Why We Can't Make Romantic Decisions Without Consulting Everyone We Know
So I hung out with this guy at a party the other night.
Things were fine but not great. Sometimes they're great, like when we talk one-on-one or over text. But the minute we're around his friends or mine, he turns awkward.
WTF am I supposed to do?
Naturally, I turn to my friends for guidance. We replay the entire encounter several times, analyzing each and every moment.
“Okay. So you get to his place -- does he come down and let you in himself or does he just buzz you up?”
“More importantly, what time of the day did he text you to come over?”
“Was he still weird in the morning?”
“Did you guys get breakfast or did you just leave?”
“Did he pay for breakfast or did you guys split?”
But the thing is this: I know what I want to do. I want to text him in a couple days and openly ask why he’s so awkward when we’re with other people. Why beat around the bush?
But then my friends jump in: “OMG CANDICE! NO!!! YOU CANNOT DO THAT!”
Apparently, this is simply NOT an option.
“Seriously -- he’ll think you’re crazy.”
“You just have to ignore it and move on. He’s rude.”
“He’s either a douche or he’s so into you it scares him... so he gets weird.”
“That is the most insane thing I’ve ever heard. Send me screenshots of your last convo, and I’ll tell you what to send.”
I’m consulting everyone but him about his own behavior. The best part? None of my friends even know him. None of them were there with me.
Well, one of them was, but she left after five minutes and has told me he's scared because of how much he likes me (trust me, I'm painfully aware of how closely this resembles a scene from "He's Just Not That Into You").
I’m currently waiting for my friends to come up with my next move. I've sent out about 10 copies of the screenshot of our most recent conversation.
If you want to throw in your two cents, it went like this:
Him: “Had fun with you. You make it home safe?”
Me: “Yeah thanks me too”
Then he sent a funny gif of Snoop Dogg, and I didn’t respond.
But here’s the real kicker: It doesn’t matter what my friends tell me to say. At the end of the day, I know I’ll go ahead and send the apparently "crazy" text I wanted to send in the first place.
I’m OK with sharing this highly embarrassing story with the world because I know I'm not the only one who suffers from this strange (and uniquely Millennial) level of insanity.
Here are some things that happen when you are totally incapable of making any decisions on your own and have to consult your entire group of friends.
You never listen.
There are two ways this could go: The first is that you’ll follow their advice and regret not doing things your way.
The second is that you’ll listen to their advice and choose to ignore it. Nine times out of 10, you'll choose the second option.
You create unnecessary guilt.
There should be no guilt in doing what you want without consulting everyone you know.
But when your friends' opinions clash with your own, you feel unnecessarily guilty.
It no longer matters that you once felt you were totally in the right. Your friends have said your method is wrong, and that's how you come to see it, too.
You see how shaky your own beliefs are.
I mean, I thought the text I had drafted was pretty good! I was confident -- until I showed it to my friends, that is.
IS it crazy?! More importantly, am I crazy for thinking it was a good idea?!
You lose your sense of self.
You’re not you anymore. You’re part of a collective. Every text you send, every move you make, and every way you analyze his behavior is skewed by what they think.
You sacrifice any semblance of a private life.
You feel an incessant need to share every minuscule detail with your friends. Personally, it has gotten to the point where I feel like I’m lying if I simply choose not to share something with them.
Going on a date without telling my friends (let alone sharing every detail, from the color of his socks to his drink of choice) would feel like treason.
You focus on the negative.
If you want to tell someone how hot he is and how much you love it when he makes you breakfast in bed, you tell only him. Nobody else wants to hear that sh*t.
But you’re going to tell your friends the things you can’t tell him. You’re going to use them to vent about the time he didn’t contact you for three days or how he still has a questionable friendship with his ex.
So you find it hard to get your friends’ approval when you start talking on the fourth day of the silent treatment and you get over the whole ex-girlfriend thing (I mean, she is out as a lesbian now).
You feed your indecisiveness.
You use your friends to stoke the flames of your your indecisive nature.
But what happens when you consult the five people in your group text and everyone disagrees about what you should do tonight?
Or when they each draft a different text? Or when they each recommend something different on the menu?
You’re left even more lost and confused than you were at the start.
You completely lose perspective.
You have spent SO much time complaining about him forgetting to put the toilet seat down that you don't realize it isn't that big of a f*cking deal.
You turn the person of interest into a caricature.
He's no longer a real person in your world. You've talked about him so much that he's become an amalgam of your friends' interpretations and analyses... which are based on your already-warped characterization of him.
You're never going to get an objective response.
Because that’s all you want, right? All you want is somebody to look at your situation, tell you what's going on and figure out what to do next. But that’s never going to happen.
Your friends are going to project their own sh*t on your problems. Your brokenhearted friend is going to give very different advice from the one who's on on the fast track to the altar.
You get disconnected from your gut.
Even over simple dilemmas, you're turning to other people instead of your own intuition. Over time, this can damage your faith in your decision-making abilities.
You forget who he’s into.
YOU. He’s into YOU. So stop asking your friends what they would do -- and start thinking about what YOU would do. Easier said than done, I know.