“Find yourself first… like yourself first… love yourself FIRST… & friendship & love will naturally find YOU.”
~ Mandy Hale
Do you remember the iconic yellow umbrella? In, How I Met Your Mother the image of the yellow umbrella is entrenched in Ted’s thoughts, he longs to find to whom it belongs, and as a result it becomes a karmic symbol of the ‘one that got away.’ We all want our love story, filled with desire, romance, and intrigue.
We glamourize the ‘chase’ – this concept that a man should pursue a woman in a romantic chess match.
In this dynamic a woman must be coy or play down her attributes and bat her lashes from afar to garner the adoration of the suitor. An alternative narrative to this would be the woman ‘tricks’ or manipulates a man into having desire for her as a result of skillful text messages or pretending to like collegiate basketball.
There is another way to allure and captivate the right person… but it takes vulnerability. Are you ready?
Of course, we want to put our best foot forward; however, pretending to be someone we are not can sabotage the potential for a real connection. We want to remember good dating etiquette, however what is IT, the secret, the missing ingredient to find the ‘right’ person to compliment our life?! Well, there is only one thing that will set you apart… being unapologetically you.
Cherish that which makes you authentically you.
We too often put aside our quirks and interests, and instead embrace a caricature of what we think is desirable to someone else. Being authentic means that you act in ways that show your true self and how you feel. Rather than showing someone a persona, express your whole self genuinely.
How can we access our genuine traits?
Ask yourself the following three questions:
- When I was at a low point in my life what three values/resources did I call upon to help myself move through it?
- How would my best friend describe me?
- Think of the healthiest relationship in your life. What are the 3 aspects of it that you cherish the most?
We take these answers and let them ground us.
This is the emotional prep work that dating allows us to do. We then walk with our truth. Instead of chasing, we are showing up ready to connect and engage in a meaningful way.
Laugh, relax, and do the work to know who you are way before the first date.
If you want to attract the right person, the most attractive thing you can do is to be you. Embrace your uniqueness, share who you are with confidence and let that be your yellow umbrella.
Dana Hall, LCPC, MA, TF-CBT – www.danahalltherapy.com
1. Personal Vulnerability- It is said that our greatest power in connecting with someone of interest correlates with the ability to be personally vulnerable. Personal vulnerability means valuing the power of emotional intimacy in your intimacy. That is, be present and interested in the person in front of you.
Make the moment all about your man. When you are with him, give him your attention and make him feel like he is the center of the universe. As you do this you will consume his thinking and his heart.
2. Open and Honest Communication – Transparency is a gift to yourself and to another. Many women will try to be coy with their guy and create a cat and mouse chase. Men get weary of this and it can erode trust as the chase game creates confusion.
The rumor is men are far more insecure in the relationship game than women, they are just better actors. Be clear in you intent and in your talk toward building trust and confidence in the union.
3. Speak from your heart—In his book, His Needs, Her Needs, Harvey shares that the number one need a man has in a relationship is to be needed. Let him know you need him.
Allow him to invest in you by sharing things you like and asking for help with things that you genuinely could use assistance with. Remember to be truthful and authentic.
4. Be interested in him, versus just being interesting–This requires being a good listener with the intention to building a rapport that demonstrates you are genuinely enjoying his companionship.
Today’s world is a faster paced, more intelligent and globally connected existence than the past. There is a greater demand for depth and breadth for relationships to last. If you are looking to win a man’s affection and commitment, then be real.
The games of flirtatious manipulation and coy-ness may get you fast results, yet not necessarily lasting ones.
Do the work to make him know he matters as a human being first and foremost, that you are attracted to him and that he being he is perfection for you. And in turn, you expect the same.
Cheri McDonald, PhD, LMFT – www.aplace2turn.com
Meeting someone can be a challenge. Most people have a lot going on, even in this time of Covid related restrictions regarding social interactions.
If you have made a connection, the next question is: how do I build an authentic, genuine relationship with this new guy and keep him interested?
