Stage 1 - Initiating Initiating is the first phase of coming together in a relationship. Initial contact had already been made and this was Christy and TJs very first public date around friends, on New Years Eve.
Stage 1 - Initiating During the first stage its natural behavior to size up one another. While still in the courting stage and getting to know one another they would frequent social events with friends.
Stage 1 - Initiating Physical factors such as: clothing, perfumes, colognes and overall appearance play a major role in this stage. They are both focused on their image and level of attractiveness to make sure they portray the image that they want the other to see in them.
Stage 1 - Initiating Individuals look for signs of commonality and ways to relate with one another. These two clearly found they both have a goofy side and love to laugh at silly jokes.
Stage 1 - Initiating Light conversations instead of revealing conversations take place to discover if the relationship should move into the next stage. The relaxed non-verbal body language shows their comfort with one another and that it would be an easy transition into the next stage.
Stage 2 – Experimenting Entering this stage announces that the two want to take their relationship a little more seriously. Here Christy invites TJ to be her date at her good friends wedding.
Stage 2 - Experimenting This stage is also referred to as the probing stage, to try and get to know more about the other person and to deepen their connection. They isolated themselves on a raft down the river to have a more in depth conversation about life.
Stage 2 – Experimenting While experimenting the couple searches to find out more about each other. Christy & TJ found they share similar interests such as the outdoors and being adventurous. The adventures taken together make them realize they have a complementary relationship.
Stage 2 – Experimenting At this stage it feels like a safe environment and both individuals share personal self- disclosures. Christy and TJ create special moments to start getting serious about the possibility of a future.
Stage 2 - Experimenting Many relationships end at this stage and do not develop into anything else but a mere acquaintance. This was a weekend getaway to the beach where Christy and TJ decided to test this stage and make the decision if there would indeed be a future.
Stage 3 - Intensifying In this stage people test the relationships potential in a variety of ways. For example, testing to see if the impression they are making is a good one. They start to attend more events as a couple and incorporate emphasis into their public relationship.
Stage 3 - Intensifying There becomes an awareness that a relationship is developing. TJ meets Christys father as their relationship deepens and becomes more solid.
Stage 3 - Intensifying Relationships are stimulated by giving gifts, confirming a commitment and expressing affection. th For TJs 30 birthday Christy surprises him with a home-made guitar cake.
Stage 3 - Intensifying Both individuals continue to encourage the development of the relationship. Christy and TJ took a trip to Puerto Rico as a couple. At this point they knew this would be a long-term relationship.
Stage 4 - Integrating In this stage the couple start to mirror each others behavior and mannerisms. Christy and TJ now have personal idioms and rituals when they are together. They have also discovered the symmetry in their relationship.
Stage 4 - Integrating The merging of dressing alike and similar language takes a hold on the relationship as it continues to develop. They are both demonstrating responsiveness to one another at all times.
Step 4 - Integrating The couple begins to merge in many aspects such as interests and values. TJ is a huge Trail Blazer fan! Christy started watching games and following the team to show her support in his interests. Here is an example of Christy practicing behavioral flexibility.
Step 4 - Integrating The merging of the couples individual social groups occurs during this stage. It started to be more apparent that Christys friends were becoming TJs friends and TJs friends were becoming Christys friends
Stage 4 - Integrating Its also natural in this stage for the couple to merge their common property. TJs dog Quincy became a regular fixture in their outings and Christy willingly started taking on some responsibility.
Stage 5 - Bonding This stage announces commitment to the rest of the world. They got engaged! TJ proposed and gave Christy a ring as a symbol of his commitment.
Stage 5 - Bonding The couple may participate in a public ritual that bonds them, such as marriage. August 10, 2010 they became Mr. & Mrs. Lyman.
Stage 5 - Bonding Maintaing a relationship at this stage includes sharing power equally. They went on their honeymoon to Trinidad & Tobago where they drive on the opposite side of the road, TJ took control in this situation.
Stage 5 - Bonding To share power equally the couple needs to divide up responsibilities and important tasks to create a sense of balance. While TJ drove on the opposite side of the road during the honeymoon, Christy took care of their finances.
Stage 5 - Bonding Emphasizing and maintaining positive and constructive communications is vital. Here the happily married couple encourages and gives advice to each other in order to stay healthy and physically fit.
Stage 5 - Bonding As we take a peek into the maintenance stage of a relationship its most important to make frequent connections with one another in order to stay united. Christy and TJ continue to travel, have date nights, focus on their connection and make communication a priority in their interpersonal relationship.
Power point created by Christy Lyman Speech Communication MHCC Spring 2012