There’s a chance you’ve clicked on this article looking for a prophetic solution as to why you didn’t land that second date. There’s also a higher chance you’re a family member and clicked this link through Facebook (Hi, Aunt Michelle!).

I’ll continue on as if it’s the first one.

If you’ve come for a comprehensive step-by-step guide then you’ve come to the wrong place.

If you’ve come for a tutorial (…because no matter how shatterproof Legally Blonde made the iconic “Bend and Snap” look, it’s not as clinically proven as it has been marketed) then you should exit the tab now.

If you ask me, instruction manuals are for things like cars, the back of fancy shampoo bottles. cookbooks that you gift as a polite-and-indirect-way of telling Maureen her cooking sucks. And, the last time I checked, those things are all objects. You are not.

You are not an object in the sense that you are not an entity in someone else’s possession. You are not an end-point goal of another’s game. And romantic courtship has morphed into just that - a competitive sport.

There are weird calculations and subtle, unconscious moves. There are pings of excitement when he views your witty caption on your snapchat story. It’s a text back, but not too quickly. It’s a inch closer, but not too much, because it could drive him away. Check mate, god damnit. Remind me again when this become so hard?

And some swear they know the ins and the outs. But, just like that kid who swore he knew the Mario Kart cheats and a shortcut to Rainbow Road, they all end up falling off course.

I’ve had so many people come to me with lengths that go to the extreme about troubled situations concerning whether or not a man is interested in them. He’s sleeping with you, but he doesn't want to be exclusive. He tells you that you’re the type of girl that he would bring home to his family, but you have yet to see the cabinets on his kitchen wall.

Things can get real messy too. For example, Katie paints a vivid prolific picture to me of Brad. Brad is a down-to-earth, wholesome frat boy who loves his family (as any frat boy would), but never called back. A couple more questions about frat boy Brad and I learn that he was very, very intoxicated when they met. He also called Katie Christine a couple of times throughout the night, but nonetheless, according to Christine - I mean Katie - love ensured.

Something is so similar about these stories at the core. A daunting, insecurity that screams: "Can I make someone else like me as much as I like them?"

And if that resounding chorus isn’t bad enough, I’ve seen so many girls try to change who they are to match what a man seems to want. I’ve seen them quiet themselves, I’ve seen them become emotionally distant. I’ve seen them give themselves to people who didn’t deserve it.

The truth that lies here is that 1) There is nothing you can do to convince a person to become interested in you.

And 2) Refer back to the previous statement.

As hard as that is to hear, I too, have stood in countless grocery store lines with headlines that point to the answers. How to get him to ask you out! Exclamation point!

And I almost pick them up knowing what they’ll all say inside.

Let your body language do the talking. Be flirty. Make him chase you.

Twirl your hair around your index finger like a schoolgirl while jumping up and down on one leg. Do this and be sure to not break eye contact with him.

And if that doesn't work? One of three options. Black magic. Hook up with his best friend in the dark corner of a party while he is there to make him jealous. Or, finally, behind door three is an all-inclusive roundtrip to die a sad, miserable life alone.

But, instead of those three easy solutions, you probably choose to do what the rest of us do. You internalize a situation. You sit there and wonder if it was something you did or didn’t do. You gnaw at your own arm as you type out had a good time tonight. Backspace. Too casual. I had a good time tonight. Just right.

You, altogether, blame yourself.

The right man will text you back regardless of your punctuation use. The right man will make the effort to be with you. The right man will know that it wasn’t because you chose the red or the black dress to wear out - it’s the things that are as easily showcased as the fabric on your body. The right man knows intellect, your drive, your empathy, your charisma are pieces of you that could be offered to the man standing next to him if he lets you go.

And if that isn’t enough then I'll leave with this thought. Imagine a room comprised of only doors. You could spend your entire life standing outside one that is vacant, hoping, praying that someone will open it.

Or you could pick up you stuff, move to the next door down, and try again.