You’ve arranged to meet several men you connected with online.
The first guy talks about his life in a way that’s extremely impressive. He’s confident, and you like that. He talks about places he could take you. He talks about the interests you have in common. He shares his philosophy on what it means to be a good boyfriend. It’s all very persuasive.
Then you go out with your second date.
He sits back, relaxes, and chats with you about life. He admits up front that he isn’t perfect. He acknowledges where you’re different. He jokes that you’d never make a couple because you wouldn’t be able to handle his motorcross obsession. It’s so relaxed and so fun that you enjoy yourself immensely.
Who do you find yourself thinking about a week later?
The first guy or the second guy?
We Say No to People Who Want Us to Say Yes
It doesn’t make any sense.
If Person A says to you, “We’d be good together…”
And Person B says to you, “I’m not sure we’re right for each other…”
Then surely you’d go along with Person A.
After all, he seems confident that he knows what you want and need.
But whenever we hear someone trying to convince us of anything, resistance kicks in.
We feel an instinctive urge to say no.
The more effort someone puts into trying to convince us, the less likely we are to agree on principle.
It doesn’t matter if the person’s reasoning is compelling. A primitive part of our brain resists being controlled. It feels like the other person is trying to make our decision for us.
Of course, we can always override that instinctive resistance. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with someone trying to convince us. They’re probably giving us useful information. We can choose to listen carefully.
But that takes cognitive effort, and it’s all too easy to avoid making an effort when you’re tired or not interested.
Where things REALLY get interesting is when you flip the script…
And someone tells you no, you can’t have something, it’s not right for you.
You feel an instinctive urge to change that no to a yes and prove them wrong.
And, not to worry you, but this technique has probably been used on you before. Let me show you what I mean.
Watch Out for Disqualifiers
Players call this technique disqualification.
It’s when they tell you up front that it’s probably not going to work out between you.
As soon as a guy tells you that he’s too something for you—too much of a guy’s guy, too basic, too obsessed with sports—your instincts kick in to prove him wrong.
You end up trying to prove to him that you would be perfect together. The critical part of your brain that would normally be assessing his “boyfriend potential” shuts off.
You can find yourself pursuing a relationship with someone that you wouldn’t normally be interested in, if you were thinking more clearly.
The reason most people don’t even see that this is being done to them is because it’s completely opposite to what we expect a date to do.
After all, if you’re trying to convince someone to date you, why would you be open about the ways in which it might be a bad idea?
Because, done right, it creates sexual tension.
He says, “I’m not sure if you can handle my motorcross obsession. Every weekend, that’s where I’m at.”
You reply, “Oh yeah, I have absolutely no interest in motorcross. I’m in the yoga studio getting all loose and limber, and I bet I wouldn’t see you there.”
Or maybe he tells you he just wants something casual.
You reply with a grin, “Oh yeah, I want SO much more than that. I want companionship and intimacy and connection and commitment and the whole shebang.”
It’s fun. It’s flirty. And it creates an interesting tension.
So be on the lookout for this persuasion technique.
If a guy says he’s wrong for you, don’t take up the challenge of convincing him you’d be perfect together. Simply agree with him.
And don’t be afraid of drawing attention to the areas in which you and your date are different and might not be compatible.
You don’t have to pretend you’re perfect for one another. He can see where you’re not aligned as clearly as you can.
Sometimes, just getting those potential areas of conflict out into the open—in a fun, casual way—can clear the air and help you relax with one another.
You’re not each other’s dream date…
But that doesn’t mean it might not be interesting to see where things lead.