“Oh, he’s amaaaazing,” Sasha said. “I wish you could meet him. I think he might be the one!!”
I smiled. Sasha leaned in as if she was going to tell me a secret, “But I am so worried I’m going to screw this up!”
It’s always a delight to hear someone gush about their new love interest.
Nature designed us to feel glorious when we start to fall for someone. We’re intoxicated by what one researcher called “an ancient cocktail of neuropeptides and neurotransmitters.”
Yet even as our systems are flooded by feel-good chemicals, we feel stressed and anxious.
We have found something we really want, and there’s no guarantee we’ll get it.
The only way to relieve the stress and anxiety of new love is to earn commitment.
As that initial high fades to enduring affection and attachment, we start to feel more secure. We can relax. We know our partner isn’t going anywhere.
This transition from anxiety to security isn’t easy. So much can go wrong.
The majority of new love connections don’t make it out the other side.
What did Sasha need to know in order to “not mess it up”?
Mistakes We Make When High on Love
When you’re “high on love,” you’re not thinking clearly.
You’re intoxicated by wonderful feelings, and you don’t want those feelings to end. You want him with you forever.
All you have to do is to convince him to want that, too.
How do you do that?
You show him the incredible connection you have.
You tell him how wonderful and amazing he is, how wonderful and amazing you feel with him, how wonderful and amazing it is that you found each other.
You dream about how wonderful and amazing it will be to spend your lives together.
As you’re floating in this sea of bliss, you notice that he’s left your side.
He seems uncomfortable. He’s less enthusiastic. He’s distracted.
In a panic, you double-down. You tell him that he’s the most incredible guy you’ve ever met. You believe in him, and you know he’ll be a success no matter what he does.
And just like that…
He pulls away.
What did you do wrong?
Inside a Man’s Mind
Why would a man react poorly to those compliments?
Isn’t everyone looking for a partner who believes in them and thinks the world of them?
To understand why a man might pull back when you tell him how wonderful he is, you need to know 3 things about men.
Male Insight #1.
He knows himself better than anyone.
The person you see when you look at him is not the man he knows himself to be.
He knows he has flaws. He isn’t perfect. He’s let women down before.
So when you tell him how amazing he is, he doesn’t buy it.
She hardly knows me, he thinks. She’s making assumptions. She’s seeing what she wants to see.
To understand this reaction, imagine that you’ve just met a man online.
This man has read your online profile and exchanged a few messages with you.
Now he’s saying you’re the most amazing creature he’s ever met and he can’t wait to spend time with you because he just knows you’ll make magic together.
Would you be flattered?
Or would you think, This guy doesn’t even know me yet!
We all want to be loved for who we truly are, not who others think us to be.
Which is why we tend to feel skeptical when those effusive compliments come too soon.
A better way to compliment is a guy is to tease him. When you sneak in compliments under the guise of light-hearted teasing, he’s more receptive.
For example, you might say, “Your music taste is all over the place, but I admire your open-mindedness,” or, “Your time management skills need work, but I’m liking your spontaneity!”
Male Insight #2.
He doesn’t want more pressure.
Some men believe that when you start with high expectations, there’s only one direction you can go from there…
He’s already puts enough pressure on himself. That added pressure of living up to your belief that he’s the man of your dreams is just too much.
It’s strange to think of a compliment as a burden, so let’s look at an example.
Let’s say you tell him that you have total faith in him. That seems like a good thing, right?
But that compliment makes him clams up. Now he doesn’t want to burst your bubble by sharing his doubts and confusion. He stays silent in order to avoid letting you down.
A better alternative is to say something like, “I was really impressed by the way you handled that situation at work last week. You came up with such a creative solution.”
Showing appreciation or admiration for something he’s already done gives him the confidence he can do it again.
Male Insight #3.
He prefers right now to tomorrow.
A lot can happen between now and next week.
You may be getting together beautifully now, but that doesn’t mean you’ll feel the same a month or a year from now.
This is why many men prefer to take it day by day. They’re realistic. They know things don’t always work out.
They’d rather enjoy today than get distracted by the future.
That doesn’t mean they don’t also feel a sense of delight at the thought of spending more time with you. That doesn’t mean they won’t ever commit.
It just means that they don’t want to jump ahead when they’re still laying a foundation.
As fun as it is to dream about your future life together, the present moment is too good to miss. Enjoy it.