“But I mean does he like me? You know like actually like like me? I messaged him back yesterday morning and he’s seen it but not replied, and he just posted a picture on Facebook and Instagram which says he was active 10 minutes ago. It looks like he’s changed his Tinder photo and he said ‘see you next week?’ But is that like next week? Or next next week? Or was he brushing me off? oh god!” I could go on… but you get the idea. This is not an unusual conversation to be part of in 2019.
In my parents’ day if you fancied someone you had to go up to them, actually talk to them (!), ask for their number, call them up and speak to them on (most likely) their house phone – and you may even have had to talk to their parents first. Urgh – can you imagine? How horrifying. Sometimes you may have even had to this sober. Getting over that hurdle was a real investment – so you weren’t going to do it with just anyone. Anyway, relationship protocol has gone haywire since the uprising of social media and has created an incredible amount of blurred boundaries with plenty of space for mixed messages. Its gotten harder to decipher genuine interest from all of the ‘Mr I don’t-know-what-I-wants’ or the ‘Mr Not that bothereds’ or even the truly terrible ‘Mr Different-girl-every-nights.’ So, having listened to many a confused girlfriend and as a woman who has sometimes had to learn the hard way herself – here are some of those subtle, confusion-provoking behaviours uncovered – to help you decipher if he’s really worth your time.
Do not let him ‘breadcrumb’ you – no this is not something naughty – mind out of the gutter please! In the social media world where you have ten thousand million different avenues of a contact, it’s really not that difficult to be consistent and hold up a steady conversation with someone if you’re genuinely interested. It’s also a great place to throw out the 3am likes on your selfie from 5 weeks ago. Or the odd ‘how are you?’ – after not replying for 2 weeks after a date… followed by not actually making anymore plans to see you again. Inconsistency is a red flag. He’s throwing you breadcrumbs of attention to keep your interest, because he can, rather than making you a proper sandwich. Leave that one be, you deserve better. Which leads me to…
I had a guy who had barely made any effort to see me once say; ‘you’re an absolute joy to be around’. Usually if someone’s a ‘joy to be around’ it means you know…you want to be around them. I felt like saying – (and wish I had) ‘If I’m so ‘joyous’ where are you?’ Turns out he was also experiencing some joy elsewhere but still wanted to keep me sweet. Actions ladies, not words – they are much much louder. If he wants to be with you – funnily enough the actual act of ‘being with you’ will be quite a big part of that.
He knows you’re awesome, he knows other guys can see that and he knows you have options. He also knows you like him yet he’s not really ready/can’t be arsed to put in the effort required to keep you – so he benches you – literally like placing you on the bench in a football game to wait there for further use if desired. Of course he likes you and doesn’t want to let you go; he’ll still talk to you, tell you you’re beautiful, even kiss you etc – but on his terms – to keep you cooking nicely in case he feels like he might finally want something more. If you’re ok with that then fair enough, but if you know you want something more and you’ve made that clear, this is the worst. Its selfish because it gives you hope, making it harder for you to move on. He’s going to keep leaving that door ajar so it’ll ultimately be you who has to shut it – which I know is SO HARD when we like someone. But is this how you want to be treated? Probably not. Don’t wait around – you won’t change him…and remember all those other guys? Yes, good.
This may all seem a little bit brutal, and there are a lot of truly wonderful, kind men out there, but it’s just really to help you not waste your time. Some men are just terrible with communication – but not many. I also don’t believe any of the above behaviours are done deliberately, its more that social media facilitates and allows it. If you just want to cut through the crap then follow a simple truth; regardless of what you do, or where you go or what your plans are – if a man wants you – he will come and find you. I know when you read this post you may have thought of someone. That someone likely has your phone number, your email, your Instagram, your Facebook, your LinkedIn, probably even your home address. He could be right by your side right now – but he’s not. When you find yourself wasting minutes or hours of your life wondering away, doubting yourself – ‘Did I say something wrong?’ ‘Maybe I wasn’t interesting enough?’, ‘Maybe my hair is the wrong colour?, ‘Maybe he’s just been abducted by aliens and they have no Wifi in space..’ stop – it’s your life and you don’t need to waste time on worrying and speculation. The only thing you need to remember is that if he wants you, he’ll come and get you.
Admittedly there are going to be caveats – life and relationships are often complicated and no rule is ever absolute. Social media has presented us with a whole load of new communication nightmares for navigating romance. Maybe he did get abducted by aliens, maybe he really isn’t ready – or maybe he’s actually intimidated by how great you are – or something equally as romantic and innocent. It happens, but whatever it is, he needs to make sure he communicates that with you clearly. You’re not a detective or a therapist, and to be honest, you have much better things to do with your time. You want someone who’s going to laugh with you, be kind to you, be loyal to you and be your adventure partner in crime – not make you doubt yourself. So there. It’s simple – if he wants you – he’ll come and get you, he’ll be there at your side and you’ll know he wants to be with you – and honestly, do you really want to be with a man who wouldn’t do that? Exactly.
Written by Sophie Kelly- See more on her blog http://www.writtenbysoph.com