By Violet Stevens**Violet is 23 and currently adventuring in Richmond, VA. If you are interested in guest blogging, please emailAsToldOverBrunch@gmail.com.
So, I’m 23. I don’t have much dating experience to speak of. I had my first kiss at 17; my first boyfriend at 18 for about 3 months; and then I had another boyfriend whom I was with for almost 2 years. There have been very few people in between all that. I don’t do one night stands. I have hovered around a few friends with benefits situations, but always pull the plug because those never end well. And lately, I was trying to stay away from committed relationships as well due to the honest fact that, well, ain't nobody got time fo' dat.
But recently I decided to be more open to hanging out with guys who show interest in me - as opposed to just rejecting them immediately before they can even tell me their name. I’m young, and I should be living and meeting new people and learning. I need not be apprehensive when it comes to getting hurt or being stupid. Now is the time!
I’ve never given my number out at a bar before. But last week, that changed. We talked for hours. He was extremely attractive, which meant I was impatiently waiting to figure out what was wrong with him. It’s only science. I could not stop staring into his insanely blue eyes. Little did I know they were casting a spell on me. I was also impressed by the fact that he asked me for my number in person instead of adding me on Facebook the next day and making mindless small talk through that freaking Facebook messenger (which, by the way, is creepy. Don’t do that). At the end of the night he held my face in his hand, placed his thumb in my dimple, and told me how cute I was. Clearly the spell worked as he was given my number and we made plans to do something a few nights later.
See, I didn’t know this man. Maybe he just wanted to sleep with me and then never see me again. Maybe he wanted someone to sit with him while he played Final Fantasy. Maybe he was genuinely interested in getting to know me. I had no idea. But I always want to be prepared for the most unfortunate. And then I wonder why, once we reach our twenties, we are programmed to have such low expectations. Why should I expect him to be a jerk just so that I’m not disappointed? And so that I’m absolutely shocked and overjoyed if he turns out to be a good guy? If we are both adults, then I should be able to expect you to act like an adult.
So we hang out for a few hours. It’s no big deal. I get home and text my best friend:
"We kissed for 8 seconds. Maybe 9. But it wasn’t like an okay whatever goodnight kiss it was like a I defffinitelyyy wanna see you again kiss and he lingered at the end and then I think he said some words but I wasn’t listening because oh my god his eyes. Do I sound 14?"
He laced his fingers in my hair and told me that he wanted to see me again. While locking his eyes on me, all blue and full of deceit, I tried to say something cute, but I’m pretty sure I just made awkward humming sounds and got out of the car. As I watched him drive away, the giddiness of a first kiss came over me for a tiny moment. Even so, as I stood there alone on the curb where he left me—effectively stranded—I knew I’d been tricked.
Why are guys allowed to lead us on and never call us again? Are we women asking too much for guys to respond to our text messages, return our phone calls, or show up when we make plans? And if we get upset when they don’t do these things, then we are silly because we expected too much.
It’s not just men who do these things. I've seen plenty of women do the same thing. For humans, words and emotions can be terrifying at any age.
I just want there to be communication! If I’m interested in you, then I’ll let you know. I won’t pretend that I’m not or say, “I don’t care if you reach out to me,” as I stalk your Facebook to see if you’re hanging out with other girls. And if I don’t like you, then I will respectfully let you know.
I’m done with the games. But why do some people still want to play them? Why won’t you talk to us? Some things are hard to say. Some feelings are hard to describe. But that’s the point of growing up, right? At some point we accept that certain situations are hard to deal with. And instead of complaining about it, we learn how to deal. You can’t just push me down the slide anymore. Use your words!
I’ve always felt that knowing the truth, even when it’s not what you hoped for, is better than not knowing at all. We don’t need you to lie to us so we can protect our self-esteem. We just need you to be honest. And if you are approaching the age of thirty and don’t find it necessary to communicate with other humans respectfully and act like a jerk just because it’s easier and “everyone can just deal with it,” then
GROW UP. YOU’RE OLD.
I have yet to be discouraged in my search for a companion who meets my specific expectations. I'm all about having experiences and gaining stories to tell, especially when they don't go as planned. I did not ever see that boy again. But that’s okay, because at least he gave me something to write about.