Advice and Insights for Modern Daters

Can A Relationship Work If One Person Is More Into It? Bachelor Exes Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon Weigh In

We saw their lopsided relationship play out on The Bachelor — now, reality TV exes and Hinge Members Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon discuss whether or not they think a relationship can work if one person (*cough* Ashley) is more “into it” than the other.  

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Ashley Says...

Both people obviously have to love each other romantically in order for a relationship to work. However, my mom (and “Sex and the City”) have both advised me that the man should be a little more enamored than the woman. I don’t know if this is something I could do, because I tend to get a little grossed out when guys pursue me strongly and don’t play a little hard to get. 

I’m not sure if I’m like most girls in this sense. I think in general, girls want to be wined and dined, doted on, showered with care and compliments, and have their guys look at them like they’re the world’s greatest. I wonder if they put this before needing the physical urge to jump his bones. I tend to need to have that desire and crazy physical attraction. And unfortunately in my life, the guys I’ve felt that way about don’t feel that way back, or don’t want to make me their girlfriend. Basically, I’ve never been courted by a guy I really like for too long. The only guys who want to take me out on multiple dates are guys I don’t really find myself attracted to. It’s a sad story. It’s probably because I’m so relaxed and so myself with guys I’m not attracted to, but get super nervous around men I am attracted to. My personality doesn’t shine with them. 

I never felt I was being myself with Jared during our first stint in Paradise. I was so frustrated because I was so nervous around him, I felt like he couldn’t get to know the real me — and I thought he’d really like the real me. We are so compatible. We have such similar personalities and I was so frustrated that I couldn’t get myself to show him that. I was paralyzed by nerves. This was two years ago and I think I’m getting better about showing my true self early on, because I give a lot fewer fucks these days. I mean, once you’ve had so many awkward moments aired to millions of people, you’re not really afraid of “awkward” anymore, and in an odd twist of events, it can actually make you a far more confident, self-assured human being. 

I felt like [Jared] couldn’t get to know the real me — and I thought he’d really like the real me.

Anyway, back to Jared. Jared and I went from romantic interests on TV, to friends, to flirty “friends,” to just friends again. Maybe he has a different interpretation of how things went down between BIP seasons, but I feel I definitely had him interested beyond friendship for a millisecond or two. The bottom line is those feelings that may have arose for him didn’t last long. It was a flash of hope, and it was so hard for me to let go of that hope. It hurt to have to accept that he was just never going to reciprocate the feelings I had. Obviously a romantic relationship can’t exist when one person loves so feels so deeply and the other, despite how much they want to reciprocate the love, just doesn’t. 

Because I haven’t been in a serious relationship, I don’t feel like I can comment on whether a committed, loving relationship can work if one person is more into it than another. However, based on friends’ relationships I’ve observed, I’m going to say it probably can’t work in the long run. I’ve seen my friends try to stay with guys because they treated them so well and they were so great on paper and they loved them as their best friend, but they lacked passion. Eventually in these relationships, the person who lacks passion for the other becomes unhappy and wants more freedom, while the other person feels rejected. 

Bottom line: I feel like I’m going to need to find a relationship in which we’re both pretty darn crazy about each other equally. 

Jared Says...

Do I think a relationship can work if one person is more invested? Absolutely. Although relationships are a two-way street that require commitment from both sides, it is possible for the interest levels to be different, especially in the beginning stages of dating.

Ashley’s mom’s comment has some truth to it — that it’s better when the man is more invested than the woman. Men in general are more stubborn when it comes to opening up emotionally. It’s just how we are. In my experience, women have, in general, been more willing to be vulnerable.

Men in general are more stubborn when it comes to opening up emotionally.

That’s what happened with me and Ashley. She’s the most vulnerable person I’ve ever met in my life. It’s a double-edged sword — while her vulnerability and the fact that she wears her heart on her sleeve are traits I admire and love about her, I do think there is something to be said for “playing it cool.” When you are a little mysterious, it gives you swag and keeps the person who’s pursuing you interested.

Because I didn’t see my future life partner in Paradise, I found myself putting up walls. When it comes to Ashley, it’s a sensitive subject for me. I know I caused her many tears, but that doesn’t diminish the many memories we have together, some good, some bad.

When you are a little mysterious, it gives you swag and keeps the person who’s pursuing you interested.

As far as lopsided investment goes, I’ve seen it go both ways. Commitment is a choice. When you commit to someone, you’re telling them that they are the only person you want to build a relationship with. You’re telling them that either you’re in love with them, or you can see yourself falling in love with them one day. I have had friends who have been uncertain about their feelings towards their partner. After furthering a relationship, they’ve not only developed feelings for that person, but they have fallen in love with the person. I’ve also had friends who have been in the same situation, only to find out they weren’t meant to be together. The cool thing is, that’s okay too.

The latter is what happened with me and Ashley. Obviously she was more “into it” than I was, but I have no regrets about meeting her in Paradise. I’m very lucky to have Ashley in my life as a friend.

When you commit to someone, you’re telling them that they are the only person you want to build a relationship with.

Ashley and I figured out we were better as friends by spending time together. We both put ourselves out there, and being the more invested person, she was willing to risk failure. There’s an old saying I love: “You can’t win if you don’t play.” Unfortunately, sometimes you’re going to play and get hurt. Ashley got hurt.

Still, I’ve always felt it takes more courage to be willing to get hurt than it does to never risk anything at all. If you’re unsure about a person’s feelings, it’s worth it to take a chance and pursue them. If it doesn’t work out, at least you can say you tried and move on with no regrets.

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