Most of us have experienced the following scenario; we meet that special someone, exchange digits and wait impatiently for that all important text to come through. And so begins the waiting game…
Phase One: The Waiting Game
Where’s my text?
We wake up in the morning, drowsily pick up our phones, and WHAT?! No FREAKEN message!? “Perhaps he/she is still asleep?” We tell ourselves and go about our normal day. Only, it’s not just a normal day, because we find ourselves pacing nervously up and down, up and down. The clock is ticking and the minutes turn into hours. We keep checking our phones, putting it down, picking it up, putting it down….you get the drift! Suddenly, our phone begins to play its sweet melodic tune. Our heart starts to beat a little faster, as a rush of adrenaline rushes over us. We smile from ear to ear as we nervously pick up the phone. Meanwhile, we anticipate what the text might say…
“Last night was great, you are amazing! xxx”….
We slide the menu across and, all of a sudden, our heart SINKS to the ground. It’s only a bothersome relative asking us something completely irrelevant. “Aunty Jean, I don’t mean to be rude, but NO, I don’t want any of your homemade Mango freaken Chutney!” We toss our phones to the side and so ‘Phase Two’ comes into play.
As we anticipate entering the early stages of a relationship, we don’t want to come across too keen. With this in mind, many of us will pull out the ‘playing it cool’ card, and wait for the other person to contact us. Theoretically, if the other person is interested, it’s likely they would make the first move. Some people are able to accept what will be will be, others may find this stage tortuous. If we aren’t pacing the lobby or checking our phone every minute that goes by, we are driving ourselves crazy trying to rationalise why they haven’t dropped us that text.
We might not know it yet, but texting is all about ‘game-playing’. You toss someone a ball, they will throw it back. Swallow your pride, drop that special person a text and you might be surprised when they ‘actually’ text you back! That’s right, they might text you back! If you don’t toss them that ball, you might miss the chance to experience what it’s like to catch it again. But why are we so afraid to make the first move? As human beings, we all fear rejection. Some of us more than others. To avoid being rejected, we often avoid putting ourselves into situations where we may face rejection. However, by building this wall of protection around ourselves, we are only isolating ourselves further and, consequently, missing out on potential opportunities. Be brave. Bite the bullet. What’s the worst that can happen?
Phase Two: Rationalising
Perhaps the music’s too loud?
So, after numerous attempts of constructing a text which doesn’t cry of desperation, we find our finger hovers nervously over the send button. To send or not to send? That is the question. “Oh, what the heck!” we think to ourselves, as we watch our message fly off into cyberspace. There’s no going back now!
Afternoon comes and goes, and we are still absent that text. We start to feel a little broken inside, but yet, we haven’t quite given up hope. I mean, there must be a completely rational explanation as to why they haven’t texted.
Could they be busy?
Perhaps they have lost their phone?
Maybe they have accidentally dropped it down the toilet?
Perhaps they’ve come down with a tropical disease?
…or perhaps they got knocked down by a bus?
All completely plausible
This endless ‘rationalising’ takes me back to a time when I was having a nice evening with a ‘slightly over-baring’ friend. Let’s just call her ‘Sally’. Now, Sally had a thing for marines. So much so, she’d pull one every time she went out and, subsequently, fall in love with every one of them! These ‘naughty’ marines had a habit of taking advantage of poor Sally and then cutting off all contact. To a degree, I could empathise, as Sally was a bit of a….man-eater! Okay, Okay…she was a COMPLETE man-eater! She would gobble these men up, spit them back out, bottle them up and screw cork them in. Yes, she was one of those who declared their love after the first kiss. Suddenly, she’s faced with a guy who wants to run as far away from her as he possibly can. There was one who didn’t even make it to the morning, as he leapt off my balcony in nothing but a pair of boxers and military boots….never to be seen again! I did feel for the poor girl, as she woke up the following morning next to nothing but a pair of camouflage cargo pants!
