How Far is Too Far?
by Vanessa Palencia
Believe it or not, there was a time when girls had to wait on the guy they liked to ask them out. They only had their body movements to tell him that he was the apple of their eye. A wink here. A smile there. A casual drop of the pencil when he walked past. If they were lucky, the guy would take notice, take them to the drive-ins, and then ask them if they would like to go steady. (Yes, that was a real thing that happened!)
But now we’re in the 21st century. Being coy has died long ago. As women born in the era where female empowerment is the norm, we hunt down the guys we like as we please. They're not replying back fast enough? Keep texting them until they respond. We're being obnoxious? No, it's called being bold. Do they not spend enough time with you? Figure out their daily routine and work your way into their schedule. We're clingy? No, it's called whipping them into shape. At least that's how it seems in this day and age.
But how far is too far? Is there an extent to which we can pursue our men-in-waiting before we become synonymous with animal predators? No longer empowered women but vicious stalkers?
I believe that there is a fine line between being an emboldened woman and a controlling one. Women have been fighting for generations to get the amount of equality we share with men today. We still have a long way to go, but by throwing ourselves on them in the name of power and equality, we could possibly be demeaning our whole purpose.
As a woman who has been single and definitely not ready to mingle for the last three years, I have had the chance to observe relationships from the outside. Interestingly enough, they've all had one thing in common: the girl was chasing the guy. Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that! I'm all for women taking the lead in a relationship. But there's a difference between chasing a guy and CHASING a guy. It's one thing to ask for a guy’s number, it's another to attack them with your emotions by sending constant notifications to their phones and computers as you wait impatiently for their response (which most likely won’t come). And then continue the cycle the next day. And the next. And the next. Until, hallelujah, rain on earth you remember that you can actually CALL him. But hold on a minute, let’s take a step back and reevaluate what’s actually going on.
You, my darling, are riding the Solo Train into Potential Side-Chick Island. Rather than harnessing the power in the relationship that you thought you had, you are handing everything over to him. Instead of being his priority, you are his choice. A choice. A choice to be his mistress if he gets lonely or if he needs a rebound. No longer are you the dashing woman he fell for, but the bothersome girl who has flung her heart out in vain. This is why we cannot throw ourselves at every attractive guy who just happens to cross paths with us. Because by doing this, by allowing ourselves to behave in this manner, we are allowing them to reaffirm their belief that this is a man’s world. Of course this doesn’t mean that we can never text the guy that we like again. It just means that we need to consider our boundaries because it's so easy to become too blinded by love (or lust) to see that the actions we take can become overwhelming. These guys know you are there and will respond to you as they see fit. And they will take their sweet time doing it. A skill that us women could learn to master.
While we should continue to vie for equality with our male counterparts, we should also learn to rein in our emotional output when it comes to dating. We shouldn’t push ourselves on someone if it doesn’t work out immediately. There are over 22 million males in the United States alone, so our dopamine and serotonin levels need to just balance themselves out. We cannot prove our competence if we continue to yank on every sentimental string in our lives. But by all means, if you figure out a way to capture your prey and still be queen in a man's land, then share your secret with the rest of the world. Who wouldn’t want to have their cake and eat it too?