By Melanie Walker
The common struggles of dating are an all-too familiar topic among the community of single peeps. Insert the following questions and phrases:
How long should I wait to text him back so I don’t seem too clingy?
He’s not asking me out on an official date because he doesn’t want to seem too forward.
She tells me she likes me and then completely ignores me around our friends... I don’t get it.
The dating game has gone from simply pursuing someone you’re interested in to this complex labyrinth of hidden gestures and shaded versions of what a text message or Instagram comment could mean.
The dating game has gone from flirting back with someone you interested in to worrying about if you’re coming off too interested in them.
The dating game has turned into a contest of who can withhold the most love, and still win by getting the boy or the girl.
I’m here to tell you that it is absolutely not ok.
I know I have felt the effects of this withholding game—too many times I’ve been blindsided by men who actively wanted to pursue me but have withheld talking to me or bargained kisses with me. I, too, have found myself wrapped up in a twisted reality of refraining from responding to a text message until hours later because I didn’t want to seem too clingy. I’ve been denied affection and I have withheld affection from others, too.
The problem with this is we feel that the more aloof we come off and the less we care, the more we’ll feel wanted and desired. But my question is: why should we ever want someone that acts like they don’t care about us?
Why should I want someone that isn’t dying to talk to me or hold me when I’ve had a bad day? Why should someone want me if I’m withholding from them? And yet, there are angry and hurt feelings when the receiving party isn’t cool with it anymore and we wonder why.
I’m here to call bullsh*t and change the name of the game. How? We simply do not participate anymore. Because the truth is, long and lasting relationships are the ones with open communication and with regard to how the S.O. is feeling. Withholding love will never get you where you want to go in love, because people involved in your life have the right to know exactly how you feel about them 100% of the time.
So you better believe that any guy I’m absolutely enamored by is going to receive a text message from me if I feel like texting him or is going to be invited to places. I’m going to like his pictures on Facebook and I’m going to tell him how I feel when I feel it. And if things get too complicated or if he ever tells me I can only have a kiss if I do _(insert d-bag comment here)_, I’ll be out of that relationships faster than TLC can sing a song about love.
My advice for those wandering the often lonely road of “singledom”: the best relationships are the ones where you don’t have to work hard at getting them. It should be fairly easy: boy and girl like each other. They want to date. Love already takes a lot of work, so why add in the stress of your man/woman saying things they don’t really mean?
Keep it simple, and enjoy the ride. I promise you, it’ll be worth it.