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Attraction, Relationships and Communication

Psychologists have long been tracing how people are attracted to each other and how they fall in love and build their relationships. Building and, especially, maintaining love relationships is extremely complicated (Oslie, 2007). Future partners are chosen based on their attractive attributes; if their further relations contain all the necessary love components, they start going through different stages and, if successful, never reach the last one.

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Numerous traits are taken into account when regarding a partner as attractive. Since the impressions people have about each other are mostly visual (Nevid & Rathus, 2005), what is looked for at the attraction stage is prepossessing appearance. Opinions about this appearance differ due to people’s attitudes towards beauty and attractiveness (Malakh-Pines, 2005). Despite this, there still exist attributes that are considered universally attractive. Some of such attributes are a good mood and a smile. In some cases, these attributes can completely change the original impression about a person and he/she will be attractive to the partner irrespective of possible problems with appearance. Media and, correspondingly, people who trust it have a large influence on the concept of beauty; they impose on the society certain beauty standards which are hard to follow but, according to which people start evaluating each other. This is why, though the sense of beauty is primarily intrinsic, it becomes learned in modern society.

Building the relationship starts if the partners’ attractiveness matches. At the beginning of the relationship, people start falling in love with each other. According to Robert Sternberg, there exist three basic components of love, namely, intimacy, passion, and commitment (Nevid & Rathus, 2005). The essence of Sternberg’s theory of love consists in that combinations of these components result in different kinds of love. For instance, romantic love includes passion and intimacy, companionate love involves intimacy and commitment, fatuous love is a combination of passion and commitment, and consummate love includes all three components and is hardly attainable (Nevid & Rathus, 2005). When the partners fall in love with each other, their relationships start developing rapidly.

George Levinger has distinguished five stages during which people’s relationships develop. He called this an ABCDE model of relations. In this model A stands for an attraction stage when people meet each other, B is a building stage where the relations start forming, C is a continuation stage where trust, caring, and mutuality develop, D is a deterioration stage when the relationship starts being perceived a not worthwhile, and E is ending when the partners break up. During passing through these stages, the relations may be influenced by such factors as jealousy, equity, trust, mutuality, investment of time and effort, etc (Nevid & Rathus, 2005). Thus, positive factors which can influence the continuation of relationships can be the absence of jealousy, mutual satisfaction, and equity, while avoiding the deterioration stage can be possible through investing time and efforts into the relationships and working at their improvement.

Taking into account all the abovementioned facts, one of the careers in psychology became attractive to me most of all. This is a career of social (or personality) psychologist. This career is of my greatest interest because it will allow me to learn more about the ways people build their families and improve these ways as well (O’Hara, 2005). To attain this career, I need to identify my short-term and long-term goals. Thus, my short-term goal will be to learn more about the psychology of human relations, while my long-term goal will be to improve my knowledge in order to help people build their relations properly.

Reference List

Malakh-Pines, A. (2005). Falling in love: Why We Choose the Lovers We Choose. London: CRC Press.

Nevid, J.S. & Rathus, S.A. (2005). Psychology and the Challenges of Life: Adjustment in the New Millennium. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

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O’Hara, S. (2005). What Can You Do with Major in Psychology? New Jersey: Wiley Publishing, Inc.

Oslie, P. (2007). Love Colors: A New Approach to Love, Relationships, and Auras. London: New World Library.

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