Where’s the fun in the waiting game? For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it refers to all those instances where one party in a hypothetical sexual or romantic scenario ends up waiting an indefinite period for the other to come around. This encompasses a host of possible narratives: for some, it’s hovering around at a party, anxiously glancing at the door until some coveted individual shows up. For others, it’s waiting for an intermittent hookup to make up their mind as to whether they want something serious. For a few people, it’s waiting for one relationship to end so that you can have a shot with the individual at hand. Regardless of what the specific scenario is, putting our lives on hold for this one possibility seems completely counter-intuitive. So I must ask: why do we bother?
It’s a fair assumption to make that you’d wait for someone if you felt like they’d be better than the other options you had at that moment. There’s no point in hanging around the entrance of DU sipping on a shitty beer if you’d rather spend the early hours with some rando you find dancing on the table. Because of this, it definitely should be a mark of admiration to the other party, and not some creepy obsession. Because the latter scenario is very clearly a different story (and not something I feel comfortable endorsing), we’re going to assume that the other person is at least somewhat in the loop that you dig them.
Regardless of the aforementioned admiration, I also can’t help but shake off the feeling that there’s something inherently narcissistic about the endeavor. It’s a very Taylor Swift thing to do, when she knows she’s going to become hot shit by the end of the “You Belong With Me” music video and so goes along with the whole tacky girl-next-door thing. In that video, there’s an assumption that eventually the other party will turn to you, realize their mistake, and everybody will be better off. To wait for someone is also to assume that you’re what’s best for them.
Is that really always the case? There’s always a possibility that this other party is enjoying a bit of alone time (as shocking as it may seem — who has enough ass in this life?), getting over a break-up or something equally mortifying along those lines. And as much as I adore hating on a bad couple (“That’s the guy he’s seeing? He looks like a failed model getting an ego boost from ‘Rich Kids of Instagram’”), there’s always a chance that the loathed combination is actually what’s best for those involved. If we’re so into these people that we hover around them for indefinite periods, we should probably have faith in their ability to know what’s best for them.
This relies on the assumption that your feelings are independent from the other party’s. However, we know that sometimes isn’t true: sometimes they’ll dangle some carrot in front of you, giving you some hope for the future to cling onto (I’m usually tempted by a carrot in front of my nose). If they believe the relationship is doomed, or that tonight is the night they want to pick up, who are you not to cling onto that possibility? It’s only reasonable to wish upon a dick when you get a good omen.
Is it really worth it though? I’d like to think I’m a bit more of a catch than some guy’s second pick. Is it self-deprecation to linger in the backdrop, waiting for your turn to be called on stage? I don’t believe so, mainly because I’m not individualistic enough to be in the spotlight of every aspect of my life. You should make the decision for yourself though.
Let me leave you with the following scenario. You’re waiting for some boy to break up with his asshole fling who’s keeping him busy. As you wait for him to realize that even the dick he’s sucking has the Toaster filter on it, you happen to befriend the guy (who’d have known). By the time the boy starts viewing the world no filter again, and you reappear from behind the yellow hues, there’s a lot less urgency to bang or initiate anything more than what already exists since you’ve adapted to the situation with said boy. Of course, he’s still hot and fun, so you wouldn’t be opposed to something picking up, but really that extra dimension is no longer the necessity you thought it was. And this is how you win the waiting game: by realizing you’re not really waiting for anything at all.