The 10 Stages Of A Relationship Explained

The 10 Stages Of A Relationship Explained

Knee deep in the hoopla of dating in the modern 21st century.


We all know the song and dance. You start talking to someone, making it past the initiating and experimentation stages. The conversation seems effortless, and you are knee deep in the hoopla of dating in the modern 21st century. Lucky us, right? It's all fun and games at first, you know, the honeymoon lovey-dovey phase. Who is going to hang up first?

Who is going to have to wake up early for a study cram sesh because you were on the phone the whole night before? That's just the beginning. But what about the stagnating stage?

Eventually, unless you are still in your longterm relationship (kudos!) things die out, and conversation becomes either forced or dissipates entirely. For those of you that are unfamiliar, the stages of falling in and out of love have formally been broken into stages for us, who just don't get it. The stages read as follows:

1. Initiating

This stage is pretty self explanatory. You know, you're out, see somebody you might like. You go up and say hi, or- if you're like me, you get your friends to figure out how to introduce the two of you! (The most FUN stage if you ask me!) Appearance and how you present yourself are extremely sensitive parts of this stage... This is the MOST content sensitive stage, so put your best foot forward!!

2. Experimentation

OK, so you made it past the initiating stage. You and said person are communicating. In this stage, you are asking questions and getting to know one another. Is this person worth pursuing? You'll find out talking to them during this stage.


Things are heating up! You are determining your deeper feelings for one another during this stage. You are asking questions with substance!

4. Integration

Congrats, if you make it this far, you are officially a couple!

You are most likely both physically and emotionally involved during this stage, and you are at your most vulnerable.

Integration is a serious stage, but one of the most exciting, too!

5. Bonding

"It used to be you. Then me. Now it's WE!"

People don't ask you what you're doing. They are asking about both of you.

You are not only identifying yourselves as a couple, you are seen by others as a couple.

6. Differentiating

Now for the coming apart phases. Not all of us are lucky in love, and this is where things get a little rocky.

The differentiating stage is the stage in which you start noticing big differences in the two of you. Conflicts are on the rise if you don't get a handle on these differences quick.

7. Circumscribing

So, you have differences. That's fine... during this stage, you have started to eliminate things that you can talk about or do together. You start seeing yourself as idle again at times, rather than a couple.

8. Stagnation

Let's be real. If you are in the stagnation stage, your relationship itself is over. Whether you verbally end it or not, it's run its course. You are wasting your partner's time and your own by trying to fuel this burnt out fire.

9. Avoidance

You are avoiding all contact with this person during this stage. If you talk, it is because you have to do so. Many individuals that are going through separations before finalizing a divorce are in this stage.

10. TERMINATION (Yikes!)

It is done, done, done.

To make this picture a little clearer, it is comparable to divorce.

Circumstances are not good, and communication is not there nor desired to be.

So, there you have it! The ten stages of being in a relationship and falling in and out of love are pretty self-explanatory, but why not let the stars of our favorite TV shows help us out?

Popular Right Now

20 Fun Facts To Use When Introducing Yourself

As we embark on the semester, we are put on the spot in order to share interesting details about ourselves. This article discloses possible fun facts to tell others!

After experiencing my first week of classes, I have learned that every student needs a handy-dandy list of fun facts about themselves to tell other people. Many professors use the first couple of classes to learn about their students, so you may need to think about who you are and how you want to introduce yourself to your professor and classmates. We all have that one go-to interesting fact about ourselves, but sometimes you just have to mix it up!

1. My favorite hobby is...

What do you do in your free time? Personally, I love to stay active! I am a competitive Latin dancer and enjoy teaching and taking Zumba classes, going to the gym, and hiking.

2. I love...

Is there something, someone, or somewhere that you love? What makes your heart ache? What do you miss when it's gone? I can say that I love my friends because I feel my most confident when I'm surrounded by those who love and support me.

3. I look up to...

Is there someone you adore? Who mesmerizes you? Who do you wish to learn from? After watching "A Ballerina's Tale," I discovered Misty Copeland. In 2015 she became the first African American ballet dancer to become the Female Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre. Her passion, grace, and strength continuously motivate me to better myself as an athlete and an individual.

4. This art speaks to me because...

Coco Chanel said, "In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." This encourages me to always follow my heart no matter what. I will never follow society's standards and norms because they do not define me. Chanel's saying definitely influences my character and lifestyle.

5. A funny and/or embarrassing memory of me is...

When you make others laugh they want to spend time and make memories with you! Don't be afraid to embarrass yourself. You will come off as down to earth, easy-going, and loyal.

6. My siblings or lack thereof influenced me by...

I can go on and on about my brother, who is 10 years older than I. We have opposite personalities and despite the age gap, we're quite close.

