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Are you showing these 5 signs of desperation?

by Eharmony Editorial Team - March 19, 2012

No-one wants to be seen as desperate – it is unattractive and likely to get you the very opposite of what you really want, but how do you know if you are giving off a desperate vibe?

When you’ve just met someone new, it can be easy to get carried away. Take a step back and consider whether you’re guilty of showing these 5 signs of desperation

It’s great to be keen and enthusiastic about finding a new partner. It’s also good to be focused and committed; making time to respond to matches, going on lots of dates and blocking out time in your weekly schedule to meet new people and attend social gatherings. However, there is a point where keen starts to look more like desperate; here are five of the warning signs to stop you from slipping into that category.

1. Constant availability

Whether it’s being available to chat online 24/7; responding immediately to every text and email, or being free to go on a date at a moment’s notice, being available all the time gives one clear message – you don’t have a life. We’re not advocating playing games, but it is important that you give time and attention to the rest of your life – your friends, family, hobbies etc. – and make dating only a small slice of the pie, which makes up your life, rather than the whole dish.

2. Compromising your integrity and principles

Someone who is showing signs of desperation will often feel that they need to compromise in order to secure a lasting relationship. While it is important to be flexible and open to new possibilities – maybe dating someone who is out of your normal age range or region – it starts to look desperate when you begin to let go of deeply held principles or begin to do things that compromise your integrity e.g. sleeping with someone on a first date because you just can’t bear to be single any longer.

A desperate need to hold onto a relationship can also lead to you minimising or overlooking behaviour that you find demeaning, insulting or even abusive. While you may feel that being compliant and easygoing will bring you the love you want, the reality is that you will probably end up being treated like a doormat because it’ll seem as though you have no self-respect. We teach people how to treat us and if you don’t respect yourself it is unlikely a date will respect you either.

3. Being too agreeable – wanting to please

You may have experienced this yourself – the ‘yes’ person who wants your approval so badly that they will deny their own needs and feelings to get it. The trouble with someone like this is that you’ll never really be able to trust them or get close to them because, at a fundamental level, they are being dishonest with themselves and with you.

If you find yourself agreeing to dates that you don’t want to go on, have difficulty saying no, put a great deal of effort into dates and are often left feeling frustrated and resentful because the amount of effort you put in doesn’t yield the rewards you want – approval, compliments, a second date – it may be that you are suffering from a disease to please, which is being motivated more by your need for approval and your own desperation than by a genuine interest in the person you are dating.

4. A need for compliments and reassurance

It is perfectly natural to want, and need, some reassurance that a date is progressing well but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to keep asking your date whether they are enjoying themselves – trust that you will know by noticing how they are behaving and engaging with you. If they are making conversation, laughing, and seem happy to be there, relax and enjoy yourself without over-analysing every gesture. Focus on whether you’re having a good time, rather than trying to get into their head and work out what is going on for them.

Avoid making disparaging remarks about yourself e.g. ‘I look so fat in these trousers’ in the hope that they will contradict you with ‘No, you look great’ because a compliment gained in this way not only shows your insecurity, but puts pressure on the other person to say what you want to hear. A compliment that arises naturally does much more for your self-esteem. Learn how to accept a compliment graciously rather than using it as a hook to get more reassurance.

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5. Getting too close for comfort

Even if all went well on the first couple of dates there is still a danger that you can appear too keen if you don’t allow some space between you. Barraging someone with texts, emails, phone calls and constantly asking what they are up to can make even the keenest match head for the door. Like an over-watered plant, too much attention will kill a relationship rather than help it to grow.

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