Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Is that "The Thirst" or Simply Genuine Interest?

A few days ago, someone I went to school with called to say Happy New Year. While I was appreciative of his well wishes, I was a little caught off guard. To give you some background, the last time I’d spoken to him was probably two homecomings ago. When we were in undergrad, we didn’t date or even hang out one on one. I’m still not sure how it came to be that we had each other’s number, but nevertheless, he had it. I said thanks and we entered into that “So What Have You Been Up To/Let’s Catch Up on the Major Stuff” convo. About 5 minutes in I said, “Thanks for the call; I appreciate you reaching out. Maybe I’ll see you when you’re in town!”

And then the texts began…

“So what are you doing right now?”

“You know I’ve always liked you, Crys.” (We doing nicknames now!?)

“Believe it or not, I actually have a massage license…”

and so forth.

I did nothing to encourage these texts. My responses primarily consisted of “lol” “oh yeah?” “cool.” I thought maybe he was drunk so I didn’t think much of it. But the texts and calls continued in to the next day and night. And the next day. I even got the notorious good morning texts.  
I know you think I’m leaving key elements out of this story. I’m not. This solicitation came up out of the blue. He hasn’t really said anything inappropriate; the comments are just strangely intimate considering the nature of our very platonic and shallow relationship.
So here’s the question… is this interest or is this what is commonly referred to as “#thethirst”? Has this gentleman crossed the line from appropriate courting to overbearing panhandling?

We (humans, men and women) often complain about a lack of effort put forth by the gender we’re interested in. Women in particular, often wish that men would communicate more. And here this guy is expressing what could be genuine interest, consistently, and 90% respectfully. (I mean, really… why do I need to know that you allegedly have a massage license?)  
We could come up with all kinds of formulas for what makes something an indication of romantic interest or what makes it an indication of thirst, but I think generally speaking, it all boils down to 2 key things:

1. Your own preconceived notions of personal space and how frequent communication should occur. Some people like talking on the phone, some don’t. You may think he’s thirsty because he texts you to say “Good morning; have a great day at work” but he thinks he’s just letting you know that you were on his mind for at least a few moments.

And more importantly....

2. Your interest in the individual pursuing you. If you like the person giving you attention, then you tell your friends, “Awww, girl, he texted me good morning. *insert Rihanna voice* He da one!” But if you don’t like him, then you jump onto social media or text your friends and say. “Girl, I don’t even KNOW him, why he all in my space? #thethirst.” Guys are the same way. When a girl you like calls and says, “Hey I just happened to be cooking dinner, and I'm going to be in your neighborhood soon, want a plate?”, she’s wifey material. But if she’s not your type, you’re conjuring up images of Lynn Whitfield in Thin Line. Note to men: Most women don’t randomly offer meals, favors, tickets, etc just because we’re nice. Just like men, we have a motive. We almost always like you. So don’t make it a habit to accept a lot of free stuff from women or else she’ll think you’re leading her on.

I’ll give you an example: The longest relationship I’ve ever been in started when the guy started showing up at my job around the end of my shift and offering me a ride home. He made it a little less creepy by saying, “I just happened to be in the area.” (Lies! Lol!) At first, he showed up maybe once a week; then before I knew it, he was there every day at my quitting time, offering me a ride home. And you know what? It worked, because I liked him, and I thought it was sweet. (And I really didn’t like riding the metro late at night. Lol.) But if I didn’t like him, I’d have thought he was a stalker and considered a restraining order.

To be fair, some things are probably going to be considered in the Thirst Category regardless of how much you like the guy or gal. (Like… friending someone’s entire family on Facebook after one date.) Most things though are relative.

What do you think? Is my theory a little off or dead on? Got any funny examples of #thethirst or “awwwww” moments of genuine interest?