DATE: Thursday, February 14, 2013
TIME: 11:15 a.m
PLACE: Studio, Lambert Road campus
CANDIDATE: Tarin Frances Olson
DISSERTATION TITLE: "An Exploration of Authentic Flirting Within Romantic Marriage "
PROGRAM-TRACK/YEAR: PhD-O; 2007
CHAIR: Dr. Oksana Yakushko
READER: Dr. Lisa Sloan
EXTERNAL READER: Dr. Donald Marcus
Olson, T. (2013). An Exploration of Authentic Flirting Within Romantic Marriage (Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2013)
The promise of a thriving marriage evades many; thus, the research endeavored to explore how a passionate relationship can be created. A depth psychological, qualitative methodology of descriptive phenomenology was used to discover the experience of authentic flirting within the context of long term, romantic marriage. The main question investigated was, “Does authentic flirting offer a portal to emotional intimacy and lead to sustained romantic love?” Authentic flirting was a new term introduced in this research and not found in the literature review. Authentic flirting is a conscious choice made with the desire to create a deep, emotional connection for a more meaningful relationship.
Traditional flirting or non-verbal courting gestures, such as, a light touch or a smile with a toss of the hair, has a variety of motives and may be expressed for play, sport, seduction, or serious mating intentions, where as, authentic flirting is expressed for love. Authentic flirting is defined as an affectionate, creative, or playful action for connecting emotionally and sexually with another person. The motive is to lovingly see and be seen by a partner through expressing spontaneously a combination of curiosity, play, humor, or flirting gestures for increased emotional intimacy.
Six participants, four females and two males, ages 40 through 62, and married from 10 to 40 years, were interviewed regarding their experiences with authentic flirting within their marriages. The six themes discovered through analysis of the transcripts were embodying positive qualities, giving and receiving affection, expressing humor, being playful, sincerely seeing the person, and experiencing the vital force.
The evidence of this research illustrated that authentic flirting is an important and significant experience which creates joy and vibrancy within a marriage; therefore, a paradigm shift from the more common, utilitarian marriage to a passionate, romantic marriage is possible. Consequently, integrating the ideas of authentic flirting into the clinical setting may enhance the effectiveness of therapy and ultimately happiness in marriage.
Key Words: authentic flirting, marriage, love, vital force, happiness in marriage.Please note: All oral defense attendees must shuttle from the Best Western Hotel in Carpinteria.