mthnacy; that is, a person must be able to exclude certam people, activities, and ideas hi order to develop a strong sense of identity. Exclusivity becomes pathological when it blocks ones ability to cooperate, compete, or compromise—all prerequisite ingredients for intimacy and love.

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