Don't wanna date me? Now I'm hooked
Special to amNewYork
November 13, 2006
A few weeks ago, a guy who had once eagerly asked me out
sent me an e-mail with a shockingly straightforward missive:
"I'm just not that into you."Which
of course makes no sense. I'd much rather go to the
In the three months since
I've been single, I've gotten several rejections, all for
disparate reasons. Oddly, my response to each of them has been
identical -- previously uninterested, I was hooked. I wanted
them all to fall madly in love with me and propose in Vegas,
preferably next week.
But the more I thought about it, the more
confused I became. Why was I once again susceptible to the
irritating and completely masochistic "If He Doesn't Like Me,
I Like Him Even More" syndrome? Why did my retarded brain fan
the flames of desire every time a guy shot me down? What
evolutionary or practical purpose does that serve, if
I put those questions to several experts, who at
the very least made me feel normal, if still
"People are naturally drawn to similar levels
of attractiveness," Brown University professor and
psychologist Dr. Scott Halzman wrote in an e-mail response.
"We assume the person who doesn't seem attracted to you must
be at a higher level of desirability themselves."
we can get them to become attracted to us, they seem more
precious, and we, by extension, also feel worth more," Halzman
Ah-ha. That makes sense.
of us (myself definitely included) have an overabundant need
for approval. Who knew?? Consequently, we look towards others
to validate our perceived level of self-esteem, and if we
don't find what we're looking for (ie, they don't like us), we
try even harder.
**Debbie Mandel Qoute**"We want to be liked," author Debbie
Mandel said. "So, if 50 people in the room adore us and greet
us, it's the one person who doesn't that gets our attention.
This undermines our self-confidence, and we need to restore it
with a win."
The idea of needing to "win" touches upon
the maddeningly persistent game-like element to dating. Loving
'the chase' may be a giant cliché, but as any bachelor can
tell you, it's alive and well--and thriving--in
"It's human nature that we don't like what
comes easily," says Ronnie Ann Ryan, an author and dating
coach. "We want what we can't have."
"So when a
potential romantic partner is not interested or shows
resistance, the pursuer comes alive and the chase
How very ... zoological.
Or you could
look at it the way my friend's husband did, who told her that
the French have a saying about these relationships: "One lover
offers the lips and the other, the cheek."
Can I just
Photos: Julia Allison
Talkback: Discuss Julia's column
What are you thankful to your ex-girlfriends or
I'm thankful of getting out the horse and carriage ride in
Central Park in 2001 and running away from that foolish man
who said he wanted me to spring for a lavish dinner at Four
Submitted by: Amanda
8:14 AM EST, Nov 20, 2006
Letting me go so she could start a career and family
Submitted by: Tim
6:45 AM EST, Nov 20, 2006
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