November 3, 2014
The Stages of Relationships
Relationships are essential to life. Everybody needs somebody to be there for them when they’re in hard times, or just in general for the moment. There are many stages and things that happen in the development of a relationship. Mark Knapp, a Distinguished Teaching Emeritus at University of Texas at Austin, made a suggestion that relationships consist of five main stages; initiating, experimenting, intensifying, integrating, and bonding (Alder, Rodman.) Also he described the five stages that relationships go through when they come to an end. They consist of the following differentiating, circumscribing, stagnating, avoiding, and stagnating.
The very first step in relationships is initiating. The definition of initiating is “the stage of the relationship at which people meet and interact for the first time” (p. 188). In eleventh grade of high school I met this girl named Susie Walker. I met her through a mutual friend which was my best friend, Janna Horton. It was a sunny day outside and the two of them met each other and I just so happened to be with Janna. Janna introduced me to her and we began talking and got to know a little more about each other. We exchanged number for sense of communication as well. This ties back in the next in relationship development which is experimenting. The definition of experimenting is “the stage where people begin to converse and learn a little more about each other” (p. 188). After the day I met Susie, we started to hang out more. Every time I saw her around school I would speak. Soon we became friends. We started eating lunch together and talking and getting to know each other, learning our differences and seeing what we had in common. The next step in the development of relationships is the intensifying stage which is defined as “when people merge from being acquaintances to becoming close friends” (p. 188). As time