George Levinger's Definition of Close Relationships and How It's Changed Today

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“What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility.” -George Levinger, 1976
In 1977, George Levinger, a successful psychologist who specialized in close relationships, conflict, and group behavior, examined interpersonal relationships and what is needed to make one successful. He defined a successful close relationship containing five components; 1) frequent interaction, 2) between spatially near partners, 3) who share significant common goals, 4) exchange personal disclosures, and 5) care deeply about one another. His definition of interpersonal relationships is one part social, one part physical, and three parts psychological. Although I agree with the components of his definition, I believe that in the world we live in today there are more factors that play a part in determining if the relationship is successful or not. In the frantic lives that we live in family, friends, and lovers are more important than ever and play a crucial role in everything from our development of self identity to self esteem, and the way that we cope with increasing stress in our lives. In addition to Levingers components of a close relationship there are so many other parts of our lives that influence our relationships, and with the technology that has been introduced to us an interpersonal relationship can now exist without having to be physically close to one another.

Since 1977, peoples everyday lives have accumulated more stress and crisis than ever. Money problems, failure, children, increasing demands of work, consumerism, second jobs and physical fitness play a significant role on our relationships. In order to have a flourishing interpersonal relationship today, friends, families, and lovers have to be able to cope with other parts of our demanding lifestyle. In older times, friendships and other close relationships were a shelter or get away from stress and today they seem to be a common source of stress....
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