I spent a month last year on tour speaking across the USA with Matt. And one thing that amazed me was how many women told me that they want to get a guy to call more. Or at all.
To which I would reply:
“Why don’t you ask?”
The answer, of course, was: “That would be weird”, or “I don’t want to be desperate”.
This is to my mind one of the biggest problems we face in dating. Call it a lack of confidence, unassertiveness, or just trying to ‘play the game’, but so many of us are guilty of avoiding saying what we want for a fear of not being chill enough.
This doesn’t just happen with getting a guy to call more. It also happens with:
- Wanting him to arrange a real date
- Wanting to know where you stand (i.e. “are we in a relationship, or not?”)
- Saying that you would rather move slower and see if you have a real connection before getting physically intimate, if that’s a standard you have.
It’s a bizarre trade. We’ll risk wasting time, inefficiency, and disappointment in exchange for the overvalued good of “not seeming needy”.
So in case it still needs to be said: Having some clear expectations about how you want to be treated DOES NOT equal neediness.
In truth, when you express what you want early on you win both ways. You either filter out the guy who is a child and can’t face something as simple as a phone call before a date. Or you get a guy who sees you have standards and now understands he has to step up if he really wants to pursue you.
The same goes here with responding to the famed “booty call” text. The one that he sends at 10pm that says:
“Heyyyy, want to come over to watch a movie?”
It’s the text that makes everyone roll their eyes when they read it on the page. And yet when you really like someone, suddenly a dilemma occurs: I don’t want to be someone he just calls for sex, but maybe he does REALLY like me and if I don’t go he’ll lose interest…
Except, no. He won’t lose interest.
This is a guy who is attracted to you, who may or may not see you as someone he wants a serious relationship with. But the only way to know is to not take the bait in this moment and assert your standard.
You can do that by saying NOTHING. Just leave the phone and where it is and let him learn you don’t respond to late texts.Or say: ““Hmm…interesting time to decide to offer a date. Maybe try a more reasonable hour next time…” Or: “I think you’re cute, but 10pm hook-ups aren’t my thing.”
Or however you want to play it. The point is: assert the standard.
Then if you do end up going on a proper date with him in the future and end up getting intimate, have the “awkward” conversation. The one where you say, “So what are you looking for at the moment?”.
Is it needy? No.
Will it risk ending whatever this is before it starts? Yes.
Does it save you time and stop you wasting it in a half-way situation where you’re never quite sure where you stand? Absolutely.
I’m making it sound like this is all easy. But we all know that when you like someone things get a lot tougher. And yet, with the right person, I’ve never found having the awkward conversation to have made anything worse in the long-term.
It might create an unpleasant air for a few minutes. Or even a day. Until they realise, “oh, they’re serious about this”. Then you discover whom you’re really dealing with.
Screw the niceties and the manipulation games and the Jedi mind tricks to get someone to hang on. Those tactics are short-term band-aids, and only attract the most toxic, narcissistic, fickle people anyway.
What works actually takes work. Build your deep inner confidence. Make what you say match what you feel on the inside. Be willing to say “no” to the red flags as soon as you spot them. Work on your character flaws, your health, and attractiveness, so that you live up to the standard you expect from the amazing person you want to spend your time with.
So yes, have the difficult conversation. Ask for what you want. Be the person who charts a different course, or end up stranded in the same confused boat as everyone else.
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