It's easy to be chill when you don't care.

A few months ago, I came across an article which had me saying “YES. This.” It’s called “Against Chill”.

I am decidedly un-chill. I am passionate and intense and feel deep and fall hard.

But I can cultivate chill. I talk the big brave talk about my dating rules, which 95% of the time I’m really good at following. Like I mentioned last week, I’m rather proudly blasΓ© about not hearing from the Accountant or Mr. Fetlife. Hell, I even totally missed that Mr. Checklist and I hadn’t texted for three days.

Yup. I’m a badass chill cool cat.

Yeah, right.

For those of you who know me really well, I’m sure this will come as no surprise: I have a hard time dealing with less than stellar communication when I like someone a lot. While some of it for sure has to do with the pain of Tony, and other men I’ve liked who just evaporate, it’s deeper than that.

What I perceive as abandonment comes with an intense emotional response. My therapist would say it has to do with my father, and she’s probably right. I know it’s not rational, and it’s hard to not let it be a “gut feeling” that guides me.

Intellectually I don’t get ahead of myself and think that someone like Lewis (or, let’s be honest, Lewis) is a perfect boyfriend for me. I’m not picking out china patterns for our wedding (which is a dumb statement since I don’t want formal china ever again, but just work with me here). I 100% know there are many things I need to learn about him, and he me. If he started getting all “I want you to be my girlfriend” on the third date, it would be a big red flag.

But there is something about a lack of communication that screams REJECTION to me.

Here’s an example:

I was away this weekend and so was in sporadic communication. One day, Lewis sent me some really funny meme’s in response to a conversation we were having. Here’s one:

2015-06-26 22.02.53

There were a few others that made me laugh. I shared them with girlfriends. I felt good.

Then Sunday afternoon I suggested if he wanted he could come over that night after Liam was asleep for some couch fun. Then a couple of hours later I sent him a link to an article I thought he’d like to read. Five hours after that, I received a text from him: “interesting article”. That was it. I responded and then, nothing.

I figured he could have been out on a date and didn’t want to lie, so he just ignored the invitation. I’m super aware that moving to exclusive too quickly is not what I want to do again – even if it feels like what I want in the moment.

So I wasn’t crazily fussed he didn’t respond, but it did bother me. I figure he could have at least said “hey thanks for the offer but it won’t work; looking forward to Tuesday!” But nope, I heard nothing at all.

The next morning I still didn’t have a text from him. I went onto Plenty of Fish and there he was, online. This hurt me, if I’m being honest. I figured if he had time to be on an online dating site, he had time to text me. And then the tailspin began. I started to doubt all of the things I thought were true before. I became convinced he doesn’t like me as I thought. That he’s starting to evaporate. He’s dating others who he likes more, etc etc.

Thank goodness I have friends I can share this with. They all said the same thing – it means nothing. Don’t get ahead of myself. I’m online too and not really pursuing others. so why do I assume he is? There are a myriad of reasons he may not have texted me. Perhaps he doesn’t want to appear to eager. On and on. I do know these things to be true, but I can’t get away from silence = rejection.

One of my friends, known to these parts as Madame, sent me this:

2015-06-29 11.11.20

She’s right, of course. But being the Virgo analyser I am, I would argue that the lack of communication would be one of the 13 scenarios I’m right about. I even got worried that the one guy I did respond to on POF (another guy who I dated once who has reached out again; post forthcoming) was a good friend of Lewis’s and they were testing me.

Yes, seriously.

My friends’ collective advice was: reach out later in the day as I would with anyone else I was making plans with. Do it 24 hours in advance of our date, and not sooner. Keep it light. Don’t mention any lack of texting. Cool my tits (there was an accompanying meme with that statement). Remember being single goes both ways.

My tits cooled, I tried to keep busy throughout the day, to moderate success. One thing I did is worthy of a new post.

It’s fascinating to me how visceral the reaction is for me, and what it triggers: an overwhelming desire to contact Tony or the Comedian, neither of which I’ve done. I’m able to resist the impulsive behavior. But I cannot avoid that emotional response. I’m working on it and I’m very thankful for the friends who are helping me through it.

