On Dating, Texting, and Generally Overanalyzing

{alternately titled Melissa is a Crazy Nutjob}

OK, time to have a really honest talk about dating. To say that I’m actually going on a lot of dates would be generous, but I am dating here and there. I just try to reserve the really disastrous tales for the blog because let’s face it–those are the entertaining ones. Plus, I’m not going to talk about a guy that might actually be a contender, lest he discovers the blog and thinks I’m completely insane. Which could totally happen anyway.

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So here’s my real issue with dating: I’m pretty sure going into it that failure is a foregone conclusion. Not that I’m not open to it or don’t eventually want to be in an actual relationship again at some point. But I’m relatively certain that I’m going to screw it up. I handle this in a variety of ways:

1. Mind-f*ck myself before anything really gets started. As in, well, every other guy I’ve dated has found something wrong with me so there probably IS something wrong with me and if he doesn’t call/text/email/send up smoke signals then I’m sure I’m being rejected and I should probably feel somewhat bad about this and console myself with a pan of brownies and a bottle of wine even though it was never really a thing to begin with so I shouldn’t be upset about it anyway.

Ahem.

2. Assume that the person couldn’t possibly like me, so I should probably let them off the hook. This looks like me telling them they don’t have to keep in touch or it’s fine if they’re not interested because I’m totally ok with that. And then when I don’t hear from them, I feel better. Because I’ve fooled myself into thinking I’m somehow in charge. (Follow this with brownies and wine, too.)

3. Figure that I’ll somehow sabotage it anyway. In this case, I don’t let myself get all that attached because I know I’m going to drive the potential suitor away with my particular brand of crazy. When this actually happens, I’m not so upset because I knew it was going to fail anyway. No biggie. It’s cool.

All of this is very rational, I know. And makes me sound horribly insecure, right? I’m sure there’s some of that going on, but really it’s a protective mechanism. And why shouldn’t I be cautious? My dating history is kind of a train wreck . . . but that’s a long and not all that entertaining story. So.

To my next point of contention: the wonder of modern dating known as texting. Also known as Another Way For Melissa to Overanalyze the Sh*t out of This.

Yeah.

Dating in the age of texting totally blows if you ask me. What happened to the days when a man picked up the phone and used it to, you know, call someone???

But no. Now texting is the name of the game. I have several issues with this as well. For instance, if you text me, I’m going to be efficient about it and text you right back. I don’t have time to wait around all day. When I get a text, I respond. I also happen to know that 85% of people receive a text within 15 minutes of your sending it to them, so waiting around to text back is unacceptable to me. If this is happening, someone is clearly playing games. And I am not a fan of games.

Hunger games

Except these, obviously.

Because then what happens? Texting purgatory, that’s what. I responded to your text and then you’re going to take several hours to respond to mine? Which gives me plenty of time to sit around and think this or that (see #1 above) and get reallyΒ super annoyed with you. No, sir, no. That will not do. At the risk of sounding like a total psycho, I’m going to go ahead and say it: PAY ATTENTION TO ME. If you don’t, I’m going to assume that you aren’t interested (see #2 above) and let you off the hook.

If you ARE, in fact, interested, respond in a timely manner. Just saying. Or . . .

You could just grow a pair and call me, for God’s sake.

I mean, am I reaching for the stars here? Is it too much to ask that if a guy wants to talk to me, he actually responds in a timely manner or picks up the phone and calls me?

The point is, I’m so inside my head about all of this that I’m basically torturing myself in which case I turn to #3 above and resort back to my former state: not dating.

I was discussing this very thing with my friend Kim last weekend, and she said something rather insightful.

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Can you tell how much we adore each other?

Anyway, Kim said this: you can try to sabotage every potential relationship and drive people away, but the right guy isn’t going to let that happen. No matter how hard you push, he’s going to keep coming back.

Wise.

In the meantime, please share YOUR best dating advice with me.

And am I asking too much with the whole texting thing? To me, lack of a timely response just SCREAMS not interested, you know?

