As a 20-something female, I know all too well the disastrous consequences of an inappropriately placed Emoji. But in today’s dating culture, texting has become the primary form of communication, especially in the early stages of a relationship. Gone are the days when you write your number on a cocktail napkin and three days later, receive a phone call with a real-live human voice on the other end asking you on a date, like, face-to-face.
Today, it’s a chess match of “How long do I wait to respond so I seem interested, but not desperate?” and “How many exclamation points are too many?” Hint: More than one is too many. Girls use millions of brain cells in an effort to construct the perfect text. We sometimes even consult our friends to make sure we’ve concocted the perfect recipe of wit and intelligence with a dash of spice. And what reward do we receive in response to a near Pulitzer-Prize-winning text message?
For my first contribution to Ladies Take The Lead, I’m here to request an end to these foolish texting games. They’re tearing us apart. Dating has morphed into this new-age Darwinian competition called “Whoever Cares Less, Wins.” But where does that get us? Home alone on a Friday night with only beer and Netflix for company. I am Jack’s triumphant apathy.
In my extensive research, listening to my friends (and myself) bitch about men, I think I’ve discovered the solution to our millennial dating woes. Are you ready?
Say what you mean, and mean what you say. We all just need to stop playing hard to get.
It’s really that simple. If you like a girl, ask her out on a date. If you had fun on that date, send her a little text the next day saying so. It can be as easy as, “Hey, I had a great time with you last night.” And if you want to see her again, ask her out on another date.
Now let me be clear: I’m not telling you to pull a Ted Mosby and confess your undying love after the first date. That’s a sure-fire way to earn yourself the dreaded “Creeper” status (which is subject for another post entirely). What I am asking is for us to brave vulnerability and be straight-forward for once. And it is up to you to start this trend. Take a deep breath and pull the trigger. It may just be the shot heard ‘round the world in this modern dating revolution.
IF YOU'RE NOT INTERESTED...
Rip it off like a band aid—quick and easy. It is much better to be upfront about your feelings (or lack thereof) in the beginning, rather than postpone the inevitable. Be polite, but honest. You’ll both appreciate it in the long run.
Yes, this may be a sweeping generalization, and yes, each situation has its own nuances, but it all comes down to honesty. Whether you’re looking for something serious, or just someone fun to spend time with, start off with the truth. Trust me, it will ease the anxiety that lurks in the seconds between text messages. It may even lead you to someone you genuinely like. Imagine that.
“May the odds be ever in your favor…”