Factors Influencing Friendships
Friendship can generally be described as a caring, supportive and co-operative behavior that exists among two or more individuals. It involves sharing affection, esteem or awareness between such people. People can become friends irrespective of their social, economic, religious or cultural backgrounds. Thinking about my best friend, our relationship developed since we grew in the same neighborhood, went to the same school and now pursuing the same course. We were fond of each other considering we used to meet regularly and about the same age. I do believe that the cause of our friendship was as a result of proximity and similarity. Proximity comes in the sense that we regularly met while similarity relates to our educational status and ages. Furthermore, other factors such as physical attractiveness, reciprocity and social competence helps build friendships. Attraction relates to beauty that makes people attracted to each other. This is normally in the case of opposite sexes. Reciprocity is concerned with the fact that you like another person since he or she likes you. In this case, an individual will feel obligated to like another person if he or she discovers they are liked. Additionally, social competence defines the ability of a person to demonstrate outstanding positive social behaviors. As such, friendship may be developed since people are normally attracted to people with social competence.
“Top Ten” qualities in a romantic partner. People fall in love for various reasons and qualities they see in each other. I believe there is no such thing as a perfect romantic partner, but there is an ideal partner that could possess some of these qualities. (1) Friendship is my number one romantic quality which generally describes how lovers relate to each other. This could have been achieved through proximity, social competence, reciprocity or similarities among others. (2) Chemistry; this involves the natural way that defines how people are attracted to each other. (3) Romantic attraction; this involves emotional attachment and desire for each other. (4) Enjoyment around a partner. This involves how partners feel whenever they are together meaning that more comfort shows more romances. (5) Openness; this involves frankly speaking about each others’ feelings like saying the words ‘I do really love you darling’. (6) Personality; this involves understanding the different individual behaviors and differences. (7) Kindness; a romantic partner is considerate and generous. (8) Talking about any personal problems. (9) Discussing how partners feel. (10) Physical closeness; this involves the distance between partners. Romantic partners are usually close to each other physically. In relation to gender preferences, I think women prefer kindness before personality and not concerned with physical closeness while men prefer physical closeness.
The role of chance in marriage. Marriage could be determined by a number of factors such as destiny, chance, education, friends, work and families among others. For example, people to get to know each other and eventually get married after meeting in work place, educational institutions or religious institutions. Similarly, introductions by families, acquaintances or friends could also determine the likelihood of people getting married. In addition, factors such as destiny which is associated with divine intervention could also lead to marriage. In relation to chance marriage, it could greatly determine the partner one decides to marry (Bandura, 1982) In relation to one couple I know of, I can say that they met through chance. It was during a seminar that these people met for the first time. During the presentation of a certain project, the man happened to see a lady and seemingly got attracted to her. After the presentation, he had to call her and realized that they had some chemistry. Subsequent dating revealed that they seemingly shared a lot in common. These similarities included education, values, beliefs and aspirations. As such, I believe this was pure chance marriage. Considering this, chance comes from possibilities of meeting a partner in work related matters while destiny could be God given. This means that people destined to marry meet by coincidence and relationships develop from there.
Journal exercise: Romanticism generally refers to the affection that partners show each other (Rosenthal, 2008). This means that it entails several aspects like chemistry, attraction, personality, enjoyment and beauty among others. As such, most people usually marry mainly for the purposes of love.
- Economic security should be considered before selecting a marriage partner (4). I moderately disagree with this statement because the origin of romantic love is mainly based on the friendship, chemistry and attraction factors. I believe whether it is true that people fall in love based on their economic or wealth status. In most cases, the first time people meet, they are always unaware of the status of their partners. On the other hand, economic security could play a role in marriage since couples would have to fulfill various duties such as food provision, health or shelter. As such, I believe that economic security does not really determine a marriage partner.
- True love leads to almost perfect happiness (1). I strongly agree with this statement since love is the pillar to most relationships and marriages. People get attracted to each other romantically because of the affection they feel towards one another. With the presence of true love, most partners would be happy in their marriages. This explains the reasons why divorce exists. In most cases partners would divorce after realizing one of them is cheating. Consequently, cheating leads to unhappy marriages as a result of distrust among partners. As such, I believe happiness can be found when partners trust and truly love one another.
- Most of us could sincerely love any one of several people equally well (5). I strongly disagree with this statement since I do not think it is possible to love several people equally. This statement implies that it is possible to have like seven lovers and love them equally. This is not realistic and it is the reason why it is advisable to court before getting married. During courtship, partners learn each other’s weaknesses, personalities and level of affection. This is normally to avoid marriage as a result of issues such as lust or physical beauty. As such, I believe true love normally exist among two partners.
- If I were in love with someone, I would marry him/her regardless of social class and family background (1). I strongly agree with this statement because love knows no boundaries. People from high social classes can get married or marry people from low social classes. Once people are in love, the social status of a partner does not matter. Similarly, a person’s family background is inconsiderate when it comes to matters love. I believe it is the affection people have for one another that keeps them going. Happiness comes with affection. As such, I believe love social status or background comes after affection.
- A deep love for one another compensates for differences in religious and economic background (2). I moderately agree with this statement due to various perceptions. On one side, I believe that deep love would be able to compensate for economic or religious differences. In relation to religion, everybody has a right of worship and this should not affect the feeling partners have for each other. With understanding, religion would not be an issue. On the other hand, if both partners have economic constraints, then it would be difficult to sustain a relationship despite the existence of love.
Total score: 13
Bandura, A. (1982). The psychology of chance encounters and life paths. American Psychologist, 37,747-755.
Rosenthal, L. (2008). Romanticism. New York, NY: Parkstone International.