By now, most of us know how we should probably answer the question, “Should I text him?” Almost invariably, even if we don’t actually know anything about the situationship at hand, the proper response is going to be an emphatic, “Hell no, girl!” Or in other words, “Quit giving your heart, energy, and attention to someone who isn’t reciprocating your interest. Period.”
But as anyone who has squared with dating in the digital age can tell you, that feat is much easier said than done when you: 1.) really like someone; 2.) thought (s)he was equally interested; and 3.) there has been no real discussion to (truthfully) explain the change in enthusiasm.
Can we all agree that ghosting, gradual or otherwise, is the worst?
Speaking from personal experience (as in the very recent kind—like I said, easier said than done), if he wants to get in touch with you, he will. Period. He didn’t lose his phone, he didn’t forget his Snapchat password and lose access to his feed, and I swear it ain’t his dog who’s busy liking photos of scantily clad women on Instagram…while conveniently forgetting to respond to your last text message.
Usually, the hard truth is that he just isn’t all that into you, sis (read: he isn’t worth the time spent agonizing over him and what he’s possibly thinking). In my opinion, the best thing you can do in these situations is to simply get your mind off the man so you don’t drive yourself absolutely bonkers.
That being said, I have compiled a list of things you absolutely should consider doing instead of texting him:
- Reorganize your closet, desk, kitchen…or even your whole dang apartment, if that’s what it takes. I am basically the poster child for Adult ADHD, so this is quite a task for me, but I’ll be super proud of myself once it’s done.
- Learn a new skill. Here are some of the handy (and free) tools I use to broaden my skill base (which can be especially useful when I’m up late and my thoughts are prone to wandering):
- Start learning a new language through the DuoLingo app
- Learn how to code, or just get a feel for a new programming language (yes, even if you don’t consider yourself tech-savvy!). The Learn Python app, for example, teaches you Python in bite-sized chunks through interactive tutorials.
- Take a variety of courses for free: check out Coursera for that
- Take the time to catch up with a friend (you know, like one of the people you maybe neglected a bit once you started seeing ol’ boy…). Do brunch, grab a drink, pop over with dinner while she hosts a movie marathon, whatever.
- Write a thank you letter to someone who has made a difference in your life, like a teacher, coach, or other mentor
- Seek out volunteer opportunities related to a cause you care about
- Listen to a podcast. (Seriously, this was one of my unexpected lifesavers when I felt obsessed about what was—or was not—going on with me and the guy I had been seeing.)
- Kick the rumination by writing in your journal. Don’t already have one? Start one! If nothing else, that’s a safe, private place to write down the things you might otherwise say to him (and later regret). Sometimes, it helps you figure out what’s really going on inside your own head, too.
- Pick one of those Pinterest projects you’ve been meaning to get to and actually do it.
- Go for a run. Lift heavy ass weights. Check out one of those classes you’ve been eyeing at the gym or jump in on one of the pick-up games at your local rec. Play hopscotch with the kids on your block. Whatever gets you moving.
- Do something that makes you money (and then invest it). For me, that might mean scheduling additional private lessons or seeking out freelance work as a writer/editor/medical billing specialist/transcriptionist/general Jill-of-all-trades
- Teach your cat to walk on a harness (trust me, this will take so much focus and patience that you won’t even have the energy to think about what’s-his-face)
- Make a list of those dishes you’ve always wanted to perfect but haven’t tried up til now and then actually try one. (Note: before doing this, make sure your oven isn’t spontaneously broken. And that the pans you need for aforementioned dish aren’t still in storage…)
- Go do something that lets you work with your hands and keep your mind busy. Do yard work or repair/remodeling tasks for your parents or an elderly neighbor. Learn to, say, change your own damn oil on YouTube (and save yourself the $30 it would normally cost you to get it done)
- Finish that knitting/crocheting/cross-stitch project you’ve been meaning to wrap up for the last six years of your life
- Watch your favorite Disney movie, a new documentary, or anything that makes you feel like going out and being a badass (G.I. Jane and Wonder Woman are probably both solid bets)
- Spend time with the people in your life who are genuinely more important to you than he is—sometimes, we all need that reminder of who our real priorities should be
- Do something that makes you feel pretty—give yourself a pedicure, use a hot oil treatment on your hair, do your hair and makeup and take sultry Snapchat photos with your cat…whatever works for you
- Do something that makes you feel competent and confident; for me, that usually means hitting the gym. It can be easy to lose sight of who the F you are and why you’re such a badass when you’re preoccupied with why he doesn’t see your value.
- Read that book you’ve been meaning to read for so long (especially if it happens to feature a really badass female protagonist, real or fictional). This time around, that has been Hillary Clinton’s What Happened and Tony Dungy’s Quiet Strength for me. I also highly recommend anything by Fannie Flagg (the author of Fried Green Tomatoes) for this purpose.
- Work on your (written) vision for your five-year plan. What do you need to do to get there? Is your career on track (and is your net worth where it needs to be) for that to be a reality? What do you need to do—by yourself and on your own terms—to live the life you really want to live?
Got other distraction/self-improvement tips (for men or women, btw) that I didn’t mention above? Share them in the comments!