Why do close relationships matter and how do they form?
Hello, everyone. I hope that you’re having a great week as we move towards the ‘most wonderful of the year’ once again.
Today’s post is on the social psychology of close relationships.
(This information or lecture notes I’m hoping to make into the 2nd edition of my Psychology of Human Relationship book in January or February 2020)
Let’s get started then…
Close relationships whether sexual or not are the centre of human existence and all humans have the fundamental need to affiliate. (Baurester and Leary, 1995)
Furthermore, generally speaking, humans are preoccupied with this idea of forming close relationships.
This I fully believe because I and many others will agree that even if you are introverted and want a lot of alone time. It is still good to have people to turn to and even in the company of others can be positive.
Therefore, it is not surprising that having a lack of close relationships can have a number of downsides as it could lead to feelings of:
· Anger and aggression
Overall, close relationships are necessary for survival.
I discuss the formation of interpersonal relationships in my book Psychology of Human Relationships so I would strongly encourage you to check that out for more information, but there are a few factors that cause a relationship to form. Including:
· Appearance and physical attractive
· Psychological factors
· Mutual liking
I bet you whenever you ask someone why they wanted to date or be in a relationship with someone. They said physical attractiveness; obviously not in those exact words; somewhere in their answers.
On the other hand, being physically attractive can have other interesting benefits as well. For example:
· More likely to get dates (Berscheid et al, 1971)
· Get better marks at university (Mandy and Sigail, 1974)
· More likely to be successful in job interviews (Diboye et al, 1977)
The physical appearance stereotype; the stereotype that says that the more attractive you are the more intelligent you are; is associated with other social desirability characteristics.
For example competence, people skills and more.
Resulting in this stereotyping becoming self-fulfilling as this belief will influence the attractive person’s behaviour to become associated with other characteristics. (Please check out Sociocultural Psychology for more information)
Although, being physically attractive isn’t always good as it does come with a few problems. Such as stalking. This can be a very traumatic time for the victim, especially as it progresses.
Finally, when I learnt about this topic, I was very surprised to learn that in general people prefer average faces in terms of attractiveness (Halberstadi et al (2005)
This I found surprising as I took a flawed common-sense approach that surely people would find attractive faces well more attractive.
However, I guess that this makes sense as in a later part of the lecture we explored this sub-topic in a lot more depth and it all made sense.
I hope you enjoyed today’s blog post.
If you want to know more about the psychology of human relationships, then please consider signing up for my mailing list and you might be interested in my book Psychology of Human Relationships.
Have a great week everyone!
Kind regards Connor.