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THE FUNNEL WITH FILTERS: A Model of the Process of Forming Intimate Relationships Defining a field of eligibles : determining broad categories of persons suitable for a relationship, based on socialization by adults and peers, knowledge or endogamy principles, and stereotyped images. Defining a field of desirables : forming an idealized notion of persons, traits, and behaviors that are appealing. Creating opportunities for interaction : using social networks to locates oneself in settings with high probabilities of contact. Assessing goals of interaction : imagining encounters and their consequences; preparing for the presentation of self. Forming first impressions : evaluating information provided by others and surface cues from partner. Developing mutual rapport : sensing comfort and ease in each other’s presence, feeling understood. Thickening of self-disclosure : sharing increasingly extensive and intensive thoughts, feelings, aspirations, fears, etc. Testing for compatibility : matching expectations with experience and examining similarities between partners on attitudes and goals; starting to feel in love. Testing for value congruence : matching fundamental beliefs, philosophies, and orientations of the partners. Developing mutual role-taking ability : seeing each other and oneself from the partner’s frame of reference; establishing predictability, trustworthiness, and mindreading skills. Developing a “we-feeling”: becoming absorbed by each other; being preoccupies with thoughts of each other, forming an elaborate pair-specific language. Testing for mutual commitment : reassessing goals for the relationship and its current strength and weaknesses; placing the relationship on trial. Establishing a social identity : acknowledgment as a pair by significant others; commitment announced. Solidifying role relationships : planning routines, allocating and scheduling activities requiring coordination. BOUNDARY SETTING CONTACTING EXCHANGING PAIRING CRYSTALLIZING WEDDING BELLS! 1 1
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UNDERSTANDING THE “FUNNEL WITH FILTERS” MODEL OF DEVELOPING RELATIONSHIPS David M. Klein, PhD, Sociology, University of Notre Dame In the late 1970’s, I started compiling information about process models of romantic relationship development. As I read the theoretical and research literature at the time, I found it somewhat confusing. There were many different suggestions about the process of forming relationships, and diverse concepts were used. Nevertheless, it seems like many authors were really just making similar arguments, so I started to integrate the key features of the various views. I have continued to adjust my own perspective as new scholarship has added additional insights. First, the 14 basic principles of my synthesized model are covered below, followed by comments about each step in the model. This material is intended to help you interpret the diagram on the preceding page. After some additional comments about the model, I provide background material in the section on “origins and criticisms.” 14 BASIC PRINCIPLES 1.
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