Today’s letters are in honor of all the young women 25 and under who are struggling in love, throwing themselves at guys who give them barely a hint of recognition, hanging the whole value of themselves on whether or not their feelings for some guy are reciprocated, imagining their lives as essentially over if their future does not include the guy who only calls at night when he’s a little drunk and kind of horny. Ladies, I see you, I hear you, I was you once. Consider me the ghost of Christmas Future here with a message for you: It gets better. Your feelings for the guy who only calls at night when he’s a little drunk and kind of horny are not reciprocated and your future does not include him, God willing (please use birth control). Love, you will learn, is not anxiety over unanswered texts or spending hours trying to decipher the meaning behind one-word responses. It is not an hour of physical intimacy in the shadow of late nights, banking weight behind tender forehead kisses that really don’t mean what you think they mean, followed by days of silence as you try to “stay strong” and not “act needy” by, like, reminding him you exist.
Love helps you look for your dog who ran out the door without his leash, and love brings you Prosecco when you get a raise at work, and love reminds you that you need to pick up toilet paper on your way home. It is romantic, but not always obviously so. It is caring, and tender, and sometimes messy, and you will find it one day, but not by begging and not by strategizing and not by waiting three days before you send a text. Today’s letters are dedicated to those of you still waiting, and still hoping the guy who only calls when he’s a little drunk and kind of horny might be The One:
I was in bed next to him and was torn apart, but I tried not to cry. I stayed strong, but he went on about how long distance was bad and that maybe if we were single in four years we could try again. He said we could stay friends and that I should give Tinder a try, a joke which I was not pleased to hear. He said he should have broken up with me at the end of the summer. I told him we could have a clean slate next semester when I go to university and it’ll be a lot better since I won’t demand too much out of him emotionally or anything. I practically begged him for a second chance and he reluctantly agreed. The rest of the night went well and I kissed him goodbye the next morning.
After that, he didn’t talk to me for a whole week. I was trying to see that if I didn’t initiate a conversation, would he? He never did. I was hurt as hell and eventually sent him a voice recording (since he dodged my call) saying how hard I tried to be a good girlfriend, how he was the one who gave me expectations for the future (I met his mom at 3 months), and how I wanted a clean slate but I can’t force him. The next day he responded saying how he shouldn’t have placed those expectations, how it scares him that I’m attached to him, and how he doesn’t know what he’s doing and needs more time to think. I responded with a long message trying to work out his commitment issues and said he could take time for his decision. I was really lovey dovey and hopeful in the message. I sent that message three days ago and he hasn’t talked to me since and did not reply to the message.
I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if I should wait until final exams are over for him (in 1.5 weeks) for his response or if I should just tell him right now that it’s over. But do I really want it to be over? No. I just want it to seem that I’m confident and that I have the upper hand. We clearly aren’t talking and I can’t convince him to stay with me. What should I do? How can I make him miss me or change his mind without talking to him? I’ll accept if he doesn’t want to date anymore but I feel like I’m unable to start the moving on and start the recovery process if I’m not even sure we are dating.
Please please please help. I just want him to be the one missing me this time. How can I make him feel the lack of me? — Lacking Me