Dating is awkward as hell, gals. I’m pretty sure if Dante was still around, he’d add a new circle just to include all the awkwardness we face day to day when it comes to the opposite sex. We’ve all been there: we get our flirt on and we think we’ve got a thing going until a switch somewhere flips and we’ve either been friend-zoned or we never hear from the dude again. Ugh, it’s terrible! It’s especially terrible once you realize boy troubles that start in middle school never really go away- even when you’re 26 and mature and ready to find the one. It’s always the same old story.
So, I got to thinking about things we do that might be the reason these guys seem to just disappear. Or decide they like you but then show up with a new girl the next time you see them. Or just plain old can’t man up.
Oh, and I totally don’t want to scare some of you younger readers who may just be jumping into the ocean of boys and romance, but take notes!
- You know a lot about sports: How can this be a problem you ask? Don’t boys love a girl who watches sports? You’d think that but this has been a pickle for me ever since I can remember. I know a lot about sports, I love sports, I watch sports, I can hold an intelligent conversation with a guy about sports. You’d think I’d have my pick of the litter, right? Wrong. For some reason, my knowledge of sports tends to scare dudes away, or gets me immediately friend zoned because they know they can talk shop with me and I’ll understand it and contribute to it while knocking back a beer. HOW ANNOYING! I grew up liking and playing sports so why isn’t this advantageous? I know a lot of girls who have this same problem. Don’t boys understand that if they find a girl who likes sports then they will be able to watch more sports without repercussion? I’m going to be shouting right along with you! I know my teams and I know my players and I love that about myself, waiting for the guy to show up that loves that about me, too! And, sporty girls, I think there is hope out there for us all!
- You’re up front about what you want: I’m getting to that age now where I don’t want to mess around anymore. Let’s get serious. I’m not going to date you unless I see some potential for a future, I’m 26. No, I’m not looking to get married tomorrow, or even in the next couple of years. No, I’m not planning my wedding on Pinterest (I don’t even pin anything). No, I’m not looking at your breeding stock. But I am looking for someone who has that potential. And, ladies, we know how much this scares guys away! Why? It’s so hard to be honest about what we want without sounding crazy. I’m not saying I spring the marriage idea on a guy anytime soon, but I will be upfront about not wanting anything casual. I know so many girls who fall into this trap, too. It’s really hard being upfront about what you want with yourself and a potential BF, but once you do you’ll find the ones worth fighting for.
- You’re smart: I always thought being smart would be a turn on. I guess to the right guy it is because I have plenty of brilliant friends who are married or well on their way. Similarly, I find smart guys a turn on. I want to know you have an opinion about the world that is well formed. I want to have discussions with you about important topics. I don’t want to have to pretend I have no idea what’s going on so you can ‘man-splain’ things to me. I hate that. This is a dangerous middle ground though, because smart girls can be a turn on, but we don’t want to come off as pretentious, or better than the men we’re looking at. On the flip side, we shouldn’t have to hide our impressive brains. But, that’s not to say we can’t be flirty and fun! Live it up! Flirt around and don’t be so serious all the time. Ain’t nobody got time for dat! Just remember there’s more to you than your looks or your flirting capabilities! Maybe guys just don’t want to work that hard to impress us, but they totally should because we’re amazing!
- Flirting is hard: Not everyone is a natural flirt, and flirting doesn’t come easy to many people even with practice. I find that I can flirt with just about everybody except the object of my affection- then it is totally foot in mouth city for me. I’m sarcastic and quippy and I think it throws a lot of guys off, which sucks because my humor is sarcastic and quippy and I’m just trying to be funny, you know!? Sometimes we come on too strong and don’t leave enough room for the chase, sometimes we act too aloof and dudes think we’re not interested. It’s all about finding a balance, and it is a hard recipe to perfect. When the right one comes along, all of our bad flirting won’t matter because he’ll be too spellbound to even care or find it completely endearing, right? Right!? RIGHT?
- You’re confident: Confidence is an attribute we all need to develop and for some it comes earlier than others. Again, though, it’s all about balance. I think I have a major problem with this, too, because I seem confident in my shyness but I’m really not. I’m really just shy, guys!!! We can’t seem too aloof and too sure otherwise a guy might not know what he’s working for. How many of us have heard dudes say they love a confident woman? I know I have from, like, every guy I’ve ever known. But, sometimes it seems like guys get really scared by confident women, they almost seem to not know what to do with us. Finding the right balance between being confident and showing a little insecurity is important- men like to feel needed and wanted and we should be able to show them that they are. We may be confident, yes, but we also love it when you tell us just how much you like us because it just makes those little thoughts that creep into our heads go away. Confidence can be a good thing, it can be sexy, don’t shy away from it!
- You’re the right girl at the wrong time: A lot of romance issues stem from the fact that guys just aren’t ready to settle or get serious. And, that’s okay because it’s not on us, even if we think it is. Sometimes it is, but usually it’s more about how together a guy wants to be before he really wants to move on to the next stage of his life. It may be the girl he starts dating after you, and that’s simply heartbreaking. But, there will be a guy who’s ready for you somewhere out there. I think a lot about what Mindy Kaling said in her book about the difference between boys and men. Boys still have furniture from college and drink a lot and might not iron their shirts or clean their bathrooms regularly. Men take pride in their living spaces, maybe even own houses, they have nice things, they have a nice wardrobe, they cook, and they’re ready for the future. It’s just a matter of timing, even if you’re the right girl it might not be the right time for him. And it might hurt for a while, but it’ll hurt less now that it would have if things had gone farther.
Even though dating sucks and we don’t want to do it, we have to because how else are we gonna meet people and explore the world and settle down (if we want to). We all suffer through the slog every day! Just remember, we are all out there looking for our fish in the sea. I have to remind myself that no one really likes dating. If you do, more power to you! But, sometimes it just seems like a constant pile of rejection and crap. If only we lived in Jane Austen times when as soon as you had a companionable conversation with someone on three or more occasions you got engaged. But you know what, being single is pretty okay, too!