On this particular night, as we drank wine on the balcony, the broken record began to play its tiresome tune… “Why hasn’t he texted me?” She asked more times than I could count. “Perhaps the music’s too loud?”, I reassured her… “Yeah, perhaps the music’s too loud!”, she agreed, drunkenly. “Because, if the music’s too loud, he wouldn’t hear his phone, would he?” she continued. To cut a long story short, the same broken record continued to play its sorrowful song. Sally never got that call, and yet she drove herself to insanity trying to rationalise why the marine hadn’t text… Sally, I’m sorry to break the news to you, but he just ain’t that into you!
So we’ve tossed over the ball and sadly no one has thrown it back. We are left feeling sad and discouraged. In fact, we now regret throwing the ball in the first place. But why? Most people have this need to be loved. To be loved, makes us feel like we are wanted. When we feel like we have a place in this world, we feel happy and content. This ‘cycle of needs’ is mirrored in everyday transactions between people.
Take my friend Sally for example; she chased these men because she longed to be loved. For a short period of time – when they were trapped inside her bottle – her need to be loved was met. As the bottle went pop, and out ran a dishevelled marine, her needs were no longer being met and therefore she longed for that feeling again. As she experienced the pain of rejection once over, she felt as empty as the bottle lying next to her. The important lesson to be learned is to love oneself, rather than relying on others to give you happiness. As cliché as this sounds (and some of you may want to take a wet kipper to my head right now!) happiness comes from within! Once we have accepted this, it shouldn’t matter whether we receive that all important text or not.
Phase Three: Questioning Ones-self
What’s wrong with me?
So they haven’t text you, but you can’t help but ask why? Am I not good enough? Maybe they don’t like me after all? The day is almost over and all you are left with is this heaviness in your heart. Perhaps, you’ll just turn your phone off and go to bed.
Why do we put ourselves through such torture?
I have been in those wandering shoes too many times to remember. They pace up and down in discontentment, they are tired, worn and they pinch like a bitch. Why don’t we give those shoes a rest? How about putting on some shoes that don’t cause us so much pain and discomfort? So, I’m not talking about shoes, I’m talking about our state of mind. We could drive ourselves to insanity dwelling on why that text never came. We could blame ourselves until the cows come home, see what state we’ve got ourselves into, and whack us in the face with their udders! So, why not adopt a more positive frame of mind? If they text us, that’s great! If they don’t, it’s not the end of the world. Perhaps life has something better in store? Quit playing the ‘blame game’ and move on. You ARE good enough! The absence of text is not a personal reflection, and who knows, maybe they did come down with a tropical disease, after all!
Phase Four: The Kiss-o-meter
How many kisses?
We wake up in the morning to the sweet sound of angels singing…”Halleluiah… Halleluiah”. For the text has finally arrived. Our heart starts to thump erratically and we have found that smile once again. We reach across, slip the menu bar over and….
Our heart sinks as we think to ourselves, “What a bloody anti-climax!”…
“Hi, hope you got home okay!”. It reads, or something lacklustre like that!
“Is that it? Is that what I have been waiting for, all this time?”
Our disappointment soon turns into frustration as we struggle to respond to this poor excuse of a text. “I certainly won’t be putting a kiss on the end!” we think, as we punch the buttons with our furious fingers.
So, for those of you who received a text – Great! Or is it great? Were you disappointed or did your heart skip a beat? Sit down on my chaise-lounge and tell me “how do you feel about that?”
As I said before, texting is all about game-playing… and so the ‘kiss-o-meter’ is born. You could analysis it like this;
No kiss – He’s just not that into you!
1 kiss – Friendly
2 kisses – Friendship material
3 kisses – Potential romance
4 kisses - Romance is on the cards
5 kisses – It’s getting hot in here!
6 kisses and more – Steady down, there!
