Attention. This is what we are fighting for.
We want it from others and it’s frustrating when we don’t get it. It’s like a drug that we need a fix of every few hours, if not more. When we don’t get a text back, a call back or any indicators of interest we start to get anxious because what we really want is to be noticed. We want the attention of the person that we’re interested in.
They have our attention because they are on our minds. We wonder what they’re doing, if they’re really busy or with someone else. We start to question if they like us and if they are thinking of us? Wanting attention as an adult has a bad rap. We associate those who need attention with having low self-esteem but needing attention in dating is normal. It’s primal.
We’ve been figuring out new ways to get attention since we were born.
As adults we can’t scream and cry for attention as we once did as children so we have to get creative. Attention is like a drug. The more you get the more you want. Little fixes, texts or a quick phone call, can get you through the day but when you’re with the person you desire, you don’t want the night to end. You want all the attention you can handle and then some. This is completely normal but hard to navigate in new relationships and even more difficult when you’ve only been on a few dates. The question I’m always asked is, “How do I get them to text me more?”
The question I hear is: how do I get their attention? The answer is to have something that the other person wants. Generally speaking men want sex and women want romance. You can add more desires such as understanding, partnership and adventure but it’s these core wants that dictate who we give our attention to.
This is where value judgments are made and people really start getting insecure.
SHOW THEM ATTENTION
No one wants to be the first to send the text or make the call but sometimes the only way to get attention is to give it. It’s like going to the casino and promising yourself you’ll only spend twenty bucks. Negotiate how much of your self-esteem you’re willing to invest in getting the attention that you want then start giving it.
Text once. No reply. Text again. No reply.
Instead of going into a panic or cardiac fit allot a reasonable time frame before you have an emotional frenzy. Give your date at least 24 hours before you start to feel rejection. It might be rude of them not to be prompt with a response but it doesn’t mean they aren’t interested. Maybe they aren’t interested; it’s no reason to head down a shame spiral. All you can do is promise yourself that the next time you see each other you’ll make the evening more memorable.
PLAY THEIR GAME
Knowing that you have to lead with sex or romance don’t text: what are you up to? That’s boring. Their friends are texting them that.
You have to make them want your attention as much as you want theirs so you have to be aware of what excites them. Talk about what they care about. Find a news link to about their favorite band being in town, send it to them. Find a rare clip on Youtube with their favorite comedian text it to them. Do whatever you can to speak their language via text or a phone call that makes you stand out. When you first start dating someone you can’t apply your way of communication to their behavior. You have to sit back and observe how they communicate.
You have to pay attention to how they interact with you before you assume that you are being ignored or blown off.
You want their attention and the fact that you’re not getting it makes you anxious and sad. There is almost no cure for that feeling except to acknowledge it then distract yourself with more productive activities.
Instinctually we want to know what the other person is doing and why they aren’t reaching out to us. Why aren’t they wondering, with similar anticipation, what we’re doing? Who knows why but they’re not. Maybe they aren’t interested or maybe they are busy. Only time will tell. Recognize that you’re feeling anxious and channel that energy into something productive. Don’t focus on them because it will only aggravate the issue. Don’t get angry or upset because it will only amplify your anxiety. Simply take a nap, call a friend, run errands or take a walk. You won’t completely erase the feeling but it’s helpful to suppress it for a few hours. Everyone battles with an addiction to attention from time to time.
When we don’t hear from the people we’re interested in we go a little crazy. It sucks. The solution is to control your emotions the best that you can. Don’t let yourself feel too sad or too disappointed. Think about what you can do to make communication easy and welcomed then leave the rest up to fate.