Many of you might have read a piece on Elite Daily entitled “This Has to Be the Craziest Text Message Sequence You’ll Ever See,” which went viral a few weeks ago. Let’s assume this text exchange was indeed real (you never know, nowadays…).
It’s a perfect example of a woman whose limiting beliefs about herself, men and relationships (based on her past experiences) caused her to have an unnecessary knee-jerk reaction. The man she’s texting with has no idea where the behavior is coming from and what he did to unleash her wrath.
Does the below exchange sound vaguely familiar to something you’ve done in your dating life?
Let me break down the more telling parts of the exchange for you:
JJ: 11:18am – Hey Kevin. Would u like to get together tonight? I’m off work tomorrow! Besides, I want to see ur face again 😉
Kevin: 12:07pm — Just woke up. Man I am dead. Actually I already have plans playing cards with the guys tonight. Sorry. I will text u later. Have fun at work 😉
JJ: 1:35pm – Oh…
JJ: 2:20pm – Don’t worry about texting me later. Talk to u some other time.
JJ: 5:30pm – Thought u said all u had going on today was paperwork when I asked you yesterday.
Kevin: 5:31pm – Ya, I did that today. My friends asked me to play cards this morning.
JJ: 5:35pm — So between 2am when I left and 11am when I asked to hang out u made plans? That is since you woke up at 12.
Kevin: 5:37pm — Are u kidding me? He texted me at 10am.
JJ: 5:40pm — Funny how a guy always gets laid and wants nothing more to do with me, but my mistake. Take care, Kev. I’m sorry to have bothered u.
JJ: 6:06pm – Please delete my number.
In the span of a few hours, JJ has laid all her baggage and fears onto this new man in her life. The conversation devolves from there. JJ sends a series of about 30 more texts to Kevin apologizing, then lashing out for his lack of response, then apologizing, then using text messaging as a therapy session, then accusing him, then apologizing. Oy!
Here is her final text:
JJ: 3 days later, 12:55am – I give up. I just don’t care anymore. I had my heart broken badly in the past Kev, and I was afraid that I would never be hurt again. I never meant to scare u away. But I promise u this, u wont have to worry about hearing or seeing me again. U have my word on that.
A-ha! Now we see where JJ’s reactions are coming from!
So, what were JJ’s limiting beliefs about herself, men, sex, and relationships?
• Men can’t be trusted to stay
• All men just want sex
• After a man has sex with me, he will leave
• I’m not good enough or lovable enough for a man to stay
• All men will break my heart like my last boyfriend
When it comes to your beliefs, remember this: Your thoughts create your feelings and your feelings determine how you act: Thougths –> Feelings–> Actions/Behavior = Your Results.
What do her limiting beliefs (her thoughts) cause her to feel?
And, how does she act on her feelings?
When JJ’s toxic beliefs are triggered, for instance in this situation with Kevin, she acts impulsively on them by:
• Lashing out
• Accusing him
• Blowing things out of proportion
How can she transform her dating life?
1. She can identify these beliefs, unpack them, and work through them.
2. She can recognize when these beliefs come up in the moment and stop them from running her life and determining how she will behave/respond in her dating life.
3. When the old beliefs are triggered, she can take a step back and not act out of instinct. Sure, she may feel hurt in that moment, but it doesn’t mean she has to immediately act on that hurt.
What can she do differently in that moment?
1. Text back something like: “Ok, sounds good. Have fun at your card game with the boys. Hope you get a straight flush!” The ball is then in his court. And she certainly won’t be putting her life on hold waiting to hear from him.
2. Not respond at all and wait to see if he ever texts/calls her again to hang out. His response may not have been all that enthusiastic, but text messages can be difficult in terms of discerning tone and meaning. Maybe he does want to see her again. So while she’s hurting in the moment, dealing with pain from past rejections and automatically assuming this is another rejection, she’d do better to chalk up the experience to a potential wrong turn and perhaps think about setting healthier boundaries for herself when getting to know new men (maybe not sleep with a man so quickly or attach an agenda to sex). If she does hear from him, she can reassess the situation as they continue to date and hang out but keep careful tabs on his behavior. If he’s not giving her what she needs and if she’s looking for a relationship, then she can walk away with her head held high.
3. Move on! There are other fish in the sea. The more she lashes out at men in this way instead of stepping back and unpacking her knee-jerk responses, the more she entrenches her limiting beliefs. And it becomes a cycle. It will keep happening again and again (a self-fulfilling prophecy) and she’ll build a wall so high that she may alienate great guys who do want to get to know her.
Want to uncover YOUR limiting beliefs and unconscious fears? Check out my new Workbook, now available for purchase on Amazon — it will help you do just that and so much more! It’s getting rave reviews from singles, dating coaches, and matchmakers.
Neely Steinberg is a nationally recognized dating coach and founder of The Love TREP®. She has been featured in/on countless media outlets, including Fox-25, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Men’s Fitness, Boston Magazine, the Boston Globe, Match.com, and JDate, to name a few. Her goal as a coach is to help smart, savvy, professional women of all career backgrounds become the CEO, founder, and enTREPreneur of their dating and love lives so that they are creating the relationship they truly desire, instead of waiting for some elusive Prince Charming to find them. She lives in Boston with her husband. Her first book is entitled “Skin In the Game: Unleashing Your Inner Entrepreneur to Find Love.” You can read more about her book and workbook at: https://thelovetrep.com/love-trep-store/