We've all been there when we've assembled a group of friends around a table to analyse whatever new nonsense that a Male has sent a friend. It's truly one of life's universal experiences to spend the better part of a morning decoding a seemingly emotionally distant text that supposedly conveys much more. The findings of these studies can result in the Male being 'cancelled', 'trash', or if he's lucky 'just busy'. So much can be interpreted from one simple 'hey', from the presence of punctuation to a capitalized first letter. Everything means something, trust me. Depending on who you talk to, this can make or break a relationship. While communication is key, it's how things are said that really matters, rather than what appears to have been expressed.
I'm not going to pretend that life is always going to be sunshine and daisies, dear readers
The simple fact of the matter is that sometimes life sucks, and it sucks hard. I'm not sure that there is an emotional experience more frustrating, heart-wrenching, guilt-tripping, or generally horrible than unrequited love. If you remember feeling like Rosaline in Romeo and Juliet – the brief object of his whims only to be side-lined for the flashier, younger model – then you're in the right place. It is so hard to find value and validation in who you are as a person without reciprocal feedback from another person. Indeed, if your feelings of worthiness stem from the emotional support of another person, as so often it does, that person is, for better or worse, responsible for your state of mind and sense of self.
This isn't fair on anyone, and don't we know it as we angst and stress about the lack of emotional reciprocation we're receiving, all the while lamenting that it's not necessarily even their fault. That's always the kicker, that the people causing such emotional distress and pain aren't actually aware they're doing it. The quest for a satisfying and enduring, comfortable love is a long journey, and often one that doesn't have a specific endpoint. Certainly, 'enduring love' cannot be achieved through sheer force of will. Oh, but haven't we tried!
But you aren't alone!
I promise you that there are millions of people around the world and close to you that feel the same way; helpless, confused, frustrated, and like you're 'lacking' something fundamental. That feeling doesn't even necessarily go away when you're in a relationship, and there are no two ways about it, love is hard.
But it's even harder when you don't feel loved
We all feel the pressure, and we all want to spoil our best girl. But how? What is sufficiently Instagram worthy, economically important, but above all – meaningful? The thing is, you love her so much that the need for this to be a good date is caving in on the weight of its own importance.
It's not that life would be bad if you weren't in love, but let's face it, for those of us that seek emotional validation and support from others, it's the bee's knees. It's great to be able to give yourself to another person and be vulnerable, and of course, we still get that from friends and family, but there is something different. It changes how you perceive the world around you and impacts what you value. Everything is relative, but that's even more true when you're in love. Committed to another person, and caring about their welfare above, well, most things.
Therefore, here are the two golden rules of flirtation…
1. Feel confident in your own skin! Confidence is basically gold dust in mating rituals. When you've got it, guys can sense that and you immediately stand out from the crowd. Know yourself and then you can present to the men around you exactly what they want. Hint: it's you.
2. Play hard to get – just a bit. If you're normally a very punctual (obsessive) replier, why not leave their message for an hour or two. Or leave them on read (if you have the nerve and want to see if they're going to try again). Don't do this outside the bounds of politeness, you are trying to court him, after all. But don't convey that you're always available for him. It's a fact universally acknowledged that guys want what they can't have. Such is the way of the world.
Here is an extra hint to check that they're into you before you start the courtship… No one wants to waste their time on an uninterested party!
1. 'This reminded me of you' – even if it's a funny Facebook tag or an Instagram DM, this is important. You might remind him of puppies or something goofy like people falling over, but either way, if he looks at his social media and thinks of you, you're golden. Plus, you get to see some excellent wholesome content; it's a win-win.
If you're at this stage, you're pretty much in!