The brain is wider than the sky – put side by side, you decide.Emily Dickinson
In this chapter we discuss questions regarding minding and its limitations, alternative types of processes that may be instrumental in the creation of intimacy and satisfaction in close relationships, and finally, some of the intriguing directions for future work on minding, especially as it links both cognitive and social approachesto understanding close relationships.
QUESTIONS AND SOME ANSWERS
Is minding more idealistic than anything else? This concern may be broached because of the demands on time, thought, attention, and behavior required to “mind” a relationship. While there may be lesser or greater examples of minding revealed in different relationships and at different points in time in the same relationship, we believe that its existence and durability in a relationship represent a powerful vehicle for continued satisfaction and bonding. A wellminded relationship involves a mixture of equity, equality, empathy, negotiation, friendship, and deep commitment. It is not a mythical possibility. Many couples achieve it. Many also do not.
Does this conception give adequate attention to the impact of emotion on close relationships? We believe that behavior reflecting sentiments of caring and empathy for a partner reflects emotional behavior. To wonder about, care for, or inquire about someone's thoughts and feelings are acts often based on strong positive emotion. Further, affect has been found to be a part of the connective tissue of mutual storytelling in close relationships (Veroff, Sutherland, Chadiha, & Ortega, 1993).