DATING isn’t easy. If it was, articles like this wouldn’t need to exist.
Instead, it’s confusing. Men wonder what women want, women wonder what men want, and people everywhere wonder, “Why am I single?” as relationship advice dominate the Internet (along with cat videos and arguments about politics with strangers).
But not all of the dating advice you'll find out there is worth heeding. Some of the instructions on how to get a guy to like you and become your boyfriend ask you to act in ways that don't align with your integrity.
You’re told to do things like play games, act aloof, and not return his calls for three days.
And while these tips may teach you how to make him fall in love with you, that love might not be legitimate. He may fall in love with you, but not with the real you, and not in the kind of true love that makes for lasting, healthy relationships.
Instead, slowing down and becoming conscious of the energy you’re emitting is a better choice. And all of this is due to a concept in psychology known as intersubjectivity, or the intersubjective third.
Intersubjectivity is an idea developed by social scientists with a variety of definitions used among them, including:
"a short-hand description for a variety of human interactions"
"agreement, i.e., there is 'intersubjectivity' between people if they agree on a given set of meanings or a definition of the situation"
"the common-sense, shared meanings constructed by people in their interactions with each other and used as an everyday resource to interpret the meaning of elements of social and cultural life"
"shared (or partially shared) divergences of meaning ... [such as] self-presentation, lying, practical jokes, and social emotions ... [which] all entail not a shared definition of the situation but partially shared divergences of meaning"
"the process of so-called psychological energy moving between two or more subjects"
In simple terms, and for the purposes of this article, the intersubjective third is what happens when two people come together to create a third entity called “the relationship.”
The entity created by this intersubjective third can’t exist on its own; it needs to be cultivated and cared for in order to keep existing.
Its ability to exist isn’t hard: it starts as soon as you encounter someone — when your eyes meet theirs across a crowded bar, when you say hello to one another, when you exchange your first text messages full of heart emojis.
Several components make up the guts of the intersubjective third, such as how you listen to your partner, how your partner listens to you, your intentions, their intentions, how you speak to your partner, and how they speak to you.
One of the best things about the intersubjective third is that it gives you the power to remain true to yourself. And that’s why it’s hard for you to take dating advice that tells you to do the opposite. It’s akin to telling you to spend your recess pulling the hair of the boy or girl you like.
Doing this results in an entity that is disconnected and phony (and bald).
There are some simple ways to know if your intersubjective third — your relationship — is strong.
You might finish each other sentences (and sandwiches). You might consistently address conflict in a mature manner. You may trust each other without jealousy or paranoia.
The point of all this?
If you’re a woman wondering how to how to make him want you, doing so starts with creating a real and true connection: a solid entity. And you can only get that when you stay true to your own integrity.
In short, you get out of a relationship what you give.
So, if you’re playing games, get out the Monopoly pieces, because he’ll play games too.
If you’re disconnected, he will be as well.
You’ll lose out on the chance to build a deep, honest, authentic, healthy relationship.
Of course, all of this depends on what you want.
Do you want to learn how to make him commit, or do you want a summer fling? Do you want a relationship based on mutual respect, or do you want one based on who has the upper hand? Do you want a relationship with a strong foundation, or one where you’re both afraid to be vulnerable?
Anyone looking for dating advice should, above all, stay true to themselves.
They should heed the advice that encourages them to be honest, transparent, and open.
Yes, it’s a risk. It forces you to wear your heart on your sleeve. But when it comes to dating, sleeve hearts are always in fashion!
Ultimately, if you want to find something real, you must be real as well. Otherwise, your relationships entity will never blossom and never survive.
So, ignore the bad dating advice that tells you to do the opposite of your nature, and listen to yourself.