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Relational Stage Model

The stage model shows relationship characteristics by the stages of interaction as they develop communication changes and they move to different stages.

The increasing model consists of: initiating, experimenting, intensifying, integrating, and bonding. The decreasing model consists of: differentiation, circumscribing, stagnation, avoiding, and terminating.

Initiating is the beginning talk such as small talk. An example is: "Hello, how are you?" Experimenting is the next stage which is casual social talk. Intesifying is unfolding uniqueness to allow partner and you to experience similarities. Integrating is when you and your partner fuse together. An example of this are: social groups. Bonding is a public ritual. An example of this is a wedding.

Differentiation is when you and your partner have differences in character. An example of this is fighting. Circumscribing is off-limit talk. An example of this is "I don't want to talk about it" Stagnation is when things stay still and do not move up or down the stage model. Avoiding is when one distances themselves from their partner on purpose. Terminating is when one completely ends the relationship.

People move throughout the stage model as their relationship changes, grows, and begins to fall. People may believe that the stage model is helpful because it allows them to know where they are at and what they need to do in order to make the relationship move to where they want to be.


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