APSB21757U Elective course - Dating, Mating, and Close Relationships

Volume 2023/2024

This course deals with dating, mating, and close (i.e., intimate) relationships. Although other relationships such as family and friendship are addressed, the main focus is on adult romantic relationships.

The content of the course encompasses:

  • Core concepts and frameworks of close relationships (e.g., attachment, interdependence, love)
  • Cycles of close relationships from stages of initial attraction (and underlying mechanisms) to relationship formation, maintenance, repair, and in some cases dissolution;
  • Important aspects of close relationships such as trust, commitment, satisfaction, and sacrifice
  • Communication and interaction patterns, conflict, and the relationship’s social context
  • Dishonesty in romantic relationships and ongoing research


Throughout the course and more in-depth towards the end, we will also address crucial contemporary matters such as:

  • Cross-cultural differences and multiethnic couples
  • The LGBTQIA+ community
  • Technology and online dating
  • Casual, short-term, and non-monogamous relationships


Learning Outcome


  • Having research-based knowledge of close relationships;
  • Having a good understanding of concepts, theories, and methods in close relationships psychology;
  • Having the ability to understand and reflect on psychological theories and methods in close relationships research.



  • Scientific and critical thinking skills, through reviewing, evaluating, and discussing existing literature on close relationships, as well as debating contrasting research findings and frameworks;
  • Research skills, through planning and discussing a research proposal;
  • Academic skills, through writing a research proposal and preparing oral presentations for class discussion.



  • Plan, design and implement research projects in the area of close human relationships;
  • Establish links between and draw together different concepts and frameworks in the area of close relationships;
  • Identify, analyze, structure and address practical, theoretical and/or academic assignments;
  • Present and discuss psychological knowledge and problems;
  • Defend scientific arguments/positions by supporting them with relevant and appropriate literature.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 30
  • Total
  • 30
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, Set assignment
Type of assessment details
Set assignemnt

Research Proposal (essay)

Students will generate a research question and develop a research proposal for testing specific hypotheses. This will make up their final grade.
The proposal must contain:
a) Introduction: Development of the problem under investigation and statement of the purpose of the investigation. Some literature review/theoretical background is expected.
b) Method: Description of the method used to conduct the investigation.
c) Discussion: Potential implications of the expected findings.

The proposal should include a title page, an abstract, and references. It should follow APA style and have a length (including abstract and in-text references) between 10-15 pages.
Students will receive guidance throughout the course and some feedback on their ideas and implementation plan (i.e., essay draft) halfway through the course.
Exam registration requirements

REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE EXAMINATION: It is a prerequisite for participation in the exam for all electives/immersion subjects that the student has been approved for at least 75% attendance, but the teaching is based on full participation.

Active participation: 

1) Class discussion: demonstrates accurate reading and understanding of assigned articles;

2) Group work and small-scale workshops: active students’ contributions to the construal of classes and the transposition of theoretical material to real-life cases;

3) Oral presentation: students will take part in a group debate, where two groups (2-3 students approx.) will present and defend opposite positions/frameworks related to close relationship research. Some materials will be provided for guidance, but both groups are expected to conduct a thorough literature review of both their own and the opposite position.

All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assesment

See Learning Outcome