TURNING POINTS IN DEVELOPING ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS

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Abstract

The 80 partners from 40 romantic relationships were independently interviewed using the RIT procedure with regard to the turning points of their respective relationships; 26 types of turning points were found, which reduced to 14 supra-types. These supra-types differed in their association with relational commitment, with some events strongly positive, some strongly negative, and others relatively modest in reported change in commitment. About half of the turning points involved explicit metacommunication between the relationship parties, but the likelihood of relationship talk varied by turning point type. About half of the 759 identified turning points were agreed upon by relationship partners, but agreement differed depending on turning point type. Neither partner agreement nor the presence of explicit metacommunication was related to the respondent's current satisfaction with the relationship. However, the proportion of total turning points that were negative correlated negatively with current satisfaction. Two turning point events, Exclusivity and Disengagement, individually differentiated more from less satisfied relationship parties.

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