This journal article aimed to focus on the framing love of when it hurts to think we were made for each other. In this journal article, two different studies were conducted to focus on thinking about conflicts with one’s partner hurts more with the unity (vs. journey) frame in mind, whether the frames of love are activated within the relational context using linguistic expressions or in an unrelated context using physical cues.
In the first study, it was found that if the conflicts are more important than celebrations, thinking the unity frame in mind hurts the relationship satisfaction. This means that the metaphorical framing effects are related to the framed contents, and it is different from the metaphorical transfer effects. Metaphorical transfer involves the transfer of attributes from one domain to another, such as warmth to affection (Williams ; Bargh, 2008).The study also found that the priming warmth brings a feeling of affection, while priming unity enhances a feeling of perfect match with one’s partner and also strengthen one’s relationship satisfaction, no matter it is positive or negative relational incidents are brought to mind. But when priming unity emerges, facing with the conflicts, it diminishes the relationship satisfaction, and persistent with the philosophy of metaphorical framing that involves the frame application to a content domain. And the frame application also specify that love frames only affect the judgement of targets which are appropriate to them such as relationship, but not the targets which are inappropriate to them such as life. This study can be proven by 73 pedestrians in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan, who had been in a relationship for at least half a year, participated in a study on long-term romantic relationships. They were randomly assigned to 2 categories (exposure to unity vs. journey metaphor) and (recall of conflicts vs. celebrations) between subjects conditions. They first completed a brief knowledge quiz by indicating whether they had ever heard of 5 linguistic expressions; 3 expressions primed either unity (we are one, my better half, made for each other) or journey (we’ve walked together, a long trail, look how far we’ve come) and 2 were fillers (cross your fingers, drink like a fish). Then they recalled and wrote down “2 things you and your partner fought over” or “celebrated.” Next, they rated “How satisfied are you with your romantic relationship?” and “How satisfied are you with your life in general?” (1 = very dissatisfied, 11 = very satisfied). However, there are 8 participants failed to write down 2 fights or 2 celebrations; 1 used ratings beyond the scale range and joked about the questions.
In the first part of second study, it was found that cues of unity and journey can change the relational significances of a conflict without altering the impression of conflict itself. Besides, the linguistic expressions within a relational context or non-social cues without a relational context can be used to start up the unity and journey frames. This can be proven by 172 students at the University of Toronto participated in a study on relationship evaluation. They were randomly assigned to 2 categories (physical cues of unity vs. journey metaphor) and (relevance vs. irrelevance of metaphor to relationship) between subjects conditions. In the relevance condition, the experimenter began by saying, “I’m pilot testing a study for my class project. This study looks at people’s mentalities, especially how their mentalities get applied to relationships. It’s very short, just about 5 minutes.” In the irrelevance condition, the experimenter said, “I’m pilot testing a couple of studies for my two class projects. One class is on basic perception, and the other class is on social relationship. They’re very short, just about 5 minutes in total.” Upon consent, participants either identified pairs of matched shapes that form a unified whole (unity cues) or chose between pairs of routes to reach an exotic, unfamiliar destination (journey cues).
In the second part of second study, it was also found that thinking about journey frame hurts less compared to relational conflicts in mind with the unity. The frames can be applied in a way that is not associated to relationships or within a relational context. Besides, the frames can be initiated through non-social and pictorial cues or the linguistic expressions from metaphorical framing (Landau, Sullivan, ; Greenberg, 2009; Morris, Sheldon, Ames, ; Young, 2007). When the frames are available and appropriate to target such as relationship, they affect the judgement. This can be proven by 92 students at the University of Toronto with dating experience participated in a study on relationship evaluation. They either identified pairs of matched shapes that form unified whole (unity cues) or toured mazes from point A to point B (journey cues). Then they completed the same relationship evaluation task as in the first part of second study. Participants also rated how easy (0 = very difficult, 10 = very easy) and fun (0 = very boring, 10 = very fun) the matching or maze task was. However, there are 3 participants did not complete all the matches or mazes; 1 guessed the experiment’s purpose; 1 did not answer the questions seriously.