Interpersonal Relationships Project
There are six well defined stages in interpersonal relationships, including:
Contact: the initial stage of the relationship that includes a perceptual stage where the
individuals simply become aware of each other, and an interactional stage that
includes the exchange of basic information and where each individual decides if a
relationship is worth pursuing.
Involvement: increased contact which allows the individuals to learn more about each
other, a sense of being connected begins to develop and the individuals begin to
spend more time together doing things that suggest an intensification of the
relationship.
Intimacy: Each individual feels a sense of commitment to the other and some type of
defined relationship, usually divided into two stages—the interpersonal
commitment which is a private commitment and the social bonding which is more
public. Both individuals identify individually as part of a unit or pair, and the
public also identifies them as such.
Deterioration: the weakening of the bonds of intimacy due to dissatisfaction that
ultimately leads to withdrawal from contact, decreasing self-disclosure and
increased deception. This stage may or may not include arguing and quarreling.
Repair: one or both individuals make attempts to analyze what is wrong and try to find
ways to solve the problems by changing own behaviors or changing the
expectations of the other’s behaviors. The goal of this stage is a return to the
intimacy stage. This stage may be skipped.
Dissolution: completely severing the bonds that held the relationship together in the
intimacy stage.
Watch the 2006 movie “The Break-up” (with Jennifer Aniston and Vince
Vaughn) Watch for signs and examples of the six stages of a relationship. Keep in mind
that the initial stages may be represented in incidents from the past that are being
remembered or retold by the characters.
Write a short, 1 1/2 to 2 page, double spaced essay addressing all six of the stages of
interpersonal relationships.
Remember that although the above components are being demonstrated and studied with
a romantic relationship in this particular move, the same processes occur in other types of
relationships (friendships, work relationships, etc.) as well.
Submit the essay in the corresponding drop box

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