I simply have to send my sincerest apologies to the dude who was unknowingly the guinea pig for this article. Unfortunately, the idea and opportunity came along at an agreeable symmetrical timing and well, I'm never one to skip an awesome feature subject.The dude I can tell is extremely chilled, funny and cool and will not for one moment be even slightly bothered by all this, so I don't feel at all bad about my behaviour. Well, save for the impression I have now left on him – I am a needy trippy mind-changing child of a woman who gets attached quicker than he can say 'let's go for drinks?' Sorry honey, but in your defence you handled it all pretty well. If we bump heads in London, beer is on me! Lots of beer for you.
So, now my apology is out of the way, we can delve right in. Basically, think of the movie 'How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days' and that's the general jist of this feature. I was thinking about a month ago, about how people continually connect over forums like Facebook, twitter and internet dating sites. Given our generic disposition as human beings to be connected to other humans, we often find ourselves conversing with people online who we have never even met yet. Not just conversing either – we're actually getting attached. That's where the TV show 'Catfish' has been born from. People form relationships, which they feel deeply genuine about, to others they've never met in person. I find this at the same time so very strange and alien and yet also, I completely understand. Sometimes we find it easier to bury ourselves into the 'ideal' of another that we form half in our heads and half get via the internet, rather than allowing someone very much 'real' into our lives for fear of rejection or being hurt.
And so, this led me to think about all those potential trysts that could happen after conversations spark online, but never make it to real life dating. Usually, the online 'ideal' that we both encounter when we first start talking slowly evaporates and the reality of what is actually there becomes crystal clear. I have an initial example where I was the one ditching the date before it even happened. I was meant to go for a nice post work date with this guy off my facebook, and the day before our date, he decided to text me and ask how spontaneous I am. I gave myself a good ol' 7/10 (credit where credit's due, I am pretty spontaneous with life) to which he basically said, he had a holiday booked to Barbados in September and gave me the resort name and dates...and said the second ticket has yet to find its name. He was asking me to go on holiday with him. WHAT?
This was on the day before our actual FIRST date, so, I hadn't even met the dude yet. I felt it quite weird that he was willing to invite someone he'd never ever even met on holiday, and can only fathom that because I am so open and personable on my social media and website that he felt quite connected with me already. Interesting but still so very weird. I was already now a bit hesitant about taking this 2D chat into 3D. Anyway, after I said I'd think about it (it is Barbados after all, any girl would at least consider such a request)...he then mentioned that for the actual date tomorrow, we'd not be able to eat food out OR drink any alcohol because he was training. I mean, COME ON. I am into my fitness and I go to the gym but if you're telling me I can't eat any dinner out and I can't drink alcohol... and it is only our first date... then really what the Hell do you expect for the future? True story this. I politely bowed out of this first date before I even bowed in. Not for me!
I wondered on... how many of you ladies have 'met' someone online, and never managed to actually meet him in real life? Did he change his mind? Did he fuck it up? Did perhaps you fuck it up? And is it worse when you don't actually get to meet that person in person, because you're forever left wondering if your virtual spark would have been magnified in real life. Would you have had fireworks? And why the hell did it fizzle out before it even fizzled in? Well, I think I have some answers for you.
So this guy came along. Let's call him Edward, because I decided he reminds me of a vampire. We did the whole Twitter / Facebook shindig, he instigated the conversation and we got talking. In my usual brash unfeminine manner, I matched his apparent wit and banter with equal stature and it didn't take long for him to become intrigued (standard) and offer up his digits. After digit swapping there were instant phone calls and, believe it or not, we spoke until 1am. Literally, around 2 hours in total of call time. This is extremely rare – most guys stick to text and most guys do not hold my attention for this long, but with Edward, he kept me laughing and giggling until I forgot what the time was. Instant spark initiated. I felt he felt the same, and there was no denying we had some form of attraction to each other and chemistry on top of that. I'd have seen him the very next day if I could, because this kind of spark is pretty unique. Yes, I am being genuine here, and I still maintain this to be true. In fact, even after all this (see below), I'd still wanna see him.
However, after we arranged a first drink session which never happened, for boring reasons I won't bother explaining...I thought perhaps it was perfect to see how far and how quickly I could push this guy and ruin that great initial spark. It isn't that I am into self-sabotage or anything but, I couldn't get this article idea out of my head and felt I had been presented with the perfect opportunity to test out everything girls do wrong which pushes a bloke away. Plus, I just got this vibe. I can't pin point it but, I felt if I let myself ever get close to this guy, it would be my downfall (he is very much my type, which is a shame). However, back to the task in hand. I did some super quick research from my boy mates on what girls do wrong when they start off talking to a bloke.
