I The Dating Arena
Dating has become so exhausting and uncertain that many marriage-minded women have given up hope. I strongly believe that those who prioritize their real life interactions, take the time to brush up on male psychology, keep realistic expectations and an open mind will have the winning edge!
1 Dating Today
What’s going on with dating today? Commitment is in Code Red. For the millennial woman who wants a meaningful relationship, times are tough. A generation ago, “taking things to the next level” meant getting engaged. Now it’s simply being an official girlfriend with a title.
Dating apps and websites have spoiled people for choice! If one doesn’t feel a connection pretty quickly, it’s on to the next. Daters ghost out of each other’s lives in search of excitement, variety and something better.
I call it fast food dating, and the gap between it and the deeper “slow food” relationships women crave has never been wider.
2 The Commitment Stairway
When I talk about “taking a relationship to the next level”, I see it as a progression up what I call the “Commitment Stairway”. The friend zone is at the base, then if a romantic relationship develops and deepens, you can become a girlfriend, fiancée and finally a wife. The process of rising from one level to the next is what I call an “upshift”.
These intermediate relationship levels and titles matter
Commitment 101 (at least my version) teaches that someone who is unable to commit to the little things is not ready or able to commit to the bigger ones. If you want to eventually be a wife, you’re not going to have a future with someone who won’t claim you and call you his girlfriend. In public. Refusal to give relationships proper labels is just a way to keep one’s options open with a clear conscience.
Refusal to give relationships proper labels is just a way to keep one’s options open with a clear conscience.
It’s important to understand that now, more than ever, people have varying ideas about what actually constitutes a relationship; whether it’s cool to see other people if you’re not exclusive, and even if seeing each other exclusively implies you’re girlfriend and boyfriend.
Now I know some of you think the terms “girlfriend” and “boyfriend” sound juvenile, but I’m using them here because there’s no doubt about what they mean. In any case…
Clear communication is a must!
3 The Commitment Formula
Now we understand the levels of commitment, let’s talk about the forces that move men up the stairs. It’s important you understand that relationships won’t al- ways progress to the next level of commitment. Here’s how I look at it.
The Men’s Commitment Formula
In order to rise to the next level on the Commitment Stairway, you need:
Let’s go over these factors one by one.
Factor #1: Emotionally Available Men
Emotionally available men are guys who aren’t necessarily looking for, but are open to the possibility of a relationship. You discover them through the process of deduction…by weeding out the ones who tell you through their words or actions that they just aren’t someone you can build anything with. It’s a process of deduction that involves watching for clues. Most men will give you verbal and nonverbal information about this but (and this is a big but): you’ve got to be open to receive it, even if it’s not what you wanted to hear.
Common Signs He’s Emotionally Unavailable
6 Avoid “Saturation”
“I like this so much, I want more. I want to take this to the next level.” That’s how we feel before an upshift. This is why dating coaches say the best way to make him want more is to leave him wanting more. Saturated men are less likely to feel the need to upshift.
vertexting can Suppress his Desire to Actually meet You in Real Life
Did you know you can saturate a guy before you ever meet? Many millennials communicate primarily by text which makes communication effortless. But even if you’re hitting it off, I don’t recommend going deep back and forth for hours by text-textathons-especially when you haven’t yet met in person. I know it’s thrilling to learn more about your crush, but you’ve got to look at the long game. A high frequency of communication can eat away at the sense of novelty that surrounds you and this sense of novelty is something you’ll only have in the beginning. Have a phone call and figure out if there’s enough interest on both sides to warrant a meet up. Then cut down on the texting till then. You want him to actually feel the urge to take it offline in order to learn more. What’s that girl up to? Is he missing out? Should he check in with her?He’ll never get the chance to wonder if you’re the one always checking in.
Textathons can also repel a guy if he gets the impression you’re the kind of woman who needs his contact all through the day to feel good. Don’t give him the chance to label you as needy and clingy .
Structuring your Life Around Him can Saturate him Quicker
Have a Gracious Attitude as He Goes about Living his Life.
It’s your absence that reinforces your place in his life Plus, it gives you a lot more interesting things to talk about when you do get together. The bottom line is, you’ve both got to maintain your life, keep up your friends and have a life outside of each other. Give him a reason to want to make the next level of commitment with you-to upshift so he’ll be a part of that life.
7 Don’t Offer Constant Benefits he Hasn’t Earned
While there’s an epidemic of men unwilling to put a title on things, there’s also no shortage of women who aren’t official girlfriends taking up girlfriend duties for open ended periods of time. No pressure, just going with the flow in a state of “chill”. She hopes one day he’ll realize what he has in her. If he samples long enough, he might eventually be moved to “buy”. But how long is she going to give him?
Remember how I explained the need for us to pace ourselves to allow men the space and time to decide what they want? Well, it’s your job to put a limit on that time. Dating is like sampling. Sure, stores give you free samples. But would they ever really sell anything if samples were unlimited?
Even if a man loves you, he may not see the need to upshift the relationship if he’s content or already getting everything he wants.
This applies at every level of the Commitment Stairway, but let’s talk about sim- ply getting into the Girlfriend zone. The way a commitment-phobic man sees it, if a girl he likes has closed herself off to other dating options without a higher level of commitment from him, then does he really need to upshift and claim her as his “girlfriend”? Plus, he sees himself as free to explore his options, because, hey, “we never discussed being in a committed relationship”.
If you’re in a title free situation-a “situationship”-acting like a girlfriend, then don’t let that state of affairs drag on too long.
Don’t be afraid to cut things off: The Shoe in the Window
You know how you go shoe shopping and try on a great pair of heels but don’t get them because they cost more than you’re prepared to spend? Then you go home and can’t stop thinking about how good they looked on you? You figure out ways to justify the purchase. You think about the joy they’ll bring and how they’ll set off that killer outfit you already have. If they were that good, honey, soon enough you’ll find your way back to the store praying no one’s snagged them yet. What just happened?
Experiencing life without those shoes gave you the time and space to prepare yourself to spend.
8 Be Thoughtful about Living Together
On the next level up, many live-in girlfriends remain in wife-like roles for years. They could be offering up all the benefits of a wife a man who essentially has no motivation to get married, officially lose his freedom and risk losing half in a divorce!
Even if he is faithful and the freedom is just in his head, the simple knowledge he’s free to leave anytime gives him peace of mind. Many people feel it’s important to see if you can live together before making the biggest of commitments-marriage. Many women see it as proof of relationship progression.
“We’re on track to marriage!”
Not so fast. Moving in together does not necessarily put you on the marriage track. It’s not a marriage test drive unless both of you agree it is.
Talk about what moving in together accomplishes for you both…a means or an end?
Please understand to a man, moving in means a certain limitation of freedom, and probably an exclusive relationship, but not necessarily imminent marriage. He could have lot of reasons to do it: