It’s Saturday night. You’ve just gotten home from the bar with your friends, or maybe you spent the night in to decompress and catch up on some serious self-care in the form of face masks, Netflix, and tea. It’s creeping past 2 a.m. and you’re ready to go to sleep when your phone buzzes on your bedside table. The name of the guy you’re seriously into appears. You slide open the message.
You start to type a reply. You are up, after all. Maybe he needs something! Maybe he just wants to talk! But then you stop yourself. Because you’re not naive, not anymore. You know how these things go. You know what this text means.
After all, you’ve gone through this game before. You know that any message after midnight is a booty call. It has nothing to do with you. It’s about your body. It’s about him being drunk and lonely and just wanting to fool around. It’s about him getting what he wants and you sneaking out of his room at the crack of dawn, hoping it actually meant something.
But it never does, not to him. Because when you text him the next day, he takes longer than usual to reply. Sometimes, he never replies at all and you never see or hear from him again.
And all that’s left for you to do is to pick up the pieces of what was.
I know after this happens it’s easy to become bitter and beat down by modern dating. I know it’s easy to feel like an afterthought, to feel used, to feel like you’ve given off some sort of vibe that makes him think you’re only available when it’s convenient. I know it’s so easy to shut down and shut out anyone new, to swear off men and totally start to think how maybe being single forever might not be so bad after all.
But please remember that not all guys are only going to want you at 2 a.m. Please remember that he does not define your worth.
Because the thing is there’s always going to be shitty guys. Always! There’s always going to be guys who mess with your head and break your heart when you least expect it. And there’s always going to be good guys who aren’t interested in anything serious, at least not with you.
And honestly? That’s okay. It sucks, don’t be mistaken, but it is okay. Because there are also so many guys out there who will want something serious with you. There are so many guys who will want to hear about your day. There are guys who will actually want to date you seriously, who want to introduce you to his parents, and all that. Yes, they can feel more difficult to find, but they do exist. They are out there.
So, please, don’t let horny dudes ruin dating for you. Don’t let jerks make you think that love is dead. And please don’t let being heartbroken over a good person think you’re not good enough.
So on that Saturday night when he texts “You Up?” you know better. You’re disappointed, but you respect yourself enough to know now that a hookup is not what you want, at least not with him. You know that sex won’t make him stay.
You acknowledge you want a relationship, a real relationship. You want a chance at love.
So you backspace your text and put him on read. You do reply. You flip over your phone. You’re disappointed, but you don’t fall apart.
Not this time.