Things were going well. You were talking and laughing and you had both had a glass too many. And then you said it. The music faded and you could feel your potential partner slipping away from you as he/she got that distant guarded look. Damage done beyond redemption? Maybe, but maybe not. Here are things to guard against.
Many people make the wrong moves when trying to seduce someone in whom they are interested. Men and women can make these mistakes and can have the alarming sense of having obliterated months of spadework by saying or doing one single thing that they should not have.
Before we take a look at general seduction mistakes, here are a few sentences that are guaranteed to make your potential partner run like the wind. They have also been known to work if you are consciously trying to get rid of someone:
My husband will never give me a divorce
I am desperate to settle down and have children
My finances are under administration – I work on a cash basis only
I spent three years with the Moonies, but that’s all over now
My ex-husband has stopped paying alimony now that he is in prison
My life has returned to normal now that the court cases are over
I still don’t understand why my last partner got a court interdict against me
I don’t know what I would do without you
The court gave my wife/husband sole custody of the children. I am not allowed to see them unsupervised
Five general seduction mistakes
Expecting the relationship to solve your problems
The rest of your life is dead dull. Nothing in it excites you. The only thing that makes life seem worthwhile is this new person you are dating. You put all your energy and time and passion into this new blossoming relationship. Surely this will be appreciated? Wrong.
This new person will quickly feel smothered by you and your neediness and hit the road at the first possible opportunity. No-one wants to feel that they are someone else’s heart-lung machine. Neurotic obsession is not an attractive thing.
If you enrich your life with other interests and activities, the passion you feel for things other than the relationship will be contagious and the person will be attracted by this. Other people cannot solve our problems – we have to become whole in ourselves before we can have successful relationships with other people.
Hopping into the sack too quickly
This is almost always a mistake. Having sex too soon gets the message across that this is not an unusual thing for you to do and therefore not special or out of the ordinary. Neither men nor women like the feeling that they might just be another notch on the bedpost. No-one likes feeling used, however good the sex was.
Find a way to put off sex until there is some emotional involvement, if you would like this connection to turn into anything long term. There’s nothing wrong with saying something like “I am very attracted to you, but when I like someone I don’t like rushing into things.” This lets your potential partner know that you have respect for him/her as well as for yourself and that you find them attractive. In other words, you are a good long term proposition.
Projecting your world of fantasy onto this person
From your rose-tinted perspective, the new woman in your life is perfect. A Dream Come True. All your friends can see that she’s a gold digger with another boyfriend and she has a very uncertain career history.
Women are particularly prone to projecting their image of perfect partners onto someone who at best can only be seen as a long term project. Even if the thought of changing him is attractive, the bottom line is that it just doesn’t work. People are what they are and very seldom change. Especially not as a result of your efforts.
Learn to read the signs. If this person is curiously unavailable and uncontactable on certain weekends, has a problem with drinking or drugs that he promises to deal with sometime in the future and is between jobs, it is time for you to stop and smell the coffee. He or she is involved with at least one other person, is an alcoholic or drug addict with no intention of doing anything about it and has just been fired again.
This person will never be what you want them to be. Dump him/her as you are wasting valuable time.
Chasing someone too hard
Both men and women can spell desperation at fifty paces. And it doesn’t smell nice. If you are too insistent, phone too often, are always available at short notice (were you the third person he phoned for movies?), are prepared to put off other things when they want to see you, buying too many gifts and blaming them for not giving you enough attention, you will only succeed in making this person feel smothered and wanting to escape from you. This goes for both men and women.
Whereas attention is initially flattering, it is never a good idea to be too persistent in pursuing someone else. Making someone feel claustrophobic is not a good start to anything.
Whether we like it or not, men traditionally like to be the pursuers . Being chased too hard and unsubtly, is only going to make them run. In many cases women also feel claustrophobic if someone is too insistent.
The heart-lung machine syndrome
You begin to spend all your time together. You go to the same places, see the same people and do all the same things together. You no longer see your old friends or go to the book club or go walking with a friend. Your parents haven’t seen you in weeks. You and your new partner are suffering from the Siamese twin syndrome.
You and your new partner begin to depend on each other more and more and you are both starting to alienate old friends. Giving up your individual identity for each other is something that will always backfire on the long run.
Invariably, one person gets to expect too much from the other one and starts taking them for granted, because they are there and all too willing. One person will start to put less and less effort into the relationship as the other one is willing to do all the work. No-one likes feeling totally responsible for someone else’s happiness.
It is important for both men and women to hold onto their individual identity. Don’t change who you are for someone else. If they don’t love you for who you are, they don’t love you. Simple as that. Pursue your own activities and interests and continue seeing friends and family. That way you will have something to talk about when you see each other again. - (Susan Erasmus, Health24, updated August 2010)
Any questions? Ask our sexologist