Everyone has inevitably had that moment in their Facebook-era dating history where they have said to themselves, “Why the hell did [the other person] do that?” Just recently, I had a good friend (an overanalyzer) that was deliberating aloud to me about a girl that he met through Tinder (which is an app that you should boycott, for good reason, and here was his thought narrative:
“So, this girl asked me to go out with her this Friday, but she wants me to go with her friends”
“Gah, I don’t know, she looks like she’s got a great body, but what’s that streak on her face?”
“Oh, that’s blush? Damn. It looks like someone slapped her on the side of the face with dirt.”
“She looks like she parties a lot, look at the big guy in the background holding a pitcher of beer. She might even be a slut.”
“Look at her two blonde friends. I think that those are the girls that she wanted to bring to the date, but those girls look like some angry bitches, you know, man haters.”
“What the hell. I’m cancelling the date and telling her I’m already busy.”
That girl was probably devastated, and is pushing her similar insecurities onto him: “Oh, well. He was a douchebag anyways. Look at that stupid tattoo of an eagle he has on his chest – what a tool.”
Now, Tinder has supposedly simplified the dating scene, right? An app that uses people’s profile pictures as a basis to make a lasting connection would seem like the least possible place to overanalyze, right? Wrong. Overanalyzers will always find ways to push their insecurities on other people and act like proverbial mind-readers.
Facebook is even worse. Every girl knows that guy that they barely know that sends them five Facebook messages within a period of thirty minutes, saying “hey” and then “what’s up”, eventually escalating to “I just wanted to tell you that I think you’re really pretty, and that I hope you will find the time to hang out with me,” and then an “I’m sorry if I was too straightforward, and I creeped you out”. And then, the whole cycle starts over, three days later, like nothing ever happened.
Those guys are not creeps, despite what you may think. They are just lonely, and they overanalyze everything. You may see them in person, every once in a while, at the gym, or where you work, or at a party. But they won’t talk to you in person, they may even ignore you. You may even be on the other end, you may be the overanalyzing girl that feels that it is nerve-wracking to actually, physically approach someone instead of Facebook them right when you’re not within a 100 foot radius of them, because, as an overanalyzer, it would be like a full immersion into all of your worst fears. You think they’re overanalyzing you, and at the same time, you are overanalyzing everything. From the way they are squinting a little bit to the way they laugh nervously when you tell a joke.
It makes every part of physical, human interaction in the dating pool nerve-wracking. You blush, you giggle at inappropriate times, and you overshare when you finally get into a conversation with someone to whom you’re attracted to. And then, when the date or the chance meeting is over, you feel like you’ve restrained yourself and you could have said so much more, but you were overanalyzing it all. You had to keep yourself from becoming unglued with nervousness or awkward silences, so you turned away from the apple of your eye prematurely.
And then you make the fatal mistake. You take the telephone number that they gave you or you Facebook them, and you follow up the meeting with a text.
“I had a lot of fun with you.”
They say, “I did, too ☺”
And then the floodgates open. You start to divulge how cute they are, or how smart they are, or how wonderful they are, or even how you would really like to see them again, soon. And then you feel like a loser. You thought that it would be easier to say how you felt when you were safely behind your computer, when communication is a one-way street and you can just get it all out without chickening out or judging that their slight cringe is because they don’t think you’re as attractive as you think they are. Yet, Facebook messages and simple texts still leave you wondering, “why?”
Why didn’t they respond? What are they really thinking when they get these byte-sized bits of how I feel about them? Do they think I’m some loser?
Everyone reading this probably has a friend that has given one too many text or Facebook confessionals of deep feeling after they’ve departed from that person, the source of their feeling. They think that it is easier to put it out there without any real input, but it’s not. It’s harder because there is no real gauge of emotion. It is an even bigger nightmare for the over-analyzer, even if they think that they are taking the easy road. And they are none the better person for it, either.
Anyone can be a coward and hide behind a screen because they are afraid of personal rejection, but the person that you want to date will not want to date you for it. They will want someone who is not afraid to say what they feel. And, to tell you the truth, that person is probably an over-analyzer, too, that wants someone to get the courage to have a real conversation with them, so they don’t have to get over themselves to initiate it.