Close relationships: perspectives on the meaning of intimacy by George Klaus Levinger, Harold L. Raush

By George Klaus Levinger, Harold L. Raush

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How can people come to verbalize their liking, loving, and other emotions (cf. Rubin, 1973)? People are inarticulate about interpersonal involvements; they have no explicit language for discussing them. Recent research by my coworkers and me indicates that a person's involvement with another is a composite of several variables: emotional caring for the other, perceived outcome correspondence, mutual disclosure, and the felt uniqueness of the Person-Other relationship. In which relationships, however, and in Page 9 Figure 2.

It has since occurred to me how much we would all have lost if my contract had not collapsed. I would never have had the amazement and joy of so generous and graciously presented a gift. She would not have had the opportunity to give the gift of her neighborly and human concern. We might never have become such close sisters or so close that people have asked if we were sisters. The reserve and distance between us diminished significantly in the train of this exposure of dependency and support. What does it imply that we so often avoid dependency and choose the contract route first?

Today, in a large sector of the Western world where food and industry are no longer the principal occupation, the conduct of interpersonal relationships has become a central but confusing concern. One problem for me here is to separate essentials from debatables, to locate firm ground from which we can depart in our speculations. I want to suggest some basic perspectives before posing questions of contemporary relevance. In writing this paper, I searched for a set of fundamental paradoxes that would help to expose current dilemmas.

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