- Discovery of inferiority: The first step in the cycle is to have the Patterson latch onto some quirk the other person that proves unsuitability. For Mike, it was Rhetta's insistence that he settle down without first going on an adventure and seeing for himself that foreign cultures are as inferior as Elly says they are; For Liz, it was the irritating habit the men around her had of not indulging her immaturity.
- Creating tension: The second stage occurs when the Patterson oscillates between demanding total loyalty, withholding him- or herself. and begging forgiveness. This is meant to keep the target in a state of apprehension without having to expose the Patterson to the temptation of adultery; it is, of course, important that the Foob be physically loyal for things to be a success.
- Discovery of disloyalty: Since human beings cannot exist in a condition of constant strain, the targeted individual breaks and commits an act of physical disloyalty. Since he or she, unlike a Patterson, has a conscience, s/he makes the foolish mistake of saying so in the vain hope that the Foob will be cool about it.
- Jettisoning the love interest: Said expectation is, of course, foolish; the Patterson has no intention of forgiving the targeted person. Care must be taken to ensure that the break-up is handled in such a manner as to avoid confrontation so as to not have to hear horrible lies about how the other party is not totally guilty; Mike wins this because he broke things off with a Dear-Jane e-mail.
The horrible part of all this is, of course, that the disgusting slobs have no idea that the horrible people that they're horribly disappointed in thank whatever deity they believe in that they've seen the back end of the Patterswine.