Love isn't a science— or is it? New research shows that relationships have five stages. Considering a breakup? Here's what you need to know:
University of Tennessee psychologists Kathrin Ritter, Vanessa Handsel and Todd Moore have developed a scale to figure out how far along you are towards ending a relationship, per Psychology Today. The scale is broken down to five factors, each progressing towards a breakup. The closer you are to step 20, the closer you are to a total breakup.
The research was initially intended to help those in a violent or abusive relationship. Psychology Today notes that anyone can use the scale to help better understand where they are in their breakup decision process and how they can seek help from therapists or counselors.
Here's the full scale:
Factor 1: Precontemplation (no change being considered)
1. I am happy with my relationship as it is.
2. My relationship is ﬁne; there is no need to change it.
3. My relationship is not that bad.
4. There is no need for me to do anything about my relationship.
Factor 2: Contemplation (starting to think about change)
5. Sometimes I think I should end my relationship.
6. I believe that my relationship is not healthy for me.
7. I’m beginning to see that my relationship is a problem.
8. I’m beginning to feel the harmful impact of my relationship.
Factor 3: Preparation (getting ready to end the relationship)
9. Although it is difﬁcult to end my relationship, I am making plans to do it anyway.
10. I have started working on ending my relationship, but I would like some help.
11. I intend to end my relationship within the next month.
12. I intend to end my relationship very soon, but am not sure the best way to do it.
Factor 4: Action (initiating the relationship's end)
13. I have told my partner I am ending the relationship.
14. I talk less to my partner when we’re together.
15. I have started spending more time with other people and less time with my partner.
16. I ﬁnd myself thinking about my partner less and less.
Factor 5: Maintenance (sticking with the relationship's end)
17. I changed my daily routine to avoid any association with my partner.
18. I avoid places where I know I will see my partner.
19. I have thrown away items that belong to my partner, or taken steps to get rid of things that remind me of him/her.
20. I will never return to my partner.
How far are you on the scale?