HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

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Romantic Partners: Prompt 5

I always date outside of my own ethnic group. In fact, I have never been in a serious relationship with a person of the same ethnic group. This, however, has never been a conscious effort (or at least, not to my knowledge)—I’m just open when it comes to ethnicity. That’s not to say I don’t find physical attraction important, rather, ethnicity is not of importance in the bigger picture.

While most of my family members date and marry within the same ethnic group, there are exceptions, mostly on my mom’s side of the family, where my three uncles all have girlfriends of different ethnicities. My uncle Juan has a Korean/Italian girlfriend, my uncle Omar has a Black fiancée, and my uncle Danny has a Mexican girlfriend. My dad’s side of the family is a different story. A majority of his family dates others within the ethnic group, which certainly has a great deal to do with proximity.

Being in a relationship with my girlfriend, who is Asian, has never been an issue for my family. In fact, both sides of the family welcome her into the family with open arms. My family has a very open point of view on the subject: as long as you’re in a happy, healthy relationship with someone you deeply care for, race, gender, sexuality, or religion don’t matter.

When it comes to the general public, I believe that most share the idea that interracial couples are nothing to be concerned about, especially nowadays. I’ve never had any negative reactions about dating someone outside of my ethnic group and I sure hope it stays that way. Who you choose to spend your life with is nobody else’s business, especially not some stranger on the streets. I hope that eventually everyone will share the same general idea my family has regarding relationships: as long as you’re happy, nothing else matters.

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Romantic Partners Prompt 3

I think Knapp’s model for relationships and their progression is very accurate, although I would not use it to specify every relationship, as everyone is a little different, and some couples definitely deviate from the norm. I have only ever been in one official relationship, but all the stages make sense to me, and I’ve seen quite a few couple go through these stages. Before I started dating my girlfriend, we didn’t talk very much because of school and not seeing her often at all. When we exchanged emails (her main means of communication), it took off. I spent months in the experimenting/intensifying stage because I didn’t know how to ask her out. After a while, I finally did, and she said yes. From that point, it was a little difficult to date her because she couldn’t tell her parents about me, as she wasn’t supposed to date anyone. As a result, bonding didn’t develop as it was supposed to. She was also incredibly shy and embarrassed, so I’d have to be alone with her to be romantic. Though we didn’t bond much, we did integrate. We got involved in each other’s activities, probably more of me going to her, since she was dating me undercover. We dated for almost a year, but once we got into college, a lot of things changed. We started noticing our differences, and we were really busy. Since we didn’t go to the same colleges, we couldn’t talk as much as before. We went through differentiation, but she ended up hooking up with a guy I didn’t know about until later. She ended the relationship very suddenly, thus skipping the circumscribing and stagnating. She then proceeded to lie to her friends and say I was this and that to her, even though I made time to drive 3 hours to go see her on the weekend when she asked. I’m not sure what actually happened there up at the end, but it was probably not how relationships are supposed to end. It was probably just some bad luck. Either way, I went through most of the stages, so I understand them. I wouldn’t add any stages, as I can’t think of any that would fit in properly. I do think that Knapp’s model is a well-constructed baseline for the lifespan of a relationship.

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Romantic Partners (Prompt #5)

When it comes to dating, race/ethnicity has never mattered to me. If I am attracted to you, I am attracted to you. In fact, I have only ever dated guys who are not in my own ethnic group. I don’t purposely seek out guys who have a different ethnicity than mine; it just naturally happens. I wouldn’t ever let someone’s ethnicity stop them from becoming a possible partner. If I went by the bird-of-a-feather effect, I wouldn’t have dated my current boyfriend. I would be missing out on a shit ton if I didn’t choose to date him just because he isn’t from the same ethnic group as me. Honestly, it doesn’t sound fair and it is extremely limiting. But hey, if you feel more comfortable dating someone of your own race then you do you.

Thankfully, I haven’t encountered any difficulties with my family, friends, or the general public for having a bi-racial relationship. Nowadays, bi-racial couples aren’t that rare and I feel like people are generally more open-minded about it or they just don’t really care. As along as my significant other is kind, loving, and respectful then my family couldn’t care less about ethnicity. My current boyfriend is all of those things. In other words, he’s a keeper.


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Romantic Partners #1

I do not agree with that statement. Most “always” statements are a generalization, unless it is a proven scientific fact (ex: if you throw an apple up in the air, it will fall down). It certainly does in many relationships, but I think that has less to do with the “honeymoon phase” ending and more so that the people in the relationship turn out to not enjoy or like each other as they previously thought they did. Me and my partner have been together for almost three years our feelings for eachother have only grown. I believe this is for a few reasons that many relationships lack. Firstly, communication is key. Establishing guidelines to the relationship, such as whether it is monogamous or polyamorous or what the partners are comfortable with. If something your partner said  upset you, it is much better to talk to them than let those negative feelings fester. Secondly, if your partner is also your best friend it makes the relationship last much longer. This means you can have fun talking and hanging out with them, but also have romantic feelings for eachother. I am not completely sure what is meant by intense passion in the question so I am unsure of how to answer that. However, I do not believe love fades when passion does. You can love a hobby, pet, or person but not be passionate about it, although it certainly helps to be passionate about it. I love some of my family members but I am not excited about them, I just feel like I want to protect them.