58 thoughts on “It's easy to be chill when you don't care.

  1. I’m glad you have cool tits now. Adam used to send me a crazy looking meme with the caption “calm yo tits, woman!” Whenever I got stressed about something. It is so difficult not to read rejection into everything but it is simply too early in the game and you’re simply too fabulous to sit around worried about a dude πŸ™‚

  2. If you find a way to stop that emotional response, please make sure to share it here…I am the exact same way. I do believe a lot of us are in this same boat.

    • Not that I want to brag… and I’ve no idea how I got there, but I’m doing much better on the worrying about rejection front. I think having someone who I know cares about me, even if he doesn’t email regularly, helped.
      And the fact I realized that I’m not ready for a relationship, so not actively looking for one. I’ll take one when it comes and I’m ready, but I won’t drop something I like because it’s not moving fast enough.
      I know, I’m in a different head space to most here πŸ™‚
      Good luck with figuring out what works for you both!

      • Well as you saw first hand, I lasted almost six months with Tony and it wasn’t moving as fast as I liked. His communication issues were just a sign of where he was at. Knowing that he cared about me was what let me put up with it as long as I did. If I’m confident with how someone feels, it’s different.

  3. When it comes to lack of communication, I’m 100% with you. Maybe some men think it’s cool to keep a woman guessing, but nothing turns me off more. I like the saying: effort is attractive. I truly believe that a man who is reaaaaly into you, would not waste an opportunity to chat with you or be with you. It’s hard to be cool if you care, that’s true, but sometimes their salience speaks volumes.

    • I do believe this is true; I also think there’s a difference in the early stages of dating verses what I experienced with Tony, which was horrible.

      With Lewis, he’s not too cool when he does text…he’s flirty and positive, and in person we’ve talked about fun things to do together. I don’t get a blase vibe from him at all.

  4. Girl… After you left last weekend it took all my will power to not text TN or the Bad Texter and all you did was go home! Please note, however, that I caved and texted them both 3 days later lol. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL.

  5. I think you are having a perfectly normal and healthy reaction. To not respond to text like that is rude. Plain and simple. Rudeness is a sympton selfishness and possibly narcissism and when a normal, somewhat healthy person, is confronted by this kind of unacceptable behavior then the response you described is quite normal.

    • It’s quite common John – I believe pacing communications is a byproduct of online dating and engaging with multiple people. We are afraid to appear too keen. Sometimes, especially when work and children take up a fair amount of time, we are also simply busy.

      But in this text ignore in particular, my guess is it had more to do with the gentle dishonesty we engage in at the beginning of dating – nobody wants to say they are seeing other people, especially when they like you. We dance around that truth and avoid having to lie.

      Gosh, have I become a cynic? Or is this just realism…

      • I guess when you explain it that way I can sort of understand. I’m the type of person that needs to know where he stands in a relationship at all times. If someone ignored my communication I would be wild. And my reaction would be justified and the fault would be with the callousness of the one who ignores. I don’t think that’s something I could compromise.

  6. That’s a tough one! On one hand (tough love here) you had the Tuesday date in hand, but that wasn’t enough, so you had to ask for more. If you had been content with what you had already achieved, you wouldn’t have set yourself up for the disappointment of asking for more and not getting the set of acceptable replies you hoped for. On the other hand, I feel your pain. So easy to try to analyze and guess your way into insanity. Good that you see your own part in all of this. You barely know Lewis. He seems great, but you barely know him. It’s fair to assume he may still be dating, but unhealthy to obsess over whether that is what he’s doing right this second. Have confidence that you will rise to the top of his dance are if its meant to be, and be patient with this taking a while. Don’t let yourself derive all of your validation on whether he texts you or not. I’ve also found that the busier I am between dates, the less it matters if and when people communicate. I say all this with apparent ease, but I get hit as hard as you seem to when communication doesn’t go my way. I’m going through a period of restrained communication with the guy I’m way too wrapped up in (he’s setting that tone, of course) and you should see the inside of my head as I struggle to go to sleep at nights.

