Updated: Jun 17, 2022
4 questions to consider before you break up
by Cora Boyd
Can it work when they’re more into you? The short answer to this question is no. But in the early stages of dating when the relationship is still taking shape, the answer is not so clear-cut.
Questions direct our perception of reality. As a dating coach, asking good questions is the foundation of my job. It’s also a skill I help my clients nurture because the kinds of questions we ask our love interests and the kinds of questions we ask ourselves largely dictate our dating experience.
In client work, I often see a tendency to end budding relationships prematurely the moment they suspect the other person might be more into them. Sometimes this is a good call, but often that relationship might have been great for them had they been more measured in how they moved forward.
We mitigate the possibility of making rash decisions in our love lives when we start asking ourselves questions that build self-awareness. So, if you’re dating someone who is more into you than you are into them, consider the following questions before you break it off.
Could the imbalance be temporary?
Ken Page, LCSW and author of “Deeper Dating: How to Drop the Games of Seduction and Discover the Power of Intimacy,” describes a common emotional response in the early days of romance he calls “the Wave. When in “the Wave,” Page says, we “unconsciously push a caring and available person away by inwardly diminishing [their] worth.”
In other words, the more available and interested someone is, the more real the possibility of falling in love becomes. In an attempt to protect ourselves from potential danger of pain and loss, we might find ourselves feeling disgusted by the other person, focusing disproportionately on what we don’t like about them. The good news is, once you know about “the Wave,” you can recognize that the feeling of unease might be temporary and ride it out.
Another consideration for why the interest imbalance might be temporary is that different people develop feelings at different paces. In the early stages of dating, feelings can shift and oscillate as they progress, and one of person might be ready for a relationship before the other. Maybe they’re more into you this week, but three weeks from now you might be more into them. As we get to know someone and see different facets of them, surges of affection can emerge in sporadic bursts. In other words, don’t make judgements about the climate based on one day of weather.
Are you actually open to giving the relationship a fair shot?
Before ending it, first level with yourself about whether you’re actually giving the relationship a fair shot.
“When considering a break-up, it is all about self-awareness,” says Staci Weller, founder of Date Coach Northwest. “Ask yourself, ‘what kind of relationship am I emotionally available to experience?’”
You might think you’ve been open to developing feelings when you’ve really been holding yourself back out of fear: fear of getting hurt, fear of hurting someone, fear of getting into a relationship you don’t want to be in, fear of being alone forever. The list goes on.
We all opt to confront (or not confront) fear in different ways. Whatever your particular cocktail of fears might be, there’s a real possibility you’ve been drinking it and aren’t thinking straight. If this feels true for you, consider looking your fear in the eye before you jump ship on a connection you haven’t fully opened yourself up to yet.
How might you cultivate more connection?
There’s a fallacy that we either have or don’t have a connection with someone. While it’s true that we might have a proclivity to connect with some people more than others, we do have the agency to intentionally build connections by looking for points of commonality, investing time and energy, and sharing experiences.
“If you’re only kind of feeling it with someone, try doing something new together so that you can get to know a different side of them,” says Simone Grossman, matchmaker at Tawkify. “You might be basing your assessment of them on an incorrect assumption. Think about what makes you feel connected to people and do those activities together. Then see how you feel.”
You don’t know what you don’t know about someone. You might write someone off as a scrub, discover they were the 2017 Nevada state chess champion and then become enamoured with their work ethic and ability to recognize patterns. It’s all perception based on what you’ve seen of someone so far. You have the ability to take an active role in setting the stage for connection by bringing up topics and choosing activities that allow both of you to share different sides of yourselves and surprise each other.
If the roles were reversed how would you want to be treated?
You’ve probably had the experience of being more into someone than they are into you. You’ve also probably had the experience of someone breaking up with you prematurely before you feel like they knew you at all. After taking stock of where your emotions truly are, consider the kind of treatment you’d you want if you were on the other side of the relationship.
There’s a point where indefinite uncertainty becomes a waste of the other person’s time. If you’ve given the relationship some space to develop, you’ve done your part to be as open as you can be, and you’re still feeling unsure, that uncertainty could be all the certainty you need. Everyone deserves to be with someone who is sure about them, so be kind and don’t deny the other person the opportunity to find that with someone else.
Originally published on Tinder's editorial platform Swipe Life, view full article here.