Call Me Maybe…Or Not [Diary of the Undateable]

Avril Lavigne said it best, y’all – why do we go and make things so complicated?

I’m interning at Cosmo. At a recent editorial sit down that felt more like a night of girl talk, we discussed all things dealing with sex and relationships. One of the topics was the consequence of being the first one to reach out to a guy. Since I’m a newbie to this dating thing, I didn’t realize how much of a slippery slope it is. Scoff if you must, but one sent text message or outgoing call can ruin everything!

You don’t want to come off as desperate or hound someone who doesn’t want to talk to you. That’s when you get the dreaded one-word response or even worse, no response at all. I hate a texter that doesn’t ask me anything in return to my questions. However, you don’t want it to seem like you’re NOT interested, either. Because what would the other person think if you’re not hitting them up on a regular basis?

My friend Tranessa recently dropped a gem of information that she learned years and years ago. “You don’t know about the ratio?” she asked me incredulously. “For every two text messages he sends, you’re supposed to send one. And then for every three phone calls, you’re supposed to call him once. It works every time!” Huh? Where the heck did she get this info? And where did these random numbers come from? She didn’t remember, but she told me that it’s been working for her for a while now.

Since my council of girlfriends is my (sometimes) reliable frame of reference, I decided to try out Tranessa’s tried and true method. BJ’s a guy I had been messaging on OkCupid. He was adorable and funny, so I offered up my number after a night of back and forth correspondence. He initiated texting me twice, so just like the rules of the ratio, I took the liberty of initiating the conversation once…

It was so wack and awkward! It ended after about six messages. Of course, the ratio proved me wrong. It was clear that he didn’t feel like talking at that time…but he was up for conversing the few times that he had texted me?  I didn’t hear from him again after that. So I should always wait for them to make a move, right? But then Carlos, another guy I’d met on the ‘net, got a little offended when I didn’t strike up conversation after a few days. “I didn’t hear from you today…why?” I hurt his feelings because I thought I knew what I was doing.

I think things went sour with He Who Must Not Be Named because the chase was over. In addition to being open with my feelings, I texted him first. I initiated conversation two times, guys…TWO TIMES…and the tables turned. Instead of sending me good morning texts or wondering about my whereabouts, I was doing all of that. And one-sided effort isn’t sexy at all.

Correct me if I’m wrong (which I know you guys will!), but the air of mystery disappears if I’m doing all of the texting and calling, right? He’s not worried about what I’m doing or how my day went or if he’s on my mind, because I’m basically telling him.

One sent text message is like a damn relationship landmine. Or like the douchebag block in Jenga…you remove it and everything comes tumbling down.

CollegeCandy, what are your rules when it comes to correspondence?

When she’s not watching for Blue Ivy sightings or doing some serious Facebook creeping, Khalea moonlights as a print journalism major at the REAL HU, Howard University. Follow her on Twitter at @letsbeKHAlear, or feel free to Twatch. Whatever works for you.

[lead image of guy via l i g h t p o e t/Shutterstock]



    1. Melissa says:

      As someone who is slightly older than you I'd say f*ck the rules/games/ratios. If you feel like talking to him send him a text and he'd do the same. Now if he doesn't ever initiate the texts first then I'd say he's probably not that into you. Don't over analyze.

    2. GGG says:

      I completly agree with Melissa, get rid of those rulez, if you feel like doing smthing, well just do it – this way you would feel perfectly fine no matter what the other person does (at least you did how you felt, there's nothing or no one to be blamed, cos after all there's nothing wrong in doing things the way you feel you should:)
      Next time I believe you will send as many messages you want and as many phone calls you feel like:)

    3. Sara says:

      It is a science! We can all say "Oh, text as much as you like if he's interested he'll appreciate the effort". No I'm telling you with guys these days it doesn't work that way. I work by a different ratio, like for every 3-5 texts I'll text once. This is from personal experience, the trickiest situation I've gotten into is with the guy I was most interested in he'd text first every day for months (we were semi-exclusive, no title) then bam no texts and new fb official gf. Wtf? I was devastated for about a month and still reached out with no answers to my texts. So I decided to ignore him when he texted and what was I met with? "Thanks for ignoring me". What I'm getting at is there is no right or wrong way to go about this, until you do it the wrong way, if that makes any sense at all.

    4. Miriam says:

      Guys hate it when girls play games. Actually, everyone hates it when people play games. Do what feels natural. There's no "magic ratio." That's the most ludicrous idea I've ever heard.

      I know it's hard to stay away from that sort of thinking given that you're interning at Cosmo, but try.

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    6. Nah Cho says:

      Almost everyone hates the game. But almost everyone's a player. (Even if they say they don't play it.)

      It sucks. Personally, I'm not a player, but that's mostly because I don't give a shit if they reply or not. Maybe this mentality will change when I'm older, but for now, it's working fine.
      Unfortunately for most, this mentality isn't very common. I say, text him/her whenever you like. If they don't like you after that, move on.
      That's probably not the type of relationship you'd want to fall into anyway.

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