Having studied Alpha Male techniques since college, I know a thing or two about playing it cool. Don’t reveal too much too soon. Don’t be too available. Never be desperate. Of course, I know how to do that. Yet, knowing isn’t the same as feeling. About a month ago, I couldn’t help myself but break every rule in the playbook. Without guessing, you already know — I was rejected.
After clearing my head, I started questioning my behaviors. I knew better, so why did I leave a fruit tea by her door, apologizing for nothing? Not only was she not my type, but I’ve never held a real-life conversation with her. What prompted me to act like an insecure little boy and treat her like a princess who was on the verge of becoming my girlfriend?
I was manufacturing extra feelings, fantasizing her as something more than she actually is. I was simply searching for someone to fill the void left by my ex two months ago.
Idealizing before entering a relationship is about the worse thing we could do.
We lower ourselves for someone who has yet to earn our admiration
Imagination is always more beautiful than reality.
We think about the other person in a way we wish them to be. Fun, compatible, perfect. While also replaying our memories with a lack of objectivity, swayed by our preconceived notions about them.
By doing so, we place them on a pedestal above us. We start hanging on to their every word, analyzing every text. Cautious about not messing up a conversation, we accommodate them in every way possible — giving them a sense of superiority and entitlement.
Not only does rendering our status make us less attractive, but also more self-conscious. Both of which sabotage the quality of the relationship.
The relationship is forced
It’s common to get ahead of ourselves in dating. After meeting someone intriguing, we start dosing off about future possibilities. A five-minute conversation makes us think of a date. A first date makes us think about marriage. Before the fruit is ripe, we push all of our chips into the middle of the table. It puts tremendous pressure on the person we’re pursuing.
We may even demand trust and intimacy right out of the gate. Or easily become jealous. To some extent, we’re exerting control on them, chasing them away.
Disillusion sets up unrealistic expectations
Oxytocin can severely cloud our judgment about someone, making us overlook their ordinariness and insecurities. Their every detail becomes fascinating. Every word they utter sounds like sweet music. Even their name on our contact list looks special. Once our attraction switch turns on, they could do no wrong. But no one will be able to live up to this level of expectation.
Over romanticizing stems from low self-worth
Perception is reality. We selectively see what we wish to see. As soon as we come across someone who understands our unique sense of humor or share an uncommon interest, we instantly perceive them as “the one.” This type of eagerness comes from a lack of self-worth.
People with low self-esteem are more codependent on others for happiness. They’re prone to believing that someone ‘special’ will save them. They place their hope on anyone who even shows them the slightest interest. It’s like a person who can’t swim trying to cling onto an inner tube.
Low self-worth people also don’t live in the moment. This means they’re more likely to fantasize about their future and reminisce their past with a potential someone.
Emotions are deceitful
It’s difficult to stop liking another person, but we can at least keep our imaginations in moderation with effort.
Curling up in our bed during a cold winter night is one of many vulnerable moments that tempts us to romanticize. Driving to the grocery market is another one. Whenever we engage in mundane activities alone, we start to picture ourselves doing it with the person we crush on. Although depressing at times, we enjoy having someone to daydream about.
But this sweet drool is toxic. The more someone stays in our heads, the more we emotionally attach to them — prematurely making them a focal point in our lives.
This is when we should stay rational and in the moment. Perhaps, shifting our thoughts to other things.
Go easy on their social media
We want to know what we’re getting ourselves into and we’d also like to be prepared.
So we look up their social media pages and scroll through every picture, hoping to find common threads. In what areas are they similar to us. What do they dislike? Who do they hang around?
Little do we know that this can quickly turn into an obsession if we aren’t careful. We spend so much time secretly admiring somebody, psychologically turning into their fan instead of a potential partner.
We aren’t a chump change
If feelings are mutual, then they’ll naturally be wondering about us just as much as we’re curious about them. Let them invest.
Ask around for subjective opinions
I always do this only when it’s too late. A third party is more subjective about our relationship and whether or not we’re exaggerating someone’s appeal.
Go with the flow
Falling in love is such a beautiful phenomenon. And it’s exactly why we shouldn’t mess it up by giving into our self-created illusions before the relationship starts. No matter how perfect someone appears to be, let’s pull back a little and let things take life on their own.
This post was previously published on Medium.
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