Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Melanie Mills


By studying the manner in which romantic partners tell accounts of their relationship events, researchers can gain insight into the process of relational development. This study examines how five engaged couples socially construct their own shared reality. Using critical incidents, couples first individually described three critical incidents common to engaged couples, including: their first meeting, worst fight, and decision to become a mutually exclusive couple. Next, couples collaborated to produce a shared narrative of significant events in the relationship. Through content analysis, the use of conflict avoidance is examined as a means of creating the collective reality. This research provides both a better understanding of joint remembering and the social construction of romantic relationships.