Abstract and Keywords
Achieving constructive relationship connections is an important step as an objective of positive psychology. In the context of a culture of dissolution in close relationships, minding serves as an antidote to the demise of feelings of closeness overtime. In this paper, we argue that minding the close relationship is a powerful pathway to developing and enhancing closeness. Minding is a combination of thought and behavior patterns that interact to create stability and feelings of closeness. Minding is formally defined as a reciprocal knowing process that occurs nonstop throughout the history of the relationship and that involves a complex package of interrelated thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The components of minding are knowing and being known, achieved through reciprocal self-disclosure; attribution that is realistic about causality, but that also gives one's partner the benefit of doubt in questionable circumstances; acceptance of what one discovers in the knowing process and respect for one's partner revealed in this process; and reciprocity and continuity. The final component emphasizes the fact that minding must be done by both partners and that it is a never-ending process. The paper also describes other contemporary conceptions to which minding is closely related and addresses future direction for research on the minding process.
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