Ask A Guy: Relationship Q & A
Ask A Guy: Relationship Q & A
Q: You guys talk a lot about being the prize and while I agree with the idea, I find it really difficult when it comes to guys I really like. I’m not much into rules and seriously hate any type of action that is not authentically me. But exactly HOW do you remain the prize when the fear takes hold? And to be the prize, does he have to feel like he’s in competition with other men? Everyone says men love the chase, is this true? If so, how can I get him to chase me without being obvious?
A: Being the prize isn’t something you’re “doing” like walking a tightrope in a trapeze act. It isn’t about stringing along a guy and making him feel like he doesn’t quite have you or that you need to constantly dangle a carrot.
It is him knowing that you have options and if he stopped showing up in the relationship, you wouldn’t whine and beg… you’d find another option (which would be readily available) and move on to greener pastures.
You have value, he sees that and he knows that if he wants to keep you around, he needs to show up in the relationship and keep you happy.
It comes from a realization: relationships are not tangible, concrete “things” like a purse or car or stone. Relationships involve emotional and psychological movement, flowing forward at every moment.
People treat relationships like they’re something that you can lose or break. They’ve been convinced somehow that relationships are things… and they believe that the possession of that thing will give them happiness and status… and the losing of that thing will lead to a loss of happiness and status.
It’s all an illusion. It’s all BS.
The fear that you’re talking about is fear of loss… but you can’t lose something that isn’t a possession in the first place. People who understand that relationships aren’t things to be lost and acquired don’t have this fear of loss (mind you, this illusory fear of loss) because they realize that relationships are what they are at face value…
I’m trying to untangle your mind from the psychological spaghetti this culture has convinced you is real. The culture we live in has you convinced that if you just do certain tricks or mind games then you get a relationship… as if the relationship was a possession to be acquired.
This is a ridiculous concept to even consider because there’s no relationship to be gotten. The relationship is your moment-to-moment interaction with that person in those moments… there is no destination, no thing to get.
This is why, when a guy says, “It is what it is” in regards to a relationship he’s actually making a profoundly accurate statement. So regardless of whether or not you really like a guy or not, your “relationship” with him is what it is. There’s nowhere to get to and nothing to get. You already have it in that moment… there’s no fantasy to bring to reality, no wishes and wants to come to fruition… it already is as it is.
With all that said, what’s ultimately messing you up is that you’re conjuring images and fantasies in your mind of “what could be” with this guy that you really like instead of taking it at face value. Those fantasies create performance anxiety because now you feel you could win or lose something when in fact… that’s a total illusion.
It’s not about being the prize when you’re feeling afraid. It’s realizing that the source of your fear is total BS… and that the fear is generated from you at your most inauthentic (what could be more inauthentic than manufacturing a fantasy in your mind, then obsessively trying to push reality into becoming that fantasy instead of just being present in the moment as it is??)
Now about the guy needing to feel like he’s in a “competition”…
Let me illustrate with an analogy. You happen to get a great job. You know it’s great – it pays well, you enjoy the work, you enjoy the people you work with. Yeah, it’s a job so you do have to work, but you love it.
At the same time… you know that if you stopped showing up or stopped doing work, you would be fired. However, your boss doesn’t have to threaten you with that, ever. Your boss doesn’t have to remind you how great your job is, or how they could hire other people but they’re choosing you for now…
Moreover, you know you have something that other people wish they had (rare and valuable), you genuinely enjoy it on many levels (it fulfills you in many ways) and you’ve invested in it (you feel that you have it and if you walked away, it would be a loss…)
If you’re happy at your job, you’re not going anywhere and you’ll be a great worker. At the same time, you know that you have to show up and pull your weight.
Contrast that with a company that hires some guy who doesn’t take his job seriously… he shows up when he feels like it, doesn’t work very hard, and really just doesn’t care much. But instead of firing the guy, the company covers for his weaknesses, ignores or forgives his absences, and tries to “make it work” with him.
Maybe, for some reason, the company thinks they couldn’t hire someone else to do the job. Maybe, the company feels it’s on them to turn a loser into a winner. Maybe going through the process of interviewing new candidates and training someone new seems too daunting.
Whatever it is… you recognize your job is a prize while the other guy is taking the easy handouts because he can…
If you got fired, you would probably be very upset whereas the second guy probably wouldn’t really care… he might even go so far as to blame and criticize the company as if it was their fault for his poor work quality (because he’s used to getting away with stuff).
Point is: you value your job and your company recognizes that you do, so they keep you and invest in you. The other company values the slob and invests in that loser, who’s actually doing much more to bring that company down than to bring it up.
Now, in this analogy, you have to bear in mind that I’m contrasting you (the employee who loves her job and her job loves her back) against a deadbeat employee who doesn’t care about his job (but his job doesn’t want to get rid of him for some reason)…
At this point, I might ask what would you do if you were in the company’s position? If you hired an employee who wasn’t performing at the job and wasn’t working hard, would you fire that employee… or would you try to force it to work?
Granted, I’m not suggesting that you’d fire an employee immediately if they weren’t measuring up right away, but if you were in the company’s position I would have to ask you: How long do you allow a worker to under perform (or just plain not care at all) before you fire them? At what point do you say “Enough!”?
In this case, you’re hiring a man to fill the role of “man in your life”. You know what happens to companies who can’t fire bad employees who are bringing the company down… How is the “man in your life” performing?
Loving the chase is not why men commit to you in the same way that making you chase a promotion or accomplishment is not why you commit to your job. You commit to it because you’re getting something of true value from the job and you’re willing to give something of value back.
This idea of “men love the chase” needs to die…
Did you love “chasing” your position at your job? Did you love “chasing” your raise and promotion? I would imagine you didn’t at all… in fact, I’d imagine it’s the worst part of your working experience…
Imagine how much you’d want to punch me in the face if I had the audacity to say that you “love the chase” of getting a promotion? That’s exactly how men feel when you suggest that they “love the chase”… it’s a poisonous misinterpretation and the opposite of a healthy mindset.
Now I know you read some dating advice garbage by so-and-so-charlatan-dating-advice writer about how “men’s biology” and “evolutionary science” said blah blah blah about how men love the chase. I’m here to tell you that it’s total garbage: It’s false, it doesn’t work and it’s simply nonsense that irresponsible marketers are repeating to make you buy their garbage relationship book.
People who succeed don’t focus on making someone chase. They focus on their own value, they have a clear idea of what they want and they select someone who genuinely enjoys them.
This isn’t a game. It’s simple. Know you have value and options, know what you want, pick one that you love and loves you back. It is not rocket science, but it’s impossible if you view it any other way.
When you get THIS… and I mean, really get it and understand it on the deepest level… then relationships will become really simple and effortless for you… even when you “really like the guy”.
Eric Charles is a Boston-based dating and relationship expert. Eric has always been interested in the human mind and is passionate about helping people improve their lives on every level. After graduating from Boston University with a major in Psychology and Advertising, he began coaching men to help them improve their love lives. Today, Eric is the Creative Director of anewmode, as well as the site’s web designer.