We’ve all experienced that sudden jolt of joy when we hear our phone go off, the optimism that the person we’re crushing on is on the other end, and the disappointment of feeling like it’s always everyone other than the one we want to hear from.
It’s not that you don’t want to hear from your mom, or your dad, or your brother, or your sister, or your best friend; it’s just that you know what they are to you, what you are to them, and that they are always there if you ever wanted to reach out to them.
It’s different in the dating world.
We all long for that excitement of a new or blossoming romance, and we work to keep that “spark” alive when we’ve settled into a relationship because of how euphoric that sensation is. Perhaps that’s why the letdowns during the early stages of dating seem to hurt so much more than they probably should.
That text message is always from the guys you reluctantly gave your number to, and never from the one you actually want to see again. That Bumble notification is always from the girls you reluctantly swiped right on, and never the one that had you smiling like a buffoon when scrolling through her profile.
There comes a point when it seems like things never happen the way you want them to in the dating world. There comes a point when you’ve taken so many emotional blows that it makes you wonder what the hell you’re doing in the ring in the first place.
You cannot control the actions of another, and so it would be foolish to let their actions — or in this case, non-actions — affect you.
If you want to talk to that guy you met out last week, call or text him. If that girl on Bumble you’re really into hasn’t messaged you yet, extend the match or message her on another social media application if she lists her accounts.
We tend to sulk about the things that are not happening to us and forget that we have the power to take control of the situation ourselves. We let this asinine game of, “Who has the power in the relationship?” paralyze us from acting on our emotions.
We talk ourselves out of being the first person to reach out because we view dating as a game of pride, and not an activity to possibly get to know someone better. We reserve ourselves in dating because we view our interest in another person as something to leverage against them, and not to share with them.
When you stop yourself from taking charge because you think it might reflect negatively on you to the other person, consider this: Not reaching out first may not give the other person any kind of leverage in the relationship, but it also doesn’t do anything for you.
Rather than exert your emotions and energy on someone who treats love like a carefully calculated game of chess, why not pursue someone who wants to be your teammate instead of your opponent?
If you take charge and it works out, you’ve saved yourselves some time. If it doesn’t work out, at least you will be able to move on to the next one. If things aren’t happening the way you want them to in the dating world, it’s likely just because you haven’t met the right match for you; that’s still no reason to keep entertaining the wrong ones.
Don’t spend your precious time pining after someone who won’t do the same to you. Life is too damn short to spend it waiting for a text message that will never come.