Sometimes men break off a new relationship for reasons that don’t seem fair.
- It doesn’t seem fun anymore.
- You want more than he can give.
- (You’re going to groan at this one.) You don’t think he’s perfect anymore.
Now, to you, those reasons don’t seem very good.
Of course it’s not fun all the time. Of course you expect more from him the longer you’re together. Of course you don’t think he’s perfect—no one is!
It’s possible that you could try to prolong the relationship by always being the fun girlfriend who never asks anything of him and never criticizes him for anything.
But that would just leave you stuck in a superficial relationship that’s going nowhere.
Instead, try the little-known technique I’m about to teach you.
It builds “relationship muscles” so that your relationship can handle anything life throws your way.
From Honeymoon to Reality Check
Relationships are mostly easy in the beginning.
It’s fun and games. It’s exciting and new. All hope and high expectations.
Then real life intrudes…
And you see what the relationship is actually made of.
For women, this transition tends to be welcomed.
Getting real means getting more serious.
You step outside that new-relationship bubble. Your relationship becomes integrated into your everyday life.
Since everyday life includes a lot of scheduling, organizing, and problem-solving, these tasks start creeping into your relationship, too.
But men don’t always welcome this change.
For them, the honeymoon phase is a time when they feel powerful and invincible.
They’re your leading man.
They can do no wrong. Even their flaws seem endearing.
It is easy for a man to sweep his new girlfriend off her feet.
It’s easy to make her melt just by handing her flowers or surprising her with her favorite take-out.
In a world that’s full of challenge and competition and crisis, it is so nice for a man to relax in the company of a woman who thinks he’s wonderful.
He doesn’t have to brace himself for an argument.
He doesn’t have to deal with problems.
He can just be.
Now, you and I know that the honeymoon phase of a relationship ends for a reason.
The bubble has to pop eventually.
Reality can only be put on hold for so long.
Conflict isn’t all bad. We have to work out our differences somehow.
The question is:
How can we ease out of the honeymoon phase more gracefully…
So that it doesn’t break the relationship when real life intrudes?
Word of the Day: Titration
Titration originally referred to the process of adding one chemical compound to another in a careful way, to avoid an explosive reaction.
Today, psychotherapists use the word titration to describe a method of working carefully through past trauma.
Instead of tackling a client’s traumatic memory all at once, they do it little by little. They titrate.
By dealing with only a small fraction of the experience at a time, they avoid overwhelming or retraumatizing the client.
Titration works in relationships, too.
Instead of making a big change all at once, you can do it little by little.
Each small change moves you in the right direction without destabilizing the relationship.
Let’s look at how you can titrate in the honeymoon phase…
In order to prepare your relationship for the challenges ahead.
How to Titrate in a Relationship
Introduce just a little bit of difficulty in the relationship at a time.
For example, you might ask him to help you with something that isn’t fun. Maybe there’s a chore you’ve been dreading, and you could use the extra manpower.
You might ask him for a small level of commitment. Maybe you’d like him to reserve his Friday nights for you.
You might talk to him about one small thing he does that bothers you, something so small it barely seems remarkable.
When your relationship successfully accommodates these small changes, you introduce another small change.
Think of it like relationship weight-training.
If you dump a big problem on your relationship or ask him to make a major commitment in those early days, your relationship may not be strong enough to handle it.
But if you’ve been making small requests from the beginning…
And you’ve slowly but surely addressed bigger difficulties at a pace your relationship can handle…
Then, by the time a major challenge rolls around, your relationship will have the “muscle” to deal with it.
Now, some men won’t be supportive, or they’ll refuse to change. You’ll find that out before you get too serious.
The last thing you want to do is ask nothing of him and then have him balk when you need to ask something big of him.
Try titration today:
What’s something you can ask your guy to do for you that’s just a little bit more difficult than usual?