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44 thoughts on “On Dating, Texting, and Generally Overanalyzing

  1. I actually love this post–as I too have a train wreck of a dating life and suffer from the same issues you discussed. I look forward to seeing what advice other commenters leave for you–as maybe it can help me, too! πŸ™‚ Good luck!

  2. Jen says:

    I’ve been a blog stalker of yours for a few months and really love your stuff! Just wanted to let you know though, that I often get in situations where I am mid-text conversation and then can’t respond back for a couple hours. Sometimes I try to give the person a heads up, but a lot of times, it just doesn’t happen. Try to be open-minded, some of us (i.e., me!) don’t think of all of these things πŸ™‚

  3. Be patient. That’s my advice. If the guy or situation is too much work then it is not worth it. You are worth it. Enjoy your time as a single lady because when He comes along it will happen oh so fast. Dating is painful-I feel you sista!

    • Thanks for your sweet words. I’m enjoying the single lady time–it really is fine. I’ve just been single for so long that I think people are starting to wonder about me! πŸ˜‰

  4. I love this post. And I don’t think you are being irrational at all with the things that you do to protect yourself…it can be really hard to put yourself out there! I also agree with what your friend Kim said, but only to an extent. Yes, the right guy will definitely try harder, but if you aren’t willing to try as well and let him in then he’ll feel shot down and run away- not because he doesn’t like you, but because he doesn’t want to get hurt either!

    As for the texting thing, people seriously need to pick up the phone or at least respond asap! I know you will find someone Melissa..and he’s going to be awesome. I think that when you do find him, you’ll be less likely to want to protect yourself! You’ll want to put yourself out there!

    • Yes, definitely. I shouldn’t expect someone to pursue me if I don’t give them a reason to, for sure! And you’re right–the right guy will make me want to put myself out there. XOXO

    • hhrunner says:

      I completely agree with this.

      And I am totally guilty of not texting back right away, honestly. Even if I do get it within 10-15 minutes of it being sent, sometimes I just am not in the mood to get into a conversation or I’m wrapped up with work and don’t want to break my train of thought, etc. And I do it with everyone – Sean included.

      As for the phone thing, uggghhhh I hate technology and I do wish people called more. πŸ™‚

      Oh and i love you.

      • nerdthatruns says:

        for sure….the wait game…i’m an impatient guy and in previous relationships….i was sick of that. this time around the girlfriend didn’t make me wait for hours to get a text reply…haha keeper right there πŸ™‚ j’k. i think you’re right…calling is the way to go

  5. jenG says:

    my best dating advice,..is the good old it will happen when you least expect it. and i agree with your friend, you won’t be able to push them away. I have been married to my best friend for 2 years, the weird thing is we met in college through my ex college boyfriend who was way less than amazing and a bad choice for me. many happy hours later and softball leagues with my now hubby i realized how great of a person he was and some how we ended up dating. ironically we are all friends with the ex/his frat brother and are going to the ex’s wedding this weekend. he was also at ours (kind of a mix up and i would have invited him, but it all worked out:) )

  6. Carrie says:

    Amen girl!! I can’t stand the whole texting thing. I love the little texts, just to let me know you are thinking about me in some way, but to have an hours long text conversation that could have happened in a few minutes on the phone is so annoying. Also, I have had a few guys only text me, even to ask me out on the first date (I am trying the whole online thing too) I almost want to say no, just for that!!
    But I definitely agree, the texting “games” are so annoying.
    Love your blog!!

  7. First of all, let me just say that I DO NOT MISS THE DATING GAMES! All of these same thoughts have gone through my head at one time or another. I’m SO with you on the texting thing. If I get a text, I text right back. The excuse “I was busy” is just that an EXCUSE and a horrible one at that. How long does it really take? Your friend Kim is absolutely right. When the right one comes along, NONE of these thoughts will be running through your head because there will be no games and no doubt in your mind.
    It will happen! πŸ˜‰

  8. ev122365 says:

    haha, this post spoke volumes. i am in the same boat, i want to be in a relationship but i get smothered so easily so i sabotage things when i’m dating someone and then when i’m alone again i say to myself “i said i wasn’t going to do that anymore”
    one of my guy friends says i just need to get with a guy who knows my crap and will deal with it.. like he says sometimes he wants to text me but he knows to leave me alone sometimes and give me space.
    thats the part, how do you share your “issues” with the new guy without freaking them out!!?

