Every so often I come to a realization about dating. An answer to a dating question that feels so long fought for and so hard-battle-done-by that it’s like solving the Riddle of the Sphinx. Like figuring out what the hell happened to Amelia Earhart. Like I just destroyed the ring in the fires of Mount Doom. Like I just solved world hunger. Like I just figured out where in the world is fucking Carmen San Diego, coherently explained the Matrix, and made cold fusion easily accessible and replicable to the general public. It’s like I know, like seriously fucking know, exactly how many licks it takes to get to the centre of a Tootsie-Pop.
And it’s finally happened. I know a thing, about dating, like fucking know it, and thus I give to you:
The Bird Seed Theory (or, why he keeps contacting you).
Here’s the thing: dating is all about effort. And the fundamental difference in how men and women view effort is the leading cause of dating frustration. Okay so I kind of made that bit up…the “leading cause” bit…but bear with me and you might start to agree. See, if you were to ask most women what is the worst part about dating? I would hedge my bets that they would say “it’s the uncertainty”. Sure, rejection hurts and uncomfortable moments suck and after awhile everybody gets frustrated and wants to call it a day, but the worst THE WORST part about dating is the uncertainty. the waiting. the fade. and then the come back charlieness of it all.
I don’t really know how it came to me (that’s a lie, I know exactly how it came to me…so let me just tell you). Driving home from UBC, the day I moved out of residence back at the end of April 2010, I was talking to my brother (who had so graciously helped me move), about The Nick Name and how I just couldn’t figure out what his fucking deal was and why he kept in contact with me when he obviously didn’t like me so much that he like had to fucking have me. And just like that, it all came together for me. GENIUS!!! Sort of like He’s Just Not That Into You…Version 2.0…The Bird Seed Theory.
You see, women are very selective about the effort they put into men and dating. For those who love a good analogy like I do –> We throw thick chunks of bread at select ducks. Only the ones we really like. The ones we see a potential with. The ones who make us swoon. Or that can dick us down just right (don’t get it wrong…it’s not always about mush and heart)…but the point is we only throw bread when its worth our while. Effort is precious and we don’t like to waste.
Guys throw bird seed *makes bird seed throwing gesture*. Guys throw bird seed constantly…all the time…every moment…of every day…every heart beat…throwing fucking bird seed…not caring who it lands on. Now this isn’t to say that boys will date or bang all the ducks they throw seed at. That’s not the point. The point is to have the option. Boys are always on the prowl, always having things in the mix. It’s like it’s in their DNA or something.
And I know what you’re thinking…doesn’t that negate the theory of effort? And the answer is NO. Quite the opposite. Because in fact, men don’t see throwing the seed as effort. Because it’s all in the name of sex (or whatever motivates them, ego, adrenaline, etc.). And while we (women) are only keeping the options open with those boys we want right now, boys are inherently thinking…more…possibility…later.
So here’s your real-world-tangible-practical-jesus-I-wish-we’d-known-this-earlier-so-much-wasted-time-lesson.
The next time Come Back Charlie sends text message…a FB wall post…a special Tweet…a phonecall…whatever….that leaves you thinking wow. He misses me. He’s thinking about me. He made a mistake in how he treated me before. He didn’t mean it when he pulled the fade on me. He didn’t mean it those other 2 times he bailed on plans. He thinks I’m special really fucking special.
but but but. No! He really really fucking doesn’t.
Sure it’s quite possible he cares about you in the same sense that I generally hope people in the world are happy and leading joyful lives and all that. But to be totally honest, he doesn’t give a shit about you. Nothing has changed. I promise. He is NOT the exception. You are NOT the exception. Maybe he enjoys your conversation, maybe he thinks you’re hot and would be cool with a bang (pending that it fit his schedule, pending that some other chick he has been throwing bird seed at and that he wanted more wasn’t available) but honestly, it doesn’t matter. Whatever his circumstances or reasons are…this dude is not interested in you enough for you to give him the time of day. Even a proper booty call knows how to be blunt, honest and respect your time. A dude throwing bird seed has no concern for your time. Because while throwing bread at him is exacting effort on your part…you’re just another duck on his row to throw some seed up. *seed throwing gestures*
And to make sure you all listen. And really know that this isn’t just something I’m saying but can’t back up with actual facts. I give you both Garbage Man and The Nick Name. Both these dudes were done with me by the 2nd date (possibly even before). And after that 2nd date…they kept in contact. For months. Like seriously fucking months. The Nick Name actually kept in contact for years!! though I never saw him again after that 2nd date. And while in my mind I cannot fathom exerting that much effort to stay in contact with someone you had no real interest in hanging out with again…for them I imagine I was just one in a ton of other chicks. Or one in a ton of other hobbies. Or one in a ton of whatever-the-fuck-they-do-with-their-time. But while I assumed the continued contact was a reflection on the good so-so satisfactory meh times we had spent together and the connection we had. I was wrong. So so fucking wrong. They were just throwing bird seed. And I was just a duck running around with my head cut off. Does that analogy work? I think so. You get the idea anyway.
So the next time a dude who isn’t treating you like you think he should. Or a dude that ditched you comes back with a less than grand gesture. Or really you just have an inkling that you’re doing all the work. STOP THROWING BREAD at his bird seed throwing ass and find yourself another pond to go loiter at. Because this one is not good for you.
Vancouver Dating Blog: Dating Vancouver a Better Place, One “Something” at a Time
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