The Houdini Effect
Those of you that know me well, know I often refer to the Houdini Effect while in discussions about dating. For some reason, us ladies either grossly misread IOIs (indicators of interest) or are just more apt to be victims of this curse.
The Houdini Effect is when you are dating someone semi-seriously (although it can kick in at various stages of a relationship) and everything seems as if it's going fine. In fact, it may appear as if things are better than fine, they might seem great. Then, out of nowhere, POW! The other person, almost always the guy, disappears into thin air. No further signs of his existence. No calls, no texts, no emails, nothing.
How Women React to the Houdini Effect
The challenge with the Houdini Effect is that women are analytical. So as soon as this happens, rather than assume he's just not into us (since all signs pointed to he IS into us), we women imagine every possible scenario that could've happened. A few examples of these innocent-bordering-on-irrational thoughts are as follows...
* Maybe he lost his phone and doesn't have my number
* Maybe he got in an accident and is in a coma/has amnesia
* Maybe he got called away on a work trip without notice
* Maybe he has a family emergency
The woman will continue to make efforts to contact him, until a period of time has passed where these justifications for lack of communication no longer suffice. She finally admits that although she feels very blindsided by the blatant mixed signals, he must not have actually been that into her. After all, there'd be no logical explanation for why he didn't respond to contact, assuming none of the above scenarios took place.
The Houdini Effect is so confusing and disheartening to women because the confusion, heartache, and guessing as to his whereabouts is downright emotionally debilitating.
The Houdini Effect Explained
Although a no call, no show is easier than confronting the other individual like an adult, it demonstrates a substantial lack of maturity. Guys know that if they approach the girl with a reason why they want out, it will likely turn into a long conversation, potentially an argument, with unkind words, hurt feelings, rebuttals, and attempts at reconciliation. In this case, the path most traveled is also the path of least resistance.
Guys are much better at making a clean break than women because they don't get as emotionally involved early on like women do. Oxytocin kicks in for women as soon as intimacy occurs between her and her mate, thus making her more calm and comfortable with him, and therefore more likely to be emotionally attached. The sooner she becomes attached, the harder it is to cut the relationship ties.
Man Up to do the Break-up
Next time you're thinking you might want out, just be honest. If you give her feedback about why she's not your ideal relationship mate (beyond something shallow like, "You just don't look as hot as Megan Fox"), it might initially fall on deaf ears, but down the road, it might sink in and she may change for the better because of it.
If you want out because of a dealbreaker, it's important for you to establish that it is in fact a dealbreaker.
In this day and age, it's common to break up with someone via email, text message, slydial, or tweet. Whatever your reason(s) for doing so, just be honest and be straightforward. Don't lie, make excuses, or beat around the bush. Take the high road and stand behind your decision.
As hard as it might be to hear, women will appreciate this approach much more than the Houdini. In this classic Sex and the City clip, the gals scoff over Berger's post-it note break-up. But let's face it, they would've had a lot more to say if he had Houdinied on Carrie.
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