In the Ten-Stage Model of Romantic Relationship, the experimenting stage (Stage 2) is when we explore whether or not the relationship we have begun has a future and is worth continuing (Gamble, p.169).  This stage involves getting to know the other person and asking questions in small talk. In order to discover if there is any compatibility, little bits of self-disclosure guide the discovery of one another’s beliefs, values, and opinions. As we get to know the interests and personalities of other people, we can determine if they are the kind of person we would like to pursue.

“The Bachelor” is a show that highlights all of the stages of the Ten-Stage Model through the integrating stage (Stage 4). The first episode (clip below) focuses on the experimenting stage. This is when the bachelor has conversations with all of the girls to determine whether or not they have enough in common to continue getting to know each other. The initiating stage is pretty much skipped in “The Bachelor” because the show itself sets up the casual interaction among participants, not allowing one person to initiate. In the clip below, the bachelor gets to know some of the girls by finding out what they’re interested in and what kind of things they like to do/talk about.

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

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