The “You can come if you want to” vs. “I want you to come” debate was recently brought to my attention and is apparently prompting IRL outrage in women all across our great nation. According to the internet, if a girl asks “Do you want me to come over tonight?” and a guy responds “If you want to,” it’s the most disrespectful text next to “New phone, who dis?” Based on my research (aka scrolling through memes on Insta between baseball innings), it seems like the general consensus among women is that “if you want to” essentially translates to “I guess we can hang out… I don’t really want to and will put in zero effort but if that’s what you want, I guess I’ll suck it up and smash.” So why do guys continue to say it? Let’s find out.
1. He Doesn’t Know It Bothers You
For the most part, guys comparatively take a lot less time thinking about semantics. Dudes apply the same strategy to choosing words as you do when parallel parking: close enough. When a man says “if you want to,” he probably genuinely means it. We’re not saying it to make you feel unimportant, we’re saying it to give you options and not make you feel obligated to do something you don’t want to do. It’s guy speak for “if you want to come through, awesome, but no pressure. I understand if you don’t want to watch me scream at the Cavs game.”
2. He Doesn’t Want To Look Clingy
Dating is like playing emotional hot potato where no one wants to be the one who gets stuck holding the scorching ball of feelings. When he says “if you want to”, he might be afraid that he likes you more than you like him and is trying to play it cool. Yes, it’s a game, and it’s about as fun as Go Fish or Russian roulette. When we feel threatened or insecure, we will go to Secret Service level extremes to protect our egos. It’s a flaw, like removing the audio jack from the iPhone, but I swear we’re working on it (after we turn 30).
3. He Feels Like It’s A Trap
If the conversation went anything like the one above, it’s possible he feels like you’re playing games. If it’s early on in the relationship, he might think you’re trying to mind f*ck him into saying that he likes you first. One of our least favorite things in the world, besides accidentally drinking a warm beer, is feeling like we’re being forced to say something we don’t want to say. No one wants to be held at emotional gunpoint, and men are no exception. Deep down, you know whether or not you’re trying to start some sh*t. If you are, go to your local Sh*t Starters Anonymous meeting and cut the man a break.
4. He’s Trying *Not* To Move The Relationship Forward
And now it’s time for the worst case scenario. If a guy is doing the “if you want to” dance, it’s possible he either doesn’t care or is deliberately trying to be a jackass to keep you from getting too close. If this is the case, the guy likes exactly whatever y’all are doing now and is making sure you never complete your journey from the Booty Call Kingdom to the Relationship Realm. If you don’t want anything more serious either, keep on truckin’. If you do, grab your gear and bail out faster than WWII paratrooper.
So how do you know which one it is?
You gotta talk to him. Sorry. I know, words are gross, but it’s that or die alone knitting a scarf for your Shih Tzu. Up to you.
Hi, I’m a guy, that perpetually frustrating creature you’re trying to date. And I’ve got a public service announcement on behalf of the male gender. Has your love life become a soul-sucking slog through an endless ocean of fuckboys and creepers? Have you scanned every post on /r/relationships but still can’t figure out why you’re dating game isn’t on point? Are you bored at work and looking for any excuse not to do another damn thing? Me too, friend. Me too. But I’ll shut up now and get to the point. I was asked to share my incredibly unique and in-short-supply male opinion on first date mistakes women are making without realizing. It’s time to take a good hard look at your life.
1. Always The One Planning The First Date
I know it’s the 2018 and we’re living in the glorious gender equality age of Beyoncé, but at the end of the day, the guy should plan the first date. Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t be a part of the decision making process. Let him know what you like, when you’re free, how much you love Tequila Tuesdays, etc. But if you’ve made it clear that you’re interested and meeting up with him still feels like trying to get a cat to walk on a leash, stop. Leave him in the litterbox where he belongs, and move on.
2. Only Talking About Yourself
It’s a date, not an interview for your cover issue of Vogue. How are you going to find out if I’m a serial killer or the love of your life by never asking me a single question? I know it might be surprising, but guys like talking about themselves too. Talking about yourself is like popping a pimple: it’s kind of gross, you’re not sure what’ll come out, but once you get going it feels pretty nice. Just throw me a couple questions. It’s only fair if we both get the chance to pretend we’re interesting.
3. Drinking Too Little
Now I’m not saying you gotta be Kanye at the 2009 VMAs, but if you’re having a good time and the guy asks if you want a second drink, take a chance. Or a shot. Get out of your head, and see where it goes. Don’t cut the date short because you’re worried he’ll think you’re a hot mess if you have an extra vodka soda. Remember brunch last Sunday? I don’t either. But it was fun AF and so are you. Don’t be afraid to show it.
4. Dressing Too Casually
It was the world’s longest day, and all you want to do is kick off those wedges, throw on some Soffe shorts, crawl into bed, and eat a lifetime supply of Halo Top. I get it. But you’ve got a date. And dates have a dress code. I’m glad Kappa formal was the best night of your life, but I shouldn’t find that out by reading your sweatshirt. Nobody wants to be on a date with someone who looks like they just left a sleepover. Yes, this advice is superficial, but what part of life isn’t? Dress up. Blow some minds. But don’t overthink it.
5. Bringing A Friend
I can’t believe I actually have to say this, but don’t bring a friend. Don’t. Even if he says it’s okay. It’s not. It’s bizarre, it’s confusing, and now some poor bastard is breaking his back attempting the Olympic level of mental gymnastics you’ve dumped in his lap. “But the Wi-Fi was out at our apartment, so she couldn’t binge watch the first season of West World! It would be a crime against humanity if I left her alone!” It’s intimidating enough trying to charm one woman, let alone two. If you’re that concerned about your roommate, leave her a book and a bottle of wine. She’ll be just fine. “Okay, but what if he’s a sketchy rando? There’s, like, safety in numbers.” If you trust the guy so little that you’re bringing your own body guard, maybe he should be on a watch list instead of your match list.
Images: Giphy (2)