1. Why people you’re dating freak out when you tell them you like them. They think you’re asking for a marriage proposal. They think that means their life is over. They’re always reading too much into what it means for them and for their future.
2. Why you have to play texting games. Why you have to send less emojis and exclamation points so you don’t sound too excited. Why you have to wait a few hours to reply because you don’t want to seem ‘thirsty.’ Why wanting to talk someone suddenly seems ‘needy.’
3. Ghosting. Why people just disappear without saying a word, why can’t people confront each other maturely, why do they think that the other person will not be able to handle the truth?
4. Why people date when they’re with someone else. Isn’t one relationship enough? Shouldn’t you leave if you’re unhappy in your current relationship? Instead of dating other people and hoping your SO doesn’t find out.
5. Acting ‘chill.’ Staying friends when you want more, settling for late night texts and snapchats because at least it’s better than nothing and trying too hard to pretend that you don’t deeply care about that person because you don’t know if they feel the same way.
6. What social media ‘likes’ really mean. Does it mean they’re interested? Does it mean they’re trying to grab our attention? Does it even mean anything at all?
7. No effort. When they tell you they like you but there’s no effort, there are no follow-up texts or calls, they’re not really planning to meet up with you. How are we supposed to build a connection when we’re disconnected from each other?
8. Not knowing where you stand. Are we together or are we not? Are they your plus one yet? Are they dating anyone else? How do we get answers? How do we ask them without pushing them away? How do we know what the hell we’re doing?
9. When they say they’re not ready but they keep talking to you. They don’t want a relationship but they don’t want you to forget about them. So they talk to you like nothing happened, they talk to you like you should understand them and accept the situation. They talk to you but they don’t want to be with you.
10. Judging you based on a photo and a bio. They swipe left if they don’t think you’re attractive, if you don’t have the perfect bio or the best pick-up line. They form an impression before even meeting you and automatically stereotype you.
11. Calling any display of affection ‘needy.’ They freak out when you go out of your way for them, when you double text or when you call just because you want to hear their voice. They don’t like it when you show them how much you like them because they don’t want to ‘hurt’ you so they distance themselves because they’re not ready when all you really wanted to do was get a little bit closer.
12. Expecting to find love but fearing intimacy. They say they’re looking for love but then they pull away when things get intimate – when thing get real. They say they’re looking for love but they throw it away when they find it, then continue to look for it in all the wrong places.
Rania Naim is a poet and author of the new book All The Words I Should Have Said, available here.