You text me every day, and you seem to genuinely give a damn about how my life is going. Believe me when I say that I notice your effort and appreciate it. I know that you must worry a little every time you send a text and don’t get a reply right away, and you’ve casually suggested that we should hang out on several occasions. To tell you the truth, I do like you and I’m not intentionally playing games or trying to mess with your head; I’m just busy AF and have barely had time to sleep or eat lately, much less go on dates.
My career is my top priority.
Actually, I have two careers; I’m successful in both of them, and success makes me happy. In fact, I spend every day chasing that feeling. I’m not dismissing your advances, but I’m also not prioritizing pursuing a relationship with you over my work. I understand how crappy that sounds, but I’ll feel guilty if I blow off my work to go have a beer with you (especially if it ends up being as lame as every other date I’ve been on in the last four years). I’m sorry, but I’m also not sorry because I know that professional success will benefit me long-term, and I’m not sure if you will.
On my rare nights off, I’m busy catching up on everything else.
You may have had a long week working eight hours a day, but I’ve put in 12+ hours per day all week and it’s obvious if you look at my place. The trash, dishes, and laundry are piling up and I haven’t seen the inside of a grocery store in a week; how the hell am I supposed to get caught up on everything and also find time to date? Is it possible to survive without ever sleeping?
I did text you back right away.
I define “right away” as “when I actually saw the message.” If you texted me while I was at work, you very well may end up waiting a few hours for a reply because I can’t stop to check my phone all the time. Don’t get insecure about it; remember that I’m a busy professional just like you and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
My mom hasn’t even heard from me lately; what makes you so special?
I wish I had more than 24 hours in a day, but I don’t. My limited amount of free time makes it difficult to keep in touch with anyone. Naturally, when I do have a moment to call or text someone, I have a long list of people waiting to hear from me, and you haven’t quite worked your way to the top of it yet.
If I had zero interest in you, I wouldn’t reply at all.
Here’s the silver lining for you: I respond to you every single time, even if it’s a bit delayed. Do you think that’s a coincidence? It’s not; if I didn’t like you at all, I wouldn’t waste my time texting you back and getting to know you. I’m sorry that you don’t like waiting for me, but your patience will be rewarded.
My walls are thick, but you’re starting to get through them.
The more patient and caring you are, the more likely I am to let down my walls and make you more of a priority in my life. If you want to take on a more important role with me, show me how important I am to you because that’s the only way I’ll be able to rationalize making time for you.
It’s not your fault I’m like this.
If it’s anyone’s fault, it’s the fault of all the terrible guys who have wasted my time over the years and made me insist on focusing so intently on my career. You seem nice, but a lot of other guys seemed nice at first too, so that’s not enough to seal the deal in my mind. If you move on, I understand, but if you work hard enough to open up the vault that is my heart, you’ll be glad you did.
The boss lady will see you now.
When I finally do have some legit free time, if you haven’t ghosted me or told me to go to hell yet, I’ll give you a small chunk of my time and let you show me why you’re worth more of it. I’m not trying to stay single; I honestly just want one guy to prove to me that he’s not like all the others who’ve wasted my precious time. Are you that guy? Show me; I’m dying to see it.
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