While I don’t wear a Penn State backpack or fly around campus on a scooter, I have spent the past three years of my life playing the most brutal collegiate sport on the planet. My sport is mind games, dating apps, and playing it cool. I play to win. That is until I convince myself that this boy is the real thing.
Eventually, the time comes when I’m ready to waive the white flag and retire because that seems like the natural progression of things. This is when I typically find out that the only thing I’ve played is myself. I’ve learned, against my will, that there is nothing natural about dating in your twenties. I have learned that the goal should be to not have to play at all.
This summer, I decided it was time for a hard factory reset. All of the “rules” I learned on “Call Her Daddy” when I was 18 needed to be drilled out of my mind. I used to say to anyone who would listen that I “matched energy.” Looking back, I now understand that needing to match someone shitty energy is a red flag. What I really need to do is make my own rules. I need to say what I’m thinking and I absolutely need to be myself.
During my reset, I made the mistake of watching “The Notebook.” In a fit of hysterical rage (the rage that we all enter at the end of this movie), I deleted all of my dating apps. When I came to, I decided this was probably for the best. I then took the time to reevaluate my type. If you have ever been out with your girlfriends on a Saturday night, you have played this game. My type (according to my best friends) has always been “nice but unavailable.” This summer, though, I decided that I’ve had enough.
Do you know what’s really hot? When you don’t have to wonder how someone feels about you. A guy can be nice and also not give a shit about you. Two things can be true. My new philosophy is that the coolest guys are the ones who think I am cool. Carrie Bradshaw once said, “I want someone that wants to be with me,” even though we all knew that she wasn’t quite there yet. But baby, I’m there.
If a boy has made you cry to any of the following songs you, dear friend, are also in need of a factory reset.
- “All I Wanted” by Paramore
- “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” by Taylor Swift
- “Evergreen (You Didn’t Deserve Me At All)” by Omar Apollo
Bradshaw also said, “Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.”
When you are twenty and aren’t quite sure who you are or how you feel about yourself, it feels normal when the people you go out with aren’t so sure about you either. But one day, out of nowhere, you are going to wake up and understand yourself. You are going to look in the mirror and like who you see and you are going to love your life. When that happens you are never going to be comfortable accepting the bare minimum again. When you get there, I am absolutely positive you will not be reading SGOS, but until then I am glad to have you on board. Welcome to season two!