The Life Cycle of a Modern Long Term Relationship


As a guy who’s hooked up with more girls in “relationships” than I care to admit, I’m always thrilled to receive emails from men who are devastated when they find out their girlfriend “cheated” on them. Don’t get me wrong- I’ve been on the receiving end of infidelity and quite honestly, I’ve conditioned myself to accept it as a natural and even necessary part of being a sexually active human being.

The less knowledge and experience you have in dating and hooking up with women, the greater your chance of being hurt.

A few of my current clients literally wasted away chunks of their prime years due to the psychological damage they inflicted on themselves after their girlfriend, wife, or fiancee had sex with another man out side of the relationship.

Whenever this happened to me, it was mostly due to the fact that I allowed the woman in the relationship to have the drivers seat. The moment a man lets a woman dictate the direction of a relationship, the cycle described in this article will take place.

This post outlines the basic life cycle of most long term relationships in the western world. There are much healthier patterns, but in my coaching and personal experience, this is the most common cycle.

I’m painting with broad strokes here, but I’m positive most of you will relate to this. At each stage of this life cycle, which is broken into 10 stages ,you have the freedom to choose how the relationship will proceed. As a man, you are responsible for the relationship. Whether its survives, thrives or dies is up to you.

Of course, the ultimate prevention is to not allow certain kinds of women into your life. Unfortunately, with the current state of western society, as well as the proliferation of hypergamy , many men feel that they do not have such options. If you are one of these men, rest assured- there is hope.

For some of you, this will be a painful read because you’ve been through this cycle before. Thats okay . Once bitten, twice shy. For others, you may recognize one or more of the stages in you current relationship. Please don’t live in denial. Fix it, or end the relationship.

Be aware.

Stage 1: Multiple dates and lots of sex

The good times. You can’t get enough of each other, the future looks bright, the sex is great, she is fantastic. You’re starting to justify all the time you’re spending with her.

Stage 2: Cohabitation or spending long stretches of time at either of your places

You really like her. You both get along so well and can spend hours together talking about nothing. Time flies when you are together. She starts leaving stuff over at your place,so she can spend longer periods of time with you, or you move in together. Sex is still great and you’re getting to know each other better.

Stage 3: Frequency of sex reduces

Not as much sex, but the strong feelings are still present. You’re comfortable in the relationship. By now you’ve probably discussed or confronted each other on your respective “bad” habits and tendencies. Concessions have been made, and you both get along. You’re more familiar with each other and sometimes take each other for granted.

Stage 4: Woman demands gifts or money

She asks for money usually bringing up another relationship in comparison, or a friend who’s man pays for her or buys her gifts. Maybe you second guess yourself at this point. “Have I given her enough?”. Or you worry that she’ll leave if you don’t begin to provide her with gifts and money.

* This is a crucial point in the relationship where you have two choices. You either let her know what kind of man you are in no uncertain terms, or you terminate the relationship and walk away. Allowing a woman’s behavior to progress further than Stage 4 is relationship suicide.

Stage 5: Sex disappears or is rare

She’s tired, not up to it, no longer enthusiastic about it or has a headache. She’s not having sex with you.

Stage 6: Frequency of nagging and complaining from woman increases

She complained before, but suddenly she’s intolerant of certain aspects of your lifestyle which she previously seemed to be fine with. It could be anything- the bathroom, your personal hygiene, the hours you work, your beard, your friends, anything is fair game at this point, really.

Stage 7: She begins messaging men whom she says are “just friends”.

If you still believe the “just friends” gimmick, you’ve got a long way to go. Most women will not risk being without prospects. She had a plan B in mind from the day your relationship began. For every attractive woman you date, there are a minimum of three men waiting in the sidelines for you to screw up. Some of them are experts at identifying this crucial stage in the life cycle of your relationship and will not hesitate to exploit it.

* Your relationship is over. Leave.

Stage 8: Woman begins to “disappear” mysterious more often, especially during key events in your lives( your birthday, for instance).

* Stop rationalizing her disappearances .Leave.

Stage 9: Treatment of you escalates to full blown insults, denigration, humiliation and attacks (as she attempts to push you away).

*If you are still in a relationship at this point, there is a very high chance that you have self esteem issues that require serious introspection. No man should tolerate an iota of disrespect from a woman in a relationship. She disrespects you the first time- remind her that you don’t play that game. A second time, leave. Take a break from relationships and work on yourself for awhile.

Stage 10: You find out that she’s having sex with someone else.

*Game Over. Many of us have been here.For some, one time too many. Alot of us have never let go of the pain/trauma this caused. Its time to take a hiatus from the relationship game to work on yourself, your game, your confidence and your career.

(Photo Source: Shutterstock)

  • Jesse

    Great post. Question. I always hear people mention “the driver’s seat” or “dictate the direction of a relationship”. You mentioned it here too. I hear this alot and have read quite a bit of stuff but still have no clue what that really means in tangible terms. Could you give some more examples?

    • Sterling

      Chris seems very well read on these concepts and I’m sure he can tell you anything you need to know. If you are wanting to read more on this topic check out:

      Master your Relationship
      Louis D. Rossano
      ISBN 1593302584 (Amazon)

      (You will have to search by ISBN)

  • Sterling

    “Show me beautiful girl and i will show you a guy who is tired of fucking her.” This is an interesting post Chris. I relate to this because i went through most of these stages with my high school girlfriend. It wasn’t until i saw her kiss another guy that i decided it was time to call it quits. It turned out to be a real blessing in disguise because from that point forward i began working on myself, going to the gym, whitening teeth, practicing speaking confidently, working on my style, i could go on and on but basically building a high value lifestyle and building firm boundaries with the girls i dated.

    I began dating that same high school girl years later after i graduated college and she thought it was game on again. The first night she came into my house she started looking through my mail. Me: “Don’t be looking through my shit! Your being nosey” she smiled at me. (test passed this guy has a spine) The next night showed up an hour late to my house. Me “If your going to make plans with me you need to be on time, if you can’t make it you need to reschedule with me.” Then she really started digging me. Showing up on time, looking pretty, bringing me little gifts like a candle for my house. I was getting more sex than i could handle. After about two months of dating She said one day “when are you going to buy me a Louis Vuitton purse” with a smile hinting i would be well appreciated for doing so Wink Wink! Me: “Im your guy I’m not your sugar daddy. If you want a nice purse i think you should buy one for yourself.” After that she really started liking me a lot. She wanted to spend time with me all the time, go on trips with her, etc…

    Jesse: Girls want to date a nice guy who has boundaries. What he means about the driver seat is that girls try to get you to jump through hoops for them. Subconsciously they are testing you to see what they can get away with. If this goes unchecked it will continue to escalate further and further until your getting no respect and they have lost all attraction for you and then they are ready to move on. Its important that you don’t let them suck you into their emotional whims. She is the emotional one, you are the rational one. Let her get emotional and then you bring her back to thinking rationally. That the primary way you lead in a relationship. Chis keep writing these articles, they are things every guy needs to know.



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