However, as we shall see in this chapter, learning to like and commit to one another follows predictable patterns.
The fact that divorce rates increase in the western world, suggests that we could all benefit from a greater understanding of how relationships develop, and how to make them enduring and satisfying.
After what seemed hours, the two little boys were still rolling down the surrounding hills as the sun was going down. In fact, they never again exchanged blows but became the best of friends.
Today it is more than 50 years later, and their friendship has endured time and distance.
Does that take away something of the mystery of liking and loving relationships?
Some do feel that how we encounter and meet people should remain in the realm of the mysterious.
We shall see that liking and love are universal behaviors, although cultures affect how they are expressed.
No greater love has a person than giving his life for another.The intrinsic interest in these fields by most people is shared by social psychologists, and attachment, attraction, and love relationships constitute one of the most prolific areas of investigation in social psychology.The early attachment theory advanced by Bowlby (1982) emphasized the importance of the field when he suggested that our attachments to parents to a large extent shape all succeeding relationships in the future.The research described in the following pages concerns early attachment, and attraction and love between adults.These relationships may be institutionalized by marriage, or (registered) partnership, or take some other form(living-apart-together) in relationships.