How To Avoid Dating Players

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How To Avoid Dating Players

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Most people want to avoid players in dating . . . yet why do so many end up in relationships (or situationships) with them?

Sadly, it’s all too common to get seduced into a roller coaster romance where we feel amazing chemistry but never know where we stand with someone.

Today I’m giving you the best advice I’ve given on this topic through 7 clips that will help you avoid players and find the right person. If you’re ready to rewire your brain and start attracting someone who says “yes” to a relationship, this is for you.


#1 

MATTHEW HUSSEY

You have to decide what’s important to you and what’s valuable to you, because otherwise, you’ll do anything. You’ll say “yes” just because something feels exciting, regardless of whether it’s off-brand for your company, or whether you’ve got the time for it, whether it fits into your top 3 priorities for the year. Something comes along and it just feels sexy. It feels shiny. But when you really step back from it, you go, “This doesn’t fit with our company’s values, or this isn’t in line with our goals. This is going to be a distraction.”

The dating equivalent to that could be someone who wants children and they’re 38 years old. And they end up flirting at a party with a 23-year-old. And they hit it off, and there’s this chemistry, and it feels fun, and it feels exciting.

It’s now month two, and you’re still seeing this person. And at no point are you really acknowledging the fact that you’ve got a window if you want to have children biologically. And that’s really important to you. Maybe you haven’t even admitted how important it is to yourself because you’re so wrapped up in the feelings you have and the chemistry you have with this person, and how exciting it is. You’re not acknowledging that this person is absolutely not on the same trajectory as you—that this isn’t in their sights for another five or ten years. Even if they’re telling you: “Well, I’m not sure what I want yet,” you can’t be with someone—if that’s really important to you and your time is starting to slip away, you can’t be with someone who isn’t sure what they want in that department yet, because you’re making too big of a bet.

Ultimately, it’s not for me to say whether or not someone should do that. But I get passionate about this because I’m almost speaking on behalf of that person themselves. I’m being an advocate for what I know they really want. Because they’re not being an advocate for it themselves right now. They have sort of silenced the part of themselves that five years from now is going to be going: “Why?”

STEPHEN HUSSEY

There’s like a misranking of priorities going on.

MATTHEW HUSSEY

Yeah, because when we feel something, when we find mutual attraction, it feels like the most important thing in the world. We talk in the book about the Four Levels of Importance in any situation—admiration being the first one. That’s when you just think someone’s hot, sexy, impressive, charismatic, or they have great qualities, or you think they’re super eligible. But admiration is level 1 of importance, which is to say, it’s not very important at all. Because in admiration, that person doesn’t like you back. They may not even know you exist. You could feel that way about someone who works in your building who doesn’t know who you are.

So, the second level is more important, which is level 2, that’s mutual attraction. That’s where you have chemistry, some connection. There’s something drawing the two of you to each other. And that feels really important. It actually feels way more important than it is, because most people, especially as they get older, start to feel like maybe their social life isn’t as expansive as it once was. It feels a little harder to meet people. When we meet someone we’re attracted to, and then they like us back, it feels like the holy grail. It feels like the most important thing in the world. But it’s still only level 2. Because level 3 is commitment.

If you want a relationship and you’re willing to say “yes” to a relationship, is that person willing to say “yes” to a relationship? “Are you saying ‘yes’?” is a wildly underrated phase when it comes to the level of importance. 

It’s amazing how many people have made someone the most important thing in the world to them even though that person is not saying “yes” to a relationship. 

They’re saying they’re not ready, they’re confused, they don’t know what they want . . . they want to travel the world—whatever reason they give for why they can’t go all-in, what it amounts to is that that person doesn’t want a relationship with you even though you want one with them.

So, there are a lot of people who are overvaluing level 2, mutual attraction, and wildly undervaluing level 3, commitment.

#2

ALI ABDAAL

What I usually say is lower the bar for who you’re going to match with on a dating app. Don’t feel like you need to be immediately attracted to them. Because the people you’re going to feel immediately attracted to are . . . if you haven’t had a lot of success up to this point, let’s lower the bar. Let’s give other guys a chance, because you never know what might happen if you’re on a date with someone. But you’re the expert here. What would you say?

MATTHEW HUSSEY

I think there’s so much truth to what you’re saying because really, you’re not talking about lowering the bar in general. You’re talking about, in a way, lowering the bar in very narrow areas. Like, how someone comes across in a profile or in the first five minutes of meeting them. There are people who are just incredible salespeople, and they come across really well in the first five minutes. They’re very compelling people. There are people who have a great elevator pitch.

Not all the best books have the best elevator pitches for that book.

ALI ABDAAL

The best titles and covers, yeah.

MATTHEW HUSSEY

Exactly.

