Ladies: Remember That He Needs To Earn Everything, Even Your Attention

Hannah Cook / Unsplash

About a month ago I reconnected with somebody I used to date. We met on Tinder a year ago and dated for roughly a month. Our communication was off and after a couple days of not speaking, I noticed he blocked me on Instagram. Confused by this sudden behavior I called him and he told me he was frustrated with our communication and decided cut it off. We discussed and agreed to do better, but neither of us reached out and just let it be.

We both attempted to reconnect a couple more times, but it never seemed to happen.

He then texted me out of the blue after not talking for almost a year, and despite my better judgment, I decided to say “fuck it” and met up with him.

That was my first mistake. 

We had a great date. We bonded on many topics, laughed, and felt a connection. We both agreed that this time around that we would be consistent with our communication and see each other once a week. We stuck to our promise, eventually deciding to become mutually exclusive after only a month of dating.

That was my second mistake. 

Shortly after we decided to exclusively date each other, I noticed his good morning texts started to fade, he was suddenly super busy at work, and he didn’t make an effort to get together, other than wine night and making out at his place. I spoke up about our lack of communication and how we don’t even follow each other on social media after a month. He apologized (he didn’t mean it), said he would get better (he didn’t), and claimed he didn’t use his social media (he did). I didn’t hear back from him for roughly 5 days. I assumed he ghosted me (yet again), and decided to send him a farewell text. He then texted me claiming he’d been hospitalized without a phone. I called and heard nothing back, so I decided to pull the plug for good and block him on everything.

So let’s go over what I should’ve done in the beginning and what tactics I use now for potential love interests: 

If you didn’t guess it by now — I allowed myself appear to be easily accessible.

I didn’t even make him feel like he had to earn my attention or my time. Because I was feeling spontaneous, lonely, and wanted to get out of the house, I caved into my feelings. I gave out the message that not much effort had to be made to get me and that probably anyone could text me out of the blue and I would give them my attention. My attention wasn’t valuable or special, at least that’s what I seemed to be portraying.

How I solved this:

On dating apps, it’s sort of the incentive to exchange numbers and meet up for a date. However, I’ve now switched it up and instead of giving my number right away, I make them answer questions or ask to get to know them more. Many men actually respected this and found it attractive. And the ones that didn’t, obviously weren’t going to be a good pick for me.

I would ask them things that were important to me: Did they have a car? A job? An apartment? Did they live with parents, roommates, or alone? Are they religious? Who did they vote for? Do they party every weekend? Are they close to their family?

I made sure to ask them my deal breakers and see if their values matched mine. If it did, then they got my number. It’s important to interview someone before you go on a date or even give them your phone number or social media handle… they could be psycho and stalk you at work, who knows?!

I’ve always been an advocate for waiting to sleep with somebody or get into a monogamous relationship. However, because of this experience, it dawned on me that maybe the reason I haven’t been able to maintain a relationship is because for quite some time now, I didn’t make them work for my attention.

Oddly enough, I’ve noticed that the men to whom I didn’t immediately give my contact information and treated like a friend rather than a potential boyfriend, ended up putting in a great deal of effort to get and keep in contact with me. Of course these were the guys I wasn’t genuinely attracted to.

I always thought that it was about not always being available. Having my own life, interest, hobbies, and friends so that men would have to make time to see me. But now I realize, it goes way beyond that. I set the terms of how my worth and value will be perceived from the very first encounter.

Everything is earned. Your attention, phone number, date, and first kiss.

Just because people want your attention doesn’t mean they deserve it. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

A 20-something hopeless romantic living in LA, figuring out life.

Keep up with Bailey on Instagram and Website

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