Friends, can I be honest with you? I am so, so tired of talking about dating.
Now, I realize I’ve been guilty of this in the past. Oh boy, have I. I’m single, and sometimes I think rehashing conversations is a girl ritual of sorts, a rite of passage. It builds this sense of camaraderie, scrolling through our phones scrutinizing every text while sitting on the couch with a Bud Light. Some of the greatest laughs in my life have been elicited from recalling the sheer awkwardness and horror—and, if I’m lucky, delight—from messages I’ve sent and received from my leading dude.
But lately I’ve been terribly annoyed by this almost daily practice, and I can think of a few reasons why. My career has been in flux a bit lately, and a happy byproduct of this transition has been a greater focus on making my own luck, figuring out my own plans, doing my own thang. I realize this sounds like a girl-glory cliché, but seriously, I feel happier being in control of my own life instead of passively sitting around trying to figure out a guy’s next move.
It’s been pretty liberating. I no longer have the time mental capacity to ask for advice from a panel of my friends, and I definitely don’t have time to comprehend friends’ screenshots or dictate what to say next. (I’m known as the “writer friend” in our group, which means, for better or worse, I’m usually the first one tapped to draft the perfect response to texts.)
I’ve also increasingly found myself agitated at any advice my friends offer about a budding relationship. I get defensive at their assumptions (You don’t know ‘bout us!) and feel the need to explain myself.
It’s just so silly. We’re all smart, intuitive women, and I can’t help but think we’re undermining ourselves by needing our friends’ approval. In actuality, who better to craft a response or understand a conversation than the person who actually KNOWS this guy. Why do we assume we’re incapable of carrying on a conversation with a love interest? And if there’s any miscommunication, isn’t it best to take it up with the person we’re pursuing a relationship with? Isn’t that kind of a cornerstone of a healthy, fulfilling relationship?
I also keep thinking back to what a friend told me when I was fretting about how I guy perceived things I said. “Natalie,” she said, “It’s not about him and what he thinks or what he wants. It’s about what you want. You can’t control the rest.” Those words have carried me through many a texting conversation.
So, I guess sometimes you should take a friend’s advice.
Natalie is an Ohio girl who’s equal parts bubbly and introspective. A magazine journalism grad, she likes all things writing as well as Zumba, hiking (read: going on scenic walks), and girls’ night out with her friends. She chalks everything up as fodder for the memoir she hasn’t yet started. You can find her on Twitter and read more of her work here.