Formation and Maintenance of Relationship

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Describe and evaluate the formation and maintenance of relationships

In the field of psychology, the most common relationships are classified into 3 types: * Romantic relationship
* Social relationships (Friendship)
* Family relationship

Romantic relationships
According to the Reward/ Need satisfaction theory of Bryne and Clore in the 1970s, some romantic relationship may develop due to their satisfaction and happiness they achieve when spending time with the other partner. Most people when being asked why they are attracted to their partners would reply back with answers like attentive, attractive, supporting, caring, etc. This suggests that we are more likely to be attracted to people that we are satisfied or gratified to be with. Most stimuli in our lives can be classified into negative and rewarding ones. We tend to search for rewarding stimuli and avoid the negative stimuli. The things that we are most likely going to find rewarding tend to reflect our unsatisfied needs such as the need for company, financial security, an attractive partner and so on. Mutual attractions usually occurs when one meets the other’s needs although one might need company and the other in search for financial security.

What keeps relationships going? Some relationship never seem to last and have any passion in while some can be extremely long-lasting and may even last for a life-time. Maintaining relationships was never a one-way process, it involves and requires the interaction of both the participants, each with their own needs and expectations. The partners not only have to serve their own needs but also satisfy the needs of their partners. The social exchange theory by Thibaut and Kelley in 1959:

In terms of profit and loss, individuals always attempt to maximise the profit and minimise the effort needed. Rewards that may be received in a relationship can vary from care, money, companionship and sex. The effort needed that is the...
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