I need to get something off my chest. I cringe when one of my clients in the throes of a blossoming romance, happily says, “This feels so right. I think he’s the one.”
I shiver and get ready for the other shoe to drop.
It doesn’t always, but it’s worth noting that this statement alone is enough to make me start battening down the hatches for a messy storm of a relationship — a male disappearance and teary “WHY!?” questions that subsequently follow.
This particular gushy statement happens in the first few weeks or months of dating.
Usually after the woman has been through an exhausting number of dates with guys who are completely wrong for her. She finally meets someone who she clicks with, and she’s captivated.
Not to get all dating-as-hunting metaphor on you, but as you’re already aware, men’s and women’s dating styles are completely different.
As much as people (men included) like to protest about it, men really are hunters. They like the chase. I can say that until I turn blue.
Men like the chase!
The reason “Oh my gosh, this feels so right! He’s the one!” is a problem is that while you’ve gone all weak in the knees and decided he’s the one, this is the dating equivalent of putting all your cards on the table. You’re not a challenge anymore.
The guy starts to pull away and create distance. Usually this is totally subconscious. He isn’t doing it on purpose, it’s just what happens.
While you’re telling me all about your shared future, the guy often reports something much different. He’s usually says something like, “I really like her; she’s great. I’d like to get to know her better.” He’s usually not saying, “Wow, I’ve also been hit by lightning. This is my forever person.”
In the first few weeks of a relationship, this response from a healthy man is so rare that it rivals unicorns and endangered species.
Frankly, if he’s also thinking you’re the one, you aren’t telling me anything because you’re already in Tahiti getting married, not justifying your feelings to anyone.
Even if you don’t say a single word to him about how you two are meant to be, your energy toward him changes.
You start making yourself overly available and dropping everything to hang out.
You start compromising your friendships and girl’s nights.
You start clearing off Friday night for relationship-town.
He can no longer wonder what you’re doing or what you’re thinking about him because you’ve already shared it all.
The challenge to get more of your time and attention is gone.
This is why it’s so important to keep a rein on your feelings so you don’t rush both of you through the whole process. When you get too intense too soon, he’s suddenly saddled with a responsibility.
That non-fun responsibility is your mounting feelings towards him. Your insistence that he’s the one (aloud or not) makes it important that he’s on the same page as you immediately.
And, if he isn’t on exactly the same page, he starts to feel pursued by you and guilty that he just doesn’t feel the same way.
Think back to any time you’ve dated someone who had bigger feelings for you than you did for him. While you may have felt flattered, there is a sense of growing terror about having to relay the bad news. This is not at all what you’re hoping he’ll think about you.
The best advice I can give you if you’re over the moon about someone new is to calm down and see what happens while enjoying every second of it. Run them through your standards list and make sure this is really right for you.
But the “This feels right, he’s the one” label can wait.