I have a borderline catastrophic character flaw. I refuse to believe that a guy likes me unless he is on one knee professing his love for me with a box from Tiffany’s. Now, before you start accusing me of using this post as a way to publicly flaunt the number of boys who have fallen smitten for this dashing diva, I can assure you that’s not the point of my post (at least not today’s).
It’s not that I think I’m repulsive and unworthy of a man’s love and affection. It’s just that I don’t take dating too seriously. The problem occurs when I assume all guys don’t either. I assume first dates are something a guy asked for on a whim, not something that took weeks to muster up enough courage for. I assume when a guy compliments me, he’s just that kind of guy who compliments everyone. Couple this mentality with the fact that I am kind of a shameless flirtaholic and disaster is inevitable.
If flirting were water, then I am the sinking Titanic, ready to make a catastrophic splash. I will wink and wave at you so often that you’ll begin to wonder if I was seducing you or having a bout of Tourettes. I will send telepathic messages to you across the lecture hall until you eventually look up at me, so I can tweet that we just #sharedamoment. When you reach for the popcorn, I will reach for the popcorn. When you pick the seat next to me, expect nuzzling between your shoulder and my face. When you and I happen to be wearing the same shade of army green, I will declare that it was fate and a mutual taste in H&M that brought us together. And when Regina George asks if your hair looks good pushed back that way, I will let you know that your hair looks good pushed back that way. Now usually there’s no problem because my flirtations are so over the top that the guy cannot possibly take me seriously, except when he does.
I usually don’t see it coming. From my perspective, the line between fake flirting and fo’real flirting occurs when his lips are two seconds away from mine. It’s at that point that I hit the rewind button and try to figure out why I didn’t listen when my roommate warned that a guy who calls for an hour every night while he’s on vacation in Florida isn’t doing it because he just wants to be friends. It’s at that point that I wonder why I have this counter-intuitive notion that excessive flirting would show a guy that I’m not really interested. It’s at that point that I turn my head for an awkward kiss on the ear and give the dreaded “we should be friends” talk.
I know someone is going to read this and claim that girls who do this are playing mind games, that there’s no possible way she didn’t seen this coming, that she must have known that she had been leading him on. The thing is, for every good guy with genuine intentions, there’s a playa who heads for the door the moment he gets his hookup. You’d think it would be easy to distinguish one from the other, but douchebag doesn’t always come in an Ed Hardy hat and an obscene amount of Axe. Sometimes it’s the charming cutie you’ve been friends with since high school who gets through your defenses. And just when you start letting yourself believe that this guy might actually like you, he too disappears the morning after. It’s getting bitten by these wolves in sheep’s clothing that punishes you for letting your guard down. And so the walls come back up and you swear never to let yourself believe a guy is genuinely interested in you unless he is hanging from a Ferris wheel, begging you to go out with him.
Of course, this method will save you from getting hurt. You’ll have the fun and attention without putting your heart on the line. You can flirt all you want and won’t have to worry about rejection because technically you’ve already rejected them. And it will seem like a win-win situation until a guy comes along who has no desire to play The Game, whose heart has not been calloused by heartbreak, who will start to believe that you may actually like him too. And you’ll realize that if there is one thing worse than being rejected, it’s being the one who has to reject the nice guy.
So be careful, ladies. Play with discretion. Don’t be his wolf in sheep’s clothing. Don’t be the one who makes him lose trust in love and women. Don’t be the one who turns him into the wolf. Having your heart played with doesn’t give you permission to pay it forward. And more importantly, remember what got you into this mess in the first place. Not every guy is out to break your heart. You’re charming and funny and really kickass at Draw Something, so don’t be so shocked that a boy actually likes you for more than your body and ridiculously luscious hair.