Romantic Relationships

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Romantic Relationships

It is said that love is the most profound emotion known to human beings. Every day people fall in love, commit into relationships and fall out of them. Romantic relationships are one of the most unique types of interpersonal relationships, they're different from any other. Love can be the most amazing feeling, but it can also being the most heart break. Learning how to manage a romantic relationship is key if you plan to maintain a healthy one. Interpersonal communication on this level differs from communication with a friend or acquaintance. It takes more time and patience. However, if you put the work in, you can reap the most rewarding benefits.

Like anything, there are stages to developing a relationship. The first stage is the initiating stage. This is where two people first meet and exchange first impressions. This is an important stage because this is where the two decide if they wish to further their communication. This is generally where the most shallow interaction occurs. They say not to judge a book by it's cover, but let's be honest, physical attractiveness when first meeting someone is key. The next stage is called the experimenting stage. In this stage partners look for similarities. They seek common ground on which to build a relationship. Partners can reveal parts of their personalities in this stage which is important. The communication in this stage is generally relaxed, uncritical and noncommittal. The next stage is called the intensifying stage. This is where partners make initial move to greater their involvement. The use of nicknames or endearing gestures become apparent. Pronouns like we or us begin to be used. Self-disclosure also increases. The next stage is called the integrating stage. In this stage, the individuals become a couple publicly. The couples social circles merge and attitudes and interests are shared. The integrating stage allows couples to become fully indulged in one another, they almost become a part of the other person. There are various obstacles the couple endures to test each others commitment. The final stage to building a relationship is the bonding stage. This is the stage where a public ritual will legitimize the relationship. This mean some sort of commitment ceremony like marriage would occur.

In every relationship, relational maintenance is key. Maintenance involves certain strategies that keep two individuals relationship at a desired level. There are several different types of strategies and what might work for one couple may not necessarily work for another. The five most identified include positivity, openness, assurance, networks, and task sharing. Using positivity includes being patient and optimistic with each other. It also is important to refrain from criticizing one another and build up each others self esteems. Openness involves opening up to one another. This means having good communication and discussing feelings and what each person needs. Assurance is all about indicating each others commitment to one another and demonstrating their faithfulness. The couple must talk in ways that show they believe the relationship has a future. Networks is referring to spending time with each other's families and mutual friends. Finally, task sharing refers to taking a joint partnership. This means both individuals taking responsibility for the relationship and helping equally with tasks that need to be done.

There are essentially 5 elements to a healthy relationship. These elements include good communication, respect, reciprocity, realistic expectations, and intimacy. Good communication is all about being able to discuss everything openly in the relationship. Each individual should feel comfortable to discuss any kind of feelings or issues. Each person should take the time to listen and not react rashly to their partners thoughts. Respect refers to the way the couple speaks to each other and how they speak about each other to...
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