The following syndromes describe the typical behavioural patterns of girls in the situations described. We start with the common syndromes, which most people can expect to experience. These will be followed by rarer, more complex syndromes - which are more likely to be encountered by someone who spends a long time in the courting pool - or returns to it after say divorce.

Many of the Syndromes defy a description in a simple title. In these cases we have used a girl's name - perhaps that of the girl in which the syndrome was first recognised.

The Magic

This is a situation in which a couple meet, not necessarily for the first time, where everyone and everything else fades away. In a crowded room the couple are only aware of each other. The world just revolves around the two of them; everything else is oblivion. Later, they may not remember what they talked about.

In terms of the Catastrophe model, the two people who have high mutual attraction have jumped up to the high interaction surface.

The Magic has some dangers, the dream can easily be broken - on moving location or parting. People can feel confused, misunderstandings can abound, misunderstandings can be a blow. Naturally, as indicated in the Catastrophe model, a date should be offered before the Magic is broken. Provided the man bears this in mind, he should have no problems.

If the man gets so carried away, and forgets this, he may find that the Magic once broken without a date offer is difficult to produce again on a subsequent occasion. Much depends on the state of mind of the girl.

This Magic state usually only occurs once for a couple, just before dating. It may occur a second time if a date wasn't offered before. It doesn't usually occur after dating. A large number of couples won't experience Magic, but for those that do it is usually the prelude to a long affair.

The Isobel Syndrome

This is the situation in which a man has met a girl, they have moved into high interaction, but they have parted without the man offering a date.

He may have intended to do so, or do so when he meets her again. The girl however has got keen on him, was upset that he didn't ask her. She interprets this as the man not really being interested in her. We looked at this situation in the Catastrophe model.

When they do meet again, the man may be fully intending to ask her out. But now he finds a very different person. Instead of her being friendly as expected, she may avoid him, or may be catty and uncomplimentary - and perhaps will deliberately go off and talk to someone else in an intimate way. This is an over reaction on her part to the fact that she is upset, and is trying to convey the impression to the man that she isn't really interested in the man after all. Except that she is interested, but is embarrassed at the interest she has shown to the man, and is probably confused. The fact that he didn't ask her out may have come as a blow to her.

The man may now be confused and hurt over her behaviour, and react against her - by avoiding her.

After a while she simmers down. She realises she's keen on him and wants to be with him; whatever his feelings for her she isn't going to achieve her desire by continuing to behave in this way. She starts to be friendly again. This is the delay mechanism we discussed under the Catastrophe model.

The delay can be short - so short that in fact by the time she meets him again he doesn't notice much difference, and the relationship isn't disrupted by this syndrome. But it can be long - months not being uncommon.

If the delay is a long one, the man's interest may have waned when she starts to advance again, and the relationship doesn't take off as it did before. The relationship has been soured by uncertainty and suspicion on both sides. It'll take a lot of time and patience, and sensitivity, to get back to the starting point. This often isn't there. As time goes on the probability increases of people involved going out with others. Either way, Isobel Syndrome with a long delay commonly prevents the relationship occurring - yet it is one where attraction by the girl for the may in high.

Another variant is if the man who already has a girl meets another girl, where the interaction becomes high. He didn't think much about it since he wasn't contemplating changing his girlfriend at that time. When he meets her again he's surprised to find she isn't friendly; and when he is ready to acquire a new girlfriend he doesn't ask her. And yet if he hadn't had a girlfriend when they first met, he would have asked her and she would have accepted. And so on.

The Isobel Syndrome is common, and a man should have strategies to deal with it. The first important thing is to recognise a change in the girl from great friendliness to avoidance/cattiness as representing a high degree of interest by the girl. And don't make the mistake of interpreting this as she's not interested, and react in an unfriendly way to her (girls don't suddenly change high interest to non interest - and they certainly don't react in an uncomplimentary/catty way to men they are not interested in - firm and gentle in saying "no", perhaps - but not uncomplimentary/catty).

If therefore one gets these symptoms its best to rectify the situation at once if possible, and offer a date. Telephone is a way of defeating her avoidance reaction; and provided one offers a clear invitation to a date, it may restore the situation in her mind, and she'll accept. (Letters nowadays don't work generally, although they might 50 year ago. She'll regard it as an unacceptable variation of modern courting ritual.)

As discussed under Catastrophe model 3 & 4, one may get a refusal. One is more likely to get a refusal if the date invitation looks less like a date - invitation to drinks in a pub is less of a date than invitations to dinner/cinema etc. If one gets a refusal, or one cannot find a a way to offer her a date, then it is best leave it until she starts to advance again. Bide ones time, keep ones cool, remain friendly where possible, and be ready when she becomes friendly again. In some respects, the longer the delay, the stronger are her feelings.

Prevention, however, is better than cure. That is, don't enter a high interaction state with a girl and then not ask her out. Particular care should be taken if one already has a girlfriend - follow the advice given in Only to lose.

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