“He planned a weekend getaway, then said he only saw me as casual sex.”
I’m no stranger to mixed messages.
Admittedly, I’m normally the one sending them. Leading guys on before abruptly cutting off contact with them was almost a pastime for me last year.
Whaaaaattta cold-hearted bitch, I know right? I am most definitely 107% pure evil and
probably definitely part hyena.
I’m well aware this is horrible, but 2015 should be described as the “How Many Guys Can Michelle Confuse Year”. It basically involved a string of lovely men, and me being a bit of a mindf*ck.
Okay… I was a lot of a mindf*ck.
Overnight I would go from being super keen on someone to failing to respond to his text messages. I would agree to go on a date, then flake out at the last minute with a shitty excuse. I would tell a guy I liked him, right before explaining I “wasn’t ready” for commitment. In short, #WasteHisTime2016 was probably inspired by me.
Before you grab your pitchforks and Chinese throwing stars, hear a gal out.
I never did any of this intentionally, of course. I wouldn’t get into something with the mindset of “I can’t wait to screw with this guys’ head”, but somehow that was always the end result.
I received some pretty nasty feedback about all of this, both from my girlfriends and the guys I so mercilessly lead on. By the time December had rolled around, I had attained a fairly oily reputation. Apparently, consistently failing to respond to text messages and cancelling plans makes you seem a touch arrogant and selfish. SHOCKER.
I completely understand why people thought that. Now.
With this really sick gift called hindsight, I look back on 2015 and understand why I behaved that way.
Last year, I spent a lot more time than I’d like to admit moving on from someone. Someone who sent so many epic mixed messages that I was confused and muddled to the point I didn’t even know myself anymore.
He would ask to see me, and set aside an entire day for a ‘surprise date’, then cancel to go to the gym with his brother. He would plan a weekend getaway together (including having me take annual leave from work) and days later backtrack, telling me he only wanted to be friends with benefits. He would tell me he had “never felt so close to anyone” before disappearing for days at a time. He told me he wanted to travel, so had no plans for a relationship… BUT didn’t want to lose me either.
I was never quite enough. And that was so painful it physically hurt.
Before I met him, I’d never cried over a guy in my entire life. While we were dating, I would cry every couple of days. I wanted to be with him, so badly, but he could never make his mind up. I felt so unsure of myself and hopelessly self-conscious. It was seriously like dating one of those wind-up toy dogs; he’d be all cute and adorable until spontaneously backflipping and completely freaking himself out.
It’s odd, because it is just so glaringly obvious to me now: He sent those mixed messages because while he did like me, he didn’t quite like me enough.
And that’s the exact same reason I sent mixed messages last year.
I liked those guys. I really did. But I never liked a single one of them enough.
While I enjoyed their respective company, liked their personalities and felt attracted to them, I never saw a future there.
So I was constantly conflicted, torn between wanting to keep a person in my immediate life without actually committing any of my future. I felt if I tied myself to one person, I would be trapped, that my freedom would be instantly restricted. Being single was fun and I adamantly believed 21 was way too young to be in a relationship. I had so many other things I would rather dedicate my time to: My career, this blog, travel, my friends, my crumbling family life.
It’s selfish, and it wasn’t right.
I think using the excuse “I’m not ready for a relationship” is often how people rationalise sending mixed messages. And if I’m honest, that excuse is almost always bullshit. Because 97.35% of the time, when someone says they’re “not ready for a relationship”, they actually mean they haven’t found the right person.
So if you’re saying you’re “not ready”, your feelings aren’t strong enough. If they were, you would make it happen. Plain and simple.
Looking back, I’m definite the boy who I cried over all those times never intended to hurt me. He liked me, sure, but he didn’t feel strongly enough to act on it. He probably felt like if he committed to us, he would suffocate under the pressure.
The truth? He just Didn’t. Like. Me. Enough.
I think you only realise the difference between liking someone and liking them enough when you find a person you really click with. A person who makes the prospect of commitment exciting instead of daunting. A person who makes the idea of a relationship seem better than the idea of being single.
And when you find a person you have that connection with, your actions begin to match-up with your promises.
And that’s when you’ll quit it with the mixed messages.