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Close Relationships

Amy Strachman

Subject Psychology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405161251.2009.x


There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved. George Sand (pen name of Amandine Dupin), French novelist, 1804–76 A review of positive psychology would not be complete without noting the importance of close relationships. Close, interpersonal relationships can be a powerful source of love, happiness, and overall life satisfaction. Indeed, without relationships, people suffer not only emotionally, but physically as well. While situational factors also play a role, many of our thoughts and feelings are focused on continuing these social bonds. The current entry summarizes some of the theories and research associated with developing and maintaining healthy relationships. Men and women consider love a necessary component for marriage. However, what is love? A pioneer in love research, Zick Rubin, developed a scale which distinguished liking from love . The scale distinguishes between the emotional attachment one feels with love and the positive appraisal one feels with liking. More than a decade later, researchers suggested that this feeling of love can also take many forms. Sternberg proposed that three different building blocks of relationships combine to form different types of love. First, there is intimacy, which includes feelings of understanding, communication, and support. Second, there is passion, which comprises physical arousal, desire, and sexual needs. Finally, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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