There's a super exciting new book out that I urge everyone (especially teenagers and parents) to read at once! It's called iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy--and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood--and What That Means for the Rest of Us.
It's about how growing up with a phone in your hand makes you sad, anxious, and bad at social skills.
It's about a few other things, too. But the focus of this post is how, today, in lieu of developing confidence and social skills, many teens and young adults memorize a set of rules, stupid if-then statements, to navigate their love lives.
And I'm so not down with that.
If we met and totally hit it off, and then you waited three days to follow-up because you read online somewhere that that's what you're "supposed" to do...
You're not the guy for me.
I misjudged you.
I thought you were fascinating, cool, and confident. I thought you were authentic and sincere. I thought you had self-esteem and weren't obsessed with other people think about you.
And, most likely, I thought you had social skills.
But when you waited three days to text, you proved I was wrong.
If you were fascinating, cool, and confident, you wouldn't be afraid to express basic thoughts and emotions, like, "I had SO much fun talking to you tonight! Let's get together ASAP!"
If you were authentic and sincere, you wouldn't want to play some dumb "dating game" with me. Not only am I an adult who doesn't play childish games for people with a weak sense of self... but I'm also a psychologist. And a romantic. And, as I wrote in The 6 BIGGEST Mistakes Men in Their 50s Make With Dating,
Don't be a man-child. If you have a nice time on the date, tell her! When I go on a great date, the guy usually texts me before I even get home to let me know he had a wonderful time and can’t wait to see me again. If he doesn't -- if he waits a day or three days or whatever dumb “rule” he thinks he needs to follow… I don’t go out with him again. It means he’s obsessed with what others think of him — and, apparently, that he would rather I associate him with feelings of confusion and anxiety than excitement and joy.
(Or, maybe you are being authentic and sincere. Maybe the reason you waited is because you're not that interested in me. That's fine, too. But if that's the case, why bother messaging me at all? Fuck yes or Fuck no, right?)
If you had self-esteem, you wouldn't have to be "strategic" about the timing and content of each communication. You'd believe that you were interesting enough to be able to attract women by being -- gasp! -- yourself.
In other words, you're just... not someone I'd ever want to date.
I made an exception to this rule once for a very special guy. I was picking up my name tag at a party, and I saw his name on the guest list -- and I already knew I loved him. No, it wasn't a famous name or anything. It was just... magic. Like the moment I saw it, I knew I loved him.
(I know how crazy that sounds -- but months later, he told me he'd felt the same way. AND he called his parents and told them about me the very next morning.)
He hadn't arrived, yet, so I went about mingling. (Fun fact: mingling is important. You'd get invited to more parties and events if you'd mingle, instead of cling.) Suddenly, I felt something change. I looked up and saw someone entering the room. I knew it was him.
He saw me, too. And despite being at the furthest possible part of the room from me, he walked straight over, weaving through the crowd, and waited politely while I wrapped up the conversation I was having.
We didn't talk to anyone else that whole night -- not even the multi-billionaire who was hosting the party.
And we walked in the woods together for hours after the party ended, even though it was a work night.
When we finally said goodnight I gave him my number...
And he waited almost exactly 24 hours to message me.
I let it slide, because I knew how special he was. Plus, he'd told me a bit about his mom, who was obsessed with handbags and shoes and makeup and stuff. I figured some of her self-consciousness rubbed off on him -- it's just the way he was raised!
And we stayed together, and our love grew, and it was mostly amazing...
Except you know that song Avril Lavigne, Complicated? And she's like,
"You're somebody else 'round everyone else
You're watching your back like you can't relax
You're tryin' to be cool
You look like a fool to me."
That's what the whole relationship was like.
And I'd been warned on day two.
I won't make that mistake again.
So go ahead. Take your time messaging me, if that's what you need to do to defend your ego or show that you're "not too available" or whatever it is you think you're accomplishing. It tells me all I need to know to make my decision about whether or not I wan to see you again.
I'm just glad we found out now, rather than later -- we all know how much breaking up sucks.
Want to know more? Check out:
And, of course, Mark Manson's amazing Fuck Yes or No.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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