Sometimes a great notion springs up at you. Many of the conclusions in this book arose that way. Other times, an idea sidles up, nudging you time and time again from the periphery. That seems to better fit how this book came about.
The first seed was probably planted at Michigan State University, where the climate, if inhospitable to the body, was highly conducive to interpersonal explorations. There, Judee taught a graduate seminar called Theories of Interpersonal Intimacy. The seed germinated at the University of Arizona, with the aid of the warm desert sun and further graduate seminars, titled Dyadic Interaction Processes and Theories of Intimacy Exchange. But it truly began to take root when the three of us, now working as a research team, realized that no single volume or article could offer us a comprehensive analysis to guide our own theorizing and research in this at once exciting and frustrating area.
And so the book grew, with much nurturing, weeding, and pruning from a host of student “gardeners” – people like Jerry Hale, Dave Buller, Milt Shatzer, Mary Diez, Rodney Reynolds, Lynn Aho, Beth Le Poire, Aileen Buslig, Renee Klingle, Patricia Rockwell, Michael Payne, Jamie Comstock, Cindy White, Pamela Koch, Eusebio Alvaro, Leu Strope, Kristen Burge, Mike Voloudakis, Megan Sheehan, and Carol Hensley – whose penetrating questions, summaries, editings, and critiques provided essential nutrients and to whom we owe a debt of gratitude.