Love Attitudes and Relationship Experience

It is nearly difficult for a person to exist without interacting with and connecting with other people or objects. Relationships are defined by the bonds made between people and things (Bukowski and Sippola). Partnerships are not always assured, and for a successful relationship to develop, the persons involved must have some understanding, such as sharing similar interests (Bukowski and Sippola).

I interviewed three persons in different stages of a relationship and asked them questions about their specific relationships in order to understand the many features that characterize the various relationship stages. i.e, Claire is a 49-year-old lady, in marriage, met Chris -her husband while attending a conference in New York. Then Clair was working in Califonia and Chris in New-York, and they did not see a lot of each other until Clair decided to relocate to New York to look for another job and be with Chris.

External pressure

Two years into moving in with Chris, got her first child-Carlos, news that was not well received by the family as Clair is from a conservative and religious family who are keen on the idea of one getting married before giving birth. When Clair’s family and friends learned of her first pregnancy, they attacked Chris blaming him for Clair’s behavior, accusations that affected Chris blaming Clair’s family of forming negative opinions of him.

Internal pressure

Having landed a quite lucrative job in New York, and being new to the position offered, Clair dedicated a lot of time to the work hence finding very little time for Chris, making Chris feel rejected and inadequate. However, to keep it together Clair and Chris learned to communicate the problems to each other, accommodate and help each other even when their opinions contradicted.

Clair has an idealist personality while Chris possesses the guardian personality-two personalities that are profoundly contradicting but all the same complementary and which they have learned to mix to create a healthy and exciting relationship (Fisher). Clair explained their relationship as a result of a storage love style, while she portrayed more characteristics of an agape love style and Chris portrayed more of pragma love style, styles that when missed together allow them to live as passionate partners (Hammock and Richardson).

Clair seems to have suffered from halo effects as during the interview she explained that when Chris finally asked her to be his girlfriend, she was overwhelmed with happiness as she did not believe that such an attractive man would want her to be his girlfriend (DeVito). She pointed out that she assumed he would be a great boyfriend from the day she met him merely because he was handsome. Being two people with different love styles and personality traits, Clair’s relationship characteristic that governed by the equity theory as the two equally try to adjust their personal lives and personalities to accommodate the other (DeVito).

Being two organized, idealistic and reflective people, the two couple always try to solve their differences by accommodation (Lahana, et al.). According to Clair, they communicate and try to understand each other’s thoughts accommodating them hence finding the solution to the problem.

On the lesson learned, Clair explains that one crucial aspect of a relationship between people who are married is accommodation. She tells that marriage has its ups and downs and if couples fail to accommodate each other, they may end up conflicting and even separating when it’s not worth it.

Grace is a 19-year old student and part-time waitress at a local restaurant, met her boyfriend, Kyle at the restaurant as a customer. Having served him in the restaurant so many times, the two became friends and later exchanged numbers and started hanging out together. After a year of friendship, the two began dating, with Grace described their relationship as one filled with laughter and the most fulfilling relationship she’s ever had.

External stressors

When she started dating, most of her friendship criticized her relationship with many of them arguing that her having a relationship with someone outside the school when she is still in college is unhealthy and destructive.

Internal stressors

Kyle does not talk so much like Grace does and at times finds it hard to understand what Kyle wants unless he speaks to her something that makes her feel ignored at times.

However, to keep them going, Grace explained that they always communicate to each face to face and through social media so that they both get to understand the concerns and needs of the other and in turn know how they can address them as girlfriend and boyfriend. Grace explained that the communication between them doesn’t allow any room for assumptions and misunderstanding hence reduced the chances of them conflicting.

Grace explained that she holds a nurture’s personality while Kyle is more of a thinker person (Fisher). She also revealed that their personalities complement each other and allow them to have a peaceful, quiet and fruitful relationship. Grace, however, explained that Kyle being quiet and received as well as individualistic makes it sometimes hard for her to make him integrate well with her friends and the people around her. Grace explained that in the relationship, she possesses the characteristics of the Agape love style while Kyle possesses the Mania love style (Hammock and Richardson). According to grace, though the two fall user two different categories of live styles, their relationship is based on understanding as friends and lovers.