My boys offered pearls of wisdom and I then carried out the acts to the extreme measures, behaving the exact same way to see how Edward would respond to me. I'll tell you now, it was fucking exhausting. I've never had to stay in constant contact that much and I was busy trying to paint a canvas but also having to stop and remember to text him (girls over text always) every 5 fucking minutes. Being needy is actually so difficult and I was always like 'fuck my life it has been a while I'm going to have to text him again'. I also called, left a voicemail, Facebook messages and tweets too. Oh yeah, when I do something I do it properly! And wow, the amount of photos of my painting that poor dude received...by the end of it he probably didn't give a flying fuck what a Lion looks like. At least I was giggling to myself on the other end.
I think it was something like a week in total where he dropped the 'too much' and 'needy' bomb, which is totally fair because that's exactly what I was doing. I was surprised it went on that long to be honest, which shows actually what a great guy he is. So, move over Kate Hudson, Nixalina is taking the reign. Let's get to it shall we? Here are the steps for you to AVOID when meeting a man off the internet, if you actually want to meet him in real life.
1. Don't chuck yourself in at the deep end
The 2 hour phone calls were already a step too far. Granted, I let myself run away with him because I was drawn to him and intrigued and just in general enjoying his 'phone' personality, but that is way too long time segment to offer someone you've literally only just met online. Yes, we had a spark. Yes, I loved the conversation. But no, he should not be readily able to absorb 2 hours of my time on a Wednesday evening. What impression does that give? That I am always available, and will always be at the end of the phone. With someone you've never met, you do not allow yourself to be so easily free. Yes, offer enough to create interest and spark but keep the enigma going – the enigma is what allows him to remain interested. If you throw yourself at the poor boy from the get go, you immediately come off as desperate, emotionally reliant on others and needy. Ain't nobody got time for that.
2. Don't assume it will carry on as it started
So you shared a fair few texts or calls or Facebook messages, this does not mean it will continue in the same manner. Just because he called me for so long, doesn't mean it makes it okay for me to then call him whenever I fancied. Firstly, we're not here to lay ourselves out on a silver platter. Secondly, you haven't met him yet. He does not deserve constant calls. You are your own woman and you have your own life, so, crack on as you were before and let him slot into it as and when you fancy. If he sent you one initial super long loving message do not get all put out because the next day was short sharp responses. So fucking what? He may be busy. He may be seeing another bird. He may be testing the water to your reactions. Whatever the reason, just remember, you don't know him enough to even care at this stage.
3. Always bear in mind, you are just a photo on a screen
Do not act like you deserve his constant time, attention and requests to meet up as quickly as possible. Whilst you may realise you're quite the catch, to him, you're just another random on his social media. Sorry to sound harsh but it is true. You cannot expect anything other than the select text or rare phone call from him. He doesn't know you enough yet to feel he wants to continue the communication. If you act put out because the contact is sparse, you're already being too needy. That is NOT a good look. What you need to know is, the more chilled you are as a woman, the more attractive you'll be to him. Once he's met you in person and you're not just a 2D image, you'll start to appear on his radar screen.
4. Do not be needy or 'too much' too soon
Edward pulled both of these bad boy labels out of the bag, finally, after I dramatically decided to end it (end what? We hadn't even gone on a first date yet! There was NOTHING to end!) because I had decided in a dramatic fashion that he hadn't given me enough attention. *once again Edward, I am sorry. And you handled it all beautifully*. Everything was over the top and unnecessary. I needed to really shove him to the edge to get a reaction, and after he reacted to my needy persona in quite a lovely manner, I felt I had to just ruin it completely. It was fucking hard work. Some girls are actually like this in general. Whilst we females are slaves to our emotions, you need to try step out of your box and look at the bigger picture. If the poor guy is explaining you'll hang out when he is free, then let the man be. Do I need to say again you've not met him yet? You can't be so... emotionally available and over the top... for a man you've only ever seen in 2D. I know we all get excited about the possibility of this being the one, but throwing yourself at him will never be the way to end your tale with a happy ever after. Trust me, this has been tried and tested. Doesn't work. So take a fucking chill pill girls and dial down the knob on your pressure cooker, because the dude can't stand the heat.
5. If his behaviour is not consistent, mirror it
If he doesn't call or text you, do the same. Allow breathing space for this to evolve naturally; nothing prospers from being forced. To avoid the humiliating needy bomb being dropped on you, just mirror his behaviour. So he doesn't call again...then nor do you. So he takes 4 hours to text back, leave it 5 to respond. I knowwwww it feels like hard work and games and love should be 'effortless' but if you don't follow this kinda structure, you'd come off as too intense. Yep, I tried it. I got all intense on his ass. And I could tell he was slowly becoming frustrated and the less he said, the more I over-said to compensate (I imagine many girls do this without even realising). It just leaves you deflated and him pissed off.
