The first two phases of any relationship are the initiation phase and the commitment phase.
The initiation phase starts the moment a couple moves from being “just friends” to a little bit more than that, according to both partners. The commitment phase follows the initiation phase and begins when things reach the “serious” appellation, according to both partners.
Interestingly, in a typical couple, there is a gap in how men and women approach these two phases. Although that gap is receding with time, it is still there and it is useful to know.
To understand that gap, one should note that not every possible coupling crosses the bridge to the initiation phase and not every couple in the initiation phase moves on to the commitment phase: nature made us discriminating and careful, which in turn helps our relationships endure. Imagine that every man and every woman has a built-in “rejection energy reserve” which he/she will use to fight off relationships that are not compatible enough. Except, women typically use this energy to reject suitors prior to the initiation phase, whereas men will typically use this energy to end relationships prior to the commitment phase.
To recap, a woman will use her “rejection energy” to fight off suitors, only allowing the very few to the initiation phase. However, when a man has reached initiation phase with her, she does not have enough “rejection energy” supply to break off the relationship if it turns out that the man changed or lost whatever it was that attracted her in the first place, so you see many women with abusive, controlling or severely mismatched lovers and you often wonder: “Why is she staying with him?”
Men, on the other hand, typically behave in the exact opposite way: they do not touch their “rejection energy reserve” when they meet available females and only become aware of it after the relationship has started. That’s when the man wakes up and decides to seriously examine the relationship he is in before things get too serious. And, since he has a lot of rejection energy to spare, he will be very difficult. That’s why you often wonder: “what an asshole: why did he pursue her so dramatically if he didn’t see a future with her?”
Knowing what you now know about the “rejection energy” concept, you should fine-tune your behavior to both maximize your chances of being with the person you feel strongly about and also be sensitive to the feeling of others.
- “Stay in the picture” if you are pursuing a woman you feel strongly about: persistence may pay off, but try to evaluate your chances objectively.
- Be mindful that a woman who has agreed to have a relationship with you has chosen you over many others and you should treat her with a minimum of courtesy, even if eventually you feel that things will not work out.
- If you really like a guy, keep him guessing as to how you feel about him. Don’t get comfortable until way after you feel he is extremely committed: remember that he can’t use his “rejection energy” until after he feels you have reached the commitment phase. He can’t reject you if he’s not sure you’re his!
- If you are rejecting somebody who really likes you, explain to him clearly but nicely why he is being rejected.