Tag Archives: power shift


Yes, that’s an Aladdin reference. In light of semi-serious postings going on lately making my mother cry (April 16th, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day) (Ma, do not go back and read those), today we’re going to get back to the good stuff. Yes, boys and men. I know. Sorry. Actually I’m not, but whatever. I’ve professed before about the power in a relationship, but today I’m going to share more in depth the subtleties of the power in a relationship, the power shift, and maybe even how to get the power back if you lose it. And it might even spawn sequels of this post. We’ll see how it goes.

I have this friend. She was seeing this guy. He seemed really awesome. The type that you tell all your friends that he’s so good, it’s like he’s too good. But it appears to be true. She make all the right moves (and so doe he), letting him initiate phone calls, dates, hang-out sessions, cutesy text convos, and she’s checking off all the little “he’s just not that into me” boxes. And by that I mean, she is assuring that he is actually into her because he’s making this grand effort. High five to my friend. But she’s still sort of hesitant, because of that feeling in the back of her mind that “this is too good to be true,” so she’s guarded. We all tell her obviously to get excited and be happy, he sounds awesome, blah blah blah. Here’s a shocking revelation: girls in packs give turrible advice. Girls one-on-one give great advice [usually] but put us all in a room together and plug your ears. In the end though, we all agree that she should follow her heart, advice frequently handed out by my favorite Marine. So she keeps it light, and then after a while decides she either isn’t ready for this relationship to progress, it doesn’t feel right, or she just doesn’t want to see him anymore, and she tells him so. Simple, straightforward.The “because” really don’t matter.

If you’re trying to guess, at this point it is my friend who has the power. She’s taking her situation into her own hands and choosing for herself. When a little while goes by and he seems to be ok with it, not calling 90 times to get to to come back, singing Darius Rucker songs beneath her window, she still can hold her head up high and proudly say, “I chose. I am more than fine. I love myself. And he can screw whatever he wants and I don’t care.” And she’d be honest. In this situation, it’s not really important that he know she has the power. He might even think that he has the power (if guys even think about this) but it doesn’t matter, because she is fine, confident, and self-empowered. And sassy. And she moves on, and is even more empowered by her own choice when she finds out that he has a girlfriend just a few short weeks later. This is affirmation that she followed her heart and did the right thing for herself and she’s not missing out.

I think this is really what “having the power” is all about. It’s not about abusing the power, knowing that you are holding the other person in the palm of your hand. Knowing that they’ll do anything you ask, say anything you want, as long as they can be with you, and abusing it. Or whatever. It’s about knowing your destiny is in your control. That sounded deep, but it’s really not. My friend had the power because she chose and didn’t let infatuation with someone she didn’t know too well get in the way of doing what she knew in her heart (and head) was the right thing for her. She didn’t let the insecurity that we all feel about being that one girl we all know who is still “alone and single” get in the way of watching out for number one.

In my experience, the power shift happens when you perceive that you are more invested than the other person. My friend in this little anecdote perceived this, feared losing control of herself, and kept things light until she could figure out his true intentions. This part is tricky because sometimes boys are really good at pretending you rock their world, and then they get a little hooha and you are yesterday’s hooha and they’ve moved on to fresher and newer hooha. [I love using the word hooha.] One can encourage the power shift by doing many things, thus losing control over your own situation. As ladies, we can easily lose sight of keeping our cool in favor of being too available and smothering our current man with communication and emotion. While I’m not in favor of playing games, it is important to keep your cool and try to be normal. If you realize one day that he totally has the power and you don’t like it because you don’t know what’s up, there are things you can do to alleviate the situation and perhaps bring the power back to neutral. Stop smothering. See if he misses it, and more importantly, you. If he doesn’t, say goodbye. And presto, power is back to you. Are we seeing a trend? This applies to guys and girls. If you think she has all the power and you don’t like it, and you’re not sure how she feels, stop smothering. See if she misses you. If she doesn’t, say goodbye.

We seem to be getting closer to my oft-repeated mantra. And now that I think about it, it seems the balance of power gets back to “he’s just not that into you.” If the power isn’t shared almost equally between the two parties, seems to me that one of you doesn’t care enough. And don’t we all want someone who cares more than enough? Personally I prefer someone who cares a whole lot, versus someone who could really go either way, depending on what’s on ESPN at the moment and if he’s hungry.

And now I’m over 1000 words. I guess we’ll have some sequels coming soon. Because we know how much I love sequels. No one likes to say goodbye after just one.


The Ultimate Cool Head

Lately I have been contemplating a couple things, shockingly relating to boys and dating. I know, something new for once. Don’t lie, you love it, because this jank applies to everyone, even grown-ups. I say that like I’m not a grown-up…I guess the verdict is still out. I do own my own vehicle now though so I think I get points for that. Moving on.

