As of late, my life as a single 20-something has been confusing.
Aside from my typical "What the hell am I doing with my life?" musings, I've been dealing with a guy. As a matter of fact, he's a great guy who's perfect on paper: great job, decently stylish and incredibly kind. But, I'm just not that into him.
That's not to say I didn't want to be. I'd much rather have butterflies in my stomach than the sinking feeling of not reciprocating his admiration, but I can't will myself to feel differently. Instead, I'm the girl who plays along, hoping I can like him back. I admit, I kind of like having someone at my fingertips without the obligation of reciprocity.
I'm not necessarily proud of this dating savagery. Still, it's taught me that love can grow, but there has to be an initial spark in order to fan any flame. Here's how I know he's not the one.
1. I roll my eyes every time he sends a text.
Seeing a text from a guy I like sends me to the moon. I'm overjoyed he's thinking of me, especially since I probably just spent the last hour daydreaming about our future family.
The sad part? I never feel that way this time.
2. I purposefully break plans with him last-minute.
Once the date is scheduled, I usually can't bring myself to show up. What's more, I legitimize my excuses. If I told him I was sick, I'll drink milk, even though I'm lactose intolerant.
3. I don't think he's funny.
He cracks jokes, but the most I can muster up is a dry and purposefully punctuated "lol." After endless attempts to reciprocate his affection, it's safe to say I pity him more than I find him dateable.
4. I try to convince myself I really (really!) like him.
I've become the ultimate salesperson, persuading myself the feelings I have for him aren't fabricated. However, it's clear I'm forcing a romantic flame that's just not lit.
5. I use the words “nice” and “fun” to describe his good qualities.
Instead of explaining his personality in detail, I use generic character traits to describe him. Anything more would mean I have to get to know him.
6. I don't gush over him. At all.
I don't get all starry-eyed or text my squad about how sexy he is. In fact, it's the opposite. I speak about him flatly and douse any of my friends' potential excitement with a basic "he's cool."
7. I feel guilty when he buys me things.
What woman feels bad about receiving gifts? A woman who isn't interested in the gift giver, that's who.
No matter if it's new Louboutins or a weekend getaway, the gift can't absolve the guilt I feel for not returning his thoughtfulness.
8. Being intimate makes me cringe.
I'm slightly repulsed by the idea of sleeping with him. We've tapped first and second base, but anything more is unfathomable.
9. I act out in order to make him run.
When I'm fed up, my ugly side comes out in an attempt to thwart his attraction. I convince myself it's a brilliant plan, one that absolutely cannot fail.
Plot twist: He only ends up liking me more.
10. I blame myself for his attraction to me.
When I finally realized I didn't really like him back, the shame and guilt settled in pretty deeply. I felt bad for being dope. Maybe I shouldn't be so nice? Or, perhaps, I should be less charming?