7. My pet(s) are my life because...

Only sad people don't like hearing about furry creatures, even if your pets are slimy and slithering creatures all human beings enjoy hearing pet tales!

8. I'm afraid of...

Your personality can be revealed by your likes and dislikes, including the things that you fear. I am terrified of change and the unknown, hence, the future is an anxiety-inducing topic to discuss for me.

9. I am the way I am because...

What have you gone through in life that has shaped you into who you are today? Remember to be open minded and allow yourself to open up to your peers. You may be surprised by how others respond and/or what others have endured as well.

10. The most unusual item that can be found in your dorm...

This is a fun fact about yourself that can easily liven up an awkward conversation. Think about your quirks and differences! One item I have in my dorm is my teddy bear, Peter, whom I like to joke is my boyfriend.

11. My dream job is...

In college, "What's your major?" is a widespread question. Nonetheless, skip the boring statement of "I'm majoring in..." and go in depth on what your dream job is (hopefully your major factors in to this dream of yours).

12. My hidden talents are...

Angelina Jolie is a knife thrower. Kendall Jenner can produce bird noises. Amanda Seyfried can crochet and knit. Is there anything special you can do? Some people have rare and unique talents, maybe you can think of some hidden talents of your own!

13. My guilty pleasure is...

I will say it a million times: don't be shy when introducing yourself to new people! I'll start by divulging my guilty pleasure: Youtube's family vlogging channel, "OKBaby"!

Check them out:

14. Some activities on my bucket list are...

This is an easy way to grab people's attention and find others with similar desires as you. Be an adventurer! Go out of your comfort zone!

15. Talk about your best friend...

How would your best friend describe you? What do you love to do with your best friend?

16. Talk about an accomplishment of yours...

You are incredible and have achieved so much! Reveal something that you are proud of — show off a little!

17. This one time at my job...

Bosses breathing down your neck. Curious coworkers asking personal questions. Cursing customers who never leave you alone. Your job can be filled with tons of hilarious situations that can easily entertain a crowd.

18. During the summer...

Any scars with stories? Any summer flings? Any lessons learned from the tanning too long? Now that summer is over, disclose memories that can leave positive impressions on others.

19. I volunteer at...

Do you do any community service? Share a funny moment while you were volunteering. What did you learn while there? Would you continue?

20. [blank] is meaningful to me because...

What do you appreciate in life? What brightens your day? What makes you fall in love? What does someone have to do to make you smile?

Finally, remember to be outgoing! Reveal that three-mile smile and open your arms to learning about others. Spread smiles, love, and happiness.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

When You Decide You Don't Love Me Anymore

I'll forgive you.


I never thought I would write this, but I feel like I have to: there will come a day where you won't love me anymore. This won't be a sad day, but instead a day I have waited for all along. You see, they all leave and that is perfectly okay. People may not be meant to be in my life for all of it, not in any of our lives but this is normal and although initially saddening it is a part of our lives and inevitably part of our journey.

When this time comes I want you to know that we did our best, that we were in fact in love once and that we had hoped it would blossom into a lifetime commitment but it didn't and I accept that and will respect you always. I know you did not wake up one day out of the blue and stop loving me, I know this feeling grew over time in your heart and that it was not something you planned on. I respect this.

You were the only person I trusted and the one I loved the most, but nothing lasts forever and I hope you can understand there is no animosity here and certainly, no stone left unturned. We just are not those kinds of people, we would have tried everything to keep our love burning bright and tried for quite a while to understand where the cracks began so that could fix them, it just isn't that simple. Love is a long complicated process, you know that and falling in love with me couldn't have been easy, I am misunderstood and stubborn as all hell and I am FULLY aware of that but that does not mean I didn't try to ease up on you, I promise I did my best.

I have always done my best to understand you, to make you happy, to keep the flame alive, but it has been extinguished. Love does that sometimes, it is there one day burning bright and then it slowly starts to dim with every fight, every unrequited "I love you" and every day passing by in which we spoke less and less about the things that mattered and more and more about worthless things.

This is all okay, it is a season of life, a part of our lives in which we do suffer but one we must grin and bear. I want you to know that I will always love and care for you, although it is now in a much different way, now we no longer look at each other with doting eyes and open hearts but instead with the freedom to let go and move on.

It is time for us to go on with our lives and find a new adventure, one that will light our hearts on fire instead of continuing to snuff our joint flame. You will always be in my memory and a huge part of my life that I once had but I accept that it's over and that time sometimes wears on things as it has worn on us.

You are the love of my life and that is truly the reason I must forgive you.

Goodbye, my love.

Related Content

Facebook Comments