HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

Romantic Partners Prompt 3

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I think Knapp’s model for relationships and their progression is very accurate, although I would not use it to specify every relationship, as everyone is a little different, and some couples definitely deviate from the norm. I have only ever been in one official relationship, but all the stages make sense to me, and I’ve seen quite a few couple go through these stages. Before I started dating my girlfriend, we didn’t talk very much because of school and not seeing her often at all. When we exchanged emails (her main means of communication), it took off. I spent months in the experimenting/intensifying stage because I didn’t know how to ask her out. After a while, I finally did, and she said yes. From that point, it was a little difficult to date her because she couldn’t tell her parents about me, as she wasn’t supposed to date anyone. As a result, bonding didn’t develop as it was supposed to. She was also incredibly shy and embarrassed, so I’d have to be alone with her to be romantic. Though we didn’t bond much, we did integrate. We got involved in each other’s activities, probably more of me going to her, since she was dating me undercover. We dated for almost a year, but once we got into college, a lot of things changed. We started noticing our differences, and we were really busy. Since we didn’t go to the same colleges, we couldn’t talk as much as before. We went through differentiation, but she ended up hooking up with a guy I didn’t know about until later. She ended the relationship very suddenly, thus skipping the circumscribing and stagnating. She then proceeded to lie to her friends and say I was this and that to her, even though I made time to drive 3 hours to go see her on the weekend when she asked. I’m not sure what actually happened there up at the end, but it was probably not how relationships are supposed to end. It was probably just some bad luck. Either way, I went through most of the stages, so I understand them. I wouldn’t add any stages, as I can’t think of any that would fit in properly. I do think that Knapp’s model is a well-constructed baseline for the lifespan of a relationship.

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