The transition from casual to serious involvement appears to constitute a unique period of relating within courtships. We suggest that the moderate levels of intimacy characterizing this phase correspond with heightened uncertainty about the relationship and greater interference from partners in everyday activities. In a test of these predictions, individuals in dating relationships (N = 341) completed self-report measures of intimacy, relationship uncertainty, partner's influence in the respondent's everyday activities, and partner's interference in those activities. Contrary to our expectations, we observed a negative linear association between intimacy and relationship uncertainty. Although the effect size was small, results indicated support for a curvilinear association between the experience of interference from partners and intimacy; as predicted, interference was greatest at moderate levels of intimacy. In addition, results revealed an ordinal interaction between intimacy and a partner's influence in everyday activities, such that the partner's influence was more positively associated with interference at low levels of intimacy than at high levels of intimacy. The discussion highlights the implications of these findings for conceptualizing the development of romantic relationships.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science