RUNNING HEAD: The Strengths of a Close Relationship
Athena C. Rivera
The Strength of a Close Relationship
California State University, Long Beach
Through out life, we cross paths with thousands of people and many of these paths lead to different types of relationships. Some may be undeveloped, inspiring, intimate, or some relationships may not even last. Therefore, the relationships we have always have society thinking, what is a close relationship? And, what is it that makes our associations close and strong? Interpersonal relationships are formed in the context of social, cultural and other influences. Some of the universal traits that form in close relationships include; love, friendship, compatibility, trust, acceptance, communication, openness, respect, understanding and commitment. From the relationships that are growing in today’s generation with social media, location, and even early development, these universal traits are changing, and each relationship will always have its differences and each will have its strengths in creating close relationships. Through my personal experiences, I have been able to experience different relationships with a lot of people. Some of them are still in my life today, various relationships may not be as strong, and others are still around, but the ones that I consider close are with the people who are committed to me and who share intimacy, experiences, trust and values. Everybody goes through different trials and errors when finding a close, healthy relationship and this is why there are many different views on what is good and what is bad in a relationships. But society, textbooks, the media, and culture have their own opinions on what a close relationship is and what it involves.
For our AWARE class assignment, our class results helped us acknowledge different areas of relationships, such as, strengths, growth areas and relationships dynamics. There were many high percentages on what the class feels is important for successful relationships. The three areas that I am interested in are, communication and intimacy, stress and family problems, and sexual intimacy.
Communication and intimacy had a student average of 68% and for professionals the numbers came out to be 92%. These two elements go hand in hand when producing a healthy relationship. According to the textbook, Marriage and Families; Intimacy, Diversity, and Strengths, “Communication is the way humans create one of a handful of essential skills individuals must master if they are to enjoy close relationships.” (pg.104) Communication is known to be the foundation on which many other elements are built on and without communication; intimacy cannot be seriously developed. There are many communication strengths that create a happy relationship and the class average agrees that this element helps couples satisfy with how they talk. Being patient in all of your communication is important for any close relationship. One of the biggest obstacles to communication is when one or both people become defensive and reactive when they hear their partner share what they need more or less have. Making a real effort to be patient when you hear your partner communicate their needs to you builds a good foundation. If not it creates an unsafe place for couples to share, which will cause people to stop sharing. Communicating for better intimacy is an ongoing process, not a one-time conversation and this is something we notice in all the relationships that we go through in our lives.
Stress and family problems also had a 92% with professionals in influencing a close relationship. The stress that people go through in early child hood could have a strong impact on how their view relationships in there own life later on. If a child is growing up in broken home with inconsistent family, watching their parents fight, going through divorce, abuse or any other negative...
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