Dating Advice: Does He/She Like You
I really never envisioned myself to be ever giving dating advice for two reasons:
1.) I have been more focused on conflict resolution and saving established relationships.
2.) I never considered myself a ‘dating specialist’.
Now here is where things get interesting. Over a year ago I wrote a relatively short eBook called Mastering Communication in Relationships. It was designed to improve a guy or gal’s communication game in their relatively troubled relationship. In the book, I introduce a communication concept that I call ‘levels’. The gist of it is that communication is intended to be reciprocated and we really need to test the waters and scale through the multiple levels.
What I never realized is how important and crucial this concept is for the dating guy or gal. We can be so enamored with the person we are swiping, or liking, that we forget about the other person’s responsibility in this sprouting relationship. In Economics, we would warn against the dangers of ‘crowding out’, which here would mean that we could take up the room that our love interest is supposed to fill or we could completely miss signs that our efforts are completely in vain.
So what are we looking for, then?
A little seedling relationship is something that we have to take care of, but we also don’t want to fertilize a bad seed and make something out of nothing. Doing so could put two incompatible singles together or just seriously waste your time for someone who is ‘just being nice’. If someone is interested in you, you aren’t going to have to tear responses out of them as if they owe you a million dollars. For instance, when you make a comment on something odd or interesting, we are looking for them to respond as if it were. Someone that is not interested will likely only respond to the questions you ask. Being nice, they might redirect the same question back to you.
So, going back to the levels concept, we are looking for messages that add to the value of the communication. Both individuals are active participants. Someone who is disinterested might only be along for a short ride to relieve themselves of any guilt for letting you down.
You: “I really like that picture of you climbing that mountain. I used to go rockclimbing all of the time, but I am a bit busy as of late. What mountain was that picture in?”
Good response: Thanks! Yeah, that was when I was visiting my family in Washington. We went up Mt. Rainier. You were a rockclimber? Where did you like to go? Is that something you’d like to do again?
Bad response: Thanks. It was at Mt. Rainier.
Sometimes we never realize how bad the communication is until we visualize the difference between good and bad. Now, let’s evaluate the bad response. Where can you go from here? All you can do is comment on Mt. Rainier or ask another question. It is almost like you are talking to the Google search engine.
Now, let’s look at the good response. The other person clearly showed interest and wants to know more. You are able to prompt them about their family, the trip, and then you can elaborate on your past adventures in rock climbing and the possible future of continuing that passion.
We all deserve to be with someone that is going to reciprocate the love that we have to give. So, if things aren’t looking good from the first minute, then just let it die. Sometimes, the person is just busy, but you are going to quickly see a pattern. I generally advise a bit of leeway, meaning, that you are giving them a few chances to play ball. If they continue or go quiet, most likely they are done responding. You could, also, always invite them somewhere to meet in person. If done early on, there is zero obligation and zero feelings are involved. Again, if they are not interested, then it will be obvious by their response.
There are certainly some exceptions to this, but I am only going to mention one of them because it just further proves my point. One of the last times I had messaged a woman on a dating site, the other person was obviously interested but would not participate in any meaningful form of communication. They only answered questions that I had asked in a similar manner as I displayed above as being bad. So, the person can be interested but that doesn’t mean they are ‘interesting’, either.
Just feel it out and remember that just because someone responded, this doesn’t mean that you have to make anything out of it. It is the same online and in person in a way. There are a million reasons that someone could choose to not participate in communication with you, and most of those reasons have nothing to do with your looks or other characteristics about you.