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A strong association amongst individuals with similar tastes, aspirations and interests in life is regarded as interpersonal relationship. For such relationship to thrive well, individuals involved need to share a healthy relationship with each other wherever they may be, whether at the home or workplace.
Maniaci & Reis (2010) gave some theories of interpersonal relationship development as follow:
Social Exchange Theory
Social Exchange Theory was proposed by George Casper Homans in the year 1958. The spirit of “give and take” forms the basis of this type of relationships even though their proportions might vary as per the intensity of the relationship. In this type of relationship, every individual has expectations from his/her partner. Social exchange theory believes that a relationship without expectations is meaningless. Hence, according to Social Exchange theory, for a successful and long lasting relationship, feelings and emotions ought to be reciprocated. For this relationship to succeed, an individual must be ready to invest his time and energy. Where an individual receives less than he gives or gets nothing out of it may not only result to comparing his relationship with others, but may prevent such individuals from putting their best in relationships and eventually break away for a better relationship with someone else, and which may not be easy to get.
Social Exchange Theory therefore suggests understanding your partner and doing as much as you can for him/her rather than always expecting the other person to do things first.
Uncertainty Reductions Theory
This theory was proposed by Charles R. Berger and Richard J. Calabrese to explain the relationship between strangers who know just a little about each other. Uncertainty Reductions Theory is of the opinion that two unknown individuals meeting for the first time need to go through certain stages to reduce the level of uncertainty to enable them come closer to each other. This theory believes much in the importance of communication and communicating rightly to know each other better and find out their compatibility level.
Maniaci & Reis (2010) identify the following as the stages individuals go through to reduce the level of uncertainty in relationships.
1. Entry Stage
This is a situation where two individuals try to know each other better through interrogation each attemping to find out the other person’s background, family members, educational qualification, interests, hobbies and so on. Each one discloses his/her likes and dislikes to strengthen the bond and take the relationship to the next level.
2. Personal Stage
In the second stage or the personal stage, individuals try to find out more about their partner’s attitude and beliefs. Individuals try to know more about the other person’s ethics, values, behaviour and nature on the whole. Individuals who are no longer strangers learn more about each other’s personality traits in the personal stage.
3. The Exit Stage
The Personal Stage decides the fate of the relationship. Individuals comfort in each other’s company decide to enter into long term commitments i.e. either formally get married or stay together forever. Not all relationships flower into marriages. Individuals failing to understand and adjust with each other decide to mutually end their relationship for a better future.
The exit stage is characterised by individuals moving out of relationships in search of a more compatible partner.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS
A relationship is established when two people feel comfortable in each other’s company and eventually decide to be with each other. In the view of Berscheid & Peplau (1983), the various types of interpersonal relationship exist:
1. Friendship Relationship
Friendship is an unconditional interpersonal relationship where individuals enter into by their own sweet will and choice. Friendship is a relationship where there are no formalities and individuals enjoy each other’s presence. Friendship can be between:
? Man and man
? Woman and woman
? Man and a woman
Transparency is the most essential factor for a stable friendship. Do not hide things from your friends. Be honest to them. Feelings like ego, jealousy, hatred, anger should not exist in friendship. The entire relationship of friendship revolves around trust and give and take. No relationship can be one sided and same with friendship. Try to do as much as you can for your friends.
2. Love Relationship
An interpersonal relationship characterized by passion, intimacy, trust and respect is called love. Individuals in a romantic relationship are deeply attached to each other and share a special bond. Two partners must trust each other in this relationship, while A sense of respect and mutual admiration is essential. Partners must reciprocate each other’s feelings for the charm to stay in the relationship for a longer period of time. In Fincham & Beach (2010) analysis:
Case – 1
Marriage happens when two individuals in love decide to take their relationship to the next level. Marriage, according to Fincham & Beach (2010), is a kind of formalized relationship where two individuals after knowing each other well decide to enter the wedlock and stay together life-long through thick and thin. They mention Keys to a successful marriage as understanding, love, passion, intimacy, respect and trust.
Case – 2
Two individuals might love each other but decide not to get married. They are often called as boyfriend and girlfriend. They may or may not stay together. If they stay together without formally getting married, they are said to enter a live in relationship. Individuals staying at far off places but in a relationship are said to be in a long distance relationship.
Case – 3
Individuals not getting along might decide to end the relationship for a better future.
3. Platonic Relationship
A relationship between two individuals without any feelings or sexual desire for each other is called a platonic relationship. In such a relationship, a man and a woman are just friends and does not mix love with friendship. Platonic relationships might end in romantic relationship with both the partners developing mutual love and falling for each other.

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