It’s a dating mystery: Why would someone invest in dating you and then walk away?
They take you on a romantic trip, buy you an amazing gift, or tell you they’re falling for you . . . right before breaking up with you?
What were they thinking?!
In today’s new video, I share the reasons why someone might lead you on, and how you can use it as fuel to get over them faster and find your person.
Before we get into the video, I wanted to let you know that on the 23rd of January, there is a big free event happening that I am hosting live called First Principles of Getting Commitment. We have thousands of people already signed up. This is your chance to join us too if you haven’t already. If you want commitment this year and you’re struggling out there in dating, or you’re finding you keep coming across people who are casual or just keep you in limbo, who don’t want the real thing, this is your chance to learn what you need to know to find it. It’s going to be a really powerful event. You can join us for free by going to lovelifetraining.com So head on over there now and we’ll see you at that event. Now, let’s get to the video.
I got this question from one of my members in the Love Life Club:
“Why do men continue to invest in a relationship even though they want to break up with you? We were discussing this in the comments, and we really don’t understand how men operate. For example, they buy us presents for birthdays or Christmas and even plan dates, but all of a sudden just break up or disappear. Why bother then? What’s the logic behind it? It’s not just talking; it’s actually doing things for you. Or do we women assign so much value to this while it—organizing dates, buying you presents—really means nothing to them?”
This is such an interesting question. How many people relate to this? Leave me a comment now. Tell me, have you been through something like this?
Has someone taken you on a romantic trip or bought you a fancy gift or said something meaningful to you right before they ended the relationship or told you they didn’t want a relationship at all? Why do people do this?
One of the big reasons is that we’re just assigning different meanings to things.
So, for example, if someone takes you on this glorious trip, you may say, “They must be really serious about me—they’re taking me on this amazing vacation. This must mean the relationship is progressing.”
And from their side, they might be thinking, “I really need a break from work.” And who’s the person they want to take a break with? The person they’re dating or the person they’re in a relationship with. It’s the natural thing to do: “Let’s go and have an amazing week together.” But it doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
Why does someone say something to you that feels meaningful? Well, maybe there’s someone who’s trying to feel something. They feel like it’s going to amp up the relationship, it’s going to make it more exciting, it’s going to make you like them even more.
Why do they buy a gift? Well, maybe they just felt the pressure to do something special. Maybe internally they felt like, “Oh, I feel like I’m going to hurt this person’s feelings at some point. I should still get them something really nice right now so I can be the good guy.”
The truth is, we don’t know. And look, you can’t spend all of your time second-guessing everything that someone does, wondering, “Is it real? Is it not real?”
But one of the things we can do is look at whether the relationship is progressing in several different dimensions.
Is it only progressing one-dimensionally or in lots of different ways? Are they just buying me lavish gifts and I’m taking that to mean something even though I get very little of their time or their energy? Are we continuing to do exciting things impulsively that feel great in the moment but don’t suggest that this person has me in mind for anything in the future or is ever making future plans with me? Do they constantly say meaningful things, but they’re not backed up in the way that they actually move the relationship forward? Does it just feel like very poetic language?
Ask yourself if it’s progressing holistically.
In dating, a lot of the time when people were buying fancy gifts or saying very meaningful things or talking a good game about the future even though they ended up not wanting anything with you, it was because, at that point, they were probably trying to “make a sale.”
They were so focused on getting you and trying to figure out whether they could get you, they didn’t really ask themselves if that relationship was something they wanted. And then before long, they found themselves in over their head and finding a way out.
Meanwhile you’re going, “Why would they do all of those things if they didn’t like me that much, if they didn’t really want a relationship?” But from their side, it was insecurity. Their first priority was: “See if I can get this person.” It wasn’t: “Progress in a way that is organic and would make sense to this person if at some point I decide that it’s not right for me.”
When it comes down to a relationship context and someone does something meaningful with you right before breaking up with you, one of the things I think we have to assign it to is a kind of irresponsibility—a lack of care about how something might end up affecting you.
Of course, there’s something very selfish about taking someone on a romantic trip and then breaking up with them three weeks later, especially if you knew that you were going to do it, or you knew you were that conflicted, because you really are sending someone the wrong message right before breaking their heart.
But in a way, all of these things should actually be a bit of a pressure valve in helping to get over someone.
If you’re dating someone and they did all of these grand things to try to win you over, and it was irresponsible and it was careless, and then they decided they didn’t want that after all, then you can kind of look at that person and go, “Oh, there was something inorganic about the way that person was progressing. It’s possible that I dodged a bullet by not going any further down the road with this person because they’re not very conscious in their actions.”
If it happened while you were deep into a relationship and someone was very careless with your heart by doing something meaningful right before breaking up with you, then you can also use that as a pressure valve and say, “You know, that behavior of not really caring about how it would affect me and what it would do to me for them to confuse me in that way is very unattractive and unappealing behavior in a teammate. So, again, while it hurts, maybe in some sense I dodged a bullet.”
The truth is there are always going to be moments where we get completely blindsided, where we’re just not going to see it coming, where someone does something so confusing to us that we could never have seen it coming.
Now, while we can’t see everything coming, there’s a piece of advice I got once from my friend Jesse Itzler that I found very helpful. We were on a trip in Poland. We were climbing a mountain as part of a cold exposure retreat. We were three-quarters of the way up, bare-chested, freezing. We could finally see the tip of the mountain. Everyone started cheering, everyone started getting excited, and Jesse looked at me and he said, “Matt, we don’t celebrate until it’s in the books. Be where your feet are.”
And I always remembered that piece of advice. I’ve always found it so useful. “Be where your feet are.” And I think that there’s something about this that’s very useful for dating.
Now, I’m not saying that you should wait until you get married to start celebrating. You can celebrate being in an amazing relationship anytime. But there is something useful about being present with the stage that we’re in instead of getting overexcited about where it might go but hasn’t been yet.
Be excited about where the relationship is today, but be cognizant of the fact that you may not be at the top of the mountain yet and you’re still learning about this person and there’s still progression to be had and it’s up to them and you to show that progression.
And like I said, look at whether there’s multidimensional progress, not just whether there seem to be meaningful things, but they always occur in the same way.
Thank you for watching. Let me know what you thought of this video. Leave me a comment if you relate to this video, if it’s happened to you, and if this video feels like it shed some light on the situation for you.
What would you do differently next time? What would you have paid attention to, having seen this video? If you write that down, it will serve you the next time you’re in a situation like that.