Developing Close
“The man who trusts no others doesn’t
trust himself.” --Napolean Hill
Development of a Relationship
• Becoming aware—our first impressions are the
points at which we tend to make judgments
about whether or not we will pursue a
• Making contact—mere exposure to another
person tends to increase the likelihood of a
relationship developing
• Disclosure—letting the other person know
about ourselves
• Psychology Today (1979): Qualities of a friend:
Keeps confidence (89%)
Loyalty (88%)
Warmth and Affection (82%)
Supportiveness (75%)
Honesty and frankness (73%)
Sense of humor (72%)
Willingness to make time for me (62%)
Independence (61%)
Good Conversationalist (59%)
Intelligence (58%)
• Trust
– How predictable is the individual?
– Can I depend upon her or him?
– Do I have faith in that person?
• Similarities—we tend to select friends who are
similar to us in many different aspects such as
ethnic background, social status, interests,
income level, occupation, education level, and
political preferences.
Finding Friendship
• If we remember that proximity is a major
factor in developing attraction, placing ourselves
in situations and places where we can find other
people with similar interests and needs will be
key to finding new friends.
Opposites Attract?
• While people who are our “opposite” are novel
and sometimes exciting, opposite interests,
backgrounds, etc. will eventually terminate a
• UNLESS, the needs of the other are
complementary to our needs—where one
person’s strengths compensate for the other
person’s weaknesses
Social Exchange Theory
• According to this theory, we tend to measure
our actions on a cost-benefit basis.
• In relationships, the cost and benefit are
measured in intangible or tangible resources—
intelligence, attractiveness, warmth, social status,
How to Win Friends and Influence
Dale Carnegie (1998) outlined six rules for winning
Become genuinely interested in people
Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and
most important sound in any language
Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about
Talk in terms of the other person’s interests
Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely
Dating and Mating
– Courtship—the process by which two people
decide to get together and stay together
– “These relationships are so important and we
are so vulnerable to the effects of rejection and
abandonment, that we experience many of our
greatest risks and joys in life through being part
of a couple.” (p. 279)
Major hurdles
– In our quest for love and intimacy, we face the
challenges of
– Recognizing what it takes to attract potential dates,
mates and friends
– Devising a strategy for meeting them
What do we do to make ourselves
– Flirting—nonverbal courtship signals
– This set of behaviors generally falls upon the female
and includes initial eye contact, gestures, body
orientation, primping, play behaviors (teasing,
mocking, joking, etc.)
– It is generally the male’s role to interpret and
respond to the flirting behavior
Love or Infatuation?
– In its simplest terms, love is “when satisfaction,
security and development of another person is
as important to you as your own satisfaction,
security, and development, love exists.” (Harry
Stack Sullivan, 1953)
– If you desire happiness for the other person to
such an extent that it is important, even if you
are not able to share in that happiness, this is
love. (Raymond Short, c. 1981)
Myths about Love
True love lasts forever
Love can conquer all
Love is a purely positive experience
When you fall in love, you’ll know it.
When love strikes, you have no control over
your behavior.
Love is
– Sternberg (1988) developed a theory that love
consists of three components:
– Passion—an intense physiological desire for another
– Intimacy—the feeling that one can share all one’s
thoughts and actions with another
– Commitment—the willingness to stay with a person
through thick and thin, or for better or worse, or in
sickness or health.
Triangular Model of Love
Liking—Intimacy alone
Empty Love—Commitment alone
Infatuation—Passion alone
Romantic Love—Intimacy+Passion
Companionate Love—Intimacy+Commitment
Fatuous Love—Passion+Commitment
Consummate Love—
Six Types of Love
– Game-playing—treating love like a game or sport
– Possessive—wanting to bind the partner to an
enduring relationship
– Logical—treating love as a practical, down to earth
– Altruistic—sacrificing for the sake of love; putting
another person’s happiness above your own
– Companionate—loving, affection, companionate, and
friendship that develops over time
– Exotic—sheer physical excitement and sexual pleasure
Love and Marriage
– Bad Love and Marriage choices (Deangelis,
– You care more about your partner than s/he does
about you (and vice versa)
– You are in love with your partner’s potential
– You are on a rescue mission
– You have partial compatibility
– You choose a partner to be rebellious
– Your partner is unavailable
Love and Marriage
– Psychology Today (1985) most important reasons
that marriages last
My spouse is my best friend
I like my spouse as a person
Marriage is a long-term commitment
Marriage is sacred
We agree on aims and goals
My spouse has grown more interesting
I want the relationship to succeed
Will it last?
– Happily married couples spend a lot of focused
time together
– They share many of the same values
– They are highly flexible
– Other factors
Age at time of marriage
Socioeconomic class
Length of courtship
Family background
– As we have explored, expectations are one of
the key predictors of happiness
– Realistic expectations about roles, marriage,
career, childrearing, etc. are keys to marital
Conflict and marriage
– Toxic negative emotions
– Five-to-One Ratio
– Successful communication is the cornerstone of
any relationship
How to have a happy relationship
Learn to Calm down
Validate Your Partner
Learn to Speak and Listen Non-Defensively
Practice, Practice Practice
– When one person has allowed another person’s
behavior (abuse, chemical addiction, etc.) to
affect him or her, and who is obsessed with
controlling that person’s behavior (Beattie, 2001)
– Codependency involves a habitual system of
thinking, feeling and behaving toward ourselves
or others that can cause us pain.
We depend on the other for our mood
We depend on the other for our own worth
We depend on the other for their love
We may appear strong but feel weak
We may appear to be in control but are actually
being controlled
Growing Apart
– According to Dr. Phil:
– First, do not ever make life-changing decisions in the
midst of emotional turmoil
– Second, if you are going to quit, you earn the right
to quit (McGraw, 2000)
Divorce Predictors
– Your marriage will have a greater chance of
lasting if:
You marry after age 22
You grow-up in a stable, two-parent home
You dated for a long time prior to marriage
You are well and similarly educated
You have a stable income from a job you enjoy
You do not cohabit or become pregnant before
– You are religiously committed
– You are of similar age, faith and education
Divorce Grief
– Divorce, like any other loss, brings with it grief
– Losses/changes include:
Loss of emotional support
Loss/change in social ties
Loss/change in socioeconomic status
Loss of hopes and dreams for the future
Gay Relationships
– The dynamics within a gay relationship are not
different than those in heterosexual relationships
– However, negative social attitudes, prejudice and
discrimination effect the ways that relationships
develop and are lived.

Developing Close Relationships