It might seem like a good idea to be overly nice to a new love interest when you first start dating. To always put them first and constantly be ready to change your plans to keep them happy. Surely if you do this, then they'll ultimately want to spend more and more time with you?
Unfortunately, it doesn't tend to work out this way. Nice girls and guys typically come last in the dating game.
If you're 'too nice', then you'll tend to do the following behaviours:
Say 'yes' too often
Try to please all the time
Change your plans to fit in with a love interest
Let them lead and make decisions
Avoid expressing opinions
Have sex too quickly
Ring/text/Facebook too often
Let go of your friends, interests and hobbies for them
Do all the chasing
You try to spend all your time with them
The reason why you'll do these types of behaviours, is to make your new love interest feel special. To put them first and show them that you're keen and want them to be in your life moving forward.
You interact in this way believing that the more you're nice too them and put them first - the more they're going to appreciate you and love you back.
However this is where it goes wrong. Your new love interest wants an equal. A person who will challenge them, take the lead, have their own life going on, sees their own set of friends, and is happy to say 'no' and to have their own voice.
Relationships work when the power is shared, roles are balanced and there are equal amounts of respect.
Unfortunately, when you please too much and you're too nice to a new love interest, they'll tend to start to take you for granted. They'll begin to see you as being desperate and clingy, needy and insecure. As you give your power away, your new partner will ultimately begin to lose respect for you and want to be with a stronger person. When this happens - it's all over.
So if you're someone who tends to be 'too nice' when you're out meeting new singles then it's time for a change. By all means be respectful and polite. Show that you're interested and treat other singles with care. But don't give your power away.
Be strong, have your own voice, make your own decisions, stick to your plans, keep prioritising friends and hobbies, hold off on having sex too quickly, let them chase you and be prepared to say 'no'. If you're scared to do this, just remember - the other way doesn't work. Singles ultimately want to fall in love with an equal who they respect and can challenge them.
So it's time to step up and show them this side of you.
John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship expert, as seen on Ch 9's series Married At First Sight, and the ABC doco Making Couples Happy. He is also the author of the book "Making Couples Happy: How science can help get relationships back on track" (www.johnaiken.com.au)