The maintenance of relationships essay


Discuss the maintenance of relationships

There are two theories that try to explain the maintenance of relationships and how we weigh up the benefits and costs of being in a relationship.

One of these theories is the social exchange theory. Thibaut and Kelley talked about the costs in relationships. These costs are time, effort and financial costs. These all have to be worth it to keep the relationship maintained. People also minimise their costs and maximise their rewards. This is so people can earn a profit in a relationship; these are mainly rewards such as companionship and sex. This theory also discusses a comparison level. This is a level against which a person judges a relationship against all other relationships. If the comparison is negative then you view the other person as less attractive than all other relationships and if it a positive comparison you view the person as more attractive than all other relationships and may even consider to leave the current relationship to start a new one. This theory also looks at potential rewards in a relationship. This is rewards minus costs is equal to the outcome. However, there is a problem with this…




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