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Relationship Group

This group consists of the following areas:

  • Relationship dynamic is the root area of the group because it is relevant for any type of relationship. The relationship process requires both being receptive and being proactive, so it encompasses both the existence mode and the agency mode.
  • Intrinsic relationship is a relationship that is an end in itself. Its main purpose is to be with others, which is why this area belongs to the existence mode, and usually includes an affective component (liking, enjoying being with others). The most typical example of this type of relationship is friendship (but it can feature in other interactions too).
  • Instrumental relationship is a relationship that is a means to an end – its main purpose is not relating to others but another goal (professional relationships being a typical example). It largely operates on the cognitive level. This area belongs to the agency mode because doing with others is what matters most. Although this and the intrinsic relationship are counterparts, they are not mutually exclusive. One can develop friendships with co-workers or gain benefit from friends. What makes the difference is where the emphasis lies in the relationship.
  • Intimate relationship is the top area of the group and the last area of the whole model (this is not an accident – it is arguably the most complex area, which draws on the other areas in its group and many more). It can have an intrinsic and an instrumental component (which is why it is on the axis of this category, encompassing both the existence and agency modes): couples usually want to be together but after a while they may also want to do something together: buy a house, start a family, raise children or have another shared goal. What makes the intimate relationship different from other types of relationships is its physical aspect – it frequently involves some form of body contact: touching, holding hands, kissing, cuddling, snuggling together, or sex. Although other relationships may include some physical contact too, the focus in this area is on the relationship for which this is a defining feature.