It can be helpful to begin at what lies at the heart of your question. The principle we are interested in exploiting, when questions for securing another person’s affection pour from our lips, is attraction. Most of us are intimate with the need to be attractive, if not for anything but for the person who pulls our (romantic) interest. We want to love and we want who we love to love us.
To explore ways of getting a person you are interested in to be interested in you, we have to be clear about two things:
- The meaning of attraction.
- The premise of your position.
While the meaning of attraction can be muddy and layered, the premise of your position is somewhat clear and simple. To do away with the muddiness and layers that come with the meaning of attraction, let’s make do with this definition: Attraction can be understood as an element of love under the influence of which tends to arouse in a person intense interest in another person. Your question rests of the premise that the guy you are interested in lacks the level and/or the kind of interest you have for him and desire of him, and this lack of interest is something you want to change.
Given this definition and position, let’s consider for a moment that you are the romantic interest of a man all your friends agree is attractive. By all observations you and this man would make a great couple. He is kind. He treats you great. He has made clear his intentions for you. But there is one minor yet important detail: The kind of feeling you have of this man is the kind you have of a distant friend. No romantic feelings exist in you for this man. (I bet you can think up such a man in your real past or present life right now.) Now, to begin a somewhat interesting thought experiment, pose this question to yourself: What would it take to get you to like this man?
You might find yourself respond with desires of the material: “Let him buy me gifts.” “Let him take me to an exotic island.” “Let him look like Sawyle”. But keep in mind that case after case exist pointing to the reality that material things alone provide an insufficient fuel required to alight within us a genuine kind of romantic love. Getting to love from another person requires more than material things. (If material things were a sufficient criterion for igniting true love, expressions like “gold digger” would not exist).
From our thought experiment, you might suspect that there is only so much the man can do to inspire romantic love from you. And you would be on to what’s true. Any demand you make of our hypothetical man in attempt to reciprocate his love would require that he makes fundamental changes to himself. Perhaps he would have to change the way he chews meat, reduce his height by 2 inches, and/or do away with a tendency to raise his little finger whenever he lifts a glass of water to his lips. Either way, given the current state of things, as it comes to what you have to do to reciprocate his love, the reality is clear: Romantic attraction as you experience it to another person is phenomenon that happens beyond your volition. It is a phenomenon that happens on its own accord. You are either attracted to someone or you are not.
The challenge often begins when you are in want of another’s attraction. It becomes hard to see that romantic attraction happens beyond our volition. Yet it is at moments like this that it becomes neccesary to make peace with the reality that your love interest may be incapable of giving you the love you desire and deserve. At these moments it may be anything but a far stretch to declare: You can never get another person to – in romantic terms – like you. A person is either attracted to you or is not.
This might feel disappointing. But keep in mind it isn’t a suggestion that you are a non-partaker (and therefore should remain passive) in the process of romantic attraction. The point to take away is: You are better off investing your attention, time and energy on someone who likes you.
Question(s) of the day: What you do to get over a person ill-fitted for you? Feel free let me know in comments.