I don’t know if y’all have heard, but there’s a battle of the sexes taking place on social media as we speak. Men started it with #WasteHERTime2016 and so naturally women rose to the occasion with #WasteHisTime2016 and the slightly nastier #TrapHim2016. What a great way to ring in the New Year.
This isn’t a blog about dating or relationships, though, trust me, as a single woman in her late twenties, I have a thing or three to say about dating and relationships. I just left off blogging those particular thoughts in 2013. Until this morning. Dr. Lydia* is back in session. (You’re welcome).
First of all, and most importantly, all human relationships should function from a place of respect. By that, I mean that we should relate to each other as living, breathing, feeling, and thinking beings; we should treat people with the dignity we would want to be treated. Wasting each other’s time, and plotting ways to waste each other’s time? Not respectful. Not dignified.
Secondly, clearly there is some resentment out there about wasted time in how we’re relating to each other. If I had to guess this probably stems from misplaced expectations and fear of commitment.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is going to blow your mind: every interaction with the opposite gender does not translate into a thing. People tend to think that’s more of an issue with women, but in my experience, men can be just as bad. There is freedom in just being friendly (i.e. display interest in each other’s lives) and knowing that’s all it is. What occasionally messes that up is one party expecting more than friendship, and when it becomes clear it’s not more than that, said party may feel that his or her time has been wasted. My advice? Interact expecting friendship, knowing that friendship is nothing to be sneezed at. Be grateful for friendship. Granted, some beautiful romantic relationships have grown from friendships, but don’t go in expecting a romantic relationship.
But maybe you’re saying, “I have plenty of friends, I’m looking for something more.” There is nothing wrong with that, but if you’re constantly frustrated by people wasting your time, can I humbly submit that you might be looking in the wrong places? Not everyone is ready for a serious commitment; the fact that #WasteHERtime2016 and #WasteHisTime2016 are trending is proof of that. Some people like the fun back-and-forth of a more casual relationship, because the deeper you go in a relationship, the messier it is. (I’m not saying that’s right or good, it just … is). And if you perpetually find yourself in the company of these kinds of people, and they are usually pretty open about what they want and don’t want, maybe you’re not as ready for commitment as you think you are, and frankly, you’re probably wasting your own time. If that’s not what you want, it’s up to you to change it.
What if, in 2016, instead of wasting each other’s time, we treat each other with respect and dignity? What if we are intentional about building strong, committed friendships and just being thankful for them? What if we say no to wasting our own time and letting others waste our time? What if, next year, instead of a negative trend, it’s positive because we empowered ourselves to do something differently than we’ve gotten used to doing?
I think we can do it, don’t you?
*I am not actually a doctor.