At the risk of sounding like a 1950’s “Dear Abby” column, I believe one of the most important traits a woman can have when it comes to dating is self-control. In a modern world where woman are ambitious, strong, capable ball-busters, one of our biggest weaknesses can be our lack of restraint when it comes to love. If you’ve read my SDS articles, you’ll understand why this is important. The modern woman is fearless, bold and determined. While these are wonderful traits and necessary to be successful in today’s cutthroat working environment, some can actually work against you when it comes to love. Read on to learn why self-control is crucial to your dating success and what you can do to improve it!
1) If he’s being an asshole, do not reward him. This is an obvious one, right? If your guy (or the guy you’re dating/interested in) is being a jerk, you need to not reward this behavior. You’d be surprised, though, by how many women (myself included at times) are inclined to give into a guy’s jerky behavior, thinking this will please him into being good. This almost never works! What ends up happening is that he will think (whether consciously or subconsciously) that behaving like a jerk will get him what he wants, and he’ll continue to do that the next time he wants something. Reinforce good behavior, not bad!
2) Refrain from sex within the first few dates. As I’ve said before, try to refrain from sex (if you want something serious with a guy) for as long as possible. Yes, it is possible to have a relationship even after having sex on the first date, but it’s a tricky line to walk, and if you hope things will go far, it’s better to hold off for awhile at least — that way, there’s no gray area and no second-guessing yourself.
3) Let him chase you. This is probably the hardest thing for women to refrain from (even harder than sex), and that is to refrain from pursuing a guy and letting him chase you. In a world where we are taught, conditioned, and trained to pursue and go after anything we desire, this is one of the most difficult things to do, especially when coupled with the fact that women are emotional creatures, and may be more prone to taking action driven by our emotions. As I’ve said before, you can open the door, but he needs to be the one to walk through.
4) Don’t gush about your feelings for him too soon. On a related note to the one above, if you’re falling for him hard and fast, try to refrain from telling him too much of what you’re feeling until you’re pretty sure he’s at your level, or at least very near it. The reason for this is that you risk “scaring” him off too soon, and again, you want for him to at least think that he is pursuing you.
It can be hard to gauge how a guy is feeling sometimes (or most of the time!) in a relationship, since men aren’t known to be verbal creatures, so watch his actions. For instance, does he go out of his way to be with you (even if it means spending less time with others, like friends)? Does he do little things to show he cares, for no particular reason? Has he made it apparent in his actions that you are a significant part of his life and that he sees some kind of future with you? If the answer to most of the above questions is yes, then there is a big chance he feels the same way you do, and won’t be scared off if you open up to him about how you feel.