As a single 20-something living in a major city, I'm well aware of the many facets and intricacies of The Curve. I've received it. I've administered it. It is a powerful tool that is being used daily by the millions of young Americans that find ourselves engulfed in this dating world so affectionately known as "the game."
So, many of you might wonder, what is The Curve?
I could be lazy and just give you the definition as it appears in a slang dictionary or redirect you to how it is used on twitter. But, I'm hard-working. So if I were to define it myself, I would say The Curve is any unwanted or unexpected redirection given towards a person who is romantically interested in you. I like to think of any consensual relationship between two people that are mutually interested in each other kind of like parallel lines. I give you what you give me, and everyone's happy. The Curve comes into play when someone decides to divert from that give-and-take exchange and throw the other person off track. Essentially, to Curve is to say, "I see what you're trying to do, but I'm not feeling you THAT heavy, so I'm gonna play you just enough to push you to the side without rejecting you completely, just in case I change my mind later." However, The Curve comes in many ways, shapes and forms. This post was created to define some common Curves so that you can recognize when The Curve is happening to you.
The Lazy Curve
These are the ones that aren't creative in any way. The Curves that are so obviously a Curve, that the Curvee (yes, I just created a word) has no choice but to just shake their head. These are the Curves that are so uninventive that they border on the line of being cliche. Lazy Curves are given to people who you don't even care enough about to come up with a creative lie for.
EXAMPLES: "My bad, I fell asleep." "You hit me up? Oh, my phone was off." "I swear I texted you! I guess it didn't go through."
The Brother Curve
You ever hear that phrase, "Good guys always finish last"? I'm willing to bet that whoever came up with that was a victim of the Brother Curve. This is an avoidable Curve, but a popular one nonetheless. Brother Curves can happen one of two ways. More times than not, they happen when a guy likes a girl, but he doesn't establish himself quickly enough as a potential partner. This restricts him to the "friend zone," and that's a tough location to escape. By the time he gets around to letting her know how he really feels, he's already "like a brother to me." The other (less popular) way that the Brother Curve happens is when a guy tries to get on the inside track with a girl, but she recognizes it early and turns the relationship into a friendship before he has a chance to even try. Then, by the time he finally does try to get at her, she pretends that she never knew he was feeling her and tells him, "I think it's better if we just remain friends." Cold world.
The "I'm Not Looking" Curve
Let's be clear: Any time you try to get at someone and they tell you, "I'm not looking to date anyone right now," it is absolutely a Curve. Why, you ask? Because that's never really true. Someone might tell themselves that they're not trying to date anyone, but if they meet someone interesting that they're attracted to, do you think that this pledge they've allegedly made to themselves will be strong enough to stop them from dating said person?? Of course not. I could tell myself I don't plan to date, but if I meet someone interesting tomorrow, I'm going to change my mind. That's just a fact. "I'm not dating right now" really just means "I don't find you that interesting." I dare someone to tell me I'm wrong about this.
The Smiley Face Curve
You ever throw someone a text with something really flattering or vulnerable, and their response was less than satisfactory? You were kinda hoping they'd return the sentiment in some way, but instead they give you some generic, half-assed response? For example, you text them with something like, "Just letting you know I was thinking about you. I can't wait to see you." And they hit you back with, ":-)" That's a Curve. That colon-dash-closed parenthese combo is letting you know that they were NOT thinking of you, and yes, they absolutely CAN wait to see you. They're sort of flattered, but not enough to even type any actual words in the text. That Smiley Curve is a deadly one. If you get one of these, just put your phone away and chop it up as an L.
The Preemptive Curve
These Curves are only for savvy participants of "the game." When you've been around long enough and have experienced your fair share of Curves, you become smarter. You can tell when you're about to get Curved; you can almost see it coming. You see, some people (usually women) are natural-born Curvers. It's in their blood. They Curve so often and with such ease that they don't even seem to notice themselves doing it. True veterans can pinpoint a natural-born Curver as soon as they meet them. In cases such as these, some people decide to administer the Preemptive Curve, which is, of course, to Curve before being Curved. This is all done to acquire the all-powerful and elusive "Upper Hand." Most natural-born Curvers Curve at such a rapid rate that they have never had it happen to them. The Preemptive Curve can go one of two ways: either the Curver is intrigued by the lack of thirst and becomes more interested from being on the other side of the Curve for once, or they are offended by getting Curved before getting a chance to Curve and they walk away from the situation altogether. This is all very complex and I don't want to lose any of you, so let's just move on.
The Repeated Question Curve
These are the Curves given from people who at least have the decency not to lie to you. Repeated Question Curves come into play when someone asks a question that steps across the comfort line of the other person. Sure, they kick it with you, and they like you enough, just don't start asking them any personal questions about feelings or anything silly like that. RQC's usually play out like this: "So where do we stand right now? Like, what do think is going on between me and you?" "Me and you? What you mean, what do I think??" Obviously, this person is Curving the question because the answer might ruin the meaningless relationship that currently exists. The RQC's effectiveness is directly related to the Curvee's level of insecurity. If you find someone insecure enough, you can utilize the Repeated Question Curve for years at a time.
The Silence Curve
This Curve is possibly the deadliest of them all. It's one thing to be told that "there was a change of plans" or that "I had to work late." Those are Curves that we as humans can deal with. We know we're probably getting Curved, but there's still a possibility that there is some merit and truth behind these dubious words. The Silence Curve, on the other hand, leaves no room for hope. These are the Curves that occur when you hit someone up and hear nothing in return. You left a text, voicemail, email and twitter DM. They responded to none of them. Everything was all good just a week ago, but suddenly they fell off the face of the planet. The Silence Curve is a tough pill to swallow.
I'm sure there are more Curve types that I'm forgetting, but these are the ones that I could think of off the top of my head. The interesting thing about Curves, though, is that EVERYONE gets them and EVERYONE gives them. Of the seven I've named, you've probably given/received/given & received all seven of them. It's kind of sad when you think about it; we live in a society where Curving is so prevalent that we don't ever take the time to ask ourselves why we even bother dealing with people that we're just going to Curve anyway.
Can you imagine how much time would be saved if we were just honest to each other and only dealt with people that we planned on taking seriously? But then again, where's the fun in that?? And so, The Curve will continue on. Readers, beware; The Curve might happen to you sooner than you know it. Be safe out there.
3 hours ago