Relationship Analysis: Knapp's Stages Of Love

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“Boy meets girl” and they live happily ever after... or not. (500) Days of Summer is the pure definition of a “complicated” relationship. Although one of the main characters, Summer, told Tom, another main character, that she didn 't want to be “anyone 's anything” at the start of their relationship, of course her actions proved to be a lot different than her words. Subsequently, the main point of the movie was love is real, but it depends on fate. There were many stages of the main character’s “relationship” that corresponds with what we have learned this semester about communicating with others. The concepts emphasized in the movie are Knapp’s Stages of Romantic Relational Development leading towards commitment; the Social Penetration Theory/self-disclosure; …show more content…
At the very start of the movie, the narrator introduces Tom as a person who grew up believing he will not be truly happy until he meets “the one” because of the way love was perceived in the media; Summer did not share the same belief because of the ending of her parents’ marriage as a child. Since Tom’s perception of love is completely different from Summers’, every moment pertaining their “relationship” will be almost bias to Knapp’s Stages of Romantic Relational Development leading towards commitment: initiating, experimenting, intensifying, integrating, and bonding. There were many days of the initiating phase of their “relationship”. The initiating phase is when another person finds another person likeable because of their appearance and/or actions when they first encounter one another. This phase occurs before people disclose very personal things with one another. Tom knew almost immediately Summer was “the one” when they first met on May 21st at a staff meeting for the greeting card shop. The narrator explained this sudden attraction as “the Summer Effect” or simply fate. With this being said when the two had their first conversation on an elevator about a band Tom happened to be listening to, Tom immediately believed that since they had this one thing in common she must have really been “the …show more content…
During the intensifying phase of a relationship there is increased intimacy and connectedness between a couple. At karaoke night Tom and Summer specify that they like one another as friends, but days after karaoke night, Summer kisses Tom out of nowhere after a brief conversation on their wellbeing while they were in the copy room at work. After that point, it was clear to Tom and to viewers of the movie that they were more than friends, but to Summer they were still nothing. Summer specifies on more than one occasion that they are “just friends” and what they are doing is just “casual dating” even though her actions portray something else. The night that they have sex demonstrates, once again, that Tom doesn’t truly believe they are “just friends” since he tries to convince himself in the bathroom mirror that they are nothing more than casually dating. Consequently, the day after he is jolly and happy on his way to work because of him and Summer’s newfound

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