George Levinger's Definition of Close Relationships and How It's Changed Today

792 Words Nov 28th, 2011 4 Pages
“What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility.” -George Levinger, 1976 In 1977, George Levinger, a successful psychologist who specialized in close relationships, conflict, and group behavior, examined interpersonal relationships and what is needed to make one successful. He defined a successful close relationship containing five components; 1) frequent interaction, 2) between spatially near partners, 3) who share significant common goals, 4) exchange personal disclosures, and 5) care deeply about one another. His definition of interpersonal relationships is one part social, one part physical, and three parts psychological. Although I agree with the components of his …show more content…
For example, perhaps in 1977 Levinger’s five components of a close relationship would have resulted in a successful marriage between two partners. Today, however, with increasing stressors such as children, money, and other everyday problems, a marriage could easily fail. Another variable that differs from Levinger’s definition of close relationships that has changed in the recent years, is the ability to form and continue a strong, close relationship without having to be physically close to the other person. With the astounding technology that we have today, people now have the ability to make friends and meet partners over the internet. With websites for social networking, online dating services, chatting face-to-face over a computer screen, and instant messaging, a close relationship can now be formed and continued over the internet without physical interaction. As long as there is frequent interaction involved two friends, or partners still have the ability to maintain a relationship. For example, a high school graduate moving off to college can now communicate on a daily basis with their best friend from their home town. They even have the ability to see and hear their friend’s voice. When asking the thoughts that my father had, who is now 52 and widowed after 27 years of marriage, about Levinger’s definition of a close relationship he completely agreed with his five components until I mentioned