The Romney Effect in Dating and Relationships
Letting go of the preference for a certain outcome, especially when you're really attracted to or deeply love somebody, is one of the most difficult states to attain. How can you be in a relationship and not want it to work out, right? Why wouldn't you want to get off of Match.com and be exclusive after you FINALLY meet someone you actually click with? Giving up your preferences for the outcome you want can be one of the most freeing decisions you ever make and can take you and your relationship, or future relationship, to the healthiest possible place.
Letting go of this preference requires finding satisfaction with yourself. At your inner core you have a self that is not subject to change, that is immune to criticism, a self that is not afraid of challenge. These characteristics apply to every human at the core of self-actualization. Everybody comes with their own unique set of challenges and obstacles in attaining self-actualization. In relation to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, the majority of people are stuck at not having their need for self-esteem met, and thus seek love and relationships to provide them self-esteem.
It may seem cliché to hear the message "just be yourself," but the shell we live in is sometimes so thick that we don't notice how much it is blocking our real personality from shining through. For example, whenever a man who is wanting to improve his confidence in his dating life or in a relationship asks “What should I say?” he is asking the wrong question. Essentially he is asking 'What social mask should I be wearing to make her like me?" rather than "How do I really feel about this person/situation?" If you do this it is not fair on two levels: (1) you are not being fair to yourself by assuming that who you are not 'interesting enough', 'fun enough', 'rich enough', or whatever 'enough' yourself to be attractive (low self-esteem), and (2) is not fair to her because she is trying to make an informed decision about whether she likes you or not, and in order to do that she needs to experience the real you.
You have to say what YOU want, say what YOU want to say, be clear in YOUR intent, say what’s of interest to YOU. This will increase the attraction rather than neutralizing it by saying something manufactured. Building attraction is not a political campaign, and whether you're a Republican or Democrat it is safe to say that we have learned that trying too hard to be something that does not come from a genuine place kills likeability, even in politics! Not being political about what you express says all the right things… mainly that you have your own life, whether the other person is willing to be a part of it or not, and that conveys a strength that is universally attractive. If you are are trying to be someone you are not, or say something out of character in an attempt to impress her, she will sense that she is dealing with a filter and this is where a woman's interest often breaks down.
If you are always gauging what you are going to say, you will invariably foster the Romney Effect. She will not know whether she can believe what you say or not, and in this you lose her trust. She needs a peak through the window into who you genuinely are so she can imagine what it would be like to be more intimate with you, so she can evaluate whether she’s attracted to you. She cannot really evaluate whether or not she wants to spend time with you if you’re not giving her anything real to work with.
What this comes down to making the shift internally where you no longer care about looking bad or "rejection." This goes back to a quote I shared in an earlier post. Sometimes to make this shift you have to be at the point where the potential pain of making a change has now become outweighed by the pain of continuing to live as you are living; in this case, you arrive at the point where you can continue to try to put on a persona and filter yourself, or you can embrace yourself and unfearfully and unapologetically be who you are. A perk that comes with this is that it screens out the people that don't actually like you for you, and the ones who do, the attraction is more powerful because it is absolutely genuine. Plus, you avoid that conversation down the road that starts "Before we get serious, there is this thing that you need to know about me…"
Remember, who you are is not dependent on how others treat you. Who you are is not dependent on whether one woman, who doesn't know you from Adam, accepts you or not. If you are changing based on how other people react to you, then likely you are not genuinely being yourself. Why would someone try to be someone that they’re not or try to show off just to keep others interested. They want to control the outcome. YOU CAN'T! So give up the politics already and embrace your inner uniqueness.