You’ve done it. You worked on your game, and more importantly, yourself and the results are in: You met a girl you’re into and you got her to start dating you. As you enter the next stage of your relationship with her–the transition from courtship to dating/relationships–you’ll need to make some adjustments. Getting the girl is one thing. Keeping the girl is another. Many of the same principles that made her attracted to you and interested in you are also going to work to keep her attracted and interested. However, you shouldn’t be “running game” the same way once you’ve entered a relationship stage. I’m going to cover some of the adjustments you’ll want to make as you transition from dating to a relationship.
The Theory: Sustainability
By far, the most important adjustment you need to make when you enter a relationship and you want that relationship to keep going, is making sure your actions are sustainable. This is why we don’t recommend seduction on the basis of false pretenses–it isn’t sustainable. If you hate cooking, don’t get the girl by offering to cook for her every night. If she loves heavy metal but you can’t stand it, don’t pretend you love it for her sake, unless you plan on enduring it for the rest of your relationship.
The fundamental driver of keeping her vs getting her is sustainability. No one can keep up the same energy, excitement, rigor, planning, and time commitment day in and day out through a relationship (especially when you end up living with someone) as they can while dating. The same way no one can run a marathon at the speed that they run the 100 meter dash.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to be the attractive, funny, exciting guy she fell for, just like the marathon runner shouldn’t just walk the course because he can’t spring the whole thing at full speed. The key for our friend the marathon runner, is to run as fast as you can while still having the energy to maintain the pace for the 26.2 mile race. For you it’s the same thing, what you want to do is maintain as much of what attracted her in the first place that is realistic to maintain.
Adjustments to Make
In order to survive and thrive in the long haul of a relationship, you will want to make certain adjustments. Note, these are typical adjustment suggestions–they aren’t one size fits all–different people are able to sustain (or even enjoy) certain behaviors and actions for much longer than others.
- Vulnerability — Showing your vulnerable side can be a killer in the early going of dating; however, continuing to hide it is a killer later on in relationships. Be more vulnerable. This is one of the easier adjustments to make, as usually, it takes more effort to bottle emotions and insecurities up than to simply let them air.
- Going out/Staying in — When you start dating, usually you’re going out much more than you are staying in. However, going out every night you see each other is unlikely to be sustainable for most people–if anything because of the costs involved. You’ll want to balance going out with just being lazy together at home, because if you guys are only having fun while you’re out on the town, your relationship might encounter trouble down the road
- Engage your Social Circles — Bringing your (or her) friends into the mix during courtship is a huge gamble that backfires more often than not. However, if you’re going to be in a relationship, you want to try integrate your social circles. That doesn’t mean force your friends to be friends with her friends, it simply means doing more things with your respective friends versus actively avoiding such activities in early dates.
- Own your Guilty Pleasures — Maybe if you’re into being dressed up as a baby and fed milk from a bottle you may want to keep that back as long as you can, but generally speaking, whether you talk to yourself in the shower or need to listen to Celine Dion before you go to bed, it pays to own it as opposed to continuing to “live in the shadows”. You won’t be able to keep that up, so better to just own it.
Adjustments You Shouldn’t Make
Making adjustments is part of being in a relationship. However, there are aspects of dating, aspects of getting the girl, that you should most definitely continue to engage while in a relationship.
- Seduction — Taking her for granted is the best way to lose her. While the pace, magnitude, and frequency of “seduction” changes in a relationship, you still want to keep the fire burning. Keep up the romance with surprise gifts, compliments, and date nights. You can’t go out with the same frequency as when you start dating (basically 100% of the time you see each other is a date) as we mentioned above, but you’ve got to maintain some of what brought you two together.
- Appearances — Looking your best every single day in a relationship isn’t realistic, but you should not “let yourself go” physically. If you were going to the gym regularly to maintain your physique while you were dating, keep doing it while you’re in a relationship. If you have a grooming routine that enhances your look, keep doing it within reason. An even better way to keep her in a relationship is to actually improve your appearance, physical fitness, and health.
- Mental Stimulation — Looks, attraction, and romance fade. It’s an inevitable part of a relationship simply because “newness” is both attractive and romantic. However, mental stimulation is one of the areas that can really sustain, and even grow, throughout a lifetime together. Continue to be a good listener and responsive conversationalist and she won’t be able to let you go.
It’s a Marathon, Not A Sprint
Getting a girl is much like sprinting–you want to put your foot the gas as fast as possible to attract her as fast as possible before she has a chance to change her mind or fall for a different man. However, that isn’t sustainable. Keeping her is about smart usage of the gas tank you have–enabling you to persist throughout the entire race. With a few small adjustments you can go from burning out early to keeping the girl of your dreams happy for life.