Romantic Relationships

Introduction My topic of choice is romantic relationships; I would firstly like to define a romantic relationship. A romantic relationship is “one where you have a deep feeling of connection to the other person, it is a relationship based on love, passion and commitment to another person”(Website 1). The reason I chose romantic relationships would be due to the fact that these relationships are social phenomena that have existed from the beginning of time and will continue to exist as long as humans exist.

Relationships are an occurrence not only in my life but also in the lives of all individuals because at some stage we are all most likely to become romantically involved. I think it is important to explain and understand romantic relationships in order for us to underlie the various motivations that people have for engaging in such relationships, in other words, why do people get involved?

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Another reason would be to learn of the various theories used to explain romantic relationships as we all have different reasons behind why we do the things we do! In my essay I will discuss previous research on the topic of romantic relationships, also psychology’s view of the topic and lastly my view on the concept of romantic relationships. Literature Review Past research that has been conducted on romantic relationships was the examining of equity across cultures (Aumer et al: 2007).

This research was done in order for people to understand how different cultures perceive equity in their romantic relationship and if being of a different culture impacted the relationships between and how satisfied people were in their relationship. The different culture groups that were chosen was a group from the university of Hawaii {UH) and a group of people from the University from the West Indies in Jamaica (UWI) the groups were comprised of both males and females.

The research was conducted in the following manner the participants had to fill out surveys where they had to give details of how equitable they saw their relationship and also how important they considered equity in their relationship and how satisfied they were in their relationship. When comparing Jamaica and Hawaii and how they view relationships, it was discovered that traditional and state sanctioned marriages in Jamaica were not of great importance as compared to America. There were two hypothesis proposed and one question to answer in the study.

Hypothesis 1 proposed that Hawaii and Jamaica, men and women will consider equity to be important in romantic and marital relationships and Hypothesis 2 proposed that men and women in Hawaii will perceive their romantic relationships to be more fair and equitable than people in Jamaica and lastly the question was, will culture interact with perceive equity/ in equity in determining how satisfied men and women are in their love relationships? The results were as follows, in both Hawaii and Jamaica men and women consider equity to be important in their relationship and the scores of importance of equity was not significantly different.

In hypothesis 2 as predicted fewer people in the UWI sample claimed to be in a equitable relationship and a high percentage of the UWI sample considered themselves to be under benefited. Overall the study revealed that people in two different cultures did not differ how important equity is to be in their love relationships, however there was cultural differences in how people perceived their relations to be and in how they reacted to existing equities/ inequities (Website 2) Theoretical summary

Psychology’s view on romantic relationships is explained with the use of social exchange theory. This theory is one that analyses the interactions that occur between two parties and also examines the cost and benefit each have to each other (Website 3). The social exchange theory is one, which is used to understand sexuality in a relationship. The theory states that interaction in a will only occur if both parties feel that they are benefiting equally in the relationship and not giving up too much.

The theory when applying to romantic relationships views that sex is something that is a valuable commodity and that a women gives this important commodity to a man in exchange for other commodities such as respect, commitment or monetary value. It is therefore viewed that sex is primarily a women’s resource and that women keep the price of sex high. The social exchange theory can be further divided into three specific social exchange models that are relevant to sexuality.

The first is the equity theory whereby both partners in a relationship want to be equally benefited with under benefiting causing unstable relationships. The second is the outcome – interdependence theory that focuses on how an individual derives costs and rewards from a relationship and lastly is the idea of investments, which highlights on the resources that an individual gives in a relationship that cannot be given back when the relationship ends. Such investments are time, personal confidences, and friends. Website 3) Tracing the argument I do not agree completely with the social exchange theory because of the fact that it focuses entirely on sexuality. Yes, sex is an important aspect in a relationship but I feel that a romantic relationship is based on more than just a physical factor it is rather a relationship whereby people bond through a combination of mental, emotional and physical factors. Social exchange can be viewed in the context of love; people become involved because of the need and desire to love and be loved.

There are also other various rewards an individual would want to benefit, these are feelings of happiness, worth and importance and knowing that you have a friend. The theory should therefore broaden its horizons and also include other motivations that people have for engaging in relationships rather than basing it primarily on sex. Conclusion In conclusion, romantic relationships are important social phenomena, which bring individuals to a decision of spending the rest of their lives together, and therefore it is important for many to consider what you really want as a human being. Website 1) References Website 1:http://lifestyle. indianetzone. com/relationship/1/romantic_relationships. htm Accessed: 7 May 2009 Aumer- Ryan, K, Hatfield, E, & Frey, R (June, 2007). Examining equity theory across cultures, Interpersona:An international journal on personal relationships. Website 2: http://www. Elainehatfield. com/105. pdf Accessed: 7 May 2009 Website 3: http://www. web. mit. edu/wangfire/pub9. 00/essay3. pdf Accessed: 7 May 2009

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