Have you been dating for a while and you think you’ve met a guy with a lot of potential? Maybe you think, “This is it! I’ve finally met the one for me.” Are you happy and content or are you freaking out a bit?
It happens to all of us at some point in our “dating career.”
Everything is going great. You’re super happy. You can’t believe you met such a great guy and then, BAM. You begin to feel insecure even though everything is going along smoothly! You’ve developed strong feelings for this guy and then you start to freak out. You don’t want to end up heartbroken again. You worry he may go away right when you’re beginning to fall for him.
Then the irrational behavior begins.
It’s pretty silly how once we develop feelings for a guy, we tend to change the way we behave.
He likes you just the way you are. Then you change your behavior because you freak out!
Women can often self-sabotage when they really like a guy.
We get nervous that he will go away because we’ve started to form a connection. Sometimes, we simply get flustered because we don’t know how to handle the strong feelings we’re having.
Then we inadvertently run him off!
It can be tricky when you realize you’re beginning to care about a guy deeply, and you think you may have a future together.
If you’re anything like I used to be, you begin to do ALL the wrong things. You trip yourself up, get a little freaked out, and find yourself obsessing over every little detail. You don’t want him to leave so you start to SHOW him how much you like him. You begin calling him too much, texting him too much, and basically you begin to smother him. You act like something doesn’t bother you when it does, because you don’t want him to leave. You accidentally begin to pursue him! If you read my blog, you know that is the WORST thing you can do. (Read more about that here if you missed it)
I can’t tell you how many times I did this as a teenager and even as a young adult. It was heart breaking and frustrating to say the least.
How do You Keep a Guy Around When You Think He’s the One?
There are two things that you MUST do, or you could blow it with this guy.
- Show appreciation, but don’t smother!
- Encourage him, but don’t pursue him!
Seriously, write this down. This should be your dating mantra. Appreciate and Encourage. That’s all.
Does that sound tricky to you? There’s a very fine line. The goal is to make sure you keep him enticed, but you can’t chase him. He should know you’re definitely interested, but not dependent upon him for your happiness. He needs to see you like HIM and you’re not looking to force a relationship with just anybody. He needs to see you’re excited about spending time together, but not sitting around waiting for him.
How do you pull this off?
It makes me think about dancing. When you dance with a man, he is always the leader, right? (I’m talking ball room here, not shaking it on the dance floor lol). You follow him and you periodically smile at him to encourage him to dance more, right? You don’t lead, but you encourage with the swaying of your body and the smile on your face. You look at each other and you play off each other’s body movement and facial expressions. You don’t lead, but you encourage. Of course, it begins when he nervously asks you to dance and because you like him, you graciously accept.
Dating is like that. Dating is like dancing. Think you have two left feet when it comes to dating?
You can also compare it to a scene in a movie where the boy is chasing the girl in a field. He is chasing her because he likes her. She looks back at him and smiles. She stops to let him catch her for a moment. She hugs him and then runs off again so he can continue to chase her. He finally catches her and then they fall to the ground and embrace each other.
He is chasing her. She is encouraging him to chase her. She is NOT chasing him.
Back to showing appreciation….
You should always show your appreciation to a man when he does anything kind to you. I don’t care how minor or insignificant you think it might be. The smallest of actions warrant appreciation.
Even something as minor as him texting you or reaching out. Don’t keep him waiting if you really like him! If you both really like each other, you don’t have to wait a certain amount of time to text back (you never should do that anyway).
When you show appreciation you are actually encouraging him.
He just needs a little encouragement, but that’s where it STOPS. Encourage but do NOT pursue. Just think of the two of you in a field and he’s chasing you. It may sound corny to you, but there’s a reason that these scenes are in movies. These scenes show the very dynamics of dating and courting through imagery.
You cannot initiate spending time together. You cannot pursue a man. If you chase a man, he will run. When he reaches out show him it makes you happy to hear from him. Don’t chase him or ask him out. Keep your boundaries, but when he makes you smile, tell him! When he makes you happy, tell him! I don’t care how small the action, if it makes you happy tell him so.
Show your appreciation.
Having Standards vs. Playing Hard to Get
There’s a difference between having standards and playing hard to get. Standards are good and required for healthy relationships. Playing hard to get is just games.
When you have standards it means you know who you are and what works for you. You value yourself. You’re a woman of high value.
Playing hard to get is just games. It’s inauthentic and dumb.
Men do NOT like games. You play games with a good man and you can kiss him good bye.
Have your own life, never chase a man, but show your appreciation when he does ANYTHING that makes you feel good. It’s actually that simple. Again, you should always maintain your boundaries and have expectations. You shouldn’t change your beliefs and if you don’t like something you should say it! You don’t have to be a jerk about it, but don’t turn into a low value woman.
Some women think that we have to put up a front. We get insecure so we put up a protective barrier. This barrier looks like this.
• We don’t respond to his text message or phone calls right away. We don’t want him to think that we’re desperate. We make him wait a little bit.
• We wait a couple of days to get back in touch because we want him to think we’re busy living our life, not fawning over him.
• We make him wait too long to take us out again. We don’t want to look desperate.
• Some women even go so far as to flirt with another man to make their guy jealous.
This is game playing. Any well-rounded nice guy won’t tolerate it. If you don’t want a nice guy, then have fun, but if you want a good man? Do NOT play games.
Listen, if a man reaches out to you and you are legitimately excited to see him again, respond with enthusiasm. That’s okay to do! Remember he’s feeling insecure too and he needs some encouragement and validation from you. He needs validation that you’re both feeling the same excitement. He needs to see you’re BOTH on the same page. You both are feeling the same feelings.
Men are insecure too.
If you wait too long to get back to him, you may lose momentum. You may actually miss your chance because you played TOO hard to get. You played games. If you wait too long, he will think the enthusiasm isn’t there and that you’re not feeling it as hard as him. Plus, it’s just rude.
He doesn’t want to get hurt either.
When you show your appreciation, you encourage him to do more.
I’m not talking about having sex with him by the way! Just because he does nice things for you, does NOT mean you should have sex with him. In fact, you should hold out as long as you can, if you REALLY like him. (Not sure when you should have sex with him? Read more about that here).
How do you show appreciation?
- Grab his hand and squeeze it
- Tell him he makes you smile
- Tell him he makes you happy
- Tell him you enjoy spending time with him
- Tell him he’s fun! (or creative, or funny, etc.)
- When you see a good quality in him, tell him! Tell him you noticed it and appreciate it. Tell him why you appreciate it. This is a chance for connection.
Listen, I’m not saying to kiss his butt, okay? Please don’t give him random compliments all day. That would be super weird. I’m telling you to complement him when he does something worth complimenting. I’m simply saying, pay attention to what he does. If you see something you like or appreciate, then speak up or give him a smile. You don’t have to go overboard by making a HUGE deal out of it, but simply say thank you and smile. Basically, just make sure the response is equivalent to the action.
Here’s some more examples:
- Tell him you appreciate that he opens the door for you. There aren’t many more “gems” like him around that practice chivalry
- Thank him for dinner and tell him he picks great restaurants
- Tell him you appreciate how he guides you to the door and that is makes you feel safe. (Men really like it when they know you feel safe with them)
- Tell him you appreciate him checking in with you the other day. It made you smile.
- Tell him you appreciate him texting you good night. It leaves a smile on your face before bed.
Disclaimer: You have to really mean it. It can’t be phony or forced. It must be authentic. Don’t gush over him either. Simply state what you like, smile, and then move on.
Basically, pay attention to the little things. Show your appreciation for the little things just as much as the big things! People have forgotten to pay attention to the little things.
Here’s how it happened for me.
We do this self-sabotaging enough until we get sick of it all. Then we accidentally fall in love. LOL. We accidentally fall in love because frankly we don’t give a crap anymore about meeting someone. We’re over it! We decide to be who we are, and without worrying about the consequences. We actually end up meeting someone who is perfect for us because we’re no longer afraid to be who we really are. We’re not playing hard to get, we just actually ARE hard to get! More importantly, we’ve allowed ourselves to be dumped on enough by men so much that we do learn to appreciate more. We notice more and we show our appreciation because its genuine.
So it can happen naturally, or maybe you just need a little help? Some tips if you will…
Here’s the deal.
Everyone on this planet (male and female) needs to practice showing genuine appreciation. We’ve all gotten very entitled and forget to SHOW appreciation. We’ve come to expect certain behaviors from people simply because “they should do something.” That’s great to have expectations but we’ve forgotten to express our appreciation.
Showing appreciation isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of maturity and vulnerability. (Vulnerability is the #1 most attractive trait to men by the way)
The best way to encourage a man is to show your appreciation.
Encourage him, but don’t pursue! Yes, flirting is encouragement. Flirting is fun! Let him chase you in the field…you deserve a movie romance!
Get your flirt on.
Need help with how to text a man when you’re dating? Read here.
Think your guy is pulling back at bit? Read “How to Get Your Guy Back.”
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