#IHateDating: Playing the Dating Texting Mind Game

Ok, I’ll start this meeting off… “Hi, my name is Brookell and I’m a Dating Mind Game Texter.”

I am very guilty of playing the “I won’t text first” game when it comes to dating. I follow a few rules, none of which I recommend to any of you:

  1. I don’t EVER ask a guy out first.
  2. I RARELY text first.
  3. I ALWAYS get off first… actually, this one I do recommend 😉

Rules of the Game

Supposedly, the rules of the game go like this… whoever texts first, loses. They lose control, power, and that air of “I’m not desperate/that into you/sitting around thinking about you” quality.

#IHateDating Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Text First

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You know the ol’ “wait 3 days after the date to text” rule, right? Right! That’s the rule. We don’t know who created it or when, but it’s a universal truth; a biblical commandment; a 3-strikes you’re out law.

DATING NEWS: Texting after a date: A new study surveys singles on how they text, call, and break up. http://slate.me/1vixubN

The Reality of the Game

Unfortunately, the reality is we lose control when we play by these rules because we end up sitting around wondering what the hell is going on?! Why aren’t THEY texting ME?

And then comes the mind fuck:

  • Maybe his phone is broken…
  • Maybe the date didn’t go as well as I thought it did and he’s just not that into me
  • Maybe he got into a car crash on the way home and he’s in the hospital and no one knows to tell the girl he just had a first date with…
  • Maybe he texted this morning, but it never reached the satellite and now he thinks I’m ignoring him…
  • Maybe he’s married…
  • Maybe he’s gay…
  • Maybe he’s just really busy…
  • Maybe he stole that business idea I pitched him and he’s now in meetings with his developers / lawyers / investors discussing the details… fuck, I should have trademarked the name prior to the date!!!
  • Maybe I’M just not that into HIM and he could sense that…
DATING ALERT: This is referred to as Bi-Maybe Disorder. It’s a very serious disease, common among women. Ask your doctor for a screening and see if medication is right for you!

Gosling Exhausted GIFThis is FREAKING EXHAUSTING! What power does this actually give us? How much control can you possibly feel you have when you’re playing Russian Roulette with your trigger-happy, cynical, frustrated, negative mind games??

The Terrifying Alternative

The alternative to this bullshit is, of course, to go ahead and text first. What’s the worst that can happen? You end up looking desperate, lonely, obsessed, cat-lady-like, too eager, impatient, stalker-esk? Are these really the traits of the first texter? Why does he not look like that if he texts first?

The truth is, it’s not at all about who texts first… it’s about WHO texts, period.

It’s NOT at all about who texts FIRST… it’s about WHO texts, period.

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When we’re into a guy and he texts “Good Morning,” we swoon, we get butterflies, we tell our girlfriends in a squeally (a.k.a. incredibly ear-numbing) tone. But when a dude we’re NOT interested in texts “Good Morning,” we bitch, ignore it, feel imposed upon, and peer out our window looking for his stalker ass. So, wouldn’t it be the same with a guy? If he’s into you, wouldn’t he appreciate a text?

Wouldn’t he get excited…?

Giddy Patrick Stewart GIF

The Complications

What complicates matters more are pre-existing patterns, modern gender roles, and generational differences.

Pre-Existing Patterns

What I’m referring to here is the texting pattern that was developed PRIOR to the first date. If you texted every day prior, this sets a foundation; a test point if you will. If the date goes well, you would expect the texting to increase from this point. If it doesn’t go well, you would expect it to lesson or stop altogether.

However, if mind games are being played, or both parties happen to have a stubborn streak, the lack of texts on the day after the first date might not indicate the success of the date at all. The pre-existing pattern to base the potential between you two might not matter.

As a marketing nerd, let me just say this does NOT work for me. I like A/B testing. I like being able to anticipate traction and success to a certain degree. The mind games muddy the testing waters and you’re left wondering… WTF is going on/will go on/went on? Confusion becomes the name of the game.

