(I’d like to disclose that you might find this article more helpful if you’re a guy like me since I’m mostly focusing on the dating world from a guy’s perspective. However, this doesn’t mean you ladies reading this won’t be able to get value from it.)
I really don’t like dating apps.
I was going to use the word “hate,” but “hate” is a strong word and I don’t think I really hate dating apps.
In spite of feeling like we’ve commoditized each other and put ourselves on display for superficial left/right swiping, I’ve had some amount of success on them, and on one in particular is where I found my first girlfriend after basically having little-to-no success up until that point.
My dating life has had its fair share of ups and downs, and more “losses” than wins.
Usually what I mean when I say “losses” is “rejections,” but I put “losses” in quotes because if you think about it, every rejection brings you one step closer to a win. Thus, are you really “losing?”
I also don’t think the word “hate” is appropriate because dating apps have actually taught me something quite important that I think would serve us eligible bachelors and bachelorettes well to remember for the rest of our dating lives.
What it was that I learned is that hot guys and girls are all over the place.
Now, I’m speaking from a point of assumption with the “hot guys” part because I’m only romantically interested in girls and haven’t seen the kind of guys on dating apps.
But if the guys on dating apps are anything like the ladies I’ve seen on them, there’s bound to be a pool of dudes who are pretty good-looking.
Who knew so many good-looking people could be single?
I promise this point is relevant. Bear with me.
I know from a guy’s point of view that it’s usually pretty easy to get hooked on a girl who’s attractive.
Guys tend to fall harder and faster for the ladies than the other way around. It’s guys who are more often and more likely to be interested in sex right off the bat (or even simply sooner) than the ladies.
The problem with this is that this tends to lead guys to put the person of their interest on a pedestal.
I’ve made this mistake countless times in my own dating experience. Guy or girl, chances are you can relate to this yourself.
You find someone who’s cute so you go above and beyond for them. More than you reasonably should.
- You buy expensive things for them to impress them.
- You make these grand gestures and shower them with acts of service.
- You invest a lot of time and energy into them when you likely haven’t even known each other that long.
Basically, you’re kissing their feet and investing so much into them, hoping that this behavior makes you more likable.
For some people, this might work, whether you’re the one love-bombing or if you’re on the receiving end of it.
However, even if it does work, the action of putting your crush on a pedestal tends to do you more damage than good in the long run.
So, let’s talk about some of the consequences of putting your crush on a pedestal:
1. For starters, it puts an unnecessary strain on you.
You barely know this person. Or, you haven’t known them for nearly long enough to justify doing so much for this person.
Yeah, I get it. She’s super hot and you can’t believe she said yes to your offer for a date.
Even so, skip the trip to the chocolate store beforehand. Suggest something cheap with a low level of commitment like coffee for the first date. That way, if things don’t go as smoothly, you don’t have to, for example, spend the next few hours locked in their company.
You’re not their servant. You don’t owe them anything. Don’t throw yourself at them just to appease them.
You’re special too. Don’t treat them like they’re the only one who is.
2. It sets the framework for the kind of investment that’s expected from you.
Once you start kissing their feet from the get-go, that might be the kind of behavior they expect from you moving forward.
Establishing framework happens when any kind of relationship forms between any parties. Through conversations and interactions, we learn what people’s buttons are, what boundaries not to cross, which topics are sensitive, things that we shouldn’t do around them, and more.
We also set expectations with each other. If someone exposes themselves to be a liar early on, you expect that at some point, they’ll lie to you.
And unfortunately, if you put your crush on a pedestal and it shows in your actions and how you treat them, they might start to expect you to keep up that kind of behavior. They’ll have expectations like “you have to pay for everything” or “you have to pick me up and drop me off every time we go out.”
That’s ridiculous. Relationships need compromise, not one person pulling all the weight.
As previously mentioned, putting your crush on a pedestal already puts a strain on you. Is it worth going out with someone if they start expecting you to be under strain just to spend time with them?
Furthermore, if you decide you can’t take it anymore and you stop kissing their feet, they’ll act surprised and hostile. “What, you can’t pay for my food anymore? You always pay.” They’ve come to expect you to do these things.
And sometimes, they’ll even drop you like a sack of potatoes afterwards and move on to the next person. This leads us to the next point.
3. It leads to people using you.
Overly simplified, this world has two kinds of people in it: the predators and the prey.
The predators take advantage of the prey. They use them, take advantage of them, and when they’re done with them, they discard them.
This is no different in dating, if you run into the wrong kind of people.
There are people out there who, if they know you will kiss their feet and serve them, will exploit you, your time, your energy, and your money, and then toss you aside when they’re done with you.
Healthy relationships require that the parties involved have respect for one another. Putting your crush on a pedestal means you have all the respect in the world for them while there’s no expectation of it in return.
This imbalance sometimes leads to predatory behavior that takes advantage of the prey in the relationship.
Unfortunately, there are people out there who are caught in this vicious cycle of being prey in their dating life. They feel miserable and stressed out because they consistently put their crushes on pedestals and let themselves get used and thrown away.
How to avoid putting your crush on a pedestal
Remember I said to “bear with me” earlier in the article?
Now we can talk about the one simple trick and reminder I use to avoid putting anyone I have a crush on, on a pedestal.
Being on dating apps has woken me up to the reality that nobody is special anymore just because they’re hot, cute, sexy, whatever.
You have to ask them, and yourself: What else encompasses them? Who else are they?
I would also suggest asking what else do they bring to the table, but these are people and relationships, not business transactions or dick-measuring contests of who does more than the other.
Remember that I’m speaking from the point of view of guys, and us guys tend to invest and do too much too quickly. We tend to put all of our eggs in one basket rather fast, often to our own detriment.
Nobody, guy or girl, should get in the habit of doing so. We get caught in the trap of thinking this one hot girl or handsome guy is “the one.” We think we’re the lucky ones who get to have a chance, and it shows in how we behave.
Don’t put your crush on a pedestal. They might be attractive, but take a look around you. Physically attractive people are everywhere, and I don’t just mean those who are taken.
So while I do think appearances and looks are important when it comes to attraction, it’s not the most important thing.
The diamond in the rough you’re looking for is the one you can connect with on a deeper level.