Relationship Analysis Final Paper Adv. Interpersonal Communications May 9, 2010 Relationship Analysis I am using my own personal relationship to analyze. I was in a relationship for approximately four years and lived with Wes for two years. He has influenced me more than any other relationship in my life. He has helped me shape my future and the direction of my everyday life from routine day to a caring experience. I do not live with him now, nor do I contact him much anymore. Once in a while we will have a conversation on a social networking site; but he shapes my thoughts, guides my actions and moulds my behavior.
I met him when I was fifteen, and the very first meeting had the power to draw me into his world, a world made of ethics, discipline and dedication. He was only two years older than me and he was my tumbling coach. I was a gymnast for thirteen years prior. There was an invisible pull and magnetic draw which could not be ignored or dismissed, it really had to be followed through with sincerity in heart and natural opportunity which presented itself to reinforce and strengthen the relationship. At first, I knew nothing could of it, but eventually it did.
Our parental guardians let us get together with supervision for almost six months, before my parents agreed it was okay for us to start dating. About a year and a half later I was emancipated there were issues inside my family that granted this decision but now I had to move out. I was almost seventeen when we moved in together and soon after we got engaged. When I was twenty we bought a house and began planning our wedding. He still influenced my thinking, with his words which had become part of me, his actions which were guided by invisible strings which made me act the way he would have acted.
It was nearly three months before our wedding when a couple friends of our got married before us and had their bachelor and bachelorette parties. A few days later Lauren the bride said she had something she had to show me. We went inside and watched a video of m fiance cheating on me. Later that evening I calmly confronted him and asked him to explain and he replied there is nothing to explain. I ended up moving out the very next day. I was young and impressionable but now I realize from this class that we have different love styles and attachment styles.
Present day there are no rules, no commitments and no connection, yet we were closely and deeply connected. I was closer to him than my entire family, and he had taught me a lot. He made me explore the deep dimensions of my own character and personality which who I am today. It is interesting to evaluate, analyze and test my relationship which is the foundation of my life in the light of the specific theories which have developed my relation to the communication and relationship.
My experience and my identity are created as part of my personal experience, shaping the course of my growth and advancement of my character. Communication was the key to our relationship, communication through words, through subtle responses and understanding messages. Interpersonal relationships are the basis of any growth and advancement in the personal life, and the foundation of all relationships is communication. The knowledge and interpretation of communication theories seem to have a link in the essence of the relationship, it seems one or more theories fit into some context in my own personal theory.
I have identified that our attachment styles were different which presents the psychological, evolutionary, and ethological theory concerning relationships between humans; an emotional bond between two or more individuals. The most important tenet of attachment theory is that a young child needs to develop a relationship with at least one primary caregiver for social and emotional development to occur normally, or without this care, the child will often face permanent psychological and social impairment.
There are three attachment styles secure, anxious-ambivalent, and avoidant. Secure is characterized by relaxed trust knowing that the parent would be there. Anxious-ambivalent is characterized by the uncertainty of the departing caregiver return you become nervous and clingy. Finally, avoidant which represents the child learned little good came from depending on others; they withdraw and do not easily trust. I was anxious-ambivalent, I had a family that was abusive and never present. I was never really sure if anyone would ever love me.
Wes was avoidant, his family left him to be raised by his aunt and uncle while parents lived in the British Virgin Islands. He felt as though they left him. This also helps explain the difference in our love styles. There are six styles of love that differ in intensity of the loving experience, commitment, to the beloved, desired characteristics of the beloved, and the expectations about being loved in return. First Eros, the erotic lover searches for a person with the right physical appearance and is eager for an intense relationship.
Second, is Ludus the ludic lover is playful in love and likes to play the field. Third, is storge the storgic lover prefers slowly developing attachments that lead to lasting commitments. Fourth, is mania which refers to the manic lover is demanding and possessive toward the beloved and has a feeling of being “out of control”. Fifth, is the agape the agapic lover is altruistic, loving without concern for receiving anything in return. Lastly, pragma consists of the pragmatic lover searches for a person with the proper vital statistics, religion, age, etc.
I had the love style of storge, because of the slow developed relationship I believed we had that was leading to marriage and a life of togetherness. Wes on the other hand had changed to ludus. I believed he was storge too but I think the realization of marriage made him realize commitment was not something he wanted to do yet. He displayed signs of ludus by cheating and wanting to play the field. With the identification of love style brings me to my third theory social exchange theory. Social exchange theory states the social life entails the mutual exchange of desirable rewards with others.
This theory weighs it’s self on the rewards each person receives from the relationship, the cost they incur, what type of relationship they deserve, and the probability that they could have a better relationship with someone else. There are rewards and costs to every relationship. Rewards are the gratifying experiences and commodities we obtain through the contact of others. Costs are punishing, undesirable experiences. Some of the most important costs are the psychological burdens of uncertainty about where the relationship is headed.
Outcomes are the rewards and costs associated with a particular interaction. Obviously if a relationship has more rewards than costs the relationship results in a positive outcome. Although the social exchange perspective asserts that people want the best possible outcome. Now to discover what the best possible outcome is you need something to compare it to. Comparison level (CL) refers to the value of the outcomes that we believe we deserve in our dealing with others. Comparison levels are based on our past experiences. Then your outcomes minus the CL give you the satisfaction or dissatisfaction.
There is one more factor and that is the comparison level alternative (CLalt) and this represents if we could be doing better somewhere else. Outcome minus the CLalt gives you the dependence or independence. In Wes and my relationship once he cheated on me I knew the comparison level and the comparison level alternatives were greater likelihood of satisfaction and independence. I knew I could no longer trust him or depend on him. The above mentioned theories give a new dimension and focus on the nature of the relationship in which I am involved with greater awareness of the tools of communication.
For the attachment theory if Wes and I were both a secure attachment style might have worked out better, but since he was avoidant I felt as though I could never get in he constantly couldn’t communicate issues to me even though we could communicate about anything else. It was like he really didn’t want to trust me with knowing his real feelings. I however was very anxious for someone to show feelings for me because I did not have much thus far of affection and desired it. He managed to push me away.
This ties together in with our love styles since I was a storge and he was ludus. I wanted a long lasting committed relationship by saying yes to marriage and I believe the fear of commitment scared him. In the beginning he was storge otherwise he wouldn’t have wanted to get married. Experiences can change your love styles and they might even change with each relationship. As for the social exchange theory I chose to leave the relationship. It was the best alternative for me. I couldn’t be in a relationship with another human being and not have trust.
An understanding of these theories has helped me comprehend the wide nature of my relationship based on scholarly presentation of sociological, psychological and personal expectations. The grasp of the information helps me understand my position in this world and in relation to my personal relationship more fully. I also understand and am in better position to predict the future consequences in light of his situation and social situation. I have the tools which allow me to see the big picture more clearly with understanding and knowledge.
Communication is the key to any interaction, and personal relationships are the portrayal of how effective the tools of communication have been in transforming the growth of your relationship. The success of relationship is inherent in clear and effective communication and the theories discussed provide deep insight into the tools of communication. My personal relationship is a unsuccessful example of open communication, and shows that if you want to be in a committed long term relationship you need to be able to speak about everything. References Rowland S. Miller, D. P. (2009). Intimate Relationships. Mc Graw Hill.