I recently did short interviews with approximately 50 married men. I asked one simple question. "How did you know she was the one?" Two answers came to the top over and over again.
1. There was something about her that knocked my socks off from the very beginning, some undefinable quality that caught my attention.
2. I knew I'd have to work to get her.
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Upon a little further investigation, that undefinable something was almost always some form of confidence. She seemed interesting and sure of herself. She seemed to know herself. She was comfortable in her own skin.
I honestly believe that her air of confidence is the very thing that led to the feeling that she wasn't going to roll over for him. He'd have to work at it. These guys knew they'd have to bring their best game and were more than happy to do it.
Herein lies the challenge to women. In many cases, boy meets girl. Boy shows some interest in girl and girl immediately clears her calendar for the next six months to be available for him. It's not necessarily desperation. She's just trying to be accommodating. She's hopeful. She wants to spend time with him.
He, on the other hand, does read that vibe as desperate. It ends the part of the "game" that he's biologically programmed to do: pursue.
I'm not suggesting playing hard to get. I am suggesting keeping your life and letting him join you in it rather than giving it over to him. I am suggesting there is real power in letting a man work a little from time to time, if not most of the time.
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When a client comes to me and in our first conversation she tells me, "I’ve stopped going to yoga," I almost always know she's stopped doing other things that made her the formerly fabulous version of herself. I also know that she's cleared every Friday and Saturday night from now until the kids (whether she has any yet or not) have graduated from high school in hopes of something remotely romantic. Chances are high, he's not having to bring his "A" game.
The biggest and most pervasive relationship killer is this: giving up all the things in your life that made you the woman he fell in love with. It's easy to do. Honestly, it can be hard not to do. However, in a healthy, balanced relationship, any investment you make in yourself is an investment in the relationship... probably the most important kind of investment.