The Waiting Game is really something you play with yourself.
Have you ever noticed how it feels like you get something much faster when you’re not constantly pining for it? It’s like a pleasant surprise, almost. You go, “Oh, so today’s the day that Marvel’s Agents of Shield is premiering their second season? Great! Time to watch Coulson kick some ass.”
Instead of hopelessly looking at the calendar or your phone, hoping that it would somehow make time pass quicker, there’s now time to do other things with your life. Like read that Maze Runner series you’ve always wanted to read, or spend time out at the Butterfly Garden at Sentosa with your friend.
I admit it — I’m not very good at The Waiting Game.
On the surface, I’m doing a million other things to distract myself. I’m trying to work on my 2500 word essay, or that 5000 word advanced creative writing draft; when in reality, none of those are actually done. I may be out with my friends, and my phone may be kept safely away from me, but my mind always manages to flicker back to the phone.
It’s worse when you’re messaging on a platform which allows you to see that the person has already seen your message. Then it’s like:
It’s been ten hours. Is he ever going to reply? Or, It’s been a week. Is he even alive?
Sometimes I think my mind is an overactive troll that needs to be slayed before I can cross the bridge. Any bridge, for that matter.
I get myself so worked up over a little reply when the truth is, it doesn’t really matter why he or she isn’t replying. He may be busy, or he may have completely forgotten he’s gotten a text, or he could be “just not that into you“. But if you — and I — start letting it affect our lives, then we would already have lost the game.
According to the Internet, there are people who really play the waiting game. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be forums upon forums of anxious people, waiting by their phones, asking for advice. There are all sorts of weird rules, like waiting 3 days to call. Barney from How I Met Your Mother explains it well:
It’s a sad situation to be in. If you’ve read (or at least watched) He’s Just Not That Into You, then you’d be thinking about this particular quote by Greg Behrendt:
“But what I can do is paint you a picture of what you’ll never see when you’re with a guy who’s really into you: You’ll never see you staring maniacally at your phone, willing it to ring. You’ll never see you ruining an evening with friends because you’re calling for your messages every fifteen seconds. You’ll never see you hating yourself for calling him when you know you shouldn’t have. What you will see is you being treated so well that no phone antics will be necessary. You’ll be too busy being adored.”
But I propose that we not be too bogged down by The Waiting Game in the first place. I propose never “staring maniacally at your phone”, or “ruining an evening with friends”, not because you’re “too busy being adored”, but because you’re too busy living your life. You’re too busy caring for the people who actually do care for you, too busy singing songs with your friends or dancing to your own beat.
Greg Behrendt might make a good point about men (and maybe it can be applied to women), but you don’t have to keep it at the back of your mind all the time. No matter what the world might say, you are not defined by your relationship status, but by how you actually live your life.
So be adventurous. Or be a couch potato. Be whatever you want to be but most importantly, make sure you’re having fun being yourself. Don’t put your life on hold for someone or something. Because if we bring that effervescence with us in whatever we do, if we actually enjoy life, it wouldn’t matter that your phone isn’t ringing, or if he takes years to reply a text, or if Sherlock Series 4 isn’t coming out till God knows when. You’ll be too busy to even notice. Then when the thing you’re looking forward to actually appears, it’ll be a welcome addition to an already fruitful life.
To Fridays is a weekly column that hopes to be able to give you all the encouragement and love in the world. #tofridaysvp