Have you ever been drawn to an acquaintance, male or female, because there seemed to be something indefinably charismatic about them, a certain sense of fun or irreverance or wit that just made you want to spend more time with them?

So you asked them to have lunch or join your Saturday morning touch football game in the park or to hit the bars with you on Friday night. And before long, despite your fears that this person would be aloof, or distancing, he or she proved to be accesible, eager to spend time with you and always ready "to hang out. Here you'd expected someone who would be as flighty as a deer, yet rather than leave too early, he or she would stay too long, call too often.

And slowly but surely, or perhaps even very quickly, this person who had seemed so fascinating, whom you had been so drawn to, started to seem rather ordinary, even a little boring. Sometimes, even, you found yourself not wanting to spend time with him or her. He or she would call to see if you wanted to catch a movie and you'd find yourself thinking, 'God, how unexciting.'

The same phenomenon can occur in your relationship with a woman if, in response to her efforts to get to know you, you prove too willing, too eager an accomplice. Hold back. Bring her home a little earlier than you'd like. Don't stay over. Don't ask her back to your place. Don't order another drink. Don't insist she stay over at your place.

If she calls you at the office to see if you can make lunch that day, tell her you're tied up. If you're having a drink after work and she says she's meeting some friends for dinner and would you like to join them, tell her you've got some paperwork to catch up on. Not every time, of course. You don't want to seem disinterested. You simply want to sustain, not sate or exhaust, this quality of delight she takes in your company.

It's not always easy, or course, to pull yourself away when you're having a great time, when you're luxuriating in her admiring glances...the peels of laughter which greet your every comment. But there's a danger in this. It can make you overperform. The feeling of being loved is heady stuff. If you're not careful, you start acting manic, trying to be even funnier, sexier. You overstay your welcome. You overwhelm her attraction to you.


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