Romantic Relationship Case study

Romantic Relationship Case Study


Grand Canyon University: PCN-530

February 5, 2017

David and Jenny are a heterosexual white couple in their mid-30s. About a year ago, David and Jenny met on an online dating service. They chatted back and forth online for 3 months before decided to meet in person. They met for the first time in a diner in a neutral location suitable for the both of them. After meeting in person for the first time the couple click and a love connection were birth. They felt attractive to each other and they decided to build their relationship. The couple discovered that they had a lot in common with each other and continued to date.

During the continuation of the relationship after a year of dating the couple decided to get married. David proposed to Jenny; she said yes and they are in the process of planning their wedding. However, while planning their wedding they have been dealing with some major conflicts within their relationship. In process of planning their wedding, the relationship is now deteriorating because the couple wants different things in regards to children and career(Wood, 2011 pg. 223). Jenny wants to have children and would like to stay at home to raise them because that’s how she was raised.

David is not sure if he even wants children and if they have children he wants to wait until they are more financial stable. Jenny wants to start a family right away and thinks it never a good time to have children. Things will work itself out. David believes that they should plan everything before they just jump into. David is going to medical school and thinks if they have children it should be after he finishes school. Jenny is getting older and she doesn’t want to wait any longer to have children.The couple came to a professional to see if they can resolve their difference before they get marry or should they just end the relationship.

David and Jenny have gone through what is the called the five stages of relationships. According to (Rathus, Nevid, &Fichner-Rathus, 2014) the five stages of relationship is known as the “ABCDE model of romantic relationships: (1) attraction, (2) building, (3) continuation, (4) deterioration, and (5) termination (or ending)” (Rathus, Nevid, &Fichner-Rathus, 2014 pg. 210). The first stage of David’s and Jenny’s relationship is the attraction they felt when they first met online and in person. After meeting for the first time the couple begins to build on that attraction. They liked what they saw, they had some things in common and this motivating them to pursue the relationship further.

After the building stage, the couple enters into the continuation of the relationship. David and Jenny felt that they have grown to the point that should take their relationship to the next level. Which was getting engaged and begin to build a life together as one? They were no longer one but they have entered into the phase where they referred themselves as we (“mutuality “) (Rathus, Nevid, &Fichner-Rathus, 2014 pg. 216) and not I. However, during this stage, the couple noticed that there were things that they didn’t have in common. The difference in values regarding children and career goals is causing a conflict between the couple. This problem is what is causing the relationship to deteriorate.

During the deterioration stage the couple is decided should they resolve the conflict or just end the relationship. The couple’s relationship is in a downward spiral due to the lack of communication they are having. David feels that Jenny is nagging him about having children and Jenny feels that David doesn’t care about her feelings in this matter. The couple is constantly bickering back and forth about who is right. David and Jenny can decide during this phase how will they response. Will the couple response in a positive way so they can re-build the relationship or in a negative way that will eventually end the relationship (Rathus, Nevid, &Fichner-Rathus, 2014 pg. 221)?

Jenny feels that David was misleading because he stated on his online profile that he wanted children. David believes he was not; he wants children but, not right now. Before the couple thinks about ending their relationship during this phase they decided to take an active approach and seek professional help to improve their communication and resolve their conflict (Rathus, Nevid, &Fichner-Rathus, 2014 pg. 222).

If the couple decides to end the relationship this is called the termination stage. The couple might feel that they can’t come to agreement and it’s better to end it and be happy with someone else. “When people are highly incompatible, and when genuine attempts to preserve the relationship have failed, ending the relationship can offer each partner a chance for happiness with someone else” (Rathus, Nevid, &Fichner-Rathus, 2014 pg. 223) References

Wood, J.T (2011) Communication in Our Lives [Google books]Retrieved from

Rathus, S. A., Nevid, J. S., &Fichner-Rathus, L. (2013). Human sexuality in a world of diversity (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. ISBN-13: 9780205955336. Retrieved from