6. Do not make this man your main focus
This is a given but I'll explain it anyway – when you're seen as being self-sufficient, self-fulfilled, happy and engaged in your own life, you are very attractive. Positivity attracts positivity. When you are perceived as being too open, lacking in any real personal goals or hobbies and making this person your 'everything', you are not attractive. You could look like Gisele for all it matters...you still won't be someone the guy wishes to chase. Laws of attraction my girly friends, learn them well.
7. Do not spill your entire life out instantly
You ever been like, fucking hell this person needs to shut up before I die of boredom? Yeah...that happens when you deliver your entire life story to someone you barely know. It isn't that your life is boring but, you got to keep a bit of enigma going...yes that is twice now I have mentioned this word. Remember it and use it. Be elusive and offer out information as and when he deserves to know. You've not met him yet so he doesn't really give a toss that you once had a pet gerbil but the cat ate it and then the cat got sick and puked in the bath. So I was painting this canvas of a Lion – he doesn't need daily updates (he got them though, bless him). He doesn't need to know your every waking hour.
8. Let him chase
This is something I delved into at my Single Girl Seminar, and it is the idea that the guy needs to chase. It is a known fact so don't try argue with me. Male instinct means they need to feel they have worked to earn something and that they have managed to 'get' something that others could not so easily obtain. Blame it on masculinity. Blame it on the penis...whatever the reason, it is true. If you eliminate the thrill of the chase for the dude, you will lose his interest. Remember the puppy and the stick analogy. He's the puppy, you're the stick. You need to be thrown far for him to get all excited and leg it after you. No one wants the stick that is dropped onto the floor in front.
9. Do not communicate every day
Just don't. You have your own life, and before he came along you were doing pretty swell without him. If he texts you every day that is super sweet and a really great sign but, it is not then an obligation for you to respond. If you're not as easily reached, you'll remain an object of desire for him. Just trust me on this!
10. Turn off your timestamp on Whatsapp
Don't even argue with me on this one. It isn't healthy and it is fuelling your needy paranoid behaviour. Turn that shit off instantly and don't check your phone again until it actually vibrates with a text. Social media is making everyone turn into CIA style stalkers. Stop it.
11. Do not send sexts
Guys need to earn this kinda stuff. I think I sent at least one or two to Edward (nothing too X rated, you know me, I like to be PG) to see his reaction. Was he bowled over? No, not really. Not because I am not attractive and not because he doesn't fancy me, but because he hasn't earned these texts. If you hand out images before you meet a guy, it can only be assumed you're always so very free with your sexts, which is not a good look. Plus, it aids the devaluing of you as a potential long term date. Pretty sure after the images were sent, I was put into his 'fuck' box rather than 'she's cool' box. Well, actually, I was probably also already in the 'fuck she's too needy' box too. If you earn something, it holds more value than if it is given to you for free. Fact.
12. Do not pretend unacceptable behaviour is okay
So many of you girls do this and I urge you to take a step back and evaluate what is going on. If you're all butterflies and rainbows about your new potential, do not allow the rose tint to cloud your judgement. If he says some really fucked up things, or suggests things like skype sex or whatever... send that boy to the island of lost men and move on. It is easy to sweep bad behaviour under the carpet when you're pinning your hopes on this man being the next big love interest. Please remember your own values and if you are a bit put off by something he says or does, do not act like it is okay. Be true to yourself first and foremost.
13. Do not give him ultimatums
If you do, it will always be the answer of the option you didn't want. Ultimatums will not work nor will they make him want to spend any real time with you. Ever.
14. Keep your dignity
Dignity is the one thing only you can determine if you lose it in a relationship. He cannot take your dignity, you are the one that lets it slip. Keep it at all costs.
A final paragraph from me, on what I have learnt over this experiment. Being needy is exhausting. I don't know how you girls manage to crack on with life as well as monitor your man's every movement. I had to actually remind myself to stop what I was enjoying and involved with to text him something pointless, mundane or ask the 'what you up to?' daily question. Urgh, does it even matter!! It is ridiculous to throw yourself at a bloke prior to even meeting and yet, we all seem to do it. Whilst love is ran by our hearts, we must constantly keep a check on emotions because they can simultaneously create and destroy a connection with someone. Edward and I got on so well initially, but my needy behaviour made him back away until he didn't even want to meet me in person. If I had been my normal self, he'd have still been interested. But more what I've learnt....is that actually....Edward was rather lovely. He took what I threw at him in his stride, and if I hadn't gone psycho on his arse I reckon we'd have been quite good friends. So ten points for the male species! You have Edward to thank for my praise. It isn't often I throw a bone for the dudes but this time, you deserve it.