One method is to teach your guy to play a Game of Chase which will, hopefully, end in commitment.
Let’s break down that idea a bit. Chasing involves someone running away while another person pursues the one fleeing. To create a chase, you must assume he will run after you.
This game is full of volatility.
- What if he doesn’t like the challenge and he isn’t interested in chasing you?
- What if he tires of the game after playing for a while?
- Are you willing to lose him by using this method?
If you believe the rewards of the game are worth the risk, then google the topic. The internet offers endless ways to create a Game of Chase.
Some suggestions found online include advising women to “let the man take the initiative,” “act impressed” or “don’t let him think he’s the only one.”
There are problems that can arise with each of these, if your real motive is to establish a healthy, long-term connection. For instance, allowing someone to take initiative is not an unhealthy quality of any relationship, necessarily.
Giving someone the ability to make decisions or establish plans requires trust and generosity, both excellent characteristics of a relationship.
Where this can go wrong is when you allow him to take the initiative and this act compromises who YOU are. If you notice yourself becoming irritated when he makes plans or you feel resentment when he chooses every restaurant, then there might be a problem.
Likewise, if you “act impressed” with him and you’re not, this can feel like you’re being fake.
Any “act” is a compromise of who you authentically are. This sets you both up for failure. He thinks you love it when he orders for you at dinner, but you’re actually insulted. You smile because this is part of the Game of Chase.
Eventually, this ends in disaster when your true self leaks out. You finally tell him you can’t stand it when he does this. He’s confused because he thought you loved it. You never said anything.
He begins to wonder what else you’ve been saying that might be untrue, how else you’ve been “acting.” An argument starts, something that might have been avoided if the Game had never been played.
What it boils down to is this:
If you feel inauthentic or fake while “playing” the Game of Chase by someone else’s suggested rules, then you may end up sabotaging the relationship.
There is nothing more attractive than a woman who is confident in who she is. Men don’t need a Game of Chase to find value in someone who is honest, true to herself and open to sharing that with him.
Not everyone is going to love you or even like you, but the right guy will. And he will do so because of exactly who you are. No games required.
Amy Dunniway, MA, LMFT – www.sctherapist.com
The desire of the woman is to be desired, while the desire of the man is to be admired.
It is normal and healthy for women to want to be pursued. This is an innate desire from our hard-wiring.
Why do we dress, wear make up, and keep ourselves in shape? We want to be attractive to others and we want to feel good about ourselves.
It is a primal need of women to want a man to want them.
Men are wired to pursue.
The innate wiring of men is to pursue women and to try to please them. Men need something to long for and to seek. This can be tricky business for women, because if we give of ourselves too much, too soon, or two readily, we can become less interesting.
This is not to say that we should play games, but rather that we should maintain our own self and our own lives outside of our man.
It is usually not a good idea to lose yourself while making your man the center of your universe.
While many men enjoy being catered to and doted upon, women still need to maintain their own independence, and to have their own life.
This keeps them interesting and desirable.
In order to remain interesting, women need to continue to pursue their own interests, goals, and other relationships.
If a man feels like he is the only thing in your life, he’s more likely to lose interest.
And you are more likely to lose yourself and end up miserable, dependent, and overly-needy. This is a recipe to become a man’s slave and for a man to lose interest. If you lose interest in yourself, he will lose interest in you too and lose his desire for you.
Another factor that will sustain his interest and desire for you is how you make him feel about himself.
Men rarely lose interest in women who make them feel good about themselves. They crave admiration and appreciation, and shy away from women with a critical spirit. When you make a man feel good about who he is, he will always want more. He will get hooked on how he feels about himself when he is with you.
No matter how long you have been together with a partner, you need to long for each other.
Two people who both have their own lives, are committed to furthering their own growth, and share similar values can remain interested in each other for a lifetime.
If you want him to remain interested in you, stay interested in yourself and your own life, as well as in him.
Create a relationship that will allow you both to grow and flourish.