    • This is great advice and I agree. I debated whether to put Sunday night out there, and in hindsight I probably shouldn’t have done so. While I’m eager, I know it’s sometimes good to pace things.

      I definitely know my part in this; other than ignoring the text he’s really done nothing wrong at all. It’s in my head and I need to be careful of assuming gut feelings versus my own triggers.

      And I have to get busier!!

  7. I also might recommend having the conversation about where he is at with dating before going all the way with him. Be totally honest about your intentions, too. Tell him that you are looking for a long term relationship, but one with passion and good sex. Ask yourself whether you more need immediate sexual validation from him, or the long term validation of him not disappearing. I’m not saying it’s one or the other, but there is always that risk.

      • Yes! he and I spoke about an upcoming event to which I have tickets…it’s three weeks away and it got me thinking that it’s a good way to suss him out. Three weeks can be a lifetime in early dating but I know he wants to go. I figured I could say “hey I would love for you to accompany me but not sure if it’s too far out” and see what he has to say about it. But timing is key!

    • It’s good advice and I’ve been thinking about that – he is quite clear in his dating profile that he wants a relationship. We talked about it briefly on our first date – that his friends encourage him to just date / sleep with 20 somethings but he wants something more. I do think we are aligned on that front but it’s a good thing to check in on, for sure.

  8. I think the combination of what John and nichtisobel wrote hit it on the head. BUT…even if he is on a date or whatever, it is pretty douche’ to get a offer to come over to have couch play, then get a second text, and only reply to the second text completely ignoring the first one. Especially after a week of events that occurred. Even if it was just an apology to say “sorry I was in the middle of a bunch of things, wish I could of made it, the article was interesting.” It is called being courteous. I don’t care if someone is dating 10 people. If you can’t be courteous, then maybe that is sign not to be dating 10 people (and looking for a relationship). In my opinion/experience, that is how I acted when I was “playing” but whenever I found someone that I had a connection with, the rules changed, I was courteous to them because I wanted something more with them.

    All that being said, I like nichtisobel idea of the “conversation”. I don’t recommend playing footsies while doing it, he will be thinking with the wrong head. Make it as nonchalant as possible.

  9. This is me exactly! And I’m also a Virgo. These feelings of abandonment and rejection are causing problems in my relationship… all because of stupid text communications slowdown. I start over analyzing everything and making myself crazy. And then I think: Is this my issue and I need to deal with it and be unhappy or should I just find someone who has similar texting communications style? πŸ™

  10. I am with you on all of this. I am going to go read your rules now. Of course some of this will not apply to me being non monogamous but some will, I’m trying to form lasting relationships, not one night stands.

        • I have a draft post on chemistry because I did some research on it after my “accountant” post. In my experience, chemistry is either there or it’s not (and it’s mental, emotional, and physical for me), and I know if it’s there within a few minutes. It can be stronger (like with Tony, where it was INSANE) or just fine.

          A lot of people talked about physical bonds / pleasure getting stronger over time, which yes I completely agree can happen. But that’s not the same as chemistry for me.

          And I can also learn to like someone more or less over time. But the connection I refer to as chemistry is binary. There or not.

          • I like this guy, he is nice but it’s like he’s my brother. We haven’t kissed or even held hands. We hugged but I felt no sparks. I worry he maybe into me, and I like him as a person, but that’s all I know now.

          • Well, I guess it depends what’s important to you. Given the physical intimacy and passion I desire, I couldn’t be with someone where there wasn’t a spark. It’s okay if it’s not insane physical chemistry like Tony and me – that’s pretty rare – but I need to feel some delight when they touch me.

  11. I guess dating is really different now cause if a guy didn’t respond but went on a website, I probably wouldn’t bother with him again. Only cause that is rude n not what I’m into. I like sweet, attentive n romantic.

What do you think?