Relationships Essay

2127 Words9 Pages
With the human need for affiliation, relationships form part of everyday life, whether platonic or intimate. In order to develop a harmonious relationship with another individual the factors of proximity, familiarity, similarity, complementarity, compatibility and attractiveness all play a role in varying degrees according to each individual perception of importance and needs. This essay aims to explain these factors and their importance in forming relationships. The initial factor to look at is proximity, a geographical closeness. Festinger, Schachter and Back (1950) carried out a study on the formation of friendships that occurred amongst a group of married students who resided within a housing complex on a university campus. Friendships were most likely to occur with a next door neighbour and next most likely with families who lived two doors away. The further away the residence, the less likely it was for friendships to develop. People separated by four flats rarely became friends and in two storey buildings people tended to form friendships with only those who lived on the same floor. People who lived next to a stairway developed more friendships than other residents. This proves the theory that more frequent contact with people leads to greater familiarity and friendships and relationships are more likely to develop. This same theory can be applied to workplaces, schools and colleges, churches, sports clubs and any other areas people regularly come into contact with each other. Despite the attraction an individual may have for a film star, a friendship or relationship would be unable to form without contact. "The more we see and interact with a person, the more likely he or she is to become our friend or intimate partner" (Miller 2006). Proximity to an individual amounts to more regular contact and in turn familiarity. The more familiarity an individual has

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