The six stages of relationship development

Relationship Stages | Introduction To Human Communication

the six stages of relationship development

Here are six steps that just about every relationship goes through. If you're in characterize the last phase of the development of a relationship. What are the six stages of interpersonal relationships? . Describes what happens as the relationships develop; Includes breadth (number of topics talked . It takes time for any relationship to grow. According to famous psychologist George Levinger, every relationship goes through five stages, which are discussed in.

Whereas in the previous experimentation phase, conversation focused more on superficial topics such as discovering shared areas of interest and commonalities, in the intensifying stage the level of self-disclosure deepens. The breadth of topics discussed broadens and the depth in which each individual feels comfortable discussing those topics with the other becomes intimate and personal.

  • Devito's Relationship Stages
  • Knapp's relational development model
  • The 6 Stages of Romantic Relationships

In this stage, certain behaviors, such as increasing one-on-one contact through more frequent communication through face to face encounters, text, or phone callsdoing favors for a partner or offering gifts as tokens of affection, requesting commitment from a partner through direct definitional bid, personalized verbal expressions of affection such as "I love you" or assigning pet names such as "babe," and suggestive actions such as flirtation, gazing, or touching, may all emerge as methods of intensifying the connection between the two people.

Essential to the intensifying stage are "secret tests" [6] performed by each individual to ascertain whether his or her overtures are actually helpful in their intensification efforts.

These tests most often manifest themselves through: Endurance, in which a partner is placed in an unpleasant, inconvenient, or uncomfortable situation or respond to certain requests to determine his or her commitment to the relationship.

Public presentation during which a partner is introduced under a particular label such as "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" to see if they are comfortable with being identified in this manner. Separation, which tests whether communication and feelings of affection will continue despite an inability to physically be together. Third-party questioning, where one partner may attempt to find out the hidden feelings of the interested party indirectly by asking a friend to probe the person of interest for indication as to their depth of feeling and affection.

Stages in Interpersonal Relationships

Triangle tests, in which one partner sees if they can elicit jealousy from the other partner when another person expresses interest in the person concocting the test. While all five of these methods are common methods of testing intensification efforts, it's important to note that endurance, separation, and triangle tests are generally the least constructive, and can even be destructive when it comes to building the relationship.

In addition to bonding, the integration stage makes up maintenance stage of a relationship. During this stage, the couple is fused and elements of their respective social identities, such as friends, belongings, and living spaces, are now shared.

Stages in Interpersonal Relationships

Other verbal and nonverbal manifestations of the integration include the couple seeing their relationship as special or unique in some way, the exchange of "trophies" for the other to wear or display, and potentially similarities in manner, dress, and verbal behavior can be seen. This stage puts the relationship on public display and suggests that the relationship is exclusive.

This stage often involves marriage or another type of public contract, though marriage is not necessary to successfully bond.

There is usually a turning point that happens in this stage that signals a change in the relationship, making the relationship intimate. Reaching this stage does not guarantee that the relationship will remain bonded, though many intimate relationships will remain in this stage until divorce, death, or another type of separation. Differentiating[ edit ] Differentiating is a process of disengaging or uncoupling.

Relationship Stages

During this stage, differences between the relationship partners are emphasized and what was thought to be similarities begins to disintegrate. Instead of working together, partners quickly begin to become more individualistic in their attitudes. Conflict is a common form of communication during this stage; oftentimes, it acts as a way to test how much the other can tolerate something that may threaten the relationship.

the six stages of relationship development

Knapp believes that differentiating can be the result of bonding too quickly; meaning, sufficient breadth and depth see: Social penetration theory was not established during the previous stages.

A common solution to differentiating is for each partner to give the other some space, though extreme differentiating can lead to a damaged relationship. Communication is limited to safe topics. This stage is marked by less total communication in terms of number of interactions, depth and breadth of topics discussed, and communication occurs in shorter durations.

Expressions of love and commitment also decrease. Communication in this stage sees partners saying very little because they "know" how the other person will respond. Individuals will engage in imagined interactions to predict a conversation with their partner. At this stage, there is still some hope that the relationship can be revived. However, in many cases there are too many costs accumulating and, therefore, most do not stay at this stage for long.

A key reason why individuals stay in this stage is to avoid the pain associated with terminating the relationship.

the six stages of relationship development

When actual avoidance cannot take place, however, partners will simply avoid each other while they're together, treating the other as if they didn't exist. Essentially, the individuals in the relationship become separate from one another physically, emotionally, and mentally. When there is communication, it is often marked by antagonism or unfriendliness "I just don't want to see or talk to you".

Different forms of distancing are also common at this stage: No longer are they both receiving a mutually satisfying outcome from being with one another.

the six stages of relationship development

Neither one of them is happy and the relationship must come to an end. Troubles in relationship start when people have different opinions, views and fail to reach to a mutually acceptable solution.

the six stages of relationship development

In such cases individuals decide to move on from a relationship for a fresh start. According to famous psychologist George Levinger, every relationship goes through following five stages.

To start relationship individuals need to know each other well. Two individuals might meet at some place and instantly hit it off. People feel attracted to each other and decide to enter into a relationship. Common friends, social gatherings, same organizations also help people meet, break the ice, get acquainted with each other and start a relationship. Individuals are no longer strangers and start trusting each other.

the six stages of relationship development

Individuals must be compatible with each other for the relationship to continue for a longer period of time. Individuals with similar interests and backgrounds tend to gel with each other more as compared to individuals from diverse backgrounds and different objectives. The build up stage in a relationship is often characterized by two individuals coming close, being passionate and feeling for each other.

Trust and transparency is essential for the charm to stay in relationship forever. Lack of compatibility, trust, love and care often lead to misunderstandings and serious troubles in relationship.

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