We’ve all been there. You’ve met someone you like – which, in all honesty, is half the battle. There’s been a few dates. They seem keen. You’re definitely keen. Then, upon professing your attraction a few dates in, things start to go south.

According to Jesse Kahn, the director and supervisor of The Gender & Sexuality Therapy Collective in New York, there’s a real psychological reason to explain why playing your hand early doesn’t work.

Speaking to Refinery29, Kahn explained “when a relationship becomes more intimate, it becomes more vulnerable, and [people] can become more easily hurt” – something that triggers alarm bells in the other person’s head. So if your object of affection starts to cool when things heat up, Kahn reasons that there’s probably an issue with intimacy on their part.

And, if you’re the one put off by four texts in a row and a Facebook like on a profile picture from 2008, perhaps consider your own romantic track record. “Think about what your examples of intimacy and love were in past partnerships and in your family life,” says Kahn, and in turn, identify whether you’re the problem.

It isn’t all just issues with intimacy, though. Kelley Johnson, a clinical sexologist, also told Refinery29 that incessant communication can be be interpreted as a need for co-dependence, thus shunting an idea of maturity and conjuring images of desperation.

So there may be some truth to the “treat ’em mean, keep ’em keen” mantra after all.