A good friend of mine recently got himself a Hotter Girlfriend. Not someone you would class as a particularly confident or dominant guy, it was interesting to watch him slowly morph, entirely unconsciously, into a more assertive man. His self-esteem slowly increased, he asserted boundaries quicker and with more force, and he slowly came to expect a higher level of respect from those around him.
The idea that we change in response to our environmental cues is not a new one, but the inevitability of it unsettles me. If the worlds overwhelming feedback to you is that you are a cunt, this will slowly, but surely, corrode your self-image. Inevitable.
But my friend is an example of this in reverse; if the world tells you that ‘you ROCK, dude!!!’, you will morph into that as well. In ‘How to Win Friends..‘ Dale Carnegie spoke about people living up to the trust you place in them; imagine that on a macro level. Slept with a stripper? Positive feedback. Awful blowout? Negative feedback. Slowly, but surely, you subconsciously form an idea of your ‘place’ in the dating world. Of course, this feedback loop is a process in many other areas of your life, fuelling your overall self-concept.*
In short, the change in my friends self-image is a result of a ‘bleed-through’ effect from continual positive feedback from banging a hottie.
Does the opposite happen if you are dating someone you don’t really like (yes, people do this. We call it settling)?
FUCK yeah it does…
*Of course, how much weight you assign any particular environmental feedback is, surprisingly, within your control…