What is branch swinging? The idea of branch swinging is that a woman will not leave a mate until another mate is secure therefore "swinging securely from one branch to another."
Most have experienced this in some form or another but most common is how women have already started dating another man within weeks or even days of a breakup.
A lot of guys are hit from left field and are completely shell shocked by the fact that their sweet unicorn (those don't exist) is now on Chad's weiner within weeks.
Break out of your blue pill Snorlaxian trance and take note of these surefire signs and symptoms of branch swinging.
1) Brief Mention
The brief mention is the first sign of branch swinging. Your LTR/SO/FWB will casually bring up a name in conversation.
Example: "Oh there's this new guy at work named Thundercock, Chad."
Chance of branch swinging: 10%. Why? Why would she even bring up a random guy from work to you if he doesn't register on her radar. Remember the 20/80 rule. He's a blip on her radar now.
Your actions: Your SMV should be relatively high at this stage in your "relationship." Laugh it off, ignore but make a mental note of the next step.
2) Casual Conversation
Casual conversation is when she brings the guy back up a 2nd time, but this time in your casual conversation with her. She may be talking about something he did to make her laugh, or something weird about this Chad.
Example: "Chad made a funny joke today, blah blah blah." or "Chad did this today, he is so weird."
Chance of branch swinging: 25%. He's more than just a blip now but a regular tone on her radar. Her interactions with him are increasing. This is where you hold on to your frame. The minute she senses jealousy or weakness, Chad becomes more enticing.
Your action: Agree and amplify. Do not show jealousy or your SMV will instantly decrease in her eyes. Hold frame. Keep a keen eye on her actions (as always).
3) Consistent Conversation / Texting
Consistent conversation is where she will continuously bring Chad's name into conversations with you. Regardless of what event transpired and what she says to you. She is testing to see your reaction to this new stimulus in her world.
Example: "Chad and I are working on this new project, what do you think?" or "Chad does this thing with girls, that is so weird, would you do that stuff?"
Chance of branch swinging: 30-40%. She is now actively testing your frame and seeing how you will react to this new, exciting stimulus in her life. He is now a consistent source of entertainment, validation, security, or whatever the hell she wants him to be, and you're not.
Your action: This is the make it or break it point. You better do things to start increasing SMV and start implementing more dread game. One small chip in your armor and the more into Chad she will be.
4) Consistent Texting / Hanging Out
She is now consistently texting Chad. You ask her what she is saying and she says they talk about work stuff and he helps her with projects and they go out to get pizza at lunch time. She says don't worry, he's just a friend. (Uh oh, read up on your red flags list)
Example: "Chad and I got pizza and beer today and lunch and worked on xxx." or "Don't be silly baby, he's just a work friend."
Chance of branch swinging: Over 50%. She is now having fun with Chad, seeing what it would be like to hang out with him outside of work/school. At this point, you better work on your frame of whatever you have going on or this is going downhill fast. I'm not saying whatever you have going on is not salvageable but she sees the branch and can take it anytime.
Your actions: You make it clear without being needy that her actions are unacceptable. Hold frame and start think of a contingency plan. This is the turning point or this is the beginning of the end.
5) Hanging Out After Hours / Hiding Facts
She is now participating in "after work drink activities" with her group, and of course silly, Chad is there. She's putting herself in a position to get what she needs. Her recollection of events transpired become more and more vague hoping to not tip you off. She's finding excuses to fight with you.
Example: "I'm going to get drinks with the an acquantice from work." or "I want to go to this work thing by myself, because it's my work."
Chance of branch swinging: Over 75%. She's making a conscious effort to hang out with this guy. Even more of a red flag if she doesn't want you around and she's getting extra dolled up. Hold on to your pants, this ride is about to end.
Your actions: Your contingency plan is in full effect. You're improving yourself, acquiring new plates, or setting yourself up for the single life. Almost unsavageable at this point unless you go thermonuclear, but it's just way less effort and easier to move on.
6) Branch Swing
She's gone full Tarzan. She's spent enough time with Chad to realize he is the next "one." He is fulfilling some need (validation, security, sex, surprise) that you aren't. She's grab hold of the next branch and gone full Tarzan leaving you like a little Jane bitch.
Example: The break up talk. "I think we should open up our relationship." "I don't love you anymore." "I've found someone else.
Chance of branch swinging: It's done. The average beta buck is broken. Hopefully they discover TRP and discover the signs and symptoms so they can cut that cancer right off before it brings them down again.
Your action: You're done. It's over. Hopefully you're well into your contingency plan and completely okay with moving forward. She's dead to you.
Other thoughts: /u/dRePe_Thill states: She is very unlikely to swing to a male with lower SMV, and may keep him as a plate (beta -orbiter) even though we might recognize she's going through these steps with him.