Relationships and dating

All things in Moderation (in Dating)

The Greek poet Hesoid once said, “Observe things in due measure; moderation in all things.”

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It has been shown in psychology/behavior that humans prefer moderate levels of stimuli/complexity with various studies on the topic of arousal. 

Too little stimulation becomes easy or boring, and people try to escape the mundane and avoid it at all costs. 

Furthermore, things that are too complicated lead to anxiety and stress. So the best possible intended outcome is likely to occur when intermediate or moderate levels of arousal are invoked, as evidenced below by the inverted U-curve, to emphasize/demonstrate this law.

Yerkes-Dodson Law
We like to have predictability, but not so much where it’s easy, as we tend to lose interest. With that in mind, we don’t like things that are too complicated, as it causes undue strife and stress.

A large part of what is important, as well, is the goal at hand. If it seems too attainable, we no longer feel driven to go after it. But if it’s too difficult to obtain, we feel hopeless and weigh the risks involved over the potentially unobtainable benefit, whereas we feel like we might be wasting our time/effort on something we might never get.

Relationships and dating absolutely apply to these principles. 

When it comes to dating, you can’t show all your cards right away. The person pursuing you wants to have an element of intrigue, where he/she can work out the hidden pieces and feel perplexed to continue to put the puzzle together. People enjoy solving problems and mystery to a certain degree, and we thrive on finding out more regarding the unknown. It spikes our curiousity when we are trying to put the pieces together and obtain our end result.

If you were to put all the pieces of a puzzle in front of someone and tell them how to solve it and where they go, the person is no longer going to want to do it. They’re going to lose interest because you’re basically doing everything for them. Just as it goes that if you withhold the essential pieces for too long, they figure why even try? It’s never going to happen so they walk away. There has to be some common ground.

People enjoy things of moderate complexity, that they have to figure out. But only when they feel that they can reach their end goals. So when it comes to dating, keep that in mind.

You are the puzzle. Don’t put all your pieces on the table. Don’t be obvious and guarantee an end result. Let people figure you out, slowly but surely. Encourage and highlight the person’s effort, but challenge them. Because people like a certain degree of challenge and having to work for what they want. They appreciate what they get much more when they do. 

Tupac said “I don’t want to sound easy or sleazy, but I don’t want it if it’s that easy.” 

Makes sense in the end, right?

So be you. Have confidence. Be multi-faceted and goal-oriented. Be occupied but somewhat available. But don’t be so ready to give in that you sabotage the dating process in the meantime.

I’m not saying that this absolutely applies 100% of the time. But in most circumstances, you’ll find if you think about it, it generally holds true. Even for yourself.

All things in moderation, after all. 

Know your worth and refuse to settle. But don’t make it so difficult on those who are pursuing you that they get discouraged. And when you hand out all the treats at the beginning of the parade, the ones collecting them have nothing left to stay for and will either take them and leave or look elsewhere. 

And if you continue to do it the “right” way and people still choose to leave, consider yourself lucky because the trash took itself out sooner than later and it wasn’t meant to be; that was just someone out for themselves who didn’t give two shits about you to begin with. You just dodged a bullet. That my dear, is a blessing in disguise. 

Best of luck in your endeavors.

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