We’re a generation of “back-burners”, backup plans, and booty calls– as it appears millennial men have an irrational fear of getting “wifed-up.” Society often condemns women as crazy, irrational, and hysterical. Because of this, we do everything in our power to avoid being “that girl” who reeks of desperation and double-texts. We try so hard to appear unaffected by your indifferent attitudes, mixed messages and disappearing acts that we legitimately can’t help but give a shit.
I am not testifying against the supposed “death of chivalry” or the existence of a hookup culture—but regardless of millennial dating trends the genetic makeup of humans remains the same. We are not numb to emotions despite the thickness of our little black books. It seems like the concept of playing “hard to get” will never die. Both men and women prefer the distance that equates to mystery as opposed to the straightforward attitude that is perceived as creepy. By “what are you up to tonight?”I am not suggesting a Nicholas Sparks movie marathon that results in changing our relationship statuses on Facebook. Don’t correlate the inquiry to the pursuit of your hand in marriage.
I’m not going to start a shrine like Helga Pataki in Hey! Arnold if you show me the slightest bit of interest, and I won’t set your profile picture as my iPhone lock screen if you ask my plans for the night. I’m not going to assume you are my boyfriend if you give me the time of day. If pillow talk isn’t a force why should casual conversation be in real life? Why do we have to perfectly time our communication to avoid appearing overly interested? Why is interest such a bad thing after all?
Our generation has no set route to commitment, just luck, perfectly timed text messages, reading between the read-receipt lines, and asking our girlfriends for assistance when selecting which emoji to send. We consult with our friends on how to approach a situation without appearing needy or aggressive. Rarely is what we look for in a relationship actually ridiculous, but we fear our biological makeup has given us a predisposition to insanity. Most of us didn’t come to college to graduate with our Mrs. degree, or to collect as much D as humanly possible. Yet still there is this mass misunderstanding that our lives revolve around slutting it up or trying to tie you down.
As a gender we’re a lot more complex than our nonchalant texts and seemingly apathetic attitudes. In an attempt to protect ourselves from coming across as insane, we do absolutely everything in our power to appear cool, casual, and disinterested. We put so much energy into guarding our mental state that we often completely neglect our charm. How are we supposed to read social cues when the signals for indifference and interest are identical?
Many of us hope to hookup with guys we’ve already slept with because it requires less effort, not because we’re convinced he is our prince charming. Yet we still can’t help but wonder if you’d think of us differently if we had held off for a little longer. We tell each other we have “no right to be mad” since there is no label attached, but we can’t help but be increasingly hurt and offended when we are ignored. It is exhausting playing the role of the disinterested and the readily available all at once; so we hold off contact to avoid appearing too eager. Then, 2 am rolls around and we can’t wait any longer—further proving us to be the after-midnight kind of girls. Regardless of all our fantastic qualities that exist without the presence of vodka, at that hour we’re most likely uncoordinated, disorderly, and hungry. Any enlightening, passionate conversation we have will likely be forgotten or never retained in the first place. Although sometimes we’d like to believe otherwise; in these moments we are not your confidantes (despite what deep dark secrets you spill). To avoid losing you all together, we won’t ask questions, won’t hold expectations, and will just hope that someday our face comes to mind when a romantic song comes on shuffle or your mom inquires about your love life (jk?).
So why are we crazy? We can’t always guarantee run-ins, but there isn’t an hour in the day where we don’t have access to your social media accounts. We have an idea what you’re doing with your time, but we can’t help but wonder what you’re thinking. Who knows if we’d think of you half as often if your name weren’t always at the top of our suggested chat corner on Facebook? There is a constant temptation to contact you, but we don’t. We don’t want to you to think we’re possessive. Just because we don’t have a “careless” attitude doesn’t mean we care TOO MUCH.
We’ve all sent a text with a pit in our stomach, been firmly and obviously put on the “backburner”, and assumed the worst about a girl you were tagged in a picture with. One-worded answers will leave us disappointed, but only for a short period of time– at least they get a point across. Ignoring us will leave us questioning our sanity. If I ever need to seriously get into contact with you, I’m going to be in quite the social predicament knowing our message history will be resurfaced. Guys know girls love the chase, so they run as fast as they can.
In order to spare us from the emotional exhaustion that is often confused as insanity– Avoid showering us with compliments if you don’t plan on calling. Refrain from asking about our parents if you’ve already decided you would never meet them. Don’t act like you care about us if you’ve predetermined the fact that this will never be anything more than an uncomfortable twin-bed snuggle session and sex that both of us will only vaguely remember. We will not be offended if you don’t want to date us, it will hurt a lot more to feel like you changed your mind. Love is only ideal if it is reciprocated; otherwise it is the worst fate. Don’t give us a reason to care. Don’t leave us to run through our conversations in our heads—because THAT will make us crazy.
By the end of our label-free courtship, we will resent you for all the emotional distress you’ve unknowingly caused us. We’ve put more effort into caring less than we would have put into being affectionate and kind in the first place. How are we supposed to play your mind games when the rules are constantly changing? Since we aren’t even straight up with the people we do have romantic interest in, how are we supposed to be honest with those we don’t?
Most girls are not on the brink of being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder– we are just emotionally exhausted. Honesty can be uncomfortable, but by sending across mixed messages; we’re going to get the “wrong idea”. Our generation is so petrified of confrontation that we avoid it all together and resort to ignoring each other instead. Most women aren’t ignorant– we can see when you’re trying to blur the lines in order to avoid conflict. We know when we are being faded out passive-aggressively. If i’m crazy, its because thats how you made me.