Why do most new relationships fail?
Because they can’t make it through the Crunch.
The Crunch is the transition from having fun together to making a life together.
Everyone wants to have fun. Having fun is innately rewarding.
But making a life together is only fun sometimes. It’s also boring, repetitive, and difficult.
When faced with the Crunch, a lot of men will say things like:
- “I’m not ready for a relationship.”
- “I’m focusing on my career/family/friends right now.”
- “Let’s just see where things go.”
- “I’ve been hurt before, and I’m not ready to get serious again.”
- “I need my own space.”
- “It’s not fun anymore.”
Has a man ever said any of those things to you?
From his perspective, he is choosing fun and freedom over boredom and difficulty. He gets to have fun with you AND he gets to live his life the way he wants the rest of the time. From a short-term perspective, it’s a no-brainer.
Making it through the Crunch is hard enough right now, but it will become even more difficult in the future.
As more and more young people remain single for longer (and many choose not to marry at all), it’s going to take more to convince them to swap independence for lifelong commitment.
However, as you and I know, the rewards of sharing a life together are so much deeper, richer, and more lasting than the short-term fun of dating.
How can you show a man that making a life with you will be even better than sharing fun times with you?
That’s a BIG question…
And I’m not going to solve it for you in just one article.
But what I am going to do is give you a novel strategy to try.
Chances are, you’ve never thought of the Crunch quite like this before.
Try it and let me know how it goes!
The Old Perspective: Separate Stages
The underlying reason most couples can’t make it through the Crunch is this:
They see dating and making a life together as two completely separate stages.
Either they are casually dating or they have decided to be serious and committed.
No wonder jumping from one stage to the next is so intimidating! It changes the relationship overnight. The rules change. Expectations change.
Whenever you ask someone to make a big change like that, they’re going to be hesitant. They’re not sure if they’ll like the change. They worry they’ll lose all the things they enjoy about the stage they’re in.
There are many things that men (and women) like about the early stages of dating.
Dating is fun. It’s high energy. It’s filled with discovery and surprises.
Dating is like only getting the highlight reel. You don’t have to deal with the other person’s everyday minutiae. You get them at their best.
Not to mention the chemistry and passion of exploring your attraction to a new person!
On the other hand, committed relationships are low energy. They’re steady and stable.
They’re about routine, divvying up chores, combining your schedules, resolving conflicts, offering emotional support, and navigating each other’s issues and baggage.
From this perspective, the Crunch is actually a chasm. It’s a drop from a high energy state to a low energy state. No wonder it’s so difficult to navigate successfully!
But what if you saw it differently?
What if you didn’t see a committed relationship as a separate stage to dating but rather part of the same spectrum?
The New Perspective: A Spectrum
Imagine a spectrum.
On the far left is dating.
On the far right is lifelong commitment.
That spectrum represents a relationship.
A dating couple is in a relationship, just as a committed couple is in a relationship.
It’s just that the nature of their relationship changes as they slide from casual to committed.
A couple starts off getting to know each other. Then they become a little more committed by agreeing to see each other regularly. Then they become a little more committed by spending more time at each other’s houses. Then they become a little more committed by helping each other with everyday tasks.
There is no clear point at which they’ve crossed the line into commitment. They can decide what commitment means to them.
From this perspective, it is not your job to convince him to be in a relationship with you.
From this perspective, you are already in a relationship!
The label you put on it isn’t important. What’s important is that it’s moving from the left to the right.
That’s where you come in.
As tempting as it may be to show him how much fun you can have together, that keeps you on the left-hand side of the relationship spectrum.
To move your relationship towards commitment, you can introduce low-energy activities like hanging out with you while you’re doing a boring chore, helping you with an everyday task, or spending time together doing nothing.
Not all at once, of course! Little by little.
His reaction to your suggestions will show you whether he’s open to possibly sharing a life with you or whether he just wants the high-energy fun of dating.
It’s counterintuitive to suggest boring, mundane, or uninteresting activities to a man you really like. But those are the stuff of everyday living. When you love someone, it’s an honor to be asked to participate in their life.