Breaking Through Social Conditioning Barriers in Dating

Relationships
Breaking Through Social Conditioning Barriers in Dating
Social conditioning is the concept that many of our beliefs and ideals are not of our own creation, but entirely influenced by society, the media and our upbringing. While social conditioning is necessary for our survival, it also bears many negative consequences.

There are two mediums through which we can learn something new: first-hand experience and second-hand experience. Touching the stove when you were little and getting burned is an example of learning from first-hand experience. Your science teacher explaining that you cannot jump off a tall building and survive is an example of learning through second-hand experience.

For obvious reasons, learning from second hand experiences is very important. Imagine what it would be like trying to find out for yourself that swimming with a Great White shark would result in you losing your head. Or figuring out for yourself which mushrooms are good to eat and which ones are poisonous (or which ones make you think you can fly!)

Not only does second-hand experience protect us from the dangers of learning first hand, but it also saves us a lot of time.
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Many widely accepted social norms are not in our best interest, contradictory and were often created completely arbitrarily.

Social conditioning, however, commonly results in us putting too much trust in second-hand experiences. Many widely accepted social norms are not in our best interest, contradictory and were often created completely arbitrarily. An overreliance on second hand experience kills innovation and reduces efficiency.

Many people walk through life in a walking daze, working and paying taxes and blindly accepting authority as the truth. Before they know it they’ve spent their entire lives as a slave to society allowing their upbringing, the education system, work, the media and advertising to make all their decisions for them (often completely unconsciously) - instead of evaluating things critically to make their own decisions based on their own independent thinking.

What Are Some of the Ways We Have Been Socially Conditioned in Dating?

Dating is heavily influenced by social conditioning. The movies we watch in particular implant ideas and we accept that is how things work. Many of these ideas are ludicrous!

Here are just a few that come to mind.

“It Will Just Happen One Day”

Most women are waiting. Most men are waiting. We are all waiting.

We expect that “it will just happen one day” without any effort at all. Then we wait and wait, and we can be waiting for 10 years and still nothing has happened.
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We expect that “it will just happen one day” without any effort at all. Then we wait and wait, and we can be waiting for 10 years and still nothing has happened.

The right person for you is out there somewhere. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow does exist. But it has to be sought out actively. There are a lot of people in this world, but maybe only a proportionate handful who are what you’re looking for in a relationship.

So you have to do everything you can to maximize your chances of meeting them or you may find yourself stuck in a relationship or marriage with someone you aren’t even that compatible with.

Let’s start treating this area of our lives like we would any other area. Let’s decide now to treat our relationships as a skill like any other, that we can learn and improve at and, most importantly, an area that requires our energy and commitment to master.

The Commonality Myth

We often have this idea in our minds that because we like the same hobbies, taste in music or movies or share similar career ambitions we somehow have some kind of connection. Sharing similar tastes is great, but what connection do you really have?

An extensive new study (Finkel E.J. et. al, Feb 2012) conducted and published in the Psychological Science in the Public Interest sought to find out the impact matching people based on commonalities has on the success of dating matches. In their 64-page report, the authors reviewed more than 400 studies and surveys on the subject - including those used by sites like eHarmony, PerfectMatch and Chemistry. The authors found matching of any kind based on sharing similar preferences and even personality types play no significant role in initial romantic attraction or relationship success.

A real connection is established when you share common values and standards, not the same taste in rock music.
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A real connection is established when you share common values and standards.

If a man values decisiveness, he will find a woman who sees what she wants and takes it incredibly attractive. Similarly if a woman values honesty and authenticity and meets a man who holds the same standards then they will likely develop an incredible connection.

Lets stop looking at the surface to determine what we share in common and start digging a bit deeper.

Long, Formal (and Expensive) Courtships

This is the idea that a man has to take a woman out to dinner to get to know her.

Guys will take girls out on expensive dates for months, only to exchange a small peck on the cheek at the end of date 4… completely oblivious to the fact that the night before she was having sex behind a dustbin with an unemployed man she just met at the club.

