Don’t hold others to a higher standard than your own
By Sonam Kaloti, Arts Editor
When I saw a tweet reading, “Do yourself a favor and take mixed signals as a no,” it immediately rubbed me the wrong way. However, when I saw the multitude of retweets, likes, and comments the tweet got, I knew there was something inherently wrong.
I know most people agreeing with this statement are pushing the concept of “self love and respect” rather than what the tweet means at face value, however, there is such a blatant, selfish undertone to the initial phrase that makes the self-love mask seem so superficial.
The consensus appears to be that mixed signals equal commitment issues—or that the person in question doesn’t reciprocate the romantic feelings. This can be the case, sure, but who is anyone to assume exactly what’s going through someone else’s head? If you’re being dragged on for months without getting an answer, sure, cut your losses. But why blame the other person for you not being able to control your own attachment and feelings (which is nobody’s responsibility but your own!)
Also, interpreting mixed feelings from your romantic prospect as inherently negatively isn’t accurate. It doesn’t mean the other person would have given a “no” answer once they were ready. You taking their mixed feelings immediately as a “no” isn’t a reflection of who they are, it’s a reflection of yourself and an inability to understand that all people do not instantly know what they want (especially when it comes to matters of the heart).
If you believe that mixed signals are a definite no, then take this as an opportunity to look inside yourself and ask if you always know what you want. If not—then why hold others to a higher standard?
There could be countless reasons as to why someone isn’t reciprocating your feelings, and the worst thing to do is to take their mixed signals as a no and move on straight away. It closes the opportunity for them to come together with you and potentially form a great partnership. Many need one to be patient for them (which is, after all, one of the greatest qualities for both partners to share in a relationship). Life is long—if someone you really like needs a bit longer to figure themselves and their wants out, you should allow them that freedom.
That does not mean put you should put your life on hold, and it definitely doesn’t mean you should exhaust your energy trying to win them over. They likely already know who you are and why you’re great. Instead, give them some space and focus on improving yourself (including exploring why you feel the need to run away if you’re not presented with what you desire at first wish).
If you’re feeling especially adventurous, I highly recommend giving the other person an open and non-judgemental place to air out their insecurities about why they feel hesitant to move forward with you. If they don’t have to fear you moving on due to their indecisiveness, I’m certain you two may be able to have a great conversation that will help both of you come to a greater understanding of each other and will ultimately bring you closer regardless.