Dear me at 19:
He doesn’t like you. And he’s not even that cool anyway.
You met him on a mild night in February. He was a good dancer. He was drinking something “on the rocks”. He was wearing a hat. With a sweaty palm, you had shoved your number at him, hoping for the best.
On your first date, he gave you all sorts of compliments, like “Is that eyeshadow gold?”. Swoon. You were really beginning to like him. And you were pretty sure that he liked you too. Surely you were a perfect match.
But then you didn’t hear from him again. For many days. Lots and lots of days. You sulked away at home, wondering what you had done wrong. Each time your phone began a preemptive vibration, you would jump on top of it, scrambling to pick up as quickly as possible. “Hello?” you would purr, only to hear “Hello, this is an automated call from Bell Mobility”, or “Honey, it’s Mom. Can you check if we need mayonnaise?”
“Bzz-” you slammed your hand down, expecting the sting of disappointment. But (miracle of miracles!), this time it was him. You weren’t sure why, but he invited you out again.
From this point on, you weren’t going to let him out of your sights. You accomplished this largely due to your willingness to follow him regardless of his intended whereabouts. Hip downtown nightclub, slummy Brampton bar 45 minutes out of your way, whatever. You considered these slightly-less-than-chance meetings to be dates.
He said that he liked you. He even talked about getting married once. Kind of. Okay, he was a little drunk, and he might have been talking about someone else, and maybe he didn’t actually use the word “marriage”, but close enough. You were convinced the two of you were headed toward commitment territory.
So you asked him. You asked “So, are we going to be boyfriend and girlfriend, or what?”. And to your astonishment (gasp!), he changed the subject. And then he never called again.
Hmmmm. You were perplexed. Maybe you just didn’t explain yourself properly. Maybe he was having a bad day. Maybe he developed some rare form of short-term hearing loss and didn’t hear what you said. If you could just get him on the phone I’m sure that…
Stop it! Stop it right now! He doesn’t like you. Period. Stop trying so hard to make him like you. You’re trying so hard, it’s making him not like you. Here’s the really backwards thing: The less you try, the more he’ll like you. It’s an inverse relationship.
“But what if that doesn’t work? What then?”, you might ask.
Here is the best part of this whole love thing: If he doesn’t like you, he’s not worth your time anyway. Truly. If he isn’t completely and totally smitten with you right off the bat, he’s not who you’re meant to be with. And why waste time with some loser you won’t wind up with in the end anyway?
You convinced yourself that he was something special. But the truth is that you were just feeling a little lonely and looking a little too hard for some companionship.
Here is the best news of all: You will meet the man of your dreams, fall in love, get married and have babies. And guess what: he’s not the man of your dreams. He works at the bank and sells pot in his spare time. He’s way too into his hair. His band sucks. He likes “Scarface” a little too much. Sometimes when he talks he sounds like such a chachi. And his two front teeth are enormous. Come on now, girl. Is this who you want to wake up next to in 50 years? Do you really want to be carting four kids around in his buddy’s beat up grand-am, listening to the Eagles?
Shake yourself out of it, dude. The faster you learn this lesson, the less heartache you’ll have in the future. Wait a while. Be single. Be alone. Become comfortable being alone. Take advantage of it. And when you do meet Mr. Right, let him take the lead. Let him do the work. Believe me, if he wants you, he’ll let you know.
Now step away from the phone, and put down the ice cream. It’s time to move on.