Modern Gender Roles

Take Me In Your Arms GIFThis is the more frustrating one for me. Though I’m very much an independent, career-oriented, “modern woman,” I still have very traditional views on dating and courtship… yes, I said it… C.O.U.R.T.S.H.I.P. I want to be courted. I want to be romanced. I want to be “chased.” Consider it a primitive desire if you will, but the desire is very much alive and well in my head and my heart.

I’ve dated the “modern man” and let me just say, it left a LOT to be desired. A man who asks you to ask the waitress for another soda for him? An unemployed man who is still “finding himself” in his 30’s? A man who likes to be chased? A man who is comfortable with not only you being the breadwinner, but you making ALL the important decisions in your lives and partnership?

As much of a control freak as I may be, I truly desire a PARTNER. A MAN. Someone who knows what he wants and works hard to attain it. A man who’s self-confidence equals or may even overshadow my own. Someone who makes me feel he has things under control.

MEN’S ROOM: For any guys reading this, here’s an interesting article on Relationship Rules: Text Messaging from AskMen.com.

Unfortunately, my generation and younger ones don’t seem to have as many of these gentleman available. They’re considered “traditional” and “old school.” But, perhaps you did go on a date with a “traditional man” and mind games are now commencing. As a “modern woman,” you begin to wonder if you should simply take the bull by the horns and text first.

You start googling things like “after first date texting rules” and “should a girl text a guy first.” You read a Reddit thread like this one and realize maybe you were in the wrong because you never texted to make sure he got home safe and now you just look like a bitch.

Generational Differences

This one’s pretty cut-and-dry… the older the guy is, the less often he texts… period. These gentlemen may be more inclined to calling, which means you can simply re-read this article and replace text with call to get the same point.

Keeping it relevant to texting, however, the lack of it can appear to be a lack of interest when in reality, the man is simply a grown-up with a big-boy job, not much time, and no appreciation for the art of texting. This makes it even more difficult to decipher if he’s just really busy or just not that into you.

How It All Plays Out

In the end, how it all plays out is as simple as this:

A. He’s just not that into you and it ends here.

It was a great date; you felt chemistry and lust, but he did not. You’ll move onto the next man, but you will always wonder what happened. Could your sense of how the date went be that off? Did dude die on his way home? Was he married? Was it because you mentioned you like British comedy? You will never know.

DATING TIP: Not feeling it after the first date? Check out 5 Ways to Say “No, Thanks” After a First Date.

B. You text first.

You finally work up the nerve and with the help of our friend Google, you text a carefully crafted “aloof and don’t care, but just checking in anyways” text.

  • Maybe he responds and you go out again, but you will forever know you made that not-first, first move and feel a little less courted in the end.
  • Maybe he responds and tells you he’s not interested and the shame commences.
  • Maybe he responds, but his texting style becomes an obvious “I’ve moved on” sign and you hate yourself for having continued communication.
  • Maybe he never responds because he is, in fact, married AND gay.

C. He is interested and finally texts after a few days.

After 72 hours of spiteful, frustrated venting about this jerk that you barely even enjoyed hanging out with, you light up at the first sight of his text and all hope is renewed. Unfortunately, now you’re left wondering how soon you should text your response…

The Point

What is the point of this post? To VENT… that’s it. I needed to vent. I don’t have THE answer to this problem, because the answer actually changes depending on the connection, your emotional status, and your expectations prior to and after the date.

I’m not going to bullshit you and say, “From now on, I’m going to take control and text first.” Puh-lease… I’m far too stubborn for that shit. I can play this game better than them… and I will… up to the day of my lonely, cat-lady, old-age death.

Or, perhaps the romance movies are NOT bullshitting us and the right one will text at the right time. When it’s right, it’s right and there won’t be these confusing mind games… right?

How Texting Mind Games Will Ruin Your Life

This will probably end up being my fate…

Do you play dating texting mind games? Are you tired of the games? Leave your jaded-ass comments below!

Photo Credit: SplitShire | GIF Credit: Reaction GIFs

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Author: Brookell

Welcome to SWD! This is my blog and my online dating hell.