  9. 100% agree about the texting. That annoys the sh*t out of me with guys and friends. Like, seriously? People take their cell phones EVERYWHERE. You are full of it if you expect anyone to believe you just didn’t check you phone for in hour. If that really is the case, just say so. Like, “I’m sorry. I was in a meeting. I just checked my phone.” I hate the game playing too. You text me. I text you back. You text me back! That’s how it works. You’re not fooling anyone acting aloof. If you weren’t interested you wouldn’t have texted in the first place. Sorry for the long rambling comment, but this makes me so ragey. I just didn’t want you to think you were alone on this one.

    I completely agree with your friend too. Part of dating is working through your issues, but everybody has issues, and the right person will do things that keep your insecurities at bay long enough and give you the right confidence to build a solid foundation. That’s why they’re the right person. The internets, yes I speak for the internets, are pulling for you! Good luck!

    • I LOVE this comment. I get ragey, too. πŸ˜‰ Thank you for speaking for the internets–and you are SO right. The right person will do all those things that keep the insecurities from taking over. Have a great weekend, doll!

  10. Your post made me hungry for brownies… And wine. Mmmmmmmmmm…

    Okay, moving on – Good advice – The right guy won’t let you push him away. I speak from experience and a long line of effed up dating. I mean, novel worthy… Tragedy? Maybe. Don’t over analzye.

    One of my favorite quotes that I read when I start doubting me, if people want to be around me, if I text too much, if I sabotage is –

    “Accept everything about yourself – I mean everything, You are you and that is the beginning and the end – no apologies, no regrets.”

  11. I am the last person to give dating advice — but I will say that men are just bad at communicating in general. Most men think you should be able to read their minds. Sometimes you just have to tell them.

    As far as the dating – I just really want you to meet that guy. You are so awesome! I know it’s going to happen for you — I do!

  12. terrid614 says:

    wow! what a lot of really great responses and advice. i read this yesterday at work but our work computers will not allow us to post comments. argh.
    here nor there, i agree with everything that everyone said. the old ‘cliche’ its going to happen when you least expect it, is something i would always say, how can that be, as i am always looking…….just sayin. lol…..
    but, yes, my dear, you are beautiful girl with amazing qualities and when that special guy does come along, he will accept you for you and everything in between. i have been in a relationship that has been on again off again for what feels like forever, and he still does not accept me for me which makes me really sad. we are humans, we have all made a bad choice or a mistake (including him, which he would NEVER admit, because, why??? well, he is perfect….at least he thinks so), but i just think that things will never progress to where i want because of his issues….but whatev,
    as far as the texting goes, yes, annoying at times. like i get a little text here or there, but apparently this is the way men think it is ok, to initiate a date, etc. etc. etc. and the not texting back….whoooah. HATE IT. i think it is just rude.
    anyway, beautiful girl, you will meet mr. right……have faith. god has a plan for each of us and you will see when he does come along, everything in between will not even matter!!!!
    enjoy your weekend! xo

  13. moveitmeagan says:

    I think most girls are over analyzes. It’s in our nature.

    And, I agree! I think texting made dating 1000000 times more complicated. Arrrrgh!!!

  14. Hannah says:

    I don’t have advice, just more of a, “what has worked for me…” Every guy I have ever dated and then been involved with for a significant period of time was uber interested from the get-go and hence scrapped all the game playing and called right away and that has been a refreshing part of my previous dating/relationships. Some of them I have to admit, I have lost interest in because they seemed too eager. I know that may sound strange but it totally wreaked of desperation to me when they were overly interested and almost smothering from day one. Somehow I like interest with a little mystery added in, just so I know the guy has other options out there… This all being said, I would agree 100% that guys should call as opposed to texting and luckily that has been my experience. Texting is just too damn impersonal for my taste. Good luck with the dating and I love your blog.

