Breaking The Dating Pattern

Flickr / Janine
Flickr / Janine

Today, for the millionth time, I debated whether or not to text a guy I’ve been “seeing,” if you can even call it that. I can’t speak for guys, but this question — if we should reach out to the person you are interested in — is a frequent struggle in the female world. Sometimes, we ask our friends questions like, “Is it bad if I text them?” “I feel like I should, right?” or “Should I wait for them to do it?” By the time I make up my mind, I probably could have had an entire conversation with the guy. But I normally don’t. And it often feels like every time I actually do take the initiative, I don’t get a response or it is not one that satisfies me.

The more I thought about this common dilemma, the more I recognized a pattern in my behavior, and it applies to most of the girls I know. When I meet a guy and he expresses interest in me, I hardly give him the time of day for a while. Sometimes I have this mentality that he is “too nice” or annoying. If I do end up becoming interested in the guy, the relationship usually makes a 180. I become the one who is more interested, and him seemingly less so. Whenever I actually want him to reach out or tell me what he’s thinking, he doesn’t. And it drives me insane. Oftentimes, the guy gradually (or suddenly) disappears from my life without an explanation, leaving me to wonder what I did wrong.

Why does this happen to so many people?

In our culture, we have this horrible dynamic where the person who cares less has more power. Expressing too much interest is giving the power to the other person, and it feels like shit when they don’t reciprocate. To me, this concept is twisted and unhealthy. However, I am conditioned to it—it’s like a bad habit that you don’t even realize you’re doing.

So, what do you do? Do what you want—express how you actually feel, contact the person when you want to, and be available and genuine? Or, do you take on the role of the ice queen and act like you don’t really care about them? Both options are challenging and if you decide to cross over into the other and then don’t get the response you want, you feel like you’ve made a mistake.

Personally, I think it’s time to break the social norm. I’m going to start paying attention to how I actually feel about a person and act on that, rather than feeling and acting the way I think I am supposed to. If I really want to talk to the person, I’m going to do it. If I want to tell them how I feel, I will. If decide that person isn’t right for me, I’m going to let them know that I am moving on. It’s time we stop tip-toeing around each other and do what comes naturally. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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