Copyright © 2007-2018 Russ Dewey
Summary: Different Sorts of Relationships
Classic work on friendship by Theodore Newcomb proposed four factors that might lead to a friendship. The most powerful is proximity, also called propinquity (the coincidence of being close).
For example, students who live near each other in a dorm are likely to become friends. Reciprocity (liking someone who likes you) is also well documented as promoting friendship.
When Anderson had students select which of 555 adjectives would describe a good friend, a collection of characteristics emerged that might be called reliability or authenticity. Good friends are dependable and honest.
Good-looking people also have an advantage; people rate them as more likable even when they are strangers. The matching hypothesis suggests that people are attracted to those who are approximately as attractive as themselves.
Infatuation or limerence is a powerful chemical reaction occurring early in relationships. Reports of love at first sight express limerence, although these are retrospective self-reports and probably very selectively reported, with enhancements.
J. A. Lee defined six varieties of love. Eros is romantic and passionate; this is the type found most frequently in happy long-term marriages. Ludus is a game-playing or uncommitted love; storge is a slow developing, friendship-
Sex and aggression are tied together by the effects of hormones. Steroids increase both sexual and aggressive impulses.
A monkey that wins a fight for dominance secretes more testosterone, adds muscle mass, and mates more often. Tennis players who won matches in a tournament were found to have increases in testosterone.The
Erich Fromm described a pattern he called psychological sadism, visible when one person dominates and humiliates the other on a regular basis, in a relationship. Some writers argue that a masochistic or teasing role is natural for human females; others find that idea an appalling example of sexism in our culture.
The jealous male, especially one who dominates or threatens violence in a relationship, is typically a person with low self-esteem. A troubled family background is also typical in males who combat insecurity with a domineering attitude.
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