ALI ABDAAL

There are some really good books that have really terrible titles.

MATTHEW HUSSEY

Yeah. And it’s really hard . . . if someone said to you, “What’s the book about?” you’d probably give a terrible elevator pitch for it even though you’re a fan of that book. Not everything is the most easily marketable thing, but it doesn’t mean it’s not the best thing or it’s not an amazing thing. I think we constantly, in the world of dating, reward the best marketers, not necessarily the best partners. And that is where, when you say “lower the bar,” what I hear is, it’s not lowering the bar regarding the quality of the person. It’s lowering the bar on the very narrow attributes we use to decide whether someone should get through the door.

A lot of those attributes we have traditionally used to determine whether someone should get through the door are very egoically-driven attributes that we want. Often, I think it’s hard sometimes to distinguish between what it is we want or—I’m not usually a fan of this kind of language, but it’s like what our soul wants, what would make us happy to be with, and what qualities we’re looking for because we think they’ll make us look good.

“Oh, my friends would think this person is hot. My family would think this person is awesome because of who they are or their status or how much they’ve achieved or because of how they walk into a room and dazzle everybody.” 

There’s a very egoic element to dating that plays a part, I think, in a bigger way than we give it credit for. It’s like, instead of dating the person who will make us the happiest, we date the person we think will make us look the most impressive to our peers, to our network, in our world. That is where I think people get in a lot of trouble, when they keep dating for the wrong things over and over again.

 #3

JAMESON JORDAN

Did you watch the show Pam & Tommy?

MATTHEW HUSSEY

Yes.

JAMESON JORDAN

It’s just interesting because Pamela Anderson really knew she had a thing for bad boys. And then Tommy Lee comes in like the ultimate bad boy and still sweeps her off her feet. She knowingly falls into it. But it’s just so perfect that it happened in a celebrity-type situation, because celebrities get into these kinds of situations because there’s no one in their life to just check them. So, it’s a very isolating kind of thing. You can see why that toxicity happens in that circumstance. But yeah, if you have that, if you have more of those compasses, I think that’s a really beautiful framework. 

MATTHEW HUSSEY

And that’s an interesting example, because in that situation, I think if I remember right, the first scene of them meeting is him being—

AUDREY HUSSEY

A disaster.

MATTHEW HUSSEY

Yeah, this really obnoxious person in a club and coming over to her with absolutely no regard for her friends, very obnoxiously direct. There’s no conscientiousness at all involved in anything he does. It’s all about how what he wants is the most important thing in the room.

She finds it exciting because he’s bold, and he’s direct, and it feels sexy, but she’s ignoring the absence of all of these things that would make someone a kind, conscientious, good human being in that situation. 

Now, you can have someone who’s direct, and bold, and all of those things, but those other qualities better show up. And if you’re ignoring them, that’s where the disaster begins. It’s because all you’re doing is looking at the things you find attractive. You’re not looking at the fundamental qualities that are missing in this person, and you’re hoping that one day those things will arrive. And they won’t, of course.

#4

MATTHEW HUSSEY

This is where first dates can get really dangerous, because a date is a measure of someone’s impact more than anything else. You can feel a great connection with someone who, in actual fact, is just really, really good at creating the right impact. They know which questions to ask. They look in your eyes and listen intently as you give your answers. They know how to connect with your answers and be relatable, and say, “Oh, my God. That’s just like me! I find that too.”

There’s just this rapport they’re incredible at creating. And of course, I’m talking on the slightly more, not manipulative end of the spectrum, although it could be, but just with people who are really, really good with people. People who want to impress you. And what’s one way I know how to impress? Make an amazing connection with you.

So some people are just really good at that. And in their presence, we feel so special, and we feel so heard, we feel so seen. But if it was just on one date, then that wasn’t so much a measure of your connection with that person as it was a measure of their impact on you in the time you had.

Then, of course, there’s the more innocent end of the spectrum. There are people who are just huge people-pleasers who are also really good at making you feel heard and seen and connected because they’re going out of their way to validate everything you’re saying. They don’t disagree with you, they connect with everything, they go along with everything. You think, “Wow. This person and I just have so much in common.”

But really, what it is, is someone who’s just eager to please you with the things they say.

Have you ever met someone where you thought you had an amazing connection with them, but the more time went on, the more you thought to yourself, “Oh, you were actually just saying what you thought I wanted to hear. This wasn’t really you.”

It’s also true that if we go back to that person who is just really good with people, or even narcissistic at the more insidious end of the spectrum, these people can make us feel incredible for a short time, and then they get distracted and their attention goes somewhere else. When their attention is on us, it’s like a laser beam that feels so good, but then they move on.

