Like every other citizen of the internet, I was doing my nightly scroll of the ‘Gram and the Twitterverse when I stumbled upon trending hashtag #wastehistime2016.
I was immediately bombarded with meme after meme and tweet after tweet of women naming spiteful ways to waste men’s time this year, as if it was some noble New Year’s resolution:
Not gonna lie, my first reaction was YASSSSSS. Having been on the receiving end of a lot of this petty behavior, I beat my chest and let out an internet war cry like, ‘Hell yea women, serve their crappy behavior back to them!”
I quickly sent it to my girl tribe so we could exchange our favorite memes, tweets, and comments and crack the hell up.
But suddenly, while we laughed and laughed, the sentiments turned alarmingly somber.
Just to give you some background, my group of girlfriends span from the East to West Coast, they range from light to dark skin, thick to skinny, aged 21 to 32, and here we were, equally commiserating over the ways we had been screwed over in our dating lives.
Two thoughts went through my head: 1) Why are these specific examples of poor dating behavior so universal? and 2). Do these men get together in an annual conference called Be An Asshole Bro 2016 and discuss how to destroy women?
Literally, the memes were so specific you could have read it from the diary of any of the brilliant, brave women I know.
Suddenly, this wasn’t so funny any more.
While the idea of seeking revenge against men who have wronged us is a momentarily satisfying thought, behind all the laughter is a deep sadness or a deep remembrance: This has happened to me OR worse, This is currently happening to me.
The source of these impersonal and hurtful interactions is definitely rooted in millennials’ obsession with the Internet and text messaging. And it’s not our fault! We grew up with it.
Therefore, sending someone a text message to meet up and not following through, or periodically sleeping with someone on and off for months with no relationship accountability is unfortunately such common behavior because the only entity you have to answer to is a blue text message glowing in a bright LCD screen. No person. No humanity.
So it’s no wonder that there is a shared feminine experience of feeling slighted from the careless, selfish, behavior that is exhibited way too often in dating.
Soon after #wastehistime2016 caught fire, the obnoxious brother counterpart to the hashtag emerged: #wastehertime2016
It was very clear to me that while women were planning war, men were feigning indifference. That’s cleary not what either side wants.
While this modern-day battle of the sexes plays out on the Internet arena, it’s important to remember behind every meme and tweet is someone who is living this right now, who feels really messed up about it.
I can’t lie and pretend I know how men and women can avoid this behavior. Dating is such a hit-or-miss game that it usually comes down to luck and timing more than anything. But one revelation I had from watching this hashtag catch virality was the fact that we are totally not alone in the crap we deal with. So often these experiences get brutally internalized as rejection–but the fact is, a lot of us aren’t out here winning when it comes to immature interactions between the sexes.
Since this bad treatment is so rampant, here are just a few suggestions for people who have had their time “wasted” so the bitter tirade can end and we (men and women) can call a truce.
- Consistency is everything. A wise man once told me, that if a man is not consistent in his communication, behavior, treatment of you etc, it’s all game. Stop justifying those random temperature text messages with a response.
- Listen! Most men tell you from the beginning what they are looking for. If he says he doesn’t want a girlfriend, he doesn’t and will not make you his girlfriend. No need to spend time convincing yourself you’re the special one to change him. There are others, and will be others, who are open to the idea of a full committed relationship.
- In the early stages, no one should have so much of your time that they can waste it! That’s what hobbies and being in love with your work is for. How can anyone waste time they don’t deserve, if you’ve filled it with things that fulfill you?
- Guess what? There is no wasted time if you learn something from it. I know, how Grandmother Willow of me to say, but really.
What did you beauties think of the hashtag? Could you relate to the memes? Sound off below.