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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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If they wanted to, would they?: Stopping the narrative of not using basic communication

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GRAPHIC: GABRIELLA GUZZARDO ’23/THE HAWK

I’m sure we have all heard the seemingly reassuring statement of “If they wanted to, they would” at some point in the past few years. But how true is that statement when we really look at it? For me, I can see both sides. It can be really helpful to hear this if we’re stuck in the same pattern, and someone is not giving us the time of day, because it’s that simple. Sending a text, Snapchat, call, or anything that gives us a hint that someone is still interested only takes five seconds to do, so why aren’t we getting that simple “just checking in” text? 

Personally, I don’t think that we should only rely on that one statement for all the reassurance in a situation where we might not be receiving the level of communication from a love interest that we desire or expect. Yes, if they wanted to, they would, but it also is not fair to make assumptions that people are at our beck and call. Not everyone wants to talk every second of every day or do something that you want them to do. People are not mind readers, and I think we all need to realize this. If you want someone to buy you flowers or surprise you with a date in the park, it takes more than just wishing and praying for them to do that. You have to make sure that you are communicating with that person so they understand what you want. 

This also depends on whether or not the person you are with is fully paying attention to you. Because in that case, it is completely a matter of “If they wanted to, they would.” We have to remember to not settle for less, but if we do, then we can’t get upset about their behavior. We have to take responsibility for our own actions and make our standards known so that we can end up with a person who completes us and makes us the happiest version of ourselves. 

“If they wanted to, they would” is a quick and easy fix for detaching from the current situation you are in when you’re not getting the attention you feel you deserve. But what matters is that we also give people the benefit of the doubt, because maybe they don’t have the energy or they just have a lot going on in their own lives. And, the same goes for you. If you cannot give someone the reciprocation of energy that your partner is giving you, communicate and tell them that. Ten out of ten times, they will appreciate the honesty and communication, rather than you ghosting them for a few days. 

We are all in the same boat when it comes to dating. We all want to be treated right, but we cannot just rely on the fact that when someone wants to, they will, because sometimes people are burnt out or just need space. These are valid feelings, but communication needs to be done on both sides, because when we assume people are mind readers in any type of relationship, we end up getting hurt all because they did not do what we expected them to do. 

Don’t get me wrong, basic expectations are something that people deserve to have in a relationship, and having them met should be a given. But, if we don’t communicate on specific expectations that we want to have met, then “if they wanted to, they would” loses all meaning.

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