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Friday, January 27, 2012

Intimate Relationships

Hard as it is to study intimate relationships objectively, social psychyologists have been able to learn much about the more intimate processes of love and intimate communication. Significant work includes theories of love, communication processes, and the importance of equity in close relationships.
Theories Of Love 

An early theory of love sought to distinguish it from “mere” liking. This 
likng versus lovingapproach studied the ratings people gave their best friends and their lovers on a variety of qualities. Results of this work suggested that li
king and loving are both attitudes that involve different dimensions. Liking consists of feelings of affection and respect, and perceptions that the other person is trustworthy and similar to oneself. Loving consists of attachment, intimacy and caring. Most of the time these attitudes are intermeshed: we like the people we love, and we somewhat love the people we like. An important finding was that the future of a relationship depends more on likeing than loving. People who love each other but do no like each other are not likely to stay together. This suggests that friendship is the most solid foundation for any more intimate relationship.
Another theory of love distinguishes between companionate love and passionate love.Companionate love is the love of deep friendship, while passionate love is the intense, emotional, labile experience we associate with “falling” in love. Researchers suggests that passionate love is doomed to be temporary; it may be an elaborate form of “stress response” which lessens as lovers get used to each other. While companionate love does not seem as romantic as passionate love, it tends to endure and satisfy partners over more time and in more ways. 

Finally, an interesting theory of love is Robert Sternberg’s triarchic theory of love. In Sternberg’s theory, the three dimensions of love are passion, intimacy, and commitment.Different combinations of these three dimensions make up different kinds of love, like empty love, infatuation and consummate love.
Research repeatedly points to the critical role of communication in establishing and maintaining intimate relationships. Inadequate communication may leave individuals feeling unknown and lonely. Distorted or one-sided communication is self-disclosure.
A critical process in communication is self-disclosure. In communicating with each other, verbally and nonverbally, two people disclose information about themselves to each other. As people get to know each other better, it is important that they disclose more and more personal and relevant information. For example, if a couple have been dating for 18 months but still converse about only “safe” subjects like sports and the weather, their relationship is not intimate and it is not progressing. It is also important that self-disclosure be reciprocated. That is, bothe partners must communicate on levels of similar depth. For example, if one partner wants to confide feelings of insecurity, the other partner must respond sensitively instead of changing the subject and talking about something superficial. 

One of the most important findings in relationships research has been the value of equity or fairness. When partners are both contributing to a relationship (eg. money, sex, housekeeping), they should both reap the benefits (eg. security, comfort, pleasure). If one partner is contributing more than his or her share, but they get the same benefits, the overdoer will see the relationship as inequitable. Some theorists have argued that all relationship breakups can ultimately be traced to inequity.

“I am.” is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
I am – What?
The shortest sentence in the English language is both a statement and a question.
The shortest sentence in the English language is one of, if not THE most important question that you will ever answer.
God told Moses His name is “I am.”
God knew who he was.
We usually become that which we envision ourselves to be. It’s a short question with a long answer. It’s a short statement with a life long impact.
I am Yes, you are. What? That’s up to you. 

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