    • Thanks, Hannah! I agree–decent guys will be obviously interested from the get-go and not playing games. No sense in wasting time with players. I’ll know he’s a good one when he actually calls me. πŸ™‚

      ________________________________

  15. Kayla says:

    This is way too weird. I googled “over analyzing men’s texts” and it brought me to you! I am so glad. I am going through some of this right now and over analyzing all of his texts, but reading this has relieved some of the anxiety. A lot of true stuff! Thank you so much!! (even though this is over a month old post, but still :))

  16. Sarah says:

    Just happened upon this after a search. I totally relate. I love the end about the right guy. That made my day. Ive been so hard on him and we’ve broken up a couple times, but now he just says shit like “ur sabotaging urself” or “get outta ur own way” and reality checks me. My level of crazy has declined greatly because he has demonstrated that he is actually there for me and in reality, most of the “problems” in our relationship stem from my overactive imagination. Expecting someone to text back immediately 100% of the time is from an entitled princess mindset. We wouldnt want a guy to put a leash around our necks like that. We’d tell him to take a hike, yet we try to do it to them. Any many who will let you is not worth having imho.

  17. Andrew says:

    Well hello ladies,
    Much like you all, I found this post by a google search on how to stop over analyzing.
    I’m a 30 year old man, and I am terrible with ‘overthink’. I constantly worry I said someone that will make her run for the hills, for example, suggesting a road trip too soon in our dating.
    I suspect this comes from a breakup I suffered that lasted months, while we were in relationship limbo. She kept feeding me hints she’d come back but then counteract those notions almost immediately after.
    So I felt the need to analyze every text, every facebook message, to find some hidden truth.
    While I’m over that relationship and am ready to love again, i have to carry this little demon around with me that prods at my confidence constantly.
    So, its not just you girls, we overthink so much as well.

  18. Janet says:

    OMG, I am currently in a situation where this exact same thing is occurring… Like I could have written this… I also had a friend tell me I should just be myself, but the fear is there… I am not insecure, but I’m not secure with dating… lol

  19. fluffyuk says:

    Hello there!

    Just after some advice. I have never been lucky with my past relationships as the men I dated were either after one thing only or were possessive and wanted to control me. Anyway I have been dating a lovely man for over three months now (5 dates in, we met on match.com but actually realised we had met 10 years ago on the train to work and chatted for months) but we live 2 hours apart so only get to meet up every 3-5 weeks. Which he seems to be happy with as he is so busy during the week with his job as a solicitor. But the more time I spend with him the harder it is to leave at the end of the weekend as I start to miss him. Sad but true. I have never been in love in my life and I am nearly 34..Problem I have is although it seems to go well and we get on great when we meet, inbetween seeing each other he takes between 1 -3 days to reply to my texts even if I just ask him how he is and how work is going. He then can either come back with very short replies or more jokey/flirty ones which he says he misses me and can’t wait to see him etc. I am so confused as I am trying to hold back in some ways, as he has been hurt in the past by his ex wife but I am also missing him as I would like to meet up more but we both have to contend with the distance/weather probs like the snow at the moment etc which can affect me going there.

    I am too scared to ask him how he feels as I don’t want to put any pressure on him. He bought me an amazing xmas present and a lovely card but I don’t even know if we are boyfriend/girlfriend as he hasn’t asked me! I don’t know how it works now relationship wise. Is he just using me.. or is he generally busy and just taking his time getting to know me again as he does have huge trust issues.

    Any advice would be so appreciated. Sorry to do such a long message but I can’t seem to figure him out! I am a complete wimp at trying to convey my worries to him as I am not a clingy woman just need a bit of TLC and attention every so often not alot!

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