If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know of the Adventures of Friend Boy. If you’ve never read this blog before, let me sum it up for you so you don’t get confused. There’s a guy that I like and, as though I’m in seventh grade instead of a 38-year-old woman who should know something about something, I don’t know if he likes me back. My age has progressed past the “Do you like me? Check yes or no” note passed in study hall, but my emotional life is stunted and I remain trapped somewhere between a John Hughes flick and Basic Instinct. Take that exactly as it sounds. I sensed some kind of interest from Friend Boy but I don’t know how to act, whether to jump his bones or not talk to him. Suffice it to say, there’s a fair amount of internal struggle involved, and I’ve never asked anyone for their take on the situation.
Flash forward to last night when I’m eating some dinner and chatting with my aunt. A few weeks ago I mentioned to her that I’d met someone I’m interested in dating. I’ll take an aside here to note that the family grapevine has morphed “someone I’m interested in dating” into “I’m dating someone new”; they want to marry us all off, and I think my godmother wants to plan my non-existent wedding because she had 3 sons and probably needs some girly wedding-dress shopping time. Anyway, my aunt asks me what’s going on with Friend Boy, and I mention that I haven’t heard from him in a while. Her first words, “Well you better call him!” She suggested that I call and say, “Hey, baby, what’s up? Whatchu doing? Why don’t we get together?” According to my aunt’s thinking, if I didn’t think a man was interested in me, I should try as hard as possible to MAKE him interested. Oooooh-kay, but I don’t think it works that way, Auntie. I spent a lot of money in therapy to learn that I can’t control other people or their behavior, but I can control my own reactions. I’m gonna say that again because that lesson cost me thousands of dollars: I cannot control the behavior of other people; all I can control is my own reactions. You can’t “baby, baby” someone into caring about you, which I mentioned to my aunt. I also offered that if Friend Boy wanted to take me out on a date he’d already have called me up and we’d be dating. Apparently my ideas were very 1920′s, and my aunt finally said something to give me pause: “If you don’t call him, I bet there are a whole lot of women who will.” Point taken. I sent a text.
I’ve heard many men – including my Dad, who is really good with all advice – say that if a man is interested in you, he will go out of his way to contact you. I’m gonna have to believe them, because last night I had a text exchange with Friend Boy in which I suggested we hang out on a night he wasn’t free. I suggested another day to which he replied, and I quote, “LOL..I can’t say yet…” We all know what that means. At this point I should admit that Friend Boy and I are working on a work-related project together, and my offer to get together involved some socializing followed by some work. Still, no plans. Which is exactly where I was before sending that infernal text. Actually, I’m in the “I feel like an idiot” hole for having my plans brutally rebuffed. So the rebuffing wasn’t exactly brutal since it was tempered with the ever-friendly “LOL”, it’s still a no. Which goes back to the whole idea of someone making time for you if they want to see you instead of seeing you if something better doesn’t come along.
I shouldn’t have taken my aunt’s advice, because I already knew it wouldn’t do any good. I’d already come to the conclusion that Friend Boy wasn’t really interested in me. First, he doesn’t read my blog, instant tip-off. If he wanted to date me, he’d be reading my words right now in an attempt to get to know me better before the next time we see each other. When combined with the years-worth of my Facebook photos he’s already pored over, this blog would form a pretty good representation of my personality. Also, he hadn’t made a move, and believe me I know moves when I see them. Today, after taking the unsolicited advice, I have gained no new information but have likely incurred the penalty of making a pest out of myself. All with someone that I would at least like to keep as a friend and blog collaborator (that’s the project we’re working on together). So I tell you that you should never take relationship advice from anyone. If you’re at the point where you need advice to get a relationship to go a certain way, it’s already too late. If your question for someone else is, “How can I get my boyfriend to propose?”, you should really be asking yourself, “What am I gonna do if my boyfriend doesn’t propose?” because you already think he won’t. See what I mean.
Now, if only I could get a VH1 reality show for all this wisdom…