I have this friend who is in her early twenties and has very little experience dating. She has a tendency to crush on gay boys, although in the last year and a half she seems to have outgrown this habit.
She has a new crush, and it started the way it does for so many of us. A friendship that we never really expected to turn into anything suddenly changes. He starts showing romantic interest, and we think “Is he flirting with me?” And then that changes to “I like that he’s flirting with me.” And then it dissolves into crush obsession where we seek out opportunities to flirt, and hopefully our flirting is so skillful that it turns into dating and a relationship.
I sure hope I am not the only one that thinks like this?
So here she is flirting with this guy and right when things turn interesting he gets really busy. Like we as human beings are likely to do when we work a few jobs. He continued to flirt but it was less frequent because he had work to do. And this flirting still had not materialized into a date.
I think it goes without saying that while she loved the attention and the flirting, she was getting increasingly more frustrated that it was not turning into a date.
And my friend, with very little dating experience, came up with the single most brilliant concept I have heard in all my life. It puts a name to that frustration and internal dialogue that I know I also have (I won’t assume that you have it too, but I bet that you do). She called this part her “Girl Brain.”
She noticed how differently he acted from her. He would take a while to get back ti her messages and she would reply right away. But he always responded with the same flirting and attention, it didn’t seem like he was disinterested. He always found ways to compliment her and make her swoon. But he didn’t seem to have the same urgency that she did.
These differences are the differences between Girl Brain and Boy Brain. Neither is right or wrong, they are just different and function at different levels and speeds.
Girl Brain is extremely vocal and makes everything urgent. She needs to be listened to now. She needs attention now. She needs things to be defined. She needs clarity. She needs…she needs…she needs.
And when things don’t go her way she nags. She nags until she gets what she wants. And it gets louder and more frequent the more you try to stifle her. And then it gets panicky and starts to cause anxiety. She is trying to cause you to act and give her what she needs, and unfortunately if I wait until she gets full of anxiety my actions are usually not logical at all.
Girl Brain likes a fast pace. She likes to have a committed relationship. She likes things to be steady and predictable to her.
But sometimes, I need to turn down her volume. Actually a lot of times I need to turn down her volume. She doesn’t think like men and expects things that she expects from other Girl Brains. Because Girl Brains know how Girl Brains act so they work well together. But Boy Brain works in its own way.
I have started to tell my Girl Brain “Thank you so much for expressing what you need. I am going to turn down your volume for a little while. It will all be ok.” Or sometimes it is simply “Chill the fuck out, ok? It’s all ok.”
I have another friend that tells me to breathe. It is so funny to me how frequently Girl Brain forgets to breathe. She likes to get herself all worked up and frantic. She goes into hyper mode.
I have another friend that does mantras. Maybe this works for you, but normally Girl Brain kicks those out pretty quickly.
Being able to name this phenomenon has been extremely helpful. And at the very least, I start to laugh which is actually the best trick in the book. I can laugh at this little screaming cheerleader that sits on my shoulder (ok, really she jumps up and down a lot, she is rarely still). I can say “Oh, you. You so silly!”, text my friend and we can laugh and relate to each other.
Do you have Girl Brain? What tricks do you use to get her to chill the F out?