Now, take that ‘kiss-o-chart’ and screw it up into a ball, for it has little indication of how your relationship will/will not plan out. The man of your dreams could put seventeen kisses at the end of your message, and yet it still doesn’t mean he is head-over-heels in love with you! The woman of your dreams may have put no kiss at all…does this mean she’s not interested? No!
Being the complex human-beings we are, we have this innate ability to over-analyse things. So, before you get too disheartened, take into account that every individual is different. The amount of kisses placed at the end of a message is mostly down to the personality of the text-sender. Some people are openly passionate and loving, and, therefore, likely to use more kisses at the end of their messages. Others, are more introvert and guarded, and thus, less likely to put kisses. Generally, the amount of kisses increases as the relationship grows. Of course, there gets to a point when there is an adequate amount, 3 messages worth of kisses would be taking it a step too far! So, if you’re at the very beginning stages of a relationship, perhaps it’s not such a big deal after all? You might find that some people just don’t think all that much about how many kisses they put. So before you send a hasty reply, be kind and let the relationship unfold naturally. And most importantly – STOP FRETTING!
Phase Five: Content Analysis
Geez, when did texting become so complicated?
If it’s not the lack of kisses giving us the hump, then it’s the contents of the message. Whether it’s too vague or just plain unromantic, we tend to read too much into the ‘ulterior’ message. The truth is, we don’t need to! Put your magnifying glass down, and step away from the crime scene, for no crime has been made! What I’m trying to say is, why analyse something that doesn’t need to be analysed? Why drive ourselves to insanity with all the what if’s?
Sometimes we experience something called the ‘text-regret’. This usually happens when under the influence of alcohol. Most of us have sent that text we shouldn’t have sent. Whether it was a ‘naughty’ selfie, or admitting our undying love for a certain someone…we barely know! The message gets sent and the HORROR rushes over us. Mortified, we say to ourselves “Oh SHIT!”
Perhaps it’s auto-correct that’s getting you down. How many times have we sent a dodgy text?
“I want some In-line skates…In-line skates, not online sluts” *Gulp*
Here are some classic examples;
Or maybe, it’s the pure mortification you feel as you realise you’ve sent the wrong text to the wrong person! (See below).
No one puts ‘baby’ in the corner! I’d run for the hills before she totally takes you out!
My husband knows only too well if he gets a message like this….
“WhEn ArE YoU CoMMMMMMing HoMMMMMMe?!!!!!????”
*Note the poor usage of both uppercase and lower case, no kiss to be seen.
…his balls are about to be HUNG! Some people find it hard not to pour their emotions into their text messages. I am one of those people. If I have a bee in my bonnet, everyone knows about it!
This innate ability to over-analyse is predominately used to protect ourselves from getting hurt. In some cases, if we sense danger before it happens it can successfully prevent us from the vulnerability or upset it may cause. In other cases, if we build this wall around us, it’s hard for even the ‘none-threats’ to break through. Generally, the more we have experienced hurt, the more bricks we build to protect us. To a degree, it’s healthy to have some barriers in place, but not to the point where it begins to ‘block out’ our judgement. In the texting context, the language used can set alarm bells ringing in our heads, and soon we are fabricating something insignificant into something major. If our significant other’s forget to put ‘I love you’ at the end of their text, we are all… “What did I do wrong” …”Is he angry at me”….when in reality, he has simply forgotten. I guess the lesson to be learned is not to over-analyse a text. Before you feel your face going red in anger and horns begin to sprout from your head….STOP! It’s only a text.
So rather than jump to any rash conclusions, let’s just take a step back, remove the bee-infested bonnets from our heads, shake off those pinching shoes and CHILL the heck OUT! What will be, will be! Whether you’re having problems popping the cork from out of that bottle or you’re stewing over a pending text, ask yourself…is it worth it?
Take a look at the guy above. Does he look bothered?
And for those of you wondering what happened to my friend Sally, she’s happily single, enjoying life with her two beautiful children, no man in sight. Not even a marine in a bottle!