Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Relationship Advice | The Rubber Band Effect

The very first time I heard of the rubber band effect, I was flipping through a Cosmopolitan magazine and came across an article explaining the technique (linked here). Before you go and criticize me for taking relationship advice from a sex magazine, they definitely got this one spot on. Throughout my relationship history, I have implemented this technique and it has worked exceptionally well.

As women, the need to discover possible relationship issues by asking questions and not giving space often drives our partner away. If there was any sign of a problem there before, there is probably a clear sign of one now from the pressure you have put on him. Typically, men tend to want space in order to figure out issues (both relating to relationships and their personal lives) so interrogating them and constantly prodding them for answers only digs you into a hole.

This is also true with offering help, especially too much of it. For most men, being strong and self-sufficient is built into their DNA; if you try to solve all of his problems for him, he is going to feel useless and smothered.

Take this scenario for example: Mike is in a relationship with Colleen, and, for example, feels that the relationship is getting serious much too quickly. In a natural attempt to slow things down, he distances himself slightly from Colleen. When she realizes the change, she immediately starts asking what has happened, if she did anything, and how she can help. This only smothers Mike, and reinforces the idea that he needs to get space. In other words; the more you try to figure out what is wrong and offer him help, the more he is going to shut down.

This is where the rubber band effect comes into play. As mentioned above, your natural concern for the relationship is conveyed with an instinctual urge to fix and mend, which does not work. Instead, listen to him and follow his cues. The old saying goes, "If you love them, let them go. If they don't return, they were never yours" (or something like that!). When he does starts distancing himself from you, control your impulses and let him go. Do be sure to let him know that you have recognized the shift, but you will give him space, if and when he needs it.

Then all you need to do, is get out there and have a great time with your friends. As much as you don't want to hear that, once he figures out the problem on his own (or finally gets the hint that it's alright to talk with you about it), he will most likely start reconnecting with you again.  He will also respect you for having your own life apart from your time with him, as well as the fact you're so damn cool when it comes to men. No need to thank me.

And ff he does not reconnect, well, the saying goes, doesn't it?

The reason it is called the rubber band effect is because of the pattern of strain in the relationship. When he starts pulling away, the band shifts in his direction and pulls it away from you. When you avoid natural impulses to smother and you distance yourself as well, the band gets stretched even further, making it more likely he will release the tension and reconnect again. And of course you won't fall back into interrogation mode again, because now you know how the system works! Of course techniques like these never guarantee success for every situation, but its worth a shot.

Have you ever implemented the rubber band effect into your relationship? How did it go? Is there a technique more effective than this? Please share! Thanks so much for reading.


Luck & Love,
Kaylee Slater

1 comment:

  1. Tried was a disaster. Each situation is unique of course, but once somebody is pulling away sometimes you just need to realize there are no techniques that will help, all you can do is say goodbye.