If a guy is treating you like he doesn't give a shit, he genuinely doesn't give a shit.
This logic seems pretty foolproof, right? But then why is it that whenever a guy is actually treating me like shit, he's just "playing the game," and I'm told that I should just play it right back. This means taking inordinate amounts of time to respond to text messages, never be the right to initiate a conversation, don't send too many smilie faces. Ok, but why am I wasting my time and energy actively ignoring a guy that I like? This "game," this tango between two eligible singles, is a one-on-one match to see who can appear to care less, while actually caring. But I don't remember ever signing up for this "game."
The only way someone wins in this game is if one of you caves first. I don't know about you, but I'm not a quitter. I won't be the one to lose the upper hand. But why are we taught from a young age that if a boy ignores you, or is openly mean to you, then that means he likes you?
He stole your tater tots in the cafeteria? He probably thinks you're cute (which, obviously, you are!). He pulled your braids during gym class? It's the only way he can think of to show you affection. He makes derogatory comments about you to his friends? He's just too insecure about his feelings to be genuine or vulnerable with them.
I'm so tired of analyzing and re-analyzing, and over-analyzing every. little. thing. I'm over it.
Instead of being allow to...oh, I don't know...actually appear excited to hear from the guy that I like, I have to appear chill, casual (dare I say, cool?): two words never used to describe Halle. (Sometimes, Halle refers to herself in third person. No judgment.) And if I am...let's go with "over-eager" upon meeting a cute, single, fun, witty boy, why can't I show him that I like him?
Because he'll perceive me as clingy, which turns to needy, which leads to the friendzone or being "ghosted."
I went to high school with a girl who would literally wait the same amount of time it took a guy to respond, add three hours, and then respond. One text back and forth could actually take all day. Do guys understand the extent of planning and analysis that goes into a casual text? Do you?
Dating shouldn't be this hard.
It shouldn’t be a game. This is your life, your happiness, your future. Why would I want to waste time pretending I’m not interested when I really am? So I don’t die alone? Newsflash: We all run that risk. Every. Single. Day.
Sidebar: What an unusual saying: “dying alone.” I mean, even if you’re married for 60+ years, there’s always the chance you’ll die alone. When your spouse runs to the grocery store or church or yoga. You aren’t emotionally alone, but there’s always the risk of being physically alone. (Tangent over.)
I want to be with someone who lets me be nutty, emotional, and excited to spend time with him. I want my Mr. Darcy to let me be sarcastic and witty, just like Elizabeth was. I want someone who challenges me and someone I’m not afraid to challenge. I think Austen was so right when she wrote that their union would be to the advantage of both–that’s the sort of relationship we should all be looking for. Not who can be coy the longest, but who is going to support me and grow with me through time.
I want to call a permanent timeout in this game. But I’m afraid if I do, I’ll miss out on the person I’m going to spend the rest of my life with. But is that even logical? Is playing the game really such a fundamental part of our current dating society that I could potentially miss out on my Darcy if I decide not to play?
I have a problem; a dilemma; a conundrum. I know that you can’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game, but that’s not really what I’m worried about. I think that if I don’t abide by this unspoken dating rule, then I’ll be left behind, forever the girl who couldn’t wait an extra 20 minutes before sending a reply.
I’m at least comforted by the fact that Elizabeth and Darcy didn’t play any games. Their love (or at times, lack thereof) was straight-forward. I appreciate someone who can shoot from the hip and show a little honesty. I’d rather know up front if a guy is interested or not. I don’t want to wait around for responses–my time is valuable, just like everyone else’s. I think the best thing I can do for myself is to take myself out of the game. Not to mean I’m not dating (but I mean, my dating life isn’t exactly good right now). But I’m done waiting for a guy to show his feelings. Either you’re interested or you’re not, but don’t pretend you aren’t when you really are. I’m strong enough to deal with the phrase that no one wants to say but more people need to start using: he’s just not that into you.