The Relationship Reset Technique

I’ve been doing some experimenting with my relationships recently and one thing I’ve found is that straight up communication isn’t that effective. When I say communication, I mean sitting down and talking face-to-face. Talking is useful and has it’s place, but more is needed.

What I’ve found is that something has to happen in the relationship, basically a process that leads to a confrontation. I call this process a change agent. In a recent relationship, I had a girlfriend that was taking my for granted. I used this technique: I froze her out for a week, withheld contact and affection, and didn’t do anything generous. This caused a confrontation at the end of the week. After the confrontation, we had an exceptionally honest conversation, and after that I saw some real change. It should be noted that I rooted out some fears she had about our relationship, got her to verbalize my behaviors that were bothering her, and we both were able to compromise and implement some changes. It worked out well.

I think women understand this intuitively and use techniques like the above naturally. I call this “chick game.” This is why chicks will give you the cold shoulder or act like bitches, because it’s a process to get you to really consider what is wrong. I used to find this irritating but now I embrace it. I find it more effective to be able to play this game rather than make it go away. It’s a bad idea to rationalize and reason through all of your communications.

BTW, I call the one-week freeze-out technique above my Relationship Reset Technique, because you’re basically resetting the relationship to a balance point.

  • Max

    Lance, have you tried having a conversation before the 1 week freeze out? I’m wondering if you really need to play this game.

  • Jack Draper

    Do you live with your girlfriend? The strategy may work in situations where space and independence isn’t encroached on, but try using it when you live with your other half. A week of freezing out would add up to a week of hell in my book!

  • Executive Search Dating

    I read your blog.I do not understand how can your experiment with your relationship.Relationship is base on trust and love.

  • William

    I can totally relate to your experience. I had the chance to know my girlfriends insecurities in our 1 year of being together. I understand why she often avoids being affectionate but it still bothers me though. So I controlled myself from showing interest and attention until she gave in and we had a long talk about our feelings. She changed and I am happy about it.

  • MarryAnnh

    I am not sure if this can really help a lot but thanks for this one…I hope this can help me too…

  • Max

    Dude, why didn’t you just decide to have a long talk about it before you started ignoring her? This sounds like passive/aggressive crap to me, is it so hard to talk to someone about something that bothers you?

  • Max

    ^^^ That reply was in response to William

  • Lance

    @Jack: Yes, that advice will likely not work with a live-in gf, although I’m sure it’s been tried. It’s best for couples that have been dating for like 4-12 months, something like that.

    @Max: I’ve found that long talks are relatively ineffective. To create change, you need a significant change agent, like a week long freeze-out or a big fight or something. There needs to be significant emotions attached to it. Yes, it is passive-aggressive crap. It’s basically using chick game against the chick.

  • Felicia

    I do play this game…very well. I usually only have to do the quiet thing for a couple hours though. I hate it when guys catch on to our mysteriousness!

  • Grace Sevilly@Plantation dentists

    I think I like the term “chick game”. The idea of you creating a change agent is one good way to trigger confrontation. I will try this sometime if given an opportunity. Lol

  • crystale

    Experimenting is good but just be careful not to go overboard.

  • Veronica C

    I love your advice otherwise, so, I was kind of surprised with this article. I understand the need for a “change agent”. The issue at hand is too important to just talk about, right? You want to have an impact? I still think you CAN talk about it; just make sure you make it clear that this conversation is unlike any other. That she’s not treating you the way you reasonably want to be treated, and if she continues this way, your relationship won’t.
    I’m a chick and I don’t play mind games. I think they’re a waste of time. I’d much rather be playing WITH him– and why miss out on a whole week of that?

  • Craig

    This may work to other people, but not all. You can’t just advise this method to other men and do it with their girlfriends because it may cause a more serious problem than fixing it. By the way this works for me too. :)

    “Craig” for mandoline cuisine 

  • Lilly Kai

    I think the face-to-face communication is necessary. But here is an other little secret i use: be always you the first to love!

  • Anne @ relationships blog

    I’d rather do the talking BEFORE the freezing out. This way I get to skip the unpleasantness all together. People aren’t animals. They don’t need to reset their behaviour in this way. They just need to sit down and talk a misunderstanding over. This is commitment and honesty.

  • SocialKenny

    Hey Lance, powerful article man. Guys need to realize that the freeze-out is very powerful technique. It’s 1 of the best routines to get a girlfriend back in line. In my LTR, I’m currently going through so BS with my GF. Freezing her out seems to be the best option.

  • Doesn’t matter

    I call bullshit!! If the girl is smart enough she will leave. What girl wants to put up with that.

  • Inner West

    That’s a form of mental abuse, her doing it to you and you doing it to her. Other versions of this are when a women withhold sex. It’s unhealthy (yet I know sometimes you may feel it’s necessary with someone who you can’t communicate with or just doesn’t get whats involved in being a team). I suggest you work on your relationship communication rather than playing these mind games. I think games are fun and exciting in the beginning of a relationship but if there is a “you against me” mentality anywhere past the first 6 months, then something is seriously wrong in that relationship

  • Laphog


  • meitaljames

    I think guys already know this technique…they call it “I need space”. And this is what to do about it if you are the girlfriend: