I was really into those silly personality quizzes in the backs of my favorite reads – YM!, Teen People, Seventeen – when I was a kid (so, so long ago). I’d patiently flip through the Lip Smackers ads and cutesy photos of Britney and Justin until I reached my magazine Magic 8 Ball. In my young, naïve mind, those quizzes established my entire life – because my color personality and my ideal ‘N Sync boyfriend were pretty pivotal at that time. But my very favorite quizzes were the “does he like you?” ones. Every time I had a crush that I was unsure about, I’d furiously flip to the back of my mags to find the answer. I thought that I was an expert at navigating around those pesky mixed signals and deemed myself THE relationship expert in middle school. Ask about me.
The other day, my friend Tranessa and I were catching up over the phone. We compared stories about work, boys and everything else in between. I updated her on Mitt, this guy that I’ve been talking to since the summer. We talked every single day for like two months until school started, and things seemed really promising even though we’re in different states. Then all of a sudden, he stopped hitting me up as much. He cited his busy schedule as the reason, unceremoniously friendzoning me into oblivion. A few weeks ago, I told him how bummed I was about our lack of communication.
“There’s nothing that we can do now,” he told me. “You’re in D.C. I’m in the city. If you were home, it’d be a different story. You’re an amazing woman, though, and I value your friendship.”
Even though we’re “just friends,” Mitt still flirts with me constantly, saying and doing things that friends aren’t supposed to say and do. He tells me about the girls that he talks to and dates that he goes on…but then he’ll get mad when I take too long to text him back. He’ll tell me that he’s not ready for a relationship and that “no girl is worthy” of what he has to offer…but then he’ll ask me about the other guys that I’m dating (ha!) to make sure that he’s in first place.
“Why does he act like he wants to be with me when he says that he doesn’t?!” I asked Tranessa.
“Wtf, Khalea?” she asked, incredulous at my single girl stupidity. “He literally told you that he doesn’t want to be with you right now. He literally said that he doesn’t want to be in a relationship. There’s nothing to be confused about!”
As much as I hate to admit it, she’s right. I was searching for answers that were already there in plain English. I told him that I wanted a relationship, and he told me that he did not. I told him that I wanted us to communicate more, and he told me that he could not. I was making things a lot harder than they needed to be for a guy who hardly made any effort on his end.
I’m sure that we’ve all been there. We don’t want to believe the cold, hard facts, so we make excuses and create these workarounds around the truth. At day’s end, guys are very simple. And I don’t even mean that in a negative way. They tell us from the beginning – verbally or nonverbally – what they want and how they want it. At least the guys that I’ve talked to have. It could all be so simple, this game of love…but I think that my overanalyzing is what gets me in trouble. I blame the damn quizzes.
Maya Angelou once said that the first time someone shows you who they are, believe them. There’s no need for soul searching and back-of-the-book quizzes if your answer is already there.
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.