helpful hints

The Best Piece Of Dating Advice I’ve Ever Heard

It’s a motto I’m going to live by from now on.

Originally Published: 

I recently picked up a new piece of dating advice. I was at the gym listening to my favorite podcast, Love Life with Matthew Hussey, and came upon a new episode titled, “What Is Self Love?” The episode featured a conversation with Humble the Poet, a Canadian YouTube personality, author, rapper, and spoken-word artist, who was arguing that modern dating should be tied to self-love. Then he said something that stopped me in the middle of my box steps: “Be easy to get but hard to keep.”

Women have been taught for so long we should play hard to get. It’s such a staple of dating advice. We hear things like, “Don’t be so available,” or “Don’t text back right away.”

Well, Humble dismissed that, and what he went on to say made so much sense. He explained if you’re going to play that game, you’ll attract people who only like the chase. They’re going to finally get you and then probably take you for granted. If the chase and playing hard to get is what excited them, there’s no way you can keep that up.

I think we've all probably seen relationships like that: one person loved the thrill of the chase, they caught their partner, and then they completely stopped trying. Sure, everybody settles into a long-term relationship just a little; there's a reason they call it a "honeymoon period." But there are a lot of people out there who just stop showing up in the most basic of ways, and it's awful to watch.

Being hard to keep is about having boundaries and communicating to your partner you still need to be pursued. It’s about letting them know that you aren’t okay with being treated like a doormat and, yeah, your love is conditional.

The first half of Humble’s advice struck me as important, too, especially for women who are getting back out there after a divorce. To my mind, being a bit easier to get means going out with men who might not be your exact type. Have a second date with a man you liked okay during your first date even if there wasn’t a huge spark, just to see what happens. Be more open to exploring something with somebody you might not instantly be attracted to, especially if they have some great qualities and seem to be a good man. Maybe you can build something great together.

And then, when you do find someone you click with, don't let things slide, do communicate your boundaries, and do continue being the person you want to be whether they come along for the ride or not.

This is the best advice I’ve gotten as a divorced woman who is dating again, but it also rings true for other areas of your life, whether it’s friendships, jobs, or that kickboxing class you’ve wanted to take. Be open about trying new things and meeting new people, and continue to be careful with who you give your time. The two aren’t mutually exclusive and you can do both.

So give that person who makes you talk and laugh for hours but isn’t perfect in other ways a second chance. Just make sure if you do end up being a couple you continue to show them your standards and continue to make your life so great that if they can't meet them, you are fine to walk away because your life is abundant.

That’s what it means to be easy to get but hard to keep and it’s a motto I’m going to live by from now on.

Katie Bingham-Smith is a full-time freelance writer living in Maine with her three teens and two ducks. When she’s not writing she’s probably spending too much money online and drinking Coke Zero.

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