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Dalton (1959) discussed how anthropologists and ethnographic researchers access "inside information" from within a particular cultural setting by establishing networks of intimates capable (and willing) to provide information unobtainable through formal channels.
In anthropological research, intimacy is considered the product of a successful seduction, a process of rapport building that enables parties to confidently disclose previously hidden thoughts and feelings.
Individuals often experience the human limitations of their partners, and develop a fear of adverse consequences of disrupted intimate relationships.
Studies show that fear of intimacy is negatively related to comfort with emotional closeness and with relationship satisfaction, and positively related to loneliness and trait anxiety.
Although many of the marriages have ended since the beginning of the study, this type of relationship study allows researchers to track marriages from start to finish by conducting follow-up interviews with the participants in order to determine which factors are associated with marriages that last and which with those that do not.
Evidence also points to the role of a number of contextual factors that can impact intimate relationships.
Aristotle also suggested that relationships based on virtue would be the longest lasting and that virtue-based relationships were the only type of relationship in which each partner was liked for themselves.The philosophical analysis used by Aristotle dominated the analysis of intimate relationships until the late 1880s.Modern psychology and sociology began to emerge in the late 19th century.Research being conducted by John Gottman (2010) and his colleagues involves inviting married couples into a pleasant setting, in which they revisit the disagreement that caused their last argument.Although the participants are aware that they are being videotaped, they soon become so absorbed in their own interaction that they forget they are being recorded.
Poor skills in developing intimacy can lead to getting too close too quickly; struggling to find the boundary and to sustain connection; being poorly skilled as a friend, rejecting self-disclosure or even rejecting friendships and those who have them.