Sunday, December 31, 2006

How to Establish Conscious Similarity

The Three Crucial Conscious Similarities After you've built a sound base of subconscious similarity with your Quarry, it's time to show your affinity in three critical ways. The following similarities, or lack of them, will show up at various stages of your relationship. Number one is conspicuous, unmistakable, and easy to create. It is what interests the two of you have. What kinds of hobbies, sports, and activities do you both enjoy? What kinds of music do you like, what films do you enjoy, and what books do you read? Number two becomes evident to your Quarry gradually. It is your basic values, beliefs, reactions, and ways of looking at the world. This one is extremely deep. Extremely important. Number three is subtle and elusive. It can take years to unfold, often becoming clear only after it's too late. It is also the one that is most insidious and gives couples the biggest problems in the long run. This final similarity is deeply buried, often carefully camouflaged, and seldom voluntarily revealed. To excavate it, you must sharpen your pickax and dig way down. It is the tacit assumptions of what a relationship should or should not he. Let us explore each type of similarity. Then I'll give you techniques to make your new PLP sense that you are soul mates in all three categories. Similarity Number One: "Do We Like to Do Things Together?" Huntresses, beware: this one's more important to men than you think. We'll dive headfirst into the cavernous gender gap to explore it more fully later, but for now, let us look at a trite but true fact: Women deepen relationships by talking together. Men bond by doing things together. A woman longs for a man who understands her, whom she can talk to. She likes to feel that, when the going gets tough, there will be a big shoulder to cry on, a strong arm to comfort her, and, above all, a sympathetic ear to listen to her. Good verbal communication is important to a man, too, but it's higher on the female wish list. A man wants a woman who enjoys the same activities, one he can have fun with. He likes to feel they can play tennis, go to concerts or basketball games or movies, or just sit at home and be side-by-side couch potatoes. Doing things together is important to a woman, too, but it's higher on the male wish list. Fortunately for Huntresses, it's easy to show a man this first kind of similarity. You can make him think that you enjoy his interests very early in a relationship, often in the first conversation. My friend Phil told me about a woman he had recently met at a party. He liked her. She seemed to like him. She even hinted she'd enjoy going out with him. While they were chatting, he was contemplating asking her for a date. As a prelude to inviting her to break away from the party and go to a jazz club with him, he alluded to his deep interest in jazz. "Oh," she said. "I used to go to jazz clubs, but I guess I burned out on them in college." So much for that one. Then Phil mentioned that the classic film Casablanca was playing at the arts cinema. "Oh," she said. "Yes, I saw it." That was the end of that. The woman may have known a lot about jazz and old movies, but she had a thing or two to learn about men. Don't cut them off at the pass. In fact, Huntresses, when you learn what interests him, hint that it's your passion, too. Many men ask a woman out just because she enjoys the same activities that he does. I have a buddy named Derek, a very good-looking man who lives in Orlando, Florida. Poor Derek is at wit's end because he loves to jet ski every weekend. He also adores women. Because his free time is limited, he must make a choice. Derek complains that he just can't find a woman who will jet ski with him. You can bet the first lady who crosses her fingers behind her back and says, "Oh, jet skiing, I've always wanted to try that," will have a date with Derek and a head start on capturing his heart. If your Quarry likes stamp collecting, kite flying, or going to sambo wrestling matches, tell him of your fervor for stamps, kites, or sambo wrestlers. Many men have a passion for an activity and a passion for women, but few can blend them. TECHNIQUE #27 (MORE IMPORTANT FOR HUNTRESSES): RIDE YOUR QUARRY'S WAVES Ride your Quarry's waves. Or his motorcycle, or his horses, or his golf cart. Tell him you love donning your ski pants, your wet suit, your tracksuit, your karate gis, or your hiking shorts. Or maybe just your couch-potato teddy so you can enjoy a good football game on TV with him. Women want to know that, after making love, there will be something to talk about with their man. Men want to know that, after making love, there will be something to do with their woman.
