Love Relationships: The Space for Self-Making
Self-construction is risky. How can we know that we’re doing it well? Is there anywhere in social life where the “trying on” of different Selves and social identities is systematically fostered and provided protection against public exposure, until “show time”? Is there anywhere to practice the activity of Self-construction, to fail (where we must) safely? Private locations are a necessity (and of course privacy is required for much more than secrecy). But more important are the safe harbors of love relationships. In this chapter we explore, in micro-sociological terms, the space for exercise of social freedom created by dyadic relationships. They are the primary manufactories of Selves, the places where freedom is most powerfully leavened.