While he made your heart pound, you’re afraid you may have gotten his pulse raising in nervousness rather than adoration. When you’ve come on too strong, it can be tempting to reestablish contact right away; but now is the time to take a breath and examine your own feelings as well as your approach. With the right mindset, and finesse, you may be able to replace an undesirable impression with a more self-assured one.
Assess Underlying Motive
If you’re generally an assertive yet composed person who surprised yourself by turning to jelly around this one guy, and then coming on too strong, chances are you’ve legitimately “got it bad.” However, if coming on too strong has become a pattern for you, the passionate feelings behind your strong approach may be related to personal issues. An outpouring of passion can accompany a dip in self-esteem or feelings of desperation based on unrelated losses, asserts Elaine Hatfield, psychology professor at the University of Hawaii, in “Self-Esteem and Passionate Love Relationships,” one chapter of the book, "The Social Psychologists: Research and Adventures." Needy behavior typically corresponds to some sort of underlying fear. If you try to win him back without coming to terms with your own feelings, chances are, at some point, you’ll overwhelm him again.
If you became much clingier or pushier than you meant to, chances are you left a bad impression on him, which will need to be replaced. While you want to give him a chance to see the “new you” in a positive light, avoid rushing over to his house or calling him repeatedly. If you two have recently parted ways, you need to give him time to process his own emotions. If you insist on getting together too soon, you could undermine the point you’re trying to make – that you will no longer come on too strong – and you could discourage him from wanting to get together with you in the future.
Simple and Light
When you’re "making up" for overbearing behavior, the old saying’s true: less is more. Because your actions will come across stronger than your words, plan and then stick to a simple explanation. Be honest with him. “I probably made this clear but – I like you. And I’m afraid that in my excitement about being with you, I came on too strong.” Or remind him of your lighthearted side with some humor. “I think you’ve been dating my evil twin sister. I’ve talked to her about coming on too strong, but she just doesn’t listen.”
Best Foot Forward
A good image is composed of honesty – no faking interests or skills you don’t possess – and attention to your strengths, says psychologist Susan Krauss Whitbourne in her "Psychology Today" piece, “From Online Dating to Job Interviews: Controlling Your Image.” If he can see you pursuing a talent – playing basketball or painting, for instance – he may be able to better separate this self-assured, happy image of you from the image of the overbearing you he saw during your time together. After some time has gone by, invite him to come watch you play tennis on a Saturday or join you at the art studio where you spin pottery. When you’re in your own element, you and he both may feel more confident in the person you are today.
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