Similarity Number Two: "Do We Have the Same Basic Beliefs?" Hunters, beware: this one's more important to women than you think. In a university study, researchers introduced young men and women to each other and asked them to go "have a Coke" together. 33 Before they met, some of the couples were told, confidentially, that their blind dates were very similar in their attitudes toward life. Others were told they were dissimilar. Neither statement was true. However, when quizzed afterward about how much they liked each other, the couples who were previously told they were similar liked each other a lot more—even if they were really very dissimilar. This study proved we are predisposed toward partners we think are just like us. You have already planted subconscious seeds of similarity through the Echoing technique and Copying Their Class Act. Riding your Quarry's waves made them feel you enjoy the same activities. Now let's go for the punch right in the id, their deeply held beliefs about life. If partners share views on politics, religion, money, and possessions, it augurs well for the relationship. It is important that a new Quarry feel that you share certain values, beliefs, attitudes, and emotions and that you look at the world through the same lens. In the great scheme of getting someone to fall in love with you, it's never too early to start digging for these gems. Women are especially sensitive to this. In fact, gentlemen, if you share just one strong attitude, it can spark the relationship for a woman. I have a friend, Lucia, who remembers the precise moment she fell in love with her future husband. On their third date, she and Dave were driving back to the city from a Sunday outing. After a late start, they were racing because Dave had a business meeting that evening. Lucia's big love (before she met Dave) was animals. She works in an animal shelter and is active in the animal rights movement. Lucia told me she broke up with her last boyfriend because of one remark he made. He had said, "Oh, I like animals, too—especially pork chops and spareribs."As Dave was maneuvering the car on a winding road, Lucia spotted a puppy lying by the side of the road. The poor pup, spilling blood from its head, had obviously been hit by a car. But, knowing how late they were and how important the business meeting was to Dave, Lucia closed her eyes and hesitated to say anything. She felt the car slowing to a stop. When she opened her eyes, she saw Dave staring at the puppy with a stricken look on his face. At that moment, Lucia knew she was starting to fall in love withhim. When he suggested they stop and take the puppy to a veterinarian, that clinched it. Studies show it's not the number of similar attitudes that creates a deep sense of closeness. It's the intensity of one or two. Lucia didn't care that Dave didn't feel the same way about a lot of other things. However, animal rights was very close to her heart. Gentlemen, don't leave an aspect this crucial to chance. Seek out a subject that is important to the woman you want to make fall for you. Bring it up. Listen to her opinions, and then wholeheartedly agree with her. In fact, give off hints that you feel even more deeply about it than she does. It is an aphrodisiac for a woman when you can intelligently discuss one or two issues that are vital to her. It isn't always necessary to have deep discussions with your Quarry to show you feel alike. In a subtle physical way you can hint at your similarity of beliefs, even during casual conversations. Certain emotions make our bodies react in certain ways. Sadness makes us slump. Excitement causes our hands to rub together. Deep reflection makes us stroke our chin or run a finger around the rim of a glass. Timothy Perper, the singles' bar Ph.D., proved that the final step before two strangers became a ''couple'' for the evening was the synchronization of movements we discussed earlier. Even if you don't know precisely what your Quarry is thinking, synchronize your movements when something happens to hint that you feel the same way. Both men and women want partners who share their values in life. However, when a man and a woman meet, typically he is thinking more of the short run ("Will we enjoy a date together? Will she go to bed with me?"), whereas a woman has the long haul buried somewhere in her genes. The Co-React technique works well for both Hunters and Huntresses, but men should take special heed. Whether your imagination is forming fantasies of just a date or of a lifetime together, make sure your reactions to outside stimuli are similar to your Quarry's. TECHNIQUE #28 (MORE IMPORTANT FOR HUNTERS): CO-REACT To capture your Quarry's heart, share his or her convictions and show you feel deeply. Watch your Quarry's reactions to outside stimuli, then show the same emotions—shock, disgust, humor, compassion. Say you're in a nightspot and a foolish drunk falls off a bar stool. Watch how your Quarry reacts. Did he laugh? Did she show shock? Did he coolly ignore it? Did she rush over to help the drunk up off the floor? Do the same. Similarity Number Three: "What is Love?" Couples seldom