Close Relationship Psychology – What Are the Ingredients of a Close Relationship?

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If you are looking for the ingredients of a close relationship, you may be confused about what is required to make it work. There are several aspects to close relationships, including working models, attachment styles, commitment, and concern for each other’s welfare. Let’s take a closer look at each of these elements.

Working models

Working models are internal frameworks that influence the individual’s expectations and behavior in close relationships. They may help explain discrepancies between a person’s expectations of a partner and the reality of the relationship. While internal working models may change under certain circumstances, they tend to be relatively stable over time.

Working models in adult relationships are broadly categorized into two styles and dimensions. Secure attachment working models are non-avoidant, rely on others, and enjoy intimacy. On the other hand, ambivalent attachment models are constantly on guard, fearful of rejection, and seeking closeness even if it means being apathetic or disengaged partner.

Those with low levels of attachment security may use emotionally focused coping strategies to increase their intimacy with their partners. They may also feel a need for immediate help from their attachment figures. However, this type of coping style may ultimately decrease one’s own personal and relational well-being. In addition, it may result in negative feelings of guilt and insecurity.

According to Bowlby’s Theory of Attachment, infants are biologically programmed to seek closeness and connection with their caregivers. As they grow up, they internalize this attachment process and use the base relationship as a model for later relationships. This model contains archetypes of self and internal working models that are based on the child’s interpretation of the caregiver’s behavior.

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Attachment styles

Close relationship psychology includes attachment styles to explain how a child responds to his or her parents. A secure attachment style involves a parent responding appropriately to a child’s needs and feelings. Children who experience poor responsiveness are more likely to develop an avoidant or fearful attachment style. Similarly, neglectful and abusive parents tend to be inconsistent in their response to their children, which also contributes to the development of disorganized attachment behavior.

Anxious attachment style is characterized by a strong need for closeness but a fear of it. People with this style fear being rejected and may seem needy. They also fear that their partner will not love them as much as they do. Although this style is less common than others, experts estimate that around seven to 15 percent of children and 19 percent of adults have an anxious attachment style. Avoidant attachment style involves an avoidant or distrusting relationship, which may lead to difficulty in getting close or trusting the person you are with.

Unlike anxious attachment style, secure attachment style people can build healthy relationships with their partners. Unlike other attachment styles, secure attachment style people don’t fear intimacy and are not afraid to ask for space. This type also relies on their partners but doesn’t need constant attention. A secure attachment style person is not afraid to ask for emotional support or reassurance.

Commitment

Commitment is one of the ingredients of a close relationship. It helps to stabilize the relationship and increase emotional security. It can be defined as the willingness to sacrifice one’s own interests and future prospects for the good of the relationship. Moreover, commitment increases the self-esteem of the partner.

While many factors affect commitment, this ingredient is one of the most important. It can lead a person to stay in a relationship even though the costs are high. Generally, people aim to maximize the rewards of a relationship and leave a relationship that does not satisfy them. Thus, they assess the costs of remaining in the relationship versus the benefits of leaving it.

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When people are committed to their partner, they stay in a relationship longer. Moreover, they are aware of each other’s needs and try to meet them equitably. This enables them to look beyond the rewards and think of the relationship as a collective.

Intimacy and love are key ingredients in a successful relationship. They make partners understand each other and feel close. They also develop a strong sense of commitment to the relationship. Intimacy and commitment are formed in infancy and predict how we relate to others in close relationships as an adult.

Concern for each other’s welfare

In intimate relationships, the participants become highly attuned to one another’s needs, and they are likely to prioritize these needs above their own. These relationships often involve a high degree of interdependence between the members of the couple, who rely on each other for social support and assistance in organizing activities, remembering dates, and performing tasks.

Researchers have found that closeness is a powerful predictor of relationship satisfaction and longevity. In fact, perceived closeness between romantic partners is more important than the number of positive feelings a person experiences. They have found that successful close relationships are based on the merging of cognitive representations of the other person and of self. In addition, close relationships also involve acceptance, care, and social support.

According to Clark & Lemay (2010), close communal relationships are characterized by a central antecedent of concern for each other’s welfare. Care is influenced by three factors: shared interests, commitment to communal bonds, and empathy. A high level of concern can lead to enduring love.

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People in close relationships are also motivated to maintain a high-quality relationship because they have more to gain if the relationship is maintained. They also have more to lose if it breaks down. This causes their perceptions of their partner to be positively biased.

Jealousy

Jealousy is an emotion that arises from feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. It occurs when a person perceives another relationship as being threatened. The rival may not even be aware of the threat that he or she is perceived as. This emotion has negative consequences for relationships, and it can negatively impact relationships.

Jealousy is an unpleasant emotional experience that combines feelings of anger, anxiety, betrayal, and hurt. There are several theories that explain why jealousy occurs, but there is still considerable controversy. Some of the theories involve evolutionary differences in sex and attachment styles, and others explain the influence of learned social expectations. The next step for researchers is to clarify the controversies and address the practical needs of therapists.

People with insecure attachment styles may find it difficult to build close relationships with their partners. They may experience difficulty in expressing their emotions, and they may become defensive when their partner finds new love. They may even exhibit a lack of interest in their partner’s feelings. Consequently, it is difficult to maintain a healthy relationship when one or both partners suffer from jealousy.

While jealousy and envy are closely related, they are not the same thing. In fact, they can both be experienced simultaneously. In some cases, feelings of envy about a rival can increase the jealousy feelings of a partner. Moreover, the two emotions can be difficult to separate.

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