I was reading a tweet and it got me thinking of a concept I feel everyone needs to understand. The idea will either be painfully obvious to you or completely mind blowing. The progression of a romantic relationship cannot be forced.

It must evolve naturally, over time. Many impatient, insecure, or damaged people try to force a relationship to develop quickly, but these things are essentially on a determined course.

The perfect example: that post you see all over facebook where someone makes it a point to celebrate nearly every month they’ve been coupled. There’s a major post for every 2-month, 4-month, 8-month anniversary.

Nevermind that—by definition—you can only have an anniversary once a year. The people that do this are trying to take a year’s worth of time and compress it into small increments but time doesn’t work that way. You have to put the actual time in and then a year assumes its proper significance.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “The people that do this are probably just happy to make it to 6 months because the rest of their relationships failed.” You’re right, but instead of realizing the problem lies with their selection process, they instead feel lucky when something works out and make it into a big deal.

This is a classic example of less developed people trying to use their emotions to change facts, instead of using fact to change their emotions. Rather than changing themselves or adjusting their approach (which has obviously failed), they try to force feelings in an attempt to change reality. This pushes away anyone with options and a sense of normalcy.

We also see this flawed concept of forced development play out with people who try to be blunt and upfront with their intentions, and who expect you to do the same. This is another attempt to compress time and is coupled with laziness.

Generally speaking, avoid any guy that is explicit regarding his intentions upfront and any girl that proclaims she’s “tired of playing games” (or any of its cousin phrases). These declarations are made by a person who lacks either the skill or the patience for proper seduction.

Rather than do the work of self-development to become more attractive (laziness) and apply this over time with patience (time compression), they try to circumvent and break the rules that our society and biology have for seduction

I’ll end this with an analogy. Relationships are like high stakes games of poker. By making the best legal plays, over time, you give yourself the best chance to win. There are different phases—the flop, the turn, and the river. Each section demands different skills and has different objectives. If you make a bad play, you’re punished and you will lose.

You should learn something in order to better yourself. The problem comes when you keep losing and playing and losing. Then, instead of learning the why behind your losses, you try to move out of turn (force development) or you try to rig the game and force the opponent to do what you want so it looks and feels like a win (forced intentions). You can only keep this behavior up for so long before you’re banned from most games. Only the worst players—skill and morals wise—will let you sit at the table.