I’ve received tons of dating advice from friends over the years. Most common is always “Let him chase you!” or most recently from my dear dad, “Don’t scare him away.”
I’m a bit of a maverick when it comes to dating, and I rarely follow “the rules”, but probably the best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten came from my friend Lou. Lou has been subject to 90% of my insecurities, my rambling anxieties, and helped me discover 5 new neurosies like Magellan discovered new worlds. The man is a saint by many standards, and as wise as an ancient Chinese philosopher.
So here is Lou’s brilliant, wordly, sage advice to me and neurotic ladies everywhere:
Don’t press send.
And you know what? He’s right.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dated guys and had to call on Lou to rant that I was being ignored or that I was (yet again) being blown off, OR that I had given into the demon that is drunk texting, and was in the throes of regretting what I thought was hilarious in my drunken stupor.
When Lou spoke those words, “Don’t press send,” I wanted to fight him tooth and nail. I am someone who THRIVES on communication, and is completely disarmed and unnerved by radio silence. I don’t mean to say if someone doesn’t text me back fast enough that I have a meltdown- oh no. Its when I go days without any sign of life from someone I consider a significant other. At that point, in the past, I always knew that what was next was me picking up the shards of my yet again broken heart and moving past the bitter sting of failure.
It gets old. But Lou is right. Why chase down someone who is clearly not invested? Why keep trying to bait someone through texts, especially when 90% of the crap we text isn’t particularly memorable or worthwhile? Its actually my least favorite form of communication! Seriously. I’d rather hear your voice in a voicemail. I know that’s not always opportune, but I think on some level we’ve become a society that is so concerned with inconveniencing someone that we just choose the least invasive way of communicating messages to them. But where does that leave us? Missing out on the emotional connection that is experienced when you hear a person’s voice, especially someone you care about. Text can’t replace that. But, alas, that’s just me.
And its something that I’m even struggling with currently. And yet, here I am, on the verge of a break through (surprise! Not a break down. PLOT TWIST!) I’m finally going to start making more solid choices in what I wish to communicate through the textual medium, and when.
When I’m stressed or frustrated or worried- Don’t press send.
If I’m under the influence of Captain, My Captain Morgan or old reliable Mr. Merlot- Don’t press send. (Although, sometimes these kinds of texts are golden nuggets of hilarity. Maybe text with caution.)
When I know someone actually CAN’T text me back and I’m just filling the void of silence. – Don’t press send.
When I’ve been watching a sappy movie and want to make a bold move because I’m drunk on the idea of love- Take my phone and smash it. Or just don’t press send.
Lou’s exact advice is as follows : Write it out. Read it over. Don’t press send.
Sometimes its just not a good time, and sometimes, silence is important. A mistake I’ve made so often in the past is to let my world stop when the communication in a relationship stops. I sit, and stew, and fret, and worry (seriously, it’s a miracle I’m not as wrinkled as a raisin) when I can be doing a thousand other things that are 100% more productive and conducive to my growth as a person.
So thank you Lou, for saving me from myself and my own special brand of relationship sabotage. Monuments should be erected in your honor, and I hope you never sell me to science. Or Hollywood. I hope everyone out there has a Lou in their life.
So I’m going to stop pressing send, and just trust that things are going to work out just fine.
Ow. Are these growing pains?