This phrase doesn’t work in a job. So why do people think this concept will work in dating?
For example, it appears common thinking is:
- “I’ll treat you like my girlfriend if we have sex.”
- “I’ll be more affectionate to you after you treat me like a queen.”
- “I’ll meet your family after we’ve hung out with my friends for months.”
- “I’ll clean up my house after you move in.”
I’ve fallen prey to this, thinking that if I gave a man what he wanted, he’d give me what I wanted. Unfortunately, solid relationships aren’t built on tit for tat. They are built on “I want to give this to you because I know it makes you happy.” Not “I will give you this if you give me that.”
Of course every relationship involves some negotiation. “I’ll attend your business dinner if you’ll come to my friend’s birthday party.” Or, “I’ll wear that dress you really like even if it’s uncomfortable, if you take me to a nice restaurant.”
It becomes problematic when you expect to get what you want only after you’ve given the other what he wants. He may give it to you, reluctantly. Or he may give it to you once to hold up his part of the bargain, but never again. Or he may not give it to you at all.
In the job scenario, we tend to get raises (or bonuses) after at least meeting expectations, and usually not until we’ve exceeded them. To tell your boss you’ll work harder only after getting a raise will generate laughter, not trust. You have to demonstrate you are interested in getting a raise by working hard to show you deserve one.
The same should be true in budding relationships. You need to show you are interested in winning the other’s heart and trust before getting them.
This seems like such common sense, but I’m continually surprised that even with midlife daters, it isn’t.
What have you been surprised men you’ve been seeing expect without doing the work to show they deserve it?
For more info on deciding to keep seeing someone, download your copy of Real Deal or Faux Beau: Should You Keep Seeing Him?