Last Updated 13 Jan 2021

Relationships and Attraction

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From the beginning on time, being around others makes us feel affiliated. It is human nature to form relationships with people who attract us. As human beings, there has always been a desire to form relationships. The lack of relationships and bonds with other individuals can lead to negative feelings, such as loneliness. In order to figure out the need to form bonds we must analyze the benefits and factors of attraction and relationships. There are six factors that describe attraction. The mere exposure happens when we are around someone or something so much, we grow fond of it.

For example, you go to training classes for your new positions for the next 4 weeks. When you are hired you are more likely to hang around the people who sat closest to you during your weeks of training. We are more attracted to individuals who are attractive. In a study that evaluated attraction bias and the effect it had on hiring managers, 112 managers were given four potential candidates resume and pictures to go over. The managers chose candidates who were more attractive (Marlowe, Schneider,& Nelson, 1996). We are attracted to individuals that we can relate to.

For example, advocates for PETA and a person who works on a slaughter farm are less likely to be associated with each other. Along with being attracted to those we relate to, we are also attracted to individuals we look like. For example, in a room full of Hipics and Blacks, Hipics are more likely to mingle with Hipics; the same with black individuals. We are less likely to befriend someone of another culture because of the factor, we are more attracted to individuals we look like. Feenstra also suggest we like individuals who are had to get because “they are selective in their social choices” (Feenstra, 2011, Ch. 3. 1, “We like Those Who Are Hard to Get”). If we can form a bond with this individual, it can possibly boost our self esteem because of the exclusivity of the relationship. Humans are more likely to be attracted to individuals they can benefit from. This involves equity. Equity in relationships is receiving back from your partner what you put in. A relationship can be under-benefited or over-benefited. Under-benefited relationships involve someone giving more than receiving; and an over-benefited relationship involves receiving more from your partner than giving (Feenstra,2011).

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Bonds and relationships are natural instincts we as humans want to have. We have an innate need to belong. The need for frequent positive contact and the need for enduring connections marked by mutual concern for the welfare of the other are two parts of the need to belong theory (Feenstra, 2011). Our social bond, emotions, and fear of deprivation are all connected to our need to belong. Positive emotions stem from relationships we have with others. Not being able to form relationships and bonds with others may lead to negative emotions.

Social bonds are formed quickly and easily (Feenstra, 2011). For example, you go to a job interview and before the interview you are waiting with a group of people also waiting to get interviewed. You are more likely to end up talking to someone who is sitting next to you. We need contact and attention from others so that we do not feel deprived. Mental illnesses and depression stem from deprivation. Love is a word that is often spoken, and has many different definitions. For example, I love the Atlanta Falcons versus I am in love with Johnny Depp. There are three types of love.

Being in love suggest having a desire for someone. There are three types of love, they include: companionate love, compassionate love, and passionate love. Companionate love involves intimacy and commitment. This love can be described as a love you may have for friends and family members. . Trust and past shared experiences contribute to companionate love. Passionate love describes the “in love” kind of love and involves desire, emotional arousal, and physical attraction (Feenstra, 2011). For example, a man decides to ask his girlfriend to marry him because he is in love with her.

Compassionate love describes the love you may feel for your mother. This love is broken into two parts: communal relationships and exchange relationships. In communal relationships things are done for an individual without expecting something in return. In exchange relationships things are done based on whether or not something will be given in exchange. Communal relationships are ones we more likely will have with our friends and family members. For example, if your child is sick you will take care of him or her regardless if they will give you anything back in return.

Communal relationships deal with people who aren’t apart of your close friends and family social circle. In Figure 14. 1, Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love distinguishes romantic love from empty love. Sternberg’s theory describes romantic love as passionate and having intimacy . Empty love is described as having only commitment (Feenstra, 2011). Along with these two theories, Sternberg also lists other different components of love. Intimacy, passion, and commitment are all components that make up the kinds of love listed in the table. Intimacy is the closeness you may have with an individual.

Its about opening up emotionally and trust. Passion is the emotional desire you have for you partner. Commitments are the decisions we make within relationships. For example, a decision to move to another state along with your partner after they accept a job offers shows your level of commitment to the relationship. We stay healthy by forming bonds with others. When we are deprived we risk depression and other mental illnesses that can have lasting effects on ourselves and others around us. The benefits of relationships show us why we form bonds with other individuals.

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