Kathleen tells me with every new guy that I need to be more breezy. She was in a sorority and teaches me all sorts of terms for dating and hooking up that I’ve never heard. Being “breezy” means you act less available to someone you want to date. This doesn’t necessarily mean playing hard-to-get, but is rather supposed to make one look less desperate in the eyes of their target. As a woman with no dating rules, this is incredibly difficult for me. If I have my phone on me and receive a text message, I answer right away. If someone asks me to do something at the last minute and I don’t have other plans, I’m likely to say yes. I’ve been told this makes me seem desperate and over-excited. I take that criticism with a grain of salt, however, as the few who have used those terms to describe my habits are still single themselves.
I bring this up because I’m trying to play it cool while there’s a tornado swirling inside me. I heard from Whole Foods boy Wednesday night around 10:00 pm. He took two full days to text me, which was a little irritating. I think it’s silly to wait that long and, unless it’s an emergency, I rarely send a message or call after 10:00 pm. It just so happened that I was was out and about. He did send an awfully sweet opening message: “This weekend a knockout wearing a yellow dress gave me this number on what seems to be a starbrite note pad. Would you know anything about that?” It was very charming, and he almost got the cartoon right (it was Rainbow Brite). I replied about 15 minutes later, but it was 11:00 pm before he responded. I was tired, had gone to bed and replied the next morning at 7:45 am. If he can text me late at night, I can text him early in the morning, right? We messaged back and forth a bit on Thursday. He stated that day and the next were his days off for the week. I wasn’t crazy about our whole conversation being in text, so I offered up meeting Friday afternoon around 4:00 for coffee or something equally casual. He said something along the lines of “maybe dinner” because he had something going on and wouldn’t be free at that time. I told him whatever worked for him because I didn’t have plans that evening and was just throwing out a time. I didn’t hear anything back that night, so I immediately had some Debbie Downer thoughts: “I shouldn’t have asked him out so soon.” “I should apologize for being so forward.” There were other thoughts, but you get the gist. Then I realized that I had walked up to this guy that I knew nothing about and just handed him my phone number. He had to expect I was going to be a bit assertive if not a little aggressive. Also, in our text conversation he offered to let me borrow a movie then said maybe we could watch it together, so I’m pretty sure my asking him to meet me out wasn’t that bold. Back to Friday afternoon, I clock out around 4:15. I check my phone. Almost 4:00 on the dot, I had received a message from him: “Tonight’s not going to work for me. I’ve got a friend going through something and they need me right now. Let’s try for next week.” It’s Sunday night and I haven’t heard anything. My dilemma is this: how long do I wait before I send a “hey, how’s your day going” innocent message? I mean, it’s not like I’ve invested anything in this guy. If I never hear from him again, it was a positive life experience. It’s the first time I’ve given a guy my number while grocery shopping, and it really boosted my confidence. Kathleen says text him tomorrow if I don’t hear from him tonight. Part of me is tempted to say nothing at all and see what happens. Another part of me wonders if he’s waiting for me to make the next move. The worst part of dating is the great cloud of uncertainty because neither person knows the other at all. You don’t know if a response is genuine, you don’t know their work or social schedule, you don’t know why they haven’t texted you in two days… I’m getting better at keeping calm with these unknowns, but it’s definitely still a struggle.