Anita Gadhia-Smith, PsyD, LCSW-C, LICSW – www.drgadhiasmith.com
Wanting your guy to pursue you?
The “pursuit” is an appropriate stage early in dating, but wanting to be pursued in other stages of a relationship may signal another issue.
Whether you call it “chase,” “pursue,” or “woo,” many men and women alike enjoy this early stage of dating in which the man traditionally pursues the woman. This may occur in the form of him initiating most of the contact, planning the dates, and showing his interest in order to win you over.
As long as the pursuing is done in a respectful manner with regard for your boundaries, this can be a healthy, exciting part of the dating process.
Keep in mind that the pursuit is a one-sided game, and if you want it to happen, you have to play the part.
Have your own life, your own interests, and most importantly, know your worth. Do not give him everything right away, especially sex! Allow him to prove his worth to you.
If you don’t believe you’re worth being pursued, you will likely do something to sabotage the pursuit or try to take control of it because you don’t believe he’ll call.
Ladies, if he stops pursuing you, he’s not the one for you! I cannot emphasize this enough. If a guy is interested in you, he will show you. Get out of your own way and let him!
Here’s where things can go awry:
Some of my female clients end up sabotaging an interested partner’s pursuing because they’re anxious about where the relationship will go and whether he’ll like her.
In the woman’s attempt to nail down what’s happening (often prematurely), she starts pursuing the man (communicating often, saying too much, giving too much). This confuses men and portrays a lack of self-confidence, and you may see his interest wane as a result.
If you are in a committed relationship with a man and you feel he isn’t as interested in you as he used to be, or you’re missing the feeling of him “chasing” you, ask yourself what has changed in your relationship and what you’re asking for.
For example, if you’re asking him to plan more dates, ask him if he has any requests of you and follow through. Keep in mind that in a committed relationship, it needs to be a healthy give and take between partners. Keeping a committed relationship exciting requires both partners to pursue each other!
Jennifer Meyer, M.A., LPC, NCC – www.jenmeyercounseling.com
Wanting to be loved by someone is an innate drive; just as basic as the need for food and shelter.
The sense of closeness and connection increases safety, security, and well being. When you experience falling in love, your brain responds in ways that allow you to be more vulnerable to your person. This is a neurophysiologic response.
Dopamine and oxytocin levels increase, and men also have the additional increase of testosterone and vasopressin. These chemical reactions allow us to feel excited, and risk letting ourselves get closer to another being.
When a man decides that he wants to attract a woman, his testosterone increases which encourages him to compete for her attention and affection.
You will see this in the animal world, particularly with birds. Think of those videos you have seen of a male bird, say a peacock, strutting around to grab the eye of the nearby female bird he would like to mate with.
He shows his best features, his beautifully colored feathers, maybe chirps or gargles some sort of mating call, whatever his instincts drive him to do, in order to get the female to choose him for her mate.
At the same time, the female is assessing the male’s display for attention, determining if he looks suitable to build her a nest, provide the genes that are necessary for her to procreate strong little baby birds to bring into the world and keep the species plentiful.
The males chase the females, and the females choose the appropriate mate that possesses all the qualities they are looking for.
Humans are not so different in that men have the wiring to pursue, and actually have a larger area in the brain that is very sensitive to testosterone that is built for this pursuit.
So, how do you get a man to pursue or chase you?
First, stop worrying about if the man is chasing you, and focus more on choosing wisely.
Just as in the bird kingdom, if you choose poorly, you will also be setting yourself up for risk. The female bird does not run around chasing the male bird to see if he is a good choice. The necessity for picking wisely is so important, her life depends on it. She watches and observes until a male demonstrates that he is a good pick.
Women are designed to be choosy.
The problem is that once those feel good hormones are released in the brain, we tend to think that this person is the one! We have to have him! No, this just means you’re attracted to him physically. Now, what else does he have that makes him a good candidate for you?
Dr. Tracy S. Kelly, LMFT – www.DrTracyKelly.com
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