Love is awesome. And in order to find it, you sometimes have to swallow your pride, put yourself out there, and take some scary risks. But finding love shouldn’t require you to compromise your self-respect or do things that are likely to turn you into the guy-of-your-dreams’ hookup when you were actually trying to be his girlfriend. Here are 8 things you shouldn’t do.
- Not having a life Don’t be the girl whose entire life revolves around whatever guy she’s into, dropping everything for him the second he wants to hang out. What’s way more interesting is a woman who has a full life, self-respect, and options. If you want to be the girl that guys want to date and not the one they just hook up with, focus on living a great life — maintain strong friendships, be passionate about something, eat healthy, stay active, have FUN, and enforce some standards for how men need to behave in order to be with you. If a guy treats you well, you’re available. If not, you have better things to do, right?
- Being way too accommodating Compromise — like going to the restaurant he wants to go to because he went to the restaurant you wanted to go last time — is great. But pretending to be an overly nice girl who doesn’t have any opinions or preferences is a surefire way to kill chemistry. Being a doormat is not interesting and it’ll probably make him see you as just a body and not someone he wants to have a relationship with. What’s sexy is a woman who has dreams, plans, and ideas and doesn’t immediately give them all up for a guy.
- Tolerating BS If he’s giving you mixed signals — telling you he adores you and then disappearing, for example — but you’re still into him, ready to meet up whenever he texts, you’re just someone he’s hooking up with and, as long as you continue letting him take advantage of you, you’ll never be someone he’ll take seriously. If you want a shot at being his girlfriend — and we honestly hope you don’t because this guy sounds like a loser — you should ignore his texts and move on. There’s a decent chance he’ll come to his senses and chase you or, at the very least, he’ll move on to his next hookup so you can meet a decent guy.
- Being the first to reach out When you’re first getting to know a guy, let him reach out to you. Why? It’s a great test of whether he’s worth your energy: if he’s into you, he’ll text you. If he’s not into you, he won’t, in which case you should focus your attention elsewhere. It’s that simple. So, if you’re coming up with all sorts of reasons why you should reach out to him, STOP. All you accomplish is showing him that you’re obsessing about him and that makes you way less attractive, turning you into a hookup option instead of someone he sees as a girlfriend. You’re better off waiting until the next time you see him — maybe you’ll end up having a cool conversation with him that sparks his interest and finally leads him to be the first to reach out.
- Not letting him miss you Okay so he texted you first, you had a nice back and forth, and now it’s the next day. You’re dying to hear from him. So, you make up some lame excuse to reach out, craft a text that you (naively) think doesn’t reveal the fact that you’ve been thinking about him every waking second, and hit send. Congratulations! You’ve just knocked yourself down a notch in his book. If you continue not exercising restraint, you’ll just make it impossible for him to miss you and feel appreciation for you. The result: he’ll get bored and move on. Remember — guys like a challenge. The more you behave like a strong, independent woman with a full life — one who doesn’t lose herself over a guy she barely knows — the more desirable you’ll be.
- Tequila-fueled texting If texting a guy who’s not texting you is a 7 on a 1-10 scale of stuff you shouldn’t do, drunk texting is a 9. You might think that being drunk is the best time to text a guy you’re crushing on because you can always claim that the vodka made you do it but pleaaaaase, he’ll still know that you’re totally consumed by thoughts of him and, like we said, that’s not hot. Not convinced? We did an entire article about drunk texting that you should read now.
- Prematurely asking him what his deal is Once we realize we like a guy, we often fall hard and fast while the guy continues moseying along, at his own pace. At this point, he may not be totally into you but he could still get there, as long as you don’t prematurely push the issue. If you want to be his girlfriend and not just a girl he hooks up with, continue focusing on your life, behaving like a girl who respects herself, being cool, and doing you. Eventually, he’ll be so into you that he’ll initiate the conversation. And if not, whatevs — if you’re truly in a good, strong place, you’ll be beating men off with a stick.
- Acting like he’s your boyfriend before he is Sure, we start picking baby names after the first date but, like we just said in #7, guys sometimes move at a slower pace. So if you’re out with a bunch of people, including the guy you just hooked up with, and he’s not really paying attention to you, don’t freak out on him — he’s not your boyfriend and you have no basis for complaining. We’re not saying he’s not being insensitive — he is — but, at this point, the only healthy/appropriate reaction is to ignore him and continue acting like the hot, single woman you are. Maybe he takes notice, maybe he doesn’t, but you will have saved yourself from him deciding you’re crazy and then proceeding to potentially use you.
- Being uptight and overbearing In addition to acting like he’s your boyfriend, it’s important to note that nothing will downgrade you from a potential girlfriend to hookup faster than nagging him about stuff. He doesn’t have to answer to you and he won’t want to, so trying to force him into being beholden to you in some way will more than likely backfire. Not only will he be pretty pissed off, he’ll likely even demote you from being a hookup because it’s just not worth the hassle.
- Closing off your other options Sure, in your head you’re destined to be his girlfriend rather than just a hookup, but at the moment, your relationship is strictly casual. That means he’s still playing the field and you should be too. While you don’t have to go out on three dates a week, there’s literally zero reason to close yourself off to other people before you’re serious with this guy. Doing so will likely freak him out and make him think you’re way ahead of him when it comes to feelings.
How to go from hookup to potential girlfriend instead
In essence, you’d assume the way to get him to be more likely to commit to you would be to do the exact opposite of what’s on the list above, and that’s certainly true. However, you’ll need to do a bit more too.
- Relax. First and foremost, it’s important that you take a deep breath (or several) and get a grip on your emotions. No matter how in your feelings you are for this guy, you can’t let those feelings inform your actions. If you do, you may end up kicking yourself when the things you say and do come back and kick you in the butt down the road. This may become a serious relationship or it may fade away into nothing. Who knows? The best way to go into things is to be okay with whatever happens either way. The earlier you put yourself in that mindset, the more likely he’ll be to appreciate your laid-back attitude and he’ll start thinking of you more as a potential girlfriend than just a hookup.
- Make him come to you sometimes. You’re not in high school anymore and it’s totally fine to text a guy first. That being said, you definitely shouldn’t be the one to strike up the conversation or make plans every single time. You just make yourself look desperate and like you have nothing else going on in your life, both of which are untrue. Instead, wait for him to reach out to you sometimes and make the first move. If he wants to see you, force him to put enough effort into things to actually ask you to go somewhere and set the plans.
- Learn the power of saying no. It’s tempting when you start to like a guy to clear your schedule for him whenever he wants to hang out. Big mistake. Chances are, you have lots of other stuff going on in your life. What did you do before you met him? Don’t stop with all of that just because some dude is on the scene now. If he wants to hang out, you don’t have to be available every single time he asks. In fact, you probably shouldn’t be. We’re not advising that you make up excuses to blow him off every time — he’s likely to give up trying after a few times — but show him that your time is valuable and he’ll have to make it worth your while if he wants some of it.
- Call him out on his BS. If you catch him in a lie, call him out on it. If he’s being a jerk, tell him straight up. While you don’t want to come off as too combative or seem like you’re bitching him out over nothing, you do want him to know straight up that you’ll hold him accountable for his actions and won’t put up with any crap. Men respect women who know how to stand up for themselves, so don’t let his bad behavior go by unnoticed.
- Keep him guessing. At the end of the day, most guys appreciate the thrill of the chase. They want to be with a woman that excites them, a woman who’s totally unpredictable (in the good ways) and keeps things fun and interesting. Avoid settling into any kind of routine with him and when you are together, make sure you’re having fun. That’s what you want too, isn’t it?