discuss the third type of similarity until it is too late. It is the most insidious because it only rears its ugly head when there is a problem. What is this dragon that devours love? It is the tacit assumptions each partner has about what a relationship should be. How much closeness? How much distance? How much self-reliance? How much dependence? How much giving? How much sacrifice? Some people feel a relationship is total intimacy and involvement. Others think it is simply loving coexistence. Some lovers agree with the French writer, Jean Anouilh, when he said, "Love is, above all, the gift of oneself." Others agree with another Frenchman, the author of The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, who felt "Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction." Where do we get such diverse convictions of what love should be and how lovers should behave? What you expect from a relationship comes from your experience with love. The way your parents loved each other, or didn't. The way previous lovers loved you and how much you liked it, or didn't. Science has dubbed your relationship expectations your "CL," your comparison level. Researchers have proved that your happiness in love will be greatly determined by how far above, or far below, your CL your relationship falls. If, to you, a relationship should be total commitment and completely engulfing, a distant partner will drive you crazy. The more you try to draw that distant partner to you, the more he or she will pull away. Conversely, if the ideal relationship to you is loving coexistence, a partner who gets too close will suffocate you. The more you push him or her away, the more you weaken the relationship. All love relationships have a delicate balance between intimacy and independence. If the balance is off (according to either of the partners), the relationship topples. Most people are not consciously aware of the danger the disparity presents, but they have a sixth sense that it is important. People tend to fall in love with people who feel the same way they do about what constitutes love. The next step to make your Quarry fall in love with you is to find out how he or she envisions a relationship. Then love him the way he wants you to love him—love her the way she wants you to love her. Not the way you want to love your partner. The single most powerful predictor of relationship satisfaction is the difference between how you think the other feels about you and how you would like an ideal other to feel about you. Robert J. Sternberg, The Triangle of Love 34 Early in your relationship, start unearthing how your PLP needs to be loved. Hunters, this is a bit easier for you because women are more comfortable discussing relationship issues. If you are already close, you can ask the question outright: "What, to you, is an ideal relationship? How would you like a man to love you?" (I don't mean sexually.) Does she long for total intimacy and interdependence, or does she prefer loving distance? Does she want you to ask and care about her every move, or does she need more space? The answer, in all cases, probably lies somewhere between the two extremes. Try to get an accurate reading on this and all other aspects of her "ideal" relationship. If, however, you are not yet a couple—or if you suspect she might be uncomfortable with this question—couch it as a philosophical query. Ask her, "How would you define love?" or "What is your view of the ideal relationship?" TECHNIQUE #29 (MORE APPROPRIATE FOR HUNTERS): WHAT IS LOVE? Hunters, ask your Quarry, either directly or as a philosophical question, how she defines an ideal relationship. Then love her not the way you think you should love her but the way her ideal partner would love her. Gentlemen, if she appears uncomfortable even with the philosophical question, back off for a week or so. There are independent women—and their numbers are growing—who "think like a man," or at least the way men traditionally are reputed to think. Then use the following technique which I suggest primarily for women to use on you. Let's Talk About Our Relationship—Not! Some contemporary relationship counselors encourage couples to discuss their relationship openly and often. They suggest exploring their love through quizzes, exercises, and affirmations. This can be enlightening and beneficial. But only if both partners enjoy discussing relationship issues, and only if both partners have the same basic assumptions of what a relationship should be. If the two start out with different basic assumptions, the exercises can backfire. I have a friend, Linda, who feels a relationship is the most holy and deep commitment two human beings can make. Her parents, still happily married, are interdependent. They live only for each other and for their children. If Linda's father steps out of the house to go to the grocery store, he makes sure the entire family knows where he is going and when he will be back. Several years ago, Linda met her fiancĂ©, George, at a ski resort. George was different from many of the men she had met. He was self-assured and independent. He had even put himself