Less is More: Market Theory  Applied to Affection.

19 Mar

Disclaimer: I am certainly not advocating being an asshole-recluse; but explaining a basic human behavior, its general effects and the motives behind it. There is a time and place for everything, and always in moderation.

     The basic principle is that the less you give, affection, praise, material gifts, time etc.- the more weight it has when you do.  Think about it.
     I once had this professor with quite a reputation for being impressed by no one, and generally tearing people apart in class.  Everyone was intimidated by her and she maintained considerable her distance from the students.  Her *M.O. was to enter the class last, take her place at the podium, scare the living hell out of us for a good two hours, and then leave without a word.  But it was because she was so demanding, mysterious and unavailable, we all tried that much harder to impress her.  Point is, as she walked out of class one day, addressed me by name and asked how I was.  I was so flattered I could barely answer.  It was like the most popular kid in high school coming up to your clueless freshman self one day and giving you a high-five.

     As Adam Smith has recognized, the more limited the supply, the higher demand, thus increasing the product’s value.  In this instance, consider your object of desire (or yourself) the product.  Thus, as applied and in practice, the more someone holds out affection, praise, just attention in general, the more it is desired, and the more valued and appreciated it will be when finally given.  This is in contrast to that ever available sweet, friend-to-everyone type.  Their attention is so readily given, why try or even care?  Their affections become commonplace and easily taken for granted.  Clearly, this idea can be applied across the board, but I find it is most commonly employed in the romance arena.  For example, it serves as the foundation for almost every romance movie you will ever see.
     By nature, you can be the sweetest most generous person in the world, but I have learned that sometimes you must make yourself purposefully aloof, at least initially, to gain the respect and attention you desire.

     Think of all the people you really respected, had a crush on etc..  Then ask yourself why.  Did they automatically give you copious amounts of attention?  OR was part of the allure the fact that you had to work for it?  Clearly that person discriminates with their affections, thus makes you feel that much more special when they have decided you are worthy of their time.  Very psychological and seemingly backwards, but when you think about it and apply the concept to your past experiences, you will see it rings true.
     Of course, there are limits. We aren’t talking about seclusion to the point of unabomber status or anything.  Don’t be a jerk either.  Again, everything in moderation.  Simply understand how people work.  Recognize the receptive signs of others and adjust your behavior accordingly.  As with all of my little concepts and methods- just try it out.  If you find my assertions here less than compelling, you will quickly learn by practice that this is yet another truism of human behavior.  And now that you are on notice, you can both identify and take advantage of this technique.

*Modus Operandi: Latin. Meaning “method of operating,” for those interested.

4 Responses to “Less is More: Market Theory  Applied to Affection.”

  1. DatingMaven June 9, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    Sad but true. You can never be 100% open and yourself. People aren’t ready for that, and it’s frankly a turn off. An air of mystery must be maintained at all times during courtship. Well advised J.D.. Brilliantly worded, explained, and you hit the nail on the head. I’ll be following you. Cheers!!

  2. Catherine September 9, 2010 at 7:13 pm #

    This feels so right on. Damn, this sucks. I know where all my dating flaws lie! I’m too nice!

    • J.D. St. Michaels September 9, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

      I know it seems like that. Write to me under Ask JD if you need specific advice on how to overcome this issue. It’s a fine line, but you can still be nice while not offering yourself up as a doormat.


  1. My Theory of Unilateral-Horizontal Attraction: A  theoretical cheat to knowing  who  likes you. « Dating, Debating & Recreating: Los Angeles - September 25, 2010

    […] See also: CLASSIC SIGNS OF ATTRACTION, Less is More: Market Theory  Applied to  Affection. […]

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