I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve wasted staring at my phone, reading and re-reading texts from guys and wondering what they really meant. After way too many years of anxiety over trying to decode their messages, I decided to just stop doing it and my whole dating life improved.
I used to wait hours or even days for a response. There is nothing worse than a delayed reply from a guy you’re really digging. My self-esteem always took a massive hit and I’d reread my messages to see if there was any possible way I could have scared him off. The thing I didn’t realize was that if he took a day or more to respond, I clearly wasn’t important to him. I was a backup plan or just a friend in his eyes. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, it was what it was. These days, if a guy goes AWOL on our texting thread, I move on.
One-word responses drove me nuts. There used to be nothing more disheartening than sending a long and heartfelt text message only to get a one-word response. I’d immediately feel flushed with embarrassment and dread. I believed I’d annoyed him with my detailed text message or that I opened up too fast. When I stopped trying to understand why he sent one-word responses, however, I started to feel way more chill. I realized that most of the time, these guys were just busy and they always answered in more detail when they had a chance. If it became a habit, however, I knew the relationship was fizzling out and it was time to let go.
I always misread his tone. I used to find myself starting fights with my boyfriend because I always assumed he was being sarcastic or had a rude tone towards me when I read his messages even though tone isn’t usually something you can read via a text. Now, instead of just assuming a guy’s tone, I’ve learned to call him or waited to speak to him face to face. That leaves little miscommunication between us and fewer arguments.
When I got ghosted, I assumed there was something wrong with me. We’ve all ghosted someone before and I’m no exception. Text conversations with a guy would start out exciting but end up boring. I had no real interest in spending time with him and didn’t see the relationship going any further so it seemed natural to just move on without further ado. However, whenever I found myself on the other side of ghosting, I’d take it personally and feel like maybe I wasn’t good enough. I felt cheated for wasting time trying to chat him up in the first place. I finally stopped with the double standard and realized that a lack of connection wasn’t anyone’s fault, it just wasn’t there.
I believed if a guy asked for nudes, that meant he liked me. In other words, I would completely misread his intentions through his text messages. It took being sexy and provocative to be liked by a guy, right? After learning how wrong I was about this several times, I started to run from men who wanted nudes or to sext right away without getting to know me for me. If a guy was genuinely into me, he’d want to talk to me and spend time with me instead of just sexting back and forth. Ignoring him or politely refusing his advances prevents me from gaining feelings too fast. I’m being proactive about preventing a heartbreak down the road.
I took his personal problems personally. When a guy I was causally dating was going through something stressful in his life, he’d often cut down on communication and texting. He’d also have a problem opening up to me and expressing himself. In the past, I always took this personally and felt like I must have been doing something wrong to keep him from opening up to me. Thankfully, I’ve since realized how wrong that is. At the end of the day, it wasn’t about me, it was about him. I’m not the center of the universe and that’s a good thing.
Life is so much simpler now. Once I stopped trying to read between the lines of every text message a guy sent, dating got super easy. With a few years of experience, I knew which guys to ditch right away and which guys to hold on to. When it became easy to move on, it also became easy to go for what I want. Frankly, it feels great.
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