How to Maintain Long-Term Relationships

Context: unkonwn poster and his insights on LTRs

Long Term Relationships (LTRs), present a Catch-22 type of problem. Many people enter LTRs to AVOID having the things we all have to do to get a girlfriend—keeping in shape, being mysterious, busting shit-tests, etc. However, if we abuse the benefits of a LTR too much–let ourselves go physically, spill our guts constantly, letting shit-tests slide, etc., it deteriorates the quality of the LTR, and in some cases can END it. Both men and women are guilty of abusing the LTR status. But this post is focused on a men’s perspective. The following suggestions not only prevent men’s ladder positions falling in the eyes of the girlfriend, but they will ALSO encourage the girlfriend/woman to keep her end of the bargain up too–preventing her from abusing the LTR status as well (letting herself go, etc.).

RedSeraph wrote:

After commitment settles in, it’s ok to do some of the IW stuff, but continue to maintain your sense of self, and don’t let yourself be pussy-whipped. Keep up with the trust and honesty, and stay assertive. Don’t do anything for the relationship out of a feeling that you have to, make sure that anything done is done because you want to.

On a more basic level, this is what I suggest:

1) Stay in shape, and maintain stylish clothes, good hygeine, etc. This is good for two reasons. First, your GF will stay more attracted to you (instead of you getting a beer gut, showering once per week, and wearing sweatpants all day). Second, you will appear to be more attractive to OTHER WOMEN. Granted, you won’t be hooking up with the other women, but your GF WILLL KNOW & SEE that other women are checking you out. This reinforces the idea in her brain that you are attractive and that she has competition and needs to defend her territory. It lets her know in a non-threatening way that if you need to, you can, re-fill The Hopper very quickly & move on with your life.

2) Innocently flirt w/ other cute women. Never cross the line and have lunch alone, etc. But innocently flirting in front of her goes back to the last part of #1 above. It lets your GF know (without you SAYING IT) that you have options, and you can always walk and land something as good or better than her. Again, make sure not to cross the line and cheat on her, etc. But innocently flirting re-inforces point #1 and lets your girlfriend know that at a moment’s notice, you would have no problem re-stocking The Hopper with new women to replace her.

3) Don’t shower her w/ gifts & fancy meals all of the time. Only do it for special occasions. If you do it all of the time, she will EXPECT it as NORMAL and instead of getting credit for doing it all of the time, you will get busted for NOT doing it all of the time. This is part of, “managing expectations.” Don’t be afraid to pamper & compliment–but ONLY when she DESERVES IT. Note to all of you IWs out there: a girl does not DESERVE IT simply by agreeing to spend time w/ you and having sex w/ you once in awhile. Set the bar higher. Did she give you a midblowing BJ on the airplane? Bonus point. Did she cook you an amaizing steak dinner? Bonus point. Did she refrain from nagging & annoying you about her argument w/ her mother while you were watching the football game? Bonus point. Did she get all dolled up & wear a new set of sexy underwear to dinner? Bonus point. But do not give out bonus points left & right. Compliments & bonus points should be genuine, but RARE. She will value the bonus points more if she knows she really has to work for them. Remember Pavlov and his dog? Same concept here. Any time you see behavior you want repeated, reward it. Any time you see a behavior you DO NOT want repeated, either ignore it or punish it (depending on your personal philosophy). Personally, I only use carrots and never use sticks (my stick is simply ignoring her). The key here is to figure out what motivates her. Is it sex? Cuddling & attention from you? Money/gifts? Use whatever motivates her as the bonus points. It should be stated here that this concept is a TWO WAY STREET. Women can train men the exact same way. For example, if a guy is late from work or the bar, and he walks in the door and the woman is screaming & yelling that he’s late, drunk, etc. what kind of message does that say? OTOH, if EVERY TIME he walks in the door–day or night–no matter what condition he’s in–no matter HOW pissed she is—if she is like, “HI HONEY!! Welcome home!,” and then proceeds to give him a good warm meal & make him comfortable, etc. (again, whatever motivates him), what’s going to happen? He’ll learn to associate coming home to his wife as a GOOD FEELING, and will want to do it more.

