Having emotional value is an incredibly powerful currency when it comes to human relationships in general.
But what does emotional value mean?
Your emotional value is the degree that a man or woman perceives you as potentially contributing to their happiness.
It is the most important filter by which both men and women determine how much of time and emotions they want to invest in a relationship.
When a man or woman agrees to go out on a date with you, he or she is (sub-consciously) tuned to look for a type of energy that tells him or her that you have the ability to bring new and uplifting emotional experiences into his or her life; and that merging his or her life with you is more interesting and worthwhile than it would be if he or she were single and alone.
The higher your emotional value, the more likely that a man or woman will want to spend more time with you and explore the possibilities of a relationship. If you are perceived as having very low emotional value (stressful or depressing to be around), you end up not being worth the effort.
That’s only the first test. After being around you for a while, most men and women start to re-evaluate their initial assessment of your emotional value. They are no longer just looking for your ability to bring new and uplifting emotional experiences into their lives, they are looking for emotional competence and long term emotional rewards:
- Can they be their true selves around you/not have to be constantly trying to meet your expectations of them?
- Can they trust you to be honest about anything and everything?
- Can they trust you to act in their best interest/not hurt them?
- Can they trust you to be there for them through difficult times/emotional support?
- Are you someone they’d want to come home to every day?/make them happy?
- Do you have the backbone to hold them accountable/keep them in check when they go into excess (of anything)?
- Can they trust you to be around for a long time/can you commit?
Most men and women don’t even know what they are looking for in someone they are in a relationship with, let alone know that long term emotional rewards is what they really want.
The tragedy… most men and women don’t realize that they are being evaluated for emotional competence.
I’ve worked with men and women who are so afraid to hold the other person accountable, indulge them in excesses and allow themselves to be walked over, and are shocked when they are dumped for this very reason. In their mind, they thought giving the other person everything they want and being whoever they think the other person wants them to be would be emotionally rewarding to the other person. They failed to recognize that one of the characteristics of emotional competence is strong and healthy boundaries (this is where I end, this is where YOU begin, and this is where WE merge”.
The person doing the emotional evaluation does not know that he/she is doing it, and the person being evaluated does not know what he/she is being evaluated.
Constant arguments/fights over the same things, hiding one’s true self (including wants, needs and feelings) from the other, extreme emotions, impulsive behaviours, inability to regulate closeness and independence (neediness and clinging) and intense negative reactions, etc. alert the person doing the emotional evaluation that the relationship is not emotionally rewarding and therefore there is no good reason to invest in the relationship any further.
When trying to get back someone who checked out of the relationship he/she sees as not beneficial to him/her emotionally, the worst mistake you can make is go back to them with no additional emotional value to offer.
You can change your looks, lose weight, get a new job, buy a new car, learn new communication skills etc, but if your emotional value is still low in your ex’s eyes, your ex will not want to re-invest in the relationship.
You may even come back high in emotional autonomy (have social network, interests and activities) but if you are low in emotional support, trust or stability (are impulsive or have and intense negative reactions), or if you’re acting like “you’ll do ANYTHING to get him/her back“, you’re still an emotional liability.
If you are lucky (I use the word “lucky” loosely), you will be put on hold for “further evaluation”. But most of the time, you’ll be passed over for someone who is more emotionally competent, and a relationship that’s more emotionally rewarding.
Thanks for creating such a great blog. I am one of those who doesn’t do the emotional connection thing well at all. I am working on it and your blog is really helping. I was wondering if your course on needy ex has advice on how to be emotionally vulnerable without allowing yourself to be taken advantage of, or is that the kind of information I’d find in your book instead.
Both the book and course cover emotional vulnerability. If you are interested in something to do with self-work, I recommend the course. It prepares you for how to create (healthy) closeness without as you say, allowing yourself to be taken advantage of or violating your ex’s (contact) boundaries. If you are trying to get your ex back, you need both the course and book as you need to fix the neediness in order to get back your ex.