A few days ago, I overheard one girl on my college campus talking to another.

“I just can’t figure out how he feels about me.  When we’re together, it’s great, but then he doesn’t text back and he doesn’t make plans.  But I like him so much!”

It was really difficult for me not to go over and tell her what I’m about to tell you: It doesn’t fucking matter.

Think about it this way.  When you make a new friend, you hit it off immediately.  Often, you exchange numbers, and you might go through an awkward phase where you’re not sure how much texting is normal, but you’re really excited to hang out more.  You see each other at parties, or you invite each other to lunch or to study.  It’s fun and easy.  Why should romance be more difficult than that?

To get another perspective, I asked Steve if he thought there was ever a good reason for a girl not to know how a guy feels about her (obviously, though, this phenomenon is not limited to heterosexual relationships).  He – a great boyfriend – said no, absolutely not.  If she doesn’t know, he’s not into it.

And that’s all you need to know.  It doesn’t matter how much you like them.  If you “win him over”, are you going to be happy?  Or are you going to be worried you have to stay on top of your game to keep him?  That’s not much of a prize, and it’s definitely not much of a relationship.

Some people aren’t very good with communication.  That’s a fact.  But if it’s important to you that you hear from your partner, then you should probably hold out for a partner who will respect that, who either already has a tendency to answer promptly or who is willing to make adjustments for your happiness.

Now, this part is going to sound crude, but it is what it is.  Of course things are great when you’re together – one or both of you is getting what you want.  You both want physical intimacy, otherwise you wouldn’t be in this situation.  But if one of you wants more and the other one doesn’t, having that intimacy isn’t going to change anything.  You can’t oral sex someone into loving you.

I’m not going to say “guys are ____” because they aren’t.  All men, women, and ous are different.  I will tell you, with confidence, that if the pieces don’t match up, if you don’t want the same things, it’s not going to work, no matter how much you like them.