Integrating stage of a relationship

The Ten Stages of a Relationship | EliteSingles

integrating stage of a relationship

Mark Knapp and Anita Vangelisti () have proposed that relationships go through The intensifying stage is often a very passionate time in the relationship. We can begin to classify key relationships we have by distinguishing between . Some verbal and nonverbal signals of the integrating stage are when the social. This can be the result of bonding too quickly. However this is an expected stage of any relationship, and can be solved by giving each other.

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. 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.

integrating stage of a relationship

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.

Knapp's Relational Development Model

Differentiating[ edit ] Differentiating is a process of disengaging or uncoupling. 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.

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. 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.

Knapp’s Relationship Model

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.

Neither one of them is happy and the relationship must come to an end. In this model, this step is unavoidable and relationships can terminate at any time. Termination can occur due to physical separation, growing socially or psychologically apart, or the death of one of the partners.

Communication in this stage is marked by distance an attempt to put psychological and physical barriers between partners and disassociation messages that prepare one or both parties for their life without the other.

Movement is generally systematic and sequential. This does not suggest that the process is linear or unchangeable; the phenomena is never at rest and is continually in flux. People do generally follow the same pattern, however. Each stage contains important presuppositions for the next. Sequencing makes forecasting adjacent stages easier. Skipping steps is risky due to potentially losing information that would have been provided in the skipped step.

Movement may be forward. At the start of any relationship individuals have certain expectations about what should, and should not, happen. Others need to meet those expectations or people often decide not to spend more time with them. For instance, in the early stages of a relationship most individuals expect the other person to be upbeat and positive not morose and depressedto look good not dress sloppilyand to be polite not boorish.

If, on a first date, a person is depressed, sloppy, and boorish, that individual is unlikely to get a second date. Assuming the other person passes the initial tests, one moves on to the intensifying stage.

integrating stage of a relationship

In this stage, partners start disclosing extremely personal information to one another, they develop nicknames for each other, and often talk using the word "we. It is at this stage when couples move from saying "I really like you" to "I really love you. Partners are highly attracted to each other and they find themselves thinking about each other all the time. They often idealize each other, even finding flaws in the other person particularly attractive e.

The fourth stage in Knapp and Vangelisti's model is called the integrating stage. This is the time when the two individuals become a couple. They emphasize to themselves, and others, how much they share in common—they are certain that they share similar attitudes, interests, and opinions.

Their network of friends begins to merge and they often develop friendships with other couples. They start sharing property: The CD player is no longer "mine" but is now "ours.

Foundations of Relationships

If all goes well, at some point, couples move to the fifth, and final, stage of relationship development, that of bonding.

The bonding stage is marked by a public ritual, typically marriage. Couples' willingness to engage in this sort of public commitment signifies their desire to obtain social and sometimes even institutional support for their relationship. After bonding, the two people are publicly tied to one another.