Analyzing Your Relationships

To encourage students to critically examine an intimate relationship. Students should gain insight into the types of information exchanged during various relationship stages: orientation, exploratory affective exchange, affective exchange, and stable exchange.


Recall a past or present intimate relationship. Remember “intimacy” does not necessarily have to be romantic in nature; it can be a relationship with a very close friend or family member.
Create a timeline illustrating the various stages (orientation, exploratory affective exchange, affective exchange, and stable exchange) of the relationship. On your timeline, include specific events or situations that served as “markers” of the relationship moving from one stage to the next.
Identify a verbal or nonverbal behavior performed or observed in each of the stages.
Share your timeline in the discussion post.
How can you apply social penetration theory to this relationship?
What did you learn from this activity?

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