Although many relationships remain at the bonding stage, some relationships do come apart. The coming apart stages begin with differentiating, in which the partners begin to recognize their differences and are unhappy with the realization. Fighting or conflict may occur as the partners begin to feel a growing interpersonal distance.
Constricted communication occurs during the circumscribing stage. Partners restrict their communication to “safe areas” in which they know they can agree. Controversial topics are avoided, and there is little depth to the conversations. The partners may exchange little personal information during their interactions with each other, but they are still able to maintain the public facade of a healthy relationship.
Stagnating occurs when the expectation of unpleasant conversations begins to emerge, along with the feeling that there is little to say to the other person. The partners avoid talking about the relationship at this point because they believe there is nothing to gain by further discussion.
In the avoiding stage, partners reorganize their lives so that they can minimize interaction with each other. Sometimes the partners try to avoid each other, or they directly state their desires, such as “I don’t want to talk to you anymore.”
Finally, the terminating stage involves physically and psychologically leaving the relationship. This stage may occur very quickly, or it may take a number of years for it to be accomplished. One partner may decide to move out, or both people may agree to stop contacting each other. Messages at this stage of a relationship are designed to create distance between people (“Please don’t call me.”) or to prepare for life without the other person (saying “I” or “me” instead of “we” when talking about certain topics with others).
THEMES Major The major theme of Siddhartha is that happiness comes from spiritual peace. Throughout the novel, the protagonist seeks such peace, which is finally achieved through several different stages of life. The first stage is that of an orthodox Brahmin's son. In this stage, he reads the scriptures and performs ritualistic sacrifice. The second is an ascetic stage in which he practices the ...
Movement Between Stages
Knapp and Vangelisti argue that movement through the stages of relationship development tends to be systematic and sequential. That is, coming together or coming apart occurs in the order in which these stages are described above. Nevertheless, participants can skip stages in either coming together or coming apart.
In addition, movement through the stages may be either forward toward greater intimacy or backward toward less intimacy. Movement forward or backward may also increase in speed if both participants in the relationship want it to change. In other words, if both participants want to become more intimate, the relationship will change faster than if one participant is unsure of his or her feelings.