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She and her boyfriend, Jeff, had been dating for six months. Everything had been so romantic. Then without any apparent reason he began to distance himself emotionally. Maggie could not understand why he had suddenly pulled away. She told me, "One minute he was so attentive, and then the next he didn't even want to talk to me. I have tried everything to get him back but it only seems to make matters worse.
He seems so distant. I don't know what I did wrong.
Chapter 6 Men Are Like Rubber Bands | Lang For learning foreign languages
Am I so awful? This is a common reaction. She thought she had done something wrong and blamed herself. She wanted to make things "right again," but the more she tried to get close to Jeff the more he pulled away. After taking my seminar Maggie was so relieved.
Her anxiety and confusion immediately disappeared. Most important, she stopped blaming herself. She realized that when Jeff pulled away it was not her fault. In addition she learned why he was pulling away and how gracefully to deal with it. Months later at another seminar, Jeff thanked me for what Maggie had learned.
He told me they were now engaged to be married. Maggie had discovered a secret that few women know about men. Maggie realized that when she was trying to get close while Jeff was trying to pull away, she was actually preventing him from stretching his full distance and then springing back. By running after his, she was preventing him from ever feeling that he needed her and wanted to be with her. She realized that she had done this in every relationship.
Unknowingly she had obstructed an important cycle. By trying to maintain intimacy she had prevented it.
Chapter 6 Men Are Like Rubber Bands
How a Man Is Suddenly Transformed If a man does not have the opportunity to pull away, he never gets a chance to feel his strong desire to be close. It is essential for women to understand that if they insist on continuous intimacy or "run after" their intimate male partner when he pulls away, then he will almost always be trying to escape and distance himself; he will never get a chance to feel his own passionate longing for love.
In my seminars I demonstrate this with a big rubber band. Imagin that you are holding a rubber band. Now begin stretching your rubber band by pulling it to your right. This particular rubber band can stretch twelve inches. When the rubber band is stretched twelve inches there is nowhere left to go but back.
And when it returns it has a lot of power and spring. Likewise, when a man has stretched away his full distance, he will return with a lot of power and spring.
Once he pulls away to his limit, he begins to go through a transformation. His whole attitude begins to shift. This man who did not seem to care about or be interested in his partner while he was pulling away suddenly cannot live without her.
He is now feeling again his need for intimacy. His power is back because his desire to love and be loved have been reawakened. This is generally puzzling for a woman because in her experience if she has pulled away, becoming intimate again requires a period of reacquaintance. If she doesn't understand that men are different in this way, she may have a tendency to mistrust his sudden desire for intimacy and push him away.
Men also need to understand this difference. When a man springs back, before a woman can open up again to him she generally wants and needs time and conversation to reconnect. This transition can be more graceful if a man understands a woman my need more time to regain the same level of intimacy-especially if she felt hurt when he pulled away.
Without this understanding of differences, a man may become impatient because he is sudderly available to pick up the intimacy at whatever level of intensity it was when he pulled away and she is not. Why Men Pull Away Men begin to feel their need for autonomy and independence after they have fulfilled their need for intimacy. Automatically when he begins to pull away, she begins to panic. What she doesn't realize is that when he pulls away and fulfills his need for autonomy then suddenly he will want to be intimate again.
A man automatically alternates between needing intimacy and autonomy.
Did His Rubber Band Break?
His rubber band was fully stretched. He wanted to impress herfulfill her, please her, and get close to her. As he succeeded she also wanted to get closer. As she opened her heart to his he got closer and closer. When they achieved imtimacy he felt wonderful. But after a brief period a change took place. Imagine what happens to the rubber band. The rubber band becomes limp. Its power and stretch are gone.
There is no longer any movement.
This is exactly what happens to a man's desire to get close after intimacy has been achieved. Even though this closeness if fulfilling to a man, he will inevitably begin to go through an inner shift. He will begin to feel the urge to pull away. Having temporarily fulfilled his hunger for intimacy, he now feels his hunger to be indenpendent, to be on his own.
Enough of this needing another person. He may feel he has become too dependent or may not know why he feels a need to pull away. Why Women Panic As Jeff instinctively pulls away without any explanation to Maggie or to himselfMaggie reacts with fear. She panics and runs after him.
The Rubber Band Theory | bluntlysaid
She thinks she has done something wrong and has turned him off. She imagines he is expecting her to reestablish imtimacy. She is afraid he will never come back. To make matters worse, she feels powerless to get him back because she doesn't know what she did to turn him off. She doesn't know that this is just a part of his intimacy cycle. When she asks him what's the matter, he doesn't have a clear answer, and so he resists talking about it.
He just continues to distance her even more. Why Men and Women Doube Their Love Without an understanding of this cycle it is easy to see how men and women begin to doubt their love. Without seeing how she was preventing Jeff from finding his passion, Maggie could easily assume that Jeff didn't love her.
Without getting the chance to pull away, Jeff would lose touch with hsi desire and passion to be close. He could easily assume that he no longer loved Maggie. After learning to let Jeff have his distance or "space," Maggie discovered that he did come back.
She practiced not running after him when he would withdraw and trusted that everything was OK. Each time he did come back. As her trust in this process grew, it became easier for her not to panic. When he pulled away she did not run after him or even think something was wrong. She accepted thsi part of Jeff. The more she began to understand his changing feelings and needs, he became more confident in his love. He was able to make a commitment. The secret of Maggie and Jeff's success was that they understood and accepted that men are like rubber bands.
A common confusion arises when she says "Let's talk" and immediately he emotionally distances himself. Once he pulls away to the length of his rubber band, he'll spring back.
This is all based on a hormonal rhythm. When a man is feeling confident and knows what he wants, his testosterone builds up. The same thing happens when he begins chasing you, wanting you and dating you. As he grows more confident with you, his testosterone increases.
As he grows closer to you, another hormone gets produced called oxytocin. Oxytocin is the bonding hormone. Think of that 30 seconds after an orgasm when he is closest to you. Unfortunately oxytocin naturally lowers testosterone. This drop in testosterone can cause a man to lose confidence, doubt everything in his life and say things like "I don't know what I want right now, but I don't want this.
He will get close and then he'll start to pull away until he feels good about himself and then he will get close again. If he pulls away and she pursues him, then he never gets the space he needs to miss her. After pulling away for some time, a man will often begin to miss her and desire her again.
In healthy relationships, men do not pull away out of anger or frustration about their relationship. If your partner is pulling away out of anger, or is simply avoiding you, there is likely something else going on.
Also, rubber banding does not happen when a couple is newly in a relationship. This cycle evolves over time. If he is pulling away early on in the relationship, there are probably other issues affecting his interest that may or may not be related to you.
Unfortunately, this cycle can be quite upsetting to a woman. She wonders, "Is it me? Did I do something wrong? Does he still love me?
He may feel pressured because his partner doesn't trust him, or he may even feel that he is incapable of making her happy. At other times, women convince themselves that it is "wrong" to contact their partner, that they must refrain from even talking -- and that whoever talks first loses. Of course, while they are determined not to fold, they are also waiting by the phone, checking their voice mail, checking their e-mail, or checking that lump in bed lying beside them for signs of life.
In your situation, I think his fears of intimacy caused him to leave for so long. This may be more than the rubber band theory. Both of you could be right for each other. But if you want to get him back, look at things from his perspective. What ways did you unknowingly turn him off? Then write him a letter or an email. Don't call him or try to approach him in person at first. He won't have time to think and he won't give you the answers you are searching for. Tell him you still love him and you want to understand what happened in your relationship.