When I was dating, I would occasionally fall into the classic traps that every woman knows about but cannot seem to always avoid. The most frequent trap went something like this:
Girl and boy hang out, have fun. Boy becomes flaky (because, honestly, he’s just not that into you), girl gets frustrated, vows to not date flakes. Boy reaches out, shows some initiative, girl thinks, “maybe it’ll be different this time, he’s trying!” Wash, rinse, repeat.
It wasn’t fun, but it was a learning experience – in dating, self-esteem, and realistic expectations.
The thing is, I thought that trap no longer existed now that I’m not dating anymore. I clearly forgot about the alternate version, which is actually even more frustrating: the flaky friend trap.
You know the friends. Maybe they live a little farther away, so you actually have to make solid plans to hang out (no impromptu happy hours). Maybe you both have really busy schedules, but you want to keep up the friendship that you’ve had for the better part of your existence.
However, after they cancel on you time and time again, after those solid plans have been made, you lose faith. Sometimes the cancellations are legitimate. Sometimes you justify them, because of course they wouldn’t mean to leave you in the lurch like that.
But the fact remains that you still don’t see each other.
And even when you do, you feel secondary to whatever else they could be doing at that point.
So you manage your expectations. You’re tired of feeling disappointed, so you don’t reach out either. And that seems to be working out. Until they reach out again, excitedly asking what your schedule looks like because they want to hang out. Really, truly this time!
Do you get your hopes up again, and get excited for a visit, making plans and freeing up time?
Or do you take everything they say with a grain of salt, not believing a word until they show up on your doorstep?