Colloquy Undergraduate Research Journal


Being in relationships is inseparable from being human. Humans are communicators and naturally form connections with other humans around them. Relationships help individuals assess who they are and who they would like to be. Individuals use relationships to satisfy emotional, physical, and instrumental needs. Some of these needs are best met by romantic relationships between two individuals. Romantic relationships, which many people often expect to partake in throughout their lives, are intimately affected by standards, assumptions, and ideals. Though some deny it, everyone has standards for the person with whom they could potentially be romantically involved. This study will focus on these standards, a relatively neglected area of interpersonal communication research. The lack of adequate research makes it difficult to access the standards people have, the reasons they engage with the people they do, and the reasons for creating the standards they have for their partner. Generally researchers have assumed romantic relationships to be guided by certain norms, rules and standards. However, research has not specifically addressed these rules but instead focuses on the violations individuals make in their romantic relationships (West, 2006). A robust study of the relational standards is essential for a complete view of romantic relationships.