Dating is like a story. It has a beginning, middle and end. It’s got characters, cliffhangers and climaxes (if you’re lucky). So, like Sheherezade in the legend of 1001 Arabian Nights, you want to stop the story at a point that the King wants to know what happens next so badly that he comes back for more the next day.
This is called the art of always leaving him wanting more. It’s caressing the back of his neck so he wonders what it’s like to kiss you. It’s kissing him on the cheek so he’ll wonder what it’s like to make out with you. It’s wearing a provocative dress (and keeping it on) so he can’t stop wondering about what’s underneath. It means saying you find him interesting without necessarily revealing the true depth of your affection.
It’s called keeping him guessing a little bit. It just makes things more interesting.
Granted, it’s your party, too, so eventually you will want to taste some cake yourself. But at least in the initial stages of courtship, you should refrain from giving away the whole store. If you sleep with him immediately and tell him you’re crazy for him, what’s left for him to look forward to? That’s no fun. So keep your power by tantalizing him, but not to the point of making either of you miserable from deprivation. The result of too much delayed gratification is often just delay.
I appreciate this advice, and I am learning this actively all the time. While it’s my tendency to be enthusiastic and expressive from the get-go, I am learning about what it means to be tantalizing. With my new guy, we’ve been dating about 7 weeks now. We only recently started sleeping together, and even in that regard, we are taking it slow, and allowing for enough space and time for discovery. This also extends to getting to know each other. Whereas I used to crave connection all the time, I am learning how to create space – the ‘negative space’ mentioned previously, that is so essential for something new to grow, and for a relationship to find its rhythm. For me, this is ultimately about confronting my own issues around proximity and attachment, which really has nothing to do with the guy. It means I can meet him in a more balanced way. It doesn’t mean I won’t mess up, but I am practicing what it feels like to feel contained and happy in myself, first and prior. Then, when we meet, it’s like an added ‘bonus.’ not a replacement.
Thank you for your kind insight and wisdom! dating and relationships are challenging, but also an opportunity always for deeper self-awareness and growth. As someone has told me, regardless of the outcome, it is healing no matter what.
This is a challenge for me and I have recently been reminded that it is still one I must overcome–I enjoy my own enthusiasm, and performing acts of devotion and appreciation and then more times than not end up feeling rejected and foolish for having leaned in too far, too soon. I know there is so much more to me than can be discerned in a short time, I somehow think I have a bigger margin than most people, but I’ve recently started dating after a long hiatus and am being reminded that yes, this particular lesson is till one I need to learn. I had corresponded with a man for seven months when he suggested that he visit–the letters were wonderful and we had covered so much territory I felt like I had always known him and he seemed to reciprocate, and was frantic when I did not return his notes right away. We seemed to connect very naturally when he arrived, and then we kissed, made love, talked for hours and hours etc.etc. We seemed to stay connected after he left, with him taking the lead, and being more effusive than I was, and then I suggested I visit him, he agreed and then abruptly nothing, no response at all… I know I need to just move on, put the lovely four days to bed, but I feel so stung by the rejection, because while I did not expect a lifetime plan, given geographic distance, I felt so safe with him as a friend, we’re both grownups (almost 60) and I can’t help wondering..am I STILL that bad a judge of character? Do you ever get to be devoted to someone and have it be safe?