I was looking into the concept of limerence as a stage of evolution in a romantic relationship, however I couldn't contrast it with other models and their components. Assuming that romantic relationships probably vary largely depending from cultural background, what are the leading models of monogamous relationship evolution in the field of social psychology?

  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean something like this? $\endgroup$
    – mflo-ByeSE
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 4:53
  • $\begingroup$ @mfloren yes, but with more empirical grounding? $\endgroup$
    – Seanny123
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 5:00
  • $\begingroup$ Do you assume something is substantially different in non-monogamous relationships? E.g. polyamory. $\endgroup$
    – rus9384
    Commented Jul 11, 2018 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ @rus9384 yes, because there's more people involved which would be harder to model? Honestly, when I asked this question, I was just curious by what other people have tried. $\endgroup$
    – Seanny123
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 15:10

1 Answer 1


In my opinion, the most important model of monogamous relationships is the attachment model, developed by Bowlby (1969). According to Fraley and Shaver: all romantic, or couple, relationships are attachment relationships. After imprinting, the characteristics of the attachment's figure (generally the mother), and the style of parenting will be recognised by the baby as the ones who are deputy to take care of him. So the baby develops expectations and begins to build his IWM (internal Working Models). People actively seek and select - even at an unconscious level - people, situations, and relationships that match their expectations and their IWM (Grazia Attili, 2004)

In this frame, Cindy Hazan and Debra Zeifman introduced a model of Romantic relationships based on 4 stages:

  1. Attraction, courting, flirt
  2. Falling in love
  3. Love
  4. Ordinary life and attachment

For more information I recommend:


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