Who Cares? [Diary of the Undateable]
Not even gonna lie…that stuff with Peter really had me feeling some type of way these past few days. I tried to shake it off like it didn’t bother me that much, that he was just another failed crush on my mile-long list of failed crushes…but nah. I was hurt, y’all. I’d listen to my depressing John Legend/Kings of Leon/r&b divas slow jams playlist at work, drawing frowny faces in the lattes that I served to customers who probably sensed my sadness, too. And yeah, my tips were a lot better during my heartbreak hotel stay, but life – generally speaking – sucked.
After a particularly-depressing shift (and a Sonos session of Beyoncé’s 4 in its entirety, “I Miss You” twice in a row), I thought about all of the guys that I’ve been involved with. Ever. I’ve always been a little bit boy crazy. I think it’s because my young, naïve mind was polluted with Disney princess love stories and stolen glances at my mom’s Harlequin romance novels. Nothing was ever casual with my crushes, at least on my end. It was me, in my overdramatic nature, pouring my feelings out to the other party and the other party not reciprocating or even returning those sentiments. From playing house with this kid named Olaejuwon in pre-K (we ended up getting divorced, btw) to now, nothing’s really changed. Like two autumns ago when I rushed all the way across town during the school week to go out on a date with Brian, the guy who only wanted to hit. Or last summer when I came all the way back to D.C. from New York in the middle of the summer to hang out with Tonio…a guy who only wanted to hit. And last summer, when I did everything in my power to keep Carlos, the Haitian in Harlem who broke my heart. Pretty sure he only wanted to hit. Obviously, I see the pattern…but I didn’t during the time that I was involved with each of these guys. I was so blinded by putting effort towards the conquest as their respectively lazy asses sat still and watched me work. Because I always do most of the work. Always.
It was my friend Bernard, the male voice of reason and realness in my romantic life, who pointed out that I do the most when it comes to most of my amorous situations.
“How long did it take for Peter to tell you that he liked you?” he asked as we analyzed what exactly went wrong.
“Like a month,” I responded.
“And how long had you liked him?” he continued.
“Since the first day we started talking,” I admitted.
“That’s the problem right there,” he said in his short-but-sweet manner.
When I interned at Cosmo, I learned about the Weird Little Love Rule. Essentially, the power in every relationship lies in whoever cares less. With every guy that I talked to, I picked up all calls, took .5 seconds to respond to texts and was always available whenever they wanted to FaceTime or actually go out. There was no challenge and they got everything that they wanted…well, almost everything. I put in all this work to do the right things, say the right things and to be the right person. And what were these men doing on their end? Not a damn thing.
I mean, think about it. There are all these books and articles and Twitter pages dedicated to keeping your boo happy, intrigued and satisfied. I rarely hear guys around my age being overly concerned about putting in extra effort to do the same. And maybe the dudes I know just suck, but still. It’s such an unfair disadvantage when you’re putting in work towards someone who doesn’t care as much as you do.
Sometimes I think about all the collective time that I waste thinking about all these guys who are just so undeserving of it. Instead of rereading cryptic iMessages, I could’ve been reading the newspaper. Instead of drafting texts and downing two-buck Chuck before daring to dial his number, I could’ve been revising my résumé or something. So yes, I believe that the power definitely lies in whoever cares less. But the power to end it all lies in the one who cares more. I just have to learn how to use it one of these days.
When she’s not watching for Blue Ivy sightings or doing some serious Facebook creeping, Khalea moonlights as a print/online journalism major at the REAL HU, Howard University. Follow her on Twitter at @letsbeKHAlear, or feel free to Twatch. Whatever works for you.