It's tells me: "This game playing is ridiculous," my mom has said, on repeat. misfortune) of listening in on a conversation or two (or 100) amongst my girl friends and is appalled at the level of spinning and strategizing that goes on.
I hate to admit that despite my better judgment and good intentions -- and my mom's pretty spot-on advice -- I found myself straying a few weeks ago.
And though I attempted to backpedal and just be myself, what was done was done.
Alas, there isn't an "undo" button on a text message. I'm very clear now that acting against my authentic self actually feels way worse than the rejection or disappointment that may have come my way.
Because I know that the reward could have been way greater than the risk.
The careful selection of punctuation marks (periods are often too serious, exclamations too enthused, no punctuation too lackadaisical), the waiting hours to reply to appear busy or cool or appropriately aloof, the excruciating dissection of -- and hanging on to -- each and every word -- is exhausting.
And then of course there's the lack of communication altogether, the silence a breeding ground for making up truths that aren't true.
There's this overwhelming fear that if we show our true enthusiasm for someone, we'll lose our power.
That if we ask for what we need, we'll be rejected.
That if we show our true colors, we won't be liked. Never, ever reach out," she tells me -- advice that feels more like an ominous command than a loving tip. Her policy continues: "Once a text thread is initiated, the girl should only mirror the guy's behavior." For example, a girl must keep within the subject raised by the guy, and "ask him only the same questions he's asked you." Over drinks last weekend, I shared this (asinine) policy with a guy friend.
"Guys are the pursuers," she explains, a fact that I concede to be true for masculine-energy men, "so they come to you. "Well, I guess that's an awesome way to manipulate someone," he replied.
"I can imagine it'd create this constant fear and wondering and wanting more.
But," he continued, "if your friend ever wants to have a real deep connection with someone, that's certainly not the way to do it." Another guy friend concurred."When a girl doesn't text me," he said, "her silence tells me something.