Interpersonal relationships are the core of our societal system and have been since before the dawn of civilization. Our ancestors formed associations and alliances to insure survival in a hostile environment, and passed on this need for human companionship as an integral part of our physical and emotional composition. In today's world, friends, lovers, companions, and confidants make valuable contributions to our everyday lives. Yet, there is still much that is not known about how these relationships are formed, how partners communicate in on-going relationships, how people keep their relationships together, and how they cope when they fall apart. These are the central issues addressed in this book. Primary to the focus of this work is the underlying theme of evolving interpersonal relationships from the initial encounter to the mature alliance.
Contributions in the introductory chapters of this book tackle issues such as: (a) How do people make contact for the first time? (b) What do people say or do when they are trying to begin a relationship? (c) Does it matter if a woman makes the first move? (d) Does it matter if she doesn't? (e) Is the affable smile in an initial encounter just plain friendliness, or something more? and (f) What sorts of schemata are used when sizing someone up for the first time? This research breaks new ground and appraises the ultimate question of what impact initial interactions have on further relational development.
Once people have become part of a relationship, how do they deal with life's ups and downs? The midsection of this volume concerns communication