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:
- I don’t EVER ask a guy out first.
- I RARELY text first.
- 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.
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.
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…
This 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.
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…?
What complicates matters more are pre-existing patterns, modern gender roles, and generational differences.
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
This 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.
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.
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.
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…
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…