Dating Then and Now: The High School Mentality That Could Be Keeping You Single
You may have graduated from college, landed a great job, have your own apartment and feel like a total grownup but your ideas about men and how to develop a relationship might be stuck in time.
Trying to gain his attention in high school
You know how it was in high school. There were the “hot girls”, the “hot guys” and everyone else and it was very difficult to break into the hot crew. Nonetheless, most people spent their entire high school careers trying to do so. The “not hot” girls wanted attention from the hot guys so badly. They vied for it constantly. How well their day went depended on how much attention they got from those guys.
Trying to gain his attention today
If you still work to get attention from a guy that isn’t giving it to you, you haven’t realized that if a man isn’t giving you the time of day, it’s not a good match and if by some miracle he did pay attention to you, you’d find you weren’t even into him! The men who are drawn to you are drawn to you because they see you for who you are. If a man ignores you, take it as a sign he’s not a good match and it’s not personal. He doesn’t have the tools to see your good qualities. And you don’t want to be with someone like that, do you?
Fighting for his attention in high school
Surely in high school you and a friend crushed on the same guy a few times because there were limited options. But today, there is no reason to fight over a man with your friend. Be real: if you go out with your friend and meet a guy at a bar you’re both interested in, you don’t really know anything about this guy. How many guys have you crushed on at a bar? Now how many of those turned into a relationship? Exactly. Do you really want to potentially ruin your friendship (which is what fighting over men does to friendships) all for a guy who you most likely won’t end up dating?
Fighting for his attention today
More than the fact that fighting over men can ruin your friendships, it touches back on that problem of trying to attract a man who isn’t attracted to you. If a guy is attracted to your friend, it’s probably because she is a better match for him. Sorry Taylor Swift but your lyrics about being the girl in sneakers that is more suited for a guy than the cheerleader just doesn’t hold true: that guy is into the cheer leader type. Any time a man seems disinterested in you just look at it this way: the two of you are a bad match and he simply realized it first. If you and your friend are into the same guy, let her have him. You’ll meet someone else.
Waiting for a call in high school
Again in high school there were limited options in guys. There was the “hot” group at your school, and then the groups at other schools, which were very difficult to dip into because the girls at those schools were very territorial. So, if you felt even the slightest spark with a guy and gave him your number, you waited by that phone as if leaving it would cause it to detonate. And if the guy didn’t call, you felt that your love life was doomed.
Waiting for a call today
You’re out of high school and there are millions of men out there. If you just forced yourself to walk away from that phone and into a bar, you’d probably be giddy about somebody else by the end of the night. The only way to feel optimistic and in control of your love life is keeping that in mind. It may be an objectifying statement but: there is a buffet of men out there waiting for you. Most of them won’t call when you give them your number but it’s all a numbers game and if you give up after one guy that didn’t make the call, you lose the game.
Trying to create chemistry in high school
There was a very limited definition of what was attractive in high school. Only a narrow array of fashion was acceptable, a few particular haircuts, activities a guy could be interested and grade point average. If he veered away from any of those qualities even a little, every girl was hyper aware that he was a little less attractive. It was a truly immature way to measure the value of a man but we didn’t know any better.
Trying to create chemistry today
We should know better today but unfortunately many women still hold onto a set-in-stone list of traits they want in a guy and won’t date anybody that doesn’t match up to those. Many women don’t even know what it means to feel truly connected to someone, or to feel comfortable with someone, because all they care about is what the guy looks like on paper. So they will relentlessly pursue a man (or wait for his calls) that’s less than interested in them. Or they’ll continue to see a guy that there isn’t a deep connection with, just because he’s what a man “should be.”
Maybe you’re not who you thought you were
What type of men we attract says a lot about who we are as people. Maybe you wanted to attract a tall, toned accountant because you believed that would mean you yourself had traits x, y and z. Well guess what: maybe you don’t have those traits. Maybe you’re still desperately trying to be someone you’re not (a very high school behavior) and only recognizing all the ways you fall short of that if your “perfect” guy isn’t into you, rather than realizing all the other ways you thrive.
Learn to love yourself
What you should be doing is learning to love yourself and pay more attention to the men that are into you and what that says about you. Maybe you’re quirkier/zanier/nerdier than you thought. So what? It’s not high school anymore. It’s okay to be those things. Learn to love who you are and the types of men that are drawn to you. It’s the only way to feel a real connection.
Heartbroken after two weeks in high school
Similar to feeling doomed if a guy didn’t call, in high school you would experience months of depression over the termination of a 2 or 3 week relationship. You believed it was the only guy you’d ever fall for or that would ever fall for you. You didn’t want to go to parties anymore. You didn’t want to see friends. You just wanted to wallow.
Heartbroken after two weeks today
Some women still become devastated after a two-week fling gone wrong. But you need to develop a harder shell as you get older because it actually requires a few weeks to get any sense of whether or not you’re compatible with someone. Don’t look at the end of a two-week fling as a “failure.” Look at it as the end of the trial period. It wasn’t even the beginning. 13 or 30 years old, women project too many ideas onto men and get their hopes up, only to feel extremely low when a guy isn’t exactly who we thought he was. But that just leads to constant disappointment and a quickly embittered view about love. To keep your stamina up, begin each new trial period with a blank slate. Try not to get any big ideas about a guy until he proves himself.
Fooling around too soon in high school
In high school it was making out or fooling around but you did it fast and after you did it, if a guy didn’t call you, you felt horrible. And you’d wonder, “What did I do wrong? It seemed like he really liked me. We hung out like…four times without anything happening!”
Fooling around too soon today
Today, we somehow still believe that waiting 3 or 4 dates is “waiting” to have sex. After just a few dates we feel like we’ve really hooked the guy and he must have developed feelings for us so it’s safe to jump into bed. And then we’re shocked if the guy doesn’t call, and we feel guilty about sleeping with him. It may sound old school but wait a little longer to sleep with a guy to avoid that potential feeling of guilt.
This is slightly contradictory to the last point but you really shouldn’t be feeling guilty about having sex at all! This, similar to getting your hopes up too high, is one of the behaviors that will wear you out and make you want to hide from men all together. I’m not saying hop into bed with every guy you meet but if it happens and he doesn’t call you after, so what? He didn’t really take anything from you. And did you have fun? Good. So you got something out of it. Allowing yourself to feel guilty after sex will make you feel exhausted and depressed. Brush yourself off and write it off as a fun night. And move on.
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