I’ve had that with people before where I’ve been so charmed by them. I’ve thought we’ve had the most amazing connection. And then I realize they’re just charming.

It’s sobers me up because I realize, “Oh, we weren’t going to be best friends forever. They just were really, really good at connecting with me in that moment.”

So we have to stop telling ourselves the story about someone who is an amazing first date being someone who has huge potential for our love lives. One of the things I talk about in this new book . . . let’s see what chapter it is. This is so new that I don’t even know what chapter it is. Ah, Chapter 2: “How to Tell Love Stories.”

This entire chapter of the book—for those of you who have ordered it, circle that chapter now—is about the false love stories we tell ourselves about situations that don’t actually represent any real potential. Of course, someone who just disappears after a date shows no potential whatsoever by definition. But because of the connection we felt, we now tell ourselves an incredible love story about what that situation should materialize into.

Remember, for a true love story to occur, you need not just connection, you need intention. You need investment. You need someone who’s actually committed to making the story go somewhere. Connection is not intention.

#5

MATTHEW HUSSEY

Do you need to be attracted? Yes. On some level, of course. This isn’t a video about going for people you’re not attracted to. But it is me saying that attraction is just a box to be checked. It’s not a sport that someone has to win. They don’t have to be the most attractive person you’ve ever dated. They don’t have to match up to that person you once dated who you felt an insane attraction for or this incredible spark with that you’d never felt before that. It’s not a competition between them and the chemistry you’ve had in the past or how good-looking someone was in the past. 

Because a relationship that’s extraordinary is built, and it’s built by two people who check a lot of boxes for each other. So, attraction is a box that needs to be checked. Once you’ve checked it, now it’s time to actually see what other things they have that, long-term, are going to be much more important than that one box.

#6

MARIE FORLEO

I remember in my own history from New Jersey, was dating basically the same guy in different bodies again and again and again and again. I was attracted to the guys who had a lot of muscles, definitely went to a tanning salon, definitely had some gold chains.

So, I had that same type of boyfriend over and over and over and over. And it never quite worked out. And I remember when I first saw Josh, he was not that. He was very different than that. He’s Jewish; I’m Italian. He’s a filmmaker and an actor. All these different things—we’re 17 years apart. None of who he was on paper was “my blueprint” at all. It was almost like the opposite.

And yet, and yet, Matthew, I felt more myself around him than anyone I had ever dated. I felt more me.

So the qualities in me that felt like they were getting amplified were the best qualities in me—my sense of humor, my heart, my desire to be expressive.

I noticed in myself that blueprint just melting away because of who I started showing up as. And then I started thinking back and I was like, “Wow, when I was dating all those same guys over and over again, the most insecure parts of me were showing up where I felt needy or grabby, or just like I wasn’t enough and everything about me wasn’t enough.”

I was so floored by how diametrically different I felt and how I was showing up. That’s what made the blueprint melt away.

So my advice would be: If you can muster that incredible bravery to put yourself into new situations and say “yes” to things—whether it’s going to a party, being out at a social event, maybe having a coffee date or some type of exposure to other people who, again, don’t fit your blueprint, just do it from a place of playfulness and non-expectation, and do it as a way to start seeing how you show up differently with different humans regardless of what their external form is.

This is something that I think most of us know, but I can never hear it enough: I think when we’re in our late teens and 20s and maybe even 30s, there’s still so much (hype) around physical attraction. Physical attraction, of course, is incredibly important. We know that. But we all also know that that stuff doesn’t last. It just doesn’t. We all change and evolve as we get older.

One of the things that’s really come to me is how grateful I am that I chose and continue to love someone because of who they are on the inside. I mean, I’ve watched myself change. All of us. It’s not a bad thing. It’s a beautiful thing. This is part of our human journey is that we’re not going to look the same, and the external shell is going to change, and it’s going to be different. But what are the qualities of that person you want to be with? How big is their heart? Are they loyal? When you’re with them, do they make you feel like what you have to say and what you have to think is important? 

I think that’s so individual for all of us. So, for me as a person, freedom is my number one value in life, and to be with a man who really respects and gets how important my freedom is to me . . . and this is just little stuff, but the other thing that was really important to me was I was very clear that I didn’t want to have biological kids. And so many of the guys I dated beforehand who fit that blueprint, they were like, “Okay, so we’re going to get married, and we’re going to—” 

I’m like, “Are you looking at this thing? Have you heard what I’ve said to you? I have no interest in any of that. I don’t want kids. I don’t want to get married.”

So, for me, it was a lot about the experience of being with people outside of my “blueprint”—which taught me that it’s about those inner qualities and how I show up with that person that’s made all the difference. So, pay less attention to your head, don’t get twisted about the complicatedness of it, and just get your butt out there and start feeling your way into new truths.

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