So, I’m just going to come out and say it. I hate mixed signals. They generally cause me an anxiety comparable to a mental breakdown, I start to over-think EVERYTHING (even more so than usual), and furthermore, I don’t know what to do with them. And by mixed signals, I refer to one of the most common phenomenons of human interaction. You like someone, and you think they like you back, until all of a sudden it seems like they don’t. Wait, now it seems like they do. Yes, we’re going somewhere! Oh wait, back to no. Hold on, let me just pop open this Valium for a hot second. Good god.Mixed signals are just that: mixed signals. And furthermore: they suck. Everyone has experienced them at least once in their life. You like someone, and you determine that yes, you think they like you back. Time goes on, you think the relationship is progressing one way, and you feel like you’re stable. You know where you are and what’s going on. But then, next thing you know, the person you're interested in has thrown a Hail Mary and you find yourself somewhere in WHAT IS GOING ON Land, grasping a map and attempting to ask a passerby for assistance. You start doubting everything you've ever said, done, worn, thought about, blinked at, and/or existed around. You start lining up your past interactions like witnesses in a murder trial. You call your friends and describe every interaction down to the most minute detail. And yes, I realize that the more I type 'you', the more I really just mean 'I'. But, whatever. Either way, it all tends to end with your (my) friends wide-eyed agreeing that yes, you (I) aren't crazy. Now kindly back away from the sharp objects and put on this nicely tailored jacket with looooooooong sleeves that wrap around your back...just for a little bit.
I kind of go through 2 different paths of action, depending on the type of signal I’m receiving. I’m also pretty sure I’m not the only one who acts/feels this way. Admit it: when things are going well with That Special Person, we all start to act like hotshots. Us women feel like movie heroines, dominating post-being poured into tight black catsuits with secret weapon pockets and killer heels. Our hair is shiny, our smiles are radiant, and we are the funniest things that have ever walked this planet. We feel like Victoria's Secret models, we are 100% positive that we know all the world’s secrets, and if you were to look up femininity in the dictionary, we KNOW we'd be the example pictured. I imagine that when guys are feeling super awesome because things are going well, they act all big and buff and walk away in slow-motion from explosions. Overall, this celebrity-like behavior can even leak over into other avenues of life. It can inspire confidence and happiness. A certain song will come on the radio and we'll feel all fierce and strut our stuff because hey, we look good, feel good, and not only do I like that person but THEY LIKE ME BACK! Everything is going allllllllllll right.........until things go wrong. When things go wrong, we go to a dark place and realize just how much we fail at life. We realize that not only are we not cool or impressive, but we can't even stab a straw through a Capri-Sun. We can't open a childproof cap. We (okay, I) cannot establish authority over crisscross bra straps. We find ourselves putting deep emotional significance to song lyrics. ALL song lyrics. Like, even song lyrics that really don't even have the emotional depth required to be important. And yet, the radio is on and OH MY GOD KATY PERRY. YES, YES, YOU'RE SO RIGHT. HE'S HOT *AND* HE'S COLD!!!!
Why aren't we just honest with one another? I assume it's because of the vulnerability that would come next. If someone doesn't like you, then clearly you did something wrong. You ARE something wrong. But what is it? And that is the question that leads to a type of self-exploration that generally does not yield positive results. Post-examination, I often come up with several reasons of why that guy OBVIOUSLY didn't end up liking me. It's probably because my most prevalent form of cardio/yoga is shaving my legs. It also doesn't help that I eat and swear at the same frequency as a well-seasoned truck driver. And lastly, without makeup, I’m pretty sure I look like an art doodle drawn with my non-dominant hand. All of these thoughts swirl and congeal until a giant snowball of crazy is formed. And let me tell you, once we start rolling down that path of destruction, it is NOT pretty.
If I had an answer on how to deal perfectly with mixed signals, I’d probably be the richest human being in the world, because really, who wouldn’t eventually need my assistance? And I’m sure at least one person reading this post might think, “well why not just ask him point blank? Geez, IT’S NOT THAT HARD”. And you’d be right. But there’s something to be said about not wanting to force that other person into an emotional hostage situation. Also, I am of the (possibly wrong) school of thought that if someone likes you, they make the effort to see you. To be with you. To talk to you. Now, I don’t know what will happen with the guy I like, but I do know this. Throughout every guy interaction I’ve had, be it through high school, college, or in ‘the real world’, I’ve had two constant factors: a guy that sent me into a tailspin of confusion and binge eating, and a group of strong, gorgeous, loyal, hilarious, and great friends who have talked me down off the Ledge of Crazy and put me back up into The Land of Remember How Awesome You Are. Without them, I would be an unlucky, unconfident, and unhappy girl. While I eventually might end up owning and running some sort of catnip opium den in the future as an Official Cat Lady, it won’t matter. I have a group of stunning friends who are more worth it than any guy who can make me go weak in the knees. So, next time That Person sends you into an emotional freak-out, just remember that you have those friends. Oh, and how amazing you really are. :)