The Developmental Course of Romantic Relationships
Routledge – 2013 – 210 pages
This multidisciplinary text highlights the development of romantic relationships, from initiation to commitment or demise, by highlighting the historical context, current research and theory, and diversity of patterns. Engagingly written with colorful examples, the authors examine the joy, stress, power-struggles, intimacy, and aggression that characterize these relationships. Readers gain a better understanding as to why, even after the pain and suffering associated with a breakup, most of us go right back out and start again. Relationships are examined through an interdisciplinary lens –psychological, sociological, environmental and communicative perspectives are all considered. End of chapter summaries, lists of key concepts, and additional readings serve as a review. As a whole the book explores what precipitates success or failure of these relationships and how this has changed over time.
Highlights of the book’s coverage:
Incorporates both cross-sex and same-sex romantic relationships
Examines the roles of gender, race, class, culture, age, and sexuality in relationship development
Looks at multiple types of romantic relationships in emerging adulthood, including dating and cohabitation
Explores both positive and negative relational processes
Analyzes the latest and most important scholarship.
The book opens with an introduction followed by a historical overview of the development of relationships. Next relationship development models are examined including the influence of social factors and the interaction of the partners involved. This volume examines how partners initiate romantic relationships, including infatuation, sexual attraction, and the impact of technology; how cohabitation affects the quality of the future of the relationship; and the individual, social, and circumstantial factors that predict stability or break-ups in romantic relationships. The book ends with an examination of the “dark side” of relationships, and suggestions for future research on romantic pairings.
Intended as a supplement for advanced undergraduate or graduate courses in marriage and family, personal/close/intimate relationships, or interpersonal/family communication taught in human development and family studies, psychology, social work, sociology, communication, counseling and therapy, this book also appeals to researchers and practitioners interested in the romantic relationship processes.
“Romantic relationships are inherently complex, requiring a multidisciplinary approach. Ogolsky, Lloyd, and Cate have done a masterful job of weaving together what we know about intimate relationships, and have done so in a very accessible, readable manner. Bravo!"- Christopher R. Agnew, Purdue University, USA
"This well-written text captures the inherently interdisciplinary field of personal relationships to highlight theory and research on the development of romantic relationships. A wide lens on the topic is provided, including a historical perspective on romantic partnerships and a discussion of multiple types of romantic relationships. It will make an excellent text or supplementary text in a variety of courses." - Susan Sprecher, Illinois State University, USA
"This classic text has been updated to 21st century and it has been done extremely well. The research and theory are up to date, no important issues are left out, and the writing is clear and precise." -Tom Holman, Brigham Young University, USA
"The …strengths of the book are its sole focus on courtship [and] its attention to same-sex relationships. … The authors write very clearly. …It would be appropriate for advanced undergraduates …graduate students, and other scholars who want current information in the area of courtship. … When I teach Interpersonal Relationships, I would seriously consider adopting this book." – Mark A. Fine, University of North Carolina - Greensboro, USA
1. Introduction. 2. The History of Romantic Partnering. 3. Theories and Models of Romantic Partnering. 4. Romantic Relationship Initiation and Development. 5. Cohabitation. 6. The Stability of Romantic Relationships: Processes of Maintenance and Dissolution. 7. Violence in Romantic Partnerships. 8. Future Directions in Relationship Research.
Brian G. Ogolsky is Assistant Professor of Human and Community Development at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Sally A. Lloyd is Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Miami University.
Rodney M. Cate is Professor Emeritus of Family Studies and Human Development at the University of Arizona.