Grace and Kyle are different, and her relationship closely identifies with the social exchange theory because of as much as differences exist between them, some of which might bring issues between them, the kind of fulfillment that both get off the relationship outweighs the small issues that may arise because of their differences. Grace explains that in her relationship with Kyle, they understand and respect that they are different and as such, they both try to understand each other in fairness ready to adjust their lives for the benefit of the other person, which makes them identify with the equity theory. The relationship between grace and Kyle was mostly maintained through communication and understanding. Though Kyle is more of a quiet type, they both agreed always to communicate whenever they feel there is a difference between them to make sure that nothing compromises their relationship and that they stay happy as long as they can.

Grace’s lesson learned is that relationships are all about communication an understanding each other especially when two people don’t always see eye to eye. Miscommunication between partners may create room for assumptions and misunderstandings and even conflict.

Malcolm, a financial adviser by profession, met his fiancée Sonia at his friend’s birthday party where he asked her for a dance. Malcolm explained that for once in his life, he was speechless of a women's beauty. After the dance Malcolm asked Sonia or her contact and after a month of talking they went on their first date and as time went by started spending more time together. Six months later Malcolm and Sonia began dating, and three years later, they got a child together.

External Pressures

Malcolm being a Muslim faced a lot of criticism from his family and friends for dating a girl, not from his religion something that made Sonia feel unwanted and unappreciated.

Internal pressures

When their first born-Josh was born, Malcolm was not ready to be a parent, and though he loved Sonia so much, he found it hard to identify with the idea of becoming a dad. The concept of parenthood overwhelmed him, and he fell into depression becoming hard for him to support Sonia making her feel betrayed and him feel like a failure.

To deal with the pressure around his relationship, Malcolm and Sonia always encourage each other and stand by each other’s sides something that enable them to explore each other’s minds and understand own to make each other happy. On the personality traits, Malcolm explained that he has a protector personality while Sonia has an inspiring personality (Fisher). He explains that through the two personalities, the two can complement each other and allows them to have a life full of order, inspiration and own with a well-developed value system (Fisher). Malcolm explained that in the relationship, he possesses the characteristics of the Eros love style while Sonia possesses the attributes of the Agape love style, styles that allow them to express their love unconditionally (Hammock and Richardson).

Malcolm seems to have suffered from halo effects the first time he saw Sonia as he explained that for once he was speechless of Sonia’s beauty as he did not believe a woman can be so beautiful (DeVito).

Though Malcolm and Sonia have different love styles and personalities they still try to adjust themselves to the benefit of the other a characteristic defined by the equality theory (DeVito).

One lesson we learn from Malcolm's is that couples are a source of strength to each other having each other's back in a relationship is very important. It is crucial that couples found a way to support and encouraged each other even when the face criticism.


In sum, it is clear that relationships create links between people and are also is an important aspect of the life of an individual that needs a lot of effort and attention. Successful connections can be established between people so long as one understands the basis of the relationship, the stage and what they need to compromise the connection.

Works Cited

Bukowski, William M., and Lorrie K. Sippola. "Friendship and development: Putting the most human relationship in its place." New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, vol. 2005, no. 109, 2005, pp. 91-98.

DeVito, Joseph A. The Interpersonal Communication Book. Pearson, 2014.

Fisher, Helen E. Why Him? Why Her?: Finding Real Love by Understanding Your Personality Type. BBC Audiobooks America, 2009.

Hammock, Georgina, and Deborah S. Richardson. "Love Attitudes and Relationship Experience." The Journal of Social Psychology, vol. 151, no. 5, 2011, pp. 608-624.

Lahana, Eleni, et al. "Conflicts management in public sector nursing." International Journal of Healthcare Management, 2017, pp. 1-7.

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