Monday, June 27, 2011

Erikson’s Stages of Development Part 6:

Intimacy vs Isolation ages 19-40: This stage is emphasized around age 30. The person has just passed through the identity vs role confusion at the beginning and still lingers a little bit into this stage. In the beginning they person is still trying to fit in with the crowd and mold their own identity with those of peers. In this stage the person begins to become isolated in some instances due to the relationship they form also the person fears the possible breakup and being turned down.

Once a person finally forms their identity they are willing to form strong bonds and commit to relationships. The person is then capable of forming intimate, reciprocal relationships and are willing to make sacrifices.

The main question in this stage is, "Am I loved and wanted?" or "Shall I share my life with someone or live alone?"

This stage is more for the adult books that we write. The characters are going through challenges such as marriage, fidelity, children, work, and possibly illness. The characters are beginning to commit to others and are more willing to sacrifice their own needs for those of others. Remember in the beginning of this stage the MC may still be trying to find their identity and are more likely to conform whereas at the end they have found out who they are generally and are moving into the next stage.

What are some more struggles and challenges we can write about in this stage? How would a fantasy character look who is closer to the end of this stage?


  1. Interesting post. My MC is 43 yrs old. I'm going to have to watch this closely. It's great to have someone "in-the-know" helping out with this!


  2. A Fantasy character . . . I would think of someone at that stage to be in a position of power--a king/queen, perhaps--who is settling down into their role.

  3. i think an intersting variable in this is though they may have the desire for these relationship, do they have the opportunity...and if they dont how does that affect them...

  4. I like what The Golden Eagle said. I mean what is more stressful than trying to figure out who you are and at the same time rule a country. That is when they might wonder if they are loved because of who they are or the position they hold. For the most part, my characters fall into this stage. This is great.

  5. I find all this interesting and for those who write books it must be a great help.
    My poems are based mainly on my own life's expereiences so one can see how I have progressed through different stages and evants through my life.

  6. Wow, so that's why I've been feeling this way lately! haha, but really, it's good to think realistically when creating characters.


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