Growing up, I was the kind of kid who practically inhaled each and every issue of magazines like Cosmopolitan and Seventeen. I loved the fashion editorials. I loved the “scandalous” reader stories (which don’t actually seem all that interesting or ridiculous compared to some of the shit you guys send us). I loved the sex tips, despite eventually realizing 95% of them were repeated several times throughout the year (“GRAB HIS BALLS WITH ICE IN HAND” and whatnot). With magazine articles as my guide, I learned how to look, talk, fuck and date… poorly.
The idea of “dating rules” stuck with me for a long time. I believed until I was in my mid- to late-teens that there were things you simply did not do, as well as ones that you had to, and that not abiding by these standards would mean you’d wind up alone forever. In particular, the notion of how to make people like you by behaving scarce, also known as “playing hard to get.”
For a long time, I thought not texting somebody first, trying to make somebody a tad bit jealous (to add “tension”) and acting like you were only half-interested in a guy were the fertilizers that made a relationship grow. I have since realized they are simply shit. Ineffective shit. Ineffective shit that merely leads to me dating primarily–with a couple exceptions, thank goodness–indecisive assholes who have also instinctively internalized these silly, arbitrary rules.
For example, the act of figuring out how long to wait before calling somebody. This can be a tricky question for some, as we’ve been taught by television and movies for years to wait until the other party calls you, never vice versa (which is ridiculous, since if everybody followed that rule, nobody would call anyone). We’re supposed pause for a matter of days in order to give this silly illusion that we don’t have the time to pick up our phones and text or call a person.
Men receive similar advice, sometimes being told to wait an entire week before calling females in order to increase their own value, as well as the woman’s desire to pursue a relationship–which apparently doesn’t seem to work out for everybody (shock). I’m not sure why it’s surprising that women (or men) might be irritated at a person for not calling, but then again, why wouldn’t they just call up the love interests themselves?