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An Examination of Everyday Communication in Committed Romantic Relationships

1. Sex

3. How long have you been in your committed cohabitating relationship? (Note, duration must be a minimum of two years in order to participate in this study.)
   

 

 

Now you will read 15 examples of behaviors from actual committed romantic relationships.  These examples are written in the relationship partner’s  “own words” and come from testimonials about relationship communication.  Following each example you will be asked to rate a series of descriptions of the behavior described in the example.  Please answer with your first impression of how well each description fits each example. 

 

 

1.  "I can’t think of specific wording, but sometimes my husband tries to use sexy phrases while making love (ones that I consider more dirty than romantic)."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

2. "Sometimes we try out new dance steps when we are at work conventions or on vacation."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

3.  "My partner said, 'You’re making a big deal out of this situation.' And …'We need space' and 'This will get better.'"

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

4.  "When my partner and I discussed our finances, we decided to set an allowance for ourselves. We decided how much we were allowed to spend, or save for a 'toy' we want, for the week.  Overdrawing our allowance meant losing money for the next week."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

5.  "Sometimes, when neither one of us want to admit what we want to do or we don’t want to argue, we’ll say the usual, 'whatever you think hunny.'"

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

6. "We keep our sex life fresh with sexy comments and compliments during the day. One recent comment was that I could certainly be a calendar girl and I am over 50 years old."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

7.  "He wanted to work in Wyoming again this summer, which would mean 8 weeks apart (and me home alone with two small children). I did not have a great summer the last time, and was not looking forward to doing this again. He found a way to only do four weeks out there, divided into two-week periods."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

8.  "Dealing with a problem we decided that we needed to support each other and we would get through it and that there could be a lot worse things that could have happened."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

9.  "Sometimes he doesn’t look me in the eye when I’m talking and tells me it’s all right for him to do that because it helps him concentrate better. That’s fine if it helps him concentrate but not when his eyes are on the TV or face turned away when we are arguing."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

10.  "We sold one of our cars, so I take a bus to work—I have been for the last couple of years. Last summer, I was telling her how I was getting sick of taking the bus every day. We knew we couldn’t afford a new car. She came up with the idea of buying a motor scooter. I said no at first, but then we went to look at them, and I rode one. Two days later, I bought one, they were pretty cheap too. So now I just have to ride the bus during the winter."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

11.  "When making an insignificant, but difficult decision—what to have for dinner, let’s say—we often end up deadlocked. When that happens, we ask our daughter to choose between the two options, even though she’s only two years old. She’s effectively a neutral party and equivalent to a coin flip."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

12.  "We will often tease each other by making statements like, "If you want me to, I can leave at any time and you can go find someone else," whenever we are irritated with each other, and it's more of a playful way for us to laugh, realize no one could deal with the other person as much as we do and we get over our irritation."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

13.  "Sometimes when we don’t want to discuss a subject any further we just let it drop."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

14.  "When we are both arguing and there will never be common ground, my boyfriend often ends with 'Whatever.'  I can’t get a word in after this and then we usually forget about it and just talk the next day."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.

 

15.  "My husband will often dance or shake his tush with his backside facing me. He will do this with his pants hanging half off his tush (he has a flat tush) and dance like a rock star. One particular time he did this in the living room picture window as I was pulling out of the driveway for work and did it until I drove out of sight."

I perceive the behavior in this example as

  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
Positive
Unpleasant
Good
Creative
Imaginative
Inventive
Novel
Different
Common
Familiar
Out of the ordinary
Routine
  Strongly disagree Disagree Somewhat disagree Neutral Somewhat agree Agree Strongly agree
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more effective.
The behavior in the example helped the participants be more productive.
The behavior in the example was useful.
The behavior in the example makes the things the participants want to accomplish easier to get done.
The behavior in the example saves the participants’ time.