A good relationship requires good sexual chemistry. If a man spends a month courting a woman on lavish dinner dates, when they finally do sleep together they may find that they don’t share any chemistry, which equals a complete waste of time for both -and an empty pocket for the guy involved (which he probably deserves).

“Can I Buy You A Drink??” (Yuk)

If a man feels he has to buy a drink for a girl that he doesn’t know yet, what do you think this communicates to her about him as a man?
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If a man feels he has to buy a drink for a girl that he doesn’t know yet, what do you think this communicates to her about him as a man?

Is this a man who holds standards above that of a woman’s physical attractiveness?

Is this a man that feels entitled? Deep down does he deserve her if he feels he has to pay for her time?

[Edit: this is not to be confused with a guy buying drinks or paying for dinner because he wants to. We are not against guys paying for women or being romantic as an expression for their fondness of a girl. The problem arises when they do this for a stranger that they’ve just met, or to buy more time (literally) for a particular outcome they have in mind.]

Promiscuity Double Standards

If a woman is promiscuous she immediately gets labelled a slut and is publicly ridiculed. On the other hand, a man earns himself the title of a player and gains respect from all of his friends. This example of social conditioning heavily influences why women are forced to be so sexually reserved. A woman cannot be overtly sexual in public without risking her social status. Whether it’s her friends who judge her or strangers in the environment, she simply will not risk it.

What does this mean for men?

When a woman meets a non-judgmental man, she will be much more prone to having fun and wild sex with him. If however she fears the man will judge her, she is not going to be expressive in bed.

… Now there’s an incentive for men to stop being so judgemental!

What should a woman take out of this?

She should not be afraid to express herself freely with her partner, as well as to a new man she meets. A key component of a healthy relationship is great sex. If the sex is boring, she should talk to her partner and spice things up and not feel bad for it. If he makes her feel bad for it then she seriously needs to reconsider whether he is high-value enough for her.

“The Man Should Make the First Move”

While we don’t advise a woman being overtly sexual in public, we do advise her being more expressive to a man she meets. Women have been conditioned to believe that playing hard to get and not showing interest will get them the man they want, but the truth is most men interpret this as rejection!

The men she actually wants to date will value her decisiveness. If she meets a man and likes him she shouldn’t be afraid to tell him.

A woman playing hard to get is often the root cause of a man not approaching or believing he got rejected. Very few women approach a man they like. Try it sometime and see what happens. Just because it is uncommon doesn’t mean it is wrong or a low-value behaviour.

“He’s Just Not That Into You”

Romantic comedy’s and books like ‘The Rules’ have been conditioning women to believe that a guy who doesn’t approach them or text her frequently is just not into them. While this may sometimes be true, we believe it seriously fails to address the fact that most guys have a tremendous fear associated with being rejected by the women they really like.
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This [man’s fear of rejection] is what makes many men oftentimes come across as passive and disinterested to a woman. This is also the reason why many highly desirable women think there’s something wrong with them because no men are approaching them!

This is what makes many men oftentimes come across as passive and disinterested to a woman. This is also the reason why many highly desirable women think there’s something wrong with them because no men are approaching them!

[Edit: For any women reading this who own a copy of this book, please burn it. It’s not helping you. As you have probably gathered by now, we believe both man and women need to be able to freely express their personalities without adhering to any ‘rules’. A courtship should be authentic. This book goes against this at every level.]


Reading this post, it is easy to perceive social conditioning as being a bad thing but that actually is not the case. Social conditioning and the ability to learn so quickly from others is one of the most valuable assets we have as human beings. It plays an important part in our survival, allows us to save a lot of time and teaches us community values - but if used excessively can get in the way of progress, make us lazy and it quickly becomes one of our greatest weaknesses.

By becoming more aware of this phenomenon, you will start to become more conscious of the source of your patterns of thinking and therefore in your behaviours.

You will be able to separate those things that you do in your love life that are actually congruent with who you are from those that you do just because someone told you to. Finding, attracting and maintaining authentic romantic relationships then becomes so much easier.
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