Do we not pay for what we get?
Well, let's apply this same logic to love and romance and see what we can conclude.
I'm often asked why men pull away after such a short period of courtship, which is what I call the period of "merchandise testing." (Yes, as females, we are merchandise, in the sense that we have the goods.) So, ladies, if you want to know how to keep a man shopping with you, then you must first look at how you display your merchandise. For example, do you often display yourself as if you're on clearance? Do you appear as though you're picked over, or as if you are willing to give your merchandise away for free? Do you under-price your merchandise or give shoppers the impression that they can steal it from you? Importantly, do shoppers know that you are aware of the value of your merchandise? Do they get the impression that only select shoppers can browse and buy? These are some questions we must ask ourselves as we take inventory of our experiences in love and dating.
Here I should define merchandise. Though I am using the word in a somewhat cheeky way, the truth is that our merchandise is what we are advertising to potential mates--it is all of who we are--mind, body, and spirit. Our merchandise is what we have to offer, and how we advertise it says a lot about how we value it.
You may be wondering how advertising and merchandise relate to love and dating. Let us now apply the logic that says we pay for what we get.
Typically, when a man is shopping for a mate, he is first and foremost attracted to the outward package; the image of the woman and her physical appeal. He then tests her suitability for him as a mate by investigating her inner appeal, which is the way she advertises and yet guards her worth (her merchandise). His investigation of her inner appeal is done through a general (but silent) "price" negotiation process:
- He observes and assesses how the woman carries herself, or how she has arranged her merchandise.
- He makes an initial offer to test whether he will have to pay full price for it, or whether he can get a reduced-price deal, or whether he will have to pay at all. This initial offer is done through dating. It is the first step in the negotiation process. For example, if you allow him to take you to White Castle on a first date, don't expect him to treat you like a filet mignon later. If he doesn't have to take you out on a date in the beginning, chances are he never will.
- He will test whether or not she has set terms on her merchandise, and the degree to which she guards those terms. **This is a crucial stage, because if she negotiates her terms away, he will have no further incentive to shop or buy; he will assume that the goods are officially his and on his terms.
- If she is too agreeable, too accommodating, and too accessible, she will give him the impression that her merchandise isn't a limited edition, but instead a clearance item, at which point he will begin shopping elsewhere. **Remember the golden rule of economics: Value is driven by supply. Things become expensive and in high demand because they are rare and hard to get.
If you find yourself in a repeat experience with men who pull away quickly, chances are you negotiated your terms away too easily, and it's time to take inventory of the state of your merchandise. Remember, you want Neiman Marcus shoppers, not dumpster divers.:-)