What draws people together? What makes any two human beings become friends or more than ‘just friends’? Is it random? Is it fate? Do you have complete control over who you choose to befriend and who you’d rather not associate with? Read on for the psychological details on what makes a relationship happen. If you’re hoping to get a foot in the door with that special someone, these basic facts could give you a head start!
The people you start relationships with go through a process of ‘screening’, so to speak. Some of these screens are controlled by you and some are a mere accident. For the sake of this article “relationship” shall be defined as any interaction
The First Screen: Proximity
Basically how physically close you are to someone makes it more likely for you to interact. This fact is pretty logical. The more you see someone the more likely you are to interact and form a relationship with them. So, if you’re really shy and not quite confident enough to really get going on a relationship just make a point of bumping into them or frequent places they visit often. Just be careful it doesn’t turn into stalking.
The Second Screen: Physical Attractiveness
This screen is to some extent controllable by you and to some extent God-given. It also depends somewhat on what the other person thinks is attractive. The part that you can control is basic hygiene and just taking a few extra minutes every morning to primp and look your best. It’s also been shown there is some extent there’s a matching of physical attractiveness that occurs in relationships, i.e. you start relationships with people who are on your same plain of attractiveness.
Theoretically, it is the fear of rejection that causes this and it’s a rather shallow fear so you if you feel that you’re avoiding talking to someone because they’re “out of your league”, just remember that it’s pretty much a shallow, unfounded fear and you should go for it.
The Third Screen: Similarity
Essentially, people are drawn to others who are similar to them. The most important similarities are those in attitudes and not just any attitudes, attitudes about the things that are most important to you. So while you may like sushi and your friend doesn’t, that is not going to break up your relationship. However, if you view your friends dislike of sushi as an unwillingness to try new things when you view trying new things as essential to living life, that might be a friendship killer.
There are also some tricks with this screen. Perceived similarity can lead to attraction. You don’t necessarily have to actually be alike as long as you think you’re alike. Perceived similarity can lead to attraction and attraction can lead to perceived similarity.
The saying that “opposites attract” is not entirely true as shown by the fact that similarity leads to attraction. Opposites attract on certain special occasions. Opposites do attract in the case of dominance. If you have too much dominance in a relationship, you’re likely to be fighting all the time. Too little dominance and you’re likely to have a lot of indecision in the relationship.
The first three screens are what any person goes through to start a relationship. Once again, a relationship is defined as any form of friendship. However, there are three other aspects of a relationship that moves it from being “just friends” to “more than friends” and create love. These three aspects are detailed below.
This does not mean sex. So get rid of that idea. Intimacy really means a strong bond of attachment between two people. This is the feeling you get when you feel like you could share just about anything with that special someone. Intimacy can also occur in a regular friendship without being sexual.
This is the sexy part. Passion is having an intense sexual desire for someone. You can also have passion without having love. That’s about all their is to say on that issue.
This is recognizing that you do in fact love someone (whether or not the passion is still there) and committing to the relationship through good times and bad. It’s a word that many dread but it’s essential to love.
These three things make up the love that moves a friendship to a committed relationship. Now you have the three screens that help determine who you make friends with and the three aspects that make up love. Now, that you understand the psychology of relationships and attraction you can use it in your everyday social life.