COMM ST 114 - Understanding Relationships

Session A

Nothing is more important to us than our intimate relationships. What are the building blocks of successful relationships? What makes us attracted to other people? How important are first impressions? How and why do men and women approach relationships differently? What types of verbal and non-verbal communication are key for successful relationships? What is and how important is commitment? How can we stay committed and content? What types of communication are dysfunctional and how can we avoid them? What do we expect from our relationships and how can we get what we desire? What is the difference between friendship and love? What are the different types of love and attachment? Does romantic love last? How important is sex in relationships? Who gets jealous and why? What are the consequences of lying and betrayal? How can inevitable relationship conflict be effectively managed? How and why do relationships end? How can you effectively maintain good relationships and repair troubled ones? Learn all this, and much more.

Student Testimonials: 

Even though I took this class during the summer, the hardest time to focus, I was always interested and excited to go to this class. The concepts that Suman teaches in CS 114 can be applied to your everyday life. Understanding relationships and how the female and male minds differ was eye-opening. Though it seems like a foreign concept to talk about personal relationships in a college course, it was incredibly helpful to my life, and interesting as well. The reading assigned in this class was very easy to get through since it was so relatable. I actually kept this book and refer back to it from time to time. Suman requires you to know the material from lecture and in the book very well, but it made me remember it today and use it to understand differences in my own relationships. Whether you are a communications major or not, I would highly recommend this class for the sake of your future relationships.
~Julia Katsev

Communication Studies 114 is one of my favorite classes at UCLA. People always say, "What do you want to do with a Communication Studies major? Do you want to be a journalist or a news reporter?" But honestly, there are classes in the Comm department unlike any you'll ever take, and CS 114 is one of them. CS114 is about Intimate Relationships - one of only two like courses on this campus. The readings are fantastic - interesting, applicable, and well written. And Professor Suman is a great lecturer, well-read and very knowledgeable. The topics covered in class are incredibly insightful and useful for everyday relationships as well as intimate ones. Even if you have never been in an intimate relationship (as was my case), the class is quite helpful for understanding the workings of relationships and how to be successful in them. You learn everything from common pitfalls in relationships (like trying to mind read) to how to remedy and mediate conflict with your partner. This class has had an incredible influence on how I communicate with my friends and co-workers, and all for the better! I've used things I've learned in CS114 in countless situations (and as recently as last week!). So, what can I do with a Communication Studies degree? Anything I want! Because I've learned how to effectively discuss feelings and desires with people in a vast array of settings, intimate or otherwise. Do not miss out on this class! It is a fantastic opportunity to learn about something that everyone wishes they understood better.
~Lauren Uba

Instructor(s): 

Michael Suman

Michael Suman studies mass media effects, media and culture, and new communications technologies. Prior to working for our department, he lectured at various locations and universities throughout Asia, and was the Project Coordinator for UCLA’s Television Violence Monitoring Project and Research Director for UCLA’s Center for Communication Policy. Since 2004, he has also served as Research Director of the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future. He has authored and edited numerous publications related to the impact of computers and the Internet on society. He has also published work on television violence, religion and the media, and advocacy groups and the media.