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Interpersonal relationships communication concepts and terms related to the movie 40 year old virgin - Research Paper Example

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Judy Pearson defines an interpersonal relationship as “an association between two people who are interdependent, who use consistent patterns of interaction, and…
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Interpersonal relationships communication concepts and terms related to the movie 40 year old virgin
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In the movie “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” Andy and Trish begin the first stage of an interpersonal relationship. Judy Pearson defines an interpersonal relationship as “an association between two people who are interdependent, who use consistent patterns of interaction, and who have interacted for an extended period of time.” Andy’s interpersonal relationship with Trish contributes significantly to his personal development because it forces him to learn how to use self-disclosure to become close to other people.
Before his relationship begins with Trish, Andy does not know much about self-disclosure. According to Judy Pearson, self-disclosure is “the process of making intentional revelations about oneself that others would be unlikely to know.” Andy is a very private person: he tells the few friends he has from work very little about himself. Although he is forty years old, he has spent very little time cultivating meaningful friendships. Because of his lack of interpersonal relationships, he has not developed a greater understanding of himself. Pearson claims that self-disclosure increases directly as intimacy increases. Another hindrance in his personal growth is the fact that he is a virgin. Because his intimacy with another human being has not reached the point of sexual intercourse, his personal growth has also been hindered.
The first stage of Andy and Trish’s new relationship is called relational development. There are five aspects to this development: initiating, experimenting, intensifying, integrating, and bonding. In the first stage of their relational development, Andy realizes he is attracted to Trish. Physical attraction is usually an important part of the initiating stage. The second stage of their relationship is the experimentation stage. This occurs during their date. They hit it off by finding many things they have in common with each other. In the third stage, the intensifying stage, Andy and Trish attempt to have sex and are interrupted by Trish’s teenage daughter. In a humorous misunderstanding on their first date, Andy reluctantly agrees to wait until their twentieth date to have sex with Trish. The intensifying stage of their relationship is the longest of the movie. They get to know each other much better while still not solidifying their relationship. The fourth stage of integration occurs after Andy and Trish’s misunderstanding. Trish catches an inebriated Andy in bed with another woman, but he is able to explain that it was a misunderstanding. In the final stage of bonding, Trish and Andy are married and consummate their marriage by having sex. Marriage is often seen as a trademark of the bonding stage. The movie ends at the bonding stage of their relationship. Many relationships end at this stage unless one of the partners dies or they divorce. Perhaps a sequel of this movie would be able to cover Andy and Trish’s relational maintenance stage of their relationship. If Hollywood sticks to its happily-ever-after theme, there will not be a sequel where Andy and Trish experience relational deterioration.
The movie is a great example of classic relational development because it shows the turbulent reality of modern relationships. At the beginning of the movie, Andy has a lot to learn about relationships. His character changes dynamically throughout the movie as he experiences the five aspects of his relational development with Trish. In the end, he becomes a well-adjusted character who is comfortable with self-disclosure and better with interpersonal relationship development.
Works Cited:
Pearson, Judy C. Human Communication, 2nd Edition. USA: McGraw Hill Companies,
2001.
The 40 Year Old Virgin. Dir. Judd Apatow. Universal Studios, 2005. Read More
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