HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

Romantic Partners

  1. Do you agree with the statement that passion always fades in romantic relationships? Can you think of examples involving people you know who enjoy long-term relationships that seem to lack passion? Can you think of long-term couples who still seemingly have passion? Have you ever been in a relationship long enough to experience the stages that follow intense passion? Do you believe love ends when passion fades? (Based on the Self-Reflection question on p. 284.)
  2. Complete the Self-Quiz “Test Your Love Attitudes” on page 285. Do your results match the love style of the person with whom you are currently involved, or someone with whom you were previously involved? Do you think two people must have the same love style in order to be compatible?
  3. What do you think about Knapp’s model for relationship stages? Do the stages make sense to you? Do you recognize these steps in your own relationships? In what order have you experienced the various stages? If you could add a stage, what would it be?
  4. Compare and contrast your small talk in two different relationships. Choose one that is fairly new (e.g., a classmate) and another that is established but nonintimate (e.g., a work colleague or neighbor). How is the small talk similar in both relationships? How is it different? What conclusions do you draw about the role of small talk in interpersonal relationships?
  5. Have you ever dated someone outside your own ethnic group? Did you encounter any difficulties with family, friends, or the general public? If you have never dated outside of your own ethnic group, do you think proximity or the birds-of-a-feather effect explains why? (Based on the Self-Reflection question on p. 289.)
  6. When we are involved in intimate relationships, we often experience relational dialectics, which can manifest in three forms: (1) openness versus protection, (2) autonomy versus connection, and (3) novelty versus predictability. When you encounter these tensions, how do you deal with them?
  7. Complete the Self-Quiz “How Often Do You Betray Romantic Partners?” on page 307. What is your reaction to your score? What do you feel is the best approach to dealing with betrayal in romantic relationships?
  8. Identify the types of communication technologies you utilize to initiate romantic relationships. Which type is the most effective? Why? Which types are more effective for maintaining relationships? Would you ever consider using communication technology to terminate a relationship? If so, what advantages and disadvantages would this method have over face-to-face communication?