through law school and was now a junior partner in an excellent firm. George was rightfully very proud that he had made it on his own. He had never asked anyone for anything— or answered to anyone. Linda fell in love with George very quickly. They seemed ideal for each other. They enjoyed the same activities. They were both excellent skiers. They felt basically the same way about the important things in life. They both wanted children. They had the same beliefs about God. They agreed on how they should spend money, on where to go for vacations, and on many other issues. They wisely discussed these and other concerns before getting engaged. However, they neglected one issue, which turned out to be their undoing. George, who came from a broken family, defined an ideal relationship very differently from Linda. Two months before their wedding, I received a tearful call from my friend. They had broken up. I was baffled. "What happened, Linda?" I asked. "Well," she sobbed, "George works very hard at his job and only wants to be with me on weekends." She had convinced George they should see each other more often, and he had complied. Then, on their midweek dates, he would go into long periods of silence. "And another thing," she moaned. "George never phoned me when he was on the road." She had convinced him to call her on his frequent business trips, but he had always made it seem like an effort. Fearing their relationship was in trouble, Linda told George how she felt. He protested, "No, no, everything is fine." He loved her and was looking forward to their wedding. Still fearing George was drifting away, she suggested they go to a relationship counselor. "A what?" George shouted. ''No way!'' Linda was shocked. He had never before raised his voice with her. She decided on do-it-yourself help. She bought some mail-order audiocassettes on making relationships work. She listened to the tapes, which promised to help relationships by encouraging people to get in touch with their inner child. She told George how wonderful the tapes were, and she suggested he listen to them with her. "What?" he growled. "I'm going to take time from my work, come over to your place, light a candle, sit cross-legged on the floor, and listen to some inner brat tell me what I'm doing wrong in a relationship that I think—no, that I thought— was just fine? No, thank you! Linda, you've really gone off the deep end." Page 115 The following week, George suggested they put off the wedding. I found this very sad because Linda and George had so much else in common. They could have been very happy together if only they'd felt the same way about what a relationship should be. If George had the same basic assumptions about marriage as Linda had, listening to the tapes and doing "love exercises" together could indeed have brought them closer. Conversely, if Linda had similar feelings about a relationship as George had, she could have pulled away a bit and given George more space. Generally men are less comfortable exploring relationship issues than women are, so, Huntresses, you should proceed more cautiously. Your Quarry may be gun-shy about openly discussing your relationship. If you are dealing with a man like George, asking him outright what he feels a relationship should be could put him off. Here is a safer technique to extract the information you need. Make it nonthreatening for him to open up and tell you what he expects from a relationship by removing it from the realm of the personal.
TECHNIQUE #30 (MORE APPROPRIATE FOR HUNTRESSES): WHAT SHOULD I SAY LOVE IS? Huntresses, you must find out what tacit assumptions your Quarry has about relationships. To make your question nonthreatening, tell him one of your young friends or relatives (perhaps a niece or nephew) has asked you what an ideal love relationship should be. Since you don't know how to answer, you are asking his advice: "What do you think I should say the ideal relationship is, hmm?" Then listen. Listen hard. Huntresses, thank him for his counsel. Then chisel what he says into your psyche. One word concerning timing: Don't ask about the status of your relationship too early. Wait until the two of you have reached some degree of intimacy, lest your Quarry suspect why you are asking. After your Quarry has developed affectionate feelings for you, he or she will probably appreciate the intent of your question. That doesn't mean you should wait before thinking about this crucial type of similarity. It's never too soon to raise your antennae to pick up what he or she wants from a relationship. Listen between the lines whenever your Quarry is talking about previous lovers, parents, friends, or any relationships. Finally comes a very big challenge. As the relationship progresses, you must do everything you can to make your Quarry feel you love him or her—not in the way you want to love, but in precisely the way your Quarry wants to be loved. You will find more guidance on this important subtlety, including some of the right words to use, in the final two sections of How to Make Anyone Fall in Love with You.

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