Too often, we're quick to blame someone else when things go sour. It's easy to point out what they "did wrong". But, we seldom look at what we did to influence their behavior or what we didn't do. And, despite how ineffective we might feel at times, we can have a very big impact on the behavior of our dates and partners. Sometimes the difference between a good date or partner and a bad one is a little technique. All it takes is a "cookie" Using Reinforcement In psychology, reinforcement is a method that uses a "stimulus" e.
Basically, it is giving another person something, after they perform a behavior, that makes them want to do it again. For example, if a kid gets an A on his homework The cookie "reinforces" the desired behavior getting an A. As a result, the kid performs the behavior again, because he wants another A paper and another cookie! Well, this process also occurs in dating. In fact, we're doing it constantly!
Most people are just not doing it consciously. Here is an example: Suppose a man goes out on a date with his lovely girlfriend. He is discussing the usual topics. She is paying attention to him, smiling, and laughing sometimes. These reactions from her are reinforcing to him, because he is attracted to her and likes her attention. Therefore, when she's paying attention to him, laughing, and smiling, he keeps talking about whatever it is that he's talking about.
He wants another cookie more attention, smiles, etc. When she looks away, he finds a different topic to get her attention back. His behavior is influenced by the reinforcement of her attention. As a result, he keep talking about the things she likes The Problem with Unintentional Reinforcement Unfortunately, most reinforcement in dating situations is not intentional. As a result, "cookies" are given and undesirable behaviors are unknowingly encouraged. Let us suppose the man is now being particularly "distracted" on this date.
Maybe he had a bad day. His date tries every topic to get his attention. She may flirt , talk about cars, etc. Then, perhaps she gets annoyed gim'me a cookie! In her frustration, she insults her date. But, wow, it actually "gets his attention". The guy even gives a little weird giggle because he's embarrassed. But, it is STILL attention. That means it is STILL a cookie reinforcement. So, she proceeds to be "reinforced" in her insulting He keeps paying attention to the insults, she keep getting reinforced to insult by the attention, and the whole process continues through dessert and the car ride home.
That is why you don't rely on "luck" in your social life. You make sure that you're reinforcing the behaviors that you want from the other person. It was like we had known each other forever. We dated for 9 months, got engaged, and 10 months later we're married! In the first month of our marriage, the military moved us to a new city where we bought a house and are now expecting our first child!
Lives in Boston, MA and NYC, NY "We just dove right into it [dating]! Our third date extended into a weekend trip to NYC together and we just stopped counting after that! Due to major summer and career plans, we knew we were about to be separated for a while. So we just moved really fast! He booked tickets to come with me to visit [my] family in Ghana after dating for just 2 weeks! We just passed the 1. It's amazing how time flies. Lives in Los Angeles, CA "We count our second date as the first time we got together.
The first time, we met for coffee although, ironically, neither of us drink coffee and chatted for a few hours.
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