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Chapter 9: Escalating Relationships 5 Characteristics of Escalating Relationships: - Interaction increases - Partners gain knowledge of one another -

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 9: Escalating Relationships 5 Characteristics of Escalating Relationships: - Interaction increases - Partners gain knowledge of one another -"— Presentation transcript:


2 Chapter 9: Escalating Relationships

3 5 Characteristics of Escalating Relationships: - Interaction increases - Partners gain knowledge of one another - Partners become more skilled at predicting each other’s behavior - Partners increase their investments - Warmth, liking, loving, a sense of caring, commitment, and trust increase Relationship escalation moves partners from social relationships to personal involvements. Communication is the primary instrument used for relational initiation and escalation.

4 Some Disadvantages of ER’s: Note: Not all people want to escalate relationships. Reasons: - Personal exposure - Fear of abandonment - Fear of angry attacks - Loss of control over the situation - Fear your own destructive impulses

5 Interpersonal Attraction: the Catalyst of Escalation Interpersonal attraction – the various forces that draw people together; involves emotional responses, beliefs, & evaluations; Interpersonal attraction is a learned response. Dimensions of Interpersonal Attraction: - Physical Beauty – defined by cultural standards - communication & beauty - couples matched in beauty

6 Dimensions of Interpersonal Attraction Continued… -Supportiveness -Cognitive Class: Attitude Similarity – aka homogamy; “birds of a feather flock together” “Opposites attract” is true when discussing interpersonal needs. -Sociability: Communication Behaviors – these are the specific interaction behaviors tied to interpersonal attraction: -Sensitivity – conveying a feeling of trust -Confidence – expressing oneself well verbally -Talkativeness -Flirtatiousness (immediacy)

7 Increasing Intimacy/Behaviors That Communicate Liking and Intimacy - Involvement and immediacy – signaling interest in a particular interaction & psychological closeness. - Affection, attraction, liking & love – people in love spend more time gazing into each other’s eyes (mutual gaze) and at close range. Arousal is also indicated by pupil dilation. Relational Development Processes Developing Relationships On-Line – Most relationships initiated on-line are friendships, although about 10% are romantic.

8 Relationship Readiness/Prerequisites – openness & psychological readiness Reasons for forming relationships: -Similarity thesis – “We are alike in many ways.” -Need fulfillment thesis – “We need things from each other.” -Social Exchange Theory & Social Penetration Theory – “This relationship is a good arrangement for us.”– how individuals reveal information about themselves according to the dimensions of breadth (number of topics) and depth (how personal). Rewards are compared against Costs: if C > R = the relationship is not pursued -Investment thesis – “I just care deeply about the other.” -Proximity thesis – “The relationship just happened.”

9 Stages of Relational Escalation/ Coming Together (movement throughout these can be: forward or backward, fast or slow, sequential or not sequential.) Initiating – coming into contact with someone; “Hi…I’m a Libra.” This is the most difficult stage. Purpose – inaugurate; to begin; to initiate communication. Communication – conversational openers, unpredictable, awkward.

10 Stages of Coming Together Continued… Experimenting – auditioning for the future: “Do you ski?” “I’m a waitress.” Most relationships do not get beyond this stage. Purpose – discover the unknown, find commonalities, audition for future, reduce uncertainty, maintain sense of community. Communication – small talk More precise information about the partner’s personality and worldview become important as the relationship progresses.

11 Stages of Coming Together Continued… Intensifying – explore more intimate aspects of other; “I want to date you.” Purpose – growth of the relationship, risk-taking, develop uniqueness in the relationship Communication – self-disclosure, private verbal/nonverbal messages. Integrating – merger into a singular identity; “We’re a couple!” Principle peak of the relationship. Euphoric stage. This stage does not last without conscientious action by both parties. Relationship maintenance becomes essential. Purpose – commitment; interpersonal synchrony Communication – commitment and intimacy talk

12 Stages of Coming Together Continued… Bonding – “Let’s get married.” A form of public bonding takes place (engagement.) Developing skills and communication strategies to maintain their relationship in a healthy way is key. Purpose – formal, public contract, seals future Communication – commitment and intimacy talk

13 Research on Relationship Escalation -Relationships are not usually linear -Relationships grow in intimacy to a point, then subside as the relationship becomes stable -Intimate communication is highest in the six to nine week range -Intimate messages tend to subside toward the end of the escalation process -Seriously dating and marriage bound participants touch each other more than married people -Couple become less satisfied with their relationship during their first year of marriage -Relational escalation is marked by ebbs and flows

14 Turning Points - Any event or occurrence that is associated with change in a relationship. -Events such as: whether to commit, a death in the family or making up after a separation can significantly affect the escalation of the relationship. - Most turning points help couples escalate toward commitment.

15 Love Liking – affection and respect Love – attachment, caring and intimacy Gender differences & Love: Women vs. Men Types of Love: Aesthetic love – love of beauty; passionate Companion love Obsessive love – addictive, jealous Realistic love – logical Playful love – love is a game Altruistic love – unselfish

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