I get SO many questions about standards in early-stage dating.
To answer some of these questions, this week I take a real woman’s story and give 3 practical techniques for solving it that I think you’re going to find really valuable.
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I was recently on Australian TV via Zoom and there was a woman that… Her story was, essentially, that she’d been on three dates with a guy. On the second date, she brought up the fact that he didn’t seem to banter with her much between dates.
Now she brought this up because, she said, “This is really important to me. I love being able to banter with someone and when someone doesn’t give me much of that, it’s like I’m not having something that I know is a big thing for me.”
So, she mentioned it to him. She’d said it didn’t really change after that. Not only that, but after the third date, he didn’t really text for nine days. And then, nine days later, sent a text saying, “Hey, sorry, not playing games, just really busy right now.”
At that point, she said to me, “Matthew, what do I do? Is this a sign that he really doesn’t like me? Is it just an excuse, or is it real and I should keep pursuing this person?”
Here are three principles I’m going to start you on. And if you’ve got a pen and paper right now, I want you to write these down. By the way, I have something big to share with you at the end of this video, so do not go anywhere.
Number one: Temper your enthusiasm. So often, we create this ideal picture of someone in the beginning and we never update it. If you learn new information… He’s not very good at bantering with you between dates and that’s important to you – “He doesn’t message me for days on end, and when he does, he doesn’t ask me on another date, he just apologizes for not being around” – update your perception of this situation and this person, or, at the very least, your perception of how right this person is for you.
And that brings us onto the second point, which is: Understand your needs. Know yourself. If you know that you value that initial excitement and that fun and that romance, and this person isn’t delivering on that, then be honest with yourself about the fact that this situation isn’t really meeting your needs of your dating life, of what you really want. So again, it doesn’t mean this person is a write-off, but it does mean you should temper your enthusiasm about this person.
And lastly, speak up. If you don’t like something, if you want it to be different, if you want to just express that, “In order for me to continue to invest, I need it to be different,” then speak up about what it is you want or what you’re not happy with. You could send a message to someone who messages you after three weeks saying, “Hey, let’s hang out,” and inside you’re like, “Where the fuck have you been for the last three weeks?” You could send someone a message and just say, “Lol, you were supposed to send me this message two weeks ago.” That’s having a little jab at them in a playful way, but it also expresses your standard.
Expressing your standard doesn’t have to come in any aggressive form or any passive-aggressive form even. It can just come in the form of making fun, teasing someone. A little bit of humor goes a long way in these situations, especially early on when your standard shouldn’t become an expectation.
The difference between standards and expectations is a standard is about me, an expectation is about you. We want to be wary of expectations in early-stage dating. Instead, have standards. Standards mean, “If you’re not giving me what I need, I’m going to modify my investment, my energy, my excitement in this situation accordingly.” And when I speak up about that, it doesn’t make you feel like a bad person for not doing something, but it does make you realize the stakes of you not doing something are potentially allowing me to drift until I’m no longer there. Now they start to respect you, not as someone who they’re afraid of because they’re afraid you’re going to bite their head off, but respect you as someone who knows what she wants.
These three principles will serve you in any stage of dating, but especially if you find yourself weighing up how right someone is in the early stages and, if not, over-investing physically, over-investing emotionally by thinking too much about someone who hasn’t earned it yet.
A few weeks ago, we did our first ever live Virtual Matthew Hussey Retreat. Huge success. The feedback was amazing, so much so that we’re doing it again in March. If you missed the magic of the first one and you want to transform, not just your love life – this isn’t a dating retreat; this is about your life – then come to this one.
Do not miss the opportunity again because we’re going to be looking at your health, your sense of purpose in your life, your motivation in general, your ability to wake up and stick to your habits and keep moving forward. I’m really going to be downloading the philosophies that I’ve accumulated about life, over the last 14 years of coaching people in every aspect of their lives, into three powerful, immersive days that, by the end of it, you’re not going to be thinking in terms of, “I need a guy,” or, “What’s going to happen with this person I’m with?” anymore. Your purpose, your mission, and your confidence are going to transcend all of that and you’re going to feel awesome, no matter where you are in your love life right now.
I can’t wait for you to see this. Do not miss it again in March. I’m going to leave a link here. Come there; book an appointment with one of my Retreat Specialists; ask any question you want about the program, but do not miss this opportunity. And I’ll see you next time.