See if this sounds familiar: You meet a guy, and there’s instant chemistry. You get that swooping feeling in your stomach every time he texts, and he continues making plans and telling you he can’t wait to see you. Then suddenly, the winds change, and he’s pulling away. Hard as you try, there’s nothing you can do to stop it. And when he finally exits, you’re left to wonder, “What did I do?”
Kiran David is here to tell you that you didn’t do anything. This week, the 20-year-old college student penned an epic tweetstorm on the topic that instantly went viral—confirming that this is something many women need to hear. The soon-to-be pastor says that this slow fade has nothing to do with you and a lot to do with whatever is swirling around in the guy’s emotionally underdeveloped brain.
After seeing his advice retweeted thousands of times, I wondered—who is David, and how did he get so very insightful? In a phone conversation on Friday, I got to chat with the blooming love guru and left feeling even more impressed.
David's tweets first caught my eye when I saw someone share a thread that began, “Okay I'm having a conversation with a friend and honestly I feel impressed to do this thread for girls on…’The Indecisive Perfect Guy’.” I’m usually wary of advice casually dispensed online, but you never know when you’re going to strike gold—and it turned out I had hit the jackpot.
(If you haven't already read the full tweetstorm, I highly suggest you peruse it immediately here.)
My first question for David was obvious—what inspired the tweets? The answer was real life, of course. During a recent conversation with a female friend trying to assess why her last relationship went south, David had a realization. “Oh, he sounds a lot like me!” he told her. “I was like, I have the formula, the 411 on exactly what he’s gonna do," he told me. "So I explained it to her, and she’s like, ‘You’ve never met him, but you literally just explained the entire situation, the entire relationship.’” She then urged him to share his wisdom with the world—and thus, an epic tweetstorm was born.
Throughout his 59 tweets, David takes us on a simultaneous journey through what a man is feeling in the early days of a relationship and what a woman is feeling. That anxiety, the feeling of him being hot and cold. David said he’s always observed this dynamic, but this was the first time he was really able to articulate it. And his analysis reads as a fierce rebuttal to the conventional wisdom of He’s Just Not That Into You.
“I just feel there are way more layers than to give it such a vague conclusion,” David said of the idea that any bump in the road means the guy is over it. “The thread was really for boys to men, guys who are learning how to grow up and be more emotionally responsible and emotionally accountable for themselves in relationships,” he said. “Not everyone is emotionally as far along as they like to think.”
But there’s no doubt that David is much more emotionally evolved than his peers. So who is this dare I say “woke,” young man?
He was born in London, and along with his tattoo-covered-biker-turned-pastor father and mother moved to Boston when he was young. You can still hear traces of his British accent, which only adds to his mystique. After graduating high school, he went off to Oakwood College in Alabama, a school affiliated with his church. He planned to study business, but realized God had other plans. He swiftly became a theology major and is preparing for a life as a pastor, and there’s no denying that his advice feels divine.
Perhaps most wise of all is David’s conclusion that “love is a decision.” We all have such a romantic idea of what love means from popular culture—it can be difficult to look at it from a more pragmatic standpoint. But David says it’s the emotional combined with the practical that creates a love that’s true. He told me:
When you get into a relationship, you’re not just bound by your emotions. Emotion will take you far, but emotion won’t carry the relationship. Because there’s going to be days when you don’t feel like being in the relationship, or emotionally you don’t feel like communicating or emotionally you don’t feel like doing the things you have to do in a relationship. And that’s where the decision part comes. A lot of guys make these promises, and sell them these dreams based on the emotion, and they don’t realize that love is more than simply an emotion. So when the honeymoon phase ends and when you get into the thick of the relationship, that’s when the decision-making comes in. It means you have to decide to love even when it may not be easy, when you may not get it back, or even when it may not be in your best interest. What I’ve learned, especially here in America, is that a lot of people are really self-centered, and their love only extends where it comfortable or until it becomes inconvenient…That’s where a lot of relationships suffer.
Damn. Does anyone else need a drink?
So you’ve read David’s thread and absorbed every line. Now how do you put his words into action? He said to never, ever approach these sensitive conversations via text or even on the phone, since there’s too much room for error. “Communicating is a lost art,” he said.
“If you know your value as a woman, then you should just know that you’re always going to be good,” he explained, like a true feminist. If you show your man this thread, David said “either he’s going to act accordingly and the thread will inspire a change, or if there’s still no change…that just lets you know you saved yourself from someone who’s indecisive.”
After I tweeted David’s thread, a guy I’ve been interested in texted me about it. He said (pardon the language), “Fuck. That thread. Get outta my fucking head!!!” While it was little comfort knowing he was so emotionally conflicted, it was crazy to see that the Gospel of David is all too real.
At this point you’re probably wondering if David is single. Sorry to report that he just started seeing a woman after seven months of open communication with her about feelings and exes and everything that comes with a budding romance.
If we can take anything away from this, it’s that there’s hope for us yet—and for the men we date.
Marisa Kabas is a Sex + Life reporter based in New York City. She loves baseball, bunnies and bagels.