Are You Addicted to the Chase?

Are you addicted to the thrill of the chase? Do you sometimes write off people who might be great, but don't seem exciting enough? Our matchmakers weigh in on this problem, and ways to fix it.

The Problem:

Lauren: One of the best pieces of advice I got was not to confuse anxiety with excitement. Often, people who play games make you feel extremely anxious. Physiologically, anxiety feels a lot like excitement. So, a month or two of game-playing can easily be confused with infatuation or love.

Courteney: I worked with a client who met someone she truly connected deeply with through our service. After multiple great dates, she was scared off because of how 'good' of a person her date was. She felt as though the relationship wasn't 'passionate' enough for her, based on a past experience, with someone she kind-of dated for a little while who could not commit to a monogamous relationship with her. I tried to explain to her that this past experience shouldn't represent her standard/benchmark for passion and attraction and who she can fall in love with. The type of infatuation she experienced came from wanting something that she couldn't have, and was much more exciting than anything she could have. It made someone who could commit seem less 'sexy.' There is a fine line, but I don't want people to miss out on an amazing opportunity with someone who truly is a good fit because they are scared off by their healthy communication style and ability to share their open and honest feelings.

Priti: I spend a lot of time talking to friends about dating and relationships, and I know a few people who do not think that a man or woman is really 'worth it' unless they have to 'fight' for them. In this context, 'fighting' includes the exhaustive work of constantly guessing what the other person is thinking and/or trying to stay a few steps ahead so that the other person is always more invested in the relationship. Several female friends have told me that showing genuine interest is a bad idea, because guys 'aren't interested in girls they don't have to chase.' Going out of your way to ensure that someone is chasing you is often counterproductive, since people read signals differently. By not being yourself, you're preventing forming a real connection with the other person.

The Solution:

Lauren: Don't write off people who don't immediately give you butterflies in your stomach. When someone returns all of your texts and is always available to go on dates -- you know, when someone treats you like a real live human being -- you generally won't feel anxious. But don't let this lack of anxiety be mistaken for lack of passion. You're finally dating a decent human being -- don't let him or her slip away!

Courteney: I use a common rule of thumb with all of my dating clients. I tell them that if after a first date they are 65% or more into it, go on the second date. Often times, people feel as though it has to feel like a 95 or 100% to go on a second date when it is rarely the case that someone has this level of intensity of feelings on a first date. The first date is to establish whether or not there are any major red flags or deal breakers and to determine if there is the basic level of chemistry that could continue to grow with time and shared experiences. If it's a "hell, no," then don't go on the second date. But if it's a "he was pretty cool. Not sure if he's my soulmate, but I had a nice time" I say to go on the second date. You can be surprised how much things can develop when you give it a date or two and give someone a chance. We're not always completely ourselves on a first date and it takes a number of experiences to start developing healthy romantic feelings for someone.

Eva: If you're feeling addicted to the chase, try and ask yourself what you're truly looking for. Are you striving to reach an unattainable goal? Are your standards too high, and if so, is there an underlying reason for this? Some introspection can go a long way when it comes to courtship and dating. If you're looking for a serious commitment, it always helps to know yourself well and be open to meeting and getting to know different types of people.