Why You Shouldn’t Date the Guy Who Acts the Most Interested by J. Birch
…. Despite lingering doubts, she ended up in a marriage by her mid-20s — with a husband whose enthusiasm was not, in fact, all it had seemed to be. It waned over time.
He did not defend her in front of his family members, they fought constantly, he did not consider her feelings. By her late 20s, she was divorced, with a whole slew of different (and correct) thoughts about “how things should be” the next time around.
Addison isn’t alone in her previous beliefs about dating and relationships. Somewhere along the way, women were told, “You deserve to be pursued!” and, yeah, we just went with it.
Through my research (and even among friends), I’ve met plenty of women who’ve literally gone their entire lives letting men sort themselves by early, most-evident interest.
Their “single girl” dating ritual is simple: Strongest pursuer wins. (Side note: This is a heteronormative exploration of dating rituals and for that reason a heteronormative article on said rituals.)
With a (Link): culture of ghosting, bread-crumbing, zombie-ing, and just flat-out constant shuffling, I get that things seem inherently fragile out there, and lots of people want to insulate against rejection.
You want to invest in someone who’s going to stick around, so you set up parameters to try to weed out those who aren’t serious enough:
… 3. The Best Relationships Today Are Egalitarian
(Link): Experts have consistently found that (Link): egalitarian marriages, where both parties are equal in all ways, are the happiest. They share duties inside and outside the home. They have equal bargaining power in the relationship. They both do the emotional work to keep the relationship afloat. And they both have the power to make key decisions.
This dynamic of equality starts right off the bat, as two halves of a potential couple meet each other halfway. You should both show interest. You should both be able to issue date invites. You should both be able to send texts and expect one in return. If you want a happy relationship, in which you both choose each other, the earliest interactions should settle in somewhere around 50-50.
Your enthusiasm, communication, and excitement should also continue to grow and expand over time in a way that feels natural. If a person is pursuing hard right out of the gate, that interest is not likely strong for the right reasons. I’m not saying you shouldn’t date the person, just that you need to keep carefully considering compatibility along the way. They’re likely following a script at best, and turning dating into a game at worst.
Never forget that they don’t really know you, not yet. They shouldn’t be “all in” after one date, and neither should you.
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