Liv Talley | NYC's Premier Dating Coach and LOVE QUEEN


Want to Know Who Really Makes The Rules?

Over and over again, I’ve been repeating: stop assuming peoples’ intent.

Don’t assign intentions.

Stop creating stories.

And it all epitomizes with the idea that we’re all playing the dating game according to rules established by those LEAST likely to successfully date…

When it comes to dating–communicating boundaries and identifying those who will adhere to them is everything.

That’s why I’ve been fascinated by the Attachment Style Theory for a few years.

Essentially, the theory is that everyone is inclined to behave certain ways in dating (and all relationships, but for the sake of this post, we’ll keep it within the romantic realm.)


Attachment theory explained:



According to Amir Levine, M.D., and Rachel S. F. Heller, M.A., most about 50% of people are secure in their attachments. They are generally comfortable with the give and take in relationships.

Secure people aren’t approaching dates or vulnerable conversations out of fear.  Rejection and heartbreak are accepted as inherent–so those who are secure can easily act as buffers when there is a need from their partner.



Those with an anxious attachment style are hypersensitive to danger in relationships. Reactors, bridge builders, and gap fillers–ultimately taking the blame for the presence of those things in the first place.

It’s the anxious attachment people that feel “needy,” or hesitate to communicate boundaries to their partner, due to fear of losing them. They can sense changes in moods, withdrawal of love, or deactivation.



Finally, we have the avoidants. The “space makers.” Independent people who deactivate the closeness or neediness that trigger the anxious.

They tend to want closeness without actually giving up any freedoms or sacrificing for it.

Avoidants are the ones not only perpetuating but crafting, the rules of “the game.”


And that’s who I want to focus on.


Because as a society, we have accepted them as the catalyst for how we all date.

Think about it–

Most single people right now are under the impression that not playing the game (whether due to a lack of desire or skill,) is WHY they are single.


Here’s a secret: that’s not why you’re alone.


Those who are avoidant are constantly pushing away their partners, and valuing independence or a fantasy of a perfect partner, they actually make up the majority of the dating pool.

They are avoiding real relationships…pushing away real connection, and creating space instead of intimacy.

Whether their patterns are founded in arrogance, fear, or boredom, they are the ones making the rules because we, as a society, have accepted the idea that power lies in negligence.

How b*ss-ackwards is that?

Brene Brown states “How many of you get the three dots on text, and then it goes away and then you make up a story?

When you make an emotional bid for connection with someone, and you’re pushed away, what is the thing that you feel?

Rejection, shame, fear, loneliness.”


We’re scared when we see vulnerability in other people.


All of us.

And those who are avoidant are caught in a trap of wanting to be needed, but being too afraid or unwilling to accept someone else needing them.

We all want it so bad. And that desire is scaring us into rejecting it.

Vulnerability is the only place where you can really get rejected. Where you feel fear, shame, anxiety, uncertainty, and scarcity…but it’s also the ONLY place you can find real love, joy, and belonging.

Our brains are hardwired to survive. That’s why we can make friends, work, and generally live life.


But to thrive, to really accomplish and feel something beyond what you’ve imagined, lies in the ability to be vulnerable.


We’ve let this idea that we don’t need to love other people, that we shouldn’t depend on anyone else, (as perpetuated largely by people who subconsciously push away closeness,) determine HOW we date.

When was the last time you didn’t send a text to the person you have a crush on because you were afraid they would think you were too needy?

Do you openly tell someone that you have feelings for them, without fear that “it’s too soon”?

Are you comfortable expressing concerns or boundaries with another–trusting that they will validate you?

Due to the commonality of experiences with those who romanticize the chase, we are trained to believe that creating a connection with someone is supposed to be hard.

If someone is present and open with their feelings about you, we (the collective society) tend to be bored or even fearful of them.


The chase isn’t sexy. Vulnerability is.


Tragically, most singles aren’t engineered to think that way. Why else do we live in a time where the average marriage age is increasing, and successful relationships are decreasing?

We’re not valuing security.

Even though that’s what we ALL want!

Every attachment style wants connection. That’s an inherent human trait. God literally created us to want each other.

Yet, as a society, we’ve demonized vulnerability as a weakness. The reality, however, is that it takes tremendous courage to risk rejection.

You do NOT get stronger from avoiding heartbreak, or never getting hurt. You get lonely.

Why have we determined that it’s a great victory to be alone?


“[Give me] a single example of courage, that [does] not require uncertainty, risk, or emotional exposure.”–Brene Brown


We’re learning the paradox that it’s easier to cause pain than to receive pain. And we’re exhibiting that in our dating behaviors.

That isn’t how to be successful. In fact, that’s the very definition of losing the game.

One’s efforts to be less invested, less dependent, and more closed off to your dates are the antithesis of creating a lasting connection.

Healthy boundaries indicate that it’s okay to wait to be vulnerable until you’ve established trust with the other person. Allow the other person to show you that they are the someone with whom you want to be vulnerable.


But how can you know if they’re that type of person for you?


  1. Do they make themselves available to you?
    • Emotional availability is as imperative to creating a connection as physical availability. Even someone single can be unavailable if they consistently use space tactics to push you away, THEY ARE UNAVAILABLE.
  2. Are they supportive?
    • Look for people who make you feel comfortable.
    • Those who can match your energy will show they are receptive to communicating with you. They’ll give you the security to open up and speak freely with them.
  3. Do they make you feel interesting?
    • Being interesting TO someone is just as important as being interested in them.
    • Choose people who hold your gaze when you speak and ask you questions. You’ll find yourself feeling more fascinating as they show fascination in you.

When it comes down to it–the rules of the game don’t matter with the right person.


If you like someone and you do something “wrong,” (like texting them when you want to talk,) it won’t matter if they like you.

Do what your gut tells you, whether or not it follows the rules.

Speak openly about how you feel. Act boldly. Take a risk!

Doing everything right, with the wrong person, won’t work out either. So spend less time analyzing every little action, and commit instead to analyzing how open you can be with them.

Then go with it, and see what happens. You may just create something that lasts.

THAT is how you win the game…

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