I was strolling through a candy shop the other day when I ran into an old friend from college. He congratulated me for the strides I've made since he last saw me, the work I've done and the woman I've become.
“But why are you single?” he earnestly asked me after all that.
“Everyone sucks,” I muttered, dryly chewing my gummy worm and rolling my eyes. That wasn't always my go-to excuse for why I'm single, but the words just kind of slipped out without hesitation.
I've just been so utterly disappointed with the dudes in this world lately.
“You're looking for love in all the wrong places,” my one friend tells me, when I complain to her about my bad luck. She's right to some extent, but I'm still plagued by the one question I struggle with day in and day out.
Am I messing around with the wrong guys, or are all guys really just that dumb?
I think it's a healthy fusion of the two. On the one hand, I think I'm messing around with the “wrong” guys for me, but I also can't deny most 20-something dudes don't have a clue about how to treat a girl in the early stages of dating. I can't even get to the stage where I see them because every guy I come across is all about the same-day plan.
What is the same-day play, you ask? Same-day planning is when a guy tries to make plans with you on — you guessed it — the same day as the tentative event he's trying to plan with you. Most of the time, he'll hit you up a few hours before said event, leaving you little to no time to say "yes," much less plan a flawless outfit for the shindig.
I often find myself comparing men to dogs when they same-day plan. They kind of just bark whenever they're hungry, but expect you to drop everything you're doing to feed them. Eventually, they roll over and call it a day, thinking the amount of effort they've just injected into asking for what they want is completely OK. Woof.
A couple months ago, I'd just started seeing this guy. (“Seeing” is a loose term. It was more like a fucking, eating together and flirting over Snapchat type of relationship. You know, modern romance). Like most guys my age I know, he preferred to take a more passive route when it came to reaching out to me. (I prefer to call such methods of interaction “unballsy” rather than “passive.") He'd text occasionally, and when he did, it wasn't really to check in on me. It was more of an I-just-saw-this-thing-and-thought-of-you kind of deal.
One fine afternoon, I saw my phone buzz. It was unballsy guy. “What are you up to later?” the text read. And then, “I'm having a small party tonight. You should come.”
It was 3:30 pm on a Friday, and I was sitting at my work desk in the going-out clothes I'd changed into an hour earlier.
“I'm hanging with some friends,” I texted back. It was Friday, for Christ's sake. Of course I had plans. And of course I'd made them the Wednesday prior like a normal human being. That way, I wouldn't end up alone and without a plan in my apartment, spooning peanut butter out of a jar while the rest of my friends were out taking the town.
Besides, what the hell was he thinking? Did he think I'm some low-life loser who wouldn't have any plans on a weekend? Or, did he think I did, and he expected I'd drop them for him? Maybe he wasn't thinking at all.
Maybe, truth be told, he didn't want to see me all that much. Maybe I just don't mean enough to him, or any other boy I've met in the past year of my life. Maybe I'm just the girl those boys hit up when their ex-girlfriends, other potential hookups and cooler, smarter, prettier versions of me aren't texting them back.
It seems I'm their option, not their priority, because they have all done the same shit. And if that isn't true, then they're doing a hell of a job making it look like it is true.
Folks, this isn't how I imagined my 20-something love life going. Sitting around and waiting for a text that may never come, for a plan that probably won't ever happen, with a guy who's unsure of himself was hardly my fantasy. But alas, here I am, warding off texts for same-day plans with guys I actually kind of like, like a human flyswatter.
I ended up not seeing unballsy guy that night, just in case you were wondering. I wasn't going to bail on my girlfriends. And, it looks as though he didn't learn any lessons from his poor planning because he did it to me again, again and again.
It quickly became clear to me he was one of those boys who talked a big game, but couldn't follow through. (Ah, I am so easily fooled by that kind.) Our textual relationship eventually fizzled out into a big ball of nothing because we kept missing each other, and I'm still sitting here and thinking about what could have been.
I don't know. Maybe I'm just dealing with too many boys and not enough men. Men plan things in advance for women worth spending time with. Well, that's what my 30-something friends tell me, anyway.