I had a conversation with my daughter and her friend during a “pre-college” lunch……
A conversation about boys. Something I’ve noticed about plenty of these girls…. they make excuses for boys who don’t call them, don’t respect them, don’t seem to like them.
Instead…. the boy must have “commitment issues”, and deep down, he’s desperate to get closer. He’s scared…. he’s just really, really busy…., or he just needs more time….
I’ve heard these girls talking to each other, sharing their problems, and giving advice. Advice that centers on believing that this boy in question actually is quite interested in you, is most likely desperately in love with you, but somehow struggling with some huge barrier to being as available as he wants.
Maybe he’s a werewolf? secretly married?
Or, how about… as much as it sucks to hear it…..
He’s just NOT that into you. (by the way, a GREAT movie.)
So, during my lecture I recount a couple instances in my life, in my short dating history, when I found myself chasing after a guy….. who turned out to be not that into me.
One of them was older than me, he was 21 to my 17. Not a great gap in my mind…but he was far more mature in many ways. He dated me, treated me with great respect, let me meet his family….. but freaked out if anyone called me his girlfriend. I was NOT his girlfriend.
So, of course I felt I NEEDED to be his girlfriend, the one and only……
He was dating another couple girls as well, girls from his college. It drove me crazy, I cried over him… I kept thinking to myself that I MUST be important because his mom liked me, his sister liked me, and he did continue to call me, sporadically. I wanted to believe so much that I was going to “win”, and that I just had to keep hanging on……
It fizzled out.
To his credit, he knew it wasn’t going anywhere. He talked about our age difference, how we were in different places in life, I thought I could talk him out of that silly stuff. Thank God. I appreciate now, that he was the older and wiser one. He saw me for the desperate, hormonal teenager that I was, thinking I knew what I wanted in life. He knew I had no clue, and never took advantage of that.
Then there was the guy who seemed to like me, and then one day….stopped talking to me. This one really drove me crazy. He had a reputation, the “bad boy” that girls just can’t seem to stop chasing after. He was also a few years older, and way more experienced.
Things were fine, I thought. We went out several times….it’s hard to remember the exact number. I do remember professing that I was NEVER going to have sex….EVER…. maybe once or twice to him. Thinking back…that might have been a reason he just dropped off the planet??
At first I didn’t get it. I paged him. and paged him. and paged him. (yes, it was so long ago, that we used pagers instead of cell phones…) One day turned into two, then three. My frantic calls and pages tapered off…. and one day my cousin came home and told me she saw him with another girl.
The part that killed me was that lack of knowing… I don’t know what I was hoping to find out, now it seems pretty clear, the guy just didn’t want to waste his time.
I should not have repeatedly called and paged him after realizing that he was not going to be calling back.
I wish there was a way I could save these girls from making those same mistakes, or even worse mistakes-Just because they want a situation to fit their idea of how it should be. Just because they don’t yet realize they don’t need a boyfriend to be happy or successful. Just because they don’t have enough confidence in their own self worth.
This is why I am maybe too blunt when I talk to them.
“Girls!!! Trust me, if he likes you, and WANTS to get to know you….he will find the time. If not, please, don’t waste YOUR time!”