Have you ever wondered what the right amount of effort to put in with a guy is?
You may have heard me say, “Invest in those who invest in you.” But that could leave you wondering to yourself: “Doesn’t someone need to take the first step to invest something if anything is ever going to happen?”
It’s a valid point. I’ll show you exactly how to solve this at the end of the video, so make sure you watch it through…
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So last week, I ended with the conclusion on a bunch of terms like ghosting, zombieing, haunting that they all just represented low investment and, therefore, were all indicative of a central problem, which was that we tend to invest in people based on how much we like them, not based on how much they are investing in us. And I’ve said this ad nauseam over the course of the last decade of my life, the people that follow me a lot will be able to repeat this phrase easily, because I say it so much: Invest in those who invest in you. Don’t invest in someone based on how much you like them.
But there is a challenge to this that I think is interesting because it adds a little nuance. Someone could easily say, “But Matthew…” and by the way someone did say this. I was on a podcast with Lisa Bilyeu on her Women of Impact podcast. I am not a woman of impact, but I graciously was allowed to come on the podcast as an honorary male. She said to me upon hearing this, “I love that, but doesn’t that get you into a kind of standoff with someone where you’re both holding your gun, waiting for the other person to draw before you do anything? Can it lead to a situation where relationships are simply transactions, where you wait for somebody else to invest before you do anything at all?”
This is where a principal comes in to temper this idea: We have to invest and then test. This is something, a phrase that my brother Stephen Hussey, who writes for our website, HowToGetTheGuy.com, coined. Invest then test. In other words, give a little, and then see if they move a little to meet you where you are.
I think about this from the first moment you meet someone. You see someone in a coffee shop, it’s like, maybe you both are attracted, you both want to talk to each other. One person at some point has got to make it easier on both of you, right? Someone has to take responsibility for making it a bit easier.
So what happens? Maybe one person goes and sits close to that person, right? I know we live in a world now where the idea of going and sitting close to someone seems like a thing of the past, what an anachronism, but let’s just take the concept in. We have to be able to talk about normal things sometimes, my God, if only to illustrate a point. You go sit somewhat close to that person. That person thinks, “Oh, the person I was making eye contact with is now sitting kind of close to me.” Now one person says, “You all right? I like what you’ve ordered there. It looks delicious.” And then, “It is delicious. I’ve had it before. How are you? What’s your name?” Now you’ve got a conversation that’s happening because both people, they put in a little bit, put in a little bit.
Sometimes in the beginning, one person has to overcome another person’s shyness and do something a bit more drastic. Go over and just start talking to them because this person is never going to come over of their own volition.
That happens at that stage. Then there’s the later stages of, okay, when we’re in the texting phase, I need to look and see, as Jameson and I have talked about previously in a video, am I in the blue?
We text all the time.
Simmi, the colors, look at the colors. You’re in the blue, mate.
When I send them meaty messages where I actually say things, do they send me quick one-word or three-word answers? That’s a form of taking a leap of faith that, while I like someone so I’m going to let them know about it and I’m going to see how they respond, but then actually paying attention to the response. Is the investment equal or do you always feel like you’re the one investing a lot more than that person is? Invest, then test. I don’t mean test in the manipulative, game-playing sense. Simply measure what’s the reaction.
In dating in general, I think one of the big problems is we don’t do enough communicating, but we do too much chasing.
Communicating is letting someone know that you like them. “I find you attractive. I’d love to hang out sometime. We should go for a coffee,” or, “I’m into you. I like something about you,” or, “You look cute in that top,” or whatever. That’s communicating. What I’m doing there is showing that I like you.
Chasing is when you continue to invest in someone, you continue to keep chasing them, to keep giving them energy long after the point of having already communicated that you like them, and without the equivalent return of attention, of interaction from them. That’s chasing.
I’m a huge proponent of communicating and someone who’s trying to stop people from chasing. When I say invest in who invests in you, it’s not about always waiting for someone else to make the first move. Investing a little bit so that someone knows where you stand, so that someone knows that you like them, so that someone knows you’re open to a date, so that someone knows that you’d like to see them for a second date, so that someone knows that you find them attractive, sexy, appealing as a human being: That’s brave. That’s vulnerable. That’s courageous.
Chasing someone is a sign of low self-worth, losing our own self-respect and having put someone on a pedestal. And I say put someone on a pedestal because how can someone be so great that you continue to chase them when they’re not giving you that back? No one can be that great because greatness, someone who’s great for a relationship with you, doesn’t just come in the form of someone who’s got great qualities, it comes in the form of someone who represents a great energy in your life, represents a great investment in you as a human being. You can’t have one without the other. You can’t have someone who’s great for a relationship, but doesn’t invest.
So chasing is chasing someone who you admire, who you think is great, but someone who ultimately is not actually investing in building something with you. Invest a little so that you can test whether you get anything back. And only continue to invest in those who invest in you.