There's a lot to be said to having at least some self control over how you feel. There's usually a lot more that's said by other people about how they think you should feel, especially if you're a woman. In worst case scenarios, this is called gaslighting. There's a really big difference between saying, "I'm over it" and being told "Get over it" by someone else. Or simply having your feelings not counted in the first place. If there is one trademark of modern that stands out above all others--well, maybe not, but it comes in second--it's that no one seems to care at all about anyone else's feelings. They're treated like a radioactive bi-product of the whole process. Unless, of course, you're a man, and you've found "the one" after decades of mowing through fields of women and getting applauded for it. Up until that point, no one is allowed to feel anything. Lucky you! I don't remember signing up for this.
By the way, this is something that bothered me about The Rules and HJNTIY before I started thinking about emotional chastity at all. The woman's feelings are only valid when a man comes along and makes them valid. "It's to avoid getting hurt!" Okay. You can also avoid getting hurt by just going along with whatever that abusive husband wants. Oh yeah, I went there. My point is that the whole system caters to the very worst kind of man and the very worst kinds of dating practices. It doesn't allow room for, say, a guy who might not notice a particular girl until she noticed him. Or one who would be flattered rather than embarrassed and frightened by a girl's interest. Or for a couple who might, after a breakup, reconsider and give things another try.
What a convenient, tidy world it would be if only women would control those dang pesky feelings that always seem to get in the way when a man isn't there already agreeing with them. There's something so clinical and waspy about treating women's feelings like they're dirty and slightly deranged. I'm not saying that it's a good idea for women everywhere to just start throwing themselves at men, although if that's your thing then go for it, but what's the message here? "Your feelings are invalid until I say otherwise." Not just invalid but sinful, and you should be ashamed. Guy not call you back after dating for several months? Just move on. You should force yourself not to feel anything as quickly as possible. If he had liked you back, that would be a different story. Then it would be okay. He doesn't have to marry you, so he also doesn't have to show basic courtesy towards you as a human being. If that bothers you, get over it.
Not only does this attitude fit hand-in-glove with the consumerist view of modern dating, which gives a free pass to anyone who wants to use other people for as long as it amuses them, and shames the person who ends up feeling hurt by this process, but questioning and invalidating your own feelings strikes me as a dangerous and self-defeating life skill for women to be learning. It also reminds me of this:
1. You are constantly second-guessing yourselfAnd so on.
2. You ask yourself, "Am I too sensitive?" a dozen times a day....
10. You have trouble making simple decisions.
11. You have the sense that you used to be a very different person - more confident, more fun-loving, more relaxed...
13. You feel as though you can't do anything right.
In all fairness, much of the emotional chastity literature that I've found that's aimed specifically at teenagers targets boys and girls equally. And according to Haley's Halo, in Protestant circles, the men get nagged more than the women. That makes the whole discussion more complicated than what I've outlined here, but I think women are most vulnerable this kind of "advice," because we're always looking for advice...because we're always second guessing ourselves....because people are always telling us why our reactions are wrong...and if you hear it enough times, especially from people you trust, it becomes pretty darn convincing.
And what I don't understand is why anybody would want to do this? Isn't being irrationally loyal even in the face of discouragement a beautiful trait to have? You'd think people would be writing sonnets about it instead of primming up their mouths and talking about sin.
What?? Not done. One more to go.