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  • ucdana

    Haha that first hurdle kind of sucks to get past but it doesn’t take long to know if you both are interested. (At least as far as I’ve experienced)
    The part that has screwed me over is misunderstanding things in text. Sarcasm not understood, regular speak missunderstood.
    Your stories are funny and I get what you say about gender roles. On one hand I agree but on the other hand, it gets exhausting always being the entertainer. I enjoy a little of both. And even if I have to say no… I admire a lady who has the guts to ask me out first… but if we have been talking, and I’m interested, most likely I would ask first so… I guess that goes with your plan. LoL
    As for chasing, I don’t like to be chased or chase… magnets don’t chase each other. They feel that attraction and come together naturally. Pepee le pew chases. Unless you define chase as the opposite of ignoring. LoL
    Anyway… you said it was okay to post our jaded ass comments. Thanks for your insight and humor! Your page is fun.

    • http://specialworstdate.com Special Worst Date

      lol funny… I meant to mention Pepé in this article ;).

      I like your comment “magnets don’t chase each other.” Whenever it has been “right,” both the guy and I have felt it and neither needed to chase. I really mean I want to be “courted” or “pursued.” “Chased” is more the fun “cave man hitting you over the head and dragging you to his cave” fantasy that many of us secretly fantasize about, though in reality could be quite a nuisance.

      I definitely agree with misunderstanding texts. I happen to be a wee bit sarcastic and sometimes that does not come across well in text. It seems texting styles are now another compatibility trait we seek in a potential partner.

      Thanks so much for reading, @ucdana! If you ever have a story to share, hit that “submit” button at the top :).

      • ucdana

        Oh gosh, I could tell you stories… lol I scrolled up but didn’t see a “submit” button. (On my phone… maybe I missed it?)
        And I love sarcasm LoL

        • http://specialworstdate.com Special Worst Date

          Here’s the link: http://specialworstdate.com/submit/

          I would love to share them! You can publish anonymously if you want 😉

          • ucdana

            “So clingy!” LMAO Nice video! Friends always have the best helpful advice!

  • Lia

    omg! I’ll have to re-read this when I’m not half asleep. lol

    • http://specialworstdate.com Special Worst Date

      lol Welcome to SWD, @Lia :).

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  • http://planetarybargains.com/ Planetary Bargains

    Wow it really is amazing how complicated people make dating. Personally I toss the rules out the window, and if the woman I’m dating just can’t deal with that, they are not the woman for me. Thankfully enough women appreciate my approach to the whole thing, that I am almost never alone.

    People should try not following “the rules” so much. Over thinking, over calculating, and over complicating something that should be natural seems a bit crazy to me.

    • http://specialworstdate.com Special Worst Date

      Welcome to the mind of a woman lol. I agree. I think it’s about chemistry and when it’s right, it’s right. If there’s this much confusion, it probably isn’t right.

  • http://www.joliepagaille.com/ Vivienne

    Love this post! I’m currently working on some “dating” posts and as I’m writing, I wonder, WTF happened here and did I learn anything from this date and why do I always ask myself if he’ll text me back and soon! DAMMIT! Anyways, your post made me laugh. 🙂

    • http://specialworstdate.com Special Worst Date

      Thank you so much Vivienne and welcome to SWD! What’s your blog URL?

  • irkitated

    Yep, glad i’m past all of that! Getting married in 2 weeks!

    • http://specialworstdate.com Special Worst Date

      Congratulations!!! And… welcome to a whole new set of problems ;).

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  • Jose Almodovar

    I am a man and I always put myself out there if I’m interested in a woman. It’s not desperation. I’m an adult. I know what I want. I am confident in who I am. I pursue my goals in love and life with passion.

    If a woman plays ‘dating rules’ games with me, I give her one or two shots and then move on. If they can’t be honest, in the moment, communicate, or be equally interested they aren’t worth my time or any other self respecting mans time either.

    We are not children. If you like someone than call. If you don’t than tell them. These games are immature and only create a negative image on those who play them. We can’t be open and honest when we meet someone we like yet wonder why our divorce rates are at 57%.

    Good luck!

    • http://specialworstdate.com Special Worst Date

      Awesome thoughts, Jose! I totally agree and thank you for joining the convo.