Successful Relationships

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| 2012|
| Joseph Hickey
|

[Success of Intimate relationships]|
|

Relationships between humans are the most amazing and complex bonds amongst all living species. The verities of the types of relationships humans can have are limitless. Most people balance a multitude of different relationships simultaneously. Humans balance plutonic, romantic, and many other forms of family relationships in their everyday lives. Maintaining a multitude of relationships can be one of the most rewarding and stressful experiences in a human’s life. Romantic relationships are no exception; people go to great lengths to preserve such a connection. What makes the most optimal starting point to a successful relationship? What makes a romantic relationship both enduring and satisfying? There are a multitude of factors that play a part in the answers to these questions, and many different points of view.

There are many important factors when people meet to perpetuate a successful relationship. As stated by Myers, proximity is the most common way people meet one another and begin a relationship (Myers, 2011). People are often more likely to be attracted to those that frequent the same places, work within the same company, attend school, share socioeconomic status, and with which an education level is shared. Simply being near one another will increase the feelings towards one another; this is known as the mere-exposure effect or familiarity principle. Just meeting someone and being within proximity does not mean that two people will have a strong and satisfying romantic relationship with one another. A person’s personal history is a contributor to not only their own personal wellbeing but the likelihood that a romantic relationship will last. If a person grew up in a situation where their parents divorced, then they are twice as likely to divorce; if both participants in the relationship have divorced parents, then they are three times as likely to divorce themselves (Wolfinger, 2005). Age at the time of getting married is a key factor in whether a relationship will be successful or not. According to Wolfinger, half of all teenage marriages end in five years. He speculates that with the lack of age comes a lack of wisdom; this is possibly a subjective point of view.

Creating the ideal way to start a loving and satisfying relationship is a grandiose thought. While there is no realistic fool proof way to start such a companionship, there are ways to increase the likelihood that it will be successful. According Clair Dush (2009) of Ohio State University, the first and most important factor is that each partner should have realistic expectations when they begin a new relationship. This protects the health of a relationship because it prevents its participants from becoming disappointed if their significant other is not everything that they anticipated. Having the ability to effectively communicate ones emotions can be invaluable in any form of relationship. Effective communication is a learned behavior from the parental units, thus the importance of a strong family background (Wolfinger, 2005). Myers states that healthy loving attachments should all have mutual understanding, value and enjoyment of one another, and giving/receiving support (Myers, 2011). If a person did not experience these positive elements in their parental relationships they are less likely to have the ability to put forth these skills in their romantic relationships. According to Sigmund Freud (1920), and later refined by John Bowlby (1969), humans were born preprogrammed to bond with one very significant person; and that is the primary caregiver, most often a mother. The emotional attachment that grew between a child and their caregiver was the first interactive relationship of life. The bonding experienced determined how one would relate to other people throughout life; it established the foundation for all verbal and nonverbal communication in any future...
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