The Social Psychology of Relationships

Introduction to Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy

Selecting and evaluating a potential romantic partner has emerged as one of the most perplexing issues. One may find it very difficult to set the criteria to use to make their judgments concerning the evaluation and selection of a potential romantic partner. Lack of proper guidance and proper resources worsens the conditions. Breaking relationships has been very common phenomena in recent days. There are uncountable reasons behind the unsuccessful relationships. People while choosing their romantic partners often make mistakes and fall in a relationship that they find difficult to handle. The drawbacks of choosing inappropriate potential partner are many such as, it leads to the end of a relationship, causes divorce; create stress in one’s life and so on. Celebrities like Nick Knowles and Emily Hallinan, Ant McPartlin and Lisa Armstrong, Colin Firth and Livia, and there is uncountable number of celebrities who broke up with their partners due to the falling in wrong relationships. Many relationships end due to the dissolution which may occur due to several reasons such as poor understanding of each other, lack of proper communication, physical distances between romantic partners, having doubt on one’s trust, showing over possession and so on. One may find many self-help resources on evaluating and selecting a potential romantic partner but it is very uncertain that he/she may end up having the proper solution for his/her need as the self-help guide available in the market do not possess the proper required solution. Many self-help resources available currently in pop culture are prepared by the authors having no proper credentials. Many of the writers of self-help guide do not write exactly 100% of its content. They make partnerships with other writers to translate their academic pronouncements into words that an average reader can understand. Moreover, these self-help resources are unable to establish a relationship with readers as the authors are not successful in producing a resource that is relatively easy to use. Adding to it, the resources available in pop culture are lacking in quality. A self-help guide is reasonably well-written which is not seen in the resources available in western countries. Hence, people need a resource that includes all these qualities to provide the readers with all the required tips and tricks to evaluate and select a potential romantic partner. This self-help guide has been prepared having all the above-mentioned points in concern while writing it. It discusses the major reasons for a relationship to be ended and suggests ways to select and evaluate a potential romantic partner. 

The Ideal Standard Model for Understanding Partner Selection

The ideal standard model explains the structure, content and roles that ideal standard presents in romantic relationships (Karantzas et al., 2019). It indicates that the ISM work as an abidingly accessible structure of knowledge that includes three correlated components: self-image, the ideal partner, and the ideal relationship. This self-help group has used the ideal standard model for making it an effective guide to select and evaluate a romantic partner. The ideal standard model shows that the ideals of companion and relationship work on three functions: evaluation, explanation and regulation (Fletcher et al., 2020). The size of the variations between standards and belief of the current partner is suggested to be used by a person to check and evaluate their partner’s and relationship’s quality and check and make adjustments in their relationships. As per the ideal standard model, not only the need to glamorize but also the need to be precise regarding their potential companion and relationship motivate the people. It is quite very easy to get why one is easily influenced to idealize his/her companion and relationships. The relationship collision and termination’s cost inspire many of the people to realize their partners and relationships in a better way. As per Benson and Nguyen (2019), sometimes there is a conflict between partner and relationship idealization with the aim of being correct, particularly in the cogent projection, explanations and partner’s control and relationship get importance. 

The flexibility of the ideal standard affects the three functions of the romantic relationship. For example, more flexibility is exhibited by male and female in evaluating a small relationship than a long relationship (Baugh et al., 2019). It has a reason to hypothesize that perception partner ideal discrepancies will strongly account in attributions about their long-term romantic relationship. Individuals having a high rate on a provided aspect (e.g., charisma and liveliness) expected to have higher and less flexible ideal standards on that aspect. Moreover, individual who have less flexible ideals standards reports the highest relationship quality providing that their companions match their ideals. When a person is less flexible and partner inconsistencies are more, the quality of relationship is low. Hence, it can be said that less flexible ideal standers can either increase or lower beliefs of relationship quality which depends on ideal partner-current-partner discrepancies. The five tips mentioned in the self-help guide that can be useful when evaluating and selecting a partner or making a relationship are:

Insight: To build a strong relationship it is very important that romantic partners should understand each other well. Expecting a good relationship without knowing each other makes no sense and has a bitter end. There are evidences that prove the fact that a long lasting relationship requires a better understanding between the partners.

Mutuality: In a romantic relationship, it is expected that partners should understand the need of one-another. It helps in distributing the responsibilities that occur in a relationship. Without respecting one-another’s need, a relationship can not have a long life.

Live Interaction: To evaluate a romantic partner, it is highly important to have a proper interaction. It helps in making decision whether one wants to continue with the relationship or not.

Emotion regulation: Emotional intelligence is very important in an individual. This is equally important when selecting a romantic partner. It is an essential element to evaluate the partner to understand how would they react not just in happiness but also in times when the life gets tough. Thus, if the partner is emotionally intelligent he or she will be able to control the situation, no matter how hard it is. 

Generosity: Generosity is a very important quality that an individual must look for while looking for a partner or a relationship. It has been observed that when a relationship is in a happy state, the individual is generous, but at the time of crisis, it disappears. So, it should also be considered how much generous a person is as it plays an important role in a happy relationship.

Conclusion on Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy

People now a day are struggling with an unhappy romantic relationship as they fail to evaluate and select a potential romantic partner. Evaluating and selecting a potential romantic partner depends on many important factors that people sometimes are unaware of. As people fail in evaluating their romantic partners before falling in a relationship, they most probably end up breaking their relationship. The Ideal Standard Model and self-help guide help people in evaluating and selecting their potential romantic partners. The self-help guide provided here can be very useful to evaluate and select a romantic potential partner as it has top five tips to help one evaluate and select a potential romantic partner and to experience a happy romantic relationship.

References for Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy

Baugh, L. M., Cox, D. W., Young, R. A., & Kealy, D. (2019). Partner trust and childhood emotional maltreatment: the mediating and moderating roles of maladaptive schemas and psychological flexibility. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 12, 66-73.


Benson, L. A., & Nguyen, T. P. (2019). Integrative behavioral couple therapy. Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy.


Fletcher, G. J. O., Overall, N. C., & Campbell, L. (2020). Reconsidering best practices for testing the ideal standard model: a response to Eastwick, Finkel and Simpson (2018). Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.


Karantzas, G. C., Simpson, J. A., Overall, N. C., & Campbell, L. (2019). The Association Between Attachment Orientations and Partner Evaluations: An Ideal Standard Perspective.


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