First stage: Intra-psychic stage. This is when one person becomes dissatisfied and begins to weigh up the pros and cons, evaluating these against the alternatives. The persons focus in on themselves, while they think about the reasons for their unhapiness and start to make plans for the future.
Time to move on!
Second stage: Dyadic Stage The dissatisfaction is now shared with the partner through a series of confrontations. There are two possible outcomes; determination to continue breaking up or desire to repair the relationship.
Third stage: Social stage The break-up is now public and partners begin to seek support from others outside of the relationship. Some friends will provide reassurance, some are judgemental and blame one person, some push relationships towards its end by providing new information and others try to repair the relationship.
Fourth stage: Grave dressing stage When the relationship is over, individuals need to come to terms with it. Partners create a story that enables them to maintain their reputation. They may 're-write history' to try to lessen feelings of loss.