If you’re one of the single people, or even worse, the only single person in your friend circle, analyzing your dating habits becomes a group activity. It just happens. Casual generic conversations always lead directly to your love life (or lack thereof) whether you want it to happen or not. Then your friends dissect the situation and add their input for good measure.
I’ve narrowed down the types of friends who give dating advice into four main people and used a real life situation to show how their thoughts can affect the outcome. The names are fake, even though the people are real.
There’s Lisa, who advises you based on how she wishes she was courted. Craig, who asks you the same questions you asked him so he won’t be responsible for your actions. Kristen, the girl who pretends to be a girl’s girl, but who is really a guy’s girl. And Ben who believes that “guys don’t give advice. They tell you what they wish they could do, even if it’s not the smartest choice.”
Let’s watch it all unfold in its various stages:
Me: I met a really cool girl the other night and got her number. Do I call or text?
Lisa: You should call her. Women love when a man takes initiative and shows signs of chivalry.
Kristen: Text her. This way she can respond on her own time and not be forced into a potentially awkward conversation, not that I’m saying that you’re awkward when you talk, but yeah, just text her and go from there.
Craig: I mean, it’s totally up to you. You can call her or text. What makes you feel more comfortable? Do that.
Ben: Text her. And then text five other girls so you don’t worry about the girl you just texted.
My decision: I take Lisa and Craig’s advice (by default) and call. No answer. I leave a long, rambling voicemail.
Me: It has been three days since I’ve heard anything. Do I follow up with a text, call her again, or just wait until I hear back?
Lisa: She’s probably just busy with work or family things. You can send a follow up text if you’d like. I’m sure you’re just overthinking it though.
Kristen: If you haven’t heard back from her already, she’s probably not interested or you’re not her first priority. Don’t contact her until she contacts you.
Craig: I’m glad you followed your instincts. This way you know that you’re in control of the situation. If you want to call her: call, if you want to text her: text, and if you want to wait: wait.
Ben: Did any of the other girls you texted reply back? It’s a numbers game. That’s all. Don’t get down on yourself. There are plenty more women out there. Start talking to new girls.
My decision: Kristen and Craig (sort of) seem to have the best grasp on what to do now. So, I just wait it out.
Me: Oh, snap – she texted me! That’s right. I’m the man! She wants me. What’s cooler than being cool? Ice cold! Wait, why am I singing Outkast lyrics? Crap. What do I text her back?
Lisa: That’s great news! I had a feeling that she would respond back. See! Ask her for drinks or dinner or something.
Kristen: Don’t respond to her for a few days and see if she follows up. If she does, then she’s into it. You can’t let her have the upper hand and control the terms, especially not this early on.
Craig: I’m happy to hear it! Do what feels best to you. If you want to go on a date, ask her out.
Ben: I thought I told you to move on to different girls. You can go out with this girl, but just don’t get wrapped up her in bullshit. If she flakes or takes a long time to respond again, that’s it then – onto the next one.
My decision: I have no self-control and text the girl back five minutes later.
Me: She responded back right away, but told me to check with her on Thursday about plans for the weekend. Should I just try and make plans now?
Lisa: Yay! This is so exciting! You can just wait until Thursday to follow up like she said. She sounds like a super busy girl. If you need suggestions on date spots, let me know. I have a long list of ideas.
Kristen: I want to be optimistic, but she’s probably going to make plans before Thursday and then tell you that she can’t hang out with you when the weekend comes. Just let her go.
Craig: There’s nothing wrong with trying to lock up a date now rather than later. At the same time, maybe respect that she asked you not to follow up until Thursday. You have to look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day.
Ben: What type of girl tells you to contact her on Thursday for weekend plans? I don’t like this girl. I don’t like this girl one bit. When are you going to start listening to me?
My decision: I wait until Thursday and ask her about hanging out this weekend.
Me: She replied that she has to help a friend with a work thing this weekend. She sounded apologetic and said that maybe we can get together next weekend or something. What do I do now?
Lisa: Oh, bummer. Well, maybe follow up next weekend then. I thought this sounded good. Some people are just really busy.
Kristen: I don’t want to say I told you so, but I told you so. I’ll see if I have any friends I can set you up with. You don’t want to date that type of girl anyway. She sounds awful.
Craig: That has less to do with you and more to do with her. You did the right thing you have nothing to be ashamed of. If you want to follow up in a few months or something, that’s fine. People and things change, but forget about her for now.
Ben: Why do you even ask me for my advice? You do the opposite of what I tell you. The things I’m telling you are tried and true from my personal experiences. I just want to see you have fun and enjoy dating and being young. But seriously, don’t ask me for advice anymore unless you use it.
My decision: I finally decide to listen to Ben and delete the girl’s number. I don’t have any more use for it. I ask Kristen to set me up with one of her friends, and thank Lisa and Ben for their support. I promise not to bother them anymore. Or at least until I get another girl’s number…