4) Resist the temptation to spill your guts out, even when she asks. Women are like oil drillers. Their job is to drill your soul for as much information, insight & history/background as possible on you. As soon as the well she is drilling into has run dry, it is very likely that she will start finding other wells that are untapped (i.e., other men), a tempting target. At the beginnig of a relationship, this information drilling is RUTHLESS, like you’re on a giant interview. Do not lie, but I suggest telling a straight-up answer about 1/3 of the time. Another 1/3 just give a short-but honest answer (that obviously requires follow-up), and the last 1/3rd of the time, just be jokingly evasive. This will DRIVER HER NUTS, and keep her active imagination going and therefore keep her entertained. Eventually, she WILL find most everything about you (every well has a finite amount of oil, after all). But in a LTR, there are other ways to maintain mystery–teasing, short answers to her questions, discussing your thoughts on current events or gossip about friends, etc. I’ll say my famous quote right here: “When the keg is empty, the party is OVER. More accurately, when the keg is empty, the party is MOST LIKELY over. Do your best to ration out your, “personal mystery beer,” to make the party last as long as possible. Hopefully after that time, she’ll be attached enough to you so that you have a bond strong enough to withstand the fact that you both know everything about each other now, and other people are actually more interesting & mysterious. The longer you can maintain some degree of mystery, the longer you can hold off, “The Coolidge Effect”.

5) Be spontaneous. This directly feeds into point #4, because if she doesn’t know what you’re going to do next, it feeds into the whole, “mystery,” concept. Sometimes stay in for a lazy movie night. Sometimes stay in & cook a romantic dinner, sometims go out to a diver bar, sometimes go on a fun road trip, etc. The point is–MIX THINGS UP. This is VERY hard for most people to do—they fall into a pattern. Going to a favorite bar or restaurant all of the time, etc. Women like surprizes, even if they are little & cheesy. Like taking her out to dinner but not telling her where you’re going. Being spontaneous also includes SEX. Most couples establish a routine–the same positions in roughly the same order in roughly the same place. Enough w/ the making out/bj/eating her out/missionary/doggie/finish on the bed. Try bending her over the bathroom sink. Try the coffee table. Try getting busy in a restaurant bathroom. The last thing about the, “Be Spontaneous, “rule is—“be spontaneous in being spontaneous.” If you do a new thing every Friday, you’ve got to realize that that is ALSO a pattern. Don’t let her figure it out. Again, the more successful you are at doing this, the more you can keep, “The Coolidge Effect,” at bay.

6) Keep up your vigilence for her shit-tests. Most guys are hyper-sensitive to shit tests early on, but when they, “seal the deal,” they figure their place on her ladder is locked into place. This is wrong. Granted, your spot on the ladder might be more difficult to move, so if you slip up a few times on a shit-test, it’s no big deal. But after awhile, it WILL have an effect. Kind of like your GPA. Freshman year (of high school or college), your overall GPA can radically go up or down if you do really well or really poorly in one particular semester. But as the years go on, it becomes more difficult to improve or kill your GPA. That’s because it’s just one or two data points in a large set of data. In relationships, women remember EVERYTHING. But you cannot rest on your previous good deeds forever. If you slack, eventually that will start to outweigh the good stuff you did early on. So, keep wary. Some guys just give up on the shittests because they’re sick of arguing and it’s easier to apologize (even if they don’t mean it) and move on. This is the beginning of the death-march of the relationship. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fine to just roll over once-in awhile. You’ve got to pick your battles wisely. But many guys fall into the trap of NEVER drawing the battle lines and pushing back on a GF if they feel strongly about something. If they are obviously acting bitchy, let ’em have it, etc. If you keep doing little stuff for HER (like shoe shopping w/ her, etc.), DEMAND that she do little stuff for you (like watching football w/ you). Don’t be afraid of a little drama in the relationship—that’s is what’s, “EXCITING,” to her–something she can worry about & talk to her friends about. Then you get to make up. It’s like a soap-opera, and women are addicted to that shit. Just make sure not to push it too far w/ the arguing, because then you go from, “exciting-but fulfilling relation ship,” to just a, “bad relationshp where we’re always arguing.”

The ass-kicker of long-term relationshps are–most of the reasons people WANT LTRs are the VERY REASONS LTRs end up getting boring/shitty and/or end up failing & falling apart. Think about it, why do you want a GF? So you don’t have to try so hard to pick up women? So you don’t have to constantly go to the gym? So you don’t have to put up w/ BS shittests anymore? So you don’t have to jump through hoops trying to impress somebody? So you can share all of your fears & dreams w/ somebody–much like a therapist and/or best friend would do for you, etc.? So, be very careful when you’re thinking that way, because you should realize that going overboard on those, “LTR perks,” will CAUSE the LTR to break-up. Basically, going overboard on those perks is like abusing the LTR status. You still should have to keep your shit together–not for HER, but for YOU–to keep your own confidence up, etc.

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