Are you interested in ways to make him invest in you?
You found the right article.
Let’s begin with what the dating literature says on how to make a man invest in you:
The Common Dating Advice
Most -if not all- women dating books and resources say that you should let him invest in you as much as possible.
It’s a common mantra in:
Most of these books have indeed common the idea that the more you get and the least you give, the better it is.
Why They All Say He Must Invest More
The idea of letting him invest heavily is that:
- You weed out the non serious guys (players etc.)
- You’ll be in control and won’t fall for him too soon
- He will like you more
Why It Makes Sense (on paper)
Weeding Out Players
Fuckboys, womanizers and men with more experience are more aware of investment balance and more wary of chasing dynamics. So it might be true that players are less likely to stick around.
Control And Not Falling In Love
We tend to like less what’s very available (Cialdini), so investing little while receiving lots will “safeguard” your feelings indeed.
He Will Like You More
Studies show that givers feel more committed to the recipient after giving (Horan & Booth-Butterfield, 2010).
This is probably partially because of sunk costs (Coleman, 2009) and back rationalization (check Incognito by David Eagleman).
But in a nutshell, it’s true: the more one gives to you, the more he values you.
There are exception (especially in difficult markets, read The Eligible Bachelor Paradox), but overall the theory does make sense.
The question though is, who does it work with?
The Drawback of Making Him Invest
The Rule of Social Exchange postulates that good relationships tend to reach a balance of value -who you are- and investment -what you do for the other-.
One corollary is that when one side has some major lack in overall value, he must make it up with “external value injections”.
Investing is indeed a way of making up for a lack of value.
And that’s why only men who feel they’re not good enough for you will over-invest.
When they cannot bring enough value with who they are, then they throw on the table different kind of extra services, such as:
- Wining and dining
- Carrying bags
- Fixing stuff
- Ready at your beck and call
- Emotional tamponing
On average men who invest a lot tend to be less experienced, less valuable and more providers type of guys. In short, they often don’t know any better.
Here’s example which always cracks me up. When he says “I thought I did everything right” he partially refers to investing a lot:
Cooler Guys Will Drop You
The problem of course is with men who are around your same value or higher (not uncommon: men are happy to date lower or horizontally):
These guys will invest the first time and stay watchful.
Then they see nothing is coming from you.
And what will they think if you keep following common dating advice and expect more and more without giving?
Bruce Bryan of Never Chase Men Again hits the nail on the head when he says that men with a backbone will flee very soon if you demand without giving.
Getting The Best Guys
What’s the alternative then?
The alternative is reciprocal investment escalation.
Let him do the first step, and make sure you reward him and make him feel good, which will encourage more giving. Give something too, which will reassure him you’re in it as a contributor as well.
And the virtuous cycle will feed on itself.
Not only this attitude of reciprocal investment will foster more and more giving, but research shows that partners in equitable relationships are happier and last longer (Equity Theory of Love).
See here a chart bar example of how a woman can lock in a higher quality man (starting from the bottom):
See here an example of time progression:
Reciprocal Investment Blueprint
#1. – First meeting:
- He: buys you a drink
- You: thank him and get to know him
#2. – First date:
- He: invites you out and pays for dinner
- You: thank him. At the end of the date warmly hug him, look him in the eyes and tell him you’re happy you two met
#3. – Second date:
- He: invite you to some event
- You: you offer him a round of drinks and toast with him to such a nice company (building him up)
# 4. – Third date:
- He: invites you somewhere or to a home cooked meal
- You: bring him a gift with little money value but that says “I thought about you”
That’s how you show him you’re a keeper. That’s a woman he feels he can rely on for life, which is indeed a major trait all the male authors highlighted in women’s dating books.
Emotional investment is a subset of overall investment, but it’s the most important.
If he does he replies with is own emotional investment (ie.: opens up, listens, asks more questions, increases intimacy etc.) he’s a keeper.
I like the idea of making the first move and gauging the reaction.
But whoever makes the first major overture, the pattern is the same: one step each.
Building the tower of a great relationship is a common effort. One brick at a time, one brick each.
The idea in most dating books for women is that you must make him invest as much as possible and he’ll fall head over heels for you.
While that’s true, I explain in this post that mostly works for the least outstanding of men.
And while you do want him to give, you should always take warmly, make him feel about giving and give a little bit back.
Keep escalating in lockstep towards mutual investment and commitment until you step together to the alter (if that’s what you want).
Why you shouldn’t use sex as a bargaining chip.