Should We Play It Cool When We Like Someone?

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One of the paradoxes of the dating game is that we know that by coming across as

enthusiastic at an early stage

If we bring them the next day if we're open about how attractive we find them if we suggest meeting them again very soon

we are putting ourselves at a high risk of

disgusting the very person we would so like to build a relationship with

It is in order to counter this risk that early on in our dating lives

we are taught by well-meaning friends to adopt a facade of cruel and

indifference we become experts are deliberately not phoning or sending messages are treating our dates in a

Carefully offhand manner and in subtly pretending we don't much care if we never cross their paths again

we are told that the only way to get them to care about us is to pretend not to care for them and

in the process

We waste a lot of time

We may lose them altogether and we have to suffer the indignity of denying that we feel a desire that should never have been

associated with shame in the first place

But we can find a way out of the conundrum by drilling deeper into the philosophy

That underpins the well flagged danger of being overly eager

Why is detachment so often recommended? Why are we not meant to call too soon?

High levels of enthusiasm are generally not recommended for one central reason because they have been equated with what is a true

Psychological problem manic dependence in other words calling too soon has become a symbol of weakness

Desperation and the inability to deal adequately with life's challenges

without the constant support of a lover whose real identity the manically keen party doesn't much care about

Because their underlying priority is to ensure that they're never alone without someone

Rather than with any one being in particular

But we should note that what is ultimately the problem is manic dependence not

high enthusiasm

The difficulty is that our cultural narratives have unfairly glued

These two elements together with an unnecessarily strong a none budging kind of adhesive yet

There should logically be an option to disentangle the two strands that is to be able to reveal high enthusiasm

And at the same time not thereby to imply manic dependence

there should be an option to appear at once very keen and

very sane

The ability to do so depends on a little-known emotional art to which we seldom have recourse or introduction

We call it strong

Vulnerability the strongly vulnerable person is a diplomat of the emotions who manages carefully to unite on the one hand

self-confidence and independence and on the other a capacity for closeness self revelation and

honesty

It is a balancing act the strongly vulnerable know how to confess with authority to a sense of feeling small

They can sound in control even while revealing that they have an impression of being lost

They can talk as adults about their childlike dimensions

they can be unfrightening at the same time as admitting to their own fears and

they can tell us of their immense desire for us while simultaneously

Leaving us under the impression that they could fully survive a frank rejection. They would love to build a life with us

They imply but they could very quickly and adroitly find something else to do if that didn't sound much like fun from our side

In the way that the strongly vulnerable speak of their desire for us. We sense a beguiling mixture of candor and

Independence, they don't need to play it cool because they carry off high enthusiasm in a way which sidesteps the dangers

That playing cool has traditionally and nefariously been associated with what is off-putting

Is never in fact that someone likes us

What is frightening is that they seem in danger of having no options other than us of not being able to survive without us

manic dependence not

Enthusiasm is only ever the problem with this distinction in mind. We should to tell those we like that

we're really extremely keen to see them again perhaps as early as tomorrow night and find them exceptionally marvelous while simultaneously

Leaving them in no doubt that we could if the answer were no

without trouble and at high speed find some equally enchanting people to play with and be bewitched by

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To learn more about love try our book on how to find love

Which explains why we have the types we do and how our early experiences shape how and whom we love

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