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Self-Expansion Theory

Definition

Close relationships open up new worlds to people. As you interact with roommates, close friends, and relationship partners in college, you will probably start to notice small parts of yourself changing to become a little more like them and vice versa. For example, you might notice that you start taking more interest in sports if you have a partner who always watches basketball and football games on television. Before you know it, you might think of yourself as a sports buff!

Relationships can help shape our identities, and they can provide us with shared resources. If your partner owns a car and you do not, you will likely occasionally get a ride to get groceries or go out to dinner. Or if you have a nicer ...

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