In The American Paradox, David Myers states, "There are few stronger predictors of happiness than a close, nurturing, equitable, intimate, lifelong companionship with one's best friend."
In my opinion, many people seek friendships to avoid loneliness and related negative accompanying emotions. According to Baron and Byrne 2006, all relationships have the common characteristic of interdependence. This refers to the association in which two people consistently influence each others life.
From a theory of attraction, people gravitate towards each other for different reasons. There is an increasing level of attractiveness when the person is more similar than dissimilar in the areas of attitudes, beliefs, values, and interests (Baron & Byrne, 2006). A social psychologist may look at various aspects to explain why attraction may or may not occur between people. One way to look at attraction is determining the need for affiliation.
Baron and Byrne 2006 indicate that following theories that impact attraction:
1. If one of the parties has a low need for affiliation, they may not even be “looking” to develop a relationship.
2. The parties probably have a favorable emotion reaction to each other, parties that feel emotionally uncomfortable with each other are less likely to be attracted to the other. Additionally the parties may have met during a favorable emotional time which can also lead to increased attraction through association with the positive emotion and vice versa.
3. Repeated exposure or proximity helps facilitate attraction.
4. Instant evaluations and observable characteristics based off past experiences, stereotypes, and attributions can influence attraction.
5. Physical Attractiveness also can have an impact on the attraction between the parties. The more favorable the physical attributes of men and women, the more positively perceived they are to others.
6. Another factor that promotes attraction is similarity to another. Similar attitudes tend to be a consistent predictor of attraction.