Mark knapp stages in development and deterioration of a relationship

The 5 stages of relationship growth.

mark knapp stages in development and deterioration of a relationship

When it comes to the formation and development of relationships, it's no In this article, we talk about the five stages of Mark Knapp's model of. All relationships have a similar framework in how they develop and end. Professor Mark Knapp studied this pattern and outlined ten stages that. Knapp's () ten stage model of relationships has been widely cited and endorsed of development and deterioration (Perlman & Fehr, ). One such .

Plus Take Couples Assessment 4. Integration Stage Now the relationship is in full bloom, and you are a couple. You spend increasing amounts of time together and begin integrating aspects of your life. You become sexually intimate and become more willing to be vulnerable and open about various aspects of your life. This is the point when you are truly in love and feel free to express this with one another. If you are in the integration stage. At this point in the relationship, you both feel secure and happy, and you are able to share more and more of your life with this person.

As you become more involved in one another's lives, you may begin to see areas of possible disagreement or discord. Use the powerful connection and love you have in these early days to address any possible issues before they undermine your closeness.

Bonding Stage Now the two of you are fully integrated, and you develop a more formalized commitment through marriage or living together. Your friends and family view you as a committed couple. You may pool your financial resources, make joint decisions as a couple rather than as individualsand begin having children. If you are in the bonding stage.

Knapp's Relational Development Model

Congratulations on reaching this important stage in your life. Fully committing to another person is a big step, and it means you have both navigated small and large hurdles in your developing relationship to reach this point.

Having a bonded, loving, intimate relationship is not only deeply satisfying but adds to your health and longevity. Now your mission is to maintain your close connection and protect it from the inevitable challenges couples face in their lives together.

Be sure you are both committed to putting your relationship first, and that you have a plan in place to nurture your relationship and manage conflict in healthy ways. Coming Apart Phase 6. Differentiating Stage As time goes on and the years go by, the two of you begin to see one another more as individuals than as a couple. This happens as the demands and pressures of life pull you in different directions and create stress and resentments.

The bubble of romance and infatuation has burst or is not longer impenetrable, and conflicts become more regular. In business, this is where they start working together with each getting value from the arrangement, often directly financial or that will lead to financial benefit.

Bonding Finally, the two people are fully integrated in the bonding stage. Here they make their unitary status known and may formalize it, for example through marriage. Other symbols of unending commitment may also include such as joint bank accounts and having children. In business, this includes partnership and trusting relations that reduce transaction costs and add longer-term value. Coming apart Although in bonding the people intend to keep the relationship going forever, sometimes this does not happen.

In fact the divorce rate in a number of countries is higher than ever. Differentiating At first, and with the pressures of living, the closely bonded joint relationship starts to pull apart as the people have demands of different jobs, different friends and different interests.

mark knapp stages in development and deterioration of a relationship

Romantically, after a couple of years, people are no longer floating on a cloud and start to see themselves and the other person as individuals rather than a tight couple. In business, other customers, suppliers and work pressure start to reduce the chance to meet.

Knapp's relational development model - Wikipedia

Individuals may also be looking to advancing their career. Circumscribing As the people pull apart, the focus moves towards setting boundaries and delimiting differences. People have their own individual space, their own possessions, their own friends and so on. This can cause conflict, for example where both claim the same resource as their own. Such argument only serves to push them apart faster. This type of model helps to explain the general patterns that are involved in developing intimacy with others.

The model presented by Mark Knapp and Anita Vangelisti has gained wide acceptance in the field of communication. This model of relationship development consists of five stages of "coming together" initiating, experimenting, intensifying, integrating, and bonding and five stages of "coming apart" differentiating, circumscribing, stagnating, avoiding, and terminating and can be applied to both friendships and romantic relationships.

It is important to remember that this model is descriptive, not prescriptive.

mark knapp stages in development and deterioration of a relationship

In other words, this model does not describe what should happen in a relationship; it merely describes what researchers have observed in numerous studies of interpersonal relationships. Some relationships skip stages, while others move back and forth between two or more stages. Thus, this stage model of relationship development focuses on the consistent overall pattern that tends to occur as interpersonal relationships develop and potentially deteriorate over time.

Coming Together The coming together stages usually begin with initiating, in which the participants in a potential relationship first meet and interact with each other.

Most people tend to follow the "scripts" they have learned for meeting people at this stage. This is the "hello, how are you, it's nice to meet you" stage in which the participants make initial judgments about each other, such as "he seems friendly" or "she seems interesting. Small talk is the predominant form of communication, and a wide variety of topics may be covered in a superficial way.


Knapp and Vangelisti consider small talk to be an "audition for friendship" in which the participants identify topics of mutual interest that they feel comfortable talking about. These topics help people identify areas of similarity that can form the basis for a developing relationship. During the intensifying stage, the participants increase the information they disclose to each other.

This step may make the participants feel more vulnerable because their disclosure can potentially be rejected by the other person. For example, one person may be ready to say "I think I'm falling in love with you," but the other person may not have reached this level of feeling, yet.

Forms of address become more informal at this point, and generally affectionate terms may be used. The intensifying stage is followed by the integrating stage, in which the participants begin to arrange their daily lives around each other and become involved in each other's social networks.

The relationship begins to become visible to others.