Being assertive is often the best way to get what you want — but that doesn’t mean you should behave desperate AF. Being assertive might snag you the guy but reaching mad girl status will not. There’s a fine line between the two and it’s important not to cross it. Here are seven moves that will mean the difference between getting what you want and getting ghosted:
- Assertive is telling him what you do and don’t want; desperate is jumping to the future. Mind games are super overrated and almost never work in the long run. Communication is the key to a successful relationship, so you may as well start early on by not hesitating to tell him what you do and don’t want. I’m not suggesting you tell the guy you just matched with on Tinder that you want to be married with kids in two years, but don’t be afraid to express when, after several dates, you’d like to see it go somewhere.
- Assertive is putting in effort; desperate is chasing him. There’s a HUGE difference between putting in effort and desperately chasing after a guy. Effort is making the first move sometimes and taking turns in asking each other to hang out. You start to cross that line when you find yourself giving up your own life to focus on him and are constantly making plans for the two of you. When you’re interested in someone, it’s great to show enthusiasm, but taking it too far by chasing him will only make him run faster – and not in the direction you want.
- Assertive is ditching the texting games; desperate is texting him repeatedly without a response. If you sent the last message but know he’s at work, there’s no harm in sending another, totally unrelated one should the thought arise — but that’s generally where you’d want to stop. Sending four or five texts without a response is pretty intense, to say the least. And for the love of God, when he doesn’t respond to your question right away, please don’t follow up with a “?” — whatever his reason for not replying, harassing him with a parade of messages sure as hell isn’t going to convince him to text you back.
- Assertive is making time to spend together; desperate is becoming clingy AF. Just like there’s nothing wrong with showing interest and putting in effort, it’s also completely okay to make time for each other. I’m talking taking time out of your day to exchange some texts or making yourself available a few nights a week. You start to come off as clingy when you make the guy the center of your universe and your very first priority. Clutching your phone while waiting for his texts and ditching your girls’ night to jump on his invite are moves that just scream desperate.
- Assertive is asking if it’s over; desperate is hunting him down for closure. You’re getting to know each other, things are going great, then out of nowhere, you feel that shift. He’s not texting you back and is rarely asking to hang out, so it’s pretty clear that something’s up. Yes, you deserve to know what’s going on, so there’s no harm in asking if it’s over. The thing is, if he isn’t man enough to give you a response, don’t you dare go hunting him down! Don’t drive by his house or show up at his work. Don’t “casually” hang out at the bar he goes to on Saturday nights, and don’t harass him with an endless stream of texts. If he can’t be honest and tell you that things are ending, then take it as a blessing in disguise and be thankful you dodged a bullet.
- Assertive is asking where things are going; desperate is forcing him to change his relationship status. Back to the communication thing – there’s nothing wrong with, once you’ve gotten to know each other, having an honest conversation about where you see things heading. It helps reaffirm that you’re both on the same page and saves you from wasting your time. But there’s a huge difference between being open with one another, and pressuring him into a relationship. If you’re heading in the right direction and feel like you’re on the same page, don’t obsess over titles and your status on social media.
- Assertive is keeping an open mind; desperate is dropping your standards. Though we all have a “type,” sometimes our best matches are those who don’t necessarily fit that picture. Yeah, I love men who are 6’2”, but will I ditch a guy just for being 5’9”? Hell no! And you probably shouldn’t either. What you have to understand is that there’s a crucial difference between keeping an open mind and dropping your standards. After all, your standards should reflect your values and ultimately, if the guy you’re dating doesn’t align with them, then it just won’t work.