You have been approached by People magazine to write a 1,200-1,500-word article. The request to contribute has
been triggered by a letter to the Editor sent a few weeks ago. In this letter, a 21-year old woman described her situation and asked for a
â€œ professional guidance. This is an unedited quote from the letter:
â€œ Dear Editors: My boyfriend and I have been dating for two years now. We had our own share of ups and downs but, in general, our
relationship has been progressing to the point that I was considering to move in with him. A few recent developments caused my anxiety
and uncertainty though. Before he and I met, he already had a few girlfriends??nothing serious and steady, something I could call trialand-
error relationships. In June, however, I have noticed that he was on the phone with one of his former girlfriends (he even told me
about their conversation). I know they saw each other afterwards but he said the meeting was about a book he had forgotten to return to
her. In July, a coupe of my friends also told me that they had seen him with another girl. They told me she was pretty and they were
having coffee together and laughing, and even touching each otherâ€™s hands! When I asked him about this â€œcoffee breakâ€, he did not deny
anything but said I was ridiculous, possessive, and jealous. He said it was not a date; it was just a chat about his drama class project.
Again, in August, and I know this for sure, he and that girl went out together (thanks to my classmate who works at the movie theater and
spotted them). Do you think in this situation it will be wise for me to show to my boyfriend that I am not that desperate and possessive
and I can have a relationship too with anyone I want? I do not want to brake up with my boyfriend, but I want equality in our relationships.
Will it be wise to ask somebody to take me to dinner so that my boyfriend knows about it? Should I show him that other men also look at
me and that he is not the only one to flirt? I want make him jealous and teach him a good lesson: his actions cause consequences. I must
stop him before it is too late. But how far should I go to make him jealous? All I want is honest and steady relationships: if he thinks he
can see other women, I have to have the same right to see other men. I hope he will re-think his behavior and get more mature soon.
Things to do: You have to give a professional advice on the phenomenon, which I (ES)
call â€œrevenge relationshipsâ€: people start a relationship with another person as a
response to their partner/spouse real or alleged infidelity, dishonesty, or lack of
1. Ask 7 people, preferably your friends, about whether they have had such RR?? revenge relationships.
Did they do anything particular to make their partner jealous??as a retribution for his or her actions? How
serious were their RR (i.e., a brief flirt at a party, a lunch together with someone, a vacation, a rumor
spread with a purpose, etc.) What was the goal pursued by these RR (to bring someone back, to win
attention, to hurt someone, etc.)? Recall a few facts from your own experience.
2. Did the described RR help to achieve the initial goal(s)?
3. Describe what you learn from your friends (and your own experience) in a few paragraphs??as a
response to Rima.
4. Find whatever is available on the web about RR revenge relationships is a new term and I do not think
it is useful as a key phrase). See what the textbook says about similar problems.
5. Summarize your findings in a few paragraphs. You should use references to other psychologists and
their books or articles published (do not forget, you are a professional psychologist who writes a serious
article for a popular magazine). Ask your professor for help or use the textbook as a source of
6. Edit your paper (article) and compose it efficiently so that it resembles a cohesive professional reply to
the question about RR.
In particular, you paper should contain:
A summary of what ordinary people say about RR (5 points)
A summary of research and web-based facts and opinions about RR (5 points)
Your personal view on whether RR is an effective means to achieve a particular goal in a relationship (15 points)
How to display references in your paper:
â€¢ For a book: indicate authorâ€™s name, year of publication, book title, city of publication, and publisher. Example: John Johnson. 2005.
How to understand psychological disorders. New York: New Publisher
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