Let’s close our eyes for a minute. Hypothetically I guess, since you can’t close your eyes and read at the same time. So eyes “closed”, picture in your head the ultimate cool single chick. She’s good looking, the kind that’s super hot but also cute and super confident and not trashy. She’s put together, has her life together – good job, pays her own bills, holds her own in the big bad world. She dates and has had boyfriends in the past but nothing has stuck so far, and really she’s not too worried. She lets the  boys come to her, doing minimal work and being the first to call never. She feels good because she knows she’s got it, but she’s also read “He’s Just Not That Into You” so she knows when to let go. [Side note: this is not a self portrait of Miss Sassy, although admittedly there are some common elements.] Got the picture? I bet you can think of at least 3 to 5 ladies in your life (including yourself or not) that fit this general profile. They’re super cool, super collected, and very rational thinkers. Right? Yes. Until…

Now let’s pretend this is you. Because, come one ladies, you are super cool and collected 24/7. Work it. So you’re going on your merry way through life, no cares, no worries, bills paid, friends made (dang, what a rhyme), when you find yourself being pursued by a suitor (yes suitor, go with it). He’s super cute, very smart, gentlemanly, totally your type and excellent on paper. Getting points left and right for all the cute things he’s saying, doing, not doing, etc. etc. making those around you want to vom because it’s so freaking cute. Yeesh. But it’s still new and you’re still feeling each other out (not literally, come on people minds out of the gutter). You think you like him but it’s not love at first sight and you’re totally cool with the casualness, slow-ish pace things are moving. You’re in no hurry, since your friends all around you are dropping like flies to marriage and babies (I swear this is not a self-portrait). And plus, you have the power right now. He’s calling you, asking you out, texting you first, initiating everything. He is seeking you out and this gives you the power to say yes or no. You like it this way. Who doesn’t? I’m old fashioned so I like it this way, and you should too. But…

Then one day you happen to notice, you’ve been the one initiating texts, calling first, asking about plans, etc. Not obsessively of course, but maybe you catch yourself writing a text and realize…this is not the first time you’ve done this. And in fact you can’t remember when the last time he initiated a communique. Hm. What has happened? You send the text anyway. He takes more than 5 seconds to respond so your mind is racing. Why isn’t he answering? Is he seeing someone else?? What did I do?! You try to find your cool head and brush it off, thinking you will start paying more attention. After this, you will go back to the original (and right) way of doing things and let him come to you. If he doesn’t, then you’ll know you can move on. But you can’t! Because now things are inconsistent. He’s busy. You’re busy. He used to text you every day and make at least one phone call and now it’s all weird. You find yourself unable to resist asking him what his plans are, seeing if you can fit yourself in there somewhere. You’re thinking about it all day, it’s distracting you from work, your doubting yourself constantly. YOU, Miss Independent, Miss Hot Confidence, Miss Work-That-Up-Do, has doubts! And you know it’s happened. The power has shifted. You no longer hold the situation in the palm of your hand. You no longer have the freedom to maybe decline one of his invites, knowing he’ll call or ask again. Now, the ball is in his court.

I loathe these situations. Who doesn’t? It can take the most confident and carefree gal and turn her into crock pot of low self confidence, mixed with self-doubt, self-loathing, a side of magnified and exaggerated faults, with mood swings and daily bad hair days on the side. Nothing helps, not even that new hair spray you bought. You get dressed in the morning knowing you look good and ready for the day, then less than an hour later with still no “good morning” flirty text or anything you’re completely miserable. Then by lunch time you’ve written it off and are oh-so-over it, especially because the sandwich guy at Jason’s Deli winked at you and gave you a little boost. Then driving home from work you’re depressed again, wondering what you should do all alone at your apartment. But then he sends a cute text and you’re all googoo again. Ladies, why on EARTH do we let this happen? I have no idea. And it has happened to me plenty-o-times, let me tell you. Or ask Momma Sassy, since she’s my pitying ear 99% of the time. I personally blame hormones, but this is a bad excuse. We should never let ourselves be tricked into begging for time on some dude’s supposedly “busy” calendar. I have said this before a hundred billion times. If he’s worth it, he’ll make the effort. And if he stops making the effort, there is always a reason. And that reason is usually something along the lines of he’s just not that into you. If you disagree, you’re wrong. Dudes? Am I right? Thought so.

Of course as with any situation, there are few exceptions. FEW, meaning, maybe one or two in a lifetime of guys will be the exception to this rule. Men are simple. If they decide they don’t like you, they’ll stop spending lots of time on you. If he was truly a nice guy, you could keep it in the friend zone and add him to the list of good looking men you surround yourself with. If he turned out to be a top notch douche bag, then perhaps it’s time to just say goodbye for realz. I know sometimes it’s hard to tell, but go with your gut. And always keep in mind, when you are feeling especially emotional, consider what time of the month it is before making any decisions. Sometimes you have to step back and tell yourself to put down the phone, and take a nap instead. Because remember, angry/accusatory/passive aggressive texts and irrational behavior are not sassy and are especially not classy. Be cool, calm, classy, and collected and they will come buzzing like bees to honey.  And never forget the dash of sass. Happy Friday!