Being “busy”: not so cool any more

I think there was a time about 10-15 years ago when it was “cool” to be busy and to talk about how busy you are. Or maybe that’s a phase that everyone goes through when they’re going from kid to adult: you talk about how busy busy busy you are.

Books like the Rules along with many other general advice columns advocated mentioning how busy you are when doing things like scheduling dates.  Not sure why exactly that was, but I guess it was part of the strategy of playing hard to get; “my calendar is very full, let’s see if you can figure out where to fit yourself!”

Talking about how busy you are nowadays probably won’t work with the highest caliber guys. I have great doubts it will work with most guys, in fact.

 

With the nerdy guys who hang around at home dreaming of being more social and having friends it may work and make them crave for your time more (saying they dream of making more friends makes them sound loserly, I know, but some don’t have a cool friends circle).
In fact, with a high-caliber guy with many friends and an actual life going on (a.k.a. a cool guy or successful guy), I would avoid saying “busy” at all. There’s something associated with the word “busy” nowadays which seems to imply a mild insult (that you are busy while the person you are talking is just a loser sitting around).  Plus they can see through to whether you are busy with hot things that a hot girl would do (e.g., modeling lingerie), or busy with things a desperate woman in avoidance mode would do (obsessive volunteering, cooking classes, super social calendar with friend’s events, etc.).

It seems like it’s better to just do things as they make sense in terms of answering the phone, talking on the phone, and making plans:

  • don’t answer calls from certain people at times most would be busy or busier (during work hours, Friday/Saturday night, etc.)
  • when talking to a new guy, don’t talk too long. I think the 10 minute rule is a good idea (longer if the other is long distance also makes sense to me). Save some talks for when you meet in person
  • if you can’t meet with someone on a certain day, just say you can’t as sweetly as possible, and ask, “how about another day?” The Rules advocates not even asking about another day, and definitely not helping the guy by mentioning another day like, “Saturday doesn’t work this weekend so how about the weekend after?” I think you have to play it by each guy.

The Rules community always talks about being more bootcamp strict with guys who are more player-ish or full of themselves (e.g., many successful guys). I think you have to gauge which approach to take with that particular guy.

Some guys will actually seem to think you are showing too much interest (e.g., you are desperate) if you offer up another date. Some guys will think you are not interested if you don’t offer up another date. And some guys are insecure and will get kind of weird if you say a particular day doesn’t work.

Of the three reactions discussed, I’d say offering up a specific other day is the most aggressive (on your part), and not even mentioning another day is the least on your part. A guy who really likes to lead and be the problem solver may like it if you can play it off just saying ohhh… that doesn’t work. I think a girl has to come across as kind of innocent and sweet to do that… because then he won’t feel rejected somehow (it helps if you emphasize oh that sounds like so much fun but Saturday I can’t… oh man! I love thai food…etc.) Some girls will seem cold if they don’t say anything… it’s a tricky.

  • I think there is wisdom in not calling a guy back right away, unless you’ve been playing phone tag for more than 2 links (and you weren’t avoiding him, and he’s genuinely been trying to catch you). I would say waiting a day with someone very new is not a bad idea. Texting is more tricky – but I think everyone should really avoid texting with romantic matters unless it’s to say something very quick like you really enjoyed seeing them or loved the flowers. Even t hen, I think it’s better to call and say you loved the flowers (he’ll just die to hear the happy smiles in your voice)

So basically, I say avoid saying you’re busy and in any way coming across as if you are sooo busy and can’t see him. It seem condescending, unfeminine, and like a bit of a put-down. Everyone nowadays is busy and we all make time for things we want to do. Don’t spout this philosophy, but that’s the truth.

As for explaining why you can’t meet someone, I don’t think you should. You should hold out on telling you were at girls night/a wedding/on another date for sure. If you get serious with someone later, a very vague sentence about what you’re doing may suffice. I think the only time it makes sense to break a little bit of that mystery is if you can’t meet at all for an extended period of time (like 2 weeks in a row or for more than 7-10 days). Even then, I think you should really see if the guy can try and meet you on a weekday instead of weekend, etc. If you can’t see him at all on the weekend for 2 weeks and he’s sounding a little quiet or miffed, you could mention you grandparents 50th wedding anniversary/scheduled trip to see friends in Arkansas/visiting your family after 2 months. Because the guy will be thinking, “It better be a good reason she can’t see me for so long.”

I haven’t laid out any new rules so cleanly, but these are some things to consider.

(Notice how I didn’t say something like, “Well I have a million things to do now so I better get back to them now… I’m so busy!” to end this post at that. 🙂 I think talking about how busy you are is a beta-fishing pole: you’ll only catch kind of lonely boring guys with statements like that.)

2 Responses to “Being “busy”: not so cool any more”

  1. Johnny Doe Says:

    WHEW! after reading your post. From a guy’s perspective, to ladies: IF you like the guy’s vibe, he came off right, and you have some feeling of attraction, JUST mutually set a time and f*cking public place, and be done with it, thats it. DO NOT make it a chore to get to that point. IF he THINKS you are too desperate b/c you were willing to meet up, that is a fake/shallow mentality and you are WAY better off w/o him.
    SO many girls don’t end up going out with a guy these days b/c of this bullsh*t 2-day rule, 3-day txting rule, whatever just makes you overthink stuff. If you like the guy, GO OUT WITH HIM. And don’t look too much into it. If he sucks, at least you tried. And then move on to the next.

    • lovelysexybeauty Says:

      Sounds like great and “keeping it real” advice, thanks!

      I think everyone, guys and girls, needs to be aware of how they might be perceived through the actions they take. But NOT to the point of being silly and playing a weird game!

      If a guy takes a week to call after meeting to ask a girl out, I think it’s OK if she doesn’t want to drop everything to meet him that day (especially if he took a week or more to ask in the first place). When it gets into making him wait more than a week to see her as payback, that seems like wasting time they could be spending having fun together.

      Not all guys are on the ball with asking a girl out after meeting her and the ‘buzz’ is still there. If a guy takes too long, many girls will get really ANNOYED. And that makes them want to sort of get back at him by showing a similar lack of enthusiasm (lack of enthusiasm is how many girls will interpret his actions).

      Not that all girls feel that way, but many do. Personally I think it’s better to assume his good will and that he was just really busy, etc., and not read too much into why he took so long to follow up with asking for a date (in the beginning at least). Maybe I’m being a fool for being like that… but it’s definitely easier to said than done, we all have our egos 🙂

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