Have you ever gone on a really great date and instantly started thinking about the future?
I’m not talking about signing his last name with your first name or picturing what your kids will look like; I’m talking about the short-term future.
The second you start feeling something for him, your unconscious thoughts begin to arise:
Putting your future first is sabotaging your ability to form strong connections AND causing you to get hurt unnecessarily.
But don’t worry, you can change.
“Will he get along with my family?”
“Is he financially stable?”
“Does he have a good relationship with his mom, his sister, and his exes?”
“I hope he’s good in bed.”
“Is he a keeper?”
“I hope he doesn’t disappointment me.”
“Where is this going? I don’t want to waste my time.”
Sorry, if I just read your mind. It’s just that I have women confessing this sort of thing to me all the time. Putting your future first is sabotaging your ability to form strong connections AND causing you to get hurt unnecessarily.
But don’t worry, you can change.
My advice may sound logical, but I want to acknowledge one important thing: it’s hard to help yourself when it comes to the passion of new love.
In the cold world of being single – with so many random dates with so many awkward guys, it’s thrilling when you finally find a guy who excites you.
But what happens when you get too excited about a new guy?
Well, look at your past. Most of the time, your excitement is premature.
The guy turns out to be a total flake or a selfish jerk.
The guy turns out to have issues that are a big turn off.
The guy turns out to be Mr. Right Now, but definitely not Mr. Right.
You couldn’t have known this on Exciting Date #1, but history tells us that most of the time, things aren’t as rosy as they seem.
I feel very strongly that a man isn’t “real” until he’s your boyfriend. He has to be exclusive with you before you get too excited.
Otherwise, you set yourself up for repeated heartbreaks.
This post is to warn you about taking the OPPOSITE tack: assuming that things are going to go wrong sooner or later.
But what happens when you’re going into the date with that mindset?
The first thing you start thinking is: “Don’t waste my time.”
And to protect yourself from investing your time in a guy who – statistically speaking – will probably not be your husband – you go into full interrogation mode…
The “right” guy probably wouldn’t feel too good when dating a woman who treats him like a common criminal…
You start probing about his former relationships.
You subtly feel around for a sense of his financial well-being.
You hint – or say outright – that you’re looking for something serious.
All of which says to your date, “I DON’T TRUST YOU. AND I’M GOING TO GATHER AS MUCH INFORMATION AS I CAN TO WEED YOU OUT BEFORE I INVEST ANY EMOTION IN YOU.”
How’s that for a statement to the new man you’re seeing?
Understand, I make no defense of men who are jerks or players or time-wasters, but, believe it or not, most men are out for a real relationship.
They may date and date and date until they find the woman to whom they want to commit, but they really do want to build something. If you find that you’re attracted to “player” types (and I should know: I was one of them), the information I’ve compiled in Why He Disappeared is priceless.
If you still think that trust is a bad idea when it comes to men, consider the plight of my client, Jessica. A 37-year-old lawyer from Chicago, Jessica had been burned by men too many times, which is how she found herself single for 11 years after her divorce.
After dealing with multiple cases of infidelity, the hardest thing in the world for her to believe was that there were some truly nice men who would be loyal to her forever.
As a result, Jessica came up with a whole set of “rules” she lived her life by: do background checks on each new man to make sure he’s on the up-and-up, don’t waste time with a man if he’s not completely in love after a few weeks, don’t sleep with a man for at least 3 months, and so on.
Well, guess what? Jessica’s rules – designed to protect her – pushed every single guy away – for 11 years. She thought that this just meant she hadn’t met the “right” guy.
What she hadn’t considered is that the “right” guy (myself, for example) probably wouldn’t feel too good when dating a woman who treats him like a common criminal, who refuses to sleep with him, and who doesn’t understand why he won’t say “I love you” until he’s really positive he means it…
Jessica means well, but her methods are backfiring and preventing men from connecting to her.
Which is why, no matter what your past experience is, it’s always in your best interests to play it cool. Take it from a guy, you may think you’re being smart by gathering information to protect yourself, but all it does is drive most men away.
No matter what your past experience is, it’s always in your best interests to play it cool.
The hard truth is that he doesn’t know yet whether he wants to be with you in the long-term. He won’t know after three dates. He won’t know after three months.
(By the way, YOU might not know if you want HIM long-term either. You just want to make sure that it’s YOU who’s doing the heartbreaking, not him.)
My overall message is that you have to let the relationship play itself out at an organic pace, instead of trying to look into the future. The more you push for clarity – especially when he doesn’t have any himself – the less likely that he’s going to stick around.
I illustrate this, and so much more, in “Why He Disappeared.” Click here to learn how to leave the past behind and stay in the present with each new guy…