Erika Ettin: To Share Or Not To Share

By Erika Ettin
Tribune News Service

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) When it comes to keeping secrets, dating expert Erika Ettin says it is NOT a good idea. Ettin says, “if you’re looking for a long-term, committed relationship, then you want to be with the person who appreciates your ability to communicate your feelings, not withhold them.”

Tribune News Service

Someone on my mailing list, not a client, but a person, who seeks dating advice, asked me this question via email recently:

“Is it good to have some secrets in a relationship? Isn’t that one of the many things that attracts a person … a little mystery? Are there things that you should always keep to yourself?”

My response to him was short and sweet:
“I would say that it is not healthy to have secrets. ‘Mystery’ sounds like playing games to me. If someone wants to be with you, they shouldn’t only want you when you hold back.”

Now, I’d like to elaborate a bit further on this point. Expressions like, “the thrill of the chase,” or “playing hard to get,” have made it into our lexicon, sadly, often as something positive. Here, we are talking about the early stages of dating, before you’re in an established relationship. Many people believe that acting distant or not being available to make plans will make someone like them more. Their rationale is, “I don’t want to make it too easy for someone;” or “I want them to work for it.”

Can this strategy make you more desirable in the short term? Sure, to people who only want the chase and not the prize, if you will. It may also work with people who are more insecure because your aloofness feeds into their insecurity. Some see this uncertainty as “excitement.” I see it as a game. In fact, Neil Strauss made a name for himself (and I imagine a fortune) with his book, “The Game,” teaching men how to pick up women with tips and tricks, like ending a conversation early to leave her wanting more.

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