The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to interpersonal relationships.
Interpersonal relationship – association between two or more people; this association may be based on limerence, love, solidarity, regular business interactions, or some other type of social commitment. Interpersonal relationships are formed in the context of social, cultural, and other influences.
Essence of relationships
- Social relations – relationship between two (i.e. a dyad), three (i.e. a triad) or more individuals (i.e. members of a social group). Social relations, derived from individual agency, form the basis of social structure.
- Social actions – acts which take into account the actions and reactions of individuals (or 'agents'). According to Max Weber, "an action is 'social' if the acting individual takes account of the behavior of others and is thereby oriented in its course" (Secher 1962).
Types of relationships
Social group – consists of two or more humans who interact with one another, share similar characteristics and collectively have a sense of unity. By this definition, a society can be viewed as a large group, though most social groups are considerably smaller.
- Dyad – group of two people. "Dyadic" is an adjective used to describe this type of communication/interaction. A dyad is the smallest possible social group.
- Triad – group of three people. Less stable than dyads because two will tend to unite against the other one.
A table of relationships displays the relationships amongst relatives.
Household – one or more persons who share main residence, and share meals or living space
Peer group membership
An organization is a social group which distributes tasks for a collective goal. There are a variety of legal types of organizations, including:
- Citizenship – membership in a country or nation.
- Neighbor – member of a neighborhood.
- Member of society – a society is a body of individuals outlined by the bounds of functional interdependence, possibly comprising characteristics such as national or cultural identity, social solidarity, language, or hierarchical organization.
Relations (relationship activities)
Human mating is the process whereby an individual seeks out another individual with the intention of forming a long-term intimate relationship or marriage, but sometimes for casual relationship or friendship.
End of a relationship
Reasons for ending a relationship
Theories of interpersonal relations
- Socionics – theory of intertype relations incorporating Carl Jung's work on personality types with Antoni K?pi?ski's theory of information metabolism.
- Attachment theory – describes the dynamics of long-term relationships between humans. Its most important tenet is that an infant needs to develop a relationship with at least one primary caregiver for social and emotional development to occur normally.
- Social exchange theory – Social exchange theory is a social psychological and sociological perspective that explains social change and stability as a process of negotiated exchanges between parties. Social exchange theory posits that human relationships are formed by the use of a subjective cost-benefit analysis and the comparison of alternatives.
Aspects of relationships include:
- Attachment in adults –
- Attachment in children –
- Interpersonal attraction – force acting between two people that tends to draw them together and resist their separation, which leads to friendships and romantic relationships. It is distinct from physical attraction.
- New relationship energy (NRE) – state of mind experienced at the beginning of most significant sexual and romantic relationships, typically involving heightened emotional and sexual receptivity and excitement. It begins with the earliest attractions, grows into full force when mutuality is established, and slowly fades over months to years.
Stages of a relationship
- Stages presented in George Levinger's relationship model:
Feelings and emotions
Terms for partners in intimate relationships include:
Terms for people who want to develop their relationships include:
Lacking an intimate relationship
Romance and intimacy
- Courtship –
- Romance –
- Intimacy –