Chapter 7 – Relationships.docx

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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 2100
Cindy Clarke

Chapter 7 – Relationships, Intimacy, and Communication The ABC(DE)’s of Romantic Relationships Social Exchange Theory: the view that the development of a relationship reflects the unfolding of social exchanges – that is, the rewards and costs of maintaining the relationship as opposed to those of ending it ABCDE Model: Levinger’s view, which approaches romantic relationships in terms of five stages: Attraction, Building, Continuation, Deterioration, and Ending  The internet has become one of the most popular places to meet potential dating and sexual partners  In a survey of gay an lesbian men on Ontario, 35% reported they had met a sexual partner online within the previous six months  By far the most common meeting place was the gay bar though  Men are more likely than women to go online to meet potential dating partners, women are more likely than men to sign up with introduction agencies  Numerous events focused on bringing singles together Small Talk Small Talk: a superficial kind of conversation that allows exchange of information but stresses breadth of topic coverage rather than in-depth discussion  Successful small talk encourages a couple to venture beneath the surface “Opening Line”: How to get things started  One kind of small talk is the greeting, or opening lone  We usually precede verbal greetings with eye contact and decide to begin talking if this eye contact is reciprocated Exchanging “Name, Rank, and Serial Number”  Early exchanges are likely to include name, occupation, marital status, and hometown  An unspoken rule seems to be at work: “If I provide you with some information about myself, you will reciprocate by giving me an equal amount of information about yourself” Self-Disclosure: the revelation of personal – perhaps intimate – information  Research suggests that we should refrain from disclosing certain types of information too rapidly if we want to make a good impression  Rapid self-disclosure seems to be something of a new norm when people meet in cyberspace  Cyberspace allows for relative anonymity and enables people to control what they want to reveal – to safeguard their privacy even as they increase their emotional closeness and openness  Self-disclosure may continue to build gradually through the course of a relationship as partners come to trust each other enough to share confidences and more intimate feelings  Women state that they are much more revealing about their sex lives on the web than they are in real life  Apparent disclosure is not always honest  Some people select information carefully to manipulate others, and even invent the stories they “disclose”  Men with higher scores on a test of psychotherapy were more likely t use deception both in sexual and nonsexual situations  These men were also more likely to have a history of unstable sexual relationships Sex Differences in Self-Disclosure  Women commonly declare that men are loath to express their feelings  Researchers find that masculine-typed individuals, whether male or female, tend to be less willing to disclose their feelings, perhaps in adherence to the traditional masculine stereotype  Students disclosed to their dating partners more about nonsexual than sexual issues and more about their sexual likes than their sexual dislikes  A key factor in the amount of disclosure was whether the partner was also disclosing  Those who were more open were more satisfied with their level of sexual communication, and ultimately with their sexual relationship  For men, there was a direct relationship between sexual disclosure and sexual satisfaction  For women, disclosing about nonsexual issues seemed to be more important  Those who felt guilty about their sexuality were less disclosing Sexual Initiation  Initiating sex is stereotypically considered to be the male’s role  Men initiated sex twice as often as did women  Men refused invitations to have sex proportionally as often as did the women  Women accepted sexual initiations as often as did the men  Men initiated sex more often than women  Invitations were mainly in the form of nonverbal gestures or indirect verbal offers  About half the women said they would directly ask their partner to have sex  The most common strategies which more than 90% said they would use, included arranging an opportunity to be alone with him, paying a lot of attention to him, and touching him affectionately  Next most common strategies, indicated by 70% or more of the women involved, were kissing him passionately, setting a romantic mood with candlelight and music, dressing in a seductive way, rubbing his back and shoulders, and letting their hands wander around his body Making A Commitment  Numerous studies find that men tend to be more reluctant than women to make commitments  In committed relationships a delicate balance between individuality and mutuality  Factors that can throw continuing relationships into a downward spiral include boredom  Some viewed boredom as a normal trade-off for so-called true love and long- term companionship  Other factors that contribute to the discontinuation of relationship include: evidence of negative evaluation (bickering, forgetting special dates like anniversaries or acting like they do not exist, etc), lack of fairness in the relationship, jealousy, and general dissatisfaction Jealousy  Evidence of jealousy is found in all cultures, although it may vary in amount and intensity across and within cultures  More common and intense among cultures with a stronger machismo tradition, in which the men are expected to display their virility  Powerful in cultures in which men view a women’s infidelity as a threat to their honour  Sexual jealousy is aroused when we suspect that an intimate relatio
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