So you met this new guy.
But wait— he's not just any kind of guy.
This guy could really be the One.
You know how it goes. That awesome first date. The swoon-worthy goodnight kiss. The text messages that flood your inbox minutes after you two part, where he's just dying to figure out when you can meet up again.
"So, when can I see you again? Next weekend?"
"Damn, I miss you already."
And to say you're excited is an understatement. You're just dying to see him again, too.
A few days pass and you go on a second date with him.
You have so many expectations about how amazing this date will be, too.
But something just seems a little off.
He's not as talkative this time around. He's not asking you enough questions to hold the conversation. He's not making eye contact with you across the table and when it's time to part ways, he doesn't lean in for a kiss, or even a hug, or even bother walking you to your car.
Alert. Sirens go off in the distance.
You begin to worry that maybe you were a bit too crazy around him. The whole "What the f*ck is wrong with me?" realization that maybe, perhaps you scared him away.
But as you rewind the entire date inside your head on your drive back home, you start making assumptions about him.
You start making excuses for yourself, because you just want to believe that you were merely overreacting or simply delusional.
Maybe he had a bad day at work.
Maybe he's normally like that, but you were too nervous on the first date to actually see that side of him.
All these "maybes" are slowly destroying your brain cells one by one, not to mention they're borderline making you lose your mind over this guy because look, just a few days ago, he said he missed you, right?
Suddenly your phone lights up and it's a text from him.
"Miss you. Goodnight."
And you breathe a sigh of relief. Because, well, that "miss you" pretty much solidified his feelings towards you.
If he wasn't really that into you, he wouldn't say that, right?
Or so you thought.
Days pass by. Days turn into weeks and weeks turn into a month.
But he still hasn't reached out to you about when you two should meet up again. And when you swallow your own pride by hinting at him about how much you miss him, he has a line of excuses lined up about why he can't come see you and potential reasons behind why you can't even drive your ass over to his neck of the woods to see his face.
He assures you, though, that he misses you.
Misses you so much.
Misses your beautiful smile and that pretty face.
Misses the way you made him feel.
Meanwhile you're clawing at your phone while screaming: "if you really miss me, then why aren't you doing something about it?"
In a world where communication revolves around text messages, Snapchats and DMs rather than in-person face-to-face conversations, many of the things we say to one another can become ambiguous. In other words, we don't exactly mean the literal meanings behind certain phrases.
For example, when we say LOL we aren't exactly laughing out loud in the middle of a dead quiet lecture hall, reading something your best friend just texted you.
When we say "Great, looking forward to it!" on an email to a colleague, we don't necessarily mean we're really looking forward to a new project. Deep inside—we're dreading the immense amount of work that's about to follow along with it.
In this case: the convenience of an "I miss you."
When someone tells you "I miss you," it can indirectly mean a lot of things. Of course, it can be 100% direct as the literal meaning of the emotional nostalgia of being around someone. But it can also mean something along the lines of: hey, I'm still putting in the effort to talk to you but I'm not going to go out of my way to have to see you in person.
Or worst case scenario: I don't really miss you, but I'm just saying that to keep you on my back burner in case you seem really interesting later on when I'm lonely again.
So here's the overall truth that you need to accept: he doesn't really miss you. Because, if he did, he would react to those feelings and do something about it.
Even if it takes him an hour and a half to drive through bumper-to-bumper traffic to come to see you, he would go out of his way to take you out.
Even if he has a million things going on at work, he would always make the time to see you and make you a top priority.
Name any excuse—and really ask yourself if he would really be giving that excuse in the first place if he really, truly, desperately wanted to see you.
Why do you deserve to be on someone's back burner when you can be worth so much more?
Why do you have to put up with all of his excuses?
Why do you need to feel delusional and overly attached towards a guy who can't even spare an hour to come be with you?
Come on—you mean so much more than that.
If he treats you like a joke, you should leave him like it's funny.
Remember that, the next time a boy dares to play this ruthless game with you.