The Law of Least Effort – Why it Often Works and Ways to Apply it in a Relationship

The expression “less is more” applies to many things in life and when it comes to dating, I think this is especially true. I don’t want you to think that this means you should not be putting in any effort whatsoever but to instead possess a less is more mentality which can be much more beneficial in the long run. This leads into why I want to share the principle known as the Law of Least Effort. I would describe this to apply to someone who does not apply much effort into something (or in this case, someone) but manages to maximize their results. I know you are probably wondering, how is that possible–shouldn’t you always apply yourself 100% or more to get everything you want in life? Of course there is no denying that but life is also situational in which there are certain instances where you are actually way better off taking a few steps back and not doing as much, especially when it comes to attraction psychology.

To take it a step further, I want to specifically focus on how the Law of Least Effort is beneficial in the dating world and ways to apply this way of thinking. It is essentially adapting a cool confidence within your interactions and trusting the process. Many people are constantly seeking instant gratification or trying to force things upon others which is counterintuitive and the complete opposite of what the Law of Least Effort is all about.

Stop Imposing Your Dating Agenda – I think it is more common for women to make this mistake where they will go on a first date or early on upon meeting someone tell a guy who they don’t even really know all too well about their marriage/family goals–how they want to be married in a year with three kids. I think it is great to have these goals in your mind and I absolutely encourage people to think about their future but it is way too soon to unload all that onto someone you just met. If this sort of conversation comes up organically, I suppose it is good to be honest with your dating motives but I would advise a way more cautious and effortless approach to your answer so you also do not appear so desperate. Something along the lines of, “If I meet the right person, I would be open to a meaningful relationship. I prefer to take things one step at a time and just seeing where it goes.” This is not only a realistic and rational minded response but a very low effort mindset (ex: “just seeing where it goes”) where it conveys there is the intent of building a meaningful relationship but not in a way where your entire life is dependent on it. If it happens, it happens but you are not going to force it into fruition and most importantly, you are NOT attached to the outcome of the dating situation.

Continue to Live Your Independent Life – It is very common for people to start adapting to the person they are dating by picking up some of their habits or even some of their hobbies. There is nothing wrong with that in particular but it is extremely important to still live your own life where you still have your own routine and do the things that make you happy. When someone sees you are fully capable of living your life on your terms and you are not going to put all this effort into catering to the other person, this conveys a tremendous amount respect and the other person will value your time more. It is when you give too much of your time away that you get taken for granted and/or treated like a doormat. Those who practice the Law of Least Effort are never ones to be labeled as a doormat.

Avoid One Sided Communication – By this I am referring to developing communication that is balanced rather than blowing up the other person’s phone all the time. I think communication should be like a tennis match, the ball is in my court and then I hit it back on the other person’s court. I am not going to hit a series of balls in a row to the other person if the ball has not come back to my court yet. For example, if you are making a phone call and the person did not pick up, it is okay to leave a voicemail if you choose to but don’t then try to call back within the hour and send ten follow up text messages. That is way too much effort (and neediness) on your end! It is important to trust that the person will get back to you when they have the moment. If they broke a communication pattern in which you think they are in an emergency situation, then by all means, it is okay to make multiple attempts and through various methods but on a day-to-day basis, everything will be okay. There really is no need to overextend yourself in general but especially in terms of your communication patterns.

I want to point out something interesting about what I just mentioned. If you notice the other person is not as communicative as you are and it provokes you to want to do more to get their attention or hit them up more (which I am telling you NOT TO DO), notice that they are essentially applying the Law of Least Effort, whether it is intentional or not–ON YOU! You notice how by them not being in as frequent contact, it makes you want to do something about it to keep the connection going? Interesting how effectively this works, isn’t it? 😉

Just Be Your Most Authentic Self at All Times – It is unfortunate when you see someone try too hard to impress someone else even if that means not being true to oneself. If you find you have to make many personal sacrifices or changes just to keep someone in your life, that is way too much effort and not realistically sustainable over time. Chances are that you will either go back to your old ways or form resentment over time towards the other person. No one should ever be trying that hard just to gain acceptance from someone they are dating as the right person will genuinely accept you for who you are–both the good and the bad.

Leave Their Past in the Past – Unless their past is currently impacting their present life such as a lingering ex who is still in the picture, there is really no need to dig too deep into a person’s past dating life. It is okay to be curious and have some casual discussions about it as it could heavily influence who they are today but spending your free time going through their social media contacts or doing a Google search on everyone they recently dated before you is wasted time and effort. The biggest focus should be on the present moment with that person rather than trying to dig up skeletons in their closet.

At the end of the day, the bottom line is that you should not be in a position where you are putting in an extreme amount of effort to start a relationship, get a person to like you, or throughout the course of a relationship. By applying the Law of Least Effort, you will notice that there is much to gain by putting it into practice such as respect, confidence, and a boost of attraction towards you.

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