Approach and Avoidance Motives and Close Relationships



Despite the fact that humans have a deep motivation to pursue and maintain close relationships, little research has examined social relationships from a motivational perspective. In the current paper, we argue that any model of close relationships must simultaneously account for people’s tendencies to both approach incentives and avoid threats in close relationships. To that end, we review research stemming from Gable’s (2006) social and relationship model of motivation on both the antecedents and the consequences of approach and avoidance goal pursuit in the context of close relationships. We conclude with recommendations for future research in this area.