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As Altman and Taylor note, "People seem to possess very sensitive tuning mechanisms which enable them to program carefully their interpersonal relationships." Third, relational development could move backward, resulting in de-penetration and dissolution.For example, after prolonged and fierce fights, a couple who originally planned to get married may decide to break up and turn to be strangers ultimately.For instance, when an individual shares his or her thoughts regarding to sky-rocketing rents in New York City, the other individual expresses his or her views as well.Social penetration is known for its onion analogy, which implies that self-disclosure is the process of tearing layers or concentric circles away. It is sometimes called the "onion theory" of personality.As the relational development progresses, wider and more controversial topics such as political views are included in the conversations.Second, interpersonal relationships develop in a generally systematic and predictable manner.This theory is also guided by the assumptions that relationship development is systematic and predictable.

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The early reward/cost assessment have a strong impact on the relationship's reactions and involvement, and expectancies in a relationship regarding the future play a major role on the outcome of the relationship.

This is because as mutual disclosure take place between individuals, they might feel a sense of emotional equity.

Disclosure reciprocity occurs when the openness of one person is reciprocated with the same degree of the openness from the other person.

Relationships are likely to break down not in an explosive argument but in a gradual cooling off of enjoyment and care.

What is worth noting is that Tolstedt and Stokes finds that in the de-penetration process, the self-disclosure breadth reduces, while self-disclosure depth increases.

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