When I met my husband a few years ago, I had been in therapy for a while, but I was still recovering from my anxious attachment style and was somewhat guarded.
I didn’t want to come across as too keen. So I tried to play it cool. I let him initiate texts, calls, and dates, and he was happy to do it.
After we got intimate for the first time, my past experience led me to expect him to pull away. But, to my pleasant surprise, he became even more affectionate and there was a clear sense of relationship progression.
I soon realised I’d got myself an exceptionally caring and emotionally secure man.
During the first few months of dating, he wasn’t afraid to spend lots of time together and show me his intention and care. We met up twice or more a week until we became inseparable. He helped me shop for gifts for my family. He cooked for me. He put cream on my leg when it hurt.
I’d met caring guys before, and I’d subsequently lost interest in them, but there was something different this time.
His caring didn’t make me feel like he was desperate or I was better than him.
I didn’t grow suspicious of it because deep down I thought I wasn’t good enough for it either.
In retrospect, therapy had helped heal this part of me and I, for once, believed I was a high-value woman who was worthy of his kindness and affection. I acted like it, and I knew I was a catch to him.
I expected and appreciated his caring and knew I couldn’t take him for granted.
I mean — why wouldn’t I like that an attractive, smart, funny, amazing man is caring towards me when I’m ready for a committed relationship and find him extremely compatible with me in every way?
I want you to remember that almost everyone likes their partner to be caring towards them except:
They don’t actually like you.
They don’t actually like themselves enough to accept care and love from you.
You’re not their partner yet!
If it’s the first case, you can’t do anything about it. If it’s the second case, you can’t do anything about it either — it’s a battle they’ll need to fight themselves.
As for number 3, in dating, it’s possible that caring too much too soon makes you seem desperate or smothering and is a turn-off. It’s because caring is a personal act.
People want to be sure you care for them because of who they are, not because it’s just anyone. It also takes time to build trust and get familiar enough to accept and appreciate someone’s care.
Sometimes it’s the way you show your care to a practical stranger that might give off certain impressions and kill attraction. If you care for them like a parent would, e.g. remind them to eat, sleep, and clean up after them, they will be reminded of their parents and that, naturally, won’t lead to sexual chemistry.
If you’re often the one who cares too much too soon without really knowing the person, it might be worth looking into in therapy or asking yourself why you do it. Perhaps consider directing some of that energy back into yourself.
It’s safe to mirror your date’s behaviours and level of care at the beginning. Then you can increase your level of care little by little and see how they respond to it.
It’s not that caring is bad. Caring is never bad. Caring is really good. But you also have to see if the other person is receptive to it. You can’t force your care on everyone.
Nevertheless, the right person will appreciate your caring and be caring in return.
Don’t buy into the whole pretending-to-not-care or playing hard-to-get mind games.
These tactics might help project high value and create some tension temporarily but, first, it’s often a sign of emotional insecurity, and secondly, it’ll collapse quickly.
Being high-value for real always wins in the long term. And caring for the people who have shown they’re worthy of your time and attention is a high-value trait.