21 years on this earth and I still don't know a damn thing about men.
“But Emina, that's impossible! You have literally written dozens of articles about being a strong, independent women and dealing with fuckboys, there is literally no way in hell you don't know anything."
I know this may seem hard to believe but I have never been in a serious relationship. However, I will say that I have witnessed the Tinder fails, the you're-too-good-for-him pep talks and the hook-ups that you wished would've turned into relationships. Let's just say I'm basically Taylor Swift when it comes to Odyssey articles.
I hope that at least gives me enough credibility for you to trust me because trust me, I have got some very important things to say.
1. College dating culture is fucked up.
Boy meets girl in class. Girl talks to boy because she is bored out of her mind. Girl and boy decide they like each and start spending time together. Boy decides he “isn't ready for a relationship" and completely backs out.
It happens way too often than we would like, but this whole “casual dating" thing just doesn't cut it for me. Yeah, it is great to figure out what the hell you like in college, but it does not give anyone an excuse to take advantage of your emotions.
2. We aren't all doomed (I promise).
If you're going into your senior year of college and haven't met your soulmate, for the love of god please calm down. Guess what? You probably had time to work on your GPA and most importantly, work on yourself. He will show up, we are still so young (I know, I sound like your mom).
3. If you lose your positive outlook, then you're just ruining it for yourself.
There's this thing that I believe in called “the Law of Attraction." In short, the type of energy and thoughts you bring into this world will help you manifest what you want. If you're saying things like, “I'm going to be single forever," then the Universe interprets that as what you want when in reality, that is the last thing you want.
4. You don't have to hook-up with anyone.
Just because everyone's doing it doesn't mean you have to do it, too. Yes, hook-ups are fulfilling in the moment, but you're left feeling kinda empty afterwards. As much as you want to believe it means something, it probably doesn't mean a thing to the other person. I know that sounds harsh, but I am just trying to help a girl out, OK?
5. Guys will Snapchat you after 1 AM, but you don't have to reply.
“What a piece of shit," you solemnly swear to yourself as you notice the notification looming on your phone screen. He didn't have the decency to reply to your text, but now he's sending you drunk Snapchats? Ugh. Don't fuck with my emotions late at night when I'm the most vulnerable. The good news is I'm such a grandma I never actually see these notifications until the morning and it gives me a good laugh.
6. Guys will also send you mixed signals.
And the worst part is, these are usually the guys you're really invested in. Probably even more than he is. You think he cares because he likes your Instagram photos and watches your story, but takes over a day to reply to your messages? You are basically living for that one small chance that things are going to magically unfold into this beautiful fantasy, but if you even have to think about this chance, then you should not waste your time.
7. Never force relationships.
No matter how much you like someone, never, ever make getting him to be “your boyfriend" your primary goal. Where's the fun in that? Getting to know someone, you shouldn't be super concerned about “where things will go." At least, not in the beginning. Of course, if a guy is showing you the right signs, then just go for it. The worst thing is running toward someone during the last lap of the 5K and having them not even take one step in your direction. Don't run anyone over.
8. It's OK to call guys out for their unacceptable behavior.
Just don't be too harsh (unless it's absolutely necessary!). Every guy is going to fuck up at least once with you, but it's up to you to decide what fuck-ups are worth a second chance. Let him know that you definitely don't deserve to be treated that way.
9. Guys usually know when they've fucked up.
Oh, believe me, they know. And if he's really worth it, he'll make it up to you.
10. Sometimes you will give the right parts of yourself to the wrong kinds of people.
You know that story you tell someone when they're going through a hard time? Everyone has one, and it just takes the right person to understand where you're coming from. Just when you think you're opening up to this person and everything is going great, reality smacks you right in the face. Reality that this person will never be able to relate to you on a deep, emotional level.
11. Always end things on a high-note.
When things are going great, and the moment feels right, it's OK to leave. I have this bad habit of wanting to hold onto things that feel amazing for just a little bit longer than I probably should. It's totally not a bad thing! But if you leave the date on a high note, then chances are that person will be left with a positive impression of you.
12. Settling is like ordering a plain coffee instead of that iced caramel mocha you've always wanted.
Sorry for the coffee analogy, it's just kind of my thing. But seriously, never, ever settle. Even when you “think" it's the right thing to do, you'll know when it's right.
13. Say “yes" every once in awhile when your friends ask you to go out.
I'm not saying go out every single night and get hammered, but it does not hurt to get out there and let loose. And I'm not just referring to hitting up all the bars (especially if that's not your thing), maybe try going to an art show or music festival. Just something that's different enough for you to be around new people. You really never know who you will meet!
14. Don't be afraid to make the first move.
It is 2017, we shouldn't be waiting for that guy we're into to ask us out. I know some of you may not agree and say that if the guy is interested, then he will surely ask you out. I'd say that yes, maybe this is true, but why should that stop us? Asking him out takes the pressure off of him and it shows that you're confident and know what you want.
15. Don't be afraid of rejection.
With that being said, not everyone is going to like you. Not every guy is going to realize how special you are. And honestly, that's OK. In the moment, it sucks, but looking at it from the big picture, you should be proud you put yourself out there.
16. Social media should never be the backbone when determining if someone is still into you.
Actually, you should never really consider social media when it comes to answering the lingering question, “Does he really like me?" The answer lies in his actions and what he does in person, not how many of your Instagram photos he's liked. Sure, it can be a way to confirm his true feelings, especially if he's sending you personalized snaps and messages, but it should not be the sole determinant.
17. Guys don't give a shit about texting.
I'm telling you, they really don't. Texting is simply a means of setting up another date with the girl he likes, not a place to write a book. I will say some guys have texted me novels, but that's not the point. Yes, some guys will use it to flirt, and other guys will send you one-word replies. The point is that you shouldn't read into it too much or else your self-esteem will basically crumble.
18. If you give a guy space, it can do wonders.
I will admit it, I have done it. Actually, I didn't even realize I was doing it. I ended up being super busy and we went from talking every day to not talking at all one weekend. On Monday, he was pretty much determined to see me (even though I was still busy AF).
19. Your friends are pretty good at judging his character.
Since they aren't emotionally attached to this guy, they can easily tell if he is up to something. Your friends will always watch out for you and tell you what you need to hear (even when you don't want to hear it).
20. Have standards, but no expectations.
This is probably my favorite dating advice because with this mindset, you will never be disappointed.
21. Make sure you constantly remind yourself of the big picture.
When you like someone, it's so easy to become obsessed. Too much of anything is never a good thing, so it's time to back off. I'm serious! Don't lose sight of the things you love just because some attractive guy waltzed into your life and swept you off your feet. Keep yourself busy and focused on everything else that you've got going for you, whether it be your friends, your career, etc.