How to know when to employ the principle of indifference, and when you should stand up for yourself when dating someone new.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a viewer who is confused about when he should be employing indifference vs. standing up for himself and showing self-respect when a woman’s actions do not match his expectations for the relationship. He wants to know when it is appropriate to put his foot down when he’s in a non-committed relationship situation.
It’s obvious the woman he is dating is not matching his unreasonable expectations, and therefore he is struggling to resist the urge to do something or confront her to force her to act the way he wants, even though they just started dating, and it’s not serious yet. His email perfectly illustrates the needy and weak mindset that causes men to chase, try and force things and talk women right out of liking them. My comments are in (bold parenthesis like this below) in the body of his email.
I’m on my second pass through your book and have a question about indifference vs. self-respect. When a woman isn’t giving you what you want, it’s hard to tell which to do.
(As I teach in my book, your job is to create an opportunity for sex to happen. You extend an invitation, and either way, whether she accepts it or not, you’re cool with it, because you want somebody who’s enthusiastic about spending time with you, not somebody you’re trying to convince or prove yourself to. A man who values, loves and respects himself knows he’s awesome. He doesn’t have to prove himself to anybody.)
Let her be the cat and roam the neighborhood, or put your foot down and communicate what you expect?
(Keep in mind, you’re not in a committed relationship. Obviously you need to set healthy boundaries, but when you just start dating somebody, you don’t show up and give them a list of what you expect and want them to do. You should have the attitude of being skeptical, because people can hide who they really are for about the first ninety days of a relationship.
You can’t go out on two or three dates and say, this is the woman I’m going to spend the rest of my life with. Even though you may have those kinds of feelings, they’re really just emotions. You don’t have enough data and experience or time being with somebody to really know who they are until they’ve let their guard down and have spent so much time around you that it just comes out.)
When is it appropriate to do which? I suspect that the stage of the relationship is what matters, but wanted to ask you specifically.
(Right there you’re basically saying, I really like this girl, I really want her to be my girlfriend, and I’m fearful it’s not going to work, and this is upsetting to me. You’re attached to a future outcome, and if that outcome looks in doubt, that’s going to scare you and cause you to be fearful.
When you’re in a fearful state, you’re going to try to force things. We try to force things because we want certainty. One of our six human needs is certainty. In other words, certainty we know things are going to happen or be a certain way, or somebody loving you that you want to be loved by. That’s the worst thing you can do with a woman.
Remember the cat analogy. What happens when you’re petting a cat and it decides it doesn’t want to sit in your lap anymore? The cat leaves, and if you chase after the cat, it’s going to take off again. Women are the same way.)
Also, if you’re getting emotionally raked over the coals, because you’ve developed expectations, despite being in an early stage of the relationship, should you just be fake the funk with indifference despite your true feelings?
(If you start communicating that you don’t like how she’s showing up, she’s not giving you the attention you want, or whatever it is you feel is lacking, and you’ve decided you’re in a relationship, but she’s just casually seeing how things go, you’re going to give off the vibe of a stalker, a creepy guy or a guy’s who’s potentially dangerous to be alone with. Naturally that’s going to scare any woman. They’re going to be repulsed, turned off and they’re going to lose attraction for you.)
I suspect that your answer will be that at the early stage of a relationship, you shouldn’t have expectations, is that right?
(Yeah, you should be there with your eyes open, wanting to analyze and see kind of like a detective. Who is this woman really? Is she really good for me? Are we compatible? Do we have the same goals and values?)
However, in your book you gave your friend advice that he should put his food down in a non-committed relationship situation.
(You shouldn’t be dating somebody who’s cheating on their spouse, thinking that’s going to turn into a great, healthy, monogamous relationship. In that particular situation, I told him he needed to remove himself and tell her to figure out what she wanted to do with her husband. If they were going to continue to see each other, he wasn’t going to be the other guy. A lot of people get trapped waiting in those situations.
I told him he needed to stand up for himself. First of all he should never have been dating her in the first place, and number two, he should have been strong enough to walk away. He basically behaved like a guy who didn’t have a lot of choices. You’ve got to be strong enough to walk away, instead of projecting your fantasy onto somebody, hoping you’re going to be able to change them.
You don’t know this girl well enough yet. You just started casually dating. You should be looking to see what she’s really like, especially when she mentions things about previous boyfriends. A lot of the time, if they have a tendency to cheat and to lie, those things will come up and that’s valuable intel. You want to know those things.
If you’re looking for an exclusive, monogamous relationship, and they’ve told you they’ve cheated on pretty much everybody they’ve been with, or they come from a family of cheaters and liars, you really should be looking at that person as more of a fuck buddy, a friends with benefits or somebody to just have fun with until you meet somebody who shares the same goals and values you do.
You can’t talk a woman into liking you more. The only thing you can really do is be her best option, take her out and have fun dates. Then let her come to you at her pace, like I talk about in the book. If you try to force things, you start saying things and she sees you’re getting angry, pissed off and irritated with her behavior and it’s not matching your expectations, she’s going to tend to back away and start testing you.
An average guy who doesn’t know any better, when that happens, he gets even more irritated because she’s backing away, and even further not meeting his expectations, which drives her away even more, eventually to the point she friend-zones him or ghosts him completely and blows him off. Then you’ve blown it.
In the beginning, when she doesn’t have an emotional bond, it’s much easier for a woman to to walk away from a guy, as opposed to several months down the road when she’s head over heels in love with him and finds out he’s a turd in the punch bowl.)
Thanks for all of your shout-outs to vets, by the way.
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Author, Speaker, Peak Performance Coach, Entrepreneur
“Love is freedom. People who struggle to love themselves, and their lives the way they are, take actions based upon the fear their expectations will not be met, in order to force their desired outcome to happen, instead of letting it happen or not happen at all, naturally. These become unhealthy attachments leading to actions that make the other person they desire feel like they are losing their freedom. It is natural for all human beings to be repelled by force and control that threaten their freedom. Love is allowing, not force.” ~ Coach Corey Wayne
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