Ask Emma: I can’t make up my mind

Use introspection to check your heart; don’t play with their feelings for attention



If you’re thinking about reaching out to someone you’ve stopped talking to on a dating app, Emma said to think about your reasoning for wanting to reach out.

EMMA LEDBETTER, Evergreen news editor

Dear Emma,

I wrote to you a couple of weeks ago about a text conversation I wanted to escape. I followed your advice and told them directly I wanted to stop texting. At the rate things were going, I did not expect them to take it well, but they were very respectful and wished me the best in future romantic endeavors. 

The thing is, I miss texting them. We were in contact for a couple of weeks and texting them became a consistent part of my schedule. I know I went to the lengths of writing to an advice columnist about how to get rid of them, but now I wish I hadn’t. We did hit it off at the beginning, and I’m not even sure why I wanted them to leave me alone in the first place. 

I feel so fickle. I wish I could make up my mind! Do you have any advice on how to get them back? Or if not, to at least make up my mind about how I feel about them?

Please help,

Leave Me Alone … But Maybe Don’t?

Dear Leave Me Alone,

Let’s take a pause here. It sounds like you’re rushing around as fast as you can and you’re making decisions based on how you feel one second when those feelings change the next second. Sorry if that’s harsh, but I call it like it is. 

Before you do anything, you need to identify why you wanted them to stop texting you in the first place. If you had a gut feeling or noticed red flags, those are not things you should ignore, period. Talk it through with a close friend, write in a journal, do what you need to do to pinpoint why you wrote to me the first time. 

You said things were going downhill, but you weren’t sure why. If you have to, review your text history and see if there is anything concrete that made you uncomfortable. 

If there isn’t anything obviously wrong, I suggest looking inward. Did you panic and run away because you aren’t ready for a relationship? Or do you feel there is something about yourself that you don’t want this person to know about? 

The bottom line is do not send them a message until you’ve done some introspection and figured out what went wrong the first time. Let’s not repeat that if we can possibly avoid it.

I hate to say this, but I’m going to anyway. If you want them back because you like the attention, do not text them. It’s not OK to play with someone’s feelings because you like the validation.

So, here’s a checklist. If you can’t identify a concrete reason why you were uncomfortable, know your heart is in the right place for a relationship, and can safely say you aren’t texting them for attention, then go ahead and initiate a conversation.

The caveat is you can’t expect them to respond. You were clear last time about not wanting to text, and they respected your wishes. So, if they don’t respond to your text, you have to respect that, too. 

Lastly, I want to say that you are allowed to change your mind. That is totally within your rights. But you can’t expect people to be patient with that or go along with it every time you make an about-face. Be really thoughtful about how your inconsistency seems to those around you. 

Anyway, I hope that helps! I’m not sure if it’s best for you to start talking to this person again, but because that seems to be what you want, I wish you the best.

Take care,


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