Playing hard to get is pretty common dating advice. The logic is that the less interested you act in the person you like, the more they’ll like you. WTF? That’s ridiculous. Instead of focusing on appearing like you couldn’t care less, genuinely care more about yourself and doing your own thing and you’ll be way better off.
There’s a very thin line between being interested and looking desperate.
If you throw your plans, your goals, and the things you love out the window every time you meet a someone new, it’ll put a ton of pressure on the new relationship, which can easily be the reason it fails. You need to be your own top priority for your own sake and because the relationship you have with yourself sets the tone for all of the others in your life.
A healthy relationship means having your own life and interests but occasionally inviting your partner to be a part of them. You don’t have to like the same things that your partner likes and vice versa. In fact, it creates healthy independence in a relationship if you keep some of your own interests separate from them. Of course, as the relationship gets more serious, it’s only normal that you want to include them in your life and give them a taste of what you’re passionate about. That’s fine! Just remember to plan some quality time with just your friends and to keep up with the things you love.
Don’t immediately change your interests in order to match theirs. Just like you need some time to yourself, so do they. Let them go watch the game with their friends without insisting you join (especially if watching sports has never been your favorite thing). However, if you want to at least give some of your partner’s interests a try, ask if you can join them next time they go fishing or get tickets to see a band you’ve never really listened to but that you know they love. They’ll appreciate you making an effort to try things they enjoy that may be a little out of your comfort zone without being overbearing.
Being independent and completely invested in yourself will make them want you more. The reason it’s so important to be more interested in yourself while dating isn’t just for the benefit of the relationship or the new person you’re seeing—it’s to improve your mindset and the quality of your life. However, if you’re truly interested in yourself, committed to yourself, and love yourself, it’ll only make them more attracted to you.
It’s not about playing games. Just be genuine about everything from the get-go. The biggest key is to stop overthinking everything and rely on your intuition. If you miss them and want to text them, go for it. Stop worrying about whether you should or shouldn’t because that’s not the question anymore. Text them to let him know you’re thinking about them and then go for a hike or to yoga or watch your favorite TV show. Stop overanalyzing how long it takes them to respond, if you should’ve just waited for them to text you first, or whatever other irrational fears pop up in your mind.
You don’t have to be the “chill” girl who doesn’t care. Care! Caring is good. It’s attractive, it’s real and it’s honest. It becomes a problem when you stop caring about yourself and your needs and care more about your new partner.
They’ll appreciate it when you do give them your full attention. By being focused on yourself (and remaining that way even after you meet your new love interest), you’re showing them that you don’t need a relationship to be happy and successful. They should know that when you do give them your undivided attention, they need to appreciate it and reciprocate it back to you.
If you give someone the option to do less, they’ll probably take it. If they know they can rely on you to text them every morning, make plans for dinner, and be there when they drunk text you late at night, they’ll stop trying to make the effort because they already expect you to. Hold them to the same standards you hold everyone else in your life: no excuses for crappy behavior. You deserve respect, consistency, and effort if they want to keep you around.
Your time is valuable, so act like it! There are so many things on a day-to-day (and even a year-to-year) basis that we all just don’t have time to get done. Once you start prioritizing yourself, your goals and your passions, you’ll really start to appreciate how valuable your time really is. Don’t let them get away with assuming you’ll be available or waiting around for them to call because you shouldn’t be! If they haven’t made plans with you or haven’t really given you a straight answer when you asked them to hang out, then go do something else.
To be successful at this, you may have to stop dating for a while. If you easily dive head-first into new relationships, it’s probably a sign that you need to take some time off from dating and spend it falling in love with yourself. Of course, this is easier said than done, but you’ll be glad that you took time to commit to yourself, your goals, and your passions. Plus, your future relationships will be stronger, healthier and more likely to be successful for it.
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