When a guy’s doing something you don’t like, it’s natural to want to figure out why he’s ignoring your texts or making out with your best friend.
Just take this conversation we overheard on the Red line last night:
Girl: So, last night I texted Brian, just, you know, to say hi—
Her friend: What did you say?
Girl: I was just like, “Hey, what’re you up to tonight?”
Her friend: What’d he say?
Girl: He never responded!
Her friend: What a dick!
Girl: No, like, I think the thing is, I think he might not be over his ex-girlfriend.
Her friend: Oh.
Girl: Yeah, like, I was looking at his Facebook, and there were all these pictures of him with this super hot blonde. She was, like, really cute, and looked like tons of fun. And I Googled her and she works for some big law firm, so she’s obviously really successful and stuff.
Her friend: Yeah.
Girl: And remember how I was telling you that he told me last weekend that he really wasn’t look for a relationship?
Her friend: Oh yeah.
Girl: I bet it’s because of her, you know? Like, I bet she totally broke his heart by dumping him for some hot-shot lawyer.
Her friend: Maybe…
Girl: And I wonder if, like, when I was starting to tell him that I liked him last weekend, if that maybe freaked him out.
Her friend: Could be…
Girl: So, maybe he’s trying to, like, play things cool so he doesn’t get too attached to me.
Her friend: Yeah.
Girl: I mean, also, he could have swine flu.
Her friend: You can still respond to a text with swine flu.
Girl: I’ve heard your fever gets so high you forget your own name.
Her friend: Really?
Girl: Well, he could just not be that into me.
Her friend: Ohmygod I’m sure that’s not it.
Girl: Yeah. You’re right. It’s probably swine flu.
This conversation made us cringe, for multiple reasons. But our first reaction was: these girls just wasted five minutes of their lives.
There are so many “what not to do’s” we could point out about this conversation, but the most striking of them is this: it’s not worth trying to figure out why Brian was ignoring her calls.
Most of us can’t read minds, a fact that frustrates scorned lovers to no end. After all, wouldn’t it be so much easier to move on if you knew why he was treating you like shit?
Maybe it would be, but no amount of Facebook stalking or drunk texting will ever reveal what’s going on in his head. Which makes any speculation on your part an utterly useless pursuit.
This applies to analyzing behavior too. If a guy tells you he doesn’t want to see you any more, it’s natural to wonder why he also told you he still loves you. And when a guy spends $200 on your first date, but then doesn’t call you for a month, you want to create the story that explains everything.
But even if you were to get him to “open up” to you about what went wrong, it’d be no more revealing than a suggestive wall-to-wall. People lie. They do things that don’t make sense. They tell you that they want to take you to Paris when they have no intention of ever seeing you again.
Actions may speak louder than words, but they still don’t tell you what a guy’s thinking. That’s why it’s not worth trying to figure out what a romantic first date or an intimate conversation “means:” you’ll never really know.
Once you start trying to read his mind, it’s hard to stop. You’ll probably never reach any conclusions you can truly believe, which means you’ll spend more and more time trying to “figure him out.” The closer he is to the forefront of your mind, the harder it is to move on if things don’t work out.
The key to healthy relationships and speedy breakup recoveries is thinking about the other person less, not more. If you spend too much time obsessing over a new guy, you build him up to something he can never be. And if you waste time thinking about what went wrong with an ex, you prevent yourself from moving on.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever think about him/your relationship. In fact, you should spend time analyzing the situation and figuring out how you think things are going. But when your analysis turns towards his thoughts and feelings, you start asking questions you’ll never find answers to.
Instead of trying to figure out what he’s thinking (which you’ll never know), focus on what he’s doing. And adjust your behavior accordingly.
If he’s taking you on dates and calling to say hi, keep seeing him. If he waits three weeks to text you, don’t respond.
There’s no direct line to another person’s stream of consciousness. It’s not hidden in the next Facebook photo or his track times from high school.
You’re never going to know anything with 100 percent certainty, and that includes his motives, his intentions, and his opinions of you. And no amount of obsessive analysis will change